The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

In spring and summer of 2023, the Joseph Smith Papers will publish its final two volumes, marking the end of a monumental project that has spanned years and goes back decades.

“When we finish the documents series next summer, we will have published 27 books in 15 years,” said Brent M. Rogers, managing historian for the Joseph Smith Papers. “To say that is impressive, I think, is an understatement.”

The Joseph Smith Papers project started out as a one-man project in the 1970s but expanded with new resources around 2001 when historians for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sought to identify all documents created by Joseph Smith or by staff whose work he directed, including journals, revelations and translations, contemporary reports, discourses, minutes, business and legal records, editorials and notices, as well as the Prophet’s correspondence.

The project staff then began transcribing thousands of documents and published the first of 27 thick, scholarly volumes in book form and online in 2008.

“The research findings that people will see in these books, the depth and the breadth of the historical scholarship, is of the highest quality, the highest standard of scholarship,” Rogers said. “It will help people, scholars and Church members to have a better understanding of what happened during that time in the history of Joseph Smith’s life and in the early Church. … It’s pretty remarkable to think about how much work has gone into transcription, textual analysis, historical research, contextual writing and the editing of all of these books.”

Rogers and Matthew C. Godfrey, a general editor, recently sat down with the Church News to review the history of the Joseph Smith Papers, discuss the final two volumes and offer their perspectives on what a former Church historian and recorder, Elder Marlin K. Jensen, called “the single most significant historical project of our generation.”

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