Letter written by Cowdery in Kirtland, Ohio to Whitney requesting the original copy of the revelation given to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called “The Law of the Church” to be used in correcting the revelation in the 1835 reprint of The Evening and the Morning Star.
This letter shows Bishop Whitney’s relationship to the original revelations prior to their being published in the Doctrine and Covenants. The Newel K. Whitney papers in L. Tom Perry Special Collections include twenty-one early manuscript copies of revelations received by Joseph Smith, all but two of which have since been published in the Doctrine and Covenants. It is not known in every case why these manuscripts were in Bishop Whitney’s possession. However, this letter shows that Whitney acted as “keeper” of many of the original revelations. Many of these manuscripts are likely the earliest known copies of the given revelations, predating their publication in the Book of Commandments (1833) or the Doctrine and Covenants (1835), and are in the hand of those involved as scribes or in compiling the revelations for publication, including Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams.
(Newel Kimball Whitney papers, Vault MSS 76)