The history of the Word of Wisdom, Feb 13, 1826

-- Feb 13, 1826
[U.S. Religious History] The first The American Temperance Society was founded in Boston. It would later be renamed the American Temperance Union and would become a national cause. Within a decade there were over 8,000 like-minded groups with more than 1.5 million members. (1)

-- fall 1827
[Joseph Smith] According to Tucker , "notorious wags" William T. Hussey and Azel Vandruver visit the Smith home and say they are willing to view the golden plates, taking upon themselves the risk that they would be being struck dead if they saw them. They observe something "concealed under a piece of thick canvas". After Hussey removes the canvas and sees a tile brick, Smith claims to have pulled a joke on the men, and "with the customary whiskey hospitalities, the affair ended in good-nature". (2)

-- During 1828
"[Alcohol destroys the individual] until all that was once lovely and of good report, retires and leaves the wretch abandoned to the appetites of a ruined animal. ... The sea has made a clear breach over him, and swept away forever whatsoever things are pure, and lovely, and of good report." [Lyman Beecher, 'Six Sermons on the Nature, Occasions, Signs, Evils, and Remedy of Intemperance'] (3)

-- April 1829 (on or after 7 April)
Section 6, Place: Harmony, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

Historical Note: While Joseph Smith was still residing in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Oliver Cowdery was teaching school in Palmyra. Because it was customary for school teachers to board with the families of their pupils, Oliver Cowdery came to live with the Smith family, where he first learned about Moroni's appearances to Joseph Smith and the translation of the plates. When school closed in the spring, Oliver Cowdery traveled to Harmony to meet the Prophet. Arriving on 5 April 1829, he received a first-hand account of the glorious work of the Restoration, and on 7 April he began serving as Joseph Smith's scribe.

Concerning Cowdery's involvement in the translation, Joseph Knight, Sr., wrote,.

In the spring of 1829 Oliver Cowdery a young man from Palmyra went to see old Mr. Smith about the Book that Joseph had found. And he told him about it and advised him to go Down to Pennsylvany and see for him self and to write for Joseph. He went Down and Received a Revelation Concerning the work and he was Convinced of the truth of the work and he agreed to write for him till it was Done. Now Joseph and Oliver Came up to see me if I Could help him to some provisions, [they] having no way to Buy any. . . .I Bought a Barral of Mackrel and some lined paper for writing. . . .some nine or ten Bushels of grain and five or six Bushels taters and a pound of tea, and I went Down to see him and they ware in want. Joseph and Oliver ware gone to see if they Could find a place to work for provisions, and found none. They returned home and found me there with provisions, and they ware glad for they ware out.

Of his experience with Joseph Smith during the translation of the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery wrote,.

These were days never to be forgotten--to sit under the sound of a voice dictated by the inspiration of heaven, awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom! Day after day I continued, uninterrupted, to write from his mouth, as he translated, with the Urim and Thummim, or as the Nephites would have said, "Interpreters," the history, or record, called "The Book of Mormon.".

Publication Note. Section 6 was first published as chapter 5 in the Book of Commandments in 1833. (4)

1 - Cline, Austin, History of American Religion: Timeline
2 - Wikipedia, Joseph Smith Chronology,,_Jr.
3 - Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source
4 - Cook, Lyndon, Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants,

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom