“[We] love and revere him as a prophet of God, and call his name blessed.” –Monument Inscription. [21][22] Smith's parents disagreed about religion, but the family was caught up in this excitement. Joseph Smith was born on December 28, 1926. Attracting converts from Europe as well as the United States, Nauvoo grew to rival Chicago as the largest city in the state. [273] This religious authority encompassed economic and political as well as spiritual matters. [257], Smith taught that all existence was material, including a world of "spirit matter" so fine that it was invisible to all but the purest mortal eyes. [43] This time, he said he successfully retrieved the plates. [270] He taught that the Church of Christ restored through him was a latter-day restoration of the early Christian faith, which had been lost in the Great Apostasy. Although a local minister to whom he related the vision dismissed it as a delusion, Smith continued to believe in its authenticity. At the heart of his teachings was a confidence in the spiritual potential of common people. [283], During the early 1840s, Smith unfolded a theology of family relations called the "New and Everlasting Covenant" that superseded all earthly bonds. Meanwhile, non-Mormon hostility in the surrounding county had been growing for the usual reasons, and, when the press was closed, irate local citizens brought charges of promoting riot against Smith and his brother Hyrum. Omissions? [312] However, he opposed baptizing them without permission of their masters, and he opposed interracial marriage. After an ill-fated business venture and three successive years of crop failures culminating in the 1816 Year Without a Summer, the Smith family left Vermont and moved to western New York, taking out a mortgage on a 10… In any event, Harris returned to Harmony in April 1828, and continued as Smith's scribe. When he was a child his family moved to Palmyra in western New York where there was a lot of revivalism and religious fervor due to the Second Great Awakening. January 22–23 Kirtland: Joseph organizes the School of the Prophets (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:70–80, 117–141). [153] Both also said that Smith had proposed marriage to their wives. [304], While campaigning for President of the United States in 1844, Smith had opportunity to take political positions on issues of the day. The book resembled the Bible in its length and complexity and in its division into books named for individual prophets. Memorials to Smith include the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Joseph Smith Building on the campus of Brigham Young University, and a granite obelisk marking his birth place. For instance, in the early 1830s, he temporarily instituted a form of religious communism, called the United Order, that required Latter Day Saints to give all their property to the church, which was divided among the faithful. In 1835 Smith published the first 65 revelations in a volume titled the Book of Commandments, later called the Doctrine and Covenants. [86] Nevertheless, Zion's Camp transformed Mormon leadership, and many future church leaders came from among the participants. [90], In late 1837, a series of internal disputes led to the collapse of the Kirtland Mormon community. Smith's revelations often came in response to specific questions. Smith came from an unremarkable New England family. [200] Emma said that the very first time she ever became aware of a polygamy revelation being attributed to Smith by Mormons was when she read about it in Orson Pratt's periodical The Seer in 1853. [139] At first, the endowment was open only to men, who were initiated into a special group called the Anointed Quorum. His full name is simply Joseph Smith, Jr. He died on February 11, 2012 at 59 years of age. [65], Smith's authority was undermined when Oliver Cowdery, Hiram Page, and other church members also claimed to receive revelations. [89] In March 1836, at the temple's dedication, many participants in the endowment reported seeing visions of angels, speaking in tongues, and prophesying. Eight Mormon leaders accompanied Smith to Carthage: Hyrum Smith. [148] Smith then wrote to the leading presidential candidates and asked them what they would do to protect the Mormons. During the 1830s, Smith sent out missionaries, published revelations, and supervised construction of the Kirtland Temple. [78] Rigdon, however, disapproved, and for most of the 1830s the church remained divided between Ohio and Missouri. [216], Christian themes permeate the work; for instance, Nephite prophets in the Book of Mormon teach of Christ's coming, and talk of the star that will appear at his birth. [215] There, they are divided into two factions: Nephites and Lamanites. [107] Though it is unclear how much Smith knew of the Danites' activities, he clearly approved of those of which he did know. Joseph Smith Jr. was born 23 December 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [204] Young, whom Emma feared and despised, was suspicious of her desire to preserve the family's assets from inclusion with those of the church, and thought she would be even more troublesome because she openly opposed plural marriage. Author of. On April 6, 1830, Smith organized a few dozen believers into a church. Murder by Stabbing. June 27, 1844. [301] In 1843, Emma temporarily accepted Smith's marriage to four women boarded in the Smith household, but soon regretted her decision and demanded the other wives leave. No longer envisioning the building of Zion in Nauvoo, Smith viewed Zion as encompassing all of North and South America, with Mormon settlements being "stakes" of Zion's metaphorical tent. [40], While boarding at the Hale house in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Smith met and began courting Emma Hale. Justifying the practice of polygamy by reference to the precedent of Abraham, the first of the Hebrew patriarchs, Smith was “sealed” (the ceremony that binds men and women in marriage for eternity) to about 30 wives, though no known children came from these unions. [275], By the mid-1830s, Smith began teaching a hierarchy of three priesthoods—the Melchizedek, the Aaronic, and the Patriarchal. Emma never denied Smith's prophetic gift or repudiated her belief in the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. By this time, Smith's experiences with mob violence led him to believe that his faith's survival required greater militancy against anti-Mormons. [198] Harris said Anthon initially authenticated the characters and their translation, but then retracted his opinion after learning that Smith claimed to have received the plates from an angel. Restored boyhood home of Joseph Smith, Palmyra, New York. [63] After Cowdery baptized several new church members, the Mormons received threats of mob violence; before Smith could confirm the newly baptized members, he was arrested and brought to trial as a disorderly person. He also told associates that he was capable of reading and translating them. In his adulthood, he was a polygamist, a practice which, coupled with his suppression of a press critical of his lifestyle, eventually led to his arrest and subsequent murder at the hands of an angry mob. He said the angel commanded him not to show the plates to anyone else, but to translate them and publish their translation. [83] After armed bands exchanged fire, killing one Mormon and two non-Mormons, the old settlers brutally expelled the Mormons from the county. What color is Joseph Smith's hair? When Smith proposed marriage, Emma's father, Isaac Hale objected, primarily because he believed Smith had no means to support Emma. [71] With growing opposition in New York, Smith gave a revelation stating that Kirtland was the eastern boundary of the New Jerusalem, and that his followers must gather there. [288], Smith taught that the highest level of exaltation could be achieved through "plural marriage" (polygamy), which was the ultimate manifestation of this New and Everlasting Covenant. [223] Later, however, he is said to have used a chocolate-colored stone he had found in 1822 that he had used previously for treasure hunting. [188] Smith's sons Joseph III and David also had claims, but Joseph III was too young and David was yet unborn. Through modern DNA testing of Smith's relatives, it's likely that the Smith family were of Irish descent originally. [136], The early Nauvoo years were a period of doctrinal innovation. [244] In 1833, Smith edited and expanded many of the previous revelations, publishing them as the Book of Commandments, which later became part of the Doctrine and Covenants. [246] An 1832 revelation called "The Vision" added to the fundamentals of sin and atonement, and introduced doctrines of life after salvation, exaltation, and a heaven with degrees of glory. Certain he would be killed if he ever returned to Missouri, Smith went into hiding twice during the next five months, before the U.S. district attorney for Illinois argued that Smith's extradition to Missouri would be unconstitutional. [175], Smith attracted thousands of devoted followers before his death in 1844, and millions in the century that followed. The eldest, Alvin (born in 1828), died within hours of birth, as did twins Thaddeus and Louisa (born in 1831). [96], In January 1837, Smith and other church leaders created a joint stock company, called the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, to act as a quasi-bank; the company issued bank notes capitalized in part by real estate. After the faithful left Nauvoo in 1846, they migrated to Utah, where they constructed Salt Lake City on a pattern laid down by Joseph Smith for the cities of Zion. During the next two-and-a-half years he married or was sealed to about 30 additional women,[296] ten of whom were already married to other men. [132] The charter also authorized the Nauvoo Legion, an autonomous militia whose actions were limited only by state and federal constitutions. Male converts were ordained and sent out to make more converts, a missionary program that resulted in tens of thousands of conversions by the end of Smith’s life. A fifty-foot monument rises up in the Vermont countryside today, just a few steps from the original site of the roughly 800-square-foot farmhouse where Joseph Smith Jr. was born. He had no other wife but me; nor did he to my knowledge ever have". The Joseph Smith Birthplace, located in Sharon, Vermont, is a historic site and a memorial to Joseph Smith Jr., the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Smith's followers view it as a companion to the Bible and an additional witness of Christ, akin to a large apocryphal work. [57] When the narrative described an institutional church and a requirement for baptism, Smith and Cowdery baptized each other. Nor did people of higher social standing intimidate him; he appeared to think of himself as the equal of anyone, as demonstrated when he ran for president of the United States in 1844. During the first half of the 20th century, some writers suggested that Smith might have suffered from epileptic seizures or from psychological disorders such as paranoid delusions or manic-depressive illness that might explain his visions and revelations. [208] Smith and his followers treated his revelations as being above teachings or opinions, and Smith acted as though he believed in his revelations as much as his followers. [274] He also envisioned that the theocratic institutions he established would have a role in the worldwide political organization of the Millennium. As in the Bible, men took the leading roles in church affairs, but by the end of his life Smith taught that men and women were redeemed together through eternal marriage. "Lieutenant General" Smith and "Major General" Bennett became its commanders, thereby controlling by far the largest body of armed men in Illinois. [15] After an ill-fated business venture and three successive years of crop failures culminating in the 1816 Year Without a Summer, the Smith family left Vermont and moved to western New York, taking out a mortgage on a 100-acre (40 ha) farm in the townships of Palmyra and Manchester. The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants were added to the canon of scripture, and Smith spoke as if more revelations and translations would accumulate in the future. Joseph Smith was born on December 31, 1969. [253], Before 1832, most of Smith's revelations dealt with establishing the church, gathering his followers, and building the City of Zion. Smith said the translation was a religious record of Middle-Eastern indigenous Americans,[44] and were engraved in an unknown language, called reformed Egyptian. [238] The papyri from which Smith dictated the Book of Abraham were thought to have been lost in the Great Chicago Fire. They had 12 children, including 2 adopted children. When the farm failed, Joseph Senior moved the family to Palmyra, New York, hoping to do better. [109], In a speech given at the town's Fourth of July celebration, Rigdon declared that Mormons would no longer tolerate persecution by the Missourians and spoke of a "war of extermination" if Mormons were attacked. [48] Living near his in-laws, Smith transcribed some characters that he said were engraved on the plates and then dictated a translation to Emma. [105], Political and religious differences between old Missourians and newly arriving Mormon settlers provoked tensions between the two groups, much as they had years earlier in Jackson County. [46] After they ransacked places where they believed the plates could be hidden, Smith decided to leave Palmyra. In 1823 he received another revelation: while praying for forgiveness, he later reported, an angel calling himself Moroni appeared in his bedroom and told him about a set of golden plates containing a record of the ancient inhabitants of America. At the age of seven Smith suffered a crippling bone infection and, after receiving surgery, used crutches for three years. “[He] left a fame and name that cannot be slain. [130] The charter granted the city virtual autonomy, authorized a university, and granted Nauvoo habeas corpus power—which allowed Smith to fend off extradition to Missouri. [12] Fearing an invasion of Nauvoo, Smith rode to Carthage, Illinois, to stand trial, but was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse. Joseph Smith’s life is a testimony to the reality of that calling. [314] Smith taught that this kingdom would be governed by theocratic principles, but that it would also be multidenominational and democratic, so long as the people chose wisely. Did Joseph smith junior have a middle name? [187] Another brother, William, was unable to attract a sufficient following. [140] Smith also elaborated on his plan for a millennial kingdom. After receiving noncommittal or negative responses, Smith announced his own independent candidacy for President of the United States, suspended regular proselytizing, and sent out the Quorum of the Twelve and hundreds of other political missionaries. [258] Matter, in Smith's view, could neither be created nor destroyed; the creation involved only the reorganization of existing matter. [179] Believers tend to focus on his achievements and religious teachings, deemphasizing his personal defects, while detractors focus on his mistakes, legal troubles, and controversial doctrines. For at least some of the earliest dictation, Smith is said to have used the "Urim and Thummim", a pair of seer stones he said were buried with the plates. [176] Among Mormons, he is regarded as a prophet on par with Moses and Elijah. Joseph Smith body shape: Average. Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont on December 23, 1805. [293] Cowdery suspected Smith had engaged in a relationship with his serving girl, Fanny Alger. [165] On June 23, Smith and his brother Hyrum rode to Carthage to stand trial for inciting a riot. When questions arose, he would call upon God and dictate words in the voice of the Lord. Blonde. When dissenters published a reform newspaper in Nauvoo that Smith felt disturbed the peace, he ordered it suppressed. He supported capital punishment but opposed hanging, preferring execution by firing squad or beheading. For a survey of the primary sources, see Dan Vogel, harvtxt error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFQuinn1994 (, These reasons included the settlers' understanding that the Mormons intended to appropriate their property and establish a, harv error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBrodie1971 (, harvtxt error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFCompton1997 (. [34] Smith reported that during the next four years, he made annual visits to the hill, but, until the fourth and final visit, each time he returned without the plates. [143], By mid-1842, popular opinion had turned against the Mormons. [129] Bennett used his connections in the Illinois legislature to obtain an unusually liberal charter for the new city, which Smith renamed "Nauvoo" (Hebrew נָאווּ, meaning "to be beautiful"). He died in February 1974 at 47 years old. [50] Anthon denied Harris's account of the meeting, claiming instead that he had tried to convince Harris that he was the victim of a fraud. Because his family could not afford the luxury of public education, Joseph received only three years of … The first revelations Joseph Smith Joseph Smith ©. Smith was born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont to Lucy Mack Smith and her husband Joseph Smith Sr., a merchant and farmer. [177] In a 2015 compilation of the 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time, Smithsonian magazine ranked Smith first in the category of religious figures. [267], In Smith's view, the opportunity to achieve exaltation extended to all humanity; those who died with no opportunity to accept saving ordinances could achieve exaltation by accepting them in the afterlife through proxy ordinances performed on their behalf. Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. [97] Smith encouraged the Latter Day Saints to buy the notes, and he invested heavily in them himself, but the bank failed within a month. Smith advised them to bear the violence patiently until after they were attacked multiple times, after which they could fight back. Current statistics published by the LDS Church show 16.1 million members of that denomination. [47], In October 1827, Joseph and Emma moved from Palmyra to Harmony (now Oakland), Pennsylvania, aided by a relatively prosperous neighbor, Martin Harris. [212] It is organized as a compilation of smaller books, each named after its main named narrator or a prominent leader. [229] The language of authority in Smith's revelations was appealing to converts, and the revelations were given with the confidence of an Old Testament prophet. [91] Smith was blamed for having promoted a church-sponsored bank that failed. [104] Smith explicitly approved of the expulsion of these men, who were known collectively as the "dissenters". [126] Smith also attempted to portray the Latter Day Saints as an oppressed minority, and unsuccessfully petitioned the federal government for help in obtaining reparations. Why did Joseph Smith die? Stones outline the home where Joseph Smith was born and mark where the 1905 memorial cottage once stood. [180] Many modern biographers disagree with these ideas. He was also being accused by Assistant President of the Church Oliver Cowdery[92] of engaging in a sexual relationship with a teenage servant in his home, Fanny Alger. He married Emma Hale in 1827, when he was 21 years old and she was 22. [79] Smith continued to live in Ohio, but visited Missouri again in early 1832 to prevent a rebellion of prominent church members who believed the church in Missouri was being neglected. [230], Smith said that in June 1830, he received a "revelation of Moses" in which Moses saw "the world and the ends thereof" and asked God questions about the purpose of creation and man's relationship to God. [128], Smith also attracted a few wealthy and influential converts, including John C. Bennett, the Illinois quartermaster general. His followers regard him as a prophet comparable to Moses and Elijah, and several religious denominations consider themselves the continuation of the church that he organized, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Community of Christ. Smith, however, never viewed the wording to be infallible. [27], Years later, Smith wrote that he had received a vision that resolved his religious confusion. [239] The LDS Church has proposed that Smith might have been inspired by the papyri rather than have been translating them literally,[240] but prominent Egyptologists note that Smith copied characters from the scrolls and was specific about their meaning. Born in Sharon, Vermont, his parents, Joseph and Lucy Smith, operated a farm. In response, local Missourians rose up in wrath, and the governor ordered that the Mormons be driven out of the state or, where that was not possible, exterminated. [116], The following day, the Latter Day Saints surrendered to 2,500 state troops and agreed to forfeit their property and leave the state. Name at birth: Joseph Smith, Jr. Raised a Christian in Vermont and New York, Joseph Smith was the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon church. During his presidential campaign of 1844, he proposed ending slavery by 1850 and compensating slaveholders for their loss. When he was 14, he prayed for help, and, according to his own account, God and Jesus appeared to him. Smith came from an unremarkable New England family. [62] The Book of Mormon brought Smith regional notoriety and opposition from those who remembered the 1826 Chenango County trial. [207], According to the American historian and Mormonism expert Richard Bushman, the "signal feature" of Smith's life was "his sense of being guided by revelation". [255] Smith moved away from formal written revelations spoken in God's voice, and instead taught more in sermons, conversations, and letters. [75], Converts poured into Kirtland. It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. He died on September 16, 1962 at 7 years of age. The leadership of the church then fell to Brigham Young, who dedicated himself to perpetuating Smith’s teachings and program. The Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial is a granite obelisk on a hill in the White River Valley near Sharon and South Royalton in the U.S. state of Vermont.It marks the spot where Joseph Smith was born on December 23, 1805. Smith’s teachings departed from conventional Christian traditions by incorporating certain practices from the Hebrew Bible (see also Old Testament). [64] He was acquitted, but soon both he and Cowdery fled to Colesville to escape a gathering mob. He died shortly after hitting the ground, but was shot several more times before the mob dispersed. [157] The paper decried Smith's new "doctrines of many Gods", alluded to Smith's theocratic aspirations, and called for a repeal of the Nauvoo city charter. [221] The Book of Mormon itself states only that its text will "come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof".
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