Joseph Smith Papers: Revelations and Translations, Vol. 2: Published Revelations

by Dean C. Jessee, Richard L. Bushman, Ronald K. Esplin

5055258 jsp v2 revelations

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“Indispensable for both the scholar addressing any of the published revelations as well the interested reader of Mormon history.”

“No serious history can be written without digesting the painstaking research involved in RT2. The historical introductions are particularly important — each is well-written, carefully reasoned and fully documented.”

“The editors have produced yet another textual masterpiece, proving that the project is in good hands with The Church Historian's Press.” — The Association for Mormon Letters

Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations, 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. Reproduced herein as high-quality photographs are the Book of Commandments (1833); the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1835), including the portion that has come to be known as the Lectures on Faith; and seven additional texts added to the second edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1844). Reproduced herein as transcripts are twenty-six 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). Because these newspaper versions were produced in connection with editing and typesetting work on the Book of Commandments and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, they are critical sources for understanding the textual history of the revelations.

This volume of The Joseph Smith Papers also includes two appendixes that provide important related material. The first is a proposed reconstruction of what likely would have been included in the final thirty-two pages of the Book of Commandments, had the print shop not been destroyed mid-run by vigilantes. The second presents 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.

Revelations and Translations, Volume 2 goes hand in hand with Manuscript Revelations Books, the first volume in this series. Manuscript Revelation Books presents the earliest surviving manuscripts of many of Joseph Smith's revelations, the ones used by Smith 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.

Detailed Contents
Timeline of Joseph Smith's Life
Map: Joseph Smith's Residences
Volume 2 Introduction: Joseph Smith — Era Publications of Revelations
Editorial Method

Published Revelations
Book of Commandments
Appendix 1: Proposed Sixth Gathering of the Book of Commandments
Revelations Printed in The Evening and the Morning Star
Doctrine and Covenants, 1835
Appendix 2: Selections from Oliver Cowdery's Copy of the Book of Commandments
Doctrine and Covenants, 1844 (Sections 101-107)

Reference Material
Chronology for the Years 1831-1835, 1844
Directory of Printers
Substitute Words in the 1835 and 1844 Editions of the Doctrine and Covenants
Works Cited
Corresponding Published Versions of Revelations


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  • About the Authors

    Dean C. Jessee

    Dean C. Jessee is widely recognized as an authority on the life and writings of Joseph Smith. He holds a master's degree in Church History from Brigham Young University and is a research historian in the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History at BYU. He served for many years in the Church Historical Department, and has been president of the Mormon History Association. He is the editor of The Papers of Joseph Smith, volumes 1 and 2.

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    Richard L. Bushman

    Richard L. Bushman a general editor of The Joseph Smith Papers along with Ronald K. Esplin and Dean C. Jessee, is Gouverneur Morris Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University. He has been appointed Howard W. Hunter visiting professor at Claremont Graduate University for 2008–2009. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He taught at Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware before joining the Columbia faculty. His published works include From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690–1765 (1967), King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (1985), and The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (1992). He has served as president of the Mormon History Association and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.

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    Ronald K. Esplin

    Ronald K. Esplin is the managing editor for The Joseph Smith Papers. He received history degrees from the University of Utah, the University of Virginia, and Brigham Young University. From 1972 until 1980, he was part of the History Division of the LDS church's Historical Department, with assignments both as a researcher and writer and as an archivist. He moved to Brigham Young University in 1980 when the History Division was transferred there to become the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History. From 1986 through 2002, he served as managing director of that research institute and as a professor of church history and doctrine. From 1988 to 1991, he served as one of the editors for Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Most of his publications have involved Brigham Young and early Utah or pre-Utah Mormon history, including Men With A Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837–1841. Many of them also concern Joseph Smith and early Latter-day Saint leadership.

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