Episode Fourteen: The Lost Manuscript: In this episode of History of the Saints we tell the story of the Lost Manuscript of the Book of Mormon—the so-called 116 pages—the Book of Lehi. What happened and what did it mean?
Scholars: Mark Staker, Andrew Hedges, Michael MacKay, Larry Porter, Steven Harper, Richard Bennett
Episode Twenty Eight: The Move to the Ohio: In 1843 in Nauvoo, Joseph Smith would say, “the main object of the gathering was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto his people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom.” He was speaking of the Gathering. It was the winter of 1830-31, when the call was sounded for the saints in New York to gather “to the Ohio” that they might escape the power of the enemy. In this episode of History of the Saints we will talk about that gathering—why they were leaving New York, where they were going and how they got there.
Scholars: Jeffrey Walker, William Hartley, Mark Staker, Andrew Hedges, Kyle Walker, Sharalyn Howcroft
Episode Twenty Six: The Mission to the Lamanites Part 1: It was September 1830 when Joseph Smith received a revelation that we now know as DC 28. In that revelation the Lord says to Oliver Cowdery, “And now behold I say unto you that you shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my Gospel unto them and inasmuch as they receive thy teachings thou shalt cause my Church to be established among them.” This would prove to be the first missionary call of its kind—to a specific place for an extended period of time. This episode of History of the Saints is about that first historic missionary journey.
Scholars: Alexander Baugh, Andrew Hedges, Mark Staker
Episode Twenty Five: The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible: Joseph Smith Jr. had been raised in a Bible-reading family amid a Bible-fearing culture. Of course it was an integral part of his life. In the course of translating the Book of Mormon he learned that many plain and precious truths had been taken from the Bible and must needs be restored, and that is our story of this episode of History of the Saints.
Scholars: Kent Jackson
Episode Twenty Four: The New York Revelations: On April 6, 1830, the Church of Christ was organized once again upon the earth. On the very day of that organization a revelation was received that outlined principles for the governing of the Church—Doctrine and Covenants 21. From that time forward revelations continued to come instructing the Saints on how the great Latter-day work was to be conducted. “In the revelations one hears the tender but firm voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking anew,” through his servant Joseph Smith Jr. This episode of History of the Saints is about some of those early revelations.
Scholars: Gerrit Dirkmaat, Mark Staker, Grant Underwood, Steven Harper
Episode Twenty Three: Martin Harris and the Book of Mormon: In August 1829, Martin Harris, a prosperous Palmyra farmer, entered into an agreement with Egbert B. Grandin of Palmyra, a printer, that he would pay for the printing of 5000 copies of the Book of Mormon for $3000, an enormous sum of money for the time and difficult to come by, and to secure that agreement Martin would put up his farm as collateral—all of it. And in the end Martin gave all of it for the Book of Mormon. This episode of History of the Saints is the story of Martin Harris and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
Scholars: Jeffrey Walker
Episode Twenty Two: The Organization of the Church of Christ: In a revelation to Joseph Smith in the summer 1828, the Lord said, “If this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my Church among them.” The promise was that the Lord would restore his Church once more among them and Joseph and his brethren anxiously awaited that fulfillment. Then came Tuesday, April 6, 1830, and the formal organization of the Church. This episode tells that story.
Scholars: Steven Harper, Andrew Hedges, Larry Porter, William Hartley, Mark Staker
Episode Twenty One: Printing the Book of Mormon Part 2: It was August 1829 when Hyrum Smith, with Peter Whitmer Jr. acting as bodyguard, delivered 24 pages of the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon to the printing establishment of Egbert B. Grandin. And the work of printing the Book of Mormon began. It would take about seven months to print, but before it could be printed it had to be punctuated and paragraphed. This episode of History of the Saints is the story of the details in printing the Book of Mormon.
Scholars: Robin Jensen, Royal Skousen, Gerrit Dirkmaat, William Hartley
Episode Twenty: Printing the Book of Mormon: From the very beginning it had been Joseph Smith’s intent to publish the Book of Mormon to the world. There would be 5000 copies of a book with more than 500 pages, bound in leather, and on frontier America that was a daunting and expensive undertaking. Who could they get to print it? This episode of History of the Saints tells that story.
Scholars: Robin Jensen, Gerritt Dirkmaat, Larry Porter, Royal Skousen
Episode Nineteen: Book of Mormon Witnesses: “Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this work shall come, that we through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record....We beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes.” So testified Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris—the Three Witnesses. This episode of History of the Saints is the story of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon.
Scholars: Larry Porter, Richard Anderson, Alexander Baugh
Episode Eighteen: The Book of Mormon, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder: Joseph Smith completed the translation of the present Book of Mormon text between April 7, 1829 and July 1, 1829. When all things of its origins are considered, the Book of Mormon is a marvelous work and a wonder—indeed—a miracle. That is this episode of History of the Saints.
Scholars: Robin Jensen, William Hartley, Mark Staker, Andrew Hedges, Royal Skousen, Larry Porter, Steven Harper, Michael MacKay
Episode Seventeen: Restoration of the Priesthoods: Joseph smith once said, [The Melchizedek Priesthood] “is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation, and every important matter is revealed from heaven.” This episode of History of the Saints is about the restoration of the Priesthoods.
Scholars: Larry Porter, Mark Staker, Richard Bennett, Alexander Baugh, Michael MacKay
Episode Sixteen: Translating the Book of Mormon: It was Tuesday April 7, 1829, in Harmony, Pennsylvania when 23 year-old Joseph Smith and 22 year-old Oliver Cowdery began translating the gold plates delivered by the angel Moroni. By July 1st, a span 85 days, they would produce the 588 pages of the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. That is the story of the episode of History of the Saints.
Scholars: Alexander Baugh, Royal Skousen, Steven Harper, Andrew Hedges, Robin Jensen
Episode Fifteen: Oliver Cowdery: Chosen Witness. It was in the evening of April 5, 1829 when two visitors came to the door of Joseph and Emma Smith’s small cabin in Harmony, Pennsylvania. They had traveled 130 miles down from Manchester, New York in adverse weather. The two visitors were Samuel Harrison Smith, Joseph’s younger brother and the other was 23 year-old Oliver Cowdery. Oliver was coming as a man with a purpose. This episode of History of the Saints is the story of the early years of Oliver Cowdery.
Scholars: Alexander Baugh, Richard Anderson
Episode Twenty Seven: The Lamanite Mission Part Two—On to the Missouri: October 1830, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr., the four missionaries called to preach to the Lamanites, set out on their journey to Indian lands west of the Missouri River. Along the way they stopped in the Kirtland area of northern Ohio where they found thousands eager to hear them. They baptized more than 125 people—and then, by the end of November 1830, they were once more on their way west. This episode of History of the Saints is the story of their journey to and experiences among the Lamanites in Indian territory.
Scholars: Sherilyn Farnes, Mark Staker, Andrew Hedges, Alexander Baugh
Episode Thirteen: Martin Harris and the Three Wise Men of the East: By February 1828, Joseph and Emma Smith were living in Harmony Pennsylvania on the Isaac Hale farm. Joseph had copied some of the characters from the gold plates and by means of the Urim and Thummim had translated a few. This episode tells the story of Martin Harris coming to Harmony and taking a copy of some of the characters, with the translation thereof, and going to New York City to present them to the learned men.
Scholars: Richard Bennett, Royal Skousen, Steven Harper, Mark Staker
Episode 12: Multitudes Were on the Alert: It was just after midnight on September 22, 1827, when Joseph Smith and his wife Emma journeyed to the Hill Cumorah and there Joseph received the Gold Plates from the angel Moroni. This episode deals with the story of those who tried every exertion to get the plates from Joseph.
Scholars: Steven Harper, Larry Porter, Mark Staker, Richard Anderson, Andrew Hedges, Michael MacKay, Richard Bennett
Episode 11: Emma Hale Smith: One of those whose contribution to the Restoration is incalculable was Emma Hale. A revelation, now known as Doctrine and Covenants 25, referred to her as “an elect lady whom I have called.” Emma was Joseph Smith’s wife, companion and confidant. This episode of History of the Saints is about her, her family, and those early years.
Scholars: Brittany Chapman, Mark Staker, Larry Porter, Steven Harper
Episode Ten: The Years of Preparation: September 21, 1823, 17 year-old Joseph Smith Jr. learned from the angel Moroni of the ancient record buried in a hill not far from his home. He expected to receive that record when he went to the hill. He could not have known that it would take four years of instruction and intelligence before he would be able to receive it. This episode of History of the Saints tells the story of those years of preparation.
Scholars: Steven Harper, Larry Porter, Michael MacKay, Andrew Hedges, Richard Bennett, Donald Enders, Mark Staker
Episode Nine: The Space of Time Which Intervened: Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son in the spring of 1820 in answer to his earnest prayer. However, while it may have been the resolution for his personal crisis of faith it marked the beginning of the crisis of persecution that would follow him the rest of his life. This episode of History of the Saints deals with the aftermath of that Vision and what Joseph described as “the space of time which intervened between the time I had the Vision and the year, eighteen hundred and twenty-three.”
Scholars: Richard Bennett, Dean Jessee, Larry Porter, Donald Enders, Steven Harper, Andrew Hedges
Episode Eight: If Any of You Lack Wisdom: Joseph Smith said, “At about the age of twelve years my mind became seriously impressed with regard to the all important concerns for the welfare of my immortal soul, which led me to searching….I pondered many things in my heart concerning the situation of the world of mankind—the contentions and divisions.” This episode of History of the Saints is about that world—the world of 1820, and how it led and prepared Joseph Smith for his experience in the Sacred Grove.
Scholars" Steven Harper, John W. Welch, Richard Bennett, Brian Cannon, Gerrit Dirkmaat, Larry Porter, Jan Shipps
Episode Seven: The Early Years on Palmyra: Palmyra, New York was first settled in 1789 and was called Swift’s Landing after its founder, General John Swift. Then in 1796 the name was changed to Palmyra. By the summer of 1816, word had spread of cheap productive farmland in Palmyra. It was a place of promise and a thriving and growing community. The Smith’s were settled in the village of Palmyra by the spring of 1817. This is the story of those early years in Palmyra leading up to the First Vision.
Scholars: Larry Porter, Donald Enders, Richard L. Anderson, Donald Cannon
Episode Six: The Early Years of the Joseph Smith Sr. Family: Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack were married January 24, 1796 at Tunbridge Vermont. They began their life together with a $1000 wedding present and part ownership of a “handsome” farm, but within a few years they had lost that farm. Those early New England years were difficult enough that by 1816 Father Smith would seek his fortunes in a new land. This is the story of the early years of the Smith family and those circumstances that took them to Palmyra, New York.
Scholars: Richard L. Anderson, Alexander L. Baugh, Larry Porter
Episode Five: The Grandfathers of Joseph Smith: President Brigham Young said of Joseph Smith, “The Lord had his eyes upon him and upon his father and upon his father’s father and upon their progenitors clear back to Abraham….He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated from its fountain to the birth of that man.” (DBY 108) This episode of History of the Saints is about the ancestors of Joseph Smith and how that heritage influenced him.
Scholars: Richard L. Anderson, Gene Sessions, Donald Q. Cannon.
Episode Four: The Prelude to the Restoration: Elder Mark E. Petersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “The Restoration of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in these latter days together with the advance preparation of conditions which made it possible, was indeed a divine drama which had many stages and many scenes, some of which were world shaking.” What were some of those moments of providential history that prepared the way for the latter- day restoration? That is this episode of History of the Saints.
Scholars: Andrew Hedges, John W. Welch, Brian Cannon, Richard Bennett, Gene Sessions, Ralph Hancock
Episode Three: The Rise of the Bible: Young Joseph Smith read from the Bible in the spring of 1820 and the history of this world was indisputably and dramatically altered. It may be assumed that everyone in 1820 had a Bible and that it had always been there—and in English, but of course as this episode of History of the Saints will show that was not the case. This episode tells the story of the rise of the King James Bible from the original authors to the time of Joseph Smith.
Scholars: Richard Bennett, Kent Jackson, Andrew Hedges
Episode Two: The First Vision: President Gordon B. Hinckley called the First Vision “The hinge pin on which this whole cause turns….Everything turns on the reality of that First Vision.” In this episode of History of the Saints we tell the story of that monumental and foundational theophany that is so important to Mormonism.
Scholars: Steven Harper, Dean Jessee, Don Enders, Andrew Hedges
Episode One: The Last Days of Brigham Young: Brigham Young governed the Church for 33 years—longer than any other man. He died August 29, 1877 in Salt Lake City. This episode is the story of the legacy and last days of President Brigham Young.
The first season of the acclaimed History of the Saints documentary television series begins where the last season of the Joseph Smith Papers left off; the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith at Carthage, and follows the Latter-day Saints through the last days of Nauvoo and across the plains in search of their new home somewhere over the Rocky Mountains. History of the Saints: Gathering to the West contains 35 half-hour episodes and concludes with arrival of President Brigham Young and the Vanguard Company into the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. The producers of this series have combined the most reliable historical scholarship with music, art, and video, to bring you a product that is at once instructive and inspiring.