Joseph Smith

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Smith, Joseph,

1805–44, American Mormon leader, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, b. Sharon, Vt. When he was a boy his family moved to Palmyra, N.Y., where he experienced the poverty and hardships of life on a rough frontier. He had visions when he was still young and later recorded that he was first told in a vision in 1823 of the existence of secret records, but it was not until 1827 that the hiding place of the records was revealed to him. According to his account, in 1827 he unearthed golden tablets inscribed with sacred writings that he translated. Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and others transcribed these records from his dictation, and the Book of Mormon was published in 1830. Further revelations led him to found a new religion after priesthood had been conferred upon him and Cowdery by an "angel." As prophet and seer he founded (1830) his church in Fayette, N.Y. (see Latter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ ofLatter-day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of,
name of the church founded (1830) at Fayette, N.Y., by Joseph Smith. The headquarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its members, now numbering about 5.
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The hostility of his neighbors forced him to move his headquarters to Kirtland, Ohio, where with the help of Sidney Rigdon and others he embarked on extensive business affairs. The Panic of 1837 was one of the reasons for removal farther west to Missouri. There the industrious and self-contained members of his faith again ran into difficulties with their neighbors. Smith and others were arrested but escaped, and his faithful followers were driven from Missouri.

Having obtained a favorable charter from Illinois, Smith founded the settlement of NauvooNauvoo
, historic city (1990 pop. 1,108), Hancock co., W Ill., on heights overlooking the Mississippi River; inc. 1841. Situated in an agricultural area where fruit, corn, and soybeans are grown, the city produces wine and cheese, but tourism is the major industry.
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, which soon flourished, thanks to the concerted efforts of the members of his church. Disaffection grew, however, and some of the dissident members founded a newspaper, the Expositor, in which they bitterly criticized him. He put down the opposition, thereby giving the hostile non-Mormons a pretext for attacking him. When in 1844 he announced himself as candidate for the presidency of the United States, his enemies moved against him. He and his brother Hyrum were arrested on charges of treason and conspiracy. They were lodged in the jail at Carthage, Ill., and there on June 27, 1844, they were murdered by a mob.

The revelations experienced by Smith—including one enjoining plural marriage, which later caused the Mormons much trouble—were the foundation stones of a faith that after his death grew to be one of the great religions of the United States. Because he was a highly controversial figure, the literature on him is also controversial, and the Mormon church itself did not issue an official acknowledgment of Smith's multiple marriages until 2014.


See biographies by L. Smith (1908, repr. 1969), F. M. Brodie (1954, repr. 1995), R. V. Remini (2002), and R. L. Bushman (2005); studies by R. L. Anderson (1971), R. L. Bushman (1984), and A. Beam (2014).

Smith, Joseph

(1805–44) religious leader; born in Sharon, Vt. He moved to New York state with his parents in 1816 and received his first "call" as a prophet four years later, at age 15, when he claimed that God confided in him the first of several revelations of the true Christianity. In 1823 an angel told him of a hidden gospel on golden plates, with accompanying stones that would enable him to translate the text from "reformed Egyptian." On September 22, 1827, these records were delivered to him. He published them as The Book of Mormon in 1830 and organized the Church of the Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) in April of that year. Despite ridicule, hostility, and occasional violence, Smith's sect gained converts. In 1831 the Mormons established a headquarters in Ohio and later built a community called Zion in Missouri. After an anti-Mormon uprising in Missouri in 1838, Smith founded the community of Nauvoo in Illinois; by the early 1840s nearly 20,000 Mormons had settled there. Meanwhile, Smith introduced the custom of polygamy, and when he announced he would run for the presidency in 1844, he and his brother Hyrum Smith were imprisoned. On June 27 a mob of 150 men broke into the jail at Carthage, Ill., and shot them both dead. The Mormons thereafter migrated westward to Utah under Smith's successor, Brigham Young.
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the first questions that comes to mind is: "Can Joseph Smith claim skill as a translator of religious texts?
Many of these essays emerged, in various forms, from Bushman's books on Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984) and Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A.
Joseph Smith, a US citizen set up the business in the Shannon Free Zone industrial estate seven years ago.
In the book In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Todd Compton, a cautious and careful scholar, has managed to reconstruct the lives of Smith's 33 documented wives, most of whom had previously had been known only by name.
However, they were matched in performance and scoring in a 1-1 draw with Halifax before losing 3-1 to the Northern All Stars, where Joseph Smith scored their only goal.
Anthony Joseph Smith, who had served in Northern Ireland with the military, died when the chopper plunged into the Mourne Mountains last Saturday.
Michael Marquardt presents The Joseph Smith Revelations Text & Commentary, a thoughtful and insightful examination of how canonical Mormon text--indeed, the revelations of Joseph Smith himself--have allegedly been revised and altered in significant ways, an issue visibly noted as early as within Oliver Cowdery's 1835 letter to Bishop Newel K.
Rosewood's Aaron Jungreis and Joseph Smith represented both the seller and the buyer in the sale of the buildings containing 72-units.
SEEKING relatives of Joseph Smith, who is married to May, lived at Glebe Farm, Stechford.
1830 - The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Mormons, was founded by Joseph Smith in New York1843 - William Wordsworth was appointed poet laureate - the day before his 73rd birthday.
A reference was made to Mormon founder Joseph Smith and ``Mormon pioneers'' during the American West Suite, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed.
The purpose of the restoration of the fullness of the gospel through the revelations given to Joseph Smith, Erickson points out, was to prepare a people, separate from American society, for the "total, imminent, miraculous transformation of the earth into a millennial kingdom at Christ's coming" (53).