In 1835, Smith gave the "great revelation" that organized the priesthood into quorums and councils, and functioned as a complex blueprint for church structure. During the 1830s, Smith sent out missionaries, published revelations, and supervised construction of the Kirtland Temple. The region was a hotbed of religious enthusiasm during the Second Great Awakening. , Smith ended the communitarian experiment and changed the name of the church to the "Church of Latter Day Saints," before leading a small paramilitary expedition called Zion's Camp, to aid the Missouri Mormons. Meanwhile, non-Mormon hostility in the surrounding county had been growing for the usual reasons, and, when the press was closed, irate local citizens brought charges of promoting riot against Smith and his brother Hyrum.  To fully enter the Covenant, a man and woman must participate in a "first anointing", a "sealing" ceremony, and a "second anointing" (also called "sealing by the Holy Spirit of Promise"). Joseph Smith was notable among religious figures for claiming to receive revelations and to translate ancient religious texts. All Smith’s revelations were carefully recorded and preserved. John A. Wilson, "The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: Translations and Interpretations, harvtxt error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFSmith1994 (. Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. Completing the work in less than 90 days, he published it in March 1830 as a 588-page volume called the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith Jr. is perhaps best known as the person through whom the Mormon Church, officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was started. In any event, Harris returned to Harmony in April 1828, and continued as Smith's scribe. , Fearing the newspaper would bring the countryside down on the Mormons, the Nauvoo city council declared the Expositor a public nuisance and ordered the Nauvoo Legion to destroy the press. Governor Lilburn Boggs then ordered that the Mormons be "exterminated or driven from the state".  Cowdery suspected Smith had engaged in a relationship with his serving girl, Fanny Alger.  Smith said that children who died in their innocence would be guaranteed to rise at the resurrection and receive exaltation. 1. " Smith had assumed a role as prophet, seer, and apostle of Jesus Christ, and by early 1831, he was introducing himself as "Joseph the Prophet".  As punishment for losing the manuscript, Smith said that the angel returned and took away the plates, and revoked his ability to translate. Dan Vogel, another historian, says that the work is autobiographical in nature. , Throughout her life, Emma Smith frequently denied that her husband had ever taken additional wives. Joseph Smith, originally Joseph Smith, Jr., (born December 23, 1805, Sharon, Vermont, U.S.—died June 27, 1844, Carthage, Illinois), American prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Justifying the practice of polygamy by reference to the precedent of Abraham, the first of the Hebrew patriarchs, Smith was “sealed” (the ceremony that binds men and women in marriage for eternity) to about 30 wives, though no known children came from these unions. Memorials to Smith include the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Joseph Smith Building on the campus of Brigham Young University, and a granite obelisk marking his birth place. For women, Smith introduced the Relief Society, a service club and sorority within which Smith predicted women would receive "the keys of the kingdom". , Mormons and non-Mormons have produced a large amount of scholarly work about Smith, and to a large extent the result has been two discordant pictures of very different people: a man of God on the one hand, and on the other, a fraud preying on the ignorance of his followers. Prof Richard L Bushman has produced a 'warts and all' biography of the man whose 'visions' resulted in The Book of Mormon and those clean-cut young men who knock on our doors.  Membership in Young's denomination surpassed 14 million members in 2010. Among these five groups was a quorum of twelve apostles.  In 1841, Don Carlos, who had been born a year earlier, died of malaria.  Bennett used his connections in the Illinois legislature to obtain an unusually liberal charter for the new city, which Smith renamed "Nauvoo" (Hebrew נָאווּ, meaning "to be beautiful"). Term ended by removal of apostleship; was later excommunicated. The text for this speech is unavailable. harvtxt error: multiple targets (3×): CITEREFNewellAvery1994 (.  In July 1843, Smith dictated a revelation directing Emma to accept plural marriage, but the two were not reconciled until September 1843, after Emma began participating in temple ceremonies.  This time, he said he successfully retrieved the plates.  Each priesthood was a continuation of biblical priesthoods through patrilineal succession or ordination by biblical figures appearing in visions. , Early Mormons understood the Book of Mormon to be a religious history of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. , Smith also attracted a few wealthy and influential converts, including John C. Bennett, the Illinois quartermaster general.  At first, the endowment was open only to men, who were initiated into a special group called the Anointed Quorum. Moses is told in this account that God made the Earth and heavens to bring humans to eternal life. [The Holy Spirit] may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass.  The paper decried Smith's new "doctrines of many Gods", alluded to Smith's theocratic aspirations, and called for a repeal of the Nauvoo city charter. Smith's followers view it as a companion to the Bible and an additional witness of Christ, akin to a large apocryphal work.  An 1832 revelation called "The Vision" added to the fundamentals of sin and atonement, and introduced doctrines of life after salvation, exaltation, and a heaven with degrees of glory. Smith found the plates buried in a stone box not far from his father’s farm. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, List of sects in the Latter Day Saint movement, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Freemasonry and the Latter Day Saint movement, "Nauvoo Roots of Mormon Polygamy, 1841–46: A Preliminary Demographic Report", "A Trajectory of Plurality: An Overview of Joseph Smith's Thirty-three Plural Wives", "Gospel Topics: Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo", "Joseph Smith DNA Revealed: New Clues from the Prophet's Genes – FairMormon", "An Overview of the Burned-Over District by John H. Martin", "Joseph Smith's Experience of a Methodist "Camp-Meeting" in 1820", 10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0802307, "Smith, Joseph: Legal Trials of Joseph Smith", "A Brief History of the Smith Family Nauvoo Cemetery", "Joseph Smith, Brigham Young rank first and third in magazine's list of significant religious figures", Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), "Facts and Statistics: Worldwide Statistics", "DNA tests rule out 2 as Smith descendants: Scientific advances prove no genetic link", "Reconstructing the Y-Chromosome of Joseph Smith, Jr.: Genealogical Applications", "Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham", "Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham: A Response", "The Significance of Joseph Smith's "First Vision" in Mormon Thought", "The Lion and the Lady: Brigham Young and Emma Smith", "The King Follett Discourse: A Newly Amalgamated Text", The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Official LDS Church site about Joseph Smith, List of Reorganized Restorationist churches, Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) history, Doctrine and Covenants (Book of Commandments), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Joseph_Smith&oldid=1000215137, Candidates in the 1844 United States presidential election, Apostles of the Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints), Latter Day Saint missionaries in the United States, Prophet-Presidents of the Community of Christ, Tarring and feathering in the United States, Victims of religiously motivated violence in the United States, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from December 2020, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia pages semi-protected against vandalism, Latter Day Saint biography Infobox with missing parameters, Pages using infobox Latter Day Saint biography with unsupported parameters, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2013, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 03:55. Smith fled Kirtland for Far West, Missouri, in 1838, but opposition arose once more.  Three months later, Smith gave a lengthy revelation called the "Olive Leaf" containing themes of cosmology and eschatology, and discussing subjects such as light, truth, intelligence, and sanctification; a related revelation given in 1833 put Christ at the center of salvation. Certain he would be killed if he ever returned to Missouri, Smith went into hiding twice during the next five months, before the U.S. district attorney for Illinois argued that Smith's extradition to Missouri would be unconstitutional. , Converts poured into Kirtland. As such, Smith and other Latter Day Saints did not strictly follow this counsel, though it later became a requirement in the LDS Church. Smith came from an unremarkable New England family.  It also attacked Smith's practice of polygamy, implying that Smith was using religion as a pretext to draw unassuming women to Nauvoo in order to seduce and marry them.  Smith said that blacks were not inherently inferior to whites, and he welcomed slaves into the church.  As a military endeavor, the expedition was a failure; the men were outnumbered and suffered from dissension and a cholera outbreak. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. From then on, his great project was to gather people into settlements, called “cities of Zion,” where they would find refuge from the calamities of the last days.  Anthon denied Harris's account of the meeting, claiming instead that he had tried to convince Harris that he was the victim of a fraud. They first gathered in Kirtland, Ohio, and established an outpost in Independence, Missouri, which was intended to be Zion's "center place". He appointed his male followers to priesthoods, named for the biblical figures Melchizedek and Aaron, that were overseen by the office of high priest. In the temples, he instituted rituals of washing and anointing taken from instructions in the Book of Exodus for consecrating priests. Meanwhile, Smith moved his family to another gathering place in Kirtland, Ohio, near Cleveland. An 1831 revelation called "The Law" contained: directions for missionary work; rules for organizing society in Zion; a reiteration of the Ten Commandments; an injunction to "administer to the poor and needy"; and an outline for the law of consecration.  When fully sealed into the Covenant, Smith said that no sin nor blasphemy (other than the eternal sin) could keep them from their exaltation in the afterlife.  Initially he opposed it, but during the mid-1830s when the Mormons were settling in Missouri (a slave state), Smith cautiously justified slavery in an anti-abolitionist essay. Although privately religious, the family rarely attended church, and after they moved to Palmyra they became involved in magic and treasure-seeking.  Smith moved away from formal written revelations spoken in God's voice, and instead taught more in sermons, conversations, and letters. He also told associates that he was capable of reading and translating them.  Smith explicitly approved of the expulsion of these men, who were known collectively as the "dissenters".  When most Latter Day Saints moved west, she stayed in Nauvoo, married a non-Mormon, Major Lewis C. Bidamon, and withdrew from religion until 1860, when she affiliated with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, first headed by her son, Joseph Smith III.  They worked full time on the manuscript between April and early June 1829, and then moved to Fayette, New York, where they continued to work at the home of Cowdery's friend, Peter Whitmer. Author of. It tells the story of the rise and fall of a religious civilization beginning about 600 BC and ending in 421 AD. , Smith's teachings were rooted in dispensational restorationism.  Zion also became less a refuge from an impending tribulation than a great building project. Current statistics published by the LDS Church show 16.1 million members of that denomination. In 1842, Emma gave birth to a stillborn son. The author wrote in the Introduction to this 2004 book, "In writing this biography, I did not want to provide a simple chronological narrative of Smith's early life.  While many changes involved straightening out seeming contradictions or making small clarifications, other changes added large "lost" portions to the text. Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Indeed, they would be except that the Lord was with him. , The following day, the Latter Day Saints surrendered to 2,500 state troops and agreed to forfeit their property and leave the state. Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University.  After completing the translation, Smith gave the brown stone to Cowdery, but continued to receive revelations using another stone until about 1833 when he said he no longer needed it.  Smith gave a revelation saying that to redeem Zion, his followers would have to receive an endowment in the Kirtland Temple.  Through the gradual acquisition of knowledge, according to Smith, those who received exaltation could eventually become like God. For instance, in the early 1830s, he temporarily instituted a form of religious communism, called the United Order, that required Latter Day Saints to give all their property to the church, which was divided among the faithful. Rigdon said that "if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? , Before 1832, most of Smith's revelations dealt with establishing the church, gathering his followers, and building the City of Zion.  The book also elaborates and expands upon foreshadowing the coming of Christ, in effect Christianizing the Old Testament. , In late 1837, a series of internal disputes led to the collapse of the Kirtland Mormon community. , According to his later accounts, Smith was visited by an angel named Moroni, while praying one night in 1823. Apart from those who committed the eternal sin, Smith taught that even the wicked and disbelieving would achieve a degree of glory in the afterlife. , In Jackson County, existing Missouri residents resented the Mormon newcomers for both political and religious reasons. Eight Mormon leaders accompanied Smith to Carthage: Hyrum Smith. Absolutely resolute in all of his projects, he never became discouraged, even under the most trying circumstances. But he is much more than the founder of a religion. He was the founder and First President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the Mormons).  The charter also authorized the Nauvoo Legion, an autonomous militia whose actions were limited only by state and federal constitutions.  Though Smith did not claim exclusive prophethood, an early revelation designated him as the only prophet allowed to issue commandments "as Moses". Although Smith had previously refused to show the plates to anyone, he told Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer that they would be allowed to see them.  The Council was also to select a site for a large Mormon settlement in Texas, California, or Oregon, where Mormons could live under theocratic law beyond other governmental control.  Later, however, he is said to have used a chocolate-colored stone he had found in 1822 that he had used previously for treasure hunting.  As a result, the Latter Day Saints in Kirtland suffered intense pressure from debt collectors and severe price volatility. When the farm failed, Joseph Senior moved the family to … , Smith's authority was undermined when Oliver Cowdery, Hiram Page, and other church members also claimed to receive revelations. Soon after, on April 6, 1830, Smith and his followers formally organized the Church of Christ, and small branches were established in Palmyra, Fayette, and Colesville, New York. When the twins died, the Smiths adopted another set of twins, Julia and Joseph, whose mother had recently died in childbirth; Joseph died of measles in 1832.  Biographers, Mormon and non-Mormon alike, agree that Smith was one of the most influential, charismatic, and innovative figures in American religious history.. Gender Male.  Many modern biographers disagree with these ideas. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. , By some accounts, Smith had been teaching a polygamy doctrine as early as 1831, and there is unconfirmed evidence that Smith was a polygamist by 1835. 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