The Priesthood Restored: A Joseph Smith Papers Podcast Released

SALT LAKE CITY—The Church Historian’s Press announces the release of The Priesthood Restored: A Joseph Smith Papers Podcast. This six-part miniseries from the Joseph Smith Papers Project explores the history and legacy of the restoration of the priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The podcast is available now. Series host Spencer W. McBride, PhD, interviews historians in a documentary-style podcast about this pivotal event in Latter-day Saint history. The episodes consider how Joseph Smith’s understanding and teachings about priesthood developed with time, experience, pondering, and additional revelations.

“Listeners will hear a more expansive story of the restoration of the priesthood than what they are likely used to,” McBride said of the podcast. “Rather than thinking of the restoration of the priesthood solely as a series of angelic visitations in or near Harmony, Pennsylvania, listeners will discover ways in which that restoration was an ongoing process.”

Podcast cover art featuring "Susquehanna River" by Frank Magleby. (Church History Museum, Salt Lake City.)


On May 15, 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were visited by an angelic John the Baptist in Harmony, Pennsylvania. According to their respective accounts of the visitation, John the Baptist conferred the priesthood upon Joseph and Oliver. An additional angelic visitation occurred in the weeks or months that followed, leading to the restoration of additional priesthood authority. Then, during the 1830s and 1840s, the construction of temples brought about more visions and revelations that further illuminated the role of priesthood in the lives and religious devotion of the Latter-day Saints. This new podcast explores the historical context of the 1829 events, as well as other key moments in Joseph Smith’s life that contributed to the growing understanding of the priesthood. In addition, the podcast considers several adjustments to priesthood organization by presidents of the church from the time of Joseph Smith’s death to the present, discussing how these adjustments fit with the growth of the church throughout the world.

Scholars featured in the podcast include Matthew C. Godfrey, Christopher Jones, Rachel Cope, Robin Jensen, Michael Hubbard Mackay, Sharalyn Howcroft, Mark Staker, W. Paul Reeve, Marcus Martins, and Lisa Olsen Tait. Also featured is Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

All six episodes of The Priesthood Restored: A Joseph Smith Papers Podcast have been released at once and are available on the Latter-day Saints Channel and on other podcast platforms such as iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.