The Joseph Smith Papers is excited to announce the release of a new document viewer to facilitate navigation of the sometimes-complicated documents found on our website and to improve the overall user experience. Enhancements include:
We would like to thank our partners from several departments at the corporate offices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for helping us develop the new viewer and for their continuing support of our project. In particular we thank Ben Godfrey, Kevin Nielson, and David Willden of the Church History Department, Darren Brown, Andrew Clark, and Doug Stringham from the Publishing Services Department, and Mike Bohman, Bill Bush, Tyler Dalton, Matt De Young, Brooke Frandsen, Clint Goodman, Michael Jasper, Jon Lewis, Tyler Replogle, and Dennis Sagers from the Information and Communications Services Department for their fine work and expertise.
The Joseph Smith Papers Project announces the addition of the following new content and features to its website, josephsmithpapers.org:
Also recently added are Joseph Smith’s histories as published in Histories, Volume 1, a transcript of the 1833 Book of Commandments, and a calendar (or list) of all known Joseph Smith documents created through January 1833. In the coming months more documents from the Documents, Journals, Histories, Revelations and Translations, and Administrative Records series will be added. Eventually the website will contain images and transcripts of all extant and available Joseph Smith papers.
The Joseph Smith Papers Project announces the release of the second volume in its Documents series, Documents, Volume 2: July 1831–January 1833 (The Church Historian’s Press, $54.95). The Documents series presents in chronological order the core of Joseph Smith’s documentary record. This volume contains revelations, correspondence, minutes of meetings in which Joseph Smith participated, and licenses provided to church officers. These documents allow readers to see both the administrative growth of the Church of Christ and Joseph Smith’s maturation as its leader.
Documents, Volume 2 contains over forty revelations, many of which were later printed in the Doctrine and Covenants. By presenting these revelation texts, this volume chronicles administrative and doctrinal developments in the church. These revelations were pronouncements in the voice of Deity that Joseph Smith’s followers accepted as God’s word. Some revelations unfold stunning new doctrines, including an account of the three kingdoms of heavenly glory awaiting God’s children and a detailed delineation of the two priesthood authorities God had bestowed on humankind. Others provide specific direction to church members on the establishment of the city of Zion in Missouri and emphasize the importance of gathering to that area. The volume also contains two letters from Joseph Smith to his wife Emma. These poignant letters depict a family man who missed his wife and daughter when he was traveling and who worried about their safety and well-being. The introductions and footnotes that accompany each document offer new research and provide historical context to help readers understand the circumstances of the documents’ creation.
The editors for Documents, Volume 2 are Matthew C. Godfrey, Mark Ashurst-McGee, Grant Underwood, Robert J. Woodford, and William G. Hartley. This volume, along with all previously published volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers, is available for purchase through Deseret Book Company, the distributor for the project, and many other booksellers.
The Joseph Smith Papers Project announces the release of the inaugural volume of its Documents series, Documents, Volume 1: July 1828–June 1831 (The Church Historian’s Press, $54.95). This series includes each of Joseph Smith’s revelations in its earliest form, reports of his discourses, and letters he sent and received. Also found in the series are articles and editorials he wrote for newspapers, minutes of meetings in which he participated, and records of his ecclesiastical administration.
In contrast to previously published volumes, which feature larger, stand-alone works such as journals and compilations of revelations, the Documents series presents in chronological order the core of Joseph Smith’s documentary record. Together these texts provide unparalleled insight into the life and thought of one of the most important figures in American religious history.
This first volume of the Documents series features Joseph Smith’s earliest surviving papers, including more than sixty of his revelations, most of which were later canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants. Through rich annotation and introductions, the editors present new research explaining the when and why behind the documents. This contextualization helps readers better understand a foundational period of Mormon history, when Joseph Smith translated and published the Book of Mormon and established the Church of Christ. The book also traces the proselytizing mission by Oliver Cowdery and others to Ohio and Missouri and its effects, including the migration of the church from New York to Ohio.
Editors of Documents, Volume 1 are Michael Hubbard MacKay, Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, Grant Underwood, Robert J. Woodford, and William G. Hartley. Documents, Volume 2 is scheduled for release in early December 2013. It includes documents from July 1831 through January 1833.
The publication of The Joseph Smith Papers two centuries after the birth of the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens a window on a life filled with what he called “marvelous experience” amid constant opposition. Despite having received little formal schooling, Joseph Smith left an extensive legacy of letters and other written records which is now being made widely available.
The Joseph Smith Papers series is expected to span more than twenty volumes when complete. The Documents portion of the series will comprise about half of the total. This volume, along with all previously published volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers, is available for purchase through Deseret Book Company, the distributor for the project, and many other booksellers.