Joseph Smith Papers Conference, 2021


Joseph Smith and Sacred Text in Nineteenth-Century America

On Friday, 10 September 2021, the Joseph Smith Papers Project held the fifth annual Joseph Smith Papers Conference. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, and to allow more people to participate, the event was held online.
This conference commemorated the completion of the Revelations and Translations series. Presentations focused on Joseph Smith’s several translation projects, including the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, and the Bible revision, as well as the revelations he dictated and had published in church newspapers and print volumes. 
Proceedings from the conference are found below. Each participant has graciously shared a video of his or her presentation online. Links to view the presentations below are provided as a convenience. As with other academic conferences, speakers are responsible for the contents of their presentations. No endorsement is stated or implied.
Special thanks to Jessica M. Nelson for serving as conference chair and to the conference committee, including Chase Kirkham, Robin Scott Jensen, Melissa Garrison, and Benjamin Wood.



Remarks by Riley M. Lorimer



Panel 1 ― Material Readings of Sacred Text

“‘Transcribing All Things Which Shall Be Given’: Replication and the Sacred Text”


“Reading the Materiality of Sacred Text: A Documentary Editor’s Perspective”


“‘Called upon God to Write’: Revelations and Translations as a Model of Sacred Record-Keeping among the Saints”



Panel 2A ― Focused Readings of Sacred Text

“Doctrine and Covenants 59: Foundations of a Sacred Latter-day Saint Worldview”


“The Significance of ‘Disciple/s’ and Capitalization in the Original Manuscript and the Printer’s Manuscript of the Book of Mormon”


“‘That You May Conquer Satan’: Diabolism and Joseph Smith’s Prophetic Identity”



Panel 2B ― Sacred Text, Genre, and Canonicity

“Negotiating Canon during Joseph Smith’s Life”


“Joseph Smith as Prophet, Poet, and Storyteller: Restoration Scripture as Literature”


“‘Sight and Power to Translate’: Revelatory Translation, Seership, and Joseph Smith’s Scriptural Productions”



Panel 3A ― Sacred Text and Reception History

“‘Strictly Adhering to the Inspired Form’: Extemporaneous Worship Practices and the Latter-day Saint Sacramental Prayers”


“Early Black Latter-day Saints and the Books: Jane Manning James, Samuel Chambers, and Their Relationship with New Scripture”


“Development of the Priesthood from Joseph Smith’s Translations and Revelations”



Panel 3B ― Sacred Text and the Makings of a Prophet

“Prophetic Rhetoric in Joseph Smith’s Revelations and Translations”


“Perfect Revelations and the Capacity of the People: Sacred Texts and Structuring Power in Early Nineteenth-Century Latter-day Saint Worldviews”


“The Hieroglyphical Transformation of Nineteenth-Century America: Joseph Smith’s Translations in Light of Margaret Fuller’s Philosophy of Romantic Symbols”



Panel 4A ― Connections between Sacred Texts

“The Use of Isaiah’s Servant Songs”


“Angels and the Ancients: Encountering the Epistle to the Hebrews in Joseph Smith’s Theological Texts and Teachings”


“Joseph’s Revealed Questions and Answers on the Revelation of St. John”



Panel 4B ― Joseph Smith’s Approach to the Bible as Sacred Text

“Joseph Smith as Student and Scholar of the Bible”


“‘The First Patriarchs’: An 1835 Backstory from Joseph Smith’s Egyptian Project and the Book of Patriarchal Blessings”


“Joseph Smith and the (De)Historicization of Sacred Texts”