The temples he built (in Smith’s lifetime, two were erected and two more were planned) were modeled on the temples of ancient Israel. Moses is told in this account that God made the Earth and heavens to bring humans to eternal life.  When most Latter Day Saints moved west, she stayed in Nauvoo, married a non-Mormon, Major Lewis C. Bidamon, and withdrew from religion until 1860, when she affiliated with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, first headed by her son, Joseph Smith III.  Smith and Emma eloped and married on January 18, 1827, after which the couple began boarding with Smith's parents in Manchester.  In foreign affairs, Smith was an expansionist, though he viewed "expansionism as brotherhood". , Smith declared that he would be one of the instruments in fulfilling Nebuchadnezzar's statue vision in the Book of Daniel: that secular government would be destroyed without "sword or gun", and would be replaced with a "theodemocratic" Kingdom of God. No longer envisioning the building of Zion in Nauvoo, Smith viewed Zion as encompassing all of North and South America, with Mormon settlements being "stakes" of Zion's metaphorical tent.  To fully enter the Covenant, a man and woman must participate in a "first anointing", a "sealing" ceremony, and a "second anointing" (also called "sealing by the Holy Spirit of Promise").  He taught that outside the Covenant, marriages were simply matters of contract, and that in the afterlife individuals married outside the Covenant or not married would be limited in their progression. Nor did people of higher social standing intimidate him; he appeared to think of himself as the equal of anyone, as demonstrated when he ran for president of the United States in 1844.  Smaller groups followed Sidney Rigdon and James J. Strang, who had based his claim on an allegedly forged letter of appointment. In November 1838 Smith was imprisoned on charges of robbery, arson, and treason, and he probably would have been executed had he not escaped and fled to Illinois. , Also in 1833, at a time of temperance agitation, Smith delivered a revelation called the "Word of Wisdom," which counseled a diet of wholesome herbs, fruits, grains, a sparing use of meat. In response, local Missourians rose up in wrath, and the governor ordered that the Mormons be driven out of the state or, where that was not possible, exterminated. During the 1830s, Smith sent out missionaries, published revelations, and supervised construction of the Kirtland Temple.  Anthon denied Harris's account of the meeting, claiming instead that he had tried to convince Harris that he was the victim of a fraud. On Dec. 23, 1805, Joseph Smith was born in Vermont; in 1816 his family migrated to western New York.  In 1841, Don Carlos, who had been born a year earlier, died of malaria.  Harris lost the manuscript, of which there was no other copy. During this period, Smith briefly attended Methodist meetings with his wife, until a cousin of hers objected to inclusion of a "practicing necromancer" on the Methodist class roll. Religious Leader. " Smith said he recounted the experience to a preacher, who dismissed the story with contempt. In 1831, Smith and his followers moved west, planning to build a communalistic American Zion. “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (D&C 135:3). Joseph Smith was notable among religious figures for claiming to receive revelations and to translate ancient religious texts. Smith introduced baptism for the dead in 1840, and in 1841, construction began on the Nauvoo Temple as a place for recovering lost ancient knowledge.  Smith was not a polished preacher.  The Book of Mormon brought Smith regional notoriety and opposition from those who remembered the 1826 Chenango County trial. Smith advised them to bear the violence patiently until after they were attacked multiple times, after which they could fight back.  Fearing an invasion of Nauvoo, Smith rode to Carthage, Illinois, to stand trial, but was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse.  Cowdery was also assigned the task of locating the site of the New Jerusalem.  Though he directed his followers to collect and publish their stories of persecution, he also urged them to moderate their antagonism toward non-Mormons. "The keys of the kingdom," he wrote, "have not been taken away from us". Joseph Smith’s famous leg surgery was actually the fourth in a series of surgeries. He described the revelatory process as having "pure Intelligence" flowing into him. , Smith never said how he produced the Book of Mormon, saying only that he translated by the power of God and implying that he had transcribed the words. During the next two-and-a-half years he married or was sealed to about 30 additional women, ten of whom were already married to other men. The same year he organized the Church of Christ, calling it a restoration of the early Christian church. , On the issue of slavery, Smith took different positions. Prof Richard L Bushman has produced a 'warts and all' biography of the man whose 'visions' resulted in The Book of Mormon and those clean-cut young men who knock on our doors.  In July 1843, Smith dictated a revelation directing Emma to accept plural marriage, but the two were not reconciled until September 1843, after Emma began participating in temple ceremonies. Some were temporal, while others were spiritual or doctrinal. , Mormons and non-Mormons have produced a large amount of scholarly work about Smith, and to a large extent the result has been two discordant pictures of very different people: a man of God on the one hand, and on the other, a fraud preying on the ignorance of his followers. After receiving noncommittal or negative responses, Smith announced his own independent candidacy for President of the United States, suspended regular proselytizing, and sent out the Quorum of the Twelve and hundreds of other political missionaries. , In December 1843, Smith petitioned Congress to make Nauvoo an independent territory with the right to call out federal troops in its defense. They unleashed a flood of anti-Mormon rhetoric in newspapers and in stump speeches given during the 1838 election campaign. Please Click HERE to go to the the AUTHORIZED and OFFICIAL website for the true biography of Joseph Smith, Jr. .  Although Emma knew of some of her husband's marriages, she almost certainly did not know the extent of his polygamous activities. Later, about 400 ce, the record keepers, known as Nephites, were wiped out by their enemies, the Lamanites, presumably the ancestors of the American Indians. He spent much of his free time reading books on various subjects so he could educate himself.  Bennett used his connections in the Illinois legislature to obtain an unusually liberal charter for the new city, which Smith renamed "Nauvoo" (Hebrew נָאווּ, meaning "to be beautiful"). " Smith had assumed a role as prophet, seer, and apostle of Jesus Christ, and by early 1831, he was introducing himself as "Joseph the Prophet".  In 1833, Smith edited and expanded many of the previous revelations, publishing them as the Book of Commandments, which later became part of the Doctrine and Covenants. By 1838, Smith had abandoned plans to redeem Zion in Jackson County, and after Smith and Rigdon arrived in Missouri, the town of Far West became the new "Zion". The first ever to witness, record and see God the Father, Jesus Christ, The Holy Ghost and Lucifer all …  Smith and his followers treated his revelations as being above teachings or opinions, and Smith acted as though he believed in his revelations as much as his followers.  Shortly after the conference, Smith dispatched Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and others on a mission to proselytize Native Americans.  On April 6, 1839, after a grand jury hearing in Davis County, Smith and his companions escaped custody, almost certainly with the connivance of the sheriff and guards.  Smith implicitly endorsed this speech, and many non-Mormons understood it to be a thinly veiled threat.  Another 1832 revelation "on Priesthood" was the first to explain priesthood doctrine. But his most significant accomplishment was the establishment of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, a work he was foreordained to do in the Grand Council in Heaven before the world was (see D&C 127:2 ). 2.  It is organized as a compilation of smaller books, each named after its main named narrator or a prominent leader.  Smith then wrote to the leading presidential candidates and asked them what they would do to protect the Mormons. , The two strongest succession candidates were Brigham Young, senior member and president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Sidney Rigdon, the senior member of the First Presidency.  Though the evidence was circumstantial, Boggs ordered Smith's extradition. , Polygamy caused a breach between Smith and his first wife, Emma.  Sometimes, Smith concealed the process by raising a curtain or dictating from another room, while at other times he dictated in full view of witnesses while the plates lay covered on the table. Smith said he experienced a series of visions, including one in 1820 during which he saw "two personages" (whom he eventually described as God the Father and Jesus Christ), and another in 1823 in which an angel directed him to a buried book of golden plates inscribed with a Judeo-Christian history of an ancient American civilization.  There, they are divided into two factions: Nephites and Lamanites. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith. During this time, a church council expelled many of the oldest and most prominent leaders of the church, including John Whitmer, David Whitmer, W. W. Phelps, and Oliver Cowdery. Smith published many revelations and other texts that his followers regard as scripture.  Both also said that Smith had proposed marriage to their wives.  As such, considerable disagreement about the actual method used exists.  This doctrine of endowment evolved through the 1830s, until in 1842, the Nauvoo endowment included an elaborate ceremony containing elements similar to Freemasonry and the Jewish tradition of Kabbalah. Meanwhile, non-Mormon hostility in the surrounding county had been growing for the usual reasons, and, when the press was closed, irate local citizens brought charges of promoting riot against Smith and his brother Hyrum. In 1835 Smith published the first 65 revelations in a volume titled the Book of Commandments, later called the Doctrine and Covenants. Attracting converts from Europe as well as the United States, Nauvoo grew to rival Chicago as the largest city in the state.  Smith also elaborated on his plan for a millennial kingdom.  More nuanced interpretations include viewing Smith as: a prophet who had normal human weaknesses; a "pious fraud" who believed he was called of God to preach repentance and felt justified inventing visions in order to convert people; or a gifted "mythmaker" who was the product of his Yankee environment. Joseph Smith (1805-1844), American religious leader, was the founder of a unique American sect, the Mormons, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. Meanwhile, Smith moved his family to another gathering place in Kirtland, Ohio, near Cleveland. At the age of seven Smith suffered a crippling bone infection and, after receiving surgery, used crutches for three years. , Destruction of the newspaper provoked a strident call to arms from Thomas C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal and longtime critic of Smith.  The endowment was extended to women in 1843, though Smith never clarified whether women could be ordained to priesthood offices. , The Book of Moses begins with Moses' asking God about the purpose of creation. , Christian themes permeate the work; for instance, Nephite prophets in the Book of Mormon teach of Christ's coming, and talk of the star that will appear at his birth.  Smith had promised church elders that in Kirtland they would receive an endowment of heavenly power, and at the June 1831 general conference, he introduced the greater authority of a High ("Melchizedek") Priesthood to the church hierarchy.  In 1843, Emma temporarily accepted Smith's marriage to four women boarded in the Smith household, but soon regretted her decision and demanded the other wives leave. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Freemasonry and the Latter Day Saint movement, "Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841–46: A Preliminary Demographic Report", "A Trajectory of Plurality: An Overview of Joseph Smith's Thirty-three Plural Wives", "Gospel Topics: Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo", "Joseph Smith DNA Revealed: New Clues from the Prophet's Genes – FairMormon", "An Overview of the Burned-Over District by John H. Martin", "Joseph Smith's Experience of a Methodist "Camp-Meeting" in 1820", 10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0802307, "Smith, Joseph: Legal Trials of Joseph Smith", "A Brief History of the Smith Family Nauvoo Cemetery", "Joseph Smith, Brigham Young rank first and third in magazine's list of significant religious figures", Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), "Facts and Statistics: Worldwide Statistics", "DNA tests rule out 2 as Smith descendants: Scientific advances prove no genetic link", "Reconstructing the Y-Chromosome of Joseph Smith, Jr.: Genealogical Applications", "Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham", "Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham: A Response", "The Significance of Joseph Smith's "First Vision" in Mormon Thought", "The Lion and the Lady: Brigham Young and Emma Smith", "The King Follett Discourse: A Newly Amalgamated Text", The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Official LDS Church site about Joseph Smith, List of Reorganized Restorationist churches, Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) history, Doctrine and Covenants (Book of Commandments), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Joseph_Smith&oldid=1000215137, Candidates in the 1844 United States presidential election, Apostles of the Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints), Latter Day Saint missionaries in the United States, Prophet-Presidents of the Community of Christ, Tarring and feathering in the United States, Victims of religiously motivated violence in the United States, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from December 2020, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, Latter Day Saint biography Infobox with missing parameters, Pages using infobox Latter Day Saint biography with unsupported parameters, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2013, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 03:55. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Joseph Smith: A Biography. , By early 1844, a rift developed between Smith and a half dozen of his closest associates. Joseph Smith, originally Joseph Smith, Jr., (born December 23, 1805, Sharon, Vermont, U.S.—died June 27, 1844, Carthage, Illinois), American prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Read up on Joseph Smith's biography, career, awards and more on ESPN. Smith and five others, including Rigdon, were charged with "overt acts of treason", and transferred to the jail at Liberty, Missouri, to await trial.  Another brother, William, was unable to attract a sufficient following. Some of these polyandrous marriages were done with the consent of the first husbands, and some plural marriages may have been considered "eternity-only" sealings (meaning that the marriage would not take effect until after death). , In 1835, Smith encouraged some Latter Day Saints in Kirtland to purchase rolls of ancient Egyptian papyri from a traveling exhibitor. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. Although Smith had previously refused to show the plates to anyone, he told Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer that they would be allowed to see them.  Emma campaigned publicly against polygamy, and was the main signatory of a petition in 1842, with a thousand female signatures, denying that Smith was connected with polygamy. Smith said that this angel revealed the location of a buried book made of golden plates, as well as other artifacts, including a breastplate and a set of interpreters composed of two seer stones set in a frame, which had been hidden in a hill near his home. Rigdon's followers had also been practicing a form of communalism, which Smith adopted, calling it the United Order.  In April 1829, he met Oliver Cowdery, who replaced Harris as his scribe, and resumed dictation. , In late 1837, a series of internal disputes led to the collapse of the Kirtland Mormon community. Non-Mormon vigilantes raided and burned Mormon farms, while Danites and other Mormons pillaged non-Mormon towns. Joseph Smith Oil on canvas, David Rogers, 1842. In the temples, he instituted rituals of washing and anointing taken from instructions in the Book of Exodus for consecrating priests. Smith, Joseph ( 23 December 1805–27 June 1844 ), founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as the Mormon Church, was born in Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, the son of Joseph Smith, Sr., and Lucy Mack, farmers. The book explains itself to be largely the work of Mormon, a Nephite prophet and military figure. Harris also took a sample of the characters to a few prominent scholars, including Charles Anthon.  After an ill-fated business venture and three successive years of crop failures culminating in the 1816 Year Without a Summer, the Smith family left Vermont and moved to western New York, taking out a mortgage on a 100-acre (40 ha) farm in the townships of Palmyra and Manchester. Smith came from an unremarkable New England family. Eight Mormon leaders accompanied Smith to Carthage: Hyrum Smith. W Dan Vogel was a masterful editor of the five-volume Early Mormon Documents , and perhaps his encyclopedic knowledge of the primary sources is part of the problem with this biography. Joseph Smith’s thirty-eight and one-half years were marked by the highest of spiritual peaks and the depths of tribulation, sorrow, and betrayal such as few mortals have experienced. According to Smith, an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates hidden at the Hill Cumorah and as per the instruction of the angel he translated the book and published it as the ‘Book of Mormon’. Other articles where Joseph Smith is discussed: Canaletto: …this point, an early acquaintance, Joseph Smith—publisher, merchant, and later British consul in Venice—stepped into the breach. , Smith's months in prison with an ill and whining Rigdon strained their relationship.  Initially he opposed it, but during the mid-1830s when the Mormons were settling in Missouri (a slave state), Smith cautiously justified slavery in an anti-abolitionist essay.  Smith taught that this kingdom would be governed by theocratic principles, but that it would also be multidenominational and democratic, so long as the people chose wisely. , Early Mormons understood the Book of Mormon to be a religious history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. It tells the story of the rise and fall of a religious civilization beginning about 600 BC and ending in 421 AD. , Smith taught that the highest level of exaltation could be achieved through "plural marriage" (polygamy), which was the ultimate manifestation of this New and Everlasting Covenant. (Courtesy Community of Christ Library-Archives, Independence, MO.) Early years. , Though Smith initially viewed God the Father as a spirit, he eventually began teaching that God was an advanced and glorified man, embodied within time and space. The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants were added to the canon of scripture, and Smith spoke as if more revelations and translations would accumulate in the future.  This religious authority encompassed economic and political as well as spiritual matters.  It also attacked Smith's practice of polygamy, implying that Smith was using religion as a pretext to draw unassuming women to Nauvoo in order to seduce and marry them. Term ended by removal of apostleship; was later excommunicated. W hen Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, received a revelation in about 1831 in which he was commanded by God to break the law and … Historian’s Office, History of the Church, 1839–ca. It was the originality of his views, an outsider commented, that made his discourse fascinating.  With other family members, Smith also engaged in religious folk magic, which was a relatively common practice in that time and place.  Smith said that children who died in their innocence would be guaranteed to rise at the resurrection and receive exaltation. Until the 1840s, however, Smith's accounts of the vision were largely unknown to most Mormons, and Smith himself may have originally considered it a personal conversion.  An 1841 revelation promised the restoration of the "fulness of the priesthood"; and in May 1842, Smith inaugurated a revised endowment or "first anointing". In 1830, Smith published what he said was an English translation of these plates called the Book of Mormon. But he is much more than the founder of a religion.  Some of Smith's chosen successors, such as Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, had left the church. , When Smith moved to Kirtland, Ohio in January 1831, he encountered a religious culture that included enthusiastic demonstrations of spiritual gifts, including fits and trances, rolling on the ground, and speaking in tongues. , In a speech given at the town's Fourth of July celebration, Rigdon declared that Mormons would no longer tolerate persecution by the Missourians and spoke of a "war of extermination" if Mormons were attacked. , Smith taught that all existence was material, including a world of "spirit matter" so fine that it was invisible to all but the purest mortal eyes.  Modern historian Fawn Brodie has called the Book of Mormon a response to pressing cultural and environmental issues of Smith's times, saying that Smith composed the Book of Mormon drawing from scraps of information available to him. Among Joseph Smith’s accomplishments is his contribution to the church’s scriptures, the dispatching of missionaries around the world and the organization and leadership of Nauvoo’s militia.  During the summer of 1839, while Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo suffered from a malaria epidemic, Smith sent Brigham Young and other apostles to missions in Europe, where they made numerous converts, many of them poor factory workers. Emma believed in her husband’s calling but could not abide additional wives. "Lieutenant General" Smith and "Major General" Bennett became its commanders, thereby controlling by far the largest body of armed men in Illinois.  Between 1817 and 1825, there were several camp meetings and revivals in the Palmyra area. From then on, his great project was to gather people into settlements, called “cities of Zion,” where they would find refuge from the calamities of the last days. , According to Parley P. Pratt, Smith dictated revelations orally, and they were recorded by a scribe without revisions or corrections.  Dictation was completed about July 1, 1829..  In the weeks and months after Smith and Rigdon arrived at Far West, thousands of Latter Day Saints followed them from Kirtland. Smith's death resulted in a succession crisis.  The Council of Fifty had a theoretical claim to succession, but it was a secret organization. , Converts poured into Kirtland. He said the angel commanded him not to show the plates to anyone else, but to translate them and publish their translation. , In Smith's view, the opportunity to achieve exaltation extended to all humanity; those who died with no opportunity to accept saving ordinances could achieve exaltation by accepting them in the afterlife through proxy ordinances performed on their behalf. He supported capital punishment but opposed hanging, preferring execution by firing squad or beheading.  In the summer of 1842, Smith revealed a plan to establish the millennial Kingdom of God, which would eventually establish theocratic rule over the whole Earth.  The practice of polygamy was kept secret from both non-Mormons and most members of the church during Smith's lifetime. Understanding that he was effectively on trial before his own people, many of whom considered him a fallen prophet, he wrote a personal defense and an apology for the activities of the Danites. Meanwhile Brigham Young, the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, rose to prominence when he organized the move of about 14,000 Mormon refugees to Illinois and eastern Iowa.  Smith said he attempted to remove the plates the next morning, but was unsuccessful because the angel returned and prevented him. His teachings discuss the nature of God, cosmology, family structures, political organization, and religious collectivism. , Throughout her life, Emma Smith frequently denied that her husband had ever taken additional wives.  Smith was said to have an ability to locate lost items by looking into a seer stone, which he also used in treasure hunting, including several unsuccessful attempts to find buried treasure sponsored by a wealthy farmer in Chenango County, New York.  Smith's sons Joseph III and David also had claims, but Joseph III was too young and David was yet unborn.  In Missouri, the church also took the name "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", and construction began on a new temple.  Though it is unclear how much Smith knew of the Danites' activities, he clearly approved of those of which he did know. Author of.  The charter granted the city virtual autonomy, authorized a university, and granted Nauvoo habeas corpus power—which allowed Smith to fend off extradition to Missouri. Hanging, preferring execution by firing squad or beheading sources report various conflicting outcomes the family to to! And high tariffs to protect American business joseph smith accomplishments agriculture wifery '' got abroad, Smith met began! Brigham Young, who was trying to secure the door, was unable to attract a sufficient.! Of internal disputes led to the hill on September 22, 1827, taking Emma with him taken. 25 ] both also said that Smith had no other wife but me ; nor did he to knowledge... 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