Mormonism and Wikipedia/Joseph Smith, Jr./1831 to 1838

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    An analysis of Wikipedia article "Joseph Smith"

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia: "Joseph Smith"
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Life in Ohio (1831–38)  Updated 9/3/2011

From the Wikipedia article:
When Smith moved to Kirtland, Ohio in January 1831,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 98–99, 116, 125 (Smith first lived with Newel K. Whitney in Kirtland, then moved in with John Johnson in 1831 in the nearby town of Hiram, Ohio, and by 1832 had secured a large estate in Kirtland).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
his first task

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 98 (citing LDS D&C 50 Phelps (1833) , pp. 119–23 as Smith's "first important revelation in Kirtland").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
was to bring the Ohio congregation within his own religious authority

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 99–100 (stating that Smith "appealed as much to reason as to emotion," and referred to Smith's style as "autocratic" and "authoritarian," but noted that he was effective in utilizing members' inherent desire to preach as long as they subjected themselves to his ultimate authority); Remini (2002) , p. 95 ("Joseph quickly settled in and assumed control of the Kirtland Church.").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
by quashing the new converts' exuberant exhibition of spiritual gifts.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 99 (gifts included hysterical fits and trances, frenzied rolling on the floor, loud and extended glossalalia, grimacing, and visions taken from parchments hanging in the night sky); Bushman (2005) , pp. 150–52.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Rigdon's congregation of converts included a prophetess that Smith declared to be of the devil.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 100 (noting that the prophetess, named Hubbel, was a friend of Rigdon's)

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Prior to conversion, the congregation had also been practicing a form of Christian communism, and Smith adopted a communal system within his own church, calling it the United Order of Enoch.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 104–108 (stating that the United Order of Enoch was Rigdon's conception (p. 108)); Bushman (2005) , pp. 154–55; Hill (1977) , p. 131 (Rigdon's communal group was called "the family"); see also Phelps (1833) , p. 118 (revelation introducing the communal system, stating, "For behold the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth is ordained for the use of man, for food, and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance, but it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another.").

FAIR's analysis:

  • It is Brodie's own opinion that Joseph got the idea for the United Order from Sidney Rigdon. Bushman notes that the establishment of the Order "put Joseph Smith's Zion in company with scores of utopians who were bent on moderating economic injustices in these years."


From the Wikipedia article:
At Rigdon's suggestion,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 103 (stating that Rigdon suggested that Smith revise the Bible in response to an 1827 revision by Rigdon's former mentor Alexander Campbell).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith began a revision of the Bible in April 1831,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Hill (1977) , p. 131 (although Smith described his work beginning in April 1831 as a "translation," "he obviously meant a revision by inspiration").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
on which he worked sporadically until its completion in 1833.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 142 (noting that though Smith declared the work finished in 1833, the church lacked funds to publish it during his lifetime).

FAIR's analysis:
 Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Rectifying what Rigdon perceived as a defect in Smith's church,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Prince (1995) , p. 116.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith promised the church's elders that in Kirtland they would receive an endowment of heavenly power.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Phelps (1833) , p. 83; Bushman (2005) , pp. 125, 156, 308.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Therefore, in the church's June 1831 general conference,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 111–13 (describing this conference as "the first major failure of his life" because he made irresponsible prophesies and performed failed faith healings, requiring Rigdon to cut the conference short).

FAIR's analysis:

  • Brodie's source is Ezra Booth. Brodie's note on p.111: :

Booth's detailed account of the conference and the story of his own disillusionment were written in a series of letters to Edward Partridge and published in 1831-2 in the Ohio Start at Ravenna. They were reprinted in E. D. Howe: Mormonism Unvailed.

  • Booth claims the following (Mormonism Unvailed, pp. 189-90):

It now became clearly manifest, that "the man of sin was revealed," for the express purpose that the elders should become acquainted with the devices of Satan; and after that they would possess knowledge sufficient to manage him. This, Smith declared to be a miracle, and his success in this case, encouraged him to work other and different miracles. Taking the hand of one of the Elders in his own, a hand which by accident had been rendered defective, he said, "Brother Murdock, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to straighten your hand; in the mean while endeavoring to accomplish the work by using his own hand to open the hand of the other. The effort proved unsuccessful; but he again articulated the same commandment, in a more authoritative and louder tone of voice; and while uttering with his tongue, his hands were at work; but after all the exertion of his power, both natural and supernatural, the deficient hand returned to its former position, where it still remains. But ill success in this case, did not discourage him from undertaking another. One of the Elders who was decriped in one of his legs, was set upon the floor, and commanded, in the name of Jesus Christ to walk. He walked a step or two, his faith failed, and he was again compelled to have recourse to his former assistant, and he has had occasion to use it ever since.

A dead body. which had been retained above ground two or three days, under the expectation that the dead would be raised, was insensible to the voice of those who commanded it to awake into life, and is destined to sleep in the grave till the last trump shall sound, and the power of God easily accomplishes the work, which frustrated the attempts, and bid defiance to the puny efforts of the Mormonite.


From the Wikipedia article:
he introduced the greater authority of a High ("Melchizedek") Priesthood to the church hierarchy.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 111; Bushman (2005) , pp. 156–60; Quinn (1994) , pp. 31–32; Roberts (1902) , pp. 175–76 (On 3 June 1831, "the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders." Annotation by Roberts gives an apologetic explanation.).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
The church grew as new converts poured into Kirtland.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 101.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
By the summer of 1835, there were fifteen hundred to two thousand Mormons in the vicinity of Kirtland

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Arrington (1992) , p. 21.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
expecting Smith to lead them shortly to the Millennial kingdom.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 101–02, 121.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Though Oliver Cowdery's mission to the Indians was a failure,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 110 (describing the mission as a "flat failure").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
he sent word he had found the site for the New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 108.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
After he visited there in July 1831, Smith agreed and pronounced the county's rugged outpost

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 162; Brodie (1971) , p. 109.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Independence to be the "center place" of Zion.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (Cowdery) , p. 154.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Rigdon, however, disapproved of the location, and for most of the 1830s, the church was divided between Ohio and Missouri.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 115.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith continued to live in Ohio but visited Missouri again in early 1832 in order to prevent a rebellion of prominent Saints, including Cowdery, who believed Zion was being neglected.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 119–22.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith's trip was hastened

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 180; Brodie (1971) , p. 119.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
by a mob of residents led by former Saints who were incensed over the United Order and Smith's political power.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 178–79; Remini (2002) , pp. 109–10.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
The mob beat Smith and Rigdon unconscious and tarred and feathered them.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 119 (noting that Smith may have narrowly escaped being castrated over some perceived intimacy between Smith and the sixteen year old sister of one of the mob's instigators); Bushman (2005) , pp. 178–79 (arguing that the evidence for Smith's intimacy with the girl is thin). Bruised and scarred, Smith preached the following day as if nothing happened (Brodie (1971) , p. 120; 2002 , pp. 110–11).

FAIR's analysis:

  • Bushman (p. 179): "The historian Fawn Brodie speculated that one of John Johnson's sons, Eli, meant to punish Joseph for an intimacy with his sister Nancy Marinda, but that hypothesis fell for lack of evidence." The editor cites Bushman, but only includes Brodie's speculation without noting that the her hypothesis was disproven.
  • Regarding the story of why Joseph was tarred and feathered, Brodie gets the woman's name wrong—it is "Marinda Nancy," not "Nancy Marinda." The account is further flawed because Marinda has no brother named Eli.
  • Van Wagoner in Mormon Polygamy describes the tar and feather incident. Unfortunately, Van Wagoner tucks this information into an endnote, where the reader will be unaware of it unless he checks the sources carefully:

One account related that on 24 March [1832] a mob of men pulled Smith from his bed, beat him, and then covered him with a coat of tar and feathers. Eli Johnson, who allegedly participated in the attack "because he suspected Joseph of being intimate with his sister, Nancy Marinda Johnson, … was screaming for Joseph's castration." There is more to the story than this, however—much more. Van Wagoner even indicates that it is "unlikely" that "an incident between Smith and Nancy Johnson precipitated the mobbing."

  • Todd Compton casts further doubt on this episode. He notes that Van Wagoner's source is Fawn Brodie, and Brodie's source is from 1884—quite late. Clark Braden, the source, also got his information second-hand, and is clearly antagonistic, since he is a member of the Church of Christ, the “Disciples,” seeking to attack the Reorganized (RLDS) Church.
  • For a detailed response, see: Marinda Nancy Johnson
  • For an analysis of Fawn Brodie's critical work, see A FAIR Analysis of No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith.


From the Wikipedia article:
The old Jackson Countians resented the Mormon newcomers for various political and religious reasons.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • These reasons included the settlers' understanding that the Saints' intended to appropriate their property and establish a Millennial political kingdom (Brodie (1971) , pp. 130–31; Remini (2002) , pp. 114), the Saints' friendliness with the Indians (Brodie (1971) , p. 130); Remini (2002) , pp. 114–15), the Saints' perceived religious blasphemy Remini (2002) , p. 114, and especially the belief that the Saints were abolitionists (Brodie (1971) , pp. 131–33; Remini (2002) , pp. 113–14).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Mob attacks began in July 1833,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Vigilantes tarred and feathered two church leaders, destroyed some Mormon homes, destroyed the Mormon press, then the westernmost American newspaper, including most copies of the unpublished Book of Commandments. (Bushman (2005) , pp. 181–83; Brodie (1971) , p. 115.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
but Smith advised the Mormons to patiently bear them

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 135–36; Bushman (2005) , p. 235.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
until a fourth attack, which would permit vengeance to be taken.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 82–83 (Smith's August 1833 revelation said that after the fourth attack, "the Saints were "justified" by God in violence against any attack by any enemy "until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.," citing Smith (Cowdery) , p. 218).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Nevertheless, once they began to defend themselves,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 83–84 (after the fourth attack on 2 November 1833, Saints began fighting back, leading to the Battle of Blue River on 4 November 1833).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
the Mormons were brutally expelled from the county.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 222–27; Brodie (1971) , p. 137 (noting that the brutality of the Jackson Countians aroused sympathy for the Mormons and was almost universally deplored by the media).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Under authority of revelations directing Smith to lead the church like a modern Moses to redeem Zion by power

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Roberts (1904) , p. 37 (February 1834 revelation: "[T]he redemption of Zion must needs come by power; [t]herefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel,...and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched out arm."); Brodie (1971) , p. 146 ("Quick-springing visions of an army of liberation marching triumphantly into the promised land betrayed his sounder judgment."); Hill (1989) , pp. 44–45 (suggesting that although members of the camp expected to do battle, Smith might have hoped they could merely intimidate the Missourians by a show of force).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
and avenge God's enemies,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (Cowdery) , p. 237 (December 1833 revelation: Smith must "get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen. And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land."); Quinn (1994) , pp. 84–85 (arguing that as of February 1834, the Saints were "free to take 'vengeance' at will against any perceived enemy").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
he led to Missouri a paramilitary expedition, later called Zion's Camp.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 146–58; Remini (2002) , p. 115.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
When the camp found itself outnumbered, Smith retreated and produced a revelation explaining that the church was unworthy to redeem Zion in part because of the failure of the recently disbanded

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 141.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
United Order.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Roberts (1904) , p. 108 (quoting text of revelation); Hill (1989) , pp. 44–45 (noting that in addition to failure to unite under the celestial order, God was displeased the church had failed to make Zion's army sufficiently strong).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Redemption of Zion would have to wait until after the elders of the church could receive another endowment of heavenly power,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 156–57; Roberts (1904) , p. 109 (text of revelation).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
this time in the Kirtland Temple

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Smith (Cowdery) , p. 233 (Kirtland Temple "design[ed] to endow those whom [God] ha[s] chosen with power on high"); Prince (1995) , p. 32 & n.104 (quoting revelation dated 12 June 1834 (Kirtland Revelation Book pp. 97–100) stating that the redemption of Zion "cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high; for, behold, I have prepared a greater endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them [than the 1831 endowment]").

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
then under construction.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Construction began in June 1833 Remini (2002) , p. 115, not long before the first attack on the Missouri Saints.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Zion's Camp was a major failure

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 159 (describing it as Smith's "second major failure").

FAIR's analysis:

  • Bushman states,

Was Zion's Camp a catastrophe? Perhaps, but it was not the unmitigated disaster that it appears to be. Most camp members felt more loyal to Joseph than ever, bonded by their hardships. The future leadership of the Church came from this group. Nine of the Church's original Twelve Apostles, all seven presidents of the Seventy, and sixty-three other members of the seventy marched in Zion's Camp. (Bushman, p. 247)


From the Wikipedia article:
that stunned Smith for months

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 328 (Smith was "stunned for months, scarcely knowing what to do.").

FAIR's analysis:

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

    The cited source (Bushman, p. 322) does not contain the phrase "stunned for months, scarcely knowing what to do." This sounds more like Brodie.


From the Wikipedia article:
and resulted in a crisis in Kirtland.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 160; Quinn (1994) , p. 87 (noting that in October 1834, Smith only gathered two votes in his failed election as Kirtland's coroner).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
But Zion's Camp also led to a transformation in Mormon leadership and culture.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , p. 85.

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Just before Zion's Camp left Kirtland, Smith disbanded the United Order

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 141 ("In the Missouri debacle Joseph now saw a chance to erase the whole economic experiment—which in Kirtland had never yielded anything but trouble.").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and changed the name of the church to "Church of Latter Day Saints."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 147–48.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
After the Camp returned, Smith drew heavily from its participants to establish five governing bodies in the church, all of equal authority to check one another.

Wikipedia footnotes:

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
He also produced fewer revelations, relying more heavily on the authority of his own teaching,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 159–60 (comparing only 13 or so revelations after July 1834, several of them trivial, to the over 100 in the five years previous); Bushman (2005) , pp. 322, 419.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
and he altered and expanded many of the previous revelations to reflect recent changes in theology and practice, publishing them as the Doctrine and Covenants.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 5–6, 9, 15–17, 26, 30, 33, 35, 38–42, 49, 70–71, 88, 198; Brodie (1971) , p. 141 (Smith "began to efface the communistic rubric of his young theology").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith also claimed to translate, from Egyptian papyri he had purchased from a traveling exhibitor, a text he later published as the Book of Abraham.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 170–75.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
The Saints built the Kirtland Temple at great cost,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , p. 116 ("The ultimate cost came to approximately $50,000, an enormous sum for a people struggling to stay alive.").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
and at the temple's dedication in March 1836, they participated in the prophesied endowment, a scene of visions, angelic visitations, prophesying, speaking and singing in tongues, and other spiritual experiences.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 310–19; Brodie (1971) , p. 178 ("Five years before...[Joseph] had found a spontaneous orgiastic revival in full progress and had ruthlessly stamped it out. Now he was intoxicating his followers with the same frenzy he had once so vigorously denounced.")

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
The period from 1834–1837 was one of relative peace for Joseph Smith.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 165–66.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Nevertheless, after the dedication of the Kirtland temple in late 1837, "Smith's life descended into a tangle of intrigue and conflict"

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 322.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
and a series of internal disputes led to the collapse of the Kirtland Mormon community.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brooke (1994) , p. 221 ("Ultimately, the rituals and visions dedicating the Kirtland temple were not sufficient to hold the church together in the face of a mounting series of internal disputes," citing the failure of Zion's camp, the Alger "affair," and new theological innovations).

FAIR's analysis:
 FAIR WIKI EDITORS: Check sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Although the church had publicly repudiated polygamy,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Hill (1977) , pp. 340–41 (noting that Smith confided to Brigham Young in Kirtland that "if I were to reveal to this people what the Lord has revealed to me, there is not a man or a woman that would stay with me.").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
behind the scenes there was a rift between Smith and Oliver Cowdery over the issue.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 323–25; Hill (1977) , p. 188 (noting that Benjamin F. Johnson "realized later that Joseph's polygamy was one cause of disruption and apostasy in Kirtland, although it was rarely discussed in public.").

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith had by some accounts been teaching a polygamy doctrine as early as 1831.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Compton (1997) , p. 27; Bushman (2005) , p. 326; Hill (1977) , p. 340.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Sometime between 1833 and 1836, Smith engaged in a furtive relationship with his adolescent serving girl Fanny Alger.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 323 (noting that Alger was fourteen in 1830 when she met Smith, and her involvement with Smith was between that date and 1836, and suggesting that the relationship began as early as 1831). Compton (1997) , p. 26; Bushman (2005) , p. 326 (noting Compton's date and conclusion)

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Although Cowdery claimed the relationship was a "filthy affair,"

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 181–82; Bushman (2005) , pp. 323–25; Smith (2008) , pp. 38–39 n.81 (questioning whether Smith and Alger were actually married; "a dirty, nasty, filthy affair,").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith insisted the relationship was not adulterous, presumably because he had taken Alger as a plural wife.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 325: Smith "wanted it on record that he had never confessed to such a sin. Presumably, he felt innocent because he had married Alger."

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • Bushman notes,

On his part, Joseph never denied a relationship with Alger, but insisted it was not adulterous. He wanted it on record that he had never confessed to such a sin. Presumably, he felt innocent because he had married Alger."


From the Wikipedia article:
Cowdery, who was in the process of leaving the church,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 323–25 ("In the contemporaneous documents, only one person, Cowdery, believed that Joseph had had an affair with Fanny Alger. Others may have heard the rumors, but none joined Cowdery in making accusations. David Patten, who made inquiries in Kirtland, concluded the rumors were untrue. No one proposed to put Joseph on trial for adultery. Only Cowdery, who was leaving the Church, asserted Joseph's involvement.")

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
was eventually charged with slander and expelled from the church.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 324: "In 1838, [Cowdery] was charged with 'seeking to destroy the character of President Joseph Smith jr by falsly insinuating that he was guilty of adultry &c.' Fanny Alger's name was never mentioned, but doubtless she was the women in question."

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources
  • Bushman cites Far West Record, 163 (Apr. 12, 1838)


From the Wikipedia article:
Emma Smith "suspected a relationship and threw Fanny out of the house."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Ostling (1999) , p. 60.

FAIR's analysis:

  • The Ostlings state,

The comely sixteen-year-old Fanny Alger, a hired girl living with the Smiths in Kirtland, became the prophet's plural wife in 1833 when he was twenty-seven. In a pattern that was to be repeated several times, Emma suspected a relationship and threw Fanny out of her house.


From the Wikipedia article:
Building the temple left the church deeply in debt, and Smith was hounded by creditors.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 217, 329 The temple left a debt of $13,000, and Smith borrowed tens of thousands more to make land purchases and purchase inventory for a merchandise store. By 1837, Smith had run up a debt of over $100,000.

FAIR's analysis:

  • According to the cited source, the remaining debt on the temple was $13,000, and "Joseph opened a merchandise store, but the venture called for still more capital. The month after he returned from Salem, he borrowed $11,000 for land purchases and store inventory. John Corrill heard the store inventory eventually cost between $80,000 and $90,000. The borrowing went on through 1837 until Joseph had run up debts of over $100,000." (Bushman, p. 329)


From the Wikipedia article:
After Smith heard about treasure supposedly hidden in Salem, Massachusetts, he traveled there and received a revelation that God had "much treasure in this city."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1998) , pp. 261–64; Brodie (1971) , p. 192; Bushman (2005) , p. 328.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
After a month, he returned empty-handed.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 328; Brodie (1971) , p. 193: "Joseph made no apology for this indiscretion. In his history he described the trip to Salem as an ordinary missionary tour, and the incident eventually was forgotten."

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith then turned to wildcat banking, establishing the Kirtland Safety Society in January 1837, which issued bank notes capitalized in part by real estate.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 328.

FAIR's analysis:

  • Bushman p. 328: It should be noted that Bushman states that in addition to the capital, that "[t]he rest of the issue was secured by land. In actuality, the Safety Society was a partial 'land bank,' a device New Englanders had once resorted to in their cash-poor, land-rich society."
  • For a detailed response, see: Kirtland Safety Society


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith invested heavily in the notes

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 328 (Smith "had bought more stock than eighty-five percent of the investors.").

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and encouraged the Saints to buy them as a religious duty.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 195–96; Bushman (2005) , p. 334.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
The bank failed within a month.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 330 (noting that business started on 2 January 1837, business was floundering within three weeks, and payment stopped on 23 January 1837).

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
As a result, the Kirtland Saints suffered intense pressure from debt collectors and severe price volatility.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 331–32.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith was held responsible for the failure, and there were widespread defections from the church,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 332, 336–38. Richard Bushman notes that Heber C. Kimball claimed that in June 1837, not more than 20 men in Kirtland believed Smith was a prophet, but argues that this was an exaggeration, and that there were still "hundreds and probably thousands of loyal followers" during this time Bushman (2005) , p. 332.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  Correct, per cited sources


From the Wikipedia article:
including many of Smith's closest advisers.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • The fallout included an unseemly row in the temple where guns and knives were drawn Bushman (2005) , p. 339. When a leading apostle, David W. Patten, raised insulting questions, Smith slapped him in the face and kicked him into the yard Bushman (2005) , pp. 332, 337, 339. Even stalwarts Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt left the church for a few months Bushman (2005) , p. 332.

FAIR's analysis:

  •  References not included in the Wikipedia article
    Bushman states the following on page 626, note 42: "Milton Backman notes that none of the bank's largest shareholders and only eight percent of all shareholders left the Church. (Backman, "Kirtland Temple," 221.)
  • From Bushman, "David Patten, a leading apostle, raised so many insulting questions Joseph 'slap[p]ed him in the face & kicked him out of the yard.'"


From the Wikipedia article:
After a warrant was issued for Smith's arrest on a charge of banking fraud, Smith and Rigdon fled Kirtland for Missouri on the night of January 12, 1838.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 207; Bushman (2005) , pp. 339–40; Hill (1977) , p. 216 (noting that Smith characterized the warrant as "mob violence...under the color of legal process").

FAIR's analysis:

  • Bushman states, "Joseph and Rigdon left Kirtland in the night on January 12, 1838. The lawsuits were building up, and apostates were feared to be plotting more desperate measures. Joseph claimed that armed men—whether Mormons or irate creditors, he did not say—pursued them for two hundred miles from Kirtland." (Bushman, p. 340)
  • For an analysis of Fawn Brodie's critical work, see A FAIR Analysis of No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith.


References

Wikipedia references for "Joseph Smith, Jr."
  • Abanes, Richard, (2003), One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church Thunder's Mouth Press
  • 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 .


Further reading

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