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1. The pearl of great price : a selection
 
2. The Pearl of Great Price: being
 
3. Murder of an American Prophet
 
4. Murder of an American Prophet,
$25.22
5. History of the Church of Jesus
$24.77
6. History of the Church of Jesus
$26.63
7. History of the Church of Jesus
$24.29
8. History of the Church of Jesus
 
$31.08
9. The Doctrine And Covenants Of
 
$33.69
10. The Book Of Mormon: An Account
 
$28.48
11. The Book Of Mormon
 
$32.38
12. The Book Of Mormon; An Account
 
13. The doctrine and covenants, of
$7.94
14. An American Prophet's Record:
$30.99
15. The Joseph Smith Revelations:
$32.90
16. Personal Writings of Joseph Smith
$110.00
17. The Papers of Joseph Smith: Autobiographical
$20.97
18. Joseph Smith, Jr.: Reappraisals
$4.95
19. Joseph Smith (Penguin Lives)
$11.50
20. Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith:

1. The pearl of great price : a selection from the revelations, translations, and narrations of Joseph Smith
by Joseph, 1805-1844 Smith
Paperback: 123 Pages (2009-10-26)
-- used & new: US$0.01
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Asin: 1435108434
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2. The Pearl of Great Price: being a choice selection from the revelations, translations, and narrations of Joseph Smith, first prophet, seer, and revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
by Joseph (1805-1844) Smith
 Hardcover: Pages (1946-01-01)

Asin: B001TMB3MM
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3. Murder of an American Prophet : Joseph Smith, 1805 -1844
by Keith Huntress
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1960-01-01)

Asin: B00257QQ0E
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4. Murder of an American Prophet, Joseph Smith, 1805-1844 (Events and prejudices surrounding the killing of Joseph and Hyrum Smith; Carthage, Illinois, June 27, 1844, Materials for Analysis)
 Paperback: 232 Pages (1960)

Asin: B000GSG9BU
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5. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
by B H. 1857-1933 Roberts
Paperback: 614 Pages (2010-06-15)
list price: US$45.75 -- used & new: US$25.22
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Asin: 1174882328
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more


6. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
by B H. 1857-1933 Roberts
Paperback: 598 Pages (2010-05-13)
list price: US$44.75 -- used & new: US$24.77
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Asin: 1149403853
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more


7. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
by B H. 1857-1933 Roberts
Paperback: 692 Pages (2010-06-15)
list price: US$48.75 -- used & new: US$26.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1174882301
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more


8. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
by B H. 1857-1933 Roberts
Paperback: 564 Pages (2010-06-15)
list price: US$43.75 -- used & new: US$24.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 117488231X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more


9. The Doctrine And Covenants Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints: Containing The Revelations Given To Joseph Smith, Jun., The Prophet, For ... Up Of The Kingdom Of God In The Last Days
by Smith Joseph 1805-1844, Pratt Orson 1811-1881
 Paperback: 522 Pages (2010-10-14)
list price: US$39.75 -- used & new: US$31.08
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Asin: 1172087199
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10. The Book Of Mormon: An Account Written By The Hand Of Mormon Upon Plates Taken From The Plates Of Nephi / Tr. By Joseph Smith ; Division Into Chapters And Verses, With References, By Orson Pratt
by Smith Joseph 1805-1844, Pratt Orson 1811-1881
 Paperback: 642 Pages (2010-10-05)
list price: US$46.75 -- used & new: US$33.69
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Asin: 117216147X
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11. The Book Of Mormon
by Smith Joseph 1805-1844
 Paperback: 404 Pages (2010-10-15)
list price: US$34.75 -- used & new: US$28.48
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Asin: 1172244197
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12. The Book Of Mormon; An Account Written By The Hand Of Mormon Upon Plates Taken From The Plates Of Nephi
by Smith Joseph 1805-1844
 Paperback: 594 Pages (2010-09-30)
list price: US$44.75 -- used & new: US$32.38
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Asin: 1171916051
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13. The doctrine and covenants, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints : containing the revelations given to Joseph Smith, the prophet, for the building up of the Kingdom of God in the last days
by Joseph, 1805-1844 Smith
 Paperback: Pages (2009-10-26)

Asin: B003O75XKS
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14. An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (2nd ed)
by Scott H. Faulring
Paperback: 518 Pages (1989-05-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$7.94
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Asin: 0941214788
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Published for the first time in their entirety, the personal diaries and journals of Mormon founder Joseph Smith (1805-1844) provide an unequaled view of this controversial American religious leader. Previous compilations have drawn from careful selected and sometimes rewritten passages of SmithÂ’s diaries and journals. In the present, unexpurgated edition, Smith emerges as believable and human, willing to allow both decedents and followers a complete look at his beliefs and personality ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A major contribution to personal, community, academic library American Biography and Mormon History collections
Never before available to the general public, "An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries And Journals Of Joseph Smith" is a complete an unexpurgated volume comprised of Mormon Church founder Joseph's Smiths (1805-1844) personal diaries and journals. It should be noted that when parts of these diaries and journals were previously published they were censored, selectively assembled, and sometimes even re-written. Now they are presented by Mormon scholar Scott Faulring in their comprehensive and complete entirety. The result is a 518-page compendium that provides original source material that will prove invaluable for both academic scholarship and the interested non-specialist general reader alike. "An American Prophet's Record" is a biographical treasure trove and a major contribution to personal, community, academic library American Biography and Mormon History collections.

4-0 out of 5 stars A valuable though incomplete record
This edition of Joseph Smith's diaries was released in a very limited hardback edition in 1987, and now is available only in paperback.It was, and remains, valuable because it presents some of the unvarnished writings of this most enigmatic man, an unschooled farm boy who claimed divine revelation, and founded in 1830 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), now one of the largest denominations in America, well on its way to being a world-wide Church.
It remains to be seen how this edition will stand up, in light of the LDS Church's decision to release the complete Joseph Smith diaries and writings.Volume 1 of that multi-volume project has just been released, and if it is any indication, that set will be absolutely indispensable for researchers and scholars.It's interesting that it took the institutional Church 20 years to respond to Faulring's opening salvo.
Nonetheless, this single volume is still the best collection of Smith's writings now available, and presents a unique opportunity to enter into his mind and world.For anyone interested in exploring Mormonism, whether as a member of the Church, an inquirer, or a debunker, Faulring's volume is a great aid.

1-0 out of 5 stars Joseph's narcissistic personality really shows...
nar·cis·sism( P )Pronunciation Key(närs-szm) also nar·cism (-szm)
n.
Meanings:
1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.
2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.

If you are still unsure on the meanings, please pick this book up today for clarification.

4-0 out of 5 stars Read for yourself!
This is one of several books that attempt to get at the root texts of Joseph Smith.We are in an unusual position with Joseph Smith: we have no autograph manuscripts of previous church leaders, such as Buddha, Moses, Mohamed, or Jesus Christ, but whit Joseph Smith, we have a tidal wave of primary documents that can be studied.

This book has the precious 1832 autograph history which has the second earliest version of the First Vision ever recorded, the earliest being D&C 20:5.It also has transcripts from his official journals.It is wonderful to have this book of the real words of Joseph Smith.The most surprising thing is to see that there was no monkey business going on with Joseph Smith's official history.

This edition is by Signature Books, which is a publishing house not friendly to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which makes this book even more interesting.The problem comes with the silent editing (p. xvii) that occurs with the book, especially with the disputed texts, such as the 27 July 1838 entry (see footnote p. 198), or the 26 September 1843 entry associated with the temple endowment, where the silent editing becomes rather loud.

The font is somewhat small, but it is quite readable, and this edition contains the manuscript strikeouts and misspellings, which impede reading a bit.This book has great biographies on people mentioned in the journals, and has a superb index, and a chronological overview of Smith's life.On the down side, there are no illustrations, except for the RLDS portrait of Joseph Smith.

This is a good one-volume alternative to the two-volume "Papers of Joseph Smith" published by Deseret Book, since it covers his entire life, stopping days before his assassination on 27 June 1844.

4-0 out of 5 stars Record of a Man and a Religion
In the 1842-43 journals, it's written "I wish you had my soul long enough to know how good it feels." I suppose that I came to this book trying, in a sense, to borrow a little bit of Joseph Smith's soul longenough to see how good it felt-- or at least trying to understand a littlebit of the person behind the history.

It's more opaque than that.Although there are flashes of personal insight-- particularly religiousinsight-- these journals are more the record of Mormonism and the issuesabout it that concerned Smith as he moved across the country. From lists ofpayments and donations, to intra-faith quarrels, to visions of Nauvoo, tocomplaints about lawsuits, it gives a clear day-to-day picture of the manand his movement.

The diaries and journals were written by a mix ofJoseph Smith and various secretaries acting in his name. In theintroduction, the editor comments that he was trying for ease of readingrather than faithful photostatic reproduction-- and I have to say that Iwould have hated to see what happened if he'd tried for faithful, becausethe major problem I had with the book was that I found it very difficult toread-- all shorthand, omitted words, crossed out words, and misspellingswere noted as they occurred in the text and while I'm sure that it's morevaluable as a scholarly text because of the inclusion, it was verydistracting.Also, some annotations about historical events wouldn't beamiss rather than the reader always being forced to refer to the (verysketchy) timeline at the beginning. I suppose that most people who willread this would be scholars of Mormon history rather than people with amore casual interest, but it would have illuminated parts of this book muchmore clearly for readers like myself. ... Read more


15. The Joseph Smith Revelations: Text and Commentary
by H. Michael Marquardt, Joseph Smith
Hardcover: 440 Pages (1999-09-15)
list price: US$44.95 -- used & new: US$30.99
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Asin: 1560851260
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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There was frustration in Oliver Cowdery's 4 February 1835 letter to Bishop Newel K. Whitney. Oliver Cowdery was trying to acquire "the original copy of ... The Law of the Church" and had so far been unable to locate a reliable source. He even confessed publicly to being "not a little surprised" in preparing the revelations of Joseph Smith for publication "to find the previous print[ing in the church newspaper] so different from the original." The problem, as historian Richard P. Howard has noted, was that Cowdery was using "a different original" from what he had seen four years earlier.Indeed, agrees author H. Michael Marquardt, it is apparent that the 1835 version of Smith's revelations was a "revised, expanded text that contained material anachronistic to the original 1831 setting." More specifically, many documents were "added to, excised, and in some cases assigned different historical settings. ... Among other emendations, the changes softened language, reinterpreted economic matters, added offices existing at the time of revision, and inserted references to priesthood restoration." Where events had "not unfolded as proposed," prophecies were reevaluated and, where necessary, revised.What does it matter? Many of the changes are significant, whether one sees them as historical curiosities, background to the intent of now ambiguous passages, or as insight into God's "line upon line" dealings with mortal men and women. The latter may be the most important, as the "evolution of the canon" implies something about the nature of revelation itself. The obvious casualty for anyone undertaking a careful study of church documents is the assumption of infallibility versus a fluid, dynamic model of revelation, what Marquardt calls the "richness of the living text as it is transformed over time." This new understanding reveals "important, fundamental vistas" for understanding doctrine, policy, and history.In some ways Marquardt's seminal study reminds one of the work of biblical scholars sifted through ancient parchments. The object in this case is the earliest extant manuscripts of Joseph Smith's revelations. Marquardt compares these to the canonized versions of the documents as included in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants; adding annotation and commentary for convenience. The source documents include: A Book of Commandments (manuscript, Law and Covenants books B and C, and printed sheets from 1833), the Book of the Law of the Lord manuscript, the William Clayton Journal, Zebedee Coltrin Journal, The Evening and the Morning Star, Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, Kirtland Revelations Book manuscript, Manuscript Letter to John E. Page, Manuscript History books A-1 and C-1, Manuscript Revelations Collection, William E. McLellin Collection, Scriptory Book of Joseph Smith manuscript, Joseph Smith Journal, Frederick G. Williams Papers, Newel K. Whitney Collection, and many others. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute "must-have" resource for college libraries
Retired civil servant and independent historian H. Michael Marquardt presents The Joseph Smith Revelations Text & Commentary, a thoughtful and insightful examination of how canonical Mormon text - indeed, the revelations of Joseph Smith himself - have allegedly been revised and altered in significant ways, an issue visibly noted as early as within Oliver Cowdery's 1835 letter to Bishop Newel K. Whitney, which complained that "the original copy of... The Law of the Church" had substantial alterations from its 1831 rendition. Marquardt advances to the viewpoint that when studying church documents, one should be avoid assumptions of absolute infallibility, but instead explore a dynamic model of revelation, and scrutinize how the text is transformed over time. An in-depth, scholarly, and thought-provoking analysis of doctrine, policy, and history, The Joseph Smith Revelations Text & Commentary is an absolute "must-have" resource for college libraries and private collections featuring extensive studies of Mormon religious belief and history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Valuable reference book - a must for serious historians
This volume is a record of the revelations received by Joseph Smith which were included in the original "Book of Commandments". It compares the original published revelations with what we have today in the LDS and RLDS "Doctrine and Covenants". Marquardt details what changes were made, when they were made, and where appropriate, adds his own commentary on the changes.

Each revelation has cross-references to the appropriate Section number in today's version for ease of comparison.


To correct the previous reviewer's comments, this is not about the Book of Mormon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mormonism Unveiled
This book is yet another fascinating study between Joseph Smith's words versus those finally printed in the Book of Mormon. A very interesting read. ... Read more


16. Personal Writings of Joseph Smith
by Joseph Smith, Dean C. Jessee
Hardcover: 736 Pages (2002-06-02)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$32.90
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Asin: 1573457876
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The problem of understanding who Joseph Smith was, what his personality was like, is not so hopeless, but nevertheless real. For while the Mormon prophet produced a sizable collection of papers, the question remains as to how clearly they reflect his own thoughts and personality. The answer lies in the documents themselves and becomes particularly clear when we note that the sources are not the past but only the raw materials whence we form our conception of the past, and in using them we inherit the limitations that produced them-the lack of personal writing, the wide use of clerks taking dictation or even being assigned to write for him, and the editorial reworking of reports of what he did and said. For example, Howard Coray, employed with E. D. Woolley in 1840 to work on the Prophet's History, relates that Joseph furnished all the material and that "our business, was not only to combine, and arrange in chronological order, but to spread out or amplify not a little, in as good historical style as may be." 5

When Joseph Smith began his record-keeping career in the early 1830s, he tenaciously sought to preserve records of personal and public value and to hand down to posterity an accurate picture of his life and the work in which he was engaged. The history he produced is of monumental importance. But limitations inherent in record keeping and history writing have had a screening effect upon our understanding of the Prophet. The very sources that inform also tend to obscure.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful
"Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!" This volume illustrates how God worked through Joseph Smith -- a most uncommon man -- to restore the fullness of the Gospel in this last dispensation.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Whole Truth?
The breathless, sycophantic tone of the inside flap sets the tone of the book. "What would it have been like to have known the Prophet Joseph Smith, to have seen him face to face, to have heard his words?" Sounds like the start of a teenage romance novel to me. One star for sycophancy.

However, the book is indeed Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, and not The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, and so another star for honesty. These cherry-picked letters etc. are selected to make the Prophet the wholesome hero of Pioneer America, and the original documents are reproduced to show their verisimilitude. But so much has been omitted to produce this enviable man that the evidence would be shot down in court - remember, the truth, THE WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth? This book is good on number one and number three, but paints a happy picture only by ignoring number two.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read and decide for yourself!
I am glad that the renaissance of Joseph Smith Manuscripts is still going on.It hit a high mark when Mark Hoffman was deftly producing his forgeries, and seems to have petered out a bit.As Jesse says in the introduction, "Since the first edition, a team of scholars has commenced preparing for publication the complete papers of Joseph Smith, which, it is anticipated, will fill a dozen volumes." (xvi) Good!The Church of Jesus Christ has put a lot of time and money into Islamic Classics translations, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, that it is high time they remember their founder and prophet!

The book itself is a gem.It has some materials that were previously published in "The Papers of Joseph Smith, vol 1-2," such as the 1832 account of the visitation of God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, and his early journals.The bulk of the book is devoted to letters and epistles Joseph Smith wrote in the process of his life and mission.

Some of the letters are interesting, such as his letter to Oliver Cowdery discussing his early childhood.Others, such as his letters to Edward Hunter (my great-great-grand uncle), are rather boring and incidental to the greater work.This book also includes several letters to his wife Emma.I feel like a voyeur as I read these letters, but I am also very curious about this aspect of Joseph Smith's life.We see him as a Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Translator, but not as a husband, father, and lover.These letters open up this aspect on to the man's life.

Jesse has also included photographs of the manuscripts, so if you are into eyestrain, you can compare the transcription against the original document.This becomes important in the 1832 account of the First Vision, where Joseph Smith give his age when the events happened.He wrote the age in a "between-line" insertion, and wrote the age in Arabic numerals.The age has traditionally (habitually?) been transcribed as "16th year of my age," but as the manuscript showy, the "y" from the "heard my cry" in the immediate above line crosses over the "16" in the insertion, so it is possible that the "16" may actually be a "15," which corresponds to the other accounts of the First Vision.

The maps are absolutely incredible, and the mini-biographies help us keep track of who's who.The paper is very sturdy archival paper, and the binding is reinforced, so the book should really last the ages.

4-0 out of 5 stars Useful for the LDS historian, but quite expensive...
Probably in effort to make up for failure to produce "Papers of Joseph Smith vol. 3," Jessee here republishes his long touted necessity of all LDS scholars' personal libraries "Personal Papers of Joseph Smith." The new edition removes some of the Hofmann forgeries (Patriarchal blessing of Joseph III, Anthon manuscript, etc.) and updates some of the erroneous footnotes of the first version, as well as the introduction of a new letter or two sent by the Prophet. The reader will be especially interested in the letter correspondance between Governer Thomas Ford and the prophet prior to the martyrdom. This is an expensive book, and I recommend it only for the Joseph Smith history enthusiast, as the casual reader/learner may find his personal writings difficult to navigate or search. Those interested in the doctrine taught by the prophet should continue to seek the usual sources (TPJS, WJS, etc.) as this book is predominately historical. ... Read more


17. The Papers of Joseph Smith: Autobiographical and Historical Writings
Hardcover: 2 Pages (1989-09)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$110.00
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Asin: 0875791999
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Primary Source Material for the History of Early Mormonism
It takes a meticulous person to edit historical documents. No amount of effort should be too much to obtain the stray fact, to check the transcription, the context, and the details of an edited work. Dean C. Jessee, once a research historian in the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History at Brigham Young University, is such an individual. Widely recognized as a leading authority on the documentary records of Mormonism, Jessee has edited two previous book-length collections of documents and has either written or edited numerous articles. His experience and understanding are evident in this volume of "The Papers of Joseph Smith," and his efforts will enrich all students of Mormon history.

This book of documents is a work intended to present everything Smithian, whether by authorship or relationship. The work contains twelve documents, written between 1832 and 1844, relating the history of Joseph Smith and the Mormon church. These include:
1. History, 1832, from Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, LDS Archives.
2. "Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery," from Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, 1 (December 1834): 40.
3. History, 1832-34, from "History of the Church, A-1," pp. 1-187, LDS Archives.
4. "Extract from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith, Jr.," from Times and Seasons 1 (November 1839): 2-9.
5. History draft, 1839, from Unnamed Manuscript, LDS Archives.
6. History, 1839, from "History of the Church, A-1," pp. 1-240, LDS Archives.
7. Orson Pratt, "Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records" (Edinburgh, 1840).
8. Orson Hyde, "Ein Ruf aus der Wuste, eine Stimme aus dem Schoose der Erde" (Frankfurt, 1842).
9. Joseph Smith, "Church History," from Times and Seasons 3 (I March 1842): 706-10.
10. "The Prairies, Nauvoo, Joe Smith, the Temple, the Mormons, etc.," from "The Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette" 58 (15 September 1843): 3.
11. Joseph Smith, "Latter Day Saints," from I. Daniel Rupp, "An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States" (Philadelphia: N.p., 1844), 404-10.
12. Alexander Neibaur, Journal, 24 May 1844, from LDS Archives.

Jessee notes that this seemingly eclectic collection of documents belongs together because they deal either historically or autobiographically with the life of the prophet and were written either by him or under his direction. The many works in this collection are, according to Jessee, just as much Joseph Smith's as if he had dictated or penned them himself.

By far the two largest documents in the collection, accounting for 317 of the volume's 555 pages, are items 3 and 6, the two histories taken from the manuscript of the "History of the Church." Items 1, 2, and 9 were also printed in Jessee's "The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith" (1984), but the remainder of the materials collected here have not been conveniently published for a broad audience in recent years.

As he repeatedly demonstrated, Jessee's work is a model of historical scholarship. All documents are transcribed as written, faithful to the original spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Jessee offers an English translation alongside item eight, the one document written in German. Admirable annotation provides additional background information, and the book includes an extensive biographical register, set of maps, chronology, bibliography, and facsimile reproductions of parts of the most important documents.

Although Jessee indicates that he received the full cooperation of the LDS Historical Department Archives in preparing this volume, the increasingly restrictive policies of that institution have made it virtually impossible for others to review the original documents published here. In this setting, Jessee's work becomes especially significant, since it may be as close as most historians can come to the papers of the prophet. We can only hope that the distrust on the part of Latter-day Saint church leaders toward scholars and followers can be eliminated in Utah as it is now being done in eastern Europe.

In spite of my concern about restrictive archival policies, "The Papers of Joseph Smith" is a first-class work. The editor, the sponsoring institutions, and Deseret Book Company should be commended for undertaking the project. ... Read more


18. Joseph Smith, Jr.: Reappraisals After Two Centuries
Paperback: 296 Pages (2008-12-02)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$20.97
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Asin: 0195369769
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Mormon founder Joseph Smith is one of the most controversial figures of nineteenth-century American history, and a virtually inexhaustible subject for analysis. In this volume, fifteen scholars offer essays on how to interpret and understand Smith and his legacy. Including essays by both Mormons and non-Mormons, this wide-ranging collection is the only available survey of contemporary scholarly opinion on the extraordinary man who started one of the fastest growing religious traditions in the modern world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly Reappraisals
Interesting to note chapters by LDS and non-LDS scholars looking at the contributions of a long awaited 19th century prophet. With so much incorrect 'information' placed by those who profess to be Christian but display nothing but hate and ignorance, it is good to have a scholarly work such as this.
... Read more


19. Joseph Smith (Penguin Lives)
by Robert V. Remini
Hardcover: 208 Pages (2002-10-14)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$4.95
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Asin: 067003083X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Robert Remini's work on the Jacksonian epoch has won him acclaim as well as the National Book Award. In Joseph Smith, he employs his keen insight and rich storytelling gift to explore one of the period's major figures. The most important reformer and innovator in American religious history, Joseph Smith has remained a fascinating enigma to many both inside and outside the Mormon Church he founded.

Born in 1805, Smith grew up during the "Second Great Awakening," when secular tumult had spawned radical religious fervor and countless new sects. His contemplative nature and soaring imagination-the first of his many visions occurred at the age of fourteen-were nurtured in the close, loving family created by his deeply devout parents. His need to lead and be recognized was met by his mission as God's vehicle for a new faith and by the hundreds who, magnetized by his charm and charismatic preaching, gave rise to the Mormon Church. Remini brings Smith into unprecedented focus and contextualizes his enduring contribution to American life and culture within the distinctive characteristics of an extraordinary age.Amazon.com Review
In 1820, a tall New York teenager received a vision from two angels, warning him that all existing churches were corrupt abominations and that "he must join none of them." So Joseph Smith founded the Mormon church.

Robert Remini, the noted biographer of Andrew Jackson and historian of the Jacksonian era, locates Smith and the origins of the Mormon faith in the heady early-nineteenth-century epoch of religious evangelicalism. None of the many new sects and creeds that came out of that period has enjoyed the success of Smith's church, Remini notes. None has undergone the same intense degree of persecution, either, provoked by Smith's quest for secular political power and "such teachings as polygamy, eternal matter, baptism of the dead, a plurality of gods, men and women becoming gods themselves, [and] God the Father being once a man who passed through a stage of mortality before becoming God"--teachings that inspired charges of heresy, and that, in the end, cost Joseph Smith his life in what Remini calls an act of political assassination.

Remini delivers a nuanced, highly readable portrait of the controversial leader, one that sheds light on his time and beliefs and emphasizes his "striking human qualities." --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

1-0 out of 5 stars Too nice
The author bends over backwards to be nice to his subject.Most good biographies are more balanced than this one so we can learn more about the man.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eminently readable and well researched.
Truly, I sometimes wonder what book my colleague reviewers here read.This is one of those cases.This is a wonderfully concise biography of a vital personage in American religion.Author Remini, a distinguished historian, especially regarding Jacksonian era America, very even handedly presents succinctly the life of a brilliant, if flawed (perhaps brilliantly flawed) human being.Most fascinatingly, the connections he makes between the rise of Mormonism and the socio-religio-political climate of the day are vibrantly fresh and compelling.The LDS folks have lots of lengthy and wildly variant documents of their early history; this brief biography tidily abridges, without fatally degrading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly fascinating and enlightening.
I bought this book several months ago and grudgingly decided to read it when I wanted a short book in between projects.I quickly found myself immersed in this very lively story.All I knew about Smith was that he claimed to have found some golden tablets and then conveniently lost them (obviously a story often told by non-Mormons).I've known Mormon families and once attended a Mormon baptism (hint: don't eat the cake if you are prefer having sugar as an ingredient).

I thought that the true Mormon history was more with Brigham Young.Remini shows that Smith was not just some wilderness prophet, but an engaging and creative (perhaps too creative?) individual with faults and brilliance.His story is certainly an American tale.

I also learned about other aspects of Mormonism that surprised me such as Smith teaching of polytheism.The Amazon editors note a couple of errors by the author such as the number of B. Young's wives, but frankly after a more than a few wives, I too would lose count (and my mind).All told, there were many more stories of interest than what I expected and essentially a well balanced and sympathetic portrait.

3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat superficial and cursory
Why was this book written? Did Mr. Remini uncover some startling new documents by or about Joseph Smith? Did he come up with a radical new interpretation of the life and continuing influence of Joseph Smith? Did he have anything to tell us that hasn't been said before? Or was this just a venture to make some pocket money from the well-known name of Robert Remini? I vote for the latter explanation.

If one really wanted to read an in-depth, perceptive biography of Joseph Smith, they should read Fawn Brodie's "No Man Knows My History." If they didn't have the time to devote to a full-length bio, they would even benefit fromreading the wikipedia entry on Smith, which is both shorter than Remini's book and yet more informative, as it contains most of the pertinent facts, alongside stark criticism and links to more detailed studies of the individual controversies. While Remini's study is indeed serviceable, it doesn't even contain an index, is necessarily superficial because of its length and seems padded with attempts to shoehorn the author's hobbyhorses- Jacksonian politics and the Second Great Awakening- into a life of Joseph Smith. My advice is not to waste your time. Read Fawn Brodie's book, or go on the internet.

5-0 out of 5 stars You can't win if you write a biography of Joseph Smith.
No matter what you say about Joseph Smith, you can't win.Mormons will crucify you if you're not entirely on board with the whole Prophet thing, and non-Mormons will hang you out to dry you if you're even the least bit sypathetic ... so I won't even go there.I just loved this book's narrative voice. Mr. Remini could teach quite few historians a thing or two about economy and style.

I dig the whole series.Way to go, Penguin.
... Read more


20. Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon
by Robert D. Anderson
Paperback: 300 Pages (1999-08-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560851252
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
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. Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith, writes W. W. Meissner (Professor of Psychoanalysis, Boston College; author, Ignatius of Loyola: The Psychology of a Saint): "is a superb study, approached with the dual advantage of an insider and an experienced psychiatrist. Anderson presents a convincing psychobiographic analysis of a great religious figure, unveiling for us a profound and perplexing question surrounding religious movements how such important figures can translate psychic disturbances into messages of conviction and inspiration. The story itself is powerful, and the questions it raises are thought provoking." Brigham D. Madsen (professor emeritus of history, former vice president, University of Utah; editor, Studies of the Book of Mormon by B. H. Roberts) agrees that "Anderson has an excellent grasp of early Mormon history and writes with dispassion and good balance, impressive scholarship, and readable prose. His naturalistic explanation provides a unique and penetrating analysis of factors which motivated and fashioned Joseph Smith's dictation of the Book of Mormon. We have been waiting a long time for this book." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars BEWARE!!!
Joseph Smith was a fraud. The whole Mormon religion is based on lies, false information, deception, half-truths etc. It's racist too. The Book of Mormon reads more like a fairy tale than anything else. The sad thing is that I believe many of its adherents are well-meaning, but misguided. How can so many people be deluded? I pray that they will seek Jesus before it's too late.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative Joseph Smith review
I thought the book overstated Smith's life events.I am not a Mormon, rather I have extensive reading of available Mormon material as a self interest.I believe Smith had some collaboration as the break up of the group demonstrated in their writing.However, I found the book well written and informative and would recommend it to those readers that are interested in Mormon roots.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Reasonable Look at Joe Smith
Inside in the Mind of Joseph Smith is a valuable addition to the small library of books that critically and impartially look at the life of Mormonism's founder.Robert D. Anderson, MD is a semi-retired psychiatrist with a special interest in psychoanalysis, and he uses these skills to examine how and why Joseph Smith created the Book of Mormon (BoM).To Anderson, the BoM is a veiled autobiography of Smith, and Anderson writes a thorough and lucid comparison of notable events in Smith's life to stories in the BoM.Though sometimes circumstantial, this evidence piles up so that the clear thinker cannot help but understand that Smith's claims of translating an ancient record are bogus, often pitiful, and always self serving.

What prompted Smith to dictate a wild, violent set of stories that became his claim to prophethood?As a child, Smith underwent a horrible trauma of three operations without anesthesia on a leg bone diseased with typhoid osteomyelitis.This ghastly triad of events damaged Smith's psyche deeply; and put together with a drunk, lazy father; a superstitious and depressed mother; and episodes ofprofound poverty, young Joseph turned to fantasy and wholesale deceit to make himself seem special.In this state of mind, he describes himself as Nephi, Moroni, and other superhero prophets as he vanquishes his "ancient American" foes.These foes are thinly disguised versions of his perceived enemies--the surgeon who saved his leg, those who put him on trial for treasure hunting, and so forth.

Some weaknesses in Anderson's book detract from its overall strength.Quoting scientific references from the 1950s and constantly reminding us that he is speculating with his comparisons could easily have been remedied.I wish he would have fleshed out the "psychobiography" of Joseph Smith's later life more than he did.Joseph's "marrying" and having sexual relations with teenage brides; coaxing married women to secretly marry him--these are events that certainly support Anderson's diagnosis of a runaway case of narcissistic personality disorder.The author's case would be more supported and complete with such an analysis.Happily, as he finishes his analysis in the final chapter, Anderson does throw in an interesting description of Joseph at the height of his narcissism (Nauvoo).Letters written by Charlotte Haven, an unbiased visitor to Nauvoo near the end of Smith's life, describe Smith as boastful, egomaniacal, coarse, and seriously lacking in social skills.

Anderson's book is a necessary addition to the library critical of the LDS church's founder.As Fawn Brodie pointed out in her classic No Man Knows My History, starting a religion in the age of publishing and printing presses was, among other things, quite daring.When one looks critically at materials written by and about Smith during his lifetime, you see a sad picture of a man horribly deformed psychologically by traumatic surgery and poor, superstitious parents.His production, the Book of Mormon, is a superhero-filled comic book of a boy-man crying out for a childhood filled with love and security he never had.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of a narcissist
Anderson begins by accepting the scientific evidence supporting the conclusion that the Book of Mormon is a fraud.Within this context, and owing to its rapid dictation, he views the Book of Mormon akin to the sort of free association a psychologist might encounter with a patient.He then applies the principles of psychoanalytic analysis to discern specific attributes and traits of Joseph Smith's personality.In Anderson's words:

"This book is not about `Did Joseph Smith create the Book of Mormon?" but "How did Joseph Smith create the Book of Mormon." [xxvi]

I must admit I was skeptical about the author's claim.After all, psychoanalysis is viewed by many scientists as a branch of pseudoscience and quackery.Anderson tempers his approach, however, and when he goes out on a limb with his explanations he's quick to point it out to the reader, and to moderate his conclusions with warnings about the limitations of his craft.

Even if one disregards the psychoanalytic aspects all together, this book still has considerable value.Anderson presents a nice summary of interesting bits of early Mormonism that are probably unknown to most members, owing to the church's revisionist and exclusionary policy toward Joseph's early history.Anderson also presents some very compelling parallels between Smith's life and key events and themes in the Book of Mormon.

The author diagnoses Joseph Smith as a narcissist.He also claims the Book of Mormon plays out (often several times) key events from Smith's life.Some of the parallels he describes are truly interesting and hard to ignore.Because of this, the temptation is always present to use these parallels as evidence against the Book of Mormon.While parallels between Smith's life and the Book of Mormon do call into question the book's authenticity, one must remember that the book's fraudulent nature is accepted from the start with Anderson.

With the exception of the introduction, the book is quite interesting and held my interest.The introduction is filled (it seems) with very dry and technical information about psychoanalysis that I found hard to wade through.This is unfortunate because it may dissuade readers who would truly enjoy later parts of the book.

Anderson describes many parallels that are striking and too obvious to ignore.Sometimes, though, I think he tries too hard, and I found some of his conclusions far fetched.When the parallels don't quite line up he invokes inversion and exaggeration.This left me with the occasional impression that the author was simply picking and choosing explanations - using correlation when it's there, and anti-correlation when it's not there.That's exactly the sort of ad hoc story telling that astrologers and other superstitious people use, and it distracts somewhat from the validity of Anderson's case.

According to Anderson, Smith saw himself as Nephi (Nephi was just one of Smith's alter egos in the Book of Mormon), and Smith used elements of his life throughout the Book of Mormon.Here are a few examples:
1) Nephi is Smith.Later in the book, Smith uses Moroni as an alter ego
2) The surgeons who cut into Joseph's leg are represented by Laban and other bad guys in the story
3) The surgeon's knife is represented by the sword of Laban
4) A prophet named Nephi raised his dead brother.The brother represents Joseph's brother, Alvin, who also died, and the story illustrates Smith's fanciful vision of himself as a great prophet
5) Smith's money-digging activities and superstitions are mirrored in the slippery tools and treasure in the Book of Mormon
6) Jesus' work with little children and the visions received by the little children represent Smith's frustration over the fact that his prophecy failed when he said his first son (born disfigured and stillborn) would translate from the gold plates
7) Cities, roads, political events and robbers/barons from Smith's frontier life are all represented in the Book of Mormon (Many others have commented on the obvious parallels between Book of Mormon politics and religion and Smith's sermons in the Book of Mormon).

Anderson claims the parallels in the Book of Mormon and Smith's actual life are so correlated that the chronology is mirrored in 3 Nephi (one of two other places where Anderson says Smith presents his life in allegory).He outlines over a dozen of them on pages 110-111 (table 2).Although I winced at some of his parallels, I think may of them are quite remarkable, and all of them are more striking than anything FARMS has ever presented in their comical attempts to prove the Book of Mormon's authenticity.

The last few pages are among the best.Here, Anderson illustrates how narcissistic religious leaders attract converts with particular personalities, and how the followers reinforce the leader, who then reinforces the followers in a circular fashion as they feed each other's emotional needs.He also illustrates the narcissistic nature of the LDS Church itself:

"The narcissist not only assigns feelings and roles to other(s) but also coerces and manipulates others into taking the assignment.A common technique is the implied threat: "If you don't accept the position, feeling, or role in relationship to me, I will leave or send you away."The second party - individual or group - accepts the role, abandons critical evaluation, and remains locked in a primitive form of fused function with the narcissist."

Reading this book, I was struck by the many narcissistic characteristics found in the "leaders" that Mormons favor today.George W. Bush, for example, has many of Smith's narcissistic qualities, and he was elected by about 72 percent of Utahans - a higher percentage than any other state.It's as if Smith designed Mormonism so that it attracts members who value narcissistic leaders, ensuring that Joseph's legacy lives on in the controlling religious/political nature of the modern LDS Church, as victims beget victims, and narcissistic leaders egg them on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside...J.S." may be wrong, but not cuz Spaulding wrote it.
I look up reviews for Solomon Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" and found one which follows. People who have not read the book should not write reviews, and I am breaking that rule. However, I doubt the reviewer that attributed authorship of the BOM to Spaulding did, either. In this case, I'm hoping two wrongs will make a right and my five stars negate her one. If it is a one-star, it isn't because the author chose the wrong subject.

Manuscript Found, November 21, 2002
Reviewer: Kathy Quito David from South Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

This book was interesting because of the older novelist style of writing, which it is a very good example of. However, the novel is not finished, which is very disappointing. The story wanders from the beginning, in which a ship from early Rome is blown off course across the Atlantic ocean to North America about the first century A.D., to a description of two Ppre-Columbian Native American populations who exist in peace until a forbidden love causes a war. The story never returns to the plight of the Roman castaways (which is disappointing, as it starts out in a very interesting way), and continues to digress at many points throughout the story.

One of the major interests about this book is the premise that Joseph Smith, who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly called the Mormon Church, used Mr. Spauldings book as the basis for the Book of Mormon. After reading the unfinished novel, it becomes plain that the Book of Mormon and Manuscript Found have little in common other than the setting of North America and the fact that pre-Columbian American peoples are both featured in both books. The Mormons were responsible for publishing Manuscript Found (which was never published by the author for want of any publisher's interest in it), in an effort to show that the novel could not have been used by Joseph Smith as a source for the Book of Mormon (which Mormons believe is an additional book of sacred scripture and a testament of Jesus Christ when he appeared to pre-Columbian Native Americans shortly after his crucifixtion and ascension to heaven). Many critics of the Mormons have stated that Mr. Spauldings Manuscript Found was Joseph Smith's inspiration for the Book of Mormon. However, after reading the book objectively, and comparing it to the Book of Mormon, I found almost no similarity at all, other than the setting of Pre-Columbian North America.

Still, Manuscript Found is an interesting work. The edition published by the Mormons shows photocopies of Mr. Spaulding's original manuscript at the beginning of each chapter and also prints the parts he crossed out so that the entire manuscript may be seen in the published form, including the author's editing marks. It is worthwhile to read it. ... Read more


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