Chronology of Mormonism
Dr. Andrew Jackson
MORMONISM UNDER JOSEPH SMITH (1805-1844)
December 23, 1805 – JS Jr. was born in Sharon, Vermont
1811 – Smith family moves to Lebanon, New Hampshire
1816 – Smith family moves to Palmyra, New York
Spring 1820 – JS’s “First Vision“ at age of 14 (at least 7 different accounts)
1820-1823 – JS’s teen temptations from ages 14 to 17
December 23, 1820 – JS turns 15 years of age
December 23, 1821 – JS turns 16 years of age
1822 – JS involvement in magic and divination
December 23, 1822 – JS turns 17 years of age
September 1823 – Moroni visits to JS at the age of 17
September 21 1823 (DC 2) Manchester, New York D&C 2 – Restore the Elijah Priesthood, Mulachi. An extract from the words of the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith the Prophet, while in the house of the Prophet’s father at Manchester, New York, on the evening of September 21, 1823. HC 1: 12. Compare Malachi 4: 5–6; also DC 27: 9; DC 110:13–16; DC 128: 18.
September 1823 – Moroni shows JS the Book of Mormon at the age of 17
November 19, 1823 – The death of JS’s brother Alvin
December 23, 1823 – JS turns 18 years of age
December 23, 1824 – JS turns 19 years of age
October 1825 – JS’s treasure-hunting in Pennsylvania at the age of 19
December 23, 1825 – JS turns 20 years of age
December 23, 1826 – JS turns 21 years of age 1826????
January 18, 1827 – JS marries Emma Hale at age of 21
Summer 1827 – JS moves to Manchester, New York at age of 21
September 12, 1827 – JS takes possession of the Book of Mormon and the Urim and Thummim at the age of 21.
December 23, 1827 – JS turns 22 years of age
December 1827-August 1830 – JS moves to Pennsylvania from age 21 to 23
December 1827-June 1829 – JS translates the Book of Mormon from age 21 to 23 with Martin Harris
June 1828 – JS loses 116 pages of the translation of the Book of Mormon
July 1828 (DC 3) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 3 JS first records a revelation DC 3 is likely the first revelation of JS (Bushman, JS: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 68) Relates to the loss of 116 pages of manuscript translated from the first part of the Book of Mormon, which was called the “Book of Lehi.” The Prophet had reluctantly allowed these pages to pass from his custody to that of Martin Harris, who had served for a brief period as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon. The revelation was given through the Urim and Thummim. HC 1: 21–23. See DC 10.
Summer 1828 (DC 10) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 10
HC 1: 20–23. Herein the Lord informs Joseph of alterations made by wicked men in the 116 manuscript pages from the translation of the “Book of Lehi,” in the Book of Mormon. These manuscript pages had been lost from the possession of Martin Harris, to whom the sheets had been temporarily entrusted. See heading to Section 3. The evil design was to await the expected retranslation of the matter covered by the stolen pages, and then to discredit the translator by showing discrepancies created by the alterations. That this wicked purpose had been conceived by the evil one, and was known to the Lord even while Mormon, the ancient Nephite historian, was making his abridgment of the accumulated plates, is shown in the Book of Mormon (The Words of Mormon 1: 3–7).
Summer 1828 – JS’s revelations as identified American Indians as the ancestors as the Lamanites of the Book of Mormon.
DC 28:9 reads: And now, behold, I say unto you that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city Zion shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold, I say unto you that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites.
December 23, 1828 – JS turns 23 years of age
February 1929 (DC 4) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 4
Given to JS’s, Joseph Smith, Sen., at Harmony, Pennsylvania. HC 1: 28.
March 1829 (DC 5) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 5
Revelation given through Joseph Smith at the request of Martin Harris. HC 1: 28–31.
April 7, 1829 – Oliver Cowdery began his labors as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon.
April 1829 (DC 6) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 6,
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery. HC 1: 32–35. Oliver Cowdery began his labors as scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon, April 7, 1829. He had already received a divine manifestation of the truth of the Prophet’s testimony respecting the plates on which was engraved the Book of Mormon record. The Prophet inquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim and received this response.
April 1829 (DC 7) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 7, – translation work – John did not die. Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they inquired through the Urim and Thummim as to whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself. HC 1: 35–36.
April 1829 (DC 8) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 8,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery. HC 1: 36–37. In the course of the translation of the Book of Mormon, Oliver, who continued to serve as scribe, writing at the Prophet’s dictation, desired to be endowed with the gift of translation. The Lord responded to his supplication by granting this revelation.
April 1829 (DC 9) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 9
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery. HC 1: 37–38. Oliver is admonished to be patient, and is urged to be content to write, for the time being, at the dictation of the translator, rather than to attempt to translate.
April-June 1829 – JS translates Book of Mormon with Oliver Crowdery
May 1829 (DC 11) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 11,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to his brother Hyrum Smith. HC 1: 39–46. This revelation was received through the Urim and Thummim in answer to Joseph’s supplication and inquiry. “History of the Church” suggests that this revelation was received after the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.
May 1829 (DC 12) – Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 12
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Joseph Knight. HC 1: 47–48. Joseph Knight believed the declarations of Joseph Smith concerning his possession of the Book of Mormon plates and the work of translation then in progress, and several times had given material assistance to Joseph Smith and his scribe, which enabled them to continue translating. At Joseph Knight’s request the Prophet inquired of the Lord and received the revelation.
May 15, 1829 (DC 13) – Harmony, Pennsylvania/Susquehanna River D&C 13 —- John the Baptist/Anorak Priesthood; Ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood along the bank of the Susquehanna River. HC 1: 39–42. The ordination was done by the hands of an angel, who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time the Priesthood of Melchizedek would be conferred upon them. See also DC 27: 7, 8, 12.Keys and powers of Aaronic Priesthood are set forth.
June 1829 – Translation of the Book of Mormon completed
June 1829 (DC 14) ; Fayette, New York D&C 14,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to David Whitmer. HC 1: 48–50. The Whitmer family had become greatly interested in the translating of the Book of Mormon. The Prophet established his residence at the home of Peter Whitmer, Sen., where he dwelt until the work of translation was carried to completion and the copyright on the forthcoming book secured. Three of the Whitmer sons, each having received a testimony as to the genuineness of the work, became deeply concerned over the matter of their individual duty. This revelation and the two next following (Sections 15 and 16) were given in answer to an inquiry through the Urim and Thummim. David Whitmer later became one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
June 1829 (DC 15) ; Fayette, New York D&C 15
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to John Whitmer, at Fayette, New York, June 1829. HC 1: 50; see also heading to Section 14. The message is intimately and impressively personal, in that the Lord tells of what was known only to John Whitmer and himself. John Whitmer later became one of the Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
June 1829 (DC 16); Fayette, New York D&C 16,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Peter Whitmer, Jun., at Fayette, New York, June 1829. HC 1: 51; see also heading to Section 14. Peter Whitmer, Jun., later became one of the Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
June 1829 (DC 17) ; Fayette, New York June 1829 DC 17
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, prior to their viewing the engraved plates that contained the Book of Mormon record. HC 1: 52–57. Joseph and his scribe, Oliver Cowdery, had learned from the translation of the Book of Mormon plates that three special witnesses would be designated. See Ether 5: 2–4; also 2 Nephi 11: 3 and 27: 12. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris were moved upon by an inspired desire to be the three special witnesses. The Prophet inquired of the Lord, and this revelation was given in answer, through the Urim and Thummim.
June 1829 (DC 18); Fayette, New York D&C 18
Revelation to Joseph Smith the Prophet, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer. HC 1: 60–64. When the Aaronic Priesthood was conferred, the bestowal of the Melchizedek Priesthood was promised. See heading to Section 13. In response to supplication for knowledge on the matter, the Lord gave this revelation.
August 1829 – JS publishes the Book of Mormon
December 23, 1829 – JS turns 24 years of age
Mormons in Fayette, New York
April 1830-January 1831
Fall 1830 – JS compiled his dozen or so revelations up to that date (Bushman, JS p.128)
March 1830 (DC 19); Manchester, New York D&C 19
Revelation given through Joseph Smith. HC 1: 72–74. In his history the Prophet introduced it as “a commandment of God and not of man, to Martin Harris, given by him who is Eternal.”
April 6, 1830 – When JS was 25 years of age he organizes the first Mormon Church (Church of Christ)
April 1830 (DC 20); Fayette, New York 20*, – organization of the church; water baptism; Revelation on Church Organization and Government, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, April 1830. HC 1: 64–70. Preceding his record of this revelation the Prophet wrote: “We obtained of him [Jesus Christ] the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to his will and commandment, we should proceed to organize his Church once more here upon the earth.”
April 6, 1830 (DC 21), Fayette, New York D&C 21
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 74–79. This revelation was given at the organization of the Church, on the date named, in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sen. Six men, who had previously been baptized, participated. By unanimous vote these persons expressed their desire and determination to organize, according to the commandment of God; see Section 20. They also voted to accept and sustain Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery as the presiding officers of the Church. With the laying on of hands, Joseph then ordained Oliver an elder of the Church; and Oliver similarly ordained Joseph. After administration of the sacrament, Joseph and Oliver laid hands upon the participants individually, for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost and for the confirmation of each as a member of the Church.
April 1830 (DC 22); Manchester, New York D&C 22,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 79–80. This revelation was given to the Church in consequence of some who had previously been baptized desiring to unite with the Church without rebaptism.
1 Behold, I say unto you that all aold covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an beverlasting ccovenant, even that which was from the beginning.2 Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the alaw of Moses, neither by your bdead works. 3 For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old. 4 Wherefore, enter ye in at the agate, as I have commanded, and bseek not to counsel your God. Amen.
April 1830 (DC 23); Manchester, New York D&C 23
Revelation given through Joseph Smith, to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith, Sen., and Joseph Knight, Sen. HC 1: 80. As the result of earnest desire on the part of the five persons named to know of their respective duties, the Prophet inquired of the Lord, and received this revelation.
June 1830 – Joseph Smith’s declares himself the Mormon prophet Smith declared that he alone was the Mormons’ primary “seer, translator, prophet, and apostle of Jesus Christ.”
That Mormons should receive Smith’s words as if they were spoken by God. That the Mormon Church alone held the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of God on earth, and that only his utterances carried God’s authority for the Latter-day Saints.
JS rejects the validity of water baptisms conducted by all Christian Churches.
June 1830 – The translation was begun as early as June 1830, and both Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer had served as scribes. In the summer of 1830, JS begins to write an inspired revision of the Bible, today it is called the “Joseph Smith Translation.”
June 1830 – JS receives vision of Moses, first chapter of the Book of Moses (Bushman, JS, p. 133-142) JS rewriting first chapters of Genesis, Enoch.
July 1830 (DC 24); Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 24
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery. HC 1: 101–103. Though less than four months had elapsed since the Church was organized, persecution had become intense, and the leaders had to seek safety in partial seclusion. The following three revelations were given at this time to strengthen, encourage, and instruct them.
July 1830 (DC 25); Harmony, Pennsylvania
July 1830 (DC 26); Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 26
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer. See HC 1: 104; see also heading to Section 24.
August 1830 (DC 27); Harmony, Pennsylvania D&C 27
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet.. HC 1: 106–108. In preparation for a religious service at which the sacrament of bread and wine was to be administered, Joseph set out to procure wine for the occasion. He was met by a heavenly messenger and received this revelation, a portion of which was written at the time, and the remainder in the September following. Water is now used instead of wine in the sacramental services of the Church.
August 1830 – JS moves to Fayette, New York
September 1830 (DC 28); Fayette, New York
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, at Fayette, New York, September 1830. HC 1: 109–111. Hiram Page, a member of the Church, had a certain stone, and professed to be receiving revelations by its aid concerning the upbuilding of Zion and the order of the Church. Several members had been deceived by these claims, and even Oliver Cowdery was wrongly influenced thereby. Just prior to an appointed conference, the Prophet inquired earnestly of the Lord concerning the matter, and this revelation followed.
September 1830 (DC 29); Fayette, New York
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, in the presence of six elders. HC 1: 111–115. This revelation was given some days prior to the conference beginning September 26, 1830.
September 1830; Fayette, New York D&C 30
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jun., and John Whitmer, following the three-day conference at Fayette, but before the elders of the Church had separated. HC 1: 115–116. Originally this material was published as three revelations; it was combined into one section by the Prophet for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
September 1830 (DC 31); Fayette, New YorkD&C 31
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Thomas B. Marsh. HC 1: 115–117. The occasion was immediately following a conference of the Church. See heading to DC 30. Thomas B. Marsh had been baptized earlier in the month, and had been ordained an elder in the Church before this revelation was given.
October 1830 – JS sends Mormon missionaries to evangelize the American Indians in the West.
?? 1830 – Mormon missionaries in Kirkland, Ohio
October 1830 (DC 32); Fayette, New York 32*
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson. HC 1: 118–120. Great interest and desires were felt by the elders respecting the Lamanites, of whose predicted blessings the Church had learned from the Book of Mormon. In consequence, supplication was made that the Lord would indicate his will as to whether elders should be sent at that time to the Indian tribes in the West. The revelation followed.
October 1830 (DC 33); Fayette, New York D&C 33
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet. HC 1: 126–127. In recording this revelation the Prophet affirmed that “the Lord is ever ready to instruct such as diligently seek in faith.”
November 4, 1830 (DC 34); Fayette, New York D&C 34
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Orson Pratt. HC 1: 127–128. Brother Pratt was nineteen years old at the time. He had been converted and baptized when he first heard the preaching of the restored gospel by his older brother, Parley P. Pratt, six weeks before. This revelation was received in the Peter Whitmer, Sen., home.
December 1830 (DC 35); Fayette, New York D&C 35,
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon, at or near Fayette, New York. HC 1: 128–131. At this time the Prophet was engaged almost daily in making a translation of the Bible. The translation was begun as early as June 1830, and both Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer had served as scribes. Since they had now been called to other duties, Sidney Rigdon was called by divine appointment to serve as the Prophet’s scribe in this work (verse 20). As a preface to his record of this revelation the Prophet wrote: “In December Sidney Rigdon came [from Ohio] to inquire of the Lord, and with him came Edward Partridge. . . . Shortly after the arrival of these two brethren, thus spake the Lord.
December 1830 (Dec 36); Fayette, New York D&C 36,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Edward Partridge, near Fayette, New York. HC 1: 131. See heading to Section 35. The Prophet said that Edward Partridge “was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord’s great men.”
December 1830 (DC 37); Fayette, New York D&C 37
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon, near Fayette, New York. HC 1: 139. Herein is given the first commandment concerning a gathering in this dispensation.
December 23, 1830 – JS turns 25 years of age
January 1831 – Mormon missionaries arrive in Independence, Missouri
December 1830 – converted Campbellite pastor Sidney Rigdon traveled from Ohio to New York to meet and converse with Joseph Smith concerning the things of God and Mormonism.16
December 1830 – Sidney Rigdon becomes Joseph Smith’s new Bible scribe
December 23, 1831 – JS turns 26 years of age
January 1831 – JS’s revelation for the Mormons to move from New York to Kirkland, Ohio.
1830-1844 – JS leads the Mormons toward the American West
January 1831 (DC 38); Fayette, New York D&C 38,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Fayette, New York, January 2, 1831. HC 1: 140–143. The occasion was a conference of the Church.
January 1831 (DC 39); Fayette, New York D&C 39,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to James Covill, at Fayette, New York, January 5, 1831. HC 1: 143–145. James Covill, who had been a Baptist minister for about forty years, covenanted with the Lord that he would obey any command that the Lord would give to him through Joseph the Prophet.
January 1831 (DC 40); Fayette, New York D&C 40
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon. HC 1: 145. Preceding the record of this revelation, the Prophet wrote: “As James Covill rejected the word of the Lord, and returned to his former principles and people, the Lord gave unto me and Sidney Rigdon the following revelation.”
Mormons in Kirkland, Ohio
Joseph Smith in Ohio from 24 to 33 years of age.
February 1831 – Joseph and Emma Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Edward Partridge departed New York for Kirkland Ohio (pop: few thousand).21 The Smiths initially lived at the Whitney store, which became the new Mormon Church headquarters.
The early months in Kirkland, Ohio (January 1831-August 1831). For the first seven months or so—from early February 1831 to late August 1831—Joseph Smith and the other Mormons in Ohio were faced with significant practical and spiritual challenges.
February 1831 – material challenges
February 9, 1831 – JS’s “Law of Consecration” Revelation.
February 4, 1831 (DC 41); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 41,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to the Church. HC 1: 146–147. The Kirtland Branch of the Church at this time was rapidly increasing in numbers. Prefacing this revelation the Prophet wrote: “The members were striving to do the will of God, so far as they knew it, though some strange notions and false spirits had crept in among them . . . [and] the Lord gave unto the Church the following.”
February 9, 1831 (DC 42); Kirtland, Ohi D&C 42,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 148–154. It was received in the presence of twelve elders, and in fulfillment of the Lord’s promise previously made that the “law” would be given in Ohio; see Section 38: 32. The Prophet specifies this revelation as “embracing the law of the Church.”
February 1831 (DC 43); Kirtland, Ohi D&C 43,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 154–156. At this time some members of the Church were disturbed by people making false claims as revelators. The Prophet inquired of the Lord and received this communication addressed to the elders of the Church. The first part deals with matters of Church polity; the latter part contains a warning that the elders are to give to the nations of the earth.
Late February 1831 (DC 44); Kirtland, Ohi D&C 44
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon, in the latter part of February 1831. HC 1: 157. In compliance with the requirement herein set forth, the Church appointed a conference to be held early in the month of June following.
March 7, 1831 (DC 45); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 45,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to the Church. HC 1: 158–163. Prefacing his record of his revelation, the Prophet states that “at this age of the Church many false reports and foolish stories were published and circulated, to prevent people from investigating the work or embracing the faith; but to the joy of the saints . . . I received the following.”
March 8, 1831 (DC 46); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 46,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to the Church. HC 1: 163–165. The LDS Church was still rather informal and unstructured. In this early time of the Church, there had not yet developed a unified pattern for the conducting of Church services. However, a custom of admitting only members and earnest investigators to the sacrament meetings and other assemblies of the Church had become somewhat general. This revelation expresses the will of the Lord relative to governing and conducting meetings.
March 8, 1831 (DC 47); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 47,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 166. Prior to this time Oliver Cowdery had acted as Church historian and recorder. John Whitmer had not sought an appointment as historian, but, being asked to serve in this capacity, he had said that he would obey the will of the Lord in the matter. He had already served as a secretary to the Prophet in recording many of the revelations received in the Fayette, New York, area.
March 1831 (DC 48); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 48,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 166–167. The Prophet had inquired of the Lord as to the mode of procedure in procuring lands for the settlement of the saints. This was an important matter in view of the migration of members of the Church from the eastern United States, in obedience to the Lord’s command that they should assemble in Ohio. See 37: 1–3; 45: 64.
March 1831 (DC 49); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 49
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, and Leman Copley. HC 1: 167–169. (Some historical sources give the date of this revelation as May 1831.) Leman Copley had embraced the gospel, but still held to some of the teachings of the Shakers (United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing) to which he had formerly belonged. Some of the beliefs of the Shakers were that Christ’s second coming had already occurred and he had appeared in the form of a woman, Ann Lee; baptism by water was not considered essential; the eating of pork was specifically forbidden, and many did not eat any meat; and a celibate life was considered higher than marriage. In prefacing this revelation, the Prophet wrote, “In order to have a more perfect understanding on the subject, I inquired of the Lord, and received the following.” The revelation refuted some of the basic concepts of the Shaker group. The aforementioned brethren took a copy of the revelation to the Shaker community (near Cleveland, Ohio) and read it to them in its entirety, but it was rejected.
May 1831 (DC 50); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 50
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 170–173. The Prophet states that some of the elders did not understand the manifestations of different spirits abroad in the earth, and that this revelation was given in response to his special inquiry on the matter. So-called spiritual phenomena were not uncommon among the members, some of whom claimed to be receiving visions and revelations.
May 1831 (DC 51); Thompson, Ohio D&C 51
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Proph. HC 1: 173–174. At this time the saints migrating from the eastern states began to arrive in Ohio, and it became necessary to make definite arrangements for their settlement. As this undertaking belonged particularly to the bishop’s office, Bishop Edward Partridge sought instruction on the matter, and the Prophet inquired of the Lord.
June 3, 1831 – Ordination of the High priesthood
June 7, 1831 (DC 52); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 52,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, to the elders of the Church. HC 1: 175–179. A conference had been held at Kirtland, beginning on the 3rd, and closing on the 6th of June. At this conference the first distinctive ordinations to the office of high priest were made, and certain manifestations of false and deceiving spirits were discerned and rebuked.
June 1831 (DC 53); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 53,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Algernon Sidney Gilbert. HC 1: 179–180. At Sidney Gilbert’s request, the Prophet inquired of the Lord as to Brother Gilbert’s work and appointment in the Church.
June 1831 (DC 54); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 54,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Newel Knight. HC 1: 180–181. Members of the Church in the branch at Thompson, Ohio, were divided on questions having to do with the consecration of properties. Selfishness and greed were manifest, and Leman Copley had broken his covenant to consecrate his large farm as a place of inheritance for the saints arriving from Colesville, New York. Ezra Thayre was also involved in the controversy. As a consequence, Newel Knight (president of the branch at Thompson) and other elders had come to the Prophet asking how to proceed. The Prophet inquired of the Lord and received this revelation. See also Section 56, which is a continuation of the matter.
June 1831 (DC 55); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 55,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to William W. Phelps. HC 1: 184–186. William W. Phelps, a printer, and his family had just arrived at Kirtland, and the Prophet sought the Lord for information concerning him.
June 1831 (DC 56); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 56
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 186–188. Ezra Thayre, who had been appointed to travel to Missouri with Thomas B. Marsh (52: 22), was unable to start on his mission when the latter was ready. Elder Thayre was not ready to depart on his journey because of his involvement in the problems at Thompson, Ohio. See heading to Section 54. The Lord answered the Prophet’s inquiry on the matter by giving this revelation.
June-August 1831 – JS’s revelation that Mormon Zion is located in Kansas City’s suburb of Independence, Missouri Joseph Smith identifies the GARDEN OF EDEN & the Location of the Second Coming of Christ in Independence, Missouri
June 3, 1831 – JS received a revelation commissioning some of the Mormons to further migrate to the western border of Missouri, where they would inherit Zion and the New Jerusalem.32 Mormon missionaries were sent out two by two, preaching their way to Missouri.
June 19, 1831 – Joseph Smith and others departed Kirtland on June 19 for the nine-hundred-mile journey.33
July 1831 (DC 57); Zion, Jackson County, MissouriD&C 57
July 20, 1831 – JS receives a revelation declaring that Jackson County, Independence, Missouri was America’s Promised Land and the city of Zion.35
Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints. Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion. And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse.36
Joseph Smith declared that the location of the biblical garden of Eden was in Kansas City’s suburb of Independence the Mormon Zion.37 and was the spot where Christ’s second coming and millennial reign would one day take place.
Mormons had been gathering and settling in Missouri territory since the summer of 1831. For the first few years, things were peaceful But Mormons kept flooding into Independence, and the original non-Mormon settlers of the region became very concerned about being outnumbered and overtaken. The tensions between the Mormons and the state of Missouri continued to heat up, eventually disintegrating into mob violence.
April-June 1832 – JS visits Jackson County, Missouri
August 1, 1831 (DC 58); Zion, Jackson County, Missouri D&C 58,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 190–195. On the first Sabbath after the arrival of the Prophet and party in Jackson County, Missouri, a religious service was held and two members were received by baptism. During that week, members of the Colesville saints from the Thompson Branch and others arrived. Many were eager to learn the will of the Lord concerning them in the new place of gathering.
August 7, 1831 (DC 59); Zion, Jackson County, Missouri D&C 59,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 196–201. Preceding his record of this revelation, the Prophet writes descriptively of the land of Zion wherein the people were then assembled. The land was consecrated, as the Lord had directed, and the site for the future temple was dedicated. The Lord makes these commandments especially applicable to the saints in Zion.
August 8, 1831 (DC 60); Zion, Jackson County, Missouri D&C 60
Revelation given through Joseph Smith. HC 1: 201–202. On this occasion the elders who had been appointed to return to the East desired to know how they should proceed, and by what route and manner they should travel.
August 12, 1831 (DC 61); By Missouri River, Missouri D&C 61,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, on the bank of the Missouri River, McIlwaine’s Bend, August 12, 1831. HC 1: 202–205. On their return trip to Kirtland the Prophet and ten elders had traveled down the Missouri River in canoes. On the third day of the journey many dangers were experienced. Elder William W. Phelps, in daylight vision, saw the destroyer riding in power upon the face of the waters.
August 13, 1831 (DC 62); By Missouri River, Missouri D&C 62
Revelation given through Joseph Smith, on the bank of the Missouri River at Chariton, Missouri, August 13, 1831. HC 1: 205–206. On this day the Prophet and his group, who were on their way from Independence to Kirtland, met several elders who were on their way to the land of Zion, and, after joyful salutations, received this revelation.
Late August 1831 (DC 63); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 63
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 206–211. The Prophet, Sidney Rigdon, and Oliver Cowdery 63)had arrived in Kirtland on August 27, from their visit to Missouri. Prefacing his record of this revelation the Prophet wrote: “In these infant days of the Church, there was a great anxiety to obtain the word of the Lord upon every subject that in any way concerned our salvation; and as the land of Zion was now the most important temporal object in view, I inquired of the Lord for further information upon the gathering of the Saints, and the purchase of the land, and other matters.”
Late August 1831 – JS returns to Ohio. After spending approximately one month in Independence, Missouri—the New Jerusalem—Joseph Smith and his traveling companions returned to Ohio in late August 1831.42
Following their return from Missouri, the next four and a half years (August 1831-March 1836) before they built the firm Mormon temple in Kirtland temple was a time of new doctrines, new revelations, and the beginning of the practice of polygamy.
September 1831 – JS moves to Hiram, Ohio, located approximately thirty miles south of Kirkland. where he began to organize his revelations for publications, and worked on his new Bible revision.43
September 11, 1831 (DC 64); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 64
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to the elders of the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, September 11, 1831. HC 1: 211–214. The Prophet was preparing to move to Hiram, Ohio, to renew his work on the translation of the Bible, which had been laid aside while he had been in Missouri. A company of brethren who had been commanded to journey to Zion (Missouri) was earnestly engaged in making preparations to leave in October. At this busy time, the revelation was received.
October 1831 (DC 65); Hiram, Ohio D&C 65
HC 1: 218. The Prophet designates this revelation as a prayer.
October 25, 1831 (DC 66); Orange, OhioD&C 66
HC 1: 219–221. This was the first day of an important conference. In prefacing this revelation, the Prophet wrote: “At the request of William E. McLellin, I inquired of the Lord, and received the following.”
November 1, 1831 (DC 1); Hiram, Ohio D&C 1, (Rev: for DC book)
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, during a special conference of elders of the Church, held at Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831. HC 1: 221–224. Many revelations had been received from the Lord prior to this time, and the compilation of these for publication in book form was one of the principal subjects passed upon at the conference. This section constitutes the Lord’s Preface to the doctrines, covenants, and commandments given in this dispensation.
November 1831 (DC 67); Hiram, Ohio D&C 67,
HC 1: 224–225. The occasion was that of a special conference, and the publication of the revelations already received from the Lord through the Prophet was considered and acted upon. See heading to Section 1. It was decided that Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer should take the manuscripts of the revelations to Independence, where W. W. Phelps would publish them as the “Book of Commandments.” Many of the brethren bore solemn testimony that the revelations then compiled for publication were verily true, as was witnessed by the Holy Ghost shed forth upon them. The Prophet records that after the revelation known as Section 1 had been received, some negative conversation was had concerning the language used in the revelations. The present revelation followed.
November 1831 (DC 68); Hiram, Ohio D&C 68,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at the request of Orson Hyde, Luke S. Johnson, Lyman E. Johnson, and William E. McLellin. HC 1: 227–229. Although this revelation was given in response to supplication that the mind of the Lord be made known concerning the elders named, much of the content pertains to the whole Church.
November 1831 (DC 69); Hiram, Ohio D&C 69,
HC 1: 234–235. The compilation of revelations intended for early publication had been passed upon at the special conference of November 1. On November 3, the revelation herein appearing as Section 133 was added, and called the Appendix. By action of the conference, Oliver Cowdery was appointed to carry the manuscript of the compiled revelations and commandments to Independence, Missouri, for printing. He was also to take with him moneys that had been contributed for the building up of the Church in Missouri. As the course of travel would lead him through a sparsely settled country to the frontier, a traveling companion was desirable.
November 3, 1831 (DC 133); Hiram, Ohio D&C 133
HC 1: 229–234. Prefacing this revelation the Prophet wrote: “At this time there were many things which the Elders desired to know relative to preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, and concerning the gathering; and in order to walk by the true light, and be instructed from on high, on the 3rd of November, 1831, I inquired of the Lord and received the following important revelation.” This section was first added to the book of Doctrine and Covenants as an appendix, and was subsequently assigned a section number.
November 12, 1831 (DC 70); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 70
HC 1: 235–237. The history written by the Prophet states that four special conferences were held from the 1st to the 12th of November, inclusive. In the last of these assemblies the great importance of the Book of Commandments, later called the Doctrine and Covenants, was considered; and the Prophet refers to it as being “the foundation of the Church in these last days, and a benefit to the world, showing that the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of our Savior are again entrusted to man.”
November 1831 – JS’s collection of revelations called The Book of Commandments (later revised and called the Doctrine and Covenants)
November 1831 – JS’s Exaltation revelations
December 1, 1831 (DC 71); Hiram, Ohio D&C 71
HC 1: 238–239. The Prophet had continued to translate the Bible with Sidney Rigdon as his scribe until this revelation was received, at which time it was temporarily laid aside so as to enable them to fulfill the instruction given herein. The brethren were to go forth to preach in order to allay the unfriendly feelings that had developed against the Church as a result of the publication of some newspaper articles by Ezra Booth, who had apostatized.
December 4, 1831 (DC 72); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 72
HC 1: 239–241. Several elders and members had assembled to learn their duty and to be further edified in the teachings of the Church. This section is a compilation of two revelations received on the same day. Verses 1–8 make known the calling of Newel K. Whitney as a bishop. He was then called and ordained, after which verses 9–26 were received giving additional information as to a bishop’s duties.
December 23, 1831 – JS turns — years of age
January 10, 1832 (DC 73); Hiram, Ohio D&C 73,
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon. HC 1: 241–242. Since the early part of the preceding December, the Prophet and Sidney had been engaged in preaching, and by this means much was accomplished in diminishing the unfavorable feelings that had arisen against the Church (see heading to Section 71).
January 1832 (DC 74) Hiram OhioD&C 74
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, January 1832. HC 1: 242. The Prophet writes, “Upon the reception of the foregoing word of the Lord [D&C 73], I recommenced the translation of the Scriptures, and labored diligently until just before the conference, which was to convene on the 25th of January. During this period I also received the following, as an explanation of 1 Corinthians 7: 14.”
January 25, 1832 (DC 75); Amherst, Ohio D&C 75
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 242–245. The occasion was that of a conference previously appointed. At this conference Joseph Smith was sustained and ordained President of the High Priesthood. Certain elders, who had encountered difficulty in bringing men to an understanding of their message, desired to learn more in detail as to their immediate duties. This revelation followed.
February 16, 1832 (DC 76); Hiram, Ohio D&C 76 (JS, Signey Rigdon; translation work of the Bible, John 5:29 Heavenly Vision, Vision of Glories)
In Hiram, JS and Sidney Rigdon were active in translation work of the Bible … John 5:29 revelation/heavenly vision called “The Vision” (DC 76)
March 1832 (DC 77); Hiram, Ohio D&C 77,
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the ProphetHC 1: 253–255. The Prophet wrote, “In connection with the translation of the Scriptures, I received the following explanation of the Revelation of St. John.”
March 1832 (DC 78); Hiram, Ohio D&C 78,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. The order given of the Lord to Joseph Smith for the purpose of establishing a storehouse for the poor. HC 1: 255–257. It was not always desirable that the identity of the individuals whom the Lord addressed in the revelations should be known by the world; hence, in the publication of this and some subsequent revelations the brethren were referred to by other than their own names. When the necessity had passed for keeping the names of the individuals unknown, their real names were thereafter given in brackets. Since there exists no vital need today to continue the code names, the real names only are now used herein, as given in the original manuscripts.
March 1832 (DC 79); Hiram, Ohio D&C 79,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 257.
March 1832 (DC 80); Hiram, Ohio D&C 80,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the ProphetHC 1: 257.
March 1832 (DC 81); Hiram, Ohio D&C 81
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 257–258. Frederick G. Williams is called to be a high priest and a counselor in the Presidency of the High Priesthood. The historical records show that when this revelation was received in March 1832, it called Jesse Gause to the office of counselor to Joseph Smith in the Presidency. However, when he failed to continue in a manner consistent with this appointment, the call was subsequently transferred to Frederick G. Williams. The revelation (dated March 1832) should be regarded as a step toward the formal organization of the First Presidency, specifically calling for the office of counselor in that body and explaining the dignity of the appointment. Brother Gause served for a time, but was excommunicated from the Church in December 1832. Brother Williams was ordained to the specified office on March 18, 1833.
April 26, 1832 (DC 82); Jackson County, Missouri D&C 82,
HC 1: 267–269. The occasion was a general council of the Church at which Joseph Smith the Prophet was sustained as the President of the High Priesthood, to which office he had previously been ordained at a conference of high priests, elders, and members, at Amherst, Ohio, January 25, 1832 (see heading to Section 75). Formerly unusual names were used in the publication of this revelation to conceal the identity of the persons named (see heading to Section 78). These unusual names have now been dropped, except in cases where the identification is not known (see verse 11).
April 30, 1832 (DC 83); Jackson County, Independence, Missouri D&C 83
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 269–270. This revelation was received as the Prophet sat in council with his brethren.
April 1832 (DC 83); Independence, Missouri D&C 83
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Independence, Missouri, April 30, 1832. HC 1: 269–270. This revelation was received as the Prophet sat in council with his brethren.
April 1832 – Brigham Young baptized as a Mormon
August 1832) (DC 99) ; Hiram, Ohio D&C 99
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to John Murdock. Although editions of the Doctrine and Covenants beginning with 1876 have listed this revelation as Kirtland, August 1833, earlier editions and other historical records certify to the proper information.
October-November 1832 – JS trip to Albany, New York and Boston, Massachusetts
September 22-23, 1832 (DC 84); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 84
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 286–295. During the month of September, elders had begun to return from their missions in the eastern states and to make reports of their labors. It was while they were together in this season of joy that the following communication was received. The Prophet designates it a revelation on priesthood.
November 27, 1832 (DC 85); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 85
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 298–299. This section is an extract from a letter of the Prophet to W. W. Phelps, who was living in Independence, Missouri. It was given to answer questions about those saints who had moved to Zion, but who had not received their inheritances according to the established order in the Church.
December 6, 1832 (DC 86); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 86,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 1: 300. This revelation was received while the Prophet was reviewing and editing the manuscript of the translation of the Bible.
December 23, 1832 – JS turns 27 years of age
December 25, 1832 (DC 87); Kirtland, Ohio 87*,
Revelation and prophecy on war. HC 1: 301–302. This section was received at a time when the brethren were reflecting and reasoning upon African slavery on the American continent and the slavery of the children of men throughout the world.
December 27, 1832 (DC 88); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 88
HC 1: 302–312. It was designated by the Prophet as the “olive leaf . . . plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us.” It appears from the historical records that portions of this revelation were received on December 27 and 28, 1832, and January 3, 1833.
February 1833 (DC 89); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 89 – Word of Wisdom
March 8, 1833 (DC 90); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 90,
Revelation to Joseph Smith the Prophet, given at Kirtland. HC 1: 329–331. This revelation is a continuing step in the establishment of the First Presidency (see heading to Section 81), and as a consequence thereof the counselors mentioned were ordained on March 18, 1833.
March 9, 1833 (DC 91); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 91,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 331–332. The Prophet was at this time engaged in the translation of the Old Testament. Having come to that portion of the ancient writings called the Apocrypha, he inquired of the Lord and received this instruction.
March 15, 1833 (DC 92) Kirtland, Ohio D&C 92
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 333. The revelation is directed to Frederick G. Williams, who had recently been appointed a counselor in the First Presidency.
May 6, 1833 (DC 93); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 93,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 343–346.
May 6, 1833 (DC 94); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 94
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 346–347. Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, and Jared Carter are appointed as a Church building committee.
June 1, 1833 (DC 95); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 95,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 350–352. This revelation is a continuation of divine directions to build houses for worship and instruction, especially the House of the Lord. See Section 88: 119–136 and Section 94.
June 4, 1833 (DC 96); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 96
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, showing the order of the City or Stake of Zion at Kirtland, Ohio. Given as an example to the saints in Kirtland. HC 1: 352–353. The occasion was a conference of high priests, and the chief subject of consideration was the disposal of certain lands, known as the French farm, possessed by the Church near Kirtland. Since the conference could not agree who should take charge of the farm, all agreed to inquire of the Lord concerning the matter.
July 2, 1833 – Joseph Smith’s competes his inspired translation of the Bible
1833 – Joseph Smith begins practicing polygamy
July 20, 1833 – Non-Mormon settlers entered Independence and demanded that the Mormons leave immediately. When the Mormons refused, a violent mob went on a rampage, destroying the Mormon printing press, stores, and houses. The Mormons were eventually expelled from Jackson County, and they fled across the Missouri River into Clay County, where they set up temporary residences.61
July 23, 1833 – Mormons establish cornerstone for the Kirkland temple. Mormons build the first temple (1833-March 1836).
August 2, 1833 (DC 97); Kirtland, OhioD&C 97,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 400–402. This revelation deals particularly with the affairs of the saints in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri, in response to the Prophet’s inquiry of the Lord for information. Members of the Church in Missouri were at this time subjected to severe persecution, and on July 23, 1833, had been forced to sign an agreement to leave Jackson County.
August 6, 1833 (DC 98); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 98
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 403–406. This revelation came in consequence of the persecution upon the saints in Missouri. It is natural that the saints in Missouri, having suffered physically and also having lost property, should feel an inclination toward retaliation and revenge. Therefore the Lord gave this revelation. Although some news of the problems in Missouri had no doubt reached the Prophet in Kirtland (nine hundred miles away), the seriousness of the situation could have been known to him at this date only by revelation.
October-November 1833 – Missionary tour in Canada
October 12, 1833 (DC 100); Perrysburg, New York D&C 100
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon, at Perrysburg, New Yor. HC 1: 416, 419–421. The two brethren, having been absent from their families for several days, felt some concern about them.
December 1833 (DC 101); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 101
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 1: 458–464. At this time the saints who had gathered in Missouri were suffering great persecution. Mobs had driven them from their homes in Jackson County, and some of them had tried to establish themselves in Van Buren County, but persecution followed them. The main body of the saints was at that time in Clay County, Missouri. Threats of death against individuals of the Church were many. The people had lost household furniture, clothing, livestock, and other personal property, and many of their crops had been destroyed.
December 23, 1833 – JS turns 28 years of age
February 17, 1834 (DC 102); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 102,
Minutes of the organization of the first high council of the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 17, 1834. HC 2: 28–31. The original minutes were recorded by Elders Oliver Cowdery and Orson Hyde. Two days later, the minutes were corrected by the Prophet, read to the high council, and accepted by the council. Verses 30–32, having to do with the Council of the Twelve Apostles, were added by the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1835 when he prepared this section for publication in the Doctrine and Covenants.
February 24, 1834 (DC 103); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 103
Revelation given through Joseph Smith. HC 2: 36–39. This revelation was received after the arrival in Kirtland, Ohio, of Parley P. Pratt and Lyman Wight, who had come from Missouri to counsel with the Prophet as to the relief and restoration of the saints to their lands in Jackson County.
February 1834 – JS organizes Kirkland High Council
February 1834 – JS (28 years of age) organizes the Mormon of God called “Zion’s Camp.”
May-August 1834 – JS sends Zion’s Camp to Missouri
June 1834 (DC 105); Fishing River, Missouri D&C 105
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, on Fishing River, Missouri, June 22, 1834. HC 2: 108–111. Mob violence against the saints in Missouri had increased, and organized bodies from several counties had declared their intent to destroy the people. The Prophet had come from Kirtland at the head of a party known as Zion’s Camp, bringing clothing and provisions. While this party was encamped on Fishing River, the Prophet received the revelation.
April 23, 1834 (DC 104); Kirtland, Ohio 104*
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, concerning the United Order, or the order of the Church for the benefit of the poor. HC 2: 54–60. The occasion was that of a council meeting of the First Presidency and other high priests, in which the pressing temporal needs of the people had been given consideration. The United Order at Kirtland was to be temporarily dissolved and reorganized, and the properties as stewardships were to be divided among members of the order.
November 1834 – JS starts School of the Prophets in Kirkland
November 25, 1834 (DC 106); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 106
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet. HC 2: 170–171. This revelation is directed to Warren A. Cowdery, an older brother of Oliver Cowdery.
December 23, 1834 – JS turns 29 years of age
February 14, 1835 – JS organizes the quorum of the Twelve Apostles
March 1835 (DC 107); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 107
Revelation on priesthood, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, dated March 28, 1835. HC 2: 209–217. On the date named the Twelve met in council, confessing their individual weaknesses and shortcomings, expressing repentance, and seeking the further guidance of the Lord. They were about to separate on missions to districts assigned. Although portions of this section were received on the date named, the historical records affirm that various parts were received at sundry times, some as early as November 1831.
June 1835 – JS’s Book of Abraham
March 28, 1835 – JS’s revelation on the priesthood
July 1835 – JS purchases Egyptian mummies
August 18, 1935 – JS’s Doctrine and Covenants
August 1835 (DC 134); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 134
A declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general, adopted by unanimous vote at a general assembly of the Church held at Kirtland, Ohio, August 17, 1835. HC 2: 247–249. The occasion was a meeting of Church leaders, brought together to consider the proposed contents of the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. At that time this declaration was given the following preamble: “That our belief with regard to earthly governments and laws in general may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present at the close of this volume our opinion concerning the same.”
December 1835 (DC 108); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 108Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, December 26, 1835. HC 2: 345. This section was received at the request of Lyman Sherman, who had previously been ordained a high priest and a seventy, and who had come to the Prophet with a request for a revelation to make known his duty.
December 23, 1835 – JS turns 30 years of age
January 1836 (DC 137); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 137
A vision given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, January 21, 1836. HC 2: 380–381. The occasion was the administration of the ordinances of the endowment as far as they had then been revealed.January-February 1836 – First washings and anointings in Kirkland temple
March 1836 (DC 109); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 109
Prayer offered at the dedication of the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, March 27, 1836. HC 2: 420–426. According to the Prophet’s written statement, this prayer was given to him by revelation.
March 27, 1836 – The dedication of the first Mormon temple in Kirtland
A noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind which filled the temple and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the temple filled with angels. 54
April 3, 1836 – JS vision of Jesus Christ in Kirkland temple
April 3, 1836 (DC 110); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 110
Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio. HC 2: 435–436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting. The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: “In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day. After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.”
August 6, 1836 (DC 111) ; Salem, Massachusetts D&C 111
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Salem, Massachusetts. HC 2: 465–466. At this time the leaders of the Church were heavily in debt due to their labors in the ministry. Hearing that a large amount of money would be available to them in Salem, the Prophet, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery traveled there from Kirtland, Ohio, to investigate this claim, along with preaching the gospel. The brethren transacted several items of church business and did some preaching. When it became apparent that no money was to be forthcoming, they returned to Kirtland. Several of the factors prominent in the background are reflected in the wording of this revelation.
July-September 1836 – JS journey to New York City and Salem, Massachusetts
December 23, 1836 – JS turns 31 years of age
January 1937 – Joseph Smith starts his own private bank
June 1837 – First Mormon missionaries to Great Britian
July 23, 1837 (DC 112); Kirtland, Ohio D&C 112
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Thomas B. Marsh, at Kirtland, Ohio, July 23, 1837. HC 2: 499–501. The word of the Lord unto Thomas B. Marsh, concerning the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb. The Prophet records that this revelation was received on the day on which the gospel was first preached in England. Thomas B. Marsh was at this time president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
September-December 1837 – JS visits Missouri
Failure of JS’s Kirkland bank
November 1837 – The Mormon “Great Apostasy” in Kirkland begins
December 1837 – Mormon “apostates” excommunicated from the LDS Church
December 23, 1837 – JS turns 32 years of age
Mormons in Far West, Missouri (March 1838-April 1839)
January 12, 1838 – JS flees Kirkland, Ohio to Far West, Missouri
March 14, 1838 – JS arrives in Far West, Missouri
March 1838 – Mormons take refuge in Northern Missouri. As the situation was getting worse in Independence, Missouri, Mormons began fleeing into Clay County, where they started a new Mormon city at Far West.
March 1838 – JS and the Mormon leadership abandon Kirkland, Ohio and establishes the Mormon headquarters in Far West, Missouri. It was in Far West that Joseph Smith and the Mormon leadership would eventually make their headquarters in March 1838 after abandoning Ohio. Attempting to get a new start, reestablish authority, and obtain badly needed finances,
March 1838 (DC 113); Far West, Missouri 113*
Answers to certain questions on the writings of Isaiah, given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, March 1838. HC 3: 9–10.
May 1838 (DC 116); Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri D&C 116
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, near Wight’s Ferry, at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri, May 19, 1838. HC 3: 35.
April 17, 1838 (DC 114); Far West, Missouri D&C 114,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, April 17, 1838. HC 3: 23.
April 26, 1838 (DC 115) D&C 115
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, April 26, 1838, making known the will of God concerning the building up of that place and of the Lord’s House. HC 3: 23–25. This revelation is addressed to the presiding officers of the Church.
April 26, 1838 – JS changes the name of the Mormon Church to “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
May 1838 – JS made one of the most astonishing declarations he had ever made. While visiting Daviess County, seventy miles to the north of the city of Independence, Smith claimed to have discovered the literal spot where Adam had settled after God expelled him and Eve from the garden of Eden, and where Adam would return before the second coming of Christ.66 Smith apparently pointed out the exact spot where he said Adam had once had his altar. The Mormons called this newly dedicated settlement Adam-ondi-Ahman,67 which apparently means “the place or land of God where Adam dwelt” in the pure Adamic language, according to Smith.68
Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie describes this LDS teaching: At that great gathering Adam offered sacrifices on an altar built for the purpose. A remnant of that very altar remained on the spot down through the ages. On May 19, 1838 Joseph Smith and a number of his associates stood on the remainder of the pile of stones at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. There the Prophet taught them that Adam again would visit in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, holding a great council as a prelude to the great and dreadful day of the Lord.69
Summer of 1838 – During the summer months of 1838, northern Missouri was getting dangerous as a “Mormon War” was feared. The locals believed that the Mormons were preparing to conquer all of Missouri, and they wanted them to leave their state.
July 1838 (DC 117); Far West, Missouri D&C 117,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, concerning the immediate duties of William Marks, Newel K. Whitney, and Oliver Granger. HC 3: 45–46.
July 1838 (DC 118); Far West, Missouri D&C 118,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, in response to the supplication: “Show us thy will, O Lord, concerning the Twelve.” HC 3: 46–47.
July 1838 (DC 119); Far West, Missouri D&C 119,
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, in answer to his supplication: “O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a tithing.” HC 3: 44. The law of tithing, as understood today, had not been given to the Church previous to this revelation. The term “tithing” in the prayer just quoted and in previous revelations (64: 23; 85: 3; 97: 11) had meant not just one-tenth, but all free-will offerings, or contributions, to the Church funds. The Lord had previously given to the Church the law of consecration and stewardship of property, which members (chiefly the leading elders) entered into by a covenant that was to be everlasting. Because of failure on the part of many to abide by this covenant, the Lord withdrew it for a time, and gave instead the law of tithing to the whole Church. The Prophet asked the Lord how much of their property he required for sacred purposes. The answer was this revelation.
July 8, 1838 (DC 120); Far West, Missouri D&C 120
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, July 8, 1838, making known the disposition of the properties tithed as named in the preceding revelation, Section 119. HC 3: 44.
August 6, 1838 – Fight at the Gallatin election
October-November 1838 – Mormon war in Missouri
November 12, 1938 – Court of inquiry in Richmond, Missouri
End of 1838 – When Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders were jailed at the end of 1838,70 the Mormons fled Missouri into Illinois and Iowa under the leadership of Brigham Young.
December 23, 1838 – JS turns 33 years of age
December 1838-April 1839 – JS jailed at Liberty, Missouri
MORMONS IN NAUVOO, ILLINOIS (April 1839–June 1844)
From the age of 33 to 38, Joseph Smith led the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois for approximately 5 years.
March 20. 1839 (DC 121); Liberty Jail, Clay County, Missouri D&C 121,
Prayer and prophecies written by Joseph Smith the Prophet, while he was a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, dated March 20, 1839. HC 3: 289–300. The Prophet with several companions had been months in prison. Their petitions and appeals directed to the executive officers and the judiciary had failed to bring them relief.
March 1839 (DC 122); Liberty Jail, Clay County, Missouri D&C 122,
The word of the Lord to Joseph Smith the Prophet, while he was a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, March 1839. HC 3: 300–301.
March 1839 (DC 123); Liberty Jail, Clay County, Missouri D&C 123
Duty of the saints in relation to their persecutors, as set forth by Joseph Smith the Prophet, while a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri, March 1839. HC 3: 302–303.
April 16, 1839 – JS escapes Missouri captors
April 22, 1839 – JS arrives at Quincy, Illinois
April 1839 – JS (33 years of age) along with thousands, desperate Mormons fled east across the Mississippi River into the area of Quincy, Illinois—approximately two hundred miles from Far West—where they settled temporarily.
May 10, 1839 – JS moves to Commerce, Illinois
September 1839 – Twelve Apostles leave for Great Britian
November 1839-February 1840 – JS in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia area; petitions for redress in Washington D.C.
December 23, 1839 – JS turns 34 years of age
The Problems of Theocracy and Polygamy
1 – The Mormons lived peacefully in Nauvoo from 1839 to 1842.
but then major trouble began. The primary problems were rooted in the fact that the Mormons ran Nauvoo as a powerful church-theocracy with their own militia, and also practiced polygamy. Theocracy and polygamy in Illinois were simply not acceptable to the local non-Mormon population.
2 – Joseph Smith’s controversial revelations and sermon.
During Joseph Smith’s last few years in the city of Nauvoo before his death in 1844, many of his most unusual and controversial revelations, teachings, and rituals were introduced and developed in the LDS Church.
March 1840 – JS returns to Nauvoo, Illinois
April 5, 1840 – JS marries Louisa Beeman, the first of many Nauvoo plural marriages
April 6, 1840 – Cornerstone is laid for the Nauvoo temple
June 5, 1840 – JS arrested on old Missouri charges
November 8, 1840 – Temple font for baptisms for the dead is dedicated.
December 16, 1840 – Nauvoo Charter granted
December 23, 1840– JS turns 35 years of age
January 1841 (DC 124); Nauvoo, Illinois D&C 12
Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, January 19, 1841. HC 4: 274–286. Because of increasing persecutions and illegal procedures against them by public officers, the saints had been compelled to leave Missouri. The exterminating order issued by Lilburn W. Boggs, Governor of Missouri, dated October 27, 1838, had left them no alternative. See HC 3: 175. In 1841, when this revelation was given, the city of Nauvoo, occupying the site of the former village of Commerce, Illinois, had been built up by the saints, and here the headquarters of the Church had been established.
March 1841 (DC 125); Nauvoo, Illinois D&C 125
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, March 1841, concerning the saints in the Territory of Iowa. HC 4: 311–312.
July 1841 (DC 126) ; Nauvoo, Illinois D&C 126
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, in the house of Brigham Young, at Nauvoo, Illinois, July 9, 1841. HC 4: 382. At this time Brigham Young was president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
November 1841 – The Mormon’s first proxy water baptism for the dead
December 23, 1841– JS turns 36 years of age
March 1, 1842 – First edition of the Book of Abraham published
March 15, 1842 – First Freemason lodge organized in Nauvoo, and JS becomes a Master Freemason on March 15th.
March 17, 1842 – Female Relief Society organized
April 1842 – JS applies for bankruptcy
May 4, 1842 – JS introduces the Endowment temple ordinance
August-November 1842 – JS was in hiding much of the time
September 1842 (DC 127); Nauvoo, Illinois D&C 127,
An epistle from Joseph Smith the Prophet to the Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo, Illinois, containing directions on baptism for the dead; dated at Nauvoo, September 1, 1842. HC 5: 142–144.
September 1842 (DC 128); D&C 128
An epistle from Joseph Smith the Prophet to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, containing further directions on baptism for the dead; dated at Nauvoo, Illinois, September 6, 1842. HC 5: 148–153.
December 23, 1842 – JS turns 37 years of age
February 1843 (DC 129); Nauvoo, Illinois D&C 129
Instructions given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, February 9, 1843, making known three grand keys by which the correct nature of ministering angels and spirits may be distinguished. HC 5: 267.
April 1843 (DC 130); Ramus, Illinois D&C 130
tems of instruction given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Ramus, Illinois, April 2, 1843. HC 5: 323–325.
May 1843 (DC 131); Ramus, Illinois D&C 131
Instructions by Joseph Smith the Prophet, given at Ramus, Illinois, May 16 and 17, 1843. HC 5: 392–393.
May 28, 1843 – JS sealed to Emma for eternity
June 23, 1843 – JS arrested on old Missouri charges
July 12, 1843 (DC 132); Nauvoo, Illinois D&C 132
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives. HC 5: 501–507. Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet since 1831.
September 1843 – Endowment of women starting with Emma
December 23, 1843 – JS turns 38 years of age
January 29, 1844 – JS runs for president of the United States
March 11, 1844 – Council of Fifty organized
April 7, 1844 – JS’s controversial “King Follett” sermon.
– God had once been a man.
– Humans could become Gods.
– Matter is eternal.
– Many gods together had organized—not created—the world out of chaotic matter.
June 7, 1844 – Nauvoo Expositor published
June 25, 1944 – JS surrenders at Carthage, Illinois
June 27, 1844 – In a gun fight, JS and his brother were shot to death of Joseph Smith inside the Carthage jail
June 1844 (DC 135) ; Nauvoo, Illinois D&C 135
Martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet and his brother, Hyrum Smith the Patriarch, at Carthage, Illinois, June 27, 1844. HC 6: 629–631. This document was written by Elder John Taylor of the Council of the Twelve, who was a witness to the events.
MORMONISM UNDER BRIGHAM YOUNG (1844-1877)
January 1847 (DC 136); Winter Quarters (now Nebraska) D&C 136
Brigham Young secedes Joseph Smith (1844–1846)
1 – Joseph Smith’s wife Emma leaves Brigham Young’s Mormons.
The Mormon migration to Utah (1846–1847).
February-June 1846 – TThe six-month trek to Utah (February 1846).
February 1846 – The Mormons left Illinois in February 1846, Mormon wagons hurried across the frozen Mississippi River into Iowa, tearfully looking back at what they called the City of Joseph. They waited out the brutally cold winter, and that spring the Saints began the two-thousand-mile trek to Utah. he Mormons marched for five months across the three hundred miles of Iowa plains; and by summer they had reached the valley of the Missouri River, which was the western Iowa border.
The strategic plan was that the majority of Mormons would settle at Winter Quarters through the winter of 1846–1847
July 24, 1847 – Brigham Young’s pioneer team to Salt Lake
April 16, 1847 – Stayed at Winter Quarters through the winter of 1847. The 1,000 mile trek from Winter Quarters to Utah
In 1847, thirteen separate companies of Mormon pioneers totaling approximately two thousand made the Utah journey. Although the first trek has become celebrated, the migration of Mormons to the Utah Territory continued for more than ten years.
December 5, 1847 – It was in Winter Quarters that Young was officially ordained the second President and Prophet of the Latter-day Saints on December 5, 1847, three years after the death of Joseph Smith.
THIRD: Utah Mormonism Under Brigham Young (30 Years; April 1847–August 1877).
Brigham Young was (from 46-76 years of age) The word isolated best describes Utah Mormonism under the thirty-year rule of Brigham Young from 1847 to 1877, the longest reigning Prophet the Mormons have ever had.
As we will see in this chapter, however, the early exclusive Mormonism created by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young would be required to go through many significant developments and changes over the next half-century, from July 24, 1846, to January 4, 1896. These many changes would be required before the Great Salt Lake Valley would be considered politically and legally worthy by the United States government to become an official American state.
1847-1850 – Mormons in Mexican territory (3 Years; 1847–1850).
For the first three years following their arrival in the Great Salt Lake Valley, the Mormons lived in Mexican land outside of the jurisdiction and laws of the United States.
1850-1896 – Mormons in American territory (46 Years; 1850–1896).
The Mormons lived for approximately forty-six years—from 1850 to 1896—within America’s Utah Territory.
With the end of the Mexican War, the United States gained possession of the Salt Lake Valley in 1848.
It was officially declared an American territory in 1850. Although the Mormons wanted the territory to be officially named Deseret, Congress decided instead to name it Utah, after the Ute Indians who lived in the region.
February 3, 1851 – Brigham Young was appointed Utah’s territorial governor. He took his oath of office on February 3, 1851.
1851 – When non-Mormon judges and appointed officials arrived in the Utah Territory in 1851, they were shocked to discover a Mormon theocracy and the practice of polygamy. When they returned east, they provided a detailed report to President Millard Fillmore, which created an ongoing suspicion in Washington, D.C., concerning Mormon Utah.
1852 – Brigham Young and polygamy.
In 1852, Brigham Young—who had many wives—announced boldly that polygamy was now an authorized practice of the LDS Church.
1854 – Young also built a large home that became known as his Beehive House because of the roof’s beehive-shaped cupola. It was from the Beehive House that Young served as both governor and Prophet, and a connecting structure housed his many wives and children.
1854-??? – The war between Utah Mormons and the United States
1854 – Starting in 1854, the Republican Party’s platform denounced the twin evils of slavery and polygamy.
1857 – When Republican James Buchanan became U.S. President in 1857, he replaced Brigham Young as territorial governor of Utah with non-Mormon Alfred Cumming and sent an army to Utah to enforce the change.
September 11, 1857 – But it was also during this time of LDS distrust of and resistance toward outsiders that on September 11, 1857, Mormons attacked an unarmed non- Mormon wagon train, killing more than a hundred innocent people.9 This dark episode in Mormon history is called the Mountain Meadows Massacre.56
1860, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—now the Community of Christ—was started in Independence, Missouri, with Joseph Smith III becoming its first president. Today, it owns Joseph Smith’s grave and his two homes in Nauvoo, Illinois.
1862 – Although the Civil War distracted much of the nation from the practices of the Mormons, in 1862 Abraham Lincoln did sign into law the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, which made polygamy in America a crime and limited the amount of property that the LDS Church could own.
1865 – Until the Civil War was over in 1865, there was little enforcement of the Morrill Act, and the Mormons continued to build the Salt Lake temple, start public-works projects, and build more settlements.
1869 – 4 – Mormon isolationism, however, was greatly threatened when in 1869 America’s transcontinental railroad made traveling to Utah no longer a major undertaking.
August 29, 1877 – The death of Brigham Young on August 29, 1877, at the age of seventy-six. He had married at least twenty wives and fathered fifty-six children.10 Through his self-determination, the Mormon population eventually grew in the Utah Territory to approximately 135,000.11
SESSION THREE MORMONISM AFTER BRIGHAM YOUNG (1877–1896)
The two decades following the death of Brigham Young to Utah Statehood (1877 to 1896) were characterized by an outright battle between Mormonism and the United States over the issues of LDS theocracy and polygamy.
In 1888, the fifth Mormon President and Prophet, Wilford Woodruff, actually consecrated one of Smith’s seer stones on a temple altar in Manti, Utah.28
JS discovered two stones, one in a deep well, that he used to “see invisiblethings to the natural eyes.” (Bushman, JS: Rough Rolling Stone, pp. 48-49).
October 1880-April 1889 – John Taylor became the third Mormon President and Prophet and the LDS from October 1880 to April 1889.
Utah Mormons go underground (1882-
1882 – Taylor’s declaration was a proclamation of defiance against the United States’ newly passed Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1882, once again outlawing the practice of polygamy. Because Mormons refused to follow American anti-polygamy law, over the next few years hundreds of resistant Mormons were jailed. Many of the Mormon men practicing polygamy, including LDS leadership, went underground.
July 25, 1887 – Prophet Taylor died on the run from the United States federal authorities.
1887 – The United States passed a law that dissolved the Mormon Church organization, and required all property worth over $50,000 to be turned over to the federal government.
April 7, 1889 – The fourth President and Prophet, Wilford Woodruff, began leading the LDS Church.
1890 – it was also determined that Mormons would not be able to vote.
September 1890 – The first manifesto against polygamy.
1890 October; Salt Lake City, Utah Official Declaration—1
1891 – LDS dismantled th Mormon People’s Party and began to align themselves with the Republican and Democratic political parties.
1904 – A second manifesto would also be made by President and Prophet Joseph F. Smith in 1904, and a church policy was enacted that would excommunicate all polygamists.
SESSION FOUR MORMONISM AFTER UTAH STATEHOOD (1896-Today)
January 4, 1896 – By the time Utah became an official state of the United States.
October 1918 (DC 138); Salt Lake City, Utah D&C 138
A vision, given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 3, 1918. In his opening address at the eighty-ninth Semiannual General Conference of the Church, on October 4, 1918, President Smith declared that he had received several divine communications during the previous months. One of these, concerning the Savior’s visit to the spirits of the dead while his body was in the tomb, he had received the previous day. It was written immediately following the close of the conference; on October 31, 1918, it was submitted to the counselors in the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Patriarch, and it was unanimously accepted by them.
June 1978; Salt Lake City, Utah Official Declaration—2
June 1978 – The Mormon’s new revelation concerning blacks in the priesthood. As a result, church property was soon returned and Utah statehood was near. Another major step toward American assimilation took place when LDS Prophet Spencer Kimball received a revelation in June 1978, declaring that Mormonism would no longer exclude male blacks from its priesthoods. It is recorded as Official Declaration 2 and is located at the end of the Doctrine and Covenants.