As you probably already know, the new Relief Society/Priesthood manual for next year in the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church series is Joseph Smith.
It is already available online for free in PDF format for anyone interested:
At 610 pages, it is the longest volume in the series so far, surpassing the Brigham Young book (385 pages) and the Joseph F. Smith book (481 pages) by over a hundred pages. However, the 610 pages are divided among 47 lessons, which is actually one lesson fewer than the other two manuals (as if it weren’t already difficult enough to cover the lesson material in a single class period!). It will be the curriculum for the the next two years.
I usually download the PDF files onto my USB thumb-drive so that I will have them easily available even if I don’t have a connection to the internet at the moment. The electronic format is also great because it can be searched for a word or phrase. And the PDF is nice because is preserves the layout and artwork of the printed book.
One interesting item in the introduction mentions that a “number of unpublished sources are quoted” in the manual. It would be interesting to learn more about these “unpublished” sources. The book also includes a fascinating Appendix that explains at some length the sources used in the book, clarifying that many of the teachings we have from Joseph Smith come from imperfect and often incomplete third party accounts.
I look forward to studying the manual in the upcoming months. Check it out!