Scripture Stories
Chapter 6: Joseph and Oliver Are Given the Priesthood: May 1829

“Chapter 6: Joseph and Oliver Are Given the Priesthood: May 1829,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories (2002), 26–30

“Chapter 6,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 26–30

Chapter 6

Joseph and Oliver Are Given the Priesthood

May 1829

gold plates
Joseph instructing Oliver

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were translating the Book of Mormon. They read about baptism and wanted to know more about it.

Joseph and Oliver praying

Joseph and Oliver decided to ask God. They had faith that He would help them learn the truth. On 15 May 1829, they went into the woods and prayed.

John the Baptist appearing to Joseph and Oliver

A heavenly messenger came to Joseph and Oliver. It was John the Baptist, who had baptized Jesus long ago. A bright light was all around him.

John the Baptist conferring the Aaronic Priesthood

John the Baptist had come to give Joseph and Oliver the Aaronic Priesthood. The priesthood is the power of God. The Aaronic Priesthood includes the authority to baptize people.

Joseph baptizing Oliver

John the Baptist told Joseph and Oliver to baptize each other. Joseph baptized Oliver, and then Oliver baptized Joseph. They went down under the water when they were baptized.

John the Baptist baptizing Jesus

Long ago, John the Baptist had baptized Jesus the same way. Jesus had gone down under the water when He was baptized.

Joseph and Oliver

Joseph and Oliver were filled with the Holy Ghost after they were baptized. The Holy Ghost told them the true Church of Jesus Christ would soon be on the earth again.

Joseph and Oliver with others

Joseph and Oliver told their good friends they had been baptized. They also told them about the priesthood. But Joseph and Oliver did not tell other people right away. They knew that some people would not believe them and would make trouble for them.

Peter, James, and John conferring Melchizedek Priesthood

Later, three other heavenly messengers came. They were Peter, James, and John, who were three of Jesus’ original Apostles. Peter, James, and John gave Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the Melchizedek Priesthood. This is also called the “greater” priesthood.

priesthood blessings

Once the priesthood was restored, righteous men could be given authority to help do God’s work on earth. Men who have the Melchizedek Priesthood can be Church leaders. They can give blessings to people. They can also give people the gift of the Holy Ghost. The restoration of the priesthood is a great blessing.