by Brant Gardner
Section 10 is a new beginning for Joseph Smith. The loss of almost everything that had been translated created a crisis. Doctrine and Covenants 10:2 describes the aftermath of the loss: “And you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened.” After what must have been a spiritual feast during the translation, the loss became much more that just the words that were written. The gift itself was lost. The ability to respond to the divine light was lost to darkness. Joseph lived under that weighty cloud for nearly three months.
Section 10 provides a declaration of forgiveness, and this part might have been received in the summer of 1829. With the ability to translate restored, Joseph and Oliver began translating. They started with the small amount of work that had been retained, and continued to the end of Moroni. The rest of section 10 deals with the problem of continuing the translation, of finding a new beginning for what they had translated of Mormon’s record.
Right after the Lord tells Joseph that he may translate again, he is offered sober advice for the remainder of the task, if not for the remainder of his life: “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end. Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work” (D&C 10:4–5). [Read more…] about Come Follow Me Week 6 – Doctrine and Covenants 10-11 (additional post)