Joseph Smith Papers Announcements

Updates from the Joseph Smith Papers team:

JSP Website Reaches Publication Milestones:

The latest content release on the website is now live. This release includes two items of particular significance:
The final installment of Joseph Smith’s journals, from May 1843 to June 1844. This portion of the journals covers the final year of Smith’s life, including the events that led up to his murder. The Journals series is now complete in print and online.

Complete footnotes giving the sources behind Joseph Smith’s multivolume manuscript history. Also, page numbers for the most widely available edition of that history, B. H. Roberts’s History of the Church, are now embedded in the history transcripts to allow readers to trace back to the Roberts edition from the more original documents.
The completion of these two projects marks a significant milestone for the project, as well as for project founder and National Advisory Board member Dean C. Jessee, who began work on Joseph Smith’s papers in 1972. Jessee published two volumes of Smith’s papers more than two decades ago and has spent many years identifying the primary sources used to compile the manuscript history.

The website has also added almost 150 new documents from June through September 1843, including letters, discourses, Nauvoo City Council minutes, and land deeds.

Added to the Legal, Business, and Financial Records series are several more documents from the Nauvoo mayor’s court and Nauvoo Municipal Court.

This release also includes new biographies, geographical descriptions, and event entries.
Finally, Revelation Book 1 and Revelation Book 2 have been updated so that users can view the typographic facsimile transcriptions which provide detailed, color-coded reproductions of the texts.

Staff Members Participate at Mormon History Association Conference:

The Mormon History Association’s annual conference took place in June, and many of the JSP staff members contributed to the proceedings. Eight staff members delivered presentations, three participated in a roundtable discussion, and nine were involved as session chairs, moderators, and discussants. Volume editor David D. Grua served as program committee co-chair.

JSPP staff members’ presentations are listed below:

“Constructing Authority: Mormon Women’s Discourses in At the Pulpit” by Riley M. Lorimer
“Spreading (and Publicizing!) the Good News: Missionary Work during a Winter of Mormon Discontent” by Christian K. Heimburger
“An Introduction and Invitation to the Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Series, Volume 6: 1838–1839” by Mark Ashurst-McGee
“Contested Kirtland: Expanding Narrative of Dissent” by Elizabeth A. Kuehn
“‘A Holy and Consecrated Land unto Me’: Far West and the Conflicting Definitions of Sacred Space” by Jeffrey D. Mahas
“‘Cast Out of My Holy City’: Defiled Sacred Space in Nauvoo, Illinois” by Christopher James Blythe
“The Constitution in Crisis: Antislavery and Mormon Appeals, Critiques, and Creations” by Jordan T. Watkins
“Untouchable: Joseph Smith’s Use of the Law as Catalyst for Assassination” by Alex D. Smith
Here is a list of those who participated in roundtables and sessions:
R. Eric Smith served as session chair for “From Kirtland to Kenya: Insights from The Church Historian’s Press 2017 Releases.”
Brett D. Dowdle moderated “Author Meets Critics: Thomas W. Simpson, American Universities, and the Birth of Modern Mormonism, 1867–1940.”
Mark Ashurst-McGee served as session chair for and Matthew C. Godfrey provided comments in “Settling and Unsettling Zion in Jackson County, Missouri.”
Elizabeth A. Kuehn served as session chair for “Crossing and Maintaining Boundaries: Mormon Women’s Experience in Nineteenth-Century Utah.”
The roundtable titled “George Q. Cannon and Second-Generation Mormonism” included staff members Ben Godfrey, Matthew J. Grow, and Robin Scott Jensen.
David D. Grua served as session chair for “Crossing and Dwelling in Mormon Missouri.”
Jordan T. Watkins served as session chair for “Scripture in the Age of Transition.”
Jeffrey D. Mahas served as session chair for “Mormons and Politics in 1840s Illinois.”
Brent M. Rogers served as session chair and discussant for “Native Encounters in Restorationist History and Folklore.”

Church History Library Digitizes Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon:

The original manuscript of the Book of Mormon, transcribed by several individuals as Joseph Smith dictated the translation, survives only in fragments. Less than 30 percent of the manuscript is extant, most of which is held by the Church History Library. Portions of the manuscript are also held by other institutions and private collectors. In order to preserve what is left of the manuscript and make it more widely accessible, the Church History Department is currently working to digitize all surviving portions of the original manuscript using multispectral imaging to capture high-resolution images of the manuscript pages.

Joseph Smith Papers Conference.

To celebrate the publication of Documents, Volumes 5 and 6, the Joseph Smith Papers Project invites you to attend a conference to be held on October 20, 2017, at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. See for more information.