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Notes on the JSP

The previous weeks have been an exciting time for the Joseph Smith Papers as we released Revelations and Translations, Volume 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts, which you can read about in this newsletter. Also included in this issue are details about our latest web release and an article focusing on a document that Joseph Smith authored about baptism for the dead.

We appreciate your continued support of the Joseph Smith Papers and enjoy sharing the project’s news as well as insights into the life of Joseph Smith. We also enjoy the opportunity to address smaller audiences. If you would like to have a staff member speak at an event, we have included a
link to a form that will notify us of your interest.


Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew J. Grow, Matthew C. Godfrey, and R. Eric Smith
In This Issue
  • Revelations and Translations, Volume 4 Now Available
  • Joseph Smith Documents through June 1844 Now Online
  • A Book . . . Which Shall Be Worthy of All Acceptation
  • Request a Speaker
Revelations and Translations, Volume 4 Now Available
We are pleased to announce the release of the latest volume of The Joseph Smith Papers. Revelations and Translations, Volume 4: Book of Abraham and Related Manuscripts tracks the development of the Book of Abraham from the time Joseph Smith and others purchased Egyptian papyri in 1835 through the publication of the Book of Abraham text and its accompanying illustrations in the church newspaper Times and Seasons in 1842. 

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Joseph Smith Documents through June 1844 Now Online
The latest web content release for the Joseph Smith Papers Project includes more than a hundred documents from June 1844, the final month of Joseph Smith’s life. These documents include items relating to Joseph Smith’s arrest and imprisonment in Carthage, Illinois, and letters to and from family members, particularly his wife Emma, as well as friends, lawyers, church members, and the governor of Illinois. There are also discourses given to the church and to the Nauvoo Legion.

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A Book . . . Which Shall Be Worthy of All Acceptation

By Brett D. Dowdle, Volume Editor
In early September 1842, Joseph Smith was hiding in the home of Edward Hunter to evade arrest and extradition to Missouri on charges that he had conspired to assassinate former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs. In this setting, on 6 or 7 September, Smith’s mind returned to the subject of baptism for the dead and a promise he had made just days earlier to send additional instructions and “the word of the Lord” on the ordinance to the Latter-day Saints by mail.[1] Taking advantage of his seclusion, Joseph Smith wrote a nine-page letter to the Saints—which will be featured in the forthcoming Documents, Volume 11—that systematized procedures for baptism for the dead and explained its doctrinal purposes and implications.

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[1] Joseph Smith to “all the saints in Nauvoo,” 1 Sept. 1842, Revelations Collection, CHL.
Request a Speaker
If you are interested in having a Joseph Smith Papers staff member speak at a church fireside, academic gathering, or other event, please fill out this form and we will contact you soon. Please keep in mind that depending on the date, location, or other circumstances, we may not be able to meet all requests.
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