The Worlds of Joseph Smith : A Bicentennial Conference at the Library of Congress
Brigham Young University Press
Welch divides his treatment of Joseph Smith and past worlds into three sections. First, he discusses the challenge of evaluating the records and revelations Joseph Smith recovered from the past. Who should assess the arguments? Which pieces of evidence should be examined? What constitutes proof of a given proposition? Second, Welch lists the functions that recovering past worlds had on Joseph's process of revelation. Not only was the past instructive, but it also set an important precedent for many aspects of restoring the fullness of the gospel. Third, he shows that Joseph Smith used his recovery of past worlds for more than simply obtaining gospel truth--Joseph tied the past to the present in the restoration of priesthood authority.