The History of the Church.
An Introduction and Notes by B. H. Roberts Seven Volumes
This history was produced by assignment from Church leaders at the beginning of the 20th century. The History editor was B. H. Roberts, a prominent LDS leader. Roberts assignment was to take the manuscript history produced by Joseph Smith (1805-1844) and his clerks between 1838 and 1857 and publish it together with explanatory notes. The history was written as though dictated by Joseph Smith, however he dictated only a small portion of it. The bulk of the manuscript was based on Church records, Church newspaper excerpts and journals of Joseph Smith kept by various men who recorded his activities as well as the diary entries of men who were with Joseph Smith at various times and places or who performed Church missionary efforts, or other tasks of historical importance. The first six volumes of the history cover the life of Joseph Smith, while volume seven concerns the period of time from the death of Joseph Smith (1844) through 1847 and part of 1848. The purpose of volume seven was to cover various matters about and resulting from Joseph Smiths death as well as the important problem of who would succeed him as the leader of the Church. The manuscript history was completed only up to 1838 when Joseph Smith was killed. The bulk of the manuscript history text was written following his death. This scan came from the 1902 edition.
The above background was written by a professor at BYU where I copied the scans of the History of the Church. Two weeks after I started posting the History on this web site access to these scans became blocked. If this was a reaction by the professors to the work that is happening here, theyre too late. Ive already have a complete copy of all their scans and they have not slowed down my work here for one minute. According to the professors who did the original scan, they didnt want to format the History of the Church yet because they had a wealth of new info they wanted to footnote into their online edition. Before blocking access to these files, they had completed about half of Volume 1. I suspect they are having trouble with the new spin control they want to create with their addition and their project will be years before theyre completed, if ever. When Im finished, this will be the first HTML edition of these books created. Strange that it takes a former member of the LDS Church to do so.
Im sure that there will be people here who will have the question: Why is a site that calls itself Anti-Mormon publishing what most people consider a Pro LDS collection of books? A fair question and one Ill be glad to address. First off, anyone who is considering dealing with the problems and teachings of Mormonism learn early in their studies, that the most damaging books publish about Mormonism are books that have been published by the LDS Church itself. While theyre not trying to deliberately publish Anti-Mormon material, they have been successful by using their own printing presses in shooting themselves in their own foot. The Journal of Discourses, a good example, is invaluable when showing the folly of Mormonism, and a must have to own. (The Journal of Discourses may be reprinted here also at a future date.) But that isnt the reason for the reprinting of the History of the Church here, but it is a nice side effect. One example of what Im refering to in the History of the Church is that you will find the famous Joseph Smith quote where he claimed to have done more for the gospel of Jesus Christ, then even Jesus himself. But that certainly isnt all.
No, the main reason for publishing the History of the Church is to show the deception of the leaders of the LDS Church. What you will witness in this edition is extent the leaders of the LDS Church has gone to hide and deceive its own people and others about the beginning of the Church. First, I give you a good overview of these deceptions by reprinting Chapter 7 of MormonismShadow or Reality? by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Then using their (The Tanners) book Changes in Joseph Smiths History as a guide, Ive incorporated these changes and deceptions as they appear in History of the Church itself. Vol. 1 and half of Vol. 2 with be the most complete in showing the changes, because I did have access to the Times and Seasons which is where these volumes were first publish. After that the History of the Church was published until completed in the Millennial Star in volumes I dont have access to yet, and will be using only the Tanners book as a guide. So this work will not be comprehensive, but will reveal enough to make the message clear. Sidenote, remember what the professors of BYU said concerning this electronic edition as you read Chapter 7 of MormonismShadow or Reality?: The manuscript history was completed only up to 1838 when Joseph Smith was killed. The bulk of the manuscript history text was written following his death.
Ive reprinted History of the Church in a straight forward manner, I place no comments in the text of the books themselves and have have left them as you would see them on the printed page. I added links to the footnotes place by the Church Historians for easy viewing, they appear in their original numerical order and look like this101 The changes that are found are indicted by Letters and are demonstrated like thisA. Clicking on those links will take you to the comments or footnotes.
For proofreading the scan and formatting guide, I used the program GospeLinks published by Deseret Book, owned of course by the LDS Church. I want to note for the record that the scan I copied from the BYU professors was far superior than the one found on GospeLinks. In the GospeLinks program, I found whole paragraphs missing from the text and I warn anyone with that program now not to trust it as resource material. I did find problems with the scan from BYU, but it was mostly from punctuations and sloppy proofreading. While this version will not be perfect, I will now state that this electronic edition of the History of the Church is the most accurate of any of the others available. Now because Ive gone back to the original sources, this edition is also the most accurate of any edition published. Again, its funny that it takes an Ex-Mormon to create it. But for any mistakes Ive made, I claim the same rights as the prophets of the Book of Mormon who said: If there be mistakes, they are the mistakes of man, not God. Dana Robertson-Webmaster.
Changes In Joseph Smiths History
by Jerald and Sandra Tanner.
History of the Church