Doctrine and Covenants Times at a Glance, Chart 3: Section 138 and Official Declarations 1 and 2
September 2005

“Doctrine and Covenants Times at a Glance, Chart 3: Section 138 and Official Declarations 1 and 2,” Ensign, Sept. 2005, 48–50

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History

Doctrine and Covenants Times at a Glance, Chart 3:

Section 138 and Official Declarations 1 and 2

Doctrine and Covenants Times at a Glance
Doctrine and Covenants Times at a Glance

Left: Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett; top (from left): Colonel Cook Looks toward the West, by William Maughan; In Emigration Canyon—July 24, 1847, by VaLoy Eaton; Red Buttes Camp, by Joseph Brickey; photograph of railroad by Andrew Joseph Russell; photograph of Brigham Young Academy courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, may not be copied; photograph of St. George Utah Temple by Welden C. Andersen; photograph of Manti Utah Temple by John Telford, may not be copied; map by Mountain High Maps; bottom: photograph of George Albert Smith courtesy of Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

Doctrine and Covenants Times at a Glance

From top: Photograph of Conference Center by Matthew Reier, may not be copied; photograph of BYU Jerusalem Center by Giuman Maurizio; photograph of Nauvoo Illinois Temple by Welden C. Andersen; photograph of hymnbook by Matthew Reier

See Doctrine and Covenants section headings for historical background and History of the Church references.

Section number (see also circled numbers above), date the section was given, and situation that brought forth the revelation:

138. Oct. 3, 1918 President Joseph F. Smith was studying the scriptures in order to understand our postmortal existence.

Official Declaration 1. Sept. 24, 1890 President Wilford Woodruff sought for a solution to the problems resulting from persecution of those practicing plural marriage.

Official Declaration 2. June 1, 1978 President Spencer W. Kimball desired to know the will of the Lord concerning extending the blessings of the priesthood to all worthy male members.

Some dates are approximate.

July 1846

The Mormon Battalion began its historic march to California on behalf of the United States government.

Sept. 1846

Church leaders established Winter Quarters as a way station for the Saints traveling west.

Apr. 1847

The first pioneer company, led by Brigham Young, began its trek west from Winter Quarters.

July 21–24, 1847

The first pioneer company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.


The Saints established about 100 colonies in the American West.

Dec. 27, 1847

In Kanesville, Iowa, the First Presidency was sustained in a conference of the Church, with Brigham Young as second Church President.

Sept. 1849

The Perpetual Emigrating Fund was established to assist Saints traveling to the Salt Lake Valley.


Missionary work was greatly expanded in Europe and began in Hawaii.

Sept. 9, 1850

Utah and some of its surrounding areas became a territory of the United States.

Oct.–Nov. 1856

Severe snowstorms trapped the Willie and Martin handcart companies in Wyoming. Many were saved by courageous rescuers from the Salt Lake Valley.


The Relief Society was reestablished, with Eliza R. Snow as president.

May 10, 1869

The transcontinental railroad was completed, enabling Saints to gather more quickly and easily in the American West.

Nov. 28, 1869

The forerunner to the current Young Women organization was established.

June 10, 1875

The forerunner to the current Young Men organization was founded.

Oct. 16, 1875

Brigham Young Academy (now University) was organized, in Provo, Utah.

Apr. 6, 1877

The St. George Utah Temple was dedicated.

Aug. 29, 1877

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, with John Taylor as President, led the Church.

Aug. 25, 1878

The first meeting of the Primary was held.

Oct. 10, 1880

The First Presidency was reorganized. John Taylor was sustained as third President of the Church.

May 17, 1884

President Taylor dedicated the Logan Utah Temple.

July 25, 1887

Wilford Woodruff led the Church as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

May 17, 1888

President Woodruff dedicated the Manti Utah Temple.

Apr. 7, 1889

Wilford Woodruff was sustained as fourth President of the Church.

Apr. 6, 1893

President Woodruff dedicated the Salt Lake Temple.

Jan. 4, 1896

Utah became a state in the United States of America.


The first full-time sister missionaries were set apart.

Sept. 1898

Lorenzo Snow was sustained as fifth President of the Church.

May 1899

While seeking wisdom in prayer on how to solve the Church’s financial problems, President Snow received a revelation emphasizing the law of tithing.

Aug. 1901

A mission was opened in Japan.

Oct. 1901

Joseph F. Smith became sixth President of the Church.


President Joseph F. Smith became the first Church President to visit Europe.


Weekly ward priesthood meetings and age requirements for the ordination of worthy young men began.


The first seminary classes were established.

Apr. 27, 1915

The First Presidency urged members to hold regular family home evenings.

Nov. 1918

Heber J. Grant became seventh President of the Church.


The first institute of religion program for college students was opened.

July 15, 1929

The Tabernacle Choir held its first radio broadcast.


The Church celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Apr. 7, 1936

The welfare program was launched.


Because of World War II, missionaries began to be evacuated from Europe, the Pacific, and other areas.

May 1945

George Albert Smith became eighth President of the Church.


Church membership passed the one million mark.

Apr. 1951

David O. McKay was sustained as ninth President of the Church.


Missionary work was expanded in many areas of the world. President McKay taught, “Every member a missionary.”


Outside North America and Hawaii, the first stakes were organized and the first temples dedicated.

Sept. 1955

The Church College of Hawaii opened.


The priesthood correlation program was instituted.

Sept. 1967

The first regional representatives were called.

Jan. 1970

Joseph Fielding Smith was sustained as tenth President of the Church.


Church membership exceeded three million.

July 1972

Harold B. Lee was sustained as eleventh President of the Church.

Dec. 1973

Spencer W. Kimball became twelfth President of the Church.


President Kimball urged members to “lengthen our stride” and “enlarge our vision” of missionary work worldwide.


The First Quorum of the Seventy was reorganized to serve as a General Authority quorum.


New editions of the scriptures with improved study helps were published in English.


A three-hour-block Sunday meeting schedule was instituted.


Church membership exceeded five million.

June 24, 1984

Area Presidencies were organized to strengthen Church government on the local level.

Aug. 1985

A new hymnbook in English was published and became the basis for new hymnbooks in many languages.

Nov. 1985

Ezra Taft Benson became thirteenth President of the Church.


The humanitarian relief program began to be greatly expanded to provide food, clothing, and medical supplies to the needy around the world.


Church membership reached six million.


President Benson emphasized the importance of studying the Book of Mormon.

May 15, 1988

The first stake in western Africa was organized.


Missionary work expanded into Eastern Europe.

May 16, 1989

The Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center was dedicated.

June 1994

Howard W. Hunter became fourteenth President of the Church.

Mar. 1995

Gordon B. Hinckley became fifteenth President of the Church.

Apr. 1, 1995

The first Area Authorities were called.

Sept. 23, 1995

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was issued.

Apr. 4, 1997

The first Area Authority Seventies were called.


Church membership exceeded 10 million.


The dedication of the first smaller temples began making the blessings of regular temple attendance available to more members.

May 24, 1999

The FamilySearch™ Web site was launched.

Jan. 1, 2000

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles published their testimony in “The Living Christ.”

Oct. 2000

President Hinckley dedicated the 21,000-seat Conference Center.

Mar. 31, 2001

President Hinckley announced the creation of the Perpetual Education Fund to help young Latter-day Saints receive education and training.

June 27, 2002

The rebuilt Nauvoo Illinois Temple was dedicated.

Sept. 2005

One hundred and twenty-two temples are in operation.

People in Church History

Joseph F. Smith 1838–1918

Heber J. Grant 1856–1945

George Albert Smith 1870–1951

David O. McKay 1873–1970

Joseph Fielding Smith 1876–1972

Harold B. Lee 1899–1973

Spencer W. Kimball 1895–1985

Ezra Taft Benson 1899–1994

Howard W. Hunter 1907–95

Gordon B. Hinckley 1910–