The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories, Vol. 1 (1832-1844) (Hardcover)

by Karen Lynn Davidson (Editor), David J. Whittaker (Editor), Mark R. Ashurst-McGee (Editor), Richard L. Jensen (Editor)


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With the assistance of Frederick G. Williams, Joseph Smith first set about recording his own history in the summer of 1832. In it he recounted for the first time in writing his first vision of Deity and the discovery of the gold plates. Two years later a more ambitious project, the 1834-1836 history, was initiated. This history drew largely on existing records, including Oliver Cowdery's account of the translation of the Book of Mormon and the conferral of priesthood authority. Like the 1832 history, this manuscript remained unfinished.

Presented in this first volume of the Histories series are the six histories that Joseph Smith personally wrote, dictated, or supervised.

List of Illustrations and Maps
Timeline of Joseph Smith's Life
Map: Joseph Smith's Residences
Series Introduction: Joseph Smith's Historical Enterprise
Chart: History Creation Dates, Narrative Spans, Scribes, and Precursor Documents
Chart: Relationships among Histories and Precursors
Volume 1 Introduction: The Histories of Joseph Smith, 1832-1844
Editorial Method

Joseph Smith Histories, 1832-1844
History, circa Summer 1832
History, 1834-1836
History Drafts, 1838-circa 1841
"Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.," July 1839
"Church History" 1 March 1842
"Latter Day Saints," 1 March 1842
Appendix: Orson Pratt, A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, 1840

Reference Material
Chronology for the Years 1805-1844
Map Index
Pedigree Chart
Biographical Directory
Essay on Sources
Works Cited
Corresponding Section Numbers in Editions of the Doctrine and Covenants

Four additional histories, assigned by Joseph Smith but not dictated or supervised by him, will form the content of Histories, Volume 2. The balance of the Histories series, published electronically at the Joseph Smith Papers website, will present the entirety of the massive multivolume history initiated in 1838.

Product Details

  • Size:  7 x 10
  • Pages:  560
  • Released:  03/2012

About the Authors

Karen Lynn Davidson earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. At Brigham Young University she was a member of the English faculty and director of the Honors Program. She has served on the General Music Committee of the Church and plays violin with the Orchestra at Temple Square. She is the author of the popular classic Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages and coeditor of the Histories volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers series.

David J. Whittaker is currently University Archivist of the Mormon Experience at BYU. He received his BA from BYU, his MA from California State University at Northridge, and his PhD from BYU. He has published widely in Church periodicals and professional journals.


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