This isn’t yet directly related to my research on the Abrahamic Covenant, but I thought this was cool & something to study more about.
Kerry Muhlestein wrote an article that is now in the Sperry volume published in 2008 where he charts out which D&C sections were being revealed at the same time as specific parts of the New Translation. To be honest I had my hopes that Emma Smith’s turn as scribe had happened during the parts about Eve, but it turns out her turn was just part of the beginning of the Enoch story. But then I found that the revelation to Emma (Section 25) was received during the same months (more details aren’t available yet) as Moses 2-3, where we get the beginning of the Adam and Eve story. This makes me wonder how the two might have influenced Emma’s understanding of the other. If her revelation was received first, how did it influence the way she heard the story in the book of Moses? If Moses 2-3 were received first, how did that influence the way she understood her own revelation?
The most obvious connection to me is between Moses 3:20-25 and D&C 25:5-6. Eve was an “help meet” for Adam (a help equal too, up to the task, etc.). Emma is asked to be a “comfort” for Joseph in his afflictions, and also to “go with him at the time of his going, and be unto him for a scribe.”
The next chapters in Moses describe more of Eve’s relationship to Adam. I was hoping those were the ones received so close to Emma’s revelation. And it looks like Moses 4-5 were received after. But then again, I suppose regardless of even that, I can look at connections between Moses 4 and D&C 25 if I want to, huh? 🙂
So here are some of the things I like. D&C 25 gives Emma huge opportunities and responsibilities. She is going to expound scripture, teach, write, learn, etc., all alongside Joseph as he does his work (which includes most if not all of the things she is going to do). This reminds me of Moses 5:1, which says in simplicity, “And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.”
Ironically, Adam had to eat by the sweat of his brow (and Eve labored with him), but in D&C 24-25, Joseph is told he won’t have strength in temporal labors and needs to rely on the church for support! And Emma is told she can be comforted and they really will be taken care of financially. Interesting difference between Adam and Eve and Joseph and Emma! But both of course were by faith. To us, now, working to get money or food is normal and responsible. But to Adam and Eve, this was new and probably required a lot of faith!
I also like Moses 5:4’s description of “Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord” together. This reminds me of Joseph and Emma going to get the plates together. And probably all sorts of moments not recorded (or yet published anyway) where the two of them together called on God or received revelation, etc.
Moses 5:10-11 actually mirror Emma and Joseph’s relationship well too. There Adam prophesies about all the families of the earth, etc. Then Eve hears it, is glad, and then expounds on what her husband said:
And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.
And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
Emma, in section 25 again, is told that she will be ordained under Joseph’s hand to expound scripture (which had to include the very things that her husband was receiving as revelations):
And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.
For he shall lay his hands upon thee, and thou shalt receive the Holy Ghost, and thy time shall be given to writing, and to learning much.
I like the parallel relationship a lot, especially when I know that the verses in Moses 5 and in D&C 25 were received within months of each other. I wonder if Emma pondered these things? Is it just our generation that mines the scriptures for verses on women? Was that a question to the early LDS women as well? Would Emma have been as interested in more information on Eve as I am?
Good questions. I still get to learn from the connections I guess, and it’s still fun. I wonder what she (and other women) thought, though? I wonder if I could learn from what resources I have on Joseph Smith Papers etc.? I don’t know. A question for some historian friends…