The Joseph Smith Papers Project recently released additional documents on its website,, which provides free online access to many of the documents that make up The Joseph Smith Papers.

Among the newly released documents is Joseph Smith’s first letterbook, wherein Joseph Smith and his scribes copied letters from 1829 to 1835. Many of the letters include instructions regulating the Church’s affairs in Missouri and for building the city of Zion. For example:

  • Joseph’s letter to William W. Phelps provided important information concerning Zion, and parts of it were later excerpted and canonized as Doctrine and Covenants section 85.
  • A letter written about June 25, 1833, provides more information about Zion, describing the complex of temples to be built for the different activities of the Church’s quorums.
  • The earliest known account of Joseph Smith’s first vision of God and Jesus Christ, penned partially in Joseph’s own hand.

Learn more in the article “Joseph Smith Papers Website Adds New Documents” in Church News and Events (

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