Saturday, February 20, 2010

Book #2: An American Prophet's Record

I have finished my second book! This one was 500 pages long.

There is a new series of books being published about Joseph Smith, the LDS prophet. He lived in the 1800's and started the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, sometimes called the Mormons.

Well, the Joseph Smith Papers Project is amazing in its scope. However, the books they are publishing are very much out of my price range! They have already published the first two books in the series which I periodically drool over.

I was lamenting the fact that these books wouldn't be gracing my bookshelves any time soon when someone pointed out that the journals of Joseph Smith can be had for a fraction of the cost. I quickly plunked down around $15 plus shipping for my own copy.

An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (2nd ed), by Scott H. Faulring is a very easy to read book. I like how it was done, the language was cleaned up a bit and there are ellipses to explain some words to the reader. This can be helpful since spelling was not very important in the 1800's.

The journals are so interesting to read. There were parts that were super boring, like the minutes of certain court cases. I found other court cases intriguing, so I am glad they are there. You really do catch a glimpse of the life and beliefs of Joseph Smith and the early LDS restoration movement.

I did notice that there is a lot of overlap with the History of the Church, which I have read about half of. There are some differences in the recordings, so it is still worth reading both if you are an LDS historian or fascinated by LDS church history.

As always, when reading journals I wish there was more information and details recorded. I am glad for the records and journals that we do have, though! I guess that is the history lover in me. It is neat to see how people from another time and place lived and died.

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