The Church in New York and Pennsylvania

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 11–49


“Western New York in the early nineteenth century was essentially frontier territory, a place of opportunity to those for whom the tremendous task of clearing and breaking the virgin land held no fears. Among these was the family of Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith and their eight children, who in 1816 came to the vicinity of Palmyra, not far from Rochester” (Gordon B. Hinckley,Truth Restored: A Short History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[1947], 1)

It was in this setting that one of those children, Joseph Smith Jr., sought truth and was visited by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This pivotal revelation, which opened the heavens after years of darkness and apostasy, led to the translation of the Book of Mormon from the gold plates “by the gift and power of God” (D&C 135:3) and the restoration of the priesthood, gospel ordinances, and the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. With the Church restored, missionaries were sent out to proclaim the gospel throughout the world, despite persecution from within and without the Church.

First Vision