On Sept. 15, President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the development of a new biography about the Prophet Joseph Smith, entitled, Joseph the Prophet.
Beginning in the 1960s, the Joseph Smith Papers project started with the publication of one volume of President Smith’s personal writings compiled by Dean C. Jessee. President Oaks said they completed the Papers project in June. With this completion, the Church will now begin writing a new biography of President Smith.
The biography will be written by former assistant church historian and recorder Richard E. Turley Jr. with the help of teams of historians.
This biography will be different than other biographies written about Joseph Smith.
“We can construct a superstructure, that is essentially the life of Joseph Smith told in a way that has never been told before and that means we are going to focus on his life as a prophet, seer and revelator,” Turley said in an interview with Church Newsroom.
The Church expects this book will take many years to complete. The hope is that this biography will be an opportunity for the world to see Joseph Smith in a new light.
“Our hope is that when readers read Joseph the Prophet, they will understand Joseph Smith in his role as prophet, not just as someone who founded a religious faith, not just as someone who helped to gather groups of people to communities, but truly someone who was a religious leader who is seen by millions of people around the world as a prophet, seer and revelator,” Turley said.