Newel Knight lived from September 13, 1800 to January 11, 1847. He met Joseph Smith in 1826 and remained close friends with him until Joseph’s death. He was directly involved in some of the early events in church history, so his autobiography and journals are valuable to historians. However, these have only been available in manuscript form, in several different versions, which have made them difficult to use. This book amalgamates them in a coherent form and provides a transcription that can be better understood and cited.
The book splits Knight’s writing into five parts, covering different chronological periods of his life. Each section has an introduction with a biographical summary. Editorial remarks are given in footnotes, and spelling and punctuation are generally retained, except in cases where the editors felt clarification was necessary (which to me seemed inconsistent, and in at least one case, possibly incorrect).
There are many things included that are important, such as a letter from Joseph Smith that has not been published in the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Christ’s appearance in the Kirtland Temple, many accounts of healings, the aftermath of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and the exodus from Nauvoo. Despite his human imperfections, Knight comes to life as a role model worth emulating with his tremendous faith, even during discouragement, and always remembering to be grateful for the blessings that followed.
I found this particular episode of 1839 in Nauvoo to be very interesting, involving his wife Lydia: [Read more…] about Book Review: The Rise of the Latter-day Saints: The Journals and Histories of Newel Knight