Issues with LDS Priesthood Revelation Narrative

This page is designed to present a brief overview of the issues with the predominant LDS narrative regarding the restoration of the priesthood to Joseph Smith. It will expand on the issues from the timeline, which gives a rundown of just how different the historical documents are from the narrative that is taught in church, and how many crucial details were quietly added in years after the fact.

There are a number of issues with the LDS narrative regarding the restoration of the priesthood, which lean heavily on retrofitting history to fit Joseph Smith's evolving accounts of the restoration. 

“Summarizing the key events in his religious life in an 1830 statement, he mentioned translation but said nothing about the restoration of priesthood or the visit of an angel. The first compilation of revelations in 1833 also omitted an account of John the Baptist. David Whitmer later told an interviewer he had heard nothing of John the Baptist until four years after the Church’s organization. Not until writing in his 1832 history did Joseph include ‘reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministering of angels to administer the letter of the Gospel’ among the cardinal events of his history, a glancing reference at best...The late appearance of these accounts raises the possibility of later fabrication.”

“I have seen him changing in the last ten months,” said Sister Nelson. “It is as though he's been unleashed. He's free to finally do what he came to earth to do. ... And also, he's free to follow through with things he's been concerned about but could never do. Now that he's president of [the Church], he can do those things.”