New Mormon Papers Offer an Unvarnished Look at Joseph Smith

Critics will find no bombshells in the new 640-page book of early historic LDS documents, but scholars and the faithful will discover a much more complex Mormon founder than they ever knew.

At least that’s the hope of the scores of church historians who worked on the book, titled "Documents, Volume 1: July 1828-June 1831," released on Wednesday at a news conference in the Church History Library in downtown Salt Lake City.

This book covers the early days of Mormonism — including when Smith published the faith’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, and officially organized the church in 1830 in upstate New York.

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