Section 8: Oliver Cowdery Wants to Dictate Part of the Book of Mormon and is Given Permission


This section was significantly changed between the Book of Commandments and the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.


Date Given: April 1829

Location Given: Harmony, Pennsylvania – Hale Farm

Date Canonized: August 17, 1835

Background: This revelation was given during the transcription process of The Book of Mormon. Oliver Cowdery wanted to help with the dictation of The Book of Mormon instead of just transcribing it. This revelation assures Cowdery that he has the ability to dictate as well and gives him some instruction as to how.

Cowdery was to use “the gift of working with the sprout”, which referred to the magical practice of using divining rod. This would have been similar to Joseph Smith Jr.’s use of a seer stone. This phrasing was changed from the original/Book of Commandments phrasing to “the gift of Aaron” with the publication of the 1835 Kirtland edition of The Doctrine and Covenants and has remained like this ever since.


A. Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer,

B. even so sure shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which have been spoken, by the manifestation of my Spirit;

C. yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you, and which shall dwell in your heart.


A. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground;

B. therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it and blessed art thou, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you, and bring your soul to destruction.


A. Oh, remember these words, and keep my commandments! Remember this is your gift.

B. Now this is not all your gift, for you have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron; behold, it has told you many things; behold, there is no other power save the power of God that can cause this gift of Aaron to be with you;

C. therefore doubt not, for it is the gift of God, and you shall hold it in your hands, and do marvelous works; and no power shall be able to take it away out of your hands, for it is the work of God.

D. And, therefore, whatsoever you shall ask me to tell you by that means, that will I grant unto you, and you shall have knowledge concerning it; remember, that without faith you can do nothing.

E. Therefore, ask in faith.

F. Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not; ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate and receive knowledge from all those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred, and according to your faith shall it be done unto you.

G. Behold, it is I that have spoken it; and I am the same who spake unto you from the beginning. Amen.