Nearly a century has passed since his book appeared, and in that time it has become practically axiomatic among Latter-day Saints that Jesus was born on April 6. In the last century, much new information has come to light about the New Testament.New data from archaeological and historical sources, combined with a careful reexamination of the scriptural accounts involved, suggest that the April 6 dating is no longer tenable.Deseret Book Company published the four-volume series, beginning in 1979.In a lengthy study note appended to chapter 20 of the first volume (on the Savior’s nativity), Mc Conkie discussed several models for dating the birth of Jesus.Recent scholarship which helped to produce the recently published Joseph Smith Papers shows that D&C 20:1 was part of the initial heading for the revelation now known as Section 20 and not part of the revelation proper. Because of this discovery, we as Latter'day Saints are back to the possibility of the birth of the Savior being in December. "So those are separate from the texts that Joseph produces by revelation." The manuscript, published as part of the Joseph Smith Papers, also shows that the revelation was given on April 10 — not April 6.It appears to be the product of John Whitmer (the Prophet Joseph Smith's scribe) and was not intended to reveal the birthdate of our Lord, but merely a manner of recording the date of the organization of the Church. The following article was printed in the Deseret News: The real date of Jesus' birth By Michael De Groote Deseret News Published: Friday, Dec. MST Since the early 20th century, many Mormons have thought they knew the exact date of the first Christmas. Talmage, an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, published a book in 1915 titled "Jesus the Christ," in which he wrote, "We believe that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea, April 6, B. 1." Elder Talmage didn't just randomly make up this date. So although it references the organization of the church a few days earlier, the revelation — which topically has nothing to do with the birth date of Christ — and its introductory verses "shouldn't be read as if it is a revelation of the birth date of Jesus Christ," Harper said. The date of April 6 comes from the date that the LDS Church was originally organized on April 6, 1830.Chadwick's article goes into great detail on the various clues the Bible and the Book of Mormon give for the date of Jesus' birth. C.)." Chadwick then looks at the Annunciation to Mary that she would have a son named Jesus. 25 as on any other date in the few weeks preceding it or following it," Chadwick wrote.
D&C 20 begins with this introductory verse: "The rise of The Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it (the church) being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April." Steven C. Talmage maintained that Jesus Christ was born on April 6 in the year 1 bc.Talmage was apparently the first LDS writer to propose this particular date.Never did Joseph interpret the wording of Doctrine and Covenants 20:1 to suggest that April 6 should be regarded as the Savior’s birth date, although he said that it was “by the spirit of prophecy and revelation” that April 6 was pointed out to him as the precise day on which he “should proceed to organize” the Church of Jesus Christ in this dispensation.Similarly, as far as I have been able to ascertain, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow recorded no comments on the subject of Christ’s birth either.In contrast to Talmage, Mc Conkie stated: “We do not believe it is possible with the present state of our knowledge—including that which is known both in and out of the Church—to state with finality when the natal day of the Lord Jesus actually occurred.” Mc Conkie then reviewed the positions and reasoning of both Talmage and Clark with regard to Jesus’s birth date and stated that he would follow Clark’s course.