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Prophet and scribes preserved early church history

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In a revelation dated Nov. 27, 1832, the Lord commanded that a "history and a general church record" be kept "of all things that transpire in Zion" (Doctrine and Covenants 85:1).That same day, the Prophet Joseph Smith made his first entry in his first diary which, he wrote, had been purchased "for the purpose to keep a minute (meaning exacting and precise) account of all things that come under my observation.""My impression is that he viewed his own journal-keeping effort as a partial fulfillment of the commandment that he had been given to keep a record of those things that transpired in the church," said Alex D. Smith. Smith is a co-editor of the Nauvoo volumes of the "Journals" series in the Joseph Smith Papers Project.

That first journal of the Prophet and subsequent records that were kept in his behalf by clerks and scribes form an authoritative account of the early history of the church.All of Joseph's diaries and journals — both those he wrote personally and those written for him — will be published beginning later this month with the release of the first volume in the Joseph Smith Papers Project.Journals 1, 1832-1839 includes that initial diary and continues with other records up to the founding of Nauvoo. Journals 2, 1841-1843 and Journals 3, 1843-1844 continue the record up to Joseph's martyrdom.Read the full story at ldschurchnews.com

This story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the

Deseret News.