Harmony, Pennsylvania

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Harmony, Pennsylvania, is an important historical site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The township was located in northeastern Pennsylvania on the Susquehanna River. The area was settled by 1787 and organized in 1809 and at first called Willingsborough. The population in 1830 was about 340.[1] Harmony village no longer exists and the spot is now known as Oakland Township.

Emma Hale Smith

Emma Hale was born in then Willingsborough on July 10, 1804. She lived with her parents Isaac and Elizabeth Hale on a 90-acre farm. She was 21-years-old when she met Joseph Smith. Joseph, his father, Joseph Smith, Sr., and others came to board at the Hale's farm at the end of October 1825 to help Josiah Stowell dig for a lost silver mine. Joseph persuaded Stowell to abandon his search for the mine and then moved to South Bainbridge to work on Stowell's farm, a 28-mile distance from Harmony. Despite the distance, and despite Emma's parents' disapproval of Joseph, he often came to Harmony to court her. She traveled to South Bainbridge in January 1827 to visit her sister and the Stowell family, and Joseph and Emma eloped on January 18, 1827. They lived for a few months with the Smith family, during which time Joseph obtained the gold plates (shortly after midnight, September 22). Emma's father had invited them earlier in the summer to move to Harmony, which they did in October of that year. In February 1828, Joseph and Emma settled into a small home built by Emma's brother Jesse on a modest farm divided from Isaac's land. Here the translation of the plates began with Emma as scribe.[2] Martin Harris served as scribe prior to the loss of the 116 pages of the translation of the Book of Mormon. On April 7, most of the translation work occurred uninterrupted with Oliver Cowdery as scribe.

Due to intense opposition, Joseph and Emma relocated to the Whitmer Farm in June 1829, The translation was completed by June 30, 1829.[3] (For a timeline of the translation of the Book of Mormon from the gold plates, see FairMormon chronology.)

Emma and Joseph returned to Harmony on October 4, 1829, and stayed for 10 months, with occasionally trips away from home (for example, they traveled to Fayette, New York where the Church was organized on April 6, 1830). After a trip to New York for Church business, they left for Ohio in January 1831 and never returned to Harmony.

Aaronic Priesthood Restoration

On May 15, 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist and were authorized to baptize each other. Joseph's brother Samuel H. Smith was the third person baptized there on May 25. Somewhere between Harmony and Colesville, New York, Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood. After the Church was organized in 1830, Joseph and Emma returned to Harmony and lived there through that summer.

Fifteen revelations now found in the Doctrine and Covenants were received in Harmony. Joseph Smith also worked on his revision of the Bible in Harmony.[4] Joseph and Emma's first child, as well as her parents, are buried in the McCune Cemetery in Harmony.[5] See Priesthood Restoration Site.