A painting depicting Joseph Smith's First Vision

I was there in 1978, 40 years ago this month. Having just returned from my mission in Australia, I was excited to go to BYU Education Week. There, in the Marriott Center, religion and philosophy professor Truman Madsen gave eight lectures on the Prophet Joseph Smith, the result of years of personal research, study, and pondering.

And it was everything I hoped for—and more. It was in many ways a celebration. Certain phrases and thoughts are still burned into my memory.

It took Truman another decade to finalize those lectures in his book Joseph Smith the Prophet. And more than a decade after the book came out, he gave the lectures again to a live audience to record an audio version. (There are no original Education Week audio files to be found.)

Now, after generous negotiations with Deseret Book and the encouragement and support of Ann Madsen, Truman’s wife, the lectures join our rich chorus of prophets, presidents, and professors teaching about the Prophet Joseph Smith—all freely available on our website, on YouTube, and on our Joseph Smith podcast (both iTunes and Google Play Music).

The first lecture comes out today with the other lectures released every Friday for the next eight weeks. Like Brigham Young, you may feel “like shouting Hallelujah . . . when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith” through these speeches. I know I do.

 

The Joseph Smith Lecture Series:

Lecture 1: The First Vision and Its Aftermath

Lecture 2: Joseph’s Personality and Character

Lecture 3: Joseph Smith and Spiritual Gifts

Lecture 4: Joseph Smith and Trials

Lecture 5: Joseph Smith and the Kirtland Temple

Lecture 6: Joseph Smith as Teacher, Speaker, and Counselor

Lecture 7: Doctrinal Development and the Nauvoo Era

Lecture 8: The Last Months and Martyrdom