Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

Rough Stone Rolling

Book - 2005
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Random House, Inc.
Joseph Smith, America’s preeminent visionary and prophet, rose from a modest background to found the largest indigenous Christian church in American history. Without the benefit of wealth, education, or social position, he published the 584-pageBook of Mormon when he was twenty-three; organized a church when he was twenty-four; and founded cities, built temples, and attracted thousands of followers before his violent death at age thirty-eight. Rather than perishing with him, Mormonism migrated to the Rocky Mountains, flourished there, and now claims millions of followers worldwide.

In Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Richard Bushman, an esteemed American cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, tells how Smith formed a new religion from the ground up. Moving beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud, the book explores the inner workings of his personality–his personal piety, his temper, his affection for family and friends, and his incredible determination. It describes how he received revelations and why his followers believed them.

Smith was a builder of cities. He sought to form egalitarian, just, and open communities under God and laid out a plan for ideal cities, which he hoped would fill the world. Adopted as the model for hundreds of Mormon settlements in the West, Smith’s urban vision may have left a more lasting imprint on the landscape than that of any other American.

He was controversial from his earliest years. His followers honored him as a man who spoke for God and restored biblical religion. His enemies maligned him as a dangerous religious fanatic, an American Mohammad, and drove the Mormons from every place in which they settled. Smith’s ultimate assassination by an armed mob raises the question of whether American democracy can tolerate visionaries.

The book gives more attention to Joseph Smith’s innovative religious thought than any previous biography. As Bushman writes, “His followers derived their energy and purpose from the religious world he brought into being.” Some of the teachings were controversial, such as property redistribution and plural marriage, but Smith’s revelations also delved into cosmology and the history of God. They spoke of the origins of the human personality and the purpose of life. While thoroughly Christian, Smith radically reconceived the relationship between humans and God. The book evaluates the Mormon prophet’s bold contributions to Christian theology and situates him culturally in the modern world.

Published on the two hundredth anniversary of Smith’s birth, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling is an in-depth portrayal of the mysterious figure behind one of the world’s fastest growing faiths.

Baker & Taylor
A definitive biography of the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints that marks the two hundredth year of his birth chronicles the life of Joseph Smith, from his hardscrabble early life in rural New York, to the visions that inspired The Book of Mormon and the establishment of the Mormon Church, to his untimely death at the hands of a mob in 1844. 30,000 first printing.

Baker
& Taylor

Presents the life of the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints, from his hardscrabble early life in rural New York, to the visions that inspired The Book of Mormon, and his untimely death at the hands of a mob in 1844.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400042708
1400042704
Branch Call Number: B SMITH JOSEPH
B SMITH JOSEPH
Characteristics: xxiv, 740 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Woodworth, Jed

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mattscar
Feb 27, 2010

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I feel the author presented the material in a balanced manner and tried to show both sides (LDS and nonLDS). This book is well researched and documented and covers alot of controvertial issues. Whether you like Joseph Smith or not, he was truly a remarkable man from 19th century America whose influence can still be felt today.

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