Rebaptism, Jun 2, 1838

-- Jun 2, 1838
Rhoda Richards (sister of Apostle Willard Richards) and subsequently a plural wife of Joseph Smith recorded in her journal that when she was baptized a member of the LDS church on 2 June 1838 "In obeying the commands of the Lord I found great good. Health was improved, poison disappeared, the cake of ice was melted from my stomach. I found no need of Thomsonian medicine." (1)

-- Oct 27, 1838
[D and C] Doctrine and Covenants 124: Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, January 19, 1841. HC 4: 274-286. Because of increasing persecutions and illegal procedures against them by public officers, the saints had been compelled to leave Missouri. The exterminating order issued by Lilburn W. Boggs, Governor of Missouri, dated October 27, 1838, had left them no alternative. See HC 3: 175. In 1841, when this revelation was given, the city of Nauvoo, occupying the site of the former village of Commerce, Illinois, had been built up by the saints, and here the headquarters of the Church had been established.
.... 22-28, The saints are commanded to build both a house for the entertainment of strangers and a temple in Nauvoo; 29-36, Baptisms for the dead are to be performed in temples; 37-44, The Lord's people always build temples for the performance of holy ordinances; 45-55, The saints are excused from building the temple in Jackson County because of the oppression of their enemies ... (2)

-- Aug 10, 1840
Col. Seymour Brunson dies in Nauvoo. During his funeral sermon Joseph makes the first public mention of the doctrine of baptism for the dead. (Some say this funeral was on Aug. 15-Ivan J. Barrett, Joseph Smith and the Restoration 488; some say it was Aug. 10-Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History 252.) The idea of preaching to the dead had been given on Feb. 16, 1832. (D&C 76:73.) (3)

-- Aug 15, 1840
[Emma Smith] Baptism for the dead is taught by Joseph Smith; Emma is baptized soon after in the Mississippi River in behalf of her mother and sister. (4)

"General George Washington" is among the first for whom a vicarious baptism for the dead occurs in the Mississippi River, his proxy ("friend") is Joseph Smith's brother Don Carlos. After 1841 baptisms for the dead would occur only in specially constructed temple fonts. (5)

[Joseph Smith] Jane Neyman promptly asks Harvey Olmstead to baptize her in the Mississippi for her dead son Cyrus. When Joseph hears the words that were used he pronounces the ceremony valid, Vienna Jacques having been a witness. (3)

-- Aug 15, 1840 (Saturday)
[Joseph Smith Sermon] (Source: Simon Baker, Journal History, 15 August 1840, Church Archives -Words of Joseph Smith, 49) I was present at a discourse that the prophet Joseph delivered on baptism for the dead 15 August 1840. He read the greater part of the 15th chapter of Corinthians and remarked that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brought glad tidings of great joy, and then remarked that he saw a widow in that congregation that had a son who died without being baptized, and this widow in reading the sayings of Jesus "except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven," and that not one jot nor tittle of the Savior's words should pass away, but all should be fulfilled. He then said that this widow should have glad tidings in that thing. He also Said the apostle was talking to a people who understood baptism for the dead, for it was practiced among them. He went on to say that people could now act for their friends who had departed this life, and
that the plan of salvation was calculated to save all who were willing to obey the requirements of the law of God. He went on
and made a very beautiful discourse. (6)

-- Aug 15, 1840
[Joseph Smith Sermon] [The first discourse by Joseph Smith on baptism for the dead.]
[John Smith Diary] (7)

-- Oct. 3-5, 1840
[Joseph Smith] A general conference is held in Nauvoo. The conference moves to send some brethren to preside over the building up of Kirtland as the gathering place of the eastern Saints. Joseph speaks on the necessity of building a house of the Lord in Nauvoo, the newly disclosed doctrine of baptism for the dead, the two priesthoods, the ordinances, Adam and the keys of the presidency, the mission of Enoch, a need for sacrifice, the mission of Elijah, and the restoration of all ordinances. The building of the temple is authorized and building committees are appointed. (3)
1 - Quinn, D. Michael, "The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo," BYU Studies (1978), 18:2:226
2 - Doctrine and Covenants,
3 - Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
4 - Emma Smith, Woman of Faith,
5 - On This Day in Mormon History,
6 - The Woodland Institute,
7 - The Words of Joseph Smith by Joseph Smith by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook
LDS History Chronology: Unconventional Baptism
Mormon History Timeline: Forms of Rebaptism in LDS History