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Written from the crucible of his confinement in Liberty Jail, Missouri, in 1839, Joseph Smith penned some of the most sublime doctrine in holy writ.

“All these things shall give thee experience,” “many are called, but few are chosen,” and “thy scepter shall be an unchanging scepter of righteousness” are a few of the phrases familiar to Latter-day Saints from Doctrine and Covenants 121–123, taken from two of the letters Joseph wrote while in the jail.

“Most people don’t know that he wrote 10 letters while he was in Missouri state custody,” said David W. Grua in a lecture at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City on September 28.

“My hope is that by the end of our time together tonight, you will have a better understanding and appreciation of … the 10 letters that Joseph Smith wrote. I would also like to give you a glimpse into some of the Latter-day Saints who in 1839 read Joseph Smith’s letters, and, lucky for us, they wrote about what they thought when they read the Prophet’s letters.”

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