Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65

Photograph of the loft bedroom of the reconstructed home of the Joseph Smith Sr. family

The loft in the reconstructed log home on Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith’s farm, Palmyra, New York, USA. While living in the log home, Joseph Smith Jr. was first visited by the angel Moroni on September 21, 1823.


Historical background and the earliest manuscript of each revelation, as published in The Joseph Smith Papers

Excerpt from Joseph Smith’s History, vol. A-1, circa May 1838–A

This text is an excerpt from Joseph Smith’s “Manuscript History of the Church.” It provides Joseph Smith’s personal account of the foundational events of his life as a prophet and the early progress of the Church.More …

Painting of Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith kneeling by his bed.

Gary E. Smith, Moroni Appears to Young Joseph Smith, 2019, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist.


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days

Narrative history of events surrounding the revelations

Volume 1, Chapter 3

Plates of Gold

As Joseph prayed, a light appeared beside his bed and grew brighter until it filled the entire loft. Joseph looked up and saw an angel standing in the air. More …

Black and white photo of a prominent hill rising in a relatively flat landscape.

Photograph by George Edward Anderson of the Hill Cumorah, 1907, Church History Library, PH 679.

Volume 1, Chapter 4

Be Watchful

Twenty-one-year-old Emma Hale first heard about Joseph Smith when he came to work for Josiah Stowell in the fall of 1825. Josiah had hired the young man and his father to help him find buried treasure. More …

Painting of Moroni and Joseph Smith

Gary E. Smith, Joseph Smith Receives the Plates, 2019, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist.

Volume 1, Chapter 5

All Is Lost

After Joseph brought the gold plates home, treasure seekers tried for weeks to steal them. To keep the record safe, he had to move it from place to place, hiding the plates under the hearth, beneath the floor of his father’s shop, and in piles of grain. He could never let his guard down. More …

Wooden box with a hinged lid.

Alvin Smith’s wooden lap desk, possibly used by Joseph Smith to hold the plates. Inset shows Alvin’s name carved into the rim. Church History Museum.

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations

Angel Moroni

In 1823 an angel named Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and told him of the existence of an ancient record engraved on plates, buried in a hill near his home. More …

Book of Mormon Translation

Joseph Smith translated an ancient text “by the gift and power of God” to produce the Book of Mormon. More …

Gold Plates

When word spread that Joseph Smith had secured the copyright for the Book of Mormon, it caused a stir in the local press. More …

Joseph and Emma Hale Smith Family

The Joseph and Emma Smith family weathered tremendous opposition and tragedy, including political and religious persecution, forced homelessness, the untimely deaths of seven children, and Joseph’s own martyrdom. More …

Joseph Smith’s 1826 Trial

In 1826, Josiah Stowell hired Joseph Smith to help look for lost Spanish silver near the border of New York and Pennsylvania. More …

Martin Harris’s Consultations with Scholars

In February 1828, Martin Harris traveled to New York City with a transcription of some of the characters from the Book of Mormon plates. More …

Seer Stones

For millennia, many people throughout the world have accepted the idea that physical objects can be used for sacred purposes. More …

Treasure Seeking

Joseph Smith’s critics often tried to disparage him by calling him a money digger or a treasure seeker. More …


Angel: Being who acts as a minister and messenger between heaven and earth. More …

Gold plates: A record engraved on gold plates, which Joseph Smith translated and published as the Book of Mormon. More …

Urim and Thummim: A device used to translate and receive revelation. In the Old Testament, the high priest of Israel used a device by this name to discern God’s will for Israel. More …


Maps and information about places associated with the revelations from The Joseph Smith Papers, Historic Sites, and other helpful sources


Timeline placing each revelation in the context of key events in the Church’s first century

View the chronology …