Church History Chronology and Maps

“Church History Chronology and Maps,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual (1999), 272–76


Church History Chronology

1805, December 23

Joseph Smith born to Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith in Sharon, Vermont (see Joseph Smith—History 1:3–4).

1820, Early Spring

Joseph Smith received the First Vision in a grove of trees near his home in the state of New York (see Joseph Smith—History 1:15–20).

1823, September 21–22

Joseph Smith visited by the angel Moroni and told of the Book of Mormon record. Joseph viewed the gold plates buried in a nearby hill (Cumorah) (see Joseph Smith—History 1:27–54).

1827, September 22

Joseph Smith obtained the gold plates from Moroni at the Hill Cumorah (see Joseph Smith—History 1:59).

1829, May 15

John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in Harmony, Pennsylvania (see D&C 13; Joseph Smith—History 1:71–72).

1829, May

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John near the Susquehanna River between Harmony, Pennsylvania, and Colesville, New York (see D&C 128:20).

1829, June

Translation of the Book of Mormon completed. The Three Witnesses and the Eight Witnesses shown the gold plates (see 2 Nephi 11:3; 2 Nephi 27:12–13; D&C 17).

1830, March 26

First printed copies of the Book of Mormon available in Palmyra, New York.

1830, April 6

Organization of the Church in Fayette Township, New York.

1830, September–October

First missionaries called to preach to the Lamanites (Native Americans) (see D&C 28; 30; 32).

1830, December to 1831, January

The Lord commanded the Saints to gather to Ohio (see D&C 37; 38:31–32).

1831, July 20>

Site for the city of Zion (the New Jerusalem) in Independence, Missouri, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith (see D&C 57; Articles of Faith 1:10).

1833, March 18

Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams set apart as Counselors in the Presidency of the Church and given the keys of the kingdom (see the headings to D&C 81 and D&C 90; see also D&C 90:6).

1833, November 7

Saints began fleeing from mobs in Jackson County, Missouri, across the Missouri River and into Clay County, Missouri.

1834, May 5

Joseph Smith left Kirtland, Ohio, for Missouri as the leader of Zion’s Camp to bring relief to Saints expelled from Jackson County.

1835, February 14

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles organized in Kirtland, Ohio (see D&C 107:23–24).

1835, February 28

The organization of the First Quorum of the Seventy commenced in Kirtland, Ohio.

1835, August 17

The Doctrine and Covenants accepted as a standard work of the Church in Kirtland, Ohio.

1836, March 27

The Kirtland Temple dedicated (see D&C 109).

1836, April 3

Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple (see D&C 110:1–10). Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared and conveyed priesthood keys (see D&C 110:11–16).

1837, July 19

Elder Heber C. Kimball and six others arrived in Liverpool, England, on the first overseas mission.

1838, April 26

Name of the Church specified by revelation (see D&C 115:4).

1838, December 1 to 1839, April 16

The Prophet Joseph Smith and others imprisoned at Liberty Jail in Liberty, Missouri (see D&C 121–123).

1840, August 15

Baptism for the dead publicly announced by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

1841, October 24

Elder Orson Hyde dedicated Palestine for return of the children of Abraham.

1842, March 17

Female Relief Society organized in Nauvoo, Illinois.

1842, May 4

First full temple endowments given in Nauvoo, Illinois.

1844, June 27

Joseph and Hyrum Smith martyred at Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois (see D&C 135).

1846, February 4

Nauvoo Saints began crossing the Mississippi River to move west. Some Saints sailed from New York City for California on the ship Brooklyn.

1846, July 16

Mormon Battalion mustered into United States service in Iowa.

1847, April

President Brigham Young’s pioneer company left Winter Quarters on the journey west (see D&C 136).

1847, July 24

President Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley.

1847, December 27

Brigham Young sustained as President of the Church.

1848, May–June

Crickets in the Salt Lake Valley devastated the crops. The fields were saved from complete destruction as flocks of seagulls consumed the crickets.

1849, December 9

Sunday School organized by Richard Ballantyne.

1850, June 15

Deseret News began publication in Salt Lake City.

1856, October

Willie and Martin handcart companies detained by early snowstorms. Found by rescue party from the Salt Lake Valley.

1869, November 28

Young Ladies’ Retrenchment Association organized, forerunner of the Young Women program.

1875, June 10

Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association organized, forerunner of the Young Men program.

1877, April 6

St. George Utah Temple dedicated. President Brigham Young received revelation to set in order the priesthood organization and stakes of Zion.

1878, August 25

Aurelia Spencer Rogers held the first Primary meeting in Farmington, Utah.

1880, October 10

John Taylor sustained as President of the Church. The Pearl of Great Price accepted as a standard work.

1883, April 14

Revelation given to President John Taylor on the organization of the Seventy.

1889, April 7

Wilford Woodruff sustained as President of the Church.

1890, October 6

“Manifesto” sustained in general conference, ending the practice of entering into plural marriage (see Official Declaration 1).

1893, April 6

President Wilford Woodruff dedicated the Salt Lake Temple after 40 years of construction.

1898, September 13

Lorenzo Snow became President of the Church.

1899, May 17

President Lorenzo Snow received revelation in St. George, Utah, prompting him to emphasize tithing.

1901, October 17

Joseph F. Smith became President of the Church.

1918, October 3

President Joseph F. Smith received the vision of the redemption of the dead (see D&C 138).

1918, November 23

Heber J. Grant became President of the Church.

1936, April

Church Security Program instituted to assist the poor during the Great Depression; became the Church welfare program. This program grew out of a revelation received previously by President Heber J. Grant.

1941, April 6

Assistants to the Twelve first called.

1945, May 21

George Albert Smith became President of the Church.

1951, April 9

David O. McKay sustained as President of the Church.

1961, September 30

Under the direction of the First Presidency, Elder Harold B. Lee announced that all Church programs were to be correlated through the priesthood to strengthen families and individuals.

1964, October

Observance of family home evening emphasized.

1970, January 23

Joseph Fielding Smith became President of the Church.

1971, January

New Church magazines—Ensign, New Era, and Friend—commenced publication.

1972, July 7

Harold B. Lee became President of the Church.

1973, December 30

Spencer W. Kimball became President of the Church.

1975, October 3

President Spencer W. Kimball announced reorganization of the First Quorum of the Seventy.

1976, April 3

Two revelations added to the Pearl of Great Price. In 1981 they were moved to become D&C 137 and D&C 138.

1978, September 30

Revelation granting the priesthood to every worthy male member regardless of race or color sustained by the Church (see Official Declaration 2).

1979, September

LDS edition of King James Bible with study aids published.

1981, September

New editions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price published.

1984, June

Area Presidencies inaugurated, with members called from the Seventy.

1985, November 10

Ezra Taft Benson became President of the Church.

1989, April 1

Second Quorum of the Seventy reorganized.

1994, June 5

Howard W. Hunter became President of the Church.

1995, March 12

Gordon B. Hinckley became President of the Church.

1995, April 1

Announcement of a new leadership position to be known as an Area Authority.

1995, September 23

President Gordon B. Hinckley read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, at a general Relief Society meeting.

1997, April 5

Area Authorities to be ordained Seventies. Third, Fourth, and Fifth Quorums of the Seventy organized.

1997, October 4

President Gordon B. Hinckley announced plans to build smaller temples.

1997, November

Church membership reached 10 million.

1998, April 5

President Gordon B. Hinckley announced goal of having 100 temples in service in the year 2000.

Map 1: The New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio Area of the United States

map of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio Areas

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Amherst

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Toronto

Buffalo

Perrysburg

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Joseph Knight Sr. Home

Joseph Smith Jr. Home

Village of Harmony

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  1. South Bainbridge. Joseph Smith Jr. and Emma Hale were married here on 18 January 1827 (see Joseph Smith—History 1:57).

  2. Colesville. One of the first branches of the Church was organized at the Joseph Knight Sr. home, in Colesville Township, in 1830.

  3. Joseph Smith Jr. Home in Harmony. Most of the translation of the Book of Mormon was completed here. On the banks of the Susquehanna River the priesthood was restored in 1829 (see D&C 13; 128:20; Joseph Smith—History 1:71–72).

  4. Fayette. The Three Witnesses saw the gold plates and the angel Moroni here (see D&C 17). The Book of Mormon translation was completed here in June 1829. The Church was organized here on 6 April 1830 (see D&C 20–21).

  5. Mendon. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball lived here when they first heard the restored gospel.

  6. Kirtland. Missionaries who had been sent to the Lamanites stopped here in 1830 and baptized Sidney Rigdon and others in the area. Kirtland was the headquarters of the Church from early February 1831 to 12 January 1838. The first temple of this dispensation was built here and was dedicated on 27 March 1836 (see D&C 109).

  7. Erie Canal. The three branches of the Church in New York emigrated via the Erie Canal and Lake Erie to Kirtland, Ohio, in April and May 1831.

  8. Hiram. Joseph and Emma lived here from September 1831 to September 1832. Joseph and Sidney Rigdon worked on the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Revelations received here: D&C 1, 65, 67–69, 71, 73–74, 76–81, 99, and 133.

  9. Amherst. Here Joseph Smith was sustained as President of the High Priesthood on 25 January 1832 (see History of the Church, 1:243; see also the heading to D&C 75).

  10. Toronto. Home of John Taylor, who became the third President of the Church, and Mary Fielding, who later married Hyrum Smith.

Map 2: The Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa Area of the United States

map of Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa Areas

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Iowa

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Platte River

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Missouri River

Winter Quarters

Council Bluffs (Kanesville)

Mount Pisgah

Garden Grove

Adam–ondi–Ahman

Gallatin

Haun’s Mill

Far West

DeWitt

Liberty

Fort Leavenworth

Richmond

Independence

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  1. Independence. The Lord identified Independence as the center place of Zion in July 1831 (see D&C 57:2–3). A temple site was dedicated here on 3 August 1831. Mobs forced the Saints out of Independence and Jackson County in November 1833.

  2. Fishing River. Joseph Smith and Zion’s Camp traveled from Kirtland, Ohio, to Missouri in 1834 to restore the Jackson County Saints to their land. D&C 105 was revealed on the banks of this river.

  3. Far West. A refuge was established here for the Saints from 1836 to 1838. It was the headquarters of the Church for part of 1838. A temple site was dedicated here (see D&C 115). On 8 July 1838, the Quorum of the Twelve received a call from the Lord to serve missions abroad (see D&C 118). In 1838–39 the Saints were forced to flee to Illinois.

  4. Adam-ondi-Ahman. Adam blessed his righteous posterity here three years before he died (see D&C 107:53–57). A great gathering will take place here just before the Savior’s Second Coming (see Daniel 7:9–14; D&C 78:15; 116; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 157).

  5. Liberty. The Saints from Jackson County gathered in this area from 1833 until 1836, when they were required to leave. Joseph Smith and others were wrongfully imprisoned here from December 1838 to April 1839. In the midst of troubled times for the Church, Joseph called on the Lord for direction and received D&C 121–123.

  6. Nauvoo. Located on the Mississippi River, this area was the headquarters of the Church from 1839 to 1846. Here a temple was built, and ordinances such as baptism for the dead, the endowment, and the sealing of families began. Here the Relief Society was organized in 1842. Revelations received here include D&C 124–129.

  7. Carthage. Here the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred on 27 June 1844 (see D&C 135).

  8. Winter Quarters. The headquarters settlement for the Saints en route to the Salt Lake Valley (1846–48). Here the Camp of Israel was organized for the westward journey (see D&C 136).

  9. Council Bluffs (Kanesville). The First Presidency was sustained here on 27 December 1847, with Brigham Young as President.

Map 3: The Westward Movement of the Church

map of Westward Movement of the Church

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San Diego

Fort Hall

Fort Bridger

Salt Lake City

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Pueblo

Fort Laramie

Winter Quarters

Council Bluffs

Nauvoo

Far West

Fort Leavenworth

Independence

Liberty

Quincy

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New York City

Kirtland

Philadelphia

Washington, D.C.

The ship Brooklyn arrived in Yerba Buena (San Francisco) 31 July 1846

4 Feb 1846 voyage of the ship Brooklyn begins

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Map 3 Key

Mormon Battalion route

Westward route of the Saints

Route of the ship Brooklyn

  1. Fayette. The Prophet Joseph Smith left Fayette for Kirtland, Ohio, in January 1831. The three New York branches followed in April and May 1831 under the Lord’s command to gather (see D&C 37–38).

  2. Kirtland. The headquarters of the Church from early February 1831 to 12 January 1838, when the Prophet moved to Far West, Missouri.

  3. Independence. The Lord identified Independence as the center place of Zion in July 1831 (see D&C 57:2–3). Mobs forced the Saints from here in November 1833.

  4. Liberty. The Saints from Jackson County gathered in this area from 1833 until 1836, when they were required to leave.

  5. Far West. A refuge was established here for the Saints from 1836 to 1838. It was the headquarters of the Church for part of 1838. In 1838–39 the Saints were forced to flee to Illinois.

  6. Nauvoo. The headquarters of the Church from 1839 to 1846. About two years after the martyrdom of the Prophet and his brother Hyrum, the Saints moved west.

  7. Council Bluffs (Kanesville). The pioneers arrived here in June 1846. Members of the Mormon Battalion departed on 21 July 1846 under Lieutenant Colonel James Allen.

  8. Winter Quarters. The headquarters settlement for the Saints en route to the Salt Lake Valley (1846–48). The vanguard company under the direction of President Brigham Young departed in April 1847.

  9. Fort Leavenworth. The Mormon Battalion was outfitted here before starting the march west in August 1846.

  10. Santa Fe. Lieutenant Colonel Philip Cooke commanded the Mormon Battalion as it marched from here on 19 October 1846.

  11. Pueblo. Three sick detachments from the Mormon Battalion were ordered to recuperate in Pueblo, where they spent the winter of 1846–47 with Saints from Mississippi. These parties entered the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847.

  12. San Diego. The Mormon Battalion finished its 2,000-mile march here on 29 January 1847.

  13. Los Angeles. The Mormon Battalion was discharged here on 16 July 1847.

  14. Sacramento. Some discharged battalion members worked here and at Sutter’s Mill farther east on the American River, where they helped discover gold.

  15. Salt Lake City. President Brigham Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847.