Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75

Light filtering through a wooded forest.

The woods near Joseph and Emma Smith’s home in Harmony, Pennsylvania, USA, is where John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829.


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

Revelation, May 1829–B [D&C 12]

This revelation addressed Joseph Knight Sr., a Colesville, New York, resident and early supporter of Joseph Smith. More …

Excerpt from JS History, vol. A-1, circa May 1838–B [D&C 13]

This text is an excerpt from Joseph Smith’s “Manuscript History of the Church.” It provides Joseph Smith’s personal account of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. More …

Close-up photo of a sculpture depicting Peter, James, and John conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood on Joseph Smith.

Avard T. Fairbanks, Restoration of the Priesthood, 1962, cast bronze, Priesthood Restoration Site, Harmony, Pennsylvania, USA.


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Days of Harmony

“And so, my journey to finally meet Joseph Smith began. For nearly three days his brother Samuel and I trekked in the spring rain toward his home. I planned to ask him my questions and then to offer him my help.”

The Priesthood Restored: A Joseph Smith Papers Podcast

Title graphic of the podcast featuring a painting of the Susquehanna River

The Priesthood Restored: A Joseph Smith Papers Podcast is a six-part miniseries from the Joseph Smith Papers Project that explores the events and circumstances that played a role in the restoration of the priesthood.

Episode 1: “The Great Strife and Noise”

Episode 2: “Days Never to be Forgotten”

Episode 3: “The Voice of Peter, James, and John”

Episode 4: “The Fulness of the Priesthood”

Episode 5: “The Priesthood Organization”

Episode 6: “Sacred Sites and Ongoing Restorations”

Painting of John the Baptist ordaining Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery

Linda Curley Christensen and Michael Malm, Upon You My Fellow Servants, oil on canvas, Church History Museum.

Revelations in Context

Essays on the background of each revelation

The Knight and Whitmer Families

D&C 12, 14, 15, 16

Joseph Knight Sr. became “anxious to know his duty” in the Lord’s work. Joseph inquired of the Lord and received a revelation now known as Doctrine and Covenants 12. More …

Oliver Cowdery’s Gift

D&C 6, 7, 8, 9, 13

While discouraged by his failed attempt to translate, Oliver dutifully resumed his role as scribe as Joseph dictated the translation from the plates. More …

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

Narrative history of events surrounding the revelations

Volume 1, Chapter 7

Fellow Servants

The spring of 1829 was cold and wet well into May. While farmers around Harmony stayed indoors, putting off their spring planting until the weather improved, Joseph and Oliver translated as much of the record as they could. More …

Painting of the Susquenhanna River.

Glen Hopkinson, The Sacred Susquehanna, 2000, oil on canvas, Church History Museum.

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations

Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood

Oliver Cowdery recorded the earliest detailed account of the appearance of John the Baptist to Cowdery and Joseph Smith in 1829. More …

Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood

The appearance of Peter, James, and John to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery is attested to in numerous sources. More …


Ordination: The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. More …

Priesthood: Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the Church in good standing; no specialized training was required.


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 …