Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet

Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet

by Dan Vogel
     
 


 Rarely does a biographer capture the sense of being in a different time and mindset to the extent that readers feel they are reliving events through the eyes of the biographer’s subject. This is the skill of Dan Vogel—after twenty-five years of researching Joseph Smith’s life and publishing on such related issues as Seekerism, the Book of… See more details below

Overview


 Rarely does a biographer capture the sense of being in a different time and mindset to the extent that readers feel they are reliving events through the eyes of the biographer’s subject. This is the skill of Dan Vogel—after twenty-five years of researching Joseph Smith’s life and publishing on such related issues as Seekerism, the Book of Mormon, views of Smith’s contemporaries about Indian origins, and the existing documents pertaining to Smith family experiences.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Was Joseph Smith a true prophet or a religious pretender? Vogel, who edited the five-volume series Early Mormon Documents, attempts to answer this and other questions in this somewhat tedious, workmanlike psychological biography of Smith. In his youth, Vogel says, Smith experienced a dream about gold tablets and the angel Moroni that he later shaped into a narrative of his prophetic calling. Vogel performs a close reading of the Book of Mormon in search of clues to the development of Smith's religious life, arguing that while the book reveals Smith's own inner religious conflicts his beliefs about eternal damnation, for example the process of "translating" the Book of Mormon exposes a religious leader who was willing to use any means at hand to secure his prophetic authority. Vogel also questions whether the gold plates were really delivered to Smith by an angel or whether Smith fashioned them himself, for he would not let anyone see them uncovered. Vogel's speculations that Smith engaged in deception to obtain his status as God's chosen man will certainly provoke strenuous objections, but his tone is a careful balance of criticism and admiration. The book's chief flaw is that it does not fulfill its own ambitious goals. After an introduction in which Vogel declares his intention to draw upon family-systems theory to analyze the Smith family's dysfunctionality and to use his research on the methods of the charlatan to better understand Smith as a religious pretender, the biography veers off into other directions and ends abruptly at the height of Smith's career. (Apr. 4) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560851790
Publisher:
Signature Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/28/2004
Pages:
716
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 10.30(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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