Falling in Love with Joseph Smith

Author: Jane Barnes
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101597178
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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When award-winning documentary film writer Jane Barnes was working on the PBS Frontline/American Experience special series The Mormons, she was surprised to find herself passionately drawn to Joseph Smith. The product of an Episcopalian, “WASPy” family, she couldn’t remember ever having met a Mormon before her work on the series—much less having dallied with the idea of converting to a religion shrouded in controversy. But so it was: She was smitten with a man who claimed to have translated the word of God by peering into the dark of his hat. In this brilliantly written book, Barnes describes her experiences working on the PBS series as she moved from secular curiosity to the brink of conversion to Mormonism. It all began when she came across Joseph Smith's early writings. She was delighted to discover how funny and utterly unique he was—and how widely divergent his wild yet profound visions of God were from the Church of Latter-day Saints as we know it today. Her fascination deepened when, much to her surprise, she learned that her eighth cousin Anna Barnes converted to Mormonism in 1833. Through Anna, Barnes follows her family’s close involvement with Smith and the crises caused by his controversial practice of polygamy. Barnes’ unlikely path helps her gain a newfound respect for the innovative American spirit that lies at the heart of Mormonism—and for a religion that is, in many ways, still coming into its own. An intimate portrait of the man behind one of America’s fastest growing religions, Falling in Love with Joseph Smith offers a surprising and provocative window into the Mormon experience.

No Man Knows My History

Author: Fawn McKay Brodie
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679730545
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In 1823 a young man named Joseph Smith had an encountr with an angel who led him to a cache of golden plates purporting to be the history of the lost tribes of Israel. Out of these new gospels and out of Smith's own charismatic personality and sense of mission- arose an authentically American religion, the Mormon faith.

Joseph Smith

Author: Richard Lyman Bushman
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1400077532
Format: PDF, ePub
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A definitive biography of the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints that marks the two hundredth year of his birth chronicles the life of Joseph Smith, from his hardscrabble early life in rural New York, to the visions that inspired The Book of Mormon and the establishment of the Mormon Church, to his untimely death at the hands of a mob in 1844. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.

Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith

Author: Robert D. Anderson
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A troubled childhood. A difficult adolescence. How might these have affected the adult character of church founder Joseph Smith? Psychiatrist Robert D. Anderson explores the impact on young Joseph of his family's ten moves in sixteen years, their dire poverty, especially after his father's Chinese export venture failed, and his father's drinking. It is equally significant, writes Anderson, that Joseph's mother suffered bouts of depression. For instance, "for months" she "did not feel as though life was worth seeking" after two sisters died of tuberculosis and later when she buried two sons, Ephraim and Alvin. A typhoid epidemic nearly claimed her daughter Sophronia, and the same affliction left Joseph with a crippled leg, after which he was sent to live on the coast with an uncle. Such factors and others produced emotional wounds that emerged later in the prophet's life and writings, in particular, according to Anderson, in the Book of Mormon.

Joseph Smith

Author: Dan Vogel
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Rarely does a biographer capture the sense of being in a different time and mindset to the extent that readers feel they are reliving events through the eyes of the biographer's subject. This is the skill of Dan Vogel--after twenty-five years of researching Joseph Smith's life and publishing on such related issues as Seekerism, the Book of Mormon, views of Smith's contemporaries about Indian origins, and the existing documents pertaining to Smith family experiences. Vogel weaves together strands of evidence into a complete fabric including, among other aspects of Smith's environment, the content of his daily dictation of scriputre and revelation--all contributing to a nearly complete view of what occurred on any given day in Smith's lfie. The result is as much intellectual history as traditional biography. Readers will feel engaged in the dramatic, formative events in the prophet's life against a backdrop of theology, local and national politics, Smith family dynamics, organizational issues, and interpersonal relations. One can form a mental picture, and many will find themselves carrying on an internal dialogue about the issues raised. Vogel addresses the following broad themes: 1. The home that Joseph Smith was raised in was religiously divided. His mother's family was orthodox and partly mystical; his father's family tended toward rationalism and skepticism. Joseph's maternal grandfather published an account of seeing a heavenly light and hearing Jesus' voice. Joseph's paternal grandfather promoted Thomas Paine's skeptical critique of the Bible, The Age of Reason. 2. When Andrew Jackson was elected U.S. president in 1828, it was a key transitional period in American history. Jackson was a Mason and an advocate of secularism, which alarmed evangelical Protestants. 3. The Smith family experienced a series of financial setbacks and lost their farm in 1825. Joseph felt disinherited and saw no way of escape--no chance for his family to regain its former standing in the community. 4. Joseph found solace in religion. In the early 1820s, he had a powerful conversion experience and felt that Jesus had forgiven him of his sins. This inspired him to share the gospel message with others, particularly with his own family. About the same time, Smith found a talent for preaching and delivered "passable" Methodist sermons at a nearby revival. 5. Over time, Joseph became aware that people trusted him and that he could be an influence for good or ill, that even through nefarious means, God worked through him when his heart was right. He realized this when he led groups in search of Spanish treasure in New York and Pennsylvania. Although no treasure was found, the men sincerely believed that Smith had a spiritual gift and could see where casks of gold were hidden in the earth. This training ground in spiritual leadership was invaluable because the prophet learned how to create an environment for belief--one in which people could exercise faith and be converted to Christ through the sensible influence of the Spirit, all prior to the overarching work of restoring primitive Christianity.

Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism

Author: Richard L. Bushman
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252060120
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Focuses on the first twenty-five years of Smith's life, describes his visions, and recounts how he established the Church of the Latter-day Saints