The Writing of Joseph Smith's History
On April 6, 1830, the day the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, Joseph Smith conveyed a Revelation to the Church which began, "behold there shall be a record kept among you." From that time Joseph Smith and his associates regarded record keeping as a duty imperative. That this 1830 Revelation motivated Joseph Smith's history-writing and record-keeping efforts is evident from the amount and nature of the records he created after that date. The writing of his history was a subject of intense concern during the remaining years of his life. In 1843 when his scribes Willard Richards and William W. Phelps reported that noise from a nearby school class distracted them "in the progress of writing the history," Joseph immediately ordered Mr. Cole, the caretaker of the school, to "look out for another place as the history must continue and not be disturbed." The Prophet added: "There are but few subjects that I have felt a greater anxiety about than my history which has been a very difficult task."