Joseph Smith in Harmony

Highlights from an article by Elder Steven E. Snow. Read the full article.

Joseph and Emma lived in this valley for only about three years, but their experiences were crucial to God’s plan for the unfolding restoration of His gospel. Through this period the Lord helped Joseph further understand his divine role as prophet, seer, and revelator.


Joseph and Emma

  • Joseph and Emma married shortly before Joseph obtained the plates.
  • Due to persecution they moved to Harmony so Joseph could begin the translation. Emma was Joseph’s first scribe.
  • Joseph and Emma’s first child was born and died shortly after his birth.


Book of Mormon Translation

  • Martin Harris briefly served as scribe and lost the manuscript.
  • Joseph repented of allowing the manuscript to have left his hands, and the translation resumed with Oliver Cowdery serving as scribe.
  • Most of the translation was completed in Harmony, and 15 revelations included in the Doctrine and Covenants were received there.

Aaronic Priesthood Restoration

  • Joseph and Oliver reached a passage in the Book of Mormon regarding baptism and prayed about this.
  • They were visited by John the Baptist, who conferred upon them the Priesthood of Aaron and commanded them to be baptized.
  • Joseph received the Melchizedek Priesthood (see D&C 128:20).
  • Initially persecution forced Joseph and Oliver to keep these events secret.


Leaving Harmony

  • When persecution became too severe to continue translating, Joseph, Emma, and Oliver moved to Fayette, New York.
  • This is where the Church was organized.
  • Joseph and Emma moved to Ohio when the Lord called the Saints to gather there.