My Candid Opinion

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The Sandwich Islands Diaries of Joseph F. Smith, 1856-1857

Nathaniel R. Ricks, editor

My Candid OpinionFor the first time, the earliest surviving diaries of Joseph F. Smith (b. 1838), are available in print. Smith served as sixth president of the LDS Church from 1901 until his death in 1918, but at fifteen years old, he was one of the youngest LDS missionaries ever to serve.

He arrived in the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaiian Islands) in 1854, and for the next three years he labored to bring native converts into the Church while combating loneliness, depression, a fiery temperament, and doubts about his own competence. In fact, one of the perhaps surprising themes to emerge from the diaries is Joseph F.’s driving quest for self-improvement and intellectual competence.

Editor Nathaniel Ricks has carefully annotated these earliest extant diaries of Joseph F. (earlier volumes were destroyed in a fire) to make them accessible to modern readers. The diaries offer a fresh look at the formative years of one of Mormonism’s most commanding personalities. My Candid Opinion is a Smith-Pettit Foundation book (Smith-Pettit is our sister company).

Nathaniel Ricks holds a master’s degree in history from Brigham Young University. His thesis, “A Peculiar Place for the Peculiar Institution: Slavery and Sovereignty in Early Territorial Utah,” won the Lester E. Bush Best Thesis Prize from the Mormon History Association. Ricks teaches history courses at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs and at Falcon Middle School in Peyton, Colorado.

ISBN: 978-1-56085-219-3
limitation: 250 copies
168 pages, price: $100

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