Mormon studies, Joseph Smith, Liberty Jail, letter, revelation
While Joseph Smith was incarcerated in Liberty Jail from December 1, 1838, to April 6, 1839, he wrote or dictated eight surviving letters. Four were addressed to Emma, his wife, and all of them display the sterling character of the Prophet Joseph under trials of the most extreme conditions imaginable. His letter of March 20, 1839, directed to "the church of Latter-day saints at Quincy Illinois and scattered abroad and to Bishop Partridge in particular," is one of the most revealing and most significant letters ever written by a prophet of God in the dispensation of the fullness of times. Embedded in this lengthy letter, which was written in two parts on twenty-nine sheets of paper, are the words now contained in sections 121-23 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Reading the words of those revelations in their original context certainly enhances and heightens the impressive spiritual messages of those texts.
Jessee, Dean C. and Welch, John W.
"Revelations in Context: Joseph Smith's Letter from Liberty Jail, March 20, 1839,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 39:
3, Article 15.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol39/iss3/15