Mormonism and Wikipedia/Joseph Smith, Jr./1838 to 1839

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    An analysis of Wikipedia article "Joseph Smith"

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia: "Joseph Smith"
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Life in Missouri (1838–39)  Updated 9/3/2011

From the Wikipedia article:
After leaving Jackson County, the Saints in Missouri established the town of Far West. Smith's plans to redeem Zion in Jackson County had lapsed by 1838,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 157 (After Zion's Camp disbanded, Smith had predicted that Zion would be redeemed on 11 September 1836); Hill (1977) , pp. 181–82 (noting an account that Smith predicted in 1834 that Jackson County would be redeemed "within three years"); Bushman (2005) , p. 384 (noting that by 1839, Smith "was giving up the campaign to recover Jackson County").

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
and after Smith and Rigdon arrived in Missouri, Far West became the new Mormon "Zion."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Roberts (1905) , p. 24 (referring to the Far West church as the "church in Zion"); Bushman (2005) , p. 345 (The revelation calling Far West "Zion" had the effect of "implying that Far West was to take the place of Independence.")

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
In Missouri, the church also received a new name: the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,"

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Roberts (1905) , p. 24; Quinn (1994) , p. 628 (noting that some Kirtland dissenters had claimed that Smith had become the anti-Christ in 1834 when he changed the church's name from "Church of Christ" to "Church of Latter Day Saints," deleting the name of Jesus).

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
and construction began on a new temple.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 210, 222–23.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Soon after Smith and Rigdon arrived at Far West, hundreds of disaffected Saints in Kirtland, suddenly realizing "the enormity of their loss," followed them to Missouri.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , p. 125; Brodie (1971) , p. 210 ("Joseph's going had left a void that they had found intolerable. With each passing week they remembered less of their prophet's financial ineptitude and more of his genial warmth and his magnetic presence in the pulpit.")

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
But Smith was unable to reconcile with many of the oldest and most prominent leaders of the church, and he purged those critics who had not yet resigned.

Wikipedia footnotes:

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Though Smith hated violence, his experiences led him to believe that his faith's survival required greater militancy against anti-Mormons and Mormon traitors.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , p. 92; Brodie (1971) , p. 213 ("From the bottom of his heart Joseph hated violence, but his people were demanding something more than meekness and compromise. It was common gossip among the old settlers that the Mormons would never fight; and Joseph came to realize that in a country where a man's gun spoke faster than his wits, to be known as a pacifist was to invite plundering."); Bushman (2005) , p. 355.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
With his knowledge and at least partial approval,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , p. 93 (arguing that Smith and Rigdon were aware of the Danite organization and sanctioned their activities); Brodie (1971) , pp. 215–16 (arguing that Sampson Avard had Smith's sanction); Hill (1977) , p. 225 (concluding that Smith had at least peripheral involvement and gave early approval to Danite activities); Bushman (2005) , pp. 346–51 (Danites were under oath to be "completely submissive" to the First Presidency.)

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
recent convert Sampson Avard formed a covert organization called the Danites

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • There are two explanations for the name: (1) that it was a reference to the vision of Daniel of a stone cut out of a mountain in Dan. 2:44–45 (Quinn (1994) , p. 93; Brodie (1097) , p. 215 (quoting Smith)), and (2) that it was a reference to the biblical Danites of Judges 18 Brodie (1971) , p. 216 (quoting Smith).

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
to intimidate Mormon dissenters and oppose anti-Mormon militia units.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , p. 93; Brodie (1971) , p. 213 ("They would not only defend the Saints against aggression from the old settlers, but also act as a bodyguard for the presidency and as a secret police for ferreting out dissenters."); Remini (2002) , p. 129.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
Sidney Rigdon was working to restore the United Order, but lawsuits by Oliver Cowdery and other dissenters threatened that plan.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 217.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
After Rigdon issued a thinly veiled threat in a sermon,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Rigdon said that "if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
the Danites expelled the dissenters from the county

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 218–19 (Danites issued a written death threat, and when that didn't work they surrounded the dissenters' homes and "ordered their wives to pack their blankets and leave the county immediately"); Quinn (1994) , pp. 94–95.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
with Smith's approval.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 352 ("Joseph certainly favored evicting dissenters...").

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
In a keynote speech at the town's Fourth of July celebration, Rigdon issued similar threats against non-Mormons, promising a "war of extermination" should Mormons be attacked.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 222–23; Remini (2002) , pp. 131–33.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
After Rigdon's oration, Smith shouted "Hosannah!"

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , pp. 133.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and allowed the speech to be published as a pamphlet.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 223; Quinn (1994) , p. 96 (noting that Smith also advertised the speech in the church periodical).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Rigdon's July 4 oration produced a flood of anti-Mormon rhetoric in Missouri newspapers and stump speeches during the political campaign leading up to the August 6, 1838 Missouri elections.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , p. 133.
  • Remini notes that Mormons were "denounced as murderers, thieves, idolaters, blasphemers, and liars," and that they needed to be "driven from the state."

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
In Daviess County, where Mormon influence was increasing because of their new settlement of Adam-ondi-Ahman,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 357 (noting that in Daviess County, Missouri, non-Mormons "watched local government fall into the hands of people they saw as deluded fanatics.").

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
this election descended into violence when non-Mormons sought to prevent Mormons from voting. Although there were no immediate deaths,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 357; Brodie (1971) , pp. 225–26.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
the election scuffles initiated the 1838 Mormon War,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , p. 134; Quinn (1994) , p. 96.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
which quickly escalated as non-Mormon vigilantes raided and burned Mormon farms.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 227

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
Meanwhile, under Smith's general oversight and command,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 98–99, 101.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
the Danites and other Mormon forces pillaged non-Mormon towns.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Quinn (1994) , pp. 97–98 (Mormon forces, primarily the Danites, pillaged Millport and Gallatin, and when apostles Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde prepared an affidavit against these Mormon attacks, they were excommunicated); Brodie (1971) , p. 232 (Wagons returned from Millport and Gallatin "piled high with 'consecrated property'".); Bushman (2005) , p. 371 (Smith "believed his people could rightfully confiscate property in compensation for their own losses to the Missourians but no more".).

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
During this time, Smith and other Mormon leaders helped inflame Mormon sentiment with militant rhetoric including a promise to "establish our religion with the sword" if molested.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 230 (speech dated October 14, 1838 at the Far West town square); Bushman (2005) , p. 352.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
His rhetoric perhaps produced greater militancy among Mormons than he had intended.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 370–72.

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
When Mormons attacked the Missouri state militia at the Battle of Crooked River in an attempt to rescue some captured Mormons,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 364 ("Resisting a band of vigilantes was justifiable, but attacking a militia company was resistance to the state."); Quinn (1994) , p. 100 (stating that the Extermination Order and the Haun's Mill massacre resulted from Mormon actions at the Battle of Crooked River); Brodie (1971) , p. 234 (noting that Boggs was also told about Smith's "second Mohammed" speech and Mormon admissions that they had plundered Millport and Gallatin).

FAIR's analysis:



From the Wikipedia article:
Governor Boggs ordered that the Mormons be "exterminated or driven from the state."

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 367 (Boggs' executive order stated that the Mormon community had "made war upon the people of this State" and that "the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace"). In 1976, Missouri issued a formal apology for this order Bushman (2005) , p. 398.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Before word of this order got out, non-Mormon vigilantes surprised and killed about 18 Mormons, including children, in the Haun's Mill massacre, effectively ending the war.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 365–66; Quinn (1994) , p. 97.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
On November 1, 1838, the Saints surrendered to 2,500 state troops, and agreed to forfeit their property and leave the state.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 366–67; Brodie (1971) , p. 239.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith was court-martialed and nearly executed for treason, but militiaman Alexander Doniphan, who was also the Saints' attorney, probably saved Smith's life by insisting that he was a civilian.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 367 (noting that Smith was saved by Alexander Doniphan, a Missouri militia leader who had acted as the Saints legal council (pp. 242, 344)); Brodie (1971) .

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith was then sent to a state court for a preliminary hearing,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 369; Brodie (1971) , pp. 243–45.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
where several of his former allies, including Danite commander Sampson Avard, turned state's evidence.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 369; Brodie (1971) , pp. 225–26.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith and five others, including Rigdon, were charged with "overt acts of treason,"

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 369.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and transferred to the jail at Liberty, Missouri to await trial.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 369–70.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith's months in prison with Rigdon strained their relationship,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 251. Smith bore his harsh imprisonment "stoically, almost cheerfully, for there was a serenity in his nature that enabled him to accept trouble along with glory," (Brodie (1971) , p. 245; Bushman (2005) , pp. 375–77) whereas Rigdon was both sick and a whiner Brodie (1971) , p. 251.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and Brigham Young rose in prominence as Smith's defender.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 245–46.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Under Young's leadership, about 14,000 Saints

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , p. 138.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
made their way to Illinois and searched for land to purchase.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 248–50.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith bade his time writing contemplative statements directed mainly to Mormons.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Remini (2002) , pp. 136–37; Brodie (1971) , pp. 245.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
He did not deny responsibility for the Danites, but he said he had been ignorant of Avard's extreme militancy.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 246 (noting, in addition, that Smith oddly denied the ubiquitous rumor of polygamy, which had not come up in his trial). The Danites dissolved in 1838, but their members formed the backbone of Smith's security forces in Nauvoo. Quinn , pp. 101–02.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Though it had not been an issue in his preliminary hearing, he denied rumors of polygamy,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , p. 246.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
as he quietly planned how to reveal the principle to his followers.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 252–53.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Many Saints now considered Smith a fallen prophet, but he assured them he still had the heavenly keys.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (1971) , pp. 245–46.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
He directed the Saints to collect and publish all their stories of persecution, and to moderate their antagonism to non-Mormons.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , pp. 377–78.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
Smith and his companions tried to escape at least twice during their four-month imprisonment,

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Bushman (2005) , p. 375; Brodie (1971) , pp. 250–51.

FAIR's analysis:


From the Wikipedia article:
and on April 6, 1839, on their way to a different jail after their grand jury hearing, they succeeded by bribing the sheriff.

Wikipedia footnotes:

  • Brodie (2005) , pp. 253–55 (The bribe was a jug of honey whiskey brought by Smith's brother Hyrum, which the sheriff used to get drunk while the prisoners escaped, and the promise of $800, which the Sheriff collected later.); Bushman (2005) , pp. 382, 635–36.

FAIR's analysis:


References

Wikipedia references for "Joseph Smith, Jr."
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