In the summer of 1842, Joseph Smith continued to direct the affairs of a growing Church. He introduced new religious rituals, oversaw missionary work, encouraged the construction of a temple, served as editor of the Church newspaper Times and Seasons, and struggled to help the hundreds of converts gathering to Nauvoo, Illinois. In May, he was elected mayor, adding new municipal responsibilities to his busy schedule. Financial concerns were yet another matter that required Smith’s attention. He had filed a bankruptcy application in mid-April 1842, and over the summer or 1842 he had his first hearing and corresponded with his attorney and creditors regarding that bankruptcy. The demands on his time were so great that Wilford Woodruff wrote in June that he had “never seen Joseph as full of business as of late,” noting that “he hardly gets time to sign his name.”
Joseph Smith’s documentary output from May through August 1842 reflects these many roles and concerns. Documents, Volume 10 features 105 documents, including correspondence, editorials, reports of discourses, minutes of meetings, municipal and legal documents, military records, financial records and notices, as well as a revelation on conducting a plural marriage sealing.
The months documented in this volume were times of dramatic change and increasing anxiety for Joseph Smith and the community of Nauvoo. The texts presented here, with their detailed historical annotation, make this volume a crucial resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of Joseph Smith as prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as mayor of Nauvoo, as leader of the Nauvoo Legion, and as a man who, despite the constant pressure of events, continued to faithfully lead his people.