Joseph Smith Papers Release: Documents Volume 4 (April 1834-September 1835)

By May 10, 2016

Yesterday, the Joseph Smith Papers Project released their latest volume: Documents 4 (April 1834?September 1835). I am looking forward to diving into the volume in the coming days, but for now here are my notes from the release event:

Upcoming Releases

  • Mid-September release of Council of Fifty minutes
  • Documents Volumes 5 & 6 in 2017

Camp of Israel expedition

  • JS was 28 at the beginning of Vol 4 (April 1834)
  • Much of what JS did post-Jackson County expulsion was to ?redeem Zion? (reclaim lands in Jackson)
  • Primary purpose and plan: take a group of honorable men, request state militia escort, then Camp of Israel would provide protection for resettled saints in Jackson, but it obviously did not turn out that way

Construction of the Kirtland Temple

  • JS finding ways to finance the construction

1835 Doctrine & Covenants

  • Sep 1834 – Kirtland High Council decides to compile JS’ revelations
  • One plan for the D&C was JS revelations with related excerpts from BOM and Bible
  • Lectures on Faith was School for the Elders material included as doctrine
  • By Sep 1835, D&C was available for purchase

Challenges to JS’ leadership, financial and otherwise

  • Church and JS severely in debt at this time
  • Many saints come forward with money for JS and others in times of need
  • Tithing not in place at this time, but JS and Oliver Cowdery made a covenant with God to pay 1/10 of what they received (not all church members)

Women?s contributions are highlighted more so in this volume

  • One source that documents the impact women had on the early church is a donations ledger for the Camp of Israel/Zion?s Camp.
  • 170 names on list, but the Camp consisted of 205 men, besides women, and children (my recounting of the numbers may be off here. Sorry!)
  • ?Jane Clark gave fifty dollars? – believe she was a single woman from the Eugene, Indiana branch of the church, perhaps contacted by Parley P. Pratt who may have brought her donation back to Kirtland; Jane Clark’s donation was more than the donation of the entire Michigan contingent of the Camp of Israel combined, but not of all male members of Zion’s Camp
Camp_of_Israel_Ledger

Photo is of a donations and disbursements ledger to the Camp of Israel, which includes women?s donations such as Jane Clark.

December 1834 blessing by Joseph Smith Sr. to JS and Emma Smith

  • Oliver Cowdery evidently saw the blessings of husband and wife as one blessing, but most church members probably didn’t see these blessings as they were recorded in the Patriarchal Blessing Book
  • To Emma: ?thou has seen much sorrow? (loss of 3 children to death) ?in this thou art not to be blamed? – ?thou shalt bring forth children to the satisfaction of thy soul and thy friends?

3 JS letters in 1

JS_letters_3_in_1

The delicate handling of an important JS letter by Matt Godfrey. Such precision!

  • One of the letters on the large sheet was from William W. Phelps (the one to Sally Phelps), one was from Phelps, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer (the one to Burk). The other (to Almira Scobey) is from Joseph Smith
  • John Burk, president of elders in Clay County, challenged in administration by Kirtland High Council
  • Letter to Sally Phelps includes this partial reproduction of Zion Plat, annotated with:
Zion_Plat_from_letter

?Be careful and let no one copy this lest you bring persecutions among yourselves?

 

Appendix

  • 5 documents in appendix (because JS authorship is in question)
  • Lectures on Faith broadside (Sidney Rigdon primary author of LOF)
    • D&C 101 also published as a broadside; church leaders planned on sending the broadside of Section 101 to President Jackson, but we don’t have any evidence of whether or not they actually did
  • Oliver Cowdery & WWP writings: statement on marriage (OC), statement on government and law (OC)

Web Content

  • Transcriptions and images of all documents online (Volume 4 included and up to 1842)
  • Introductions and annotations forthcoming

 

Oliver Cowdery evidently saw the blessings of husband and wife as one blessing, but most church members probably didn’t see these blessings as they were recorded in the Patriarchal Blessing Book. 4. One of the letters on the large sheet that I showed was from William W. Phelps (the one to Sally Phelps) and one was from Phelps, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer (the one to Burk). The other (to Almira Scobey) is from Joseph Smith. 5. Church leaders planned on sending the broadside of Section 101 to President Jackson, but we don’t have any evidence of whether or not they actually did.

Article filed under Announcements and Events


Comments

  1. Thanks for the write-up, Tod! Can’t wait to dig through the documents more closely.

    Comment by J Stuart — May 10, 2016 @ 10:01 am


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