Mormonism and Wikipedia/Joseph Smith, Jr./1827 to 1830

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    An analysis of Wikipedia article "Joseph Smith"

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia: "Joseph Smith"
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Every witness to Joseph Smith's translation of the Book of Mormon said that he looked at a stone in his hat. Arguing that Smith never said how he translated is arguing from silence. There is no evidence for anything else but the hat and just Mormon embarrassment at how silly this method must seem to most prospective converts today.....The burden of proof is on you. There are no accounts of Smith translating that indicate he used any other method but the hat. You can't argue from silence. Where are the references to any other method? Even the father of lies himself didn't spell one out.....Baloney. No other eyewitness said there was any other method. No scholarship argues for any other method. You're just pushing this POV because there's no reason to preserve golden plates for generations if Smith made no use of them. But according to all eyewitnesses that's exactly what happened. Embarrassing, isn't it?
—Editor "John Foxe," posting using his banned sockpuppet "Hi540," insisting that the stone-in-hat was the only Book of Mormon translation method ever documented, 23 October 2009 off-site
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Reviews of previous revisions of this section

Section review

Founding a church (1827–30)  Updated 9/3/2011

From the Wikipedia article:
In October 1827, Smith and his pregnant

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , p. 55.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
wife moved from Palmyra to Harmony (now Oakland), Pennsylvania,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Newell (Avery) , p. 2.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
aided by money from a comparatively prosperous neighbor Martin Harris.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 62–63; Walker (1986) , p. 35; Remini (2002) , p. 55 (Harris' money allowed Smith to pay his debts and thus allowed him to move without being arrested for evading his creditors); Smith (1853) , p. 113; Howe (1834) .

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Neutral Point-of-View off-site— All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources.

    The footnote implies that Joseph would have attempted to evade his creditors had Martin Harris not become involved.
  • From the cited source Remini, p. 55:

Because of mounting pressure in Manchester to see and examine the plates, Joseph realized he could never translate them in peace and safety if he stayed in town. He would have to leave Palmyra to do it; but that created a problem. He was debt-ridden, and any sudden departure would bring his creditors chasing after him with subpoenas for his arrest. Fortunately the angel had revealed to Joseph that Martin Harris, a prosperous farmer, had been chosen to help in the translation of the plates.


From the Wikipedia article:
Living near his disapproving in-laws,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , p. 56.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith transcribed some of the characters (what he called "reformed Egyptian") engraved on the plates and then dictated a translation to his wife.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 63; Remini (2002) , p. 56; Roberts (1902) , p. 19;Howe (1834) , pp. 270–71 (Smith sat behind a curtain and passed transcriptions to his wife or her brother).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
For at least some of the earliest translation, Smith said he used "Urim and Thummim",

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (Mulholland) , p. 9 (describing early translation with the Urim and Thummim from December 1827 to February 1828); Remini (2002) , p. 57 (noting that Emma Smith said that Smith started translating with the Urim and Thummim and then eventually used his dark seer stone exclusively); Bushman (2005) , p. 66; Quinn (1998) , pp. 169–70 (noting that, according to witnesses, Smith's early translation with the two-stone Urim and Thummim spectacles involved placing the spectacles in his hat, and that the spectacles were too large to actually wear). In one 1842 statement, Smith said that "[t]hrough the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift, the power of God." Smith (1842) , p. 707. There is debate as to whether or not this statement is consistent with his known use of a seer stone other than the Urim and Thummim. Quinn (1998) , p. 175 argues that the term Urim and Thummim was a generic term early Mormons used to refer to all of Smith's seer stones. Persuitte (2000) , pp. 81–83 interprets Smith to say that he translated the entire Book of Mormon with the two stones found with the plates, which would be in flat contradiction with his documented use of the chocolate-colored seer stone.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Neutral Point-of-View off-site— All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources.

    The summary of Persuitte is worded in such a way that it makes it appear that Joseph lied about the instrument used to translate. However, both the Nephite interpreters and the seer stone were eventually referred to as "Urim and Thummin."
  • Note this statement from Joseph Knight, which equates the Urim and Thummin with Joseph's seer stone,

Now the way he translated was he put the urim and thummim into his hat and Darkned his Eyes than he would take a sentance and it would apper in Brite Roman Letters. (MANUSCRIPT OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH, 22 Sept. 1827)

  • Bushman states,

For two months, form about April 12 to June 14, 1828, Joseph and Harris were hard at work. Joseph translated using the interpreters (also called the Urim and Thummim, crystals mounted on a breast plate), and Harris wrote down the text as it was dictated. A curtain divided the men to prevent Harris from seeing the plates.


From the Wikipedia article:
a pair of seer stones he said were buried with the golden plates.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (Mulholland) , p. 4 (stating that deposited with the plates were "two stones in silver bows" and stating that "these stones fastened into a breastplate constituted what is called the Urim & Thummim...."); Smith (1842) , p. 707 (describing "a curious instrument which the ancients called 'Urim and Thummim,' which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate.").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Later, however, he used the single chocolate-colored stone he had found in 1822 and used for treasure hunting.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1998) , pp. 171–73 (witnesses said that Smith shifted from the Urim and Thummim to the single brown seer stone after the loss of the earliest 116 manuscript pages); Persuitte (2000) , pp. 81–82 (none of the existing Book of Mormon transcript was created using the Urim and Thummim); Remini (2002) , p. 57 (noting that Emma Smith said that after 1828, Smith used his dark seer stone exclusively).

FAIR's analysis:

  • As noted in the official Church magazine for children, the Friend,

"To help him with the translation, Joseph found with the gold plates “a curious instrument which the ancients called Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones set in a rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate.” Joseph also used an egg-shaped, brown rock for translating called a seer stone."
—“A Peaceful Heart,” Friend, Sep 1974, 7 off-site (emphasis added)

  • Use of the Nephite interpreters (the "spectacles") would have occurred during the early part of the translation process, before the loss of the 116 pages, after which Joseph may have switched to using his seer stone. This is also the period of time during which it appears that a blanket was hung to shield Joseph and the plates from view.
  • For a detailed response, see: Book of Mormon/Translation
  • For an analysis of D. Michael Quinn's critical work, see A FAIR Analysis of Early Mormonism and the Magic World View.


From the Wikipedia article:
As when divining the location of treasure,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1998) , p. 173 ("[T]he actual translation process was strikingly similar to the way Smith used the same stone for treasure-hunting."); Bushman (2005) (In using the divining power of stones, Smith blended the magic culture of his upbringing with inspired translation.).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith said he saw the words of the translation while he gazed at the stone or stones in the bottom of his hat, excluding all light.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 71–72; Marquardt (Walters) , pp. 103–04; Van Wagoner (Walker) , pp. 52–53 (citing numerous witnesses of the translation process); Quinn (1998) , pp. 169–70, 173 (describing similar methods for both the two-stone Urim and Thummim and the chocolate seer stone).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Citing sources off-site— There is either no citation to support the statement or the citation given is incorrect.

    Joseph Smith himself never said anything about how the translation was performed, other than that it was accomplished through the "gift and power of God." It was David Whitmer who claimed that Joseph saw actual words on the stone.
  • Bushman notes:

[A]s work on the Book of Mormon proceeded, a seerstone took the place of the Urim and Thummim as an aid in the work, blending magic with inspired translation." (Bushman, p. 131) "There is evidence that the translation stone was given him after he lost the Urim and Thummim when the 116 pages disappeared. (Bushman, p. 590, note 24 citing Van Wagoner and Walker, "'The Gift of Seeing,'" 54)


From the Wikipedia article:
The plates themselves were not directly consulted.

Wikipedia footnotes:
Van Wagoner (Walker) , p. 53 ("The plates could not have been used directly in the translation process."); Bushman (2005) , pp. 71–72 (Joseph did not pretend to look at the 'reformed Egyptian' words, the language on the plates, according to the book's own description. The plates lay covered on the table, while Joseph's head was in the hat looking at the seerstone...."); Marquardt (Walters) , pp. 103–04 ("When it came to translating the crucial plates, they were no more present in the room than was John the Beloved's ancient 'parchment', the words of which Joseph also dictated at the time.").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith did this in full view of witnesses, but sometimes concealed the process by raising a curtain or dictating from another room.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Cole (1831) ; Howe (1834) , p. 14.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
    From the cited source Howe, p. 14:

[Martin Harris] says he wrote a considerable part of the book, as Smith dictated, and at one time the presence of the Lord was so great, that a screen was hung up between him and the Prophet; at other times the Prophet would sit in a different room, or up stairs, while the Lord was communicating to him the contents of the plates.

  • Note that the use of the curtain appears to have occurred during the early period of translation when the Nephite interpreters were being employed. The use of the curtain many have served to screen both the plates and Nephite interpreters from view. After the loss of the 116 pages, removal of the Nephite interpreters by Moroni, and Joseph's subsequent use of the seer stone, the translation appears to have taken place in plain view and the curtain is not present.
  • For a detailed response, see: Book of Mormon/Translation and Book of Mormon/Translation/Method


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith may have considered giving up the translation because of opposition from his in-laws,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Morgan (1986) , p. 280.

FAIR's analysis:

  • Given that Joseph was commanded by God to perform the translation, this is highly unlikely. There are some additional secondary hostile sources which are used to support the assertion put forth in the wiki article:
    • Booth (1831) (Smith "had given [the translation] up, on account of the opposition of his wife and others".)
  • Howe (1834) , p. 266 (Smith confided to Emma's uncle, a Methodist deacon, that despite the commandment from God, "he was afraid of the people"); *Phelps (1833) , p. 7 (July 1828 revelation rebuking Smith because he had often "gone on in the persuasions of men...behold, you should not have feared man more than God").
  • With regard to a statement made by Nathaniel Lewis, t should be noted that the there are many inconsistencies that do not correlate with things that Joseph is known to have said regarding the plates, the witnesses and the translation.
  1. Joseph never stated to anyone that he asked advice from a Methodist preacher as to whether or not he should translate the plates.
  2. Joseph never stated that he considered not translating the plates because he was "afraid of the people."
  3. Joseph never said that he was told to "exhibit the plates to the world."
  4. Joseph never said that Nathaniel Lewis would be one of the witnesses.
  • From Howe, p. 266:

From my standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church, I suppose he was careful how he conducted or expressed himself before me. At one time, however, he came to my house, and asked my advice, whether he should proceed to translate the Book of Plates (referred to by Mr. Hale) or not. He said that God had commanded him to translate it, but he was afraid of the people: he remarked, that he was to exhibit the plates to the world, at a certain time, which was then about eighteen months distant. I told him I was not qualified to give advice in such cases. Smith frequently said to me that I should see the plates at the time appointed.


From the Wikipedia article:
but in February 1828, Martin Harris arrived to spur him on

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 63 (Harris had a vision that he was to assist with a "marvelous work"); Roberts (1902) , p. 19 (Harris arrived in Harmony in February 1828); Booth (1831) (Harris had to convince Smith to continue translating, saying, "I have not come down here for nothing, and we will go on with it").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Citing sources off-site— There is either no citation to support the statement or the citation given is incorrect.

    Ezra Booth, a hostile source, is the only one of the three sources used to claim that Harris arrived in order to convince Joseph to continue translating. The other two sources simply confirm that "Martin Harris arrived" in order assist Joseph. According to Booth:

Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and Martin Harris, may be considered as the principals in this work; and let Martin Harris tell the story, and he is the most conspicuous of the four. -- He informed me, that he went to the place where Joseph resided, and Joseph had given it up, on account of the opposition of his wife and others: but he told Joseph. "I have not come down here for nothing, and we will go on with it." Martin Harris is what may be called a great talker, and an extravagant boaster; so much so, that he renders himself disagreeable to many of his own society.


From the Wikipedia article:
by taking the characters and their translations to a few prominent scholars.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 63–64 (the plan to use a scholar to authenticate the characters was part of a vision received by Harris; author notes that Smith's mother said the plan to authenticate the characters was arranged between Smith and Harris before Harris left Palmyra); Remini (2002) , pp. 57–58 (noting that the plan arose from a vision of Martin Harris). According to Bushman (2005) , p. 64, these scholars probably included at least Luther Bradish in Albany, New York Lapham (1870) , Samuel L. Mitchill of New York City (Hadley (1829) ; Jessee (1976) , p. 3), and Charles Anthon of New York City Howe (1834) , pp. 269–272.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Harris claimed that one of the scholars he visited, Charles Anthon, initially authenticated the characters and their translation, then recanted upon hearing that Smith had received the plates from an angel.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 64–65; Remini (2002) , pp. 58–59.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Anthon denied this claim

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Howe (1834) , pp. 269–72 (Anthon's description of his meeting with Harris, claiming he tried to convince Harris that he was a victim of a fraud). But see Vogel (2004) , p. 115 (arguing that Anthon's initial assessment was likely more positive than he would later admit).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • Anthon's two letters actually contradicted one another. According to the cited source (Bushman, p. 65),

In the first letter Anthon said he refused to give Harris a written opinion; according to the second, the opinion was written "without any hesitation," in an attempt to expose the fraud.

  • Bushman, p. 577 note 16 states that the 1834 Anthon letter first appeared in MoU, 269-72, and the 1841 letter in Clark, Gleanings by the Way, 233-38. Both are reprinted in Early Mormon Documents, 4:377-86.
  • For a detailed response, see: Book of Mormon/Translation/Anthon transcript


From the Wikipedia article:
and Harris returned to Harmony in April 1828 motivated to act as Smith's scribe.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Roberts (1902) , p. 20.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Translation continued until mid-June 1828, until Harris began having doubts about the existence of the golden plates.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • These doubts were induced by his wife's deep skepticism. Bushman , p. 66.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Harris importuned Smith to let him take the existing 116 pages of manuscript to Palmyra to show a few family members.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , pp. 117–18; Roberts (1902) , p. 20.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Harris then lost the manuscript—of which there was no copy—at about the same time as Smith's wife Emma gave birth to a stillborn son.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • During this dark period, Smith briefly attended his in-laws' Methodist church, but one of Emma's cousins "objected to the inclusion of a 'practicing necromancer' on the Methodist roll," and Smith voluntarily withdrew rather than face a disciplinary hearing. Bushman (2005) , pp. 69–70.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith said the angel had taken away the plates and he had lost his ability to translate

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Phelps (1833) (revelation dictated by Smith stating that his gift to translate was temporarily revoked); Smith (1832) , p. 5 (stating that the angel had taken away the plates and the Urim and Thummim).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
until September 22, 1828, when they were restored.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (1853) , p. 126.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith did not earnestly resume the translation again until April 1829, when he met Oliver Cowdery, a teacher and dowser,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Hill (1977) , p. 86 (Cowdery had brought with him a "rod of nature," perhaps acquired while he was among his father's religious group in Vermont, who believed that certain rods had spiritual properties and could be used in divining."); Bushman (2005) , p. 73 ("Cowdery was open to belief in Joseph's powers because he had come to Harmony the possessor of a supernatural gift alluded to in a revelation..." and his family had apparently engaged in treasure seeking and other magical practices.)Quinn (1998) , pp. 35–36, 121.

FAIR's analysis:

  • Oliver himself may have used a divining rod, although there is no evidence that it was used for treasure-seeking. According to the cited source, "Most likely, Cowdery used a rod to discover water and minerals." (Bushman, p. 73).
  • It should be noted that in the original draft of the revelation mentioning the "rod of nature," that the instrument was referred to as the "sprout" and the "thing of Nature." The change in text of these items to "rod of nature" was made by Sidney Rigdon.

...remember this is thy gift now this is not all for thou hast another gift which is the gift of working with the sprout Behold it hath told you things Behold there is no other power save God that can cause this thing of Nature to work in your hands. (Revelation, April 1829–B [D&C 8], in Robin Scott Jensen, Robert J. Woodford, and Stephen C. Harper, eds., Manuscript Revelation Books, vol. 1 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2009), 17. )


From the Wikipedia article:
who now became Smith's scribe.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 74 (Smith and Cowdery began translating where the narrative left off after the lost 116 pages, now representing the Book of Mosiah. A revelation would later direct them not to re-translate the lost text, to ensure that the lost pages could not later be found and compared to the re-translation.).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
They worked full time on the translation between April and early June 1829,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 70–74.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
and then moved to Fayette, New York where they continued to work at the home of Cowdery's friend Peter Whitmer. When the translation spoke of an institutional church and a requirement for baptism, Smith and Cowdery baptized each other,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 5–6, 38 (contrasting the 1829 view with the churchless Mormonism of 1828); Bushman (2005) , pp. 74–75.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
with written documents five years later stating that John the Baptist had appeared and ordained them to a priesthood.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 15–20 (noting that Mormon records and publications contain no mention of any angelic conferral of authority until 1834); Bushman (2005) , p. 75.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Translation was completed around July 1, 1829.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 78.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Knowing that potential converts to the planned church might find Smith's story of the plates incredible,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 77 (Smith "began to seek converts the question of credibility had to be addressed again. Joseph knew his story was unbelievable.").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith asked a group of eleven witnesses, including Martin Harris and male members of the Whitmer and Smith families, to sign a statement testifying that they had seen the golden plates, and in the case of the latter eight witnesses, had actually hefted the plates.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 77–79. There were two statements, one by a set of Three Witnesses and another by a set of Eight Witnesses. The two testimonies are undated, and the exact dates on which the Witnesses are said to have seen the plates is unknown.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
According to Smith, the angel Moroni took back the plates after Smith was finished using them.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (Mulholland) , p. 8.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
The translation, known as the Book of Mormon, was published in Palmyra on March 26, 1830, by printer E. B. Grandin.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 82.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Martin Harris financed the publication by mortgaging his farm.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 80 (noting that Harris' marriage dissolved in part because his wife refused to be a party, and he eventually sold his farm to pay the bill.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Soon thereafter on April 6, 1830, Smith and his followers formally organized the Church of Christ,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Scholars and eye-witnesses disagree whether the church was organized in Manchester, New York at the Smith log home, or in Fayette at the home of Peter Whitmer. Bushman (2005) , p. 109; Marquardt (2005) , pp. 223–23 (arguing that organization in Manchester is most consistent with eye-witness statements).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  References not included in the Wikipedia article
    Several Fayette references are missing.
  • The recently revealed Book of Commandments and Revelations, which had been kept in the First Presidency's vault until its publication in the Joseph Smith Papers series, supports the Fayette location. According to R. Scott Lloyd,:

"The manuscript may have the effect, [Steven C. Harper] said, of resolving a controversy that has arisen over whether the Church was organized at Fayette, N.Y., as has traditionally been understood, or at Manchester, N.Y. It does so by affirming that a revelation given on April 6, 1830, was given at Fayette, not at Manchester. 'The 1833 Book of Commandments, heretofore the earliest source available, located this revelation in Manchester,' he explained. Some authors thus argued that the traditional story of the Church's founding in Fayette lacked foundation in the historical record, 'but we can now see that in this case, tradition and the historical record match up,' he said."
(R. Scott Lloyd, "'Major Discovery' Discussed at Mormon History Association Conference," Church News, 22 May 2009.)

  • Orson Pratt: "I well recollect when I was but a boy of nineteen visiting the place where this Church was organized, and visiting the Prophet Joseph, who resided at that time in Fayette, Seneca County, New York, at the house where the Church was organized." (Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 13:356.)
  • French’s New York Gazetteer, published by R. Pearsall Smith, at Syracuse, New York, [since] 1800, also contained some data concerning Mormonism, and states that the first Mormon society was formed in the town of Fayette, Seneca County, in 1830” (Letter, Diedrich Villers, Jr. to Ellen E. Dickinson; published in Ellen E. Dickinson, New Light on Mormonism)
  • For a detailed response, see: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Location of the organization


From the Wikipedia article:
and small branches were established in Palmyra, Fayette, and Colesville, New York.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Phelps (1833) , p. 55 (noting that by July 1830, the church was "in Colesville, Fayette, and Manchester").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
The Book of Mormon brought Smith regional notoriety,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 80–82.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
but also strong opposition by those who remembered Smith's money-digging and his 1826 trial near Colesville.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 117(noting that area residents connected the discovery of the Book of Mormon with Smith's past career as a money digger);Brodie (1971) (discussing organized boycott of Book of Mormon by Palmyra residents, p. 80, and opposition by Colesville and Bainbridge residents who remembered the 1826 trial, p. 87).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Soon after Smith reportedly performed an exorcism in Colesville,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 86 (describing the exorcism).

FAIR's analysis:

  • According to Brodie (p. 86):

"Almost immediately [Newel Knight] spoke to me," Joseph wrote in his autobiography, "and with great earnestness requested me to cast the devil out of him, saying the he knew he was in him, and that he also knew that I could cast him out." "If you know that I can, it shall be done," Joseph replied, and in the conventional exorcist's fashion commanded the devil in the name of Christ to release the man's soul. Immediately Knight cried out that he saw the devil leave him and vanish from sight. His convulsions ceased and he fell upon the bed unconscious, awakening later to testify that he had glimpsed eternity.


From the Wikipedia article:
he was again tried as a disorderly person but was acquitted.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 116–17.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • From the cited source,

When village toughs failed to stop the baptisms, the law stepped in. Before the newly baptized members could be confirmed, a constable from South Bainbridge delivered a warrant for Joseph's arrest. Doctor A. W. Benton of Chenago County, whom Joseph Knight called a "catspaw" of a group of vagabonds, brought charges against Joseph as a disorderly person. (Bushman, p. 116).


From the Wikipedia article:
Even so, Smith and Cowdery had to flee Colesville to escape a gathering mob. Probably referring to this period of flight, Smith told years later of hearing the voices of Peter, James, and John who he said gave Smith and Cowdery an apostolic authority.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 24–26; Bushman (2005) , p. 118.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
When Oliver Cowdery and other church members attempted to exercise independent authority

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 120 ("Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer family began to conceive of themselves as independent authorities with the right to correct Joseph and receive revelation.").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
—as when Book of Mormon witness Hiram Page used his seer stone to locate the American New Jerusalem prophesied by the Book of Mormon

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Roberts (1902) , pp. 109–110.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
—Smith responded by establishing himself as the sole prophet.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 121; Phelps (1833) , p. 67 ("[N]o one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church, excepting my servant Joseph, for he receiveth them even as Moses.").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
    , although it would be more correct to state the Joseph established himself as sole prophet for the entire Church.


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith disputed Page's location for the New Jerusalem,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Phelps (1833) , p. 68 ("[I]t is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city shall be built.").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
but dispatched Cowdery to lead a mission to Missouri to find its true location

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Phelps (1833) , p. 68 ("The New Jerusalem "shall be on the borders by the Lamanites."); Bushman (2005) , p. 122 (church members knew that "on the borders by the Lamanites" referred to Western Missouri, and Cowdery's mission in part was to "locate the place of the New Jerusalem along this frontier").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and to proselytize the Native Americans.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Phelps (1833) , pp. 67–68 (Cowdery "shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them".).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith also dictated a lost "Book of Enoch," telling how the biblical Enoch had established a city of Zion of such civic goodness that God had taken it to heaven.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 96 (noting that this was the third time Smith had revealed "lost books" since the Book of Mormon, the first being the "parchment of John" produced in 1829, and the second the Book of Moses dictated in June 1830.

FAIR's analysis:

  • Brodie states that Joseph "dictated to Cowdery a fragment said to have come from a parchment buried by St. John," that he "revealed a conversation between God and Moses," and that he "wrote one of the longest and most remarkable revelations of his career" about Enoch.


From the Wikipedia article:
On their way to Missouri, Cowdery's party passed through the Kirtland, Ohio area and converted Sidney Rigdon and over a hundred members of his Disciples of Christ congregation,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 124; Roberts (1902) , pp. 120–124.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
more than doubling the size of the church.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • F. Mark McKiernan, "The Conversion of Sidney Rigdon to Mormonism," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 5 (Summer 1970): 77. Parley Pratt said that the Mormon mission baptized 127 within two or three weeks "and this number soon increased to one thousand." McKiernan argues that "Rigdon's conversion and the missionary effort which followed transformed Mormonism from a New York-based sect with about a hundred members into one which was a major threat to Protestantism in the Western Reserve."

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Rigdon visited New York and quickly became second in command of the church,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 96 ("When Rigdon read the Book of Enoch, the scholar in him fled and the evangelist stepped into the place of second in command of the millennial church.").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
    This is, of course, Brodie's opinion.


From the Wikipedia article:
to the discomfort of Smith's earlier followers.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 123–24; Brodie (1971) , pp. 96–97.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
In the face of acute and growing opposition in New York, Smith announced that Kirtland was the "eastern boundary" of the New Jerusalem,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 97 (citing letter by Smith to Kirtland converts, quoted in Howe (1833) , p. 111). In 1834, Smith designated Kirtland as one of the "stakes" of Zion, referring to the tent–stakes metaphor of Isaiah 54:2.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and that the Saints must gather there.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Phelps (1833) , pp. 79–80 ("And again, a commandment I give unto the church, that it is expedient in me that they should assemble together in the Ohio, until the time that my servant Oliver Cowdery shall return unto them."); Bushman (2005) , pp. 124–25; Brodie (1971) , p. 96 (noting that Rigdon had urged Smith to return with him to Ohio).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


References

Wikipedia references for "Joseph Smith, Jr."
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  • Allen, James B., The Significance of Joseph Smith's "First Vision" in Mormon Thought off-site .
  • (1992), The Mormon Experience University of Illinois Press .
  • (1980), The Lion and the Lady: Brigham Young and Emma Smith off-site .
  • Bergera, Gary James (editor) (1989), Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine Signature Books .
  • Bloom, Harold, (1992), The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation Simon & Schuster .
  • Booth, Ezra, Mormonism—Nos. VIII–IX (Letters to the editor) off-site .
  • Brodie, Fawn M., (1971), No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith Knopf .
  • Brooke, , (1994), The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644–1844 Cambridge University Press .
  • Bushman, Richard Lyman, (2005), Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling , New York: Knopf .
  • Clark, John A., (1842), Gleanings by the Way , Philadelphia: W.J. & J.K Simmon off-site .
  • Compton, Todd, (1997), In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith Signature Books .
  • Foster, Lawrence, (1981), Religion and Sexuality: The Shakers, the Mormons, and the Oneida Community , New York: Oxford University Press .
  • Harris, Martin, (1859), Mormonism—No. II off-site .
  • Hill, Donna, (1977), Joseph Smith: The first Mormon , Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co. .
  • Hill, Marvin S., (1976), Joseph Smith and the 1826 Trial: New Evidence and New Difficulties off-site .
  • Hill, Marvin S., (1989), Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism Signature Books off-site .
  • Howe, Eber Dudley, (1834), Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of that Singular Imposition and Delusion, from its Rise to the Present Time , Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press off-site .
  • Hullinger, Robert N., (1992), Joseph Smith's Response to Skepticism Signature Books off-site .
  • Jessee, Dean, (1976), Joseph Knight's Recollection of Early Mormon History off-site .
  • Lapham, [La]Fayette, (1870), Interview with the Father of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, Forty Years Ago. His Account of the Finding of the Sacred Plates off-site .
  • Larson, Stan, (1978), The King Follett Discourse: A Newly Amalgamated Text off-site .
  • Mormon History off-site .
  • Mack, Solomon, (1811), A Narraitve [sic] of the Life of Solomon Mack Windsor: Solomon Mack off-site .
  • (1994), Inventing Mormonism Signature Books .
  • Marquardt, H. Michael, (1999), The Joseph Smith Revelations: Text and Commentary Signature Books .
  • Marquardt, H. Michael, (2005), The Rise of Mormonism: 1816–1844 Xulon Press .
  • Matzko, John, (2007), The Encounter of the Young Joseph Smith with Presbyterianism off-site .
  • Morgan, Dale, Walker, John Phillip (editor) (1986), Dale Morgan on Early Mormonism: Correspondence and a New History Signature Books off-site .
  • (2008), Joseph Smith Jr.: reappraisals after two centuries Oxford University Press .
  • Newell, Linda King, (1994), Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith University of Illinois Press .
  • (1999), Mormon America: The Power and the Promise HarperSanFrancisco .
  • Persuitte, David, (2000), Joseph Smith and the origins of the Book of Mormon McFarland & Co. .
  • Phelps, W.W. (editor) (1833), A Book of Commandments, for the Government of the Church of Christ , Zion: William Wines Phelps & Co. off-site .
  • Prince, Gregory A, (1995), Power From On High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood Signature Books .
  • Quinn, D. Michael, (1994), The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power Signature Books .
  • Quinn, D. Michael, (1998), Early Mormonism and the Magic World View Signature Books .
  • Remini, , (2002), Joseph Smith: A Penguin Life Penguin Group .
  • Roberts, B. H. (editor) (1902), History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , Salt Lake City: Deseret News off-site .
  • Roberts, B. H. (editor) (1904), History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , Salt Lake City: Deseret News off-site .
  • Roberts, B. H. (editor) (1905), History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , Salt Lake City: Deseret News off-site .
  • Roberts, B. H. (editor) (1909), History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , Salt Lake City: Deseret News off-site .
  • Shipps, Jan, (1985), Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition University of Illinois Press .
  • Smith, George D., (1994), Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841–46: A Preliminary Demographic Report off-site .
  • Smith, George D, (2008), Nauvoo Polygamy: "...but we called it celestial marriage" Signature Books .
  • Smith, Joseph, Jr., (1830), The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, Upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi , Palmyra, New York: E. B. Grandin off-site . See Book of Mormon.
  • Smith, Joseph, Jr., Jessee, Dean C (editor) (1832), Personal Writings of Joseph Smith , Salt Lake City: Deseret Book .
  • Jessee, Dean C (editor) (1839–1843), Personal Writings of Joseph Smith Deseret Book .
  • (1835), Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God , Kirtland, Ohio: F. G. Williams & Co off-site . See Doctrine and Covenants.
  • Smith, Joseph, Jr., Church History [Wentworth Letter] off-site . See Wentworth letter.
  • Smith, Lucy Mack, (1853), Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations , Liverpool: S.W. Richards off-site . See The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother
  • Tucker, Pomeroy, (1867), Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism , New York: D. Appleton off-site .
  • Turner, Orsamus, (1852), History of the Pioneer Settlement of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, and Morris' Reserve , Rochester, New York: William Alling off-site .
  • Joseph Smith: The Gift of Seeing off-site .
  • Van Wagoner, Richard S., (1992), Mormon Polygamy: A History Signature Books .
  • Vogel, Dan, (1994), The Locations of Joseph Smith's Early Treasure Quests off-site .
  • Vogel, Dan, (2004), Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet Signature Books .
  • Widmer, Kurt, (2000), Mormonism and the Nature of God: A Theological Evolution, 1830–1915 McFarland .


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