Believing History Latter-Day Saint Essays Good Argumentive Essay Topics
There are six million Mormons in the United States, and 15 million worldwide.
By that measure, Smith was the most successful evangelist of his time.
Knopf, produced an impressive account of Smith’s life, No Man Knows My History, in 1945.
Brodie hailed from LDS pioneer stock, meaning her ancestors helped populate the barren Salt Lake basin in the middle of the 19th century.
Joseph Smith, known to his Latter-day Saint followers as “the prophet,” more or less invented the Mormon religion during the early 19th century.
Historian Robert Remini, a chronicler of the Jacksonian era, called Smith “unquestionably the most important reformer and innovator in American religious history.” One of several divines who emerged from western New York’s revival-mad burned-over district, Smith founded a religion based on bizarre claims and scandalous doctrines.
The library of the Missouri-based Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now called the Community of Christ), founded by nonpolygamist Mormons who did not follow Brigham Young on the trek from Illinois to Utah, greeted Brodie warmly.
So did two of Joseph Smith’s grandsons who did not join the Utah church. Insightful and generally sympathetic to Smith and his followers, it nonetheless refused to give credence to any divine inspiration on Smith’s part.
Bushman, a devout Mormon who had won the Bancroft Prize for an earlier book.
Progressive Mormons and non-Mormons attacked Bushman’s “believing history”—his deference to Mormonism.
In a New York Times review, Walter Kirn, who was raised Mormon, compared belief in Joseph Smith to belief in Santa Claus.
When such matters did appear in Smith’s records, he sometimes used code.
The Council of Fifty was called “the Lyceum” or the “ytfif.” In his diaries, Smith sometimes called himself “Baurak Ale.” When Brodie began working on her biography, she approached the Church History Library for access to Smith’s papers.