Text Files of History of the Church

Scans of the c1902 text of History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are available here (with some additions to vol. 6). There are seven files, each consisting of one volume of the History. 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 Smith's 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.

The seven files below are scans of the published history. They are merely text files and so Roberts' footnotes are omitted until the end of each file. There is no way to link the footnotes to their proper place in the text without converting the files to hypertext web documents. Rather than do this, we are working on a new history - see below. Many of Roberts' notes are incomplete, obsolete or contain errors. The text of the history itself often needs further explanation from modern research and reference to the original documents on which it is based. In the meantime, while work on a new history proceeds, we offer these text files.

Search the History:

Each file is about one megabyte in length.

BOAP is producing a new annotated history based on the History of the Church files here. This new history follows the text of the published history but contains new notes and information from current research. To go to the completed part of the new history, click here.

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