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Joseph Smith the Father of Mormonism

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  1. Joseph Smith the Father of Mormonism

  2. Joseph Smith (1805-1844) http://www.mormons.org/images/leaders/js_portrait_green.jpg In order to understand Mormonism one must know some basic information about who Joseph Smith was and how he brought Mormonism into existence. 1. Who was Joseph Smith? 2. What was his background like? 3. What was his character like? 4. How did he write the Book of Mormon?

  3. According to the Mormon Church: • Joseph Smith was the Spiritual Father of Mormonism. • Joseph Smith was led by the Angel Moroni to find the Golden • Tablets. • These Golden Tablets are said to be the other testament of • Jesus Christ in the Americas of which more than 8 million • followers believe and live by today. • "The Prophet Joseph Smith's writing career began at age twenty-two when he commenced translation of the Book of Mormon. At his death seventeen years later, in 1844, he had left a substantial archive for the study of his life and the church he was instrumental in founding.“ www.mormons.org http://www.angelfire.com/mo/msp/cotz.html

  4. *Remember : Besides this biography, there are many other great resources in your search for absolute truth. Below are many other web sites that will help you continue on your search. Just click onto the link you wish to visit. At the end of this presentation there will be a button that will lead you back to this page if you wish to search more. 1. Commentary on the Biography and the writer Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/gu1852/intro.htm 2. Accurate information and a Christians perspective on Mormonism http://www.summit.org/index.html 3. A great resource for the Christian faith on many topic including Mormonism http://www.christiananswers.net 4. The complete Mormon web page - "Read directly from them“ http://www.mormons.org/

  5. The following is a short text on Joseph Smith from a book titled: The Mormons, or, Latter-day saints, in the valley of the Great salt lake; a history of their rise and progress, peculiar doctrines, present condition, and prospects, derived from personal observation: during a residence among them A Biography written by Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison Publication Date:1860 The Golden Tablets


  6. Joseph Smith Background & Character

  7. As this will controvert [disagree with] the statements of the "Prophet," JosephSmith, and his father's family, we ask the opinion of their neighbors whether their assertions [statements] are entitled to unquestioned credit.Fifty-one gentlemen of Palmyra, New York, and eleven of Manchester, and several persons who lived near the family residence..all testify tothe same effect "that they consider them destitute [lacking] of that moral character, which ought to entitle them to the confidence of anycommunity and particularly that the senior and junior Josephs,were entirely unworthy of belief in such matters; and addicted to vicious [cruel & spiteful] habits." Page 89 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison Publication Date:1860

  8. They were visionary men, and believed that hidden treasures were in the vicinity [area], and often employed themselvesin digging for them and money. They used what in Scotland aredenominated [called] “Seer-stones,”.. can see things at a distance, or futureevents passing before their eyes, or things buried in the earth. Such a stone was dug from a well by one Willard Chase, whichwas loaned to the prophet Joseph, and retained by him, and withwhich some of the family declared he read in the [location of] Golden Bible. Page 89 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison

  9. [http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/cgi/sgml/moa-idx?notisid=AGU9642] page b.

  10. These [Seer] stones are those spoken of in the Book ofMormon, as the ones touched by the finger of God for the use ofJared in his barges [boats], when he crossed the Pacific to settle America.They became shining lights in his dark vessel. Thefamily alsoused peach and witch-hazel rods, to detect and drive off evil spirits,when digging for money; and such branches are supposed by many to point out streams of running water beneath the surface; andare used by miners frequently to find the lodes of mineral… Page 90 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison

  11. What did we just read and learn about Joseph Smith’s character? • 51 men in New York who knew Joseph Smith testified that: • Joseph Smith was lacking of any morals • His questionable character makes it difficult to believe his claims • Joseph Smith and family were involved in habits that were: • Cruel and Spiteful 3. Some of there habits involved: • Money digging – searching mystically for hidden treasure • Seer-Stones – Stones like crystal balls that even led them to the golden bible – later the Book of Mormon Overall how would you describe the character of Joseph Smith? ________________________________________________

  12. Joseph Smith The beginning of Mormonism

  13. It has already been mentioned that in 1823, under the preaching of a Methodist elder, the “prophet,” as we shall continue to call Joseph, and his father's family, were converted or excited, ina “revival of religion…” …During this rivalry the sects [war of religions]..peculiar views werefreely discussed ..and to one so observant, theirtheological notions, supported each by Bible Commentaries, werewell digested by Joseph. Could a compounded [a mixed], system be deduced [worked out]from them that would suit a majority of minds, ..the task of founding a "new church," would notseem a very great work to one who looked upon each of thosebodies ..as equally a true one, or only organizations for carrying out human purposes [man centered wants]. Page 90 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison

  14. Judging from what hesays in his autobiography, ideas of this kind now took possessionof his mind, on which he systematically [working out a plan] acted during the remainderof his career. He informs us that he engaged in earnest prayerfor enlightenment. He rose at night and continued his supplications [prayers]. In September of that year [1823], when all else was hushed insleep, his prayers were answered by a heavenly vision. An angel [Moroni]in all the splendor of light, radiating from his head, with eyes of..flame, and hair like fleecy wool, stood before him. Hismessage was that Joseph should gird himself for the work of the Lord, and go forth among men and restore His [God’s] church. No doubthe had a remarkable dream that night, waking or sleeping – forthough the vision was repeated in the most resplendent [glorious] manner,and important revelations given concerning the manner of founding a "new church," and information upon the subject of hidden records on plates of gold in the vicinity- yet he informs us thathe went about his work as usual on the following morning.“The conception of the plan might well be called his "brilliantglory”. Page 91 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison

  15. He [continued and] acquired greatreputation for money-digging. A man by the name of Stowell, inBainbridge, New York, employed him to dig for hidden treasurein the neighborhood. Some legends of the wandering Spaniardsfrom De Soto's band, and the wealth of the aboriginal inhabitantsburied on the banks of the Susquehanna, had fired the imaginations of the old Dutchman, and a company was in search of theuntold wealth. The seer-stone and the mineral rod were alreadyfamiliar to Joseph, and his pretensions and frequent search causedhim to be called the "money-digger." Page 92 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison

  16. What did we just read and learn about Joseph Smith’s influence on Mormonism? • Through a revival experience and contact with fighting religions: • Joseph pondered the idea of starting a “new church” • The new church would be combination of the best of all churches • It didn’t seem difficult for Joseph to work out this church in His mind 2. Joseph then had a vision, dream, or experience: • Meeting an angel that told him the location of a golden bible • That would give him directions on how to fix God’s church 3. After this incredible experience with God and the angel: • Joseph acted as if nothing had changed • He continued to money dig for profit Describe why you would or would not put you hope in a faith based on this man’s experience? _____________________________________________________

  17. Joseph Smith The writing of the book of Mormon

  18. The whole explication [origin] of the Book of Mormon hangs on thefollowing circumstances. .[T]he manner of peopling America [population] by some Jews and the "lost ten tribes of Israel;" ..and the divisioninto tribes [like the 12 tribes of Israel] as they were found in our Indians at the discovery byColumbus, is known to have been written by the late Rev. Spalding at Conneaut, Ohio. This was just previous to 1812, andhis brother testifies that their [Indians/tribes] "arts, sciences and civilization werebrought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities [old items]found in various parts of North and South America." A clearidea of the work can be had from the affidavit of Mr. Henry Lake,given at Conneaut, in 1833, which is corroborated [supported] by abundantother testimony. Page 92 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison

  19. He [Joseph Smith] frequently read to me from a manuscriptwhich he was writing, and which he entitled the “ManuscriptFound,” which he represented as being found in this town. Ispent many hours in hearing him read said writings; and becameacquainted with their contents. He wished me to assist him ingetting it printed, alleging that a book of that kind would meetwith a rapid sale. This book represented the American Indiansas the lost tribes, gave an account of their leaving Jerusalem, theircontentions and wars, which were many and great. One time,when he was reading to me the tragic account of Laban, I pointedout to him what I considered an inconsistency, which he promisedto correct; but by referring to the Book of Mormon, I find to mysurprise it stands there, just as he read it to me then. Manymonths ago I borrowed a golden Bible, had not read twenty minutes before I was astonished to find the same passages in it. Page 93 Lieutenant J.W. Gunnison

  20. What did we just read and learn about Joseph Smith’s writing of the Book of Mormon? • The whole basis for the Book of Mormon relies heavily on: • The fact that Jews came to America on a boat • The fact that these Jews are actually American Indians • These Indians are the lost tribes of Israel from the Bible 2. The idea for the tribes came originally from: • Rev. Henry Spalding • Which simply separated Indians into tribes by their rare artifacts • Joseph rewrote the account to mean these Indians were Jews • Joseph said he found the manuscript in his town 3. In writing and reading the account to Lieut. G.W. Gunnison • The revision was found to have inconsistencies • The revisions were never changed even when noticed The basis and foundation for the Book of Mormon is reliable or not reliable because? _________________________________________________________

  21. Answer the following questions • Using 3 complete sentences per question • On a separate sheet of paper – typed neatly • Respond to the information given Back to the Search page 1. Overall how would you describe the character of Joseph Smith? ____________________________________________________ 2. Describe why you would or would not put you hope in a faith based on this man’s experience? ___________________________________________________ 3. The basis and foundation for the Book of Mormon is reliable or not reliable because? ______________________________________________________________

  22. Credits and Resources • 1.Tucker, Pomeroy. “Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism. A Biography of its Founders and History of its Church, Appleton, N.Y” 1867. The Nineteenth Century in Print, 1850-1880 [http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/cgi/sgml/moa-idx?notisid=AGU9642] [page b] (July 15, 2001). • 2.Gunnison, Lieut. J.W. (John Williams), “The Mormons, or, Latter-day saints, in the valley of the Great salt lake; a history of their rise and progress, peculiar doctrines, present condition, and prospects, derived from personal observation: during a residence among them. Philadelphia, PA” 1860. The Nineteenth Century in Print, 1850-1880 [http://moa.umdl.umich.edu/cgi/sgml/moa-idx?notisid=AJK2815] (July 10, 2001). • 1 & 2 found in American Memory Collection – Library of Congress • Other pictures from the web were sited by URL address Back to Process page