Highlights from the volume include accounts of Joseph Smith’s earliest heavenly manifestations, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the organization of the church, the conferral of priesthood authority, the events leading up to Joseph Smith’s imprisonment in Missouri, and other events from early Latter-day Saint history.
The eight histories in this volume were all part of Joseph Smith’s personal record-keeping endeavors, and vary widely in creation date, purpose, format, length, and scope. Joseph Smith wrote or supervised the writing of each under circumstances that allowed him to be closely involved in their creation. Although he had considerable assistance from scribes and other associates, Joseph Smith himself assumed authorial responsibility for the histories found within the volume.
Histories, Volume 2: Assigned Historical Writings, 1831–1847 is slated for release later this year, and will cover histories assigned but not overseen by Joseph Smith.
The publication of The Joseph Smith Papers two centuries after the birth of the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opens a window on a life filled with what he called “marvelous experience” amongst constant opposition. Despite having received little formal schooling, Joseph Smith left an extensive legacy of letters and other written records which is now being made widely available.
The Joseph Smith Papers series is expected to span about twenty volumes in total. The Histories portion of the series will comprise two volumes. Visit JosephSmithPapers.org for more information about The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories, Volume 1 and other Joseph Smith Papers Project publications. The website features several important supplemental documents described but not published in Histories, Volume 1.