Dan Vogel, an independent researcher, writer, and author of works such as Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon and Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, is the editor of a collection of documents concerning early Mormon history. Vogel’s book, the first of what promises to be a multivolume work involving over 450 documents, focuses on the Joseph Smith family and the emergence of Joseph Smith Jr. as a religious leader.
Early Mormon Documents gives “priority to documents produced either by Smith family members or by others recording their statements.” Documents include official histories, diary entries, memoirs and reminiscences, personal letters, and newspaper reports as well as civil, business, and Church records. The book is divided into two parts: (1) the Joseph Smith family and (2) Mormon origins in Vermont and New Hampshire. The Smith family section includes documents by and about Joseph Smith Jr. as well as his parents, siblings, spouse, and even extended family members. The documents relate Joseph Smith’s early spiritual experiences and subsequent development as a prophet.