Doctrine and Covenants 12-13, Joseph Smith-History 1:66-75 – “Upon You My Fellow Servants”

These sections in the Doctrine and Covenants tell of the important events in May 1829, as Joseph Smith translated the plates and received the Aaronic Priesthood.  

“Joseph Knight’s Recollection of Early Mormon History,” Dean C. Jessee, BYU Studies 17, no. 1 

Joseph Knight was instrumental in providing supplies and support to Joseph Smith while Smith obtained the Book of Mormon plates. This article presents a transcript of a reminiscence Joseph Knight wrote about the years 1825-1832. Knight provides details about trouble from Samuel Lawrence, who threatened to steal the plates; about Martin Harris’s trip to see learned men; Knight’s interactions with Leman Copley in Kirtland; and more. The original manuscript, Joseph Knight Reminiscences, can be viewed here at the Church History Library. 

“Opening the Heavens: The Restoration of the Priesthood,” Brian Q. Cannon, from Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844 

Historical records clearly identify the circumstances surrounding the bestowal of the Aaronic Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Long before Joseph received the priesthood, he learned of it from Moroni. Joseph and Oliver learned more as they translated the plates. Here is an introductory discussion and the pertinent texts of these important records. 

“Timing the Translation of the Book of Mormon: “Days [and Hours] Never to Be Forgotten,” John W. Welch, BYU Studies Quarterly 57, no. 4

This article tells the progress that Joseph Smith made as he translated the plates in 1829. It is likely that Joseph Smith was working on 3 Nephi on May 15, 1829, when he received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist. At this time, Joseph and Oliver went into the nearby woods to pray about baptism for the remission of sins, which they had found mentioned in the translation, presumably in 3 Nephi 11:21–12:2.