Even with the publication of the Joseph Smith Papers (JSP), this book is not obsolete. Its small size makes it more readable, and therefore more useful to the interested amateur that the large and bulky JSP volumes. Additionally, we are not bogged-down by commentary—as helpful as commentary is. We can read the primary sources, fall in love with them, and use this book as a springboard to swan-dive in to the JSP.
C. S. Lewis once said, "The only use of selections is to deter those readers who will never appreciate the original, and thus save them from wasting their time on it, and to send all the others on the original as quickly as possible."
As such, consider this book a “selection” of what you get in the JSP. You get the holographic reproductions of original documents.
In plain English, the misspelling, typos, cross-outs, and caret-insertion are preserved, much like the first draft of that high school paper you crammed out the night before it was due. Of course to interested amateurs—the Sunday School teachers, the quorum instructors, the busy bishops—do not need this level of technicality. Stick with the “History of the Church,” “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” and the Church's Joseph Smith manual for your first several readings of Joseph Smith's life and teachings.
But for the professional, or for those who want to know more, or even for those who wonder about the integrity of Church History, then by all means get this book. See if you like the “rough draft” feel to the documents, and then work your way back to the standard sources, the JSP, and back to full fellowship to the church. This book can be a great reactivation and member-missionary, too.
i really enjoy having this book in my home as it is one that i browse frequently.i really love that i get to know our wonderful prophet and his family and their lives.especially reading the little things such as going fishing.
I was surprised to find this book filled with more than I expected! Not only are there journal entries, but also personal letters written to the saints and individuals. A thorough compilation.
I just received my copy of this great book. I had such flood of emotions when I opened it up and began to read from our dear Prophet's personal handwriting. It was truly a spiritual experience to see his personality and spend time with him in these pages. Thank you!
This book is a must have for anyone who wants to understand the Prophet Joseph Smith.
This is probably one of the best books I have read about the Prophet Joseph Smith. You get a great personal look into his life and heart.