September 21-22, 1823
The angel Moroni visits Joseph several times. Joseph views the plates for the first time at the hill he saw in a vision.
September 22, 1827
Joseph makes his final visit to the hill and obtains the plates from the angel Moroni (see JS-H 1:53-54, 59).
Martin Harris gives $50 to assist Joseph Smith.
Farm and Home
Joseph and Emma move to Harmony, Pennsylvania and Joseph begins transcribing and translating characters from the plates.
Martin Harris takes Joseph’s translation to several professors in New York City, including Charles Anthon.
April 12 to June 14, 1828
Joseph Smith translates the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon.
Martin Harris loses the 116 pages. The plates and Urim and Thummim are taken from Joseph.
September 22, 1828
Joseph again obtains the interpreters and plates.
David Whitmer makes a business trip to Palmyra, New York, where he meets Oliver Cowdery and from him first learns of Joseph Smith and the golden plates.
Joseph Smith, Sr
Home and Farm
Oliver Cowdery boards with Joseph’s parents in Manchester, New York.
The Lord appears to Oliver Cowdery and shows him the plates in a vision.
Prophecy of Three Witnesses (D&C 5). Martin Harris is named.
Oliver Cowdery travels to Harmony, Pennsylvania.
Page from the original
Book of Mormon manuscript
April 7 to June 1, 1829
Oliver Cowdery acts as a scribe for the translation of the Book of Mormon.
David Whitmer arrives in Harmony, Pennsylvania, and first meets Joseph Smith.
Peter Whitmer Home
Joseph Smith moves to Fayette, New York with David Whitmer’s aid, to continue the translation at the home of David Whitmer’s father, Peter Whitmer.
Doctrine & Covenants 14 is received and directed to David Whitmer indicating that he will be “called to assist” and to “stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see.”
Doctrine & Covenants 17 is received authorizing Oliver, David, and Martin to “have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim.”
The Three Witnesses see the golden plates and testify of the book’s truth.
Joseph Smith finishes translating the Book of Mormon at the Whitmer home.
The Eight Witnesses see the golden plates and testify of the book’s truth.
August 25, 1829
Martin Harris mortgages his farm to E.B. Grandin to cover the $3,000 printing cost of the Book of Mormon. He later sells 151 acres of his farm to pay off the mortgage.
E. B. Grandin
The Book of Mormon is published.
The Church is formally organized in Fayette, New York.
October - November, 1830
In northeastern Ohio, missionaries convert Sidney Rigdon, a Protestant minister, along with more than a hundred of his followers.
Joseph receives a revelation instructing Church members to gather in Ohio.
24 Temples Plat,
July - August, 1831
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon travel to Missouri and dedicate an area for the gathering of the Saints and building a temple.
Construction begins on the Kirtland Temple.
October - December, 1833
Church members are driven from Jackson County, Missouri.
Oliver Cowdery becomes Assistant President of the Church.
The Kirtland Temple is dedicated.
The Church’s Kirtland Safety Society Bank is established.
The Kirtland Safety Society Bank fails.
“Old Standard” apostates break up a meeting in the Kirtland Temple.
Twenty-eight members, including Martin Harris, are excommunicated by the High Council of Kirtland.
Numerous Church authorities are excommunicated for apostasy including David Whitmer, and Oliver Cowdery.
June 17, 1838
Sidney Rigdon preached the “Salt Sermon” in which he declared that dissenters from the faith (understood to include Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer), were “as salt that had lost its savor” and that it was the duty of the faithful to cast them out “to be trodden beneath the feet of men.”
The Missouri governor orders the extermination of members of the Church.
Joseph Smith begins purchasing land in Illinois that will become the city of Nauvoo.
Cornerstones are laid for the Nauvoo Temple.
Martin Harris is rebaptized in Kirtland. However, within two years he became a member of the Shakers. He subsequently became a member of the movement led by James J. Strang. In January 1847, with William W. McLellin, an excommunicated former apostle, Harris organized a new church, the Church of Christ. That particular church soon proved a failure.
June 27, 1844
At the jail in Carthage, Illinois, a mob murders Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.
Church members begin preparing to move westward.
Oliver Cowdery is rebaptized by Orson Hyde of the Quorum of the Twelve at Kanesville, Iowa.
Oliver Cowdery travels to meet with David Whitmer in Richmond, Missouri to persuade him to move west and rejoin the Saints in Utah. Cowdery, however, succumbs to tuberculosis and dies on March 3, 1850, in David Whitmer’s home.
Martin Harris moves to Utah and, although he understood that he had not been excommunicated a second time after his rebaptism in 1842, he renews his commitment to the Church by again being baptized.
Martin Harris passes away in Clarkston, Utah, and is buried there.
David Whitmer passes away and is buried in Richmond, Missouri.