When Matthew C. Godfrey began working as an editor on the Joseph Smith Papers Project 11 years ago, he says the Prophet of the Restoration “seemed almost like a mythic figure to me—someone who was so much more spiritually advanced that I had a hard time relating to him,” according to an article recently published on the Church’s website.
However, he explains that as he has “spent the last 11 years immersed in Joseph Smith’s life—reading his journals, his letters, his discourses,” he has come to appreciate the humanity of Joseph Smith.
In the article, Godfrey wrote, “Those of us living today reside in a world highly unlike that of Joseph Smith and the early Saints. And yet our problems are not totally different. We all have difficulties because of the human experience: sickness, death, betrayal, discouragement, and just plain hard days. Joseph too had moments when God seemed far away and when he wondered if the Lord was aware of his and the Saints’ situations.”
Read two examples from Joseph Smith’s life that have been instructive for Godfrey at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.