In chronicling his years as a member of the church, Lee discusses how he came to meet and associate with Joseph Smith: the founder and prophet of Mormonism. The processes by which the charismatic Smith drew in followers is cataloged while personal habits, including the notorious practice of polygamy where he would take multiple wives, are also mentioned. Lee himself would partake enthusiastically in polygamy, taking a total of nineteen wives and siring some fifty-six children.
After the death of Joseph Smith by the hands of an angry mob in 1844, Brigham Young assumed control of the Mormon Church. It was under Young that several of the most controversial schemes associated with Mormonism entailed. For his part John D. Lee became an enforcer, carrying out orders from Brigham Young in appropriating the belongings of fellow Mormons, such as cattle from impoverished ranchers.
Most controversially, Mormonism Unveiled contains confessions by John D. Lee regarding assassinations he was ordered to carry out by Brigham Young. The veracity of these and other claims are disputed to this day. It was however Lee's role in the Mountain Meadows massacre of 1857 that would eventually see him tried, convicted and hung for murder in 1877.
This edition of Mormonism Unveiled includes all of the original appendices, as well as the complete and unabridged text.