The Church Historian’s Press is pleased to announce the release of the latest volume of The Joseph Smith Papers. Documents, Volume 9 covers December 1841 through April 1842 and features 102 letters, revelations, meeting minutes, deeds, sermon accounts, and other documents.
This volume chronicles developments in the church and community during these important months in Nauvoo, Illinois, including the creation of the Relief Society and the establishment of a Freemason’s lodge in Nauvoo, both of which organizations taught virtue and encouraged moral uprightness in the community. Other documents relate to the opening of Joseph Smith’s store, which not only supplied the community with mercantile goods but also quickly became the center of civic and cultural activity. The rich documentary record also offers a unique portrait of the breadth of Joseph Smith’s daily activities as he served as a military leader and vice mayor of Nauvoo, took advantage of the nation’s new bankruptcy law, sold land to immigrating converts, and continued to instruct Latter-day Saints near and far through discourses and correspondence. During this period, he also became editor of the church’s newspaper, Times and Seasons, and published new content, including a narrative account of the church’s history that included statements of belief that were later canonized as the “Articles of Faith” and portions of the Book of Abraham, which was later canonized as scripture.
The overarching narrative revealed by these documents is one of growth—for the church and the city of Nauvoo generally as well as for Joseph Smith personally. Readers will come away from this volume with an increased understanding of the prophet’s life and this pivotal period in the creation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Documents, Volume 9 was edited by Alex D. Smith, Christian K. Heimburger, and Christopher James Blythe, with Stephanie Steed as the lead production editor. The volume is now available for purchase from Deseret Book and Amazon.