Smith was born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont to Lucy Mack Smith and her husband Joseph Smith Sr., a merchant and farmer. [159], Fearing the newspaper would bring the countryside down on the Mormons, the Nauvoo city council declared the Expositor a public nuisance and ordered the Nauvoo Legion to destroy the press. [135] When embarrassing rumors of "spiritual wifery" got abroad, Smith forced Bennett's resignation as Nauvoo mayor. The leadership of the church then fell to Brigham Young, who dedicated himself to perpetuating Smith’s teachings and program. [200] Emma said that the very first time she ever became aware of a polygamy revelation being attributed to Smith by Mormons was when she read about it in Orson Pratt's periodical The Seer in 1853. June 27, 1844. [266] In Smith's cosmology, those who became gods would reign, unified in purpose and will, leading spirits of lesser capacity to share immortality and eternal life. On the 100th anniversary of Joseph Smith Jr.’s birth, a 50-foot granite obelisk was raised on the site. Later, a group of Eight Witnesses — composed of male members of the Whitmer and Smith families — issued a statement that they had been shown the golden plates by Smith. Like matter, Smith saw "intelligence" as co-eternal with God, and taught that human spirits had been drawn from a pre-existent pool of eternal intelligences. [183] Biographers, Mormon and non-Mormon alike, agree that Smith was one of the most influential, charismatic, and innovative figures in American religious history.[184]. [39] The result of the proceeding remains unclear as primary sources report various conflicting outcomes. [301] In 1843, Emma temporarily accepted Smith's marriage to four women boarded in the Smith household, but soon regretted her decision and demanded the other wives leave. [309] Initially he opposed it, but during the mid-1830s when the Mormons were settling in Missouri (a slave state), Smith cautiously justified slavery in an anti-abolitionist essay. [82] Tension increased until July 1833, when non-Mormons forcibly evicted the Mormons and destroyed their property. Governor Lilburn Boggs then ordered that the Mormons be "exterminated or driven from the state". Murder by Stabbing. He was born in Vermont to Lucy and Joseph Smith, Sr. and had eleven children with his wife Emma. Although Smith had previously refused to show the plates to anyone, he told Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer that they would be allowed to see them. [255] Smith moved away from formal written revelations spoken in God's voice, and instead taught more in sermons, conversations, and letters. [93] Building the temple had left the church deeply in debt, and Smith was hounded by creditors. Emma never denied Smith's prophetic gift or repudiated her belief in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. [295], In April 1841, Smith wed Louisa Beaman. [246] An 1832 revelation called "The Vision" added to the fundamentals of sin and atonement, and introduced doctrines of life after salvation, exaltation, and a heaven with degrees of glory. [64] He was acquitted, but soon both he and Cowdery fled to Colesville to escape a gathering mob. [283], During the early 1840s, Smith unfolded a theology of family relations called the "New and Everlasting Covenant" that superseded all earthly bonds. "[211], The Book of Mormon has been called the longest and most complex of Smith's revelations. [287] According to Smith, only one person on Earth at a time—in this case, Smith—could possess this power of sealing. November 6 Kirtland: Joseph Smith III is born a few hours before Joseph’s return home from his mission to the East. Current statistics published by the LDS Church show 16.1 million members of that denomination. [43] This time, he said he successfully retrieved the plates. [74] Smith had promised church elders that in Kirtland they would receive an endowment of heavenly power, and at the June 1831 general conference, he introduced the greater authority of a High ("Melchizedek") Priesthood to the church hierarchy. [286] When fully sealed into the Covenant, Smith said that no sin nor blasphemy (other than the eternal sin) could keep them from their exaltation in the afterlife. [80] Smith's trip was also hastened by a mob of Ohio residents who were incensed over the United Order and Smith's political power; the mob beat Smith and Rigdon unconscious, tarred and feathered them, and left them for dead. Smith said they contained the writings of the ancient patriarchs Abraham and Joseph. Because his family could not afford the luxury of public education, Joseph received only three years of … [247] Another 1832 revelation "on Priesthood" was the first to explain priesthood doctrine. [102] In the weeks and months after Smith and Rigdon arrived at Far West, thousands of Latter Day Saints followed them from Kirtland. The completed work, titled the Book of Mormon, was published in Palmyra on March 26, 1830, by printer E. B. Grandin. Attracting converts from Europe as well as the United States, Nauvoo grew to rival Chicago as the largest city in the state. [26] Smith said that, although he had become concerned about the welfare of his soul, he was confused by the claims of competing religious denominations. [The Holy Spirit] may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass. [48] Living near his in-laws, Smith transcribed some characters that he said were engraved on the plates and then dictated a translation to Emma. [248] Three months later, Smith gave a lengthy revelation called the "Olive Leaf" containing themes of cosmology and eschatology, and discussing subjects such as light, truth, intelligence, and sanctification; a related revelation given in 1833 put Christ at the center of salvation. Where was Joseph Smith born? [252] Smith's last revelation, on the "New and Everlasting Covenant", was recorded in 1843, and dealt with the theology of family, the doctrine of sealing, and plural marriage. Born into a poor farming family, he was the fifth child of 11 — nine of whom survived childhood. Some historians have speculated—based on journal entries and family stories—that Smith may have fathered children with his plural wives. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present with millions of global adherents. [245], Smith gave varying types of revelations. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Non-Mormon vigilantes raided and burned Mormon farms, while Danites and other Mormons pillaged non-Mormon towns. Joseph Smith 1805-1844 Born on December 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. grew up on a series of tenant farms in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. Smith was not a polished preacher. [69], On their way to Missouri, Cowdery's party passed through northeastern Ohio, where Sidney Rigdon and over a hundred followers of his variety of Campbellite Restorationism converted to Mormonism, more than doubling the size of the church. In their new home, they built a civilization, fought wars, heard the word of prophets, and received a visit from Christ after his resurrection. Instead of presenting his ideas with logical arguments, Smith dictated authoritative scripture-like "revelations" and let people decide whether to believe. Understanding that he was effectively on trial before his own people, many of whom considered him a fallen prophet, he wrote a personal defense and an apology for the activities of the Danites. [214] They eventually construct a ship and sail to a "promised land" in the Western Hemisphere. Nor did people of higher social standing intimidate him; he appeared to think of himself as the equal of anyone, as demonstrated when he ran for president of the United States in 1844. [21][22] Smith's parents disagreed about religion, but the family was caught up in this excitement. Officials in Carthage responded by mobilizing their small detachment of the state militia, and Governor Thomas Ford appeared, threatening to raise a larger militia unless Smith and the Nauvoo city council surrendered themselves. Joseph Smith, originally Joseph Smith, Jr., (born December 23, 1805, Sharon, Vermont, U.S.—died June 27, 1844, Carthage, Illinois), American prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.. [160] Smith, who feared another mob attack, supported the action, not realizing that destroying a newspaper was more likely to incite an attack than any libel. [120], Smith's months in prison with an ill and whining Rigdon strained their relationship. During his presidential campaign of 1844, he proposed ending slavery by 1850 and compensating slaveholders for their loss. Two law officers arrested Smith, but were intercepted by a party of Mormons before they could reach Missouri. Later revelations dealt primarily with the priesthood, endowment, and exaltation. [35], Meanwhile, the Smith family faced financial hardship, due in part to the death of Smith's oldest brother Alvin, who had assumed a leadership role in the family. The work and glory of God, then, was to create worlds across the cosmos where inferior intelligences could be embodied. [62] The Book of Mormon brought Smith regional notoriety and opposition from those who remembered the 1826 Chenango County trial. Joseph F. Smith was born in 1838. [251] In 1835, Smith gave the "great revelation" that organized the priesthood into quorums and councils, and functioned as a complex blueprint for church structure. (Ref: Murdock, Autobiography, 4; “History of Joseph Smith,” Times and Seasons, 15 Aug. 1844, 5:611). [122] Though he directed his followers to collect and publish their stories of persecution, he also urged them to moderate their antagonism toward non-Mormons. [279] The endowment was extended to women in 1843, though Smith never clarified whether women could be ordained to priesthood offices. Harris persuaded Smith to let him take the existing 116 pages of manuscript to Palmyra to show a few family members, including his wife. [161], Destruction of the newspaper provoked a strident call to arms from Thomas C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal and longtime critic of Smith. During this period, Smith briefly attended Methodist meetings with his wife, until a cousin of hers objected to inclusion of a "practicing necromancer" on the Methodist class roll. Where did Joseph Smith die? After an ill-fated business venture and three successive years of crop failures culminating in the 1816 Year Without a Summer, the Smith family left Vermont and moved to western New York, taking out a mortgage on a 10… [73] Smith brought the Kirtland congregation under his own authority and tamed these outbursts. The book closes when Mormon's son, Moroni, finishes engraving and buries the records written on the golden plates. She remained faithful to him to the end, however, and after his death wore a lock of his hair on her person. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [129] Bennett used his connections in the Illinois legislature to obtain an unusually liberal charter for the new city, which Smith renamed "Nauvoo" (Hebrew נָאווּ, meaning "to be beautiful"). [145] (Rockwell was later tried and acquitted.) [313], Smith declared that he would be one of the instruments in fulfilling Nebuchadnezzar's statue vision in the Book of Daniel: that secular government would be destroyed without "sword or gun", and would be replaced with a "theodemocratic" Kingdom of God. [231] Smith said that the Bible had been corrupted through the ages, and that his revision worked to restore the original intent; it added long passages rewritten "according to his inspiration". “[He] left a fame and name that cannot be slain. For instance, in the early 1830s, he temporarily instituted a form of religious communism, called the United Order, that required Latter Day Saints to give all their property to the church, which was divided among the faithful. Religious differences within the family and over religious revivals in the Palmyra area left Smith perplexed about where to find a church. [198] [185] Smith had proposed several ways to choose his successor, but had never clarified his preference. [187] Another brother, William, was unable to attract a sufficient following. [130] The charter granted the city virtual autonomy, authorized a university, and granted Nauvoo habeas corpus power—which allowed Smith to fend off extradition to Missouri. [285] To fully enter the Covenant, a man and woman must participate in a "first anointing", a "sealing" ceremony, and a "second anointing" (also called "sealing by the Holy Spirit of Promise"). Soon after, on April 6, 1830, Smith and his followers formally organized the Church of Christ, and small branches were established in Palmyra, Fayette, and Colesville, New York. When the twins died, the Smiths adopted another set of twins, Julia and Joseph, whose mother had recently died in childbirth; Joseph died of measles in 1832. [297] Ten of Smith's plural wives were between the ages of fourteen and twenty; others were over fifty. In retaliation, Bennett left Smith's following and wrote "lurid exposés of life in Nauvoo". He believed that every man could be a priest and that everyone had in him the possibility of the divine. He died on September 16, 1962 at 7 years of age. In answer to his question about which was the right church, they told him that all the churches were wrong. [199], Throughout her life, Emma Smith frequently denied that her husband had ever taken additional wives. [40], While boarding at the Hale house in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Smith met and began courting Emma Hale. Later that year, when Smith promised to abandon treasure seeking, Hale offered to let the couple live on his property in Harmony and help Smith get started in business. "[305] He believed a strong central government was crucial to the nation's well-being, and thought democracy better than tyranny—although he also taught that a theocratic monarchy was the ideal form of government. The Book of Mormon told the 1,000-year history of the Israelites, who were led from Jerusalem to a promised land in the Western Hemisphere. He died on February 11, 2012 at 59 years of age. That day is called the “Winter Solstice” otherwise known as the “shortest day” of the year. Joseph Smith was born on December 31, 1969. [293] Cowdery suspected Smith had engaged in a relationship with his serving girl, Fanny Alger. He died in February 1974 at 47 years old. Establishment of settlements and persecution, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Smith-American-religious-leader-1805-1844, Spartacus Educational - Biography of Joseph Smith, American National Biography - Biography of Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [191], The two strongest succession candidates were Brigham Young, senior member and president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Sidney Rigdon, the senior member of the First Presidency. Through modern DNA testing of Smith's relatives, it's likely that the Smith family were of Irish descent originally. [32], According to his later accounts, Smith was visited by an angel named Moroni, while praying one night in 1823. [290], By some accounts, Smith had been teaching a polygamy doctrine as early as 1831, and there is unconfirmed evidence that Smith was a polygamist by 1835. In the narrative, Enoch speaks with God, receives a prophetic calling, and eventually builds a city of Zion so righteous that it was taken to heaven. Certain he would be killed if he ever returned to Missouri, Smith went into hiding twice during the next five months, before the U.S. district attorney for Illinois argued that Smith's extradition to Missouri would be unconstitutional. [114] In the Battle of Crooked River, a group of Mormons attacked the Missouri state militia, mistakenly believing them to be anti-Mormon vigilantes. [298] The practice of polygamy was kept secret from both non-Mormons and most members of the church during Smith's lifetime. [142] In the summer of 1842, Smith revealed a plan to establish the millennial Kingdom of God, which would eventually establish theocratic rule over the whole Earth. His full name is simply Joseph Smith, Jr. In 1838, facing expulsion for a third time, Smith tried to defend the church with arms. [227], Although the Book of Mormon drew many converts to the church, Fawn Brodie argued that the "book lives today because of the prophet, not he because of the book. Returning later as a resurrected being, he told Joseph Smith about the ancient record, which contains the fulness of the gospel as delivered by the Savior to … On April 6, 1830, Smith organized a few dozen believers into a church. [250] The Word of Wisdom was not originally framed as a commandment, but a recommendation. [121], Smith bore his imprisonment stoically. [99] After a warrant was issued for Smith's arrest on a charge of banking fraud, Smith and Rigdon fled Kirtland for Missouri in January 1838.[100]. When dissenters published a reform newspaper in Nauvoo that Smith felt disturbed the peace, he ordered it suppressed. [97] Smith encouraged the Latter Day Saints to buy the notes, and he invested heavily in them himself, but the bank failed within a month. [55] In April 1829, he met Oliver Cowdery, who replaced Harris as his scribe, and resumed dictation. While believing in the Bible, like all Christians, Smith broke its monopoly on the word of God. [254] The pace of formal revelations slowed during the autumn of 1833, and again after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. They unleashed a flood of anti-Mormon rhetoric in newspapers and in stump speeches given during the 1838 election campaign. [149] In March 1844 — following a dispute with a federal bureaucrat — Smith organized the secret Council of Fifty. [147], In December 1843, Smith petitioned Congress to make Nauvoo an independent territory with the right to call out federal troops in its defense. 1 On December 23, 1805, Lucy Mack Smith delivered a son named after his father, Joseph Smith. The Nephites become a righteous people who build a temple and live the law of Moses, though their prophets teach a Christian gospel. His followers regard him as a prophet comparable to Moses and Elijah, and several religious denominations consider themselves the continuation of the church that he organized, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ. [60] These men, known collectively as the Three Witnesses, signed a statement stating that they had been shown the golden plates by an angel, and that the voice of God had confirmed the truth of their translation. In the temples, he instituted rituals of washing and anointing taken from instructions in the Book of Exodus for consecrating priests. [203], After Smith's death, Emma Smith quickly became alienated from Brigham Young and the church leadership. [104] Smith explicitly approved of the expulsion of these men, who were known collectively as the "dissenters". For at least some of the earliest dictation, Smith is said to have used the "Urim and Thummim", a pair of seer stones he said were buried with the plates. He described the revelatory process as having "pure Intelligence" flowing into him. The couple adopted twins and had nine biological children, five of whom died in infancy. The Mormons came together in the nearly abandoned town of Commerce on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. [268] Smith said that children who died in their innocence would be guaranteed to rise at the resurrection and receive exaltation. [109], In a speech given at the town's Fourth of July celebration, Rigdon declared that Mormons would no longer tolerate persecution by the Missourians and spoke of a "war of extermination" if Mormons were attacked. [210] The revelation was written as if God were talking rather than as a declaration mediated through Smith; and subsequent revelations assumed a similar authoritative style, often opening with words such as "Hearken O ye people which profess my name, saith the Lord your God. "[29] Smith said he recounted the experience to a preacher, who dismissed the story with contempt. The two were taken to Carthage, the county seat, for a hearing, and, while imprisoned, they were shot by a mob on June 27, 1844. Never a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. [178], Mormons and non-Mormons have produced a large amount of scholarly work about Smith, and to a large extent the result has been two discordant pictures of very different people: a man of God on the one hand, and on the other, a fraud preying on the ignorance of his followers. [311] Smith said that blacks were not inherently inferior to whites, and he welcomed slaves into the church. [127] During the summer of 1839, while Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo suffered from a malaria epidemic, Smith sent Brigham Young and other apostles to missions in Europe, where they made numerous converts, many of them poor factory workers. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. He was one of 11 children. [192] Membership in Young's denomination surpassed 14 million members in 2010. [208] Smith and his followers treated his revelations as being above teachings or opinions, and Smith acted as though he believed in his revelations as much as his followers. Smith published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture. Smith, however, never viewed the wording to be infallible. Born in Sharon, Vermont, his parents, Joseph and Lucy Smith, operated a farm. [302] In July 1843, Smith dictated a revelation directing Emma to accept plural marriage,[303] but the two were not reconciled until September 1843, after Emma began participating in temple ceremonies. [165] On June 23, Smith and his brother Hyrum rode to Carthage to stand trial for inciting a riot. However, all DNA testing of potential Smith descendants from wives other than Emma has been negative. Joseph Smith Jr. was born on December 23, 1805. As in the Bible, men took the leading roles in church affairs, but by the end of his life Smith taught that men and women were redeemed together through eternal marriage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith in New York State in the USA in 1830. [128], Smith also attracted a few wealthy and influential converts, including John C. Bennett, the Illinois quartermaster general. Hyrum, who was trying to secure the door, was killed instantly with a shot to the face. [78] Rigdon, however, disapproved, and for most of the 1830s the church remained divided between Ohio and Missouri. [249], Also in 1833, at a time of temperance agitation, Smith delivered a revelation called the "Word of Wisdom," which counseled a diet of wholesome herbs, fruits, grains, a sparing use of meat. Smith came from an unremarkable New England family. Among these five groups was a quorum of twelve apostles. [284] He taught that outside the Covenant, marriages were simply matters of contract, and that in the afterlife individuals married outside the Covenant or not married would be limited in their progression. Smith carried the Y-DNA marker R-M222, a subclade of Haplogroup R1b found almost entirely in people of Northwestern Irish descent today. Until the 1840s, however, Smith's accounts of the vision were largely unknown to most Mormons,[31] and Smith himself may have originally considered it a personal conversion. [68] Cowdery was also assigned the task of locating the site of the New Jerusalem. [281] For example, this power would enable proxy baptisms for the dead and priesthood marriages that would be effective into the afterlife. Smith introduced baptism for the dead in 1840, and in 1841, construction began on the Nauvoo Temple as a place for recovering lost ancient knowledge. [213] The story begins with a family that leaves Jerusalem, just before the Babylonian captivity. [25] Both his parents and his maternal grandfather reportedly had visions or dreams that they believed communicated messages from God. "Lieutenant General" Smith and "Major General" Bennett became its commanders, thereby controlling by far the largest body of armed men in Illinois. Smith said the translation was a religious record of Middle-Eastern indigenous Americans,[44] and were engraved in an unknown language, called reformed Egyptian. [156], On June 7, the dissidents published the first (and only) issue of the Nauvoo Expositor, calling for reform within the church and appealing to the political views of the county's other faiths as well as those of former Mormons. [118] Smith was then sent to a state court for a preliminary hearing, where several of his former allies testified against him. [152] Most notably, William Law, Smith's trusted counselor, and Robert Foster, a general of the Nauvoo Legion, disagreed with Smith about how to manage Nauvoo's economy. The book ends with Moroni's exhortation to "come unto Christ". Joseph Smith (1805-1844) ... Smith was born in 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, into a hard-pressed farm family that eventually included ten children. Updates? Members of the church were later called "Latter Day Saints" or "Mormons", and Smith announced a revelation in 1838 which renamed the church as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. [140] Smith also elaborated on his plan for a millennial kingdom. The purpose of the temple rituals was to give people the knowledge they needed to enter God’s presence and to become like God. [66] In response, Smith dictated a revelation which clarified his office as a prophet and an apostle, and which declared that only he held the ability to give doctrine and scripture for the entire church. As of 2013[update], members of the denominations originating from Smith's teachings number approximately 16.3 million. Apart from those who committed the eternal sin, Smith taught that even the wicked and disbelieving would achieve a degree of glory in the afterlife. Joseph Smith was born on January 25, 1919. When did Joseph Smith die? He had no other wife but me; nor did he to my knowledge ever have". Meanwhile, Smith moved his family to another gathering place in Kirtland, Ohio, near Cleveland. [57] When the narrative described an institutional church and a requirement for baptism, Smith and Cowdery baptized each other. Harris said Anthon initially authenticated the characters and their translation, but then retracted his opinion after learning that Smith claimed to have received the plates from an angel. The region was a hotbed of religious enthusiasm during the Second Great Awakening. The Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial is a granite obelisk on a hill in the White River Valley near Sharon and South Royalton in the U.S. state of Vermont.It marks the spot where Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805. Smith said the Council had authority to decide which national or state laws Mormons should obey. By 1838, Smith had abandoned plans to redeem Zion in Jackson County, and after Smith and Rigdon arrived in Missouri, the town of Far West became the new "Zion". [46] After they ransacked places where they believed the plates could be hidden, Smith decided to leave Palmyra. [194] Others followed Lyman Wight and Alpheus Cutler. [310] Then in the early 1840s, after Mormons had been expelled from Missouri, he once again opposed slavery. [52] Harris lost the manuscript, of which there was no other copy. He said the angel commanded him not to show the plates to anyone else, but to translate them and publish their translation. [256] For instance, the doctrines of baptism for the dead and the nature of God were introduced in sermons, and one of Smith's most famed statements about there being "no such thing as immaterial matter" was recorded from a casual conversation with a Methodist preacher. Name at birth: Joseph Smith, Jr. Raised a Christian in Vermont and New York, Joseph Smith was the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. When he was a child his family moved to Palmyra in western New York where there was a lot of revivalism and religious fervor due to the Second Great Awakening. Learn joseph smith with free interactive flashcards. Blonde. Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont on December 23, 1805. [223] Later, however, he is said to have used a chocolate-colored stone he had found in 1822 that he had used previously for treasure hunting. Smith was then released on a writ of habeas corpus from the Nauvoo municipal court. [163] Fearing an uprising, Smith mobilized the Nauvoo Legion on June 18 and declared martial law. [63] After Cowdery baptized several new church members, the Mormons received threats of mob violence; before Smith could confirm the newly baptized members, he was arrested and brought to trial as a disorderly person. [106] Around June 1838, recent convert Sampson Avard formed a covert organization called the Danites to intimidate Mormon dissenters and oppose anti-Mormon militia units. [75], Converts poured into Kirtland. In June 1843, enemies of Smith convinced a reluctant Illinois Governor Thomas Ford to extradite Smith to Missouri on an old charge of treason. [116], The following day, the Latter Day Saints surrendered to 2,500 state troops and agreed to forfeit their property and leave the state. Although a local minister to whom he related the vision dismissed it as a delusion, Smith continued to believe in its authenticity. [67] Shortly after the conference, Smith dispatched Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and others on a mission to proselytize Native Americans. [306] In foreign affairs, Smith was an expansionist, though he viewed "expansionism as brotherhood". [54], Smith said that the angel returned the plates to him in September 1828. [141] Zion also became less a refuge from an impending tribulation than a great building project. He appointed his male followers to priesthoods, named for the biblical figures Melchizedek and Aaron, that were overseen by the office of high priest. [188] Smith's sons Joseph III and David also had claims, but Joseph III was too young and David was yet unborn.
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