Religious Education and the Joseph Smith Papers Project


Religious Education, Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith Papers, Mormon Studies


In the late 1960s when Dean C. Jessee, a researcher in the Church Historical Department, began compiling and editing the Prophet Joseph Smith’s personal writings, he could not have foreseen the scope the project would achieve. Following years of painstaking research and editorial work, Jessee compiled, transcribed, and edited a number of the Prophet’s personal journals, histories, and letters, published as The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984), along with a revised version in 2002. In the meantime, Jessee sensed the need for a more comprehensive work, resulting in The Papers of Joseph Smith, Volume 1: Autobiographical and Historical Writings (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), and The Papers of Joseph Smith, Volume 2: Journal, 18321842 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992). These volumes, in particular, demonstrated the need for a multivolume work to document the surviving Joseph Smith manuscripts.

Original Publication Citation

“Religious Education and the Joseph Smith Papers Project,” BYU Religious Education REVIEW 3, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 6–7.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor