Introducing A Book of Commandments and Revelations, A Major New Documentary “Discovery”

This article is one of several in this issue of BYU Studies about the Book of Commandments and Revelations (BCR), a foundational document of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Book of Commandments and Revelations (BCR) is the manuscript collection of revelations Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer took to Missouri in November 1831 from which the Book of Commandments was to be published. Additional revelations were entered into the volume as they were received, and the BCR was also used as one of the sources for the revelations printed in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C). Hence, the BCR contains the earliest surviving manuscript versions of many of Joseph Smith’s revelations and the only prepublication manuscript copies of some of them. The BCR also contains seven revelations never published as part of the scriptural canon of the Church. This article traces the early history of the BCR, discusses the current state of the manuscript collection, and points to possible future research topics regarding the BCR.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 48:3
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