Doctrine and Covenants
Week 5: Joseph’s early revelations to family and friends; restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood
D&C 4, 11–12, 14–16, 18–19
Additional reading and links
There has much scholarly debate on the date of the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood. The traditional view is that it took place in late May or early June 1829, within a few weeks after the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. A handful of scholars argue for a later date, however—some time in the summer of 1830.
For an examination of the historical evidence, see Brian Q. Cannon and BYU Studies Staff, “Priesthood Restoration Documents,” BYU Studies 35, no. 4 (1995): 166–73.
Larry C. Porter argues for the earlier date in two articles: “Dating the Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood,” Ensign (June 1979): 5–10 and “The Restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods,” Ensign (December 1996): 30–47.
In support of the later view, see Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1984), 162–63. Ben Park sums up the argument for the later date in “Dating the Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration,” The Juvenile Instructor, 4 August 2008.