On 16 February 2015, Todd McLauchlin, Bill Mark, Joshua Chandler, and Nick White formed an exploratory committee to move towards the creation of an institute dedicated to publishing important research on Joseph Smith. In particular, having heard Andrew F. Ehat in several presentations on various aspects of the life and teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, they decided to formalize the creation of an organization, in part, dedicated to publishing his research. As the organization’s founders, they composed Articles of Incorporation and filed them with the State of Utah and the Joseph Smith Research Institute was legally established on 10 August 2015. At the same time, the founders also filed with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a request for authorization for the Institute to operate as a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity. The Joseph Smith Research Institute is pleased to announce that on last Friday, November 20th, R. Stephen Marshall, counsel and registered agent for, and trustee of the Institute, received notice from the IRS of the granting of non-profit status of the Jospeh Smith Research Institute as a charity.
Consequently, the Institute is pleased to announce that Andrew F. Ehat has accepted the position to be the first director of research for JSRI. Mr. Ehat is a well-respected research historian, lecturer, and author of works and presentations on Joseph Smith’s doctrine, teachings, and history. JSRI believes that under his direction, the Institute will not only provide supplementary, but seminal research reports that many organizations will find useful in fulfilling their missions. Thirty-five years ago, Mr. Ehat finished his ten years of research on Joseph Smith’s sermons and, with the assistance of his colleague, Lyndon W. Cook, published the unprecedented The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph. This work represented a gathering together from over 70 diarist’s reports of Joseph’s sermons. Today, Words of Joseph Smith still remains the single-most thoroughly annotated book on Joseph’s discourses on doctrine. Mr. Ehat’s research on Joseph Smith has continued throughout his 30-year career in the software and electronic publishing industry. As Executive Vice President and Publisher of Western Standard Publishing Company, his most notable accomplishment is that he is the author of OriginalSources.com, a compilation of the greatest writings, scientific and mathematical breakthroughs, and the record of the history of humankind in a database of eleven general subject areas: World History, U.S. History, Political Science, Law, Literature, Language Arts, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Mathematics, and Social Science. Since 1998, this database has been distributed by World Book, Inc., and Encyclopædia Britannica, two icons in general reference information.
The Institute will move forward in its mission dedicated to providing unique insights into the life and teachings of Joseph Smith under the direction of Mr. Ehat. While the Institute is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nonetheless, Mr. Ehat will help to teach, publish, and other ways bring greater understanding to those asking questions about the Prophet, including topics which are to some challenging to their faith and understanding, but which his research has been useful to many and which will now be more widely disseminated.