The Times and Seasons of the Doctrine and Covenants
January 1993

“The Times and Seasons of the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ensign, Jan. 1993, 38

Exploring the Doctrine and Covenants

The Times and Seasons of the Doctrine and Covenants

The following time line was developed to assist our gospel study this year. It shows the historical context for the sections and official declarations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. The entries are listed by year, reading chronologically across the page, and are color-coded to the geographic area where the events took place or the revelations were given.


Sharon, Vermont

December 23: Birth of Joseph Smith, Jr.


Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

Smith family settles in Palmyra


Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

Spring: First Vision (JS—H 1:14–20)


One revelation in Doctrine and Covenants

Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

September 21–22: Appearances of Moroni (JS—H 1:27–54; D&C 2)


No revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

South Bainbridge, New York

January 18: Joseph Smith marries Emma Hale

Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

September 22: Joseph Smith obtains plates at Hill Cumorah

Harmony, Pennsylvania, area

December: Joseph and Emma move to Harmony, Pennsylvania


Two revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

New York

February: Martin Harris takes transcript to professors Anthon and Mitchell

Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

April 12–June 14: Joseph Smith translates Book of Lehi

Harmony, Pennsylvania, area

Summer: Joseph’s translation of 116 pages lost (D&C 3, 10)


Fourteen revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Harmony, Pennsylvania, area

February: Joseph Smith, Sr., called to labor (D&C 4)

March: Martin Harris to see plates if humble (D&C 5)

April: Joseph Smith resumes translation, with Oliver Cowdery as scribe (D&C 6)

April: Revelation regarding promise to John the Apostle that he “may live and bring souls unto” God (D&C 7)

April: Oliver Cowdery attempts to translate (D&C 8–9)

May: Hyrum Smith and Joseph Knight, Sr., called to labor (D&C 11–12)

May 15: Aaronic Priesthood restored by John the Baptist (D&C 13; JS—H 1:66–75)

May–June: Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receive the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John

Fayette, New York

June: Book of Mormon translation completed

June: David, John, and Peter Whitmer, Jr., called to labor (D&C 14–16)

June: Three witnesses shown plates (D&C 17)

Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

June: Eight witnesses shown plates

Fayette, New York

June: Revelation on the worth of souls (D&C 18)

Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

August: Egbert B. Grandin begins printing Book of Mormon


Nineteen revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

March: Martin Harris to pay debt; revelation on atonement of Christ (D&C 19)

March 26: Book of Mormon published

Fayette, New York

April 6: Church organized (D&C 20–21)

April: Baptism, a new and everlasting covenant (D&C 22)

Palmyra/ Manchester, New York

April: Duties of five brethren specified (D&C 23)

Harmony, Pennsylvania, area

June: Vision of Moses (Moses 1)

Fayette, New York

June 9: First Church conference

Harmony, Pennsylvania, area

July: Joseph Smith promised strength to magnify his office (D&C 24)

July: Emma Smith, an elect lady (D&C 25)

July: Common consent (D&C 26)

August: Sacramental emblems (D&C 27)

Fayette, New York

September: Only the prophet receives revelations for Church (D&C 28)

September: Great doctrinal truths are revealed (D&C 29)

September: David, John, and Peter Whitmer, Jr., are to heed the Prophet (D&C 30)

September: Counsel to Thomas B. Marsh (D&C 31)

October: Missionaries sent to Lamanites (D&C 32)

October: Laborers called in the eleventh hour (D&C 33)

November 4: Orson Pratt called to preach (D&C 34)

December: Sidney Rigdon called as a scribe for Bible translation (D&C 35)

December: Edward Partridge to accept gospel (D&C 36)

December: Saints to gather to Ohio (D&C 37)


Thirty-seven revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Fayette, New York

January 2: Instructions for move to Ohio (D&C 38)

January 5: James Covill fails to heed call from the Lord (D&C 39–40)

Kirtland, Ohio

February 1: Joseph Smith arrives in Kirtland, Ohio

February 4: Edward Partridge called as first bishop of Church (D&C 41)

February 9: Law of Church is given, including moral conduct and consecration (D&C 42)

February: Further instructions to the Saints—to assemble and instruct each other, to organize according to the laws of the land, and to care for the poor (D&C 43–44)

March 7: Revelation regarding the Savior’s second coming (D&C 45)

March 8: Gifts of the Spirit (D&C 46)

March 8: Importance of record keeping; John Whitmer to serve as historian (D&C 47)

March: Ohio members instructed to prepare for gathering Saints (D&C 48)

March: Mission to the Shakers (D&C 49)

May: Discerning of true and false spirits (D&C 50)

Thompson, Ohio

May: Further instructions and stewardship assignments (D&C 51)

Kirtland, Ohio

June 3: First high priests ordained

June 7: Missionaries called to Missouri (D&C 52)

June: Sidney Gilbert to serve as bishop’s agent (D&C 53)

June: Newel Knight and Colesville branch directed to Missouri (D&C 54)

June: William W. Phelps called to preach and write (D&C 55)

June: The Lord may revoke as well as command (D&C 56)

Jackson County, Missouri

July 14: Joseph Smith arrives in Independence, Missouri

July 20: Independence is the center place of Zion (D&C 57)

August 1: The land and people of Zion (D&C 58)

August 2–3: Land of Zion and temple site dedicated

August 7: The Sabbath day (D&C 59)

August 8: Brethren to return to Ohio (D&C 60)

Near Bank of Missouri River

August 12, McIlwaine’s Bend: Many destructions are decreed for the waters (D&C 61)

August 13: Testimonies are recorded in heaven (D&C 62)

Kirtland, Ohio

August: Further instructions for Zion and her people (D&C 63)

Hiram, Ohio

September: Joseph Smith moves to Hiram, Ohio

Kirtland, Ohio

September 11: Forgiveness and tithing (D&C 64)

Hiram, Ohio

October: Kingdom of God to roll forth (D&C 65)

Orange, Ohio

October 25: Instructions to William E. McLellin (D&C 66)

Hiram, Ohio

November 1: The revelations may now be published (D&C 1, 67–68)

November 3: Saints commanded to prepare for the Second Coming (D&C 133)

Kirtland, Ohio

November: Instructions on publishing the revelations (D&C 69–70)

Hiram, Ohio

December 1: Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon are to preach the gospel (D&C 71)

Kirtland, Ohio

December 4: Newel K. Whitney called as second bishop (D&C 72)


Seventeen revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Hiram, Ohio

January 10: Joseph Smith to resume translation of Bible (D&C 73)

January: Paul’s teachings on marriage clarified (D&C 74)

Amherst, Ohio

January 25: Joseph Smith sustained as President of the High Priesthood; duties of missionaries (D&C 75)

Hiram, Ohio

February 16: Visions of glory (D&C 76)

March: Questions and answers on the Book of Revelation (D&C 77)

March: United Order (D&C 78)

March: Three brethren called to labor (D&C 79–80)

March: A counselor for Joseph Smith (D&C 81)

March 24: Joseph Smith tarred and feathered

Jackson County, Missouri

April 26: Instructions to improve harmony among the Saints (D&C 82)

April 30: Providing for women and children (D&C 83)

June: First issue of The Evening and the Morning Star in Independence

Hiram, Ohio

August: John Murdock called to labor (D&C 99; see also section headnote)

Kirtland, Ohio

September 22–23: Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood (D&C 84)

November 27: Bishop to give inheritances in Zion (D&C 85)

December 6: Wheat and tares (D&C 86)

December 25: Prophecy on war (D&C 87)

December 27: The Olive Leaf: The Lord’s House and School of the Prophets (D&C 88)


Twelve revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Kirtland, Ohio

January: School of the Prophets begins

February 27: The Word of Wisdom (D&C 89)

March 8: First Presidency to hold keys (D&C 90)

March 9: On the Apocrypha (D&C 91)

March 15: Frederick G. Williams and the United Order (D&C 92)

May 6: Obtaining a fulness of God’s glory (D&C 93)

May 6: Two more Church buildings in Kirtland (D&C 94)

June 1, 4: Instructions on building the Kirtland Temple (D&C 95–96)

Jackson County, Missouri

July 20: Mob destroys Saints’ press at Independence, demands Saints leave Jackson County

Kirtland, Ohio

August 2: Saints in Zion to be pure in heart (D&C 97)

August 6: Laws of the land (D&C 98); D&C 99: See August 1832

Ontario Province

October 5: Joseph Smith begins a mission to Upper Canada

Perrysburg, New York

October 12: Joseph Smith to be revelator, Sidney Rigdon to be spokesman (D&C 100)

Jackson Country, Missouri

November 7: Saints flee across Missouri River to Clay County

Kirtland, Ohio

December 16: Instructions to the exiled Saints (D&C 101)

December 18: Joseph Smith, Sr., ordained as first Church Patriarch


Five revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Kirtland, Ohio

February 17: First stake organized, high council responsibilities (D&C 102)

February 24: Call of Zion’s Camp (D&C 103)

April 23: Guidelines for United Order (D&C 104)

May 5: Joseph Smith leaves Kirtland for Missouri as leader of Zion’s Camp

Fishing River, Missouri

June 22: Redemption of Zion deferred (D&C 105)

June 30–July 3: Zion’s Camp discharged

Kirtland, Ohio

October: The Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate begins publication in Kirtland

October 16: Joseph Smith leaves Kirtland to visit Saints in Michigan

November 25: Warren A. Cowdery to serve as local presiding officer (D&C 106)

December 5: Oliver Cowdery ordained Assistant President of the High Priesthood


Three revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Kirtland, Ohio

February 14: Quorum of the Twelve organized

February 28: Quorum of the Seventy called

March 28: Revelation on priesthood and Church government (D&C 107)

July: Egyptian mummies and papyrus scrolls purchased from Michael Chandler

August 17: Doctrine and Covenants adopted as standard work of Church; declaration on governments and laws (D&C 134)

Fall and winter: Joseph Smith works on translation of the book of Abraham

December 26: Lyman Sherman assured of his spiritual standing (D&C 108)


Four revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Kirtland, Ohio

January: First meetings in nearly completed Kirtland Temple

January 21: Vision of celestial kingdom (D&C 137; see also April 3, 1976)

March 27: Kirtland Temple dedicated (D&C 109)

April 3: Heavenly beings restore keys (D&C 110)

Salem, Massachusetts

August 6: Mission of Joseph Smith and leading brethren to Salem, Massachusetts (D&C 111)


One revelation in Doctrine and Covenants

British Isles

July 19: Heber C. Kimball and others arrive in British Isles to open first overseas mission

Kirtland, Ohio

July 23: Instructions for Quorum President Thomas B. Marsh (D&C 112)


Eight revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

January–July: Exodus of Saints from Kirtland to northern Missouri

Far West, Missouri

March: Insights into the writings of Isaiah (D&C 113)

March 14: Joseph Smith arrives in Far West, Caldwell County

April 17: David W. Patten called on mission (D&C 114)

April 26: Name of the Church given by revelation (D&C 115)

May 19: Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri, revealed as location of Adam-ondi-Ahman (D&C 116)

Far West, Missouri

July 4: Temple cornerstones laid at Far West

July 8: Duties assigned to William Marks, Newel K. Whitney, and Oliver Granger (D&C 117)

July 8: The Twelve to serve overseas mission, vacancies filled (D&C 118)

July 8: Law of tithing (D&C 119–120)


August 6: Election day conflict at Gallatin

October 25: David W. Patten killed at Battle of Crooked River

October 27: Missouri governor issues Extermination Order

October 30: Haun’s Mill massacre

Far West, Missouri

November 1: Far West falls, Prophet is imprisoned


December 1: Prophet and others are moved to Liberty Jail


Three revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Quincy, Illinois

January 20: Saints gather at Quincy, Illinois

Liberty, Missouri

March 20: Comfort and counsel from Liberty Jail (D&C 121–123)

Far West, Missouri

April 26: Apostles leave for mission to British Isles from Far West Temple site

Nauvoo, Illinois

May 9–10: Joseph Smith moves to Commerce/Nauvoo, Illinois

Washington, D.C.

October 29: Joseph Smith goes to Washington, D. C., seeking redress

Nauvoo, Illinois

November: First issue of Times and Seasons published in Nauvoo


No revelations in Doctrine and Covenants


May: First issue of Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star published in England

Nauvoo, Illinois

August 15: Joseph Smith teaches baptism for the dead


Three revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Nauvoo, Illinois

January 19: Directions on Nauvoo Temple and Nauvoo House (D&C 124)

March: Advice to Saints in territory of Iowa (D&C 125)

July 9: Brigham Young commended for his labors (D&C 126)


October 24: Orson Hyde dedicates Palestine for return of Abraham’s seed

Nauvoo, Illinois

November 8: Baptismal font in Nauvoo Temple dedicated


Two revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Nauvoo, Illinois

March 1: Publication of book of Abraham commenced in Times and Seasons

March 1: Wentworth letter published in Times and Seasons

March 17: Relief Society organized

May 4: First endowment ordinances administered

August 6: Joseph Smith prophesies Saints to be driven to Rocky Mountains

Nauvoo, Illinois

September 1, 6: Directions on baptisms for the dead (D&C 127–128)


Four revelations in Doctrine and Covenants

Nauvoo, Illinois

February 9: Instructions for identifying ministering angels and spirits (D&C 129)

Ramus, Illinois

April 2: Instructions on some doctrinal principles (D&C 130)

May 16–17: Celestial kingdom and other doctrinal concepts (D&C 131)

Nauvoo, Illinois

July 12: Celestial marriage (D&C 132)

D&C 133: See November 3, 1831

D&C 134: See August 17, 1835


One revelation in Doctrine and Covenants

Nauvoo, Illinois

January 29: Joseph Smith nominated as a United States presidential candidate

March 11: Council of Fifty organized

April 7: Joseph Smith delivers King Follett discourse

Carthage, Illinois

June 27: Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith (D&C 135)

Nauvoo, Illinois

August 8: Transfiguration of Brigham Young, Apostles sustained to lead Church


Nauvoo, Illinois

April 6: Proclamation of the Quorum of the Twelve to all nations


February 4: Saints begin exodus to the West

Nauvoo, Illinois

May 1: Nauvoo Temple dedicated


July 16: Mormon Battalion mustered into public service

Nauvoo, Illinois

September 10–17: Battle of Nauvoo


Winter Quarters, Nebraska

January 14: Instructions for the pioneers’ journey west (D&C 136)

Salt Lake Area

July 21–24: Pioneer company enters Salt Lake Valley

Salt Lake City

July 28: Brigham Young selects Salt Lake Temple site

Kanesville, Iowa

December 5: Brigham Young sustained as President of the Church


Salt Lake City

December 9, 1849: Sunday School organized

June 15, 1850: Deseret News begins publication in Salt Lake City

Liverpool, England

July 11, 1851: Pearl of Great Price published

Salt Lake City

May 5, 1855: Endowment House on temple block dedicated

January 1, 1866: Juvenile Instructor published

October 6, 1867: Salt Lake Tabernacle opens

Promontory Summit, Utah

May 10, 1869: Transcontinental railroad completed

Salt Lake City

November 29, 1869: Young Ladies’ Retrenchment Association, forerunner of Young Women, organized

June 10, 1875: Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, forerunner of Young Men program, organized

Provo, Utah

October 16, 1875: Brigham Young Academy (later Brigham Young University) organized

St. George, Utah

April 6, 1877: St. George Temple dedicated

Farmington, Utah

August 25, 1878: Primary organized

Salt Lake City

October 10, 1880: John Taylor sustained President of Church; Pearl of Great Price accepted as standard work

April 7, 1889: Wilford Woodruff sustained President of Church

September 24, 1890: Wilford Woodruff issues Manifesto (D&C OD 1)

April 6, 1893: Salt Lake Temple dedicated

November 13, 1894: Genealogical Society of Utah, forerunner of Family History Department, is organized

December 6, 1896: Fast day changed from first Thursday of the month to first Sunday

November 1897: Improvement Era published

September 13, 1898: Lorenzo Snow becomes President of Church

St. George, Utah

May 17, 1899: Lorenzo Snow receives revelation reemphasizing tithing

Salt Lake City

October 17, 1901: Joseph F. Smith becomes President of Church

January 1902: Children’s Friend published

1911: Church adopts Boy Scout program

Fall 1912, Granite High School, Salt Lake City: First seminary opens

January 1915: Relief Society Magazine published

October 3, 1918: Joseph F. Smith receives Vision of the Redemption of the Dead (D&C 138)

November 23, 1918: Heber J. Grant becomes President of Church

Moscow, Idaho

Fall 1926: First institute of religion opens

Salt Lake City

July 15, 1929: Tabernacle Choir weekly radio broadcasts begin

April 4, 1931: Publication of Church News section of Deseret News begins

April 7, 1936: Church security or welfare program instituted

April 6, 1941: Calling of first Assistants to the Council of the Twelve

May 21, 1945: George Albert Smith becomes President of Church

1947: Church membership reaches one million

Salt Lake City

April 9, 1951: David O. McKay sustained President of Church

January 1965: Family Home Evening manuals published

September 29, 1967: Calling of first regional representatives

January 23, 1970: Joseph Fielding Smith becomes President of Church

January 1971: New Church magazines—Ensign, New Era, and Friend—published

July 7, 1972: Harold B. Lee becomes President of Church

December 30, 1973: Spencer W. Kimball becomes President of Church

April 3, 1976: Two revelations added to Pearl of Great Price, later becoming D&C 137–138 (See also entry for January 21, 1836)

October 3, 1976: First Quorum of Seventy organized

June 8, 1978: Priesthood extended to all worthy male members of Church (D&C OD 2)

September 16, 1978: First annual women’s meeting held

Nauvoo, Illinois

February 18, 1979: One thousandth stake in Church organized in Nauvoo

August 1979: LDS edition of King James Bible with study helps published

March 1980: Sunday meetings consolidated

September 26, 1981: Publication of new editions of Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price

June 1984: Area presidencies appointed

Salt Lake City

November 10, 1985: Ezra Taft Benson becomes President of Church

October 4, 1986: Seventies quorums discontinued in stakes

Salt Lake City

April 1, 1989: Second Quorum of Seventy organized


May 16, 1989: BYU Jerusalem Center dedicated

June 24, 1991: Russian Republic grants official recognition to Church

1992: Wards and branches: 19,960, in 143 countries or territories

Stakes: 1,904

Full-time missionaries: 45,000

Estimated Church membership: 8.4 million

  • All four teach in the Church History and Doctrine Department at BYU.

  • Susan Easton Black serves as stake Relief Society president in the BYU Eighteenth Stake.

  • Milton V. Backman, Jr., recently served a five-month mission in Nauvoo, Illinois.

  • Richard O. Cowan serves as the chairman of the Church’s Gospel Doctrine writing committee.

  • Larry C. Porter serves as a Sunday School teacher in the Provo North Third Ward, Provo Utah North Stake.

Sunset Light, Wind River Range of the Rocky Mountains, 1861, by Albert Bierstadt, courtesy of the Trustees of the Free Public Library, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Woodcuts by Warren Luch

Nauvoo, Illinois, by John Schroder

View of Salt Lake City, 1985, by Al Rounds