First Volume of Saints Now Available

For the first time in nearly one hundred years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is releasing a new multivolume work about its history. The first volume of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, which covers key events in the early history of the church, is now available in print, online, and in the Gospel Library app. Subtitled “The Standard of Truth,” the first volume tells the story of the church beginning in 1815 with Joseph Smith’s childhood and concludes with Latter-day Saints worshipping in the Nauvoo temple in 1846 before their exodus west.

When the Joseph Smith Papers Project was launched more than fifteen years ago, its founders envisioned that the project’s publications would be cited and relied upon by scholars and other writers of both academic and popular works. The first volume of Saints is one example of how the project’s publications are finding widespread acceptance and influencing how history is understood and told. Some project scholars assisted with reviewing Saints materials for historical accuracy.

Reid L. Neilson, managing director of the Church History Department, stated, “Saints relies heavily on the groundbreaking research of the Joseph Smith Papers. The reliance can be seen in almost chapter as evidenced by the hundreds of endnotes that cite to the Joseph Smith Papers and that link directly to the Joseph Smith Papers website in electronic versions of Saints. The new narrative history is one more evidence of the growing influence of the Joseph Smith Papers.”

Saints features the true stories of the women and men who established the church around the globe. Church historians researched and wrote the volume using the records left behind by early church members, and creative writers and editors helped make the history engaging and accessible.

Written in a narrative style, Saints is designed to appeal to readers of various ages and backgrounds. While the English print book is already available in retail outlets, the printed publication will be available in thirteen other languages by the end of the year. Readers can also find the content in fourteen languages on the Church History website and in the Church History section of the Gospel Library app. The audiobook is currently available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

For readers who are interested in delving deeper into some of the themes, people, places, and events covered by the book, there are also now 116 “Church History Topics” articles available online. These Church History Topics also rely heavily on the scholarship of the Joseph Smith Papers and often link to the project website or to articles by project historians for further reading. For instance, the topic on the Kirtland Safety Society points to Documents, Volume 5 as well as to a video with project historians Elizabeth A. Kuehn and Mason K. Allred for further information. Additionally, the topic on Lucy Mack Smith points to Lucy Mack Smith’s history on the Joseph Smith Papers website, Lucy Mack Smith’s biographical entry on the website, and a podcast interview with project archivist Sharalyn D. Howcroft.

To learn more about Saints and to read the first volume, visit saints.lds.org.