Sermons and Instructions of Joseph Smith During the Year 1839

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The sermons and teachings of Joseph Smith delivered in 1839 are taken from various manuscript sources including the Journal of Wilford Woodruff (holograph, LDS Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah) and a small journal record owned by Willard Richards (LDS Archives). These sources have been published with explanatory notes in WJS

A number of themes surface in the surviving records for this year, perhaps most frequently the topic of calling and election and topics related to the future temple in Nauvoo.

Multiple records exist for only one of the sermons or lectures in this group. A meeting of the First Presidency of the Church with the Twelve Apostles on June 27, 1839 was recorded by two diarists. However, these two records are complementary in nature, suggesting either two sessions were held or the writers simply found different portions of the meeting important, etc. Whatever the reason, it is not possible to use the two records to extrapolate to the actual words used.

Three of the sermons cannot be dated precisely, except that they must have been given near August 8, 1839 (see notes in WJS).

A number of the sermons constitute explanations of scripture. Especially interesting are those related to the as yet unpublished Book of Abraham. Since it is extremely unlikely that translation work was done on the book between late 1835 and 1839, this suggests the text we currently have, perhaps sans explanations of the facsimiles, was done in 1835 and perhaps even in July of that year (facsimile no. 2 might have been studied in late 1835). Other sermons focus on the New Testament, John 14 is a theme of several sermons.

Material enclosed in brackets [ ] is modern and not part of the original records.

*Sermon checked for fidelity to source document(s).
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