Documents, Volume 9: December 1841–April 1842


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The ninth volume in the Documents series, published in September 2019, features over a hundred letters, revelations, meeting minutes, deeds, sermon accounts, and other documents from December 1841 through April 1842. They chronicle developments in the church, community, and Joseph Smith’s personal life during these important months in Nauvoo, Illinois. The rich documentary record from this period details the creation of the Relief Society, the establishment of a Freemason’s lodge in Nauvoo, and the opening of Joseph Smith’s store. This book offers a unique portrait of the breadth of Joseph Smith’s daily activities as he serves as a military leader and vice mayor of Nauvoo, becomes editor of the church’s newspaper, takes advantage of the nation’s new bankruptcy law, and continues to instruct Latter-day Saints near and far through discourses and correspondence. Readers will come away from this volume with an increased understanding of the prophet’s life and this pivotal period in the creation of the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

Volume Editors

Alex D. Smith and Christian K. Heimburger are historians for the Church History Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Christopher James Blythe is a Research Associate at the Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies at Brigham Young University

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“As with previous volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Documents Volume 9 offers a treasure-trove of primary sources for those interested in studying the history of the Church and the life of the Prophet.”

—Stephen Smoot, “Book Review: New Joseph Smith Papers Volume Illuminates Joseph Smith’s time in Nauvoo,” Book of Mormon Central (blog), 11 October 2019,

“As with all the volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, this book should be considered for anyone interested in the history of the Church or the life of Joseph Smith. The documents selected for inclusion give greater insight into life in Nauvoo during this time period and help provide a better understanding of what Joseph Smith was like and what he taught...the thorough footnotes and historical information and explanations that are currently only available in the book make it well worth having.”

—Trevor Holyoak, “Book Review: The Joseph Smith Papers, Documents, Vol. 9: December 1841 – April 1842,” FairMormon (blog), 14 October 2019,