The work of these early historians is featured in a new volume of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, a collection of primary documents that is being assembled over a 20-year period under the direction of the Church History Department and published by the Church Historian’s Press.
On the day the Church was organized, April 6, 1830, the Lord commanded Joseph Smith that “there shall be a record kept among you” (D&C 21:1). Early efforts to keep this commandment included histories that the Prophet himself wrote, dictated, or supervised. But he also assigned associates to write Church histories, including John Whitmer, William W. Phelps, John Corrill, and Edward Partridge.
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