In 1992, the second volume of Dean C. Jesse’s “The Papers of Joseph Smith” was published, containing the journal entries of 1832-1842. Many of us waited for years for the third volume, which would cover the remainder of Joseph’s life, before finally finding out that Jesse’s work was being expanded into the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Finally, with the recent release of volume 3 of the Journals series, the journals have all been published.
The volume begins with a timeline of Joseph Smith’s life, maps, an introduction that outlines the events of the last year of a very busy life, and the usual explanation of the editorial method being used for the Joseph Smith Papers Project. It then contains the text of the journals followed by three appendixes which are relevant excerpts from journals kept by Willard Richards and William Clayton detailing Joseph Smith’s activities during this time period. There is also a section of reference materials containing things like a chronology, pedigree chart, glossary, and organizational charts of the church and Nauvoo. There is a full index of all three volumes in the Journals series. (Previous volumes didn’t contain an index due to this planned combined index, but individual indexes can be found online and were provided in print on request.) There are also photos scattered throughout of things like the actual journals, the Kinderhook plates, the first issue of the Nuavoo Neighbor, a list of marriages and sealings that was added at the end of one of the journals later, and the guns in the possession of Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Carthage Jail.