New Resources for Understanding Church History
February 2017

“New Resources for Understanding Church History,” Ensign, February 2017

New Resources for Understanding Church History

stained-glass image of First Vision

The Church has produced many new resources that capture the experience of early Latter-day Saints as they lived the Restoration. The gospel was restored in a time distant from our own, but the early Church members’ challenges were like ours in many ways. The powerful examples of faith and determination found in the accounts of their lives provide perspective and hope as we face challenges living the restored gospel in our day.

Included among these resources are modern examples of courage and testimony from Saints around the world who are living the gospel and building the kingdom.

Other resources answer questions about specific revelations and doctrines and provide insights into the lives of Presidents of the Church.

Consider including this material in your study of the Doctrine and Covenants this year, and look for additional materials as they become available online and in the Church history section of the Gospel Library app.

  • Do you have questions about Church history? Do you want to find inspiring stories from the lives of pioneers around the world to enrich your teaching and study? History.lds.org is the best place to start. At this site you will find links to all the resources listed below.

  • The Gospel Library App. A new section on this app provides a wealth of Church history information to access on mobile devices. Simply scroll to the section labeled “Church History.”

  • Revelations in Context (history.lds.org/section/revelations). These articles give background information on practically every section of the Doctrine and Covenants, often through the story of a particular individual.

  • Pioneers in Every Land (history.lds.org/section/pioneers). This web page features articles and short videos depicting Latter-day Saint pioneers around the world.

  • Gospel Topics Essays (lds.org/topics/essays). Read straightforward essays on important historical and doctrinal topics.

  • Prophets of the Restoration (history.lds.org/section/prophets). View short video presentations and online exhibits about the lives of each of the Presidents of the Church.

  • Joseph Smith’s Accounts of the First Vision (history.lds.org/firstvision). Here you’ll find the original sources of Joseph Smith’s four accounts of the First Vision as well as essays and videos that provide context.

  • Instructor’s Resource Page (history.lds.org/studyguide). This page provides a listing of key resources coordinated with the lesson schedules for Gospel Doctrine, Relief Society, and Melchizedek Priesthood meetings.

  • Image
    boy in Grandin Building

    A boy visits the Grandin Building in New York, USA, one of many historic sites that can also be visited online.

    Photograph by Brent Walton

    Historic Sites (history.lds.org/section/historic-sites). Take a virtual tour of places central to the Restoration of the gospel.

  • Foundations of Faith (history.lds.org/exhibit/foundations-of-faith). Explore a digital exhibit of priceless foundational records that document the Church’s restoration and growth. The exhibit includes short videos of 25 important artifacts housed at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City.

  • The Heavens Are Opened (history.lds.org/maps/the-heavens-are-opened). Use an interactive map to learn about objects from this Church History Museum exhibit. Access all the museum’s online exhibits at history.lds.org/section/museum.

    Nauvoo section of Church History Museum exhibit

    See highlights online from the Church History Museum exhibit “The Heavens Are Opened.”

  • Church Historian’s Press (churchhistorianspress.org). Books published under this imprint provide original source material and historical context. The materials are searchable and freely available online. Publication is ongoing and includes the following:

    • Joseph Smith Papers (josephsmithpapers.org). This series contains original documents, transcribed and annotated, that provide in-depth insight on every major aspect of the Church’s founding.

    • The First Fifty Years of Relief Society (churchhistorianspress.org/the-first-fifty-years-of-relief-society). This project brings together original, annotated documents conveying the contributions and challenges of Latter-day Saint women in the 19th century.