Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Doctrine and Covenants Sections 35
40, 47 Week 9, Page 2© 2012, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
in several important revelations (including D&C 76, the vision of the three degrees of glory), and organizing and teaching the School of the Prophets in Kirtland.
After his baptism Sidney felt compelled to meet Joseph Smith. He took EdwardPartridge
with him and travelled to Fayette, New York, arriving in early December1830.
Soon after they arrived, Joseph received a revelation directed to Sidney (D&C 35) andone to Edward Partridge (D&C 36).c)
In the revelation to Sidney Rigdon the Lord compared him to John the
Baptist, in that he ―prepared the way before‖ the Lord by baptizing, but did not give the
gift of the Holy Ghost (35:4
–6). He was told that there was a ―greater work‖ prepared for
5:3), and was commanded to act as Joseph‘s scribe in receiving the scriptures(35:20), a reference to Joseph‘s work on the translation of the Bible.
The Spaulding-Rigdon hypothesis.a)
Since we‘re discussing the first meeting between Sidney Rigdon a
nd Joseph Smith, Ithought this would be an appropriate time to review one of the oldest claims about how
the Book of Mormon ―really‖ came into being.
Sidney Rigdon was one of the few members of early Church who had any formalreligious training. He was a skilled writer and speaker, which was unique in a Church
that was filled with ―amateurs.‖
Because of his extensive knowledge in religious matters, some critics have claimed thatit was actually Sidney Rigdon who wrote the Book of Mormon. (Joseph Smith, of course, was too crude and uneducated to pull it off.) The theory goes like this:i)
There was a Congregationalist preacher by the name of Solomon Spaulding (or
) who lived the last years of his life in northeast Ohio and southwestPennsylvania. He died in 1816 after having written a work of fiction about the lostcivilization of the mound builder Indians of North America.ii)
After the Book of Mormon was published in 1830 and Mormon missionaries brought
it to Ohio, some of Spaulding‘s family and acquaintan
ces claimed that portions of it
were identical to Spaulding‘s manuscript, including the main storyline, proper
, and the phrase ―and it came to pass.‖
In 1833 Doctor Philastus Hurlbut
(―Doctor‖ was his first given name, not a
n earnedor honorific title),who had been excommunicated from the Church for immorality,
At this point, Edward Partridge (1793
1840) was not a member of the Church. His wife, Lydia, had been baptized, but he was still uncertain. After meeting with Joseph Smith he was convinced of the truth of the restored gospel, as was baptized by Joseph on 11 December 1830. Joseph
later referred to Partridge as ―a pattern of piety, and one of
the Lord‘s great men.‖
History of the Church
This revelation carried the date 7 December 1830 when it was published in
The Ohio Star
3/1 (5 January 1832;
3/31 (17 January 1832;
). These two papers were critical of the Church and itstruth claims, and used a copy of the revelation provided by Simonds Ryder, who had apostatized after his last name was
misspelled ―Rider‖ in a revelation (D&C 52:37).
Hurlbut was baptized in early 1833 and came to Kirtland, where he met Joseph Smith on 13 March 1833, was ordainedan elder by Sidney Rigdon, and called to serve a mission in Pennsylvania. Soon after that, fellow missionary Orson Hyde
accused Hurlbut of ―unchristian conduct with the female sex,‖ and he was excommunicated on 3 June 1833. After that he
worked vigorously to discredit Joseph Smith and the Church. In summer and autumn 1833 Hurlbut traveled in Ohio,Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York, collecting statements against Joseph by his former neighbors. He returned to the