Here is the printed version of the "Joseph Smith tapes."
More than all else I have written or recorded, these cassettes have engendered a return wave, international in scope, of responsive letters and comments. Apparently we live in a new era of catch-all listening: the padded earphones of the "Walkman," the car-cassette playback, the ever-faster computer access to ever-larger "databases."
Recurrent questions include these: Where were the lectures given? To whom was I talking? Why was the material recorded instead of written? Whence my long-standing interest in Joseph Smith? How is it that I talk as if I know him? How reliable are the many documents I cite, and where can they be found? Where might one go to read more? The most frequent query has been, "When are you going to publish the lectures and provide the sources?"
The lectures were delivered at Brigham Young University's Marriott Center during an Education Week. That a goodly number came to give eight hours of undivided-or even divided-attention to these two-a-day classes was a manifestation of the richness of the subject. The audience was "in-house." With them I could begin with presumptions and assurances which to others would have appeared startling. But between the lines I was also thinking of many who had posed penetrating queries about Joseph Smith over the years, both in and out of the classroom. They were an "invisible" audience. And at certain points it is apparent that I was addressing them, in a kind of underground conversation, more than those present.
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