Joseph Smith’s First Journal

Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith began writing in a journal a month before his twenty-seventh birthday. His first journal, a small volume covering the two years from November 1832 through December 1834 in a little over one hundred pages, is one of the priceless treasures preserved today in the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While Joseph Smith kept this journal only sporadically and gave much of the responsibility for keeping the journal to scribes, the little book opens a window into the personality of the prophet and is an important record of church activities for the period it covers.

Joseph Smith purchased the book in which he kept this journal on November 27, 1832. (Joseph Smith, Journal, 1832–1834, p. 1, at josephsmithpapers.org.) The book measures roughly four inches wide by six inches high. Whereas a larger volume would have lent itself more for use as…

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