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Notes on the JSP

Greetings
We are pleased to share with you our newest newsletter, which contains insight about the incorporation of the church in Illinois in 1840, information on new website content, and new publications you may be interested in. We also thank those of you who completed our survey recently.

We appreciate your feedback and have started implementing your suggestions. Additionally, we would like to congratulate the winner of the survey drawing, who will receive the ebook version of the volumes in our Journals series.

We hope you’ll spend a few minutes exploring our website to discover how the various tools and content can enrich your learning and help you achieve your research goals, whether formal or informal.

Sincerely,

Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew J. Grow, and Matthew C. Godfrey
General Editors
In This Issue
Little-Known Document Enriches Understanding
of the Church’s Incorporation in Illinois
By Alex D. Smith

By the winter of 1840–1841, the Mississippi riverfront town of Nauvoo, Illinois, boasted three hundred homes and ten times that number of residents. When the first Latter-day Saints had arrived in 1839, they counted only ten structures on the peninsula and described the location as “literally a wilderness.” In the ensuing months, they cleared land, built homes, planted crops, and drained the swampy “flats” along the river.

With the relative calm of winter approaching, Joseph Smith and other church leaders turned their attention toward securing legal rights for the Saints through state legislation. The published statutes of Illinois’s twelfth general assembly, convened in Springfield on 7 December 1840, bear evidence of the Mormons’ considerable efforts. But while much has been written of this legislation—particularly the Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, which granted charters for the city, a university, and an independent militia body—virtually absent from the historical record is the aborted attempt to seek legislation incorporating the church in Illinois.

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Peruse New Documents and Tools on Our Website
We recently added a substantial amount of new content to www.josephsmithpapers.org and invite you to explore it: Read more

1843 Documents
Index Provides Primary Sources for Quotes in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Since the time Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith was first published in 1938, the volume has been an indispensable resource for accessing and studying Joseph Smith’s words. The book’s editor, Joseph Fielding Smith, was church historian and recorder as well as an apostle, and he later became president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was also a grandson of Joseph Smith’s brother Hyrum.

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Women's Voices Ring through the Pages of At the Pulpit
At the Pulpit CoverFrom the banks of the frozen Lake Erie in early May 1831, Lucy Mack Smith admonished the despondent Saints. “Where is your faith in God?” she asked. “If I could make my voice to sound as loud as the trumpet of Michael the archangel I would declare the truth from land to land and from sea to sea.” From the earliest days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, female members have voiced their testimonies, shared the gospel with friends and family, and spoken in meetings. A sampling of these sermons is presented in At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women, the newest publication from the Church Historian’s Press, the publisher of The Joseph Smith Papers. The book contains fifty-four discourses given by Latter-day Saint women throughout the history of the church, with selections from every decade since the church’s founding.

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Expand Your Historical Knowledge
with New Books by Volume Editors
Our volume editors stay busy with their work on forthcoming volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers, yet they somehow find time to publish books presenting their scholarship, which extends beyond the realm of Joseph Smith. David W. Grua, Spencer W. McBride, and Brent M. Rogers are the most recent to see their books appear on retail store shelves.

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