The first volume of Fred C. Collier’s Unpublished Revelations (1979) contains revelations (actual or alleged) which were received by Joseph Smith but which for various reasons are not printed in the Doctrine and Covenants. Volume 1 also includes certain visions and revelations of Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Orson Pratt. Among other documents reproduced in volume 1 are the patriarchal blessings Joseph Smith pronounced upon his father and other men, a revelation regarding the names for God, the words of “A Song, sung by the gift of tongues and translated,” the Prophet’s 1833 prayer for the redemption of Zion, and an account of a Wilford Woodruff meeting in the Gardo House with Mormon lawyers.
Now, fourteen years later, Collier has published a sequel containing 165 diverse “unpublished revelations.” Readers will find additional revelations received by Joseph Smith and numerous accounts of the First Vision and the visitations of the angel Moroni. Also included are David Whitmer’s proclamation, extracts from the history of Lucy Mack Smith, and several Whitmer interviews. The volume contains visions of God the Father, Christ on the cross, and Adam and Eve as remembered by Zebedee Coltrin almost fifty years after they are said to have occurred. Collier also selected accounts of Brigham Young speaking in tongues, of healings performed by David W. Patten and Heber C. Kimball, of one of Parley P. Pratt’s dreams, of a revelation received by Joseph Smith as related by the apostate Reed Peck, and of Amanda Smith’s testimony of her son’s miraculous healing following the Haun’s Mill Massacre.
While the bulk of the material is both informative and interesting, one wonders what, if any, criteria Collier used in making his selections for inclusion. Are incidents in the life of Martin Harris reprinted from the Iowa State Register “revelations”? Are recollections as much as fifty-three years after they happened “revelations”? Are the missionary experiences of Benjamin Brown “revelations”? How reliable are these sources? How accurate are the transcriptions? One wonders.
A startling fact regarding this volume is that all the materials in it have been published before. Collier has, for example, extracted documents from such books as Dean C. Jessee’s The Papers of Joseph Smith, although without comment he standardizes the irregular spelling and punctuation Jessee worked hard to preserve. Items have been reprinted from the History of the Church, the Messenger and Advocate, Journal of Discourses, Young Woman’s Journal, BYU Studies, Women of Mormondom, Orson F. Whitney’s Life of Heber C. Kimball, the Faith Promoting Series, and The Life and Confessions of John D. Lee. The book would perhaps have been more appropriately titled “REPUBLISHED Revelations.” However, the book brings together under one cover much information, albeit of varying reliability, regarding the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.