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Joseph Smith
Upon You My Fellow Servants by Linda Curley Christensen
Today, May 15, is John the Baptist Day, the day on which he appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in 1829 and restored the Aaronic Priesthood. On that morning, Joseph had reached 3 Nephi 11 in the rapid process of translating the Book of Mormon. It was in that chapter that Jesus gave his twelve disciples in Bountiful the authority to baptize. Realizing that they themselves needed to be...
Cover of Joseph Smith Papers Documents Volume 10.
The Church Historian’s Press has announced the publication of a new volume in the Documents series of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Under the editorship of historians Elizabeth A. Kuehn, Jordan T. Watkins, Matthew C. Godfrey, and Mason K. Allred, The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Volume 10: May–August 1842 compiles papers dating to the summer of 1842 and “covers a time during which...
The Nephite Interpreters by Anthony Sweat
In Mosiah 8, Limhi inquired of Ammon 1 who could translate the 24 Jaredite plates. What results is a lengthy explanation about what a seer is and how they operate with revelatory devices I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are...
Cover of the new Pearl of Great Price Central ebook, Insights into Joseph Smith's First Vision
Slightly modified from the foreword to Insights into Joseph Smith’s First Vision Joseph Smith’s First Vision of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ occupies a foundationally important position in the lives and faith of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Successive generations of latter-day prophets and apostles have testified of the consummate significance...
Depiction of Joseph Smith’s First Vision in stained glass by Tom Holdman in the Palmyra New York Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
To participate in the bicentennial commemoration of the Restoration, to heighten appreciation for Joseph Smith’s First Vision, and to help better inform Latter-day Saints of the founding event of their history, earlier this year Book of Mormon Central (BMC) began publishing a series of short online articles offering insights into the First Vision. These “Joseph Smith–History Insights” have...
Replica of an 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. Photo by Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye.
On the final day of this week, I hope you will take a few minutes to appreciate the array of administrative patterns and guidelines found in the Book of Mormon. While this sacred record contains lots of inspiring doctrines, faithful histories, genuine spiritual experiences, and elegant expressions of profound truths, the Book of Mormon also contains a surprisingly vast array of instructions for...
Peter Whitmer cabin in Fayette, New York. Photo by runt35 via Wikimedia Commons.
For a further analysis of the question, how long it took for Joseph to translate the Book of Mormon, see my recent article, “ Timing the Translation of the Book of Mormon: ‘Days [and Hours] Never to Be Forgotten ,’” BYU Studies Quarterly 57 no. 4 (2018): 10–50. Amazingly, the translation of the Book of Mormon as we now have it took less than 65 actual days of translating. That is a lot...
Image from Ask of God: Joseph Smith's First Vision. Image via ChurchofJesusChrist.org
The article for today goes farther than any other publication in analyzing the elements mentioned by Joseph Smith in his accounts of his First Vision. The chapter below builds on an article published in 1970 by Professor James B. Allen in the official Church magazine, The Improvement Era. This chapter discusses in detail how the differences in these accounts can be understood. A first...
The Sacred Grove. Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr.
How many accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision in 1820 are there? Their sheer number can make things confusing. But the below article by Dean C. Jessee can be very helpful in answering this question. Reading the full texts of this whole collection of First Vision accounts was for me a powerful spiritual experience. The impact of these original writings is immeasurable. I recommend reading them...
Figure of Christ by Heinrich Hoffman and Portrait of Joseph Smith likely by William Warner Major. Images via Wikmedia Commons.
Twenty-five years ago, I was deeply struck, seeing up close many striking details present in the rise of Christianity two thousand years ago with parallels in the rise of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ two hundred years ago. At that time, I was teaching a course at BYU on Masada and the world of the New Testament. At the same, I was editing BYU Studies and Church history...