mormon history timeline

1805 Joseph Smith born at Sharon, Vermont. 

1820 Smith claims his "First Vision" visit from God the Father & Jesus.

1823 Angel Moroni visits Smith and tells him of ancient gold plates.

1827 Smith receives gold plates at Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra, NY.

1830 The Book of Mormon is published; Mormon Church founded in upstate New York.

1831 Church relocates to Kirtland, OH.

1836 First Mormon temple dedicated.

1835 Twelve apostles chosen and first quorum of the Seventy organized.

1835 First edition of the Doctrine and Covenants published.

1837 First Mormon missionaries arrive in England.

1838 LDS Church relocates to Independence, MO. 

1838 Missouri governor expels all Mormons.

1838 Haun's Mill Massacre in which 18 LDS are killed. 

1838 Smith and other church leaders imprisoned in Liberty Jail.

1839 10,000 Mormons flee Missouri for Illinois.

1839 Smith freed from jail and Nauvoo, Illinois is settled by Latter-day Saints.

1842 Women's Relief Society organized.

1843 Smith receives "revelation" on polygamy.

1844 Smith declares his candidacy for U.S. President.

1844 Nauvoo Expositor newspaper destroyed on Joseph Smith’s orders.

1844 Smith turns himself in to face trial; mob storms Carthage Jail and kills Joseph & his brother Hyrum.

1846 Mormons begin exodus west.

1846 Battle of Nauvoo - remaining LDS leave Illinois.

1847 Brigham Young enters the Salt Lake Valley on July 24.

1848 Nauvoo Temple burns to the ground. 

1849 Perpetual Emigrating Fund established. The fund helps 26,000 emigrants find a home in Utah.

1850 Deseret News published as first newspaper in Utah Territory.

1850 Brigham Young appointed governor of Utah Territory.

1852 Plural marriage publicly announced.

1853 Construction of the Salt Lake Temple begins.

1856-60 Handcart system brings thousands of emigrants to Utah.

1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre occurs in southern Utah - 120 emigrants killed on September 11th.

1861 Transcontinental telegraph joined near Salt Lake City.

1867 First General Conference held at new Salt Lake Tabernacle.

1869 Church-owned ZCMI opens; first department store in the U.S..

1869 Transcontinental Railroad completed at Promontory, Utah.

1870 First edition of Mormon Tribune (later known as "Salt Lake Tribune").

1870 Utah Territorial legislature gives women the vote.

1875 Salt Lake Tabernacle dedicated; Brigham Young Academy founded (later known as BYU).

1877 Death of Brigham Young.

1880 John Taylor succeeds Young; The Pearl of Great Price accepted as holy scripture.

1882-90 1,035 Utahns imprisoned for polygamy.

1885 Taylor and other church leaders go into hiding.

1890 President Woodruff issues “The Manifesto,” banning polygamy within LDS Church.

1893 Salt Lake Temple dedicated. 

1894 Genealogical Society of Utah organized.

1896 Utah gains statehood.

1900 LDS membership approx. 283,000.

1912 LDS seminary program begins.

1929 Mormon Tabernacle Choir begins national radio broadcasts.

1936 Church Welfare Program established.

1947 LDS Church reaches 1 million members.

1955 First temple outside North America opened in Zurich, Switzerland.

1964 Church membership surpasses 2 million.

1965 Family Home Evening program inaugurated.

1978 Blacks allowed into the LDS priesthood.

1980 LDS membership surpasses 4 million.

1990 LDS membership surpasses 7 million.

2000 100th Mormon temple opens.

2000 Conference Center completed in Salt Lake City.

2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City.

2006 LDS member Mitt Romney announces his first run for U.S. Presidency.

2011 LDS claim 14 million members. 

2012 Romney wins Republican Presidential nomination.

2014 LDS leaders participate in historic inter-faith summit at the Vatican.

2016 LDS Church receives official recognition from the government of Vietnam.

2019 First Latter-day Saint temple in Italy opens on the outskirts of Rome. LDS President/prophet Russell Nelson meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the first such meeting between a Mormon prophet and a Catholic Pope.