Today, I attended a blogger event for the launch of The Joseph Smith Papers: Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. The three editors of this volume (Robin Jensen, Richard E. Turley, Jr, and Riley Lorimer) explained the book’s contents and significance.
This volume features the Book of Commandments and the other major printed versions of Joseph Smith’s revelations that were published or in the process of being published during his lifetime.
The first volume in this series, Manuscript Revelations Books, included the earliest surviving manuscripts of many of Joseph Smith’s revelations, the ones used by Joseph and his associates in preparing the published scriptures of their day. Volume 2 presents the printed revelations in the form that most Latter-day Saints read and experienced them. Together the two volumes make the early revelations more accessible than ever before.
Volume 2 includes high-quality photographs of the following:
- Book of Commandments (1833)
- First edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1835), including the portion that has come to be known as the “Lectures on Faith”
- Seven additional texts added to the second edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1844).
It also includes the following transcripts:
- 26 complete or partial revelation texts published in the church newspaper The Evening and the Morning Star (1832-1833) and its later, reprinted version, Evening and Morning Star (1835-1836).
This volume also includes 2 appendixes:
- A reconstruction of what likely would have been included in the final 32 pages of the Book of Commandments, had the print shop in Independence, Missouri, not been destroyed by vigilantes in 1833 before the printing of the book was completed. Now, for the first time, the world can view what the book was meant to be.
- Selected photographs of a copy of the Book of Commandments owned by Oliver Cowdery and marked up to prepare revelations for publication in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
Learn more about the contents, and order a copy.
The scope of the Joseph Smith Papers Project is to make available the papers of Joseph Smith on a firsthand basis. Until now, much of what Joseph wrote has been published through the filter of various authors. While that’s useful, it’s also important for people to be able to see the papers firsthand. All told, the project will publish around 20 volumes in paper books, with more of the papers online.
Learn more about the Joseph Smith Papers website (JosephSmithPapers.org).