Joseph Smith Timeline

“Joseph Smith Timeline,” Friend, Jan. 2009, 24–25

Joseph Smith Timeline

Joseph Smith timeline, left page
Joseph Smith timeline, right page

Illustrations by Scott Greer

December 23, 1805

Joseph Smith Jr. is born to Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont.

Spring of 1820

At age 14, Joseph becomes confused about which religion to join. He goes into the woods to pray and sees God the Father and Jesus Christ. They tell him that none of the churches are true.

September 21, 1823

The angel Moroni appears to Joseph and tells him about the gold plates and the work he is called to do.

January 18, 1827

Joseph marries Emma Hale. They were married 17 years and had 11 children. Some of their children were adopted, and six of their children died in infancy.

September 22, 1827

Joseph receives the gold plates from Moroni and begins translating them.

May 15, 1829

The priesthood is restored. John the Baptist confers the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and they baptize each other. A short time later, Peter, James, and John confer the Melchizedek Priesthood upon them.

March 26, 1830

The Book of Mormon is printed and made available to the public.

April 6, 1830

Jesus Christ’s Church is organized again upon the earth. Joseph Smith is sustained as prophet, seer, revelator, translator, and Apostle of Jesus Christ.

February 27, 1833

The Word of Wisdom is revealed (see D&C 89).


The Kirtland Temple is completed. Jesus Christ appears to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery there.


Under Joseph’s direction, the Saints begin building Nauvoo.


Missionaries sent by Joseph Smith arrive in Great Britain. More than 6,000 people join the Church.

March 1, 1842

Joseph publishes the Articles of Faith and the book of Abraham in the Times and Seasons newspaper.

June 27, 1844

Joseph and Hyrum Smith are martyred in Carthage Jail, which seals the testimony of the Prophet. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to grow to fill the whole earth.