Restoration and Church History
Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Martin Harris

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Martin Harris, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2021)

Martin Harris, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2021)

Martin Harris

(1783–1875)

Martin Harris

Martin Harris, 1870, photograph by Charles William Carter, Church History Library, PH 1700 4449.

Martin Harris was born in Easton, New York. He married Lucy Harris in 1808. Martin Harris became a wealthy farmer in Palmyra, New York. After investigating several Christian denominations, he became acquainted with Joseph Smith, eventually becoming converted to the gospel. Harris took copies of characters from the gold plates to scholars in February 1828 and served as a scribe to Joseph Smith as he translated the Book of Mormon later that spring. He was involved in the loss of the initial translation of the Book of Mormon in June 1828 (Doctrine and Covenants 3, 10). The following year, Harris became one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon (Doctrine and Covenants 5). By selling 151 acres of his farm, he paid the printing costs for the publication of the first edition of the Book of Mormon (see Doctrine and Covenants 19:26).

Harris was present at the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 6 April 1830 and was baptized that day. He moved with the Saints to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1831 and, after being called by revelation (Doctrine and Covenants 52:24), served a mission to Missouri that same year. In 1834, he participated in the Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri. Having been separated from his first wife, he married Caroline Young in 1836 or 1837. He later left the Church, but in 1870 he migrated to the Salt Lake Valley in Utah Territory and was rebaptized.

References in the Doctrine and Covenants

Doctrine and Covenants 3, 5, 10, 17, 19, 52, 58, 70, 82, 102104