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Question: Is ''History of the Church'' not accurate because Joseph Smith did not write it himself?
Question: Is History of the Church not accurate because Joseph Smith did not write it himself?
The content of the History of the Church is likely largely accurate
Dean C. Jessee noted:
The History will continue to be the most important source of information on the life of the Prophet and early Latter-day Saint history. Since the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve—some of whom were participants in the historical events—reviewed the history, it is reliable. It should be known that the revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants are also recorded in the History of the Church and most assuredly are true and reliable.
It is important to realize that the content of the History of the Church is likely largely accurate, though it can of course be supplemented with other material to expand or correct it. Areas which may be less accurate are the precise wording attributed to Joseph Smith, or the 'personality' of some of the entries, especially the later ones written after his death. Though the History of the Church speaks in the first person as if Joseph were writing, these words are put in his mouth by admirers, often after his martyrdom. Thus, small details of Joseph's "personality" in the History are less likely to be accurate.