General Editors: Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, Richard Lyman Bushman. Volume Editors: Andrew H. Hodges, Alex D. Smith, Richard Lloyd Anderson. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church Historian’s Press, 2011. Hardbound, 7 ¼ x 10 ¼”, 528 pgs.
The first volume of the Joseph Smith Papers series, Journals, Volume 1, became an overnight bestseller. The much-anticipated Journals, Volume 2, covers the Nauvoo period from December 1841 to April 30, 1843. Two major documents are featured in this volume:
• The journal portion of the Book of the Law of the Lord, which served as a combination journal and temple record book. It includes journal entries on revelations received during this time period, letters written and received, and temple donations.
• The first two of four small books titled “President Joseph Smith’s Journal,” kept by Willard Richards during the last years of the Prophet Joseph’s life (the final two books will be published in the forthcoming third and final volume of theJournals series).
The journals provide background information about Joseph’s life and early Church history and form the foundation for the official history of the Church. Among the key events described in this volume are the creation of the Relief Society; the building of the Nauvoo Temple; and revelations on the nature of God, and baptism for the dead. Three letters from Emma are also included. These journals provide insights about the Prophet Joseph’s personality, including accounts of him functioning as mayor of Nauvoo, store operator, and general in the Nauvoo legion.