The following statement was issued by Church Public Affairs on March 19:
A purported image of Joseph Smith is circulating widely on the Internet. Some persons have mistakenly claimed that this image belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that Church officials have verified or are verifying its authenticity. These claims are not true.
This image, taken from a daguerreotype, belongs to the Community of Christ, formerly known as the RLDS church. On the basis of available evidence it is not possible to confirm that the image is, in fact, of Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not have or own this photograph or any image of Joseph Smith other than several early artists' portrayals of him and some early photographs of those artists' portrayals. The Church does have the death mask of Joseph Smith.
Any questions about this image should be referred to the Communications Office of the Community of Christ: Communicationservices@cofchrist.org