Newest Joseph Smith Papers book strikingly different

The newest offering from the Joseph Smith Papers project is not required reading.

But the Church History Department hopes scholars and church members find the eight-pound book to be worth its hefty weight.

The "facsimile edition" of the "Revelations and Translations" series of the Joseph Smith Papers went on sale Tuesday, coinciding with the Sept. 22 date on which the LDS Church founder received the Golden Plates. The Church History Department presented a copy of the volume to Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve during a news conference at the Church History Library.

"This maybe gives new meaning to the term 'heavy reading,'" Elder Marlin K. Jensen, church historian and recorder, said as he handed over the book.

Elder Nelson offered some perspective on where the book fits into gospel study, while church historians explained its fit on the bookshelf, in the scholarly community and among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The book appears strikingly different next to its predecessor, "Journals, Volume 1," which was an unexpected commercial success. But those who produced the new volume say its content merits special presentation.

"This publication ... evidences the great importance that the early Saints placed on God's communication with man through a prophet," Elder Jensen said.

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