Compiled by Church Historian
IMPORTANT EVENTS IN CHURCH HISTORY
THE DATES OF THE RECEPTION of the revelations are not included, as these can be found in Doctrine and Covenants. Also important changes in quorum personnel are usually omitted, as these are given in lists of quorum personnel herewith, and dates of ordination show when changes occurred:
December 23, 1805, Joseph Smith, Jr., born Sharon, Vermont.
1815, Joseph Smith, Sr., and family removed to Palmyra, New York.
Spring, 1820, Joseph Smith's first vision, Manchester, New York.
September 21, 22, 1823, Joseph Smith, Jr., second vision and shown plates of Book of Mormon.
September 22, 1827, Joseph Smith, Jr., received plates of Book of Mormon.
February, 1828, Martin Harris took transcript of characters to Prof. Anthon and Dr. Mitchell of New York.
April 7, 1829, Oliver Cowdery became scribe for Joseph Smith.
May 15, 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery baptized each other and received Aaronic priesthood.
June, 1829, the Three Witnesses, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer, were shown plates by an angel.
June, 1829, the Eight Witnesses were shown and handled plates.
June 11, 1829, Book of Mormon copyrighted.
March, 1830, Book of Mormon as printed by E. B. Grandin of Palmyra, completed.
April 6, 1830, church organized at Peter Whitmer, Sr., farm, Fayette, New York, with six members: Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, David Whitmer. Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery ordained each other elders, laid hands upon and confirmed each member of the church, administered Lord's Supper.
June 1, 1830, first conference of the church.
October, 1830, departure of first missionaries: Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Ziba Peterson. At Kirtland baptized over 100.
January 31, 1831, missionaries had reached Independence, Missouri, and started preaching to Indians.
February 1, 1831, Joseph Smith, Jr., arrived in Kirtland.
February 4, 1831, Edward Partridge was appointed first Bishop.
June 6, 1831, high priests first ordained.
July 1831, Colesville Branch arrived in Zion and settled in what is now Kansas City, Missouri.
August 2 and 3, 1831, land of Zion, City of Zion, and Temple Lot dedicated.
August 4, first conference in Zion held at the home of Joshua Lewis (probably near 35th and the Paseo in Kansas City, Missouri).
September 12, 1831, at conference in Hiram, Ohio, William W. Phelps instructed to purchase press and type.
November 1, 1831, Oliver Cowdery was appointed to take copy of revelations to Independence, Missouri, to have printed. Two days later John Whitmer was appointed to accompany him.
January 25, 1832, Joseph Smith, Jr., was ordained president of high priesthood at Amherst, Ohio.
April 26, 1832, Joseph Smith, Jr., was acknowledged president of high priesthood in council in Independence, Missouri.
June, 1832, The Evening and the Morning Star, first publication of the church, was printed in Independence, Missouri.
November 6, 1832, Joseph Smith III born at Kirtland, Ohio.
February 2, 1833, Joseph Smith, Jr., completed corrections of New Testament (Inspired Version of Holy Scriptures).
March 18, quorum of high priests first organized in Kirtland. Sidney Rigdon and Frederick Granger Williams ordained as counselors to Joseph Smith.
June 1, 1833, instructions received concerning Temple in Kirtland.
June 25, a plat for city of Zion with explanation by First Presidency.
July 2, Joseph Smith, Jr., completed corrections of Holy Scripture (Inspired Version).
July 20, printing press in Independence destroyed by mob, stopping publication of The Evening and the Morning Star and preventing completion of the Book of Commandments.
July 23, cornerstone of Temple at Kirtland laid.
August 2, revelation received to build House of the Lord in Zion, Independence, Missouri, but the Saints were driven out within a few months.
November 7, 8, exodus from Jackson County, Missouri.
December, 1833, The Evening and the Morning Star published at Kirtland.
December 18, Joseph Smith, Sr., ordained patriarch.
February 17, 1834, first Standing High Council organized at Kirtland, Ohio.
July 3, 1834, High Council organized in Zion.
October, 1834, Messenger and Advocate first published in Kirtland.
February 14, 1835, Twelve Apostles chosen for first time in Restoration.
February 28, first Quorum of Seventy organized at Kirtland, principally from those who had gone up to Zion in the army of relief in the summer of 1834.
August 17, 1835, general assembly of the church held and Book of Doctrine and Covenants accepted and adopted.
December 26, Joseph Smith, Jr., and other elders commenced study of Hebrew under Dr. Seixas.
January 21, 1836, leading officers of the church anointed and blessed in Temple and received spiritual endowment.
March 27, 1836, Lord's House, or Temple, at Kirtland dedicated. At second service on April 3, for those who could not get in at the first dedication, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery retired to the pulpit, dropped the curtain, and received a vision of the Savior, Moses, Elias, and Elijah.
July 1, 1837, the first foreign mission of the church sailed from New York. Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde in charge.
July 23, having arrived in England, the first sermon was preached in Preston; a week later nine persons baptized.
October, 1837, Elders' Journal, Joseph Smith, editor, first published at Kirtland. Two months later office was destroyed by fire and publication issued in Far West, July and August, 1838. This succeeded Messenger and Advocate, published in October, 1834, to September, 1837.
March 14, 1938, Joseph Smith and family arrived in Far West, Missouri.
October 30, mob massacred many at Haun's Mill, in Missouri, including children and Thos. McBride, ex-soldier of the Revolutionary War.
October 31, Joseph Smith and others wrongly arrested during parley to adjust the difficulty.
Winter of 1838-1839, general exodus of Saints from Missouri.
April 22, 1839, Joseph Smith, Jr., arrived in Quincy, Illinois.
May 1, 1839, first purchase of land at Commerce, Illinois, afterwards Nauvoo.
May 10, Joseph Smith arrived with his family at Commerce.
June 11, first house erected by Saints in Commerce was built by Theodore Turley.
September, 1839, most of Quorum of Twelve started for England, where they arrived early in 1840.
October 5, William Marks appointed president of the Stake of Nauvoo.
November, 1839, first number of Times and Seasons published at
Commerce, Illinois. First Nauvoo Edition of Book of Mormon published.
April 14, 1840, Orson Hyde left Commerce en route for Jerusalem.
May 27, 1840, first number of Latter Day Saints' Millennial Star published in England.
December 16, 1840, charter of Nauvoo signed by Governor Carlin to take effect February 1, 1841.
January, 1841, first British edition of Book of Mormon published.
January 30, 1841, Joseph Smith, Jr., elected sole trustee for church. According to the statute, under which this was done, this was limited to holding of five acres of land for houses of worship, hence it was probably for the erection of the Nauvoo Temple.
April 6, 1841, cornerstones for Temple at Nauvoo were laid. This was pursuant to revelation of January 19, 1841.
October 24, Orson Hyde had arrived in Jerusalem and now ascended Mount of Olives and dedicated by prayer, the land for gathering of Jews.
March 15, 1842, Joseph Smith editor of Times and Seasons. After
eight months' service he was succeeded by John Taylor, November 15.
March 24, 1842, Ladies' Relief Society organized, Emma Smith, president.
March 21, 1843, the Young Gentlemen and Ladies' Relief Society, Nauvoo, organized.
May 23, 1843, Addison Pratt, Noah Rogers, Benj. F. Grouard, K. F. Hanks, were set apart to go to Pacific Islands. Left June 1, from Nauvoo, sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts, October 9.
August 31, 1843,, Joseph Smith moved into Nauvoo Mansion House; the following month opened it as hotel.
November 3, K. F. Hanks was first Latter Day Saint who died and was buried at sea.
May 1, 1844, the three missionaries to South Sea Islands arrived at Tubuai and by 14th two of them reached Tahiti.
June 16, 1844, first convert on the Pacific Isles was baptized.
June 27, 1844, assassination of Joseph Smith, Jr., and Hyrum, at Carthage, Illinois.
February, 1846, general exodus from Nauvoo.
1851, Doctrine and Covenants published in Welsh, the first in a foreign language.
May 1, 1851, Book of Mormon published in Danish, the first in a
November 18, 1851, revelation to Jason W. Briggs; about same time a similar revelation to Zenas H. Gurley, Sr.; both to the effect that the son of Joseph was his true successor.
June 12, 1852, conference at Beloit, Wisconsin, of those looking for the coming of Young Joseph.
1852, Book of Mormon published in French, German, and Italian; also, April 6, in Welsh.
1852, Doctrine and Covenants published in Danish.
April 8, 1853, seven men ordained to Quorum of Twelve in Reorganization.
January, 1860, The True Latter Day Saints' Herald published as monthly.
April 6, 1860, Joseph Smith III acknowledged and ordained as president of high priesthood. High council also reorganized, and seventy and presidents of seventy ordained, also presiding bishops.
February 4, 1863, Chas. Derry arrived in England, followed by J. W. Briggs and Jeremiah Jeremiah.
May 18, 1863, Jeremiah opened the mission in Wales.
August 11, 1863, E. C. Briggs and Alexander McCord arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah.
February 6, 1864, Zion's Hope Sunday school organized in St. Louis. A Sunday school was probably organized earlier in Nauvoo by Joseph Smith III.
May 1, 1865, Joseph Smith III was appointed editor of Saints' Herald. On this account he removed to Plano in January, 1866.
May, 1865, the Sunday school movement was indorsed by the First Presidency and the Twelve, who urged a Sunday school in every branch.
January, 1866, Thomas B. Marsh, once president of the Twelve, died in Utah. Elder Thomas Job reported that Marsh had accepted Reorganization and planned to move East.
April, l866 resolutions adopted for publication of Inspired Version of the Holy Scriptures.
About August, 1866, Alexander H. Smith and William Anderson visited Salt Lake City for a few weeks en route to California.
December, 1867, the Inspired Version was announced as being printed and ready for mailing.
1867, a return movement was started to Jackson County, Missouri, by members of Reorganization.
April 2, 1869, Alexander H. Smith and David H. Smith appointed to Utah; left Plano May 20, and Nauvoo early in June; arrived in Salt Lake City in July, and interviewed Brigham Young.
July 1, 1869, first publication of Zion's Hope.
April 12, 1870, organization of the First United Order of Enoch approved by General Conference.
April 1, 1872, Joseph Smith III published an editorial in which he stated that Utah would not receive statehood until the constitution prohibited polygamy. That when they did so, that would be evidence of the wrongness of polygamy and admission that it was not divine. This was over eighteen years before the manifesto was adopted, and over twenty years before the adoption of such a constitution.
July 24, 1872, John Avondet opened mission in Switzerland.
June 2, 1873, John Avondet opened mission in Italy and remained until February, 1874.
July, 1873, branch organized in courthouse in Independence, Missouri.
December 3, 1873, Charles Wandell and Glaud Rodger arrived in Society Islands en route to Australia, and found many very greatly interested during the two weeks' stop.
January 21, 1874, Frederick M. Smith born in Plano, Illinois.
January 22, 1874, Elders Wandell and Rodger arrived in Sydney, Australia.
1874, mission opened in Germany.
November 1, 1874, the Messenger first published by J. W. Briggs in Salt Lake City; continued until early in 1877.
May 16, 1875, Magnus Fyrando and H. N. Hansen arrived in Den-
mark and visited Sweden.
November 21, 1876, Joseph Smith visited in Salt Lake City on return from California, He left Omaha July 25.
July, 1878, Saints' Advocate was published for use in Utah, W. W. Blair, editor, and continued through the eighth volume in 1886.
April 30, 1879, Emma Smith Bidamon, widow of Joseph Smith, Jr., died.
October 7, 1881, Joseph Smith and general officers left Plano for Lamoni, Iowa.
November 1, 1881, first issue of Saints' Herald in Lamoni.
April 6, 1882, General Conference met in Independence, Missouri, first time for fifty years.
April 6, 1883, General Conference met in Kirtland Temple, in Ohio, first time in forty-five years. .
1884, Spaulding Manuscript found in Honolulu by L. L. Rice and James H. Fairchild.
October, 1884, first issue of Sandheden's Banner, Peter Andersen, editor.
1884, Brick Church built in Lamoni, Iowa.
January, 1888, first issue of Autumn Leaves, edited by Marietta Walker.
April 6, 1888, cornerstone laid for Stone Church, Independence, Missouri.
September, 1890, mission opened in Hawaii by Albert Haws and G. J. Waller.
January 3, 1891, Zion's Ensign first issued.
April, 1891, General Sunday School Association organized by direction of General Conference.
April, 1893, general organization of Zion's Religio Literary Society for young people by a committee of General Conference.
About 1893, general organization of Daughters of Zion. There was a local Daughters of Zion organized in 1879, Providence, Rhode Island. Mite Societies for benefit of poor and the church existed from early days of Reorganization. This organization later changed its name to Women's Auxiliary for Social Service. Then to Women's Department.
March, 1894, decision of John F. Philips in the U. S. Circuit Court, in the Temple Lot Suit. Found Joseph Smith, Jr., innocent of any connection with polygamy and that the Reorganized Church is the true successor to the original church from 1830 to 1844, with like doctrine and practice.
September 23, 1894, the boat "Evanelia" for the South Sea Islands was dedicated.
September 17, 1895, decision of Judge Thayer in the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeal gave possession and legal title to the Temple Lot to the Church of Christ, on technical issue of pleadings, and because of laches or delay in filing suit. This decision in no way affected the question of succession or Joseph Smith's lack of responsibility for polygamy.
September, 1895, Graceland College opened in Lamoni, Iowa, and classes started. (The building was opened January 1, 1897.)
June, 1898, Graceland College graduated its first class, Frederick M. Smith.
1898, Saints' Home opened in Lamoni, Iowa, for benefit of the old folk.
1898, Book of Mormon published in Hawaiian.
1901, stakes organized in Independence, Missouri, and Lamoni, Iowa.
1903, Book of Mormon published in Danish.
April, 1903, George Schweich, the grandson of David Whitmer, delivered to Joseph Smith III and others of the church the Book of Mormon manuscript, John Whitmer's Manuscript History, a copy of Book of Mormon characters taken by Martin Harris to New York, a few sheets of early revelations, and a few other valuable items.
January, 1907, Herald Office in Lamoni destroyed by fire, with great loss of valuable historical manuscripts.
December 15, 1909, Sanitarium dedicated and opened in Independence, Missouri.
April 18, 1910, United Order of Enoch incorporated in Independence, Missouri.
1911, the new manuscript of the Book of Mormon was translated by Alexander Kippe into German and published.
August 15, 1911, Children's Home opened in Lamoni, Iowa.
July 2, 1913, Stepping Stones first published.
September, 1914, Graceland opened as junior college with F. M. McDowell as separate Dean (this was pursuant to recommendation made two or three years earlier.) A de facto status made de jure.
December 10, 1914, Joseph Smith III died in Independence, Missouri.
May 5, 1915, Frederick M. Smith ordained President.
April, 1916, the former Independence Stake divided into Independence, Kansas City, and Holden Stakes.
May, 1917, Far West Stake organized.
April, 1920, Independence declared to be Zion, and the principal headquarters of the church.
July, 1920, Frederick M. Smith and T. W. Williams went to Europe, visited British Isles, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, and Palestine.
May 24, 1921, first issue of Saints' Herald in Independence, Missouri.
May 5, 1923, purchase of the Campus, Independence, Missouri, consisting of a large home and twenty acres of land, used for general recreation, education, and worship purposes.
July 29, 1923, first summer service held outdoors on the Campus.
February 2, 1926, excavation started for erection of Auditorium.
April, 1926, seven presidents of seventy reorganized.
April Conference, 1927, held in lower room of Auditorium.
October, 1928, Conference held for first time in upper assembly room of Auditorium.
April, 1930, Centennial Conference of church held in Auditorium.
November 11, 1930, cornerstone laid for new building for Sanitarium.
December 18, 1930, first CBS network broadcast of Messiah by Messiah Choir.
January, 1931, Brick Church at Lamoni, Iowa, burned.
June, 1937, Youth Convention accepted name of Zion's League for youth movement.
1941-1942, new Sanitarium prepared for use, with U. S. Government help.
October, 1942, first issue of Guidelines.
December 31, 1942, church debt paid and new policy of reserves (started two years previously) established.
March 20, 1946, Frederick M. Smith died at Independence, Missouri.
April 7, 1946, Israel A. Smith ordained president of the church at Independence, Missouri.
April, 1946, First Presidency completed under Israel A. Smith; John F. Garver and F. Henry Edwards ordained as Counselors.
1947, European church headquarters building purchased, Rotterdam,
January, 1948, first issue of Daily Bread.
April, 1948, first Supervisor of Priesthood M. McDowell.
1948, President John Garver and Bishop Walter Johnson visit Australia.
1948, Department of Ministry to College People organized.
1948, President F. Henry Edwards, Apostle Myron McConley, and Bishop G. L. DeLapp visit European missions.
1949, first mission in Alaska organized.
1949, Resthaven purchased for Home for Aged Women.
April 4, 1950, W. Wallace Smith ordained Counselor to President replacing John Garver, deceased.
1950, President Israel Smith and Mark Siegfried visit Hawaiian Islands, Society Islands and Australia.
April 6, 1950, organization of three new stakes authorized: Center Stake, Detroit International, Los Angeles Metropolitan.
1951, new building for German mission headquarters, Hannover.
March, 1951, Braille Edition of Book of Mormon completed by Myrtle Fortney and Braille Corps of Denver Red Cross.
1952, President Smith and Bishop Henry Livingston visit European missions.
August 2, 1953, ground breaking for new church, Washington, D.C.