Joseph Smith first baptized Oliver Cowdery and then Cowdery baptized Joseph Smith. These were the first two baptisms in the Restoration movement. Both Smith and Cowdery performed a few baptisms previous to the organization of the church on 6 April 1830. On this later date Joseph Smith was ordained the first elder and Oliver Cowdery the second elder in the new church.
In D&C 6 Cowdery is told that God had given him a “gift” by which he (Oliver) would “assist in bringing to light” “those parts of the scriptures which have been hidden…” He is further told that his “gift” would allow him “to translate, even as my servant Joseph” and that he would receive no greater witness of the supposedly ancient record.