Earlier this month, the Joseph Smith Papers published Documents, Volume 5, covering October 1835 through January 1838. This volume contains 118 documents, including revelations, discourses, legal documents, and personal letters, as well as more unusual documents such as prayers, banknotes, a map, an essay on abolition, and a study of the Egyptian language. Specific topics addressed in these documents include the completion of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio, and the building’s dedication; the forced migration of the Latter-day Saints from Clay County, Missouri; the economic collapse in Kirtland in 1837; and Joseph Smith’s attempts to overcome dissent in the church.
This volume brings to life the highs and lows of the early church during the momentous and often emotional months from October 1835 to January 1838. Joseph Smith joyfully spent fall and winter 1835–1836 pronouncing new revelations, organizing quorums, and introducing sacred ordinances. The excitement of the time culminated in spring 1836, when the Saints celebrated the completion of the first Latter-day Saint temple, the House of the Lord in Kirtland.