This volume marks the beginning of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers. While other series of the Papers include the large, multiple-entry documents-such as journals and the Book of Mormon manuscripts-that are not assignable to a single date, the Documents series presents in chronological order the core of Joseph Smith's documentary record.
This first volume of the Documents series consists of documents written from July 1828 to June 1831. The records transcribed here provide the reader with the earliest textual insights into Joseph Smith and the founding of what was then called the Church of Christ. Though disparate in nature and sometimes separated from one another by months for which no documents have survived, these texts provide the earliest textual insights into Joseph Smith and the founding of what was then called the Church of Christ. They offer glimpses into the religious leader's thoughts, concerns, and initiatives in a crucial early period of the religious movement he started.
This book allows the reader not only to study Joseph Smith but also to gain a greater understanding of his followers and the millenarian movement they participated in during the Second Great Awakening.