In a Church News article dated May 22, 2009, Robert Woodford of the LDS Church History Department Joseph Smith Papers Project spoke to a plenary session of the Mormon History Association meeting in Springfield, Ill. and announced that among historical documents in possession of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) included the original manuscript of the Book of Commandments and Revelations (BCR). He said it proved to be "the manuscript collection of revelations that Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer took to Missouri in November 1831, from which to publish the Book of Commandments," forerunner to the Doctrine and Covenants."
Quoting from the article, "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," Brother Woodford noted. "Hence, the BCR contains the earliest surviving manuscript versions of many of Joseph Smith's revelations, and the only pre-publication manuscript copies of some of them."
The manuscript is reported to contain seven revelations given to Joseph Smith which were never published as part of the scriptural canon of the Church.
It was further noted that some of the pages of the manuscript were missing, but that a portion of the missing pages was in the possession of the Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS Church).
Grant Underwood, commented that "the manuscript "allows us to see that the bulk of all wording in the revelation texts remained unchanged from initial dictation to publication in the Doctrine and Covenants. Thus, while my presentation focuses on the revisions, perhaps the real story is that only a small part of most revelation texts were ever revised."
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