I was excited to learn today that the Joseph Smith Papers project can now be accessed online for free, for all those who cannot afford the somewhat pricey print additions of the project (like me). I love the Joseph Smith Papers because they prove those wrong who insist that the Church hides/covers up/lies about its founding and history. With this ambitious project the Church is supporting the production of ALL of the major papers relating to Joseph Smith (including original manuscript and printed versions of early revelations, journals, official documents, church meeting minutes, etc.) for all the world to see, in an organized series. These papers are very interesting and a great way to begin to understand the heart and mind of the Prophet of the Restoration, in his own words. Through Joseph's personal journals and letters you can learn what his inner thoughts on certain matters were and discover his inner spirituality, sensitivity, and thoughtfulness. Through the church minutes you can see what church was like for the earliest members. Plus, you can learn further background about all of the Church's revelations by viewing their original editions. I am glad for this opportunity to learn much more about the Prophet Joseph Smith and this oft-misunderstood period of Church history.
The Joseph Smith Papers can be found online at josephsmithpapers.org