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“Jesus the Christ”

There is a new exhibit on display in the lobby of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Jesus the Christ. The exhibit is co-curated by Ryan K. Lee, manuscript curator, and Gerrit van Dyk, Mormon Studies.

In September 1915 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published Jesus the Christ, a monumental work on the life of Jesus Christ by Elder James E. Talmage of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that was over a decade in the making. Elder Talmage had already made a name for himself as a brilliant scientist, lecturer, and educator prior to this book. But this work became an instant classic and solidified Talmage’s legendary status among other Church intellectuals and witnesses to the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mostly known for being a large book full of an advanced vocabulary, this book has been used for decades as one of the foundational works for Church missionaries and members to study when wanting to know more about the life of Jesus Christ.

This exhibit showcases items from L. Tom Perry Special Collections and the Harold B. Lee Library related to the history and production of this seminal work. Included in the exhibit are entries from Elder Talmage’s personal journals and a video and audio recording of Talmage. Also included are works that influenced Talmage in his writing and research for this book, a first edition copy signed by the First Presidency in 1915, and selected foreign language editions. You are welcome to thumb through a first edition copy from the Lee Library’s open stacks, as well as record any experiences you have had with reading Jesus the Christ. May this exhibit help the visitor better understand the history behind this classic work that influenced so many in their journey to come to know the Savior of Mankind.