Mormonism and Wikipedia/Golden plates/Background

Table of Contents

An analysis of claims made in the Wikipedia article "Golden plates" - Background

A FairMormon Analysis of: Wikipedia article "Golden plates", a work by author: Various

An analysis of claims made in the Wikipedia article "Golden plates" - Background

Jump to Subtopic:


 Updated 9/21/2011

Section review

Background

Response to claim: "western New York became known as the 'burned-over district' because the fires of religious revivals had burned over it so often"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

During the Second Great Awakening, Joseph Smith, Jr. lived on his parents' farm near Palmyra, New York. At the time churches in the region contended so vigorously for souls that western New York became known as the "burned-over district" because the fires of religious revivals had burned over it so often.

Author's sources:
  1. Jan Shipps, "Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition," University of Illinois Press, pp. 7

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event


Response to claim: "Western New York was also noted for its participation in a 'craze for treasure hunting'"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Western New York was also noted for its participation in a "craze for treasure hunting."

Author's sources:
  1. Bennett (1893) . The treasure-seeking culture in early 19th century New England is described in Quinn (1998) , pp. 25–26.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event


Question: Was Joseph Smith's participation in "money digging" as a youth a blot on his character?

Money digging was a popular, common and accepted practice in their frontier culture

Joseph Smith and some members of his family participated in "money digging" or looking for buried treasure as a youth. This was a common and accepted practice in their frontier culture, though the Smiths do not seem to have been involved to the extent claimed by some of the exaggerated attacks upon them by former neighbors.

In the young Joseph Smith's time and place, "money digging" was a popular, and sometimes respected activity. When Joseph was 16, the Palmyra Herald printed such remarks.

The local newspapers reported on "money digging" activities

  • "digging for money hid in the earth is a very common thing and in this state it is even considered as honorable and profitable employment"
  • "One gentleman...digging...ten to twelve years, found a sufficient quantity of money to build him a commodious house.
  • "another...dug up...fifty thousand dollars!" [1]

And, in 1825 the Wayne Sentinel in Palmyra reported that buried treasure had been found "by the help of a mineral stone, (which becomes transparent when placed in a hat and the light excluded by the face of him who looks into it)." [2]

The Smith's attitude toward treasure digging was similar to a modern attitudes toward gambling, or buying a lottery ticket

Given the financial difficulties under which the Smith family labored, it would hardly be surprising that they might hope for such a reversal in their fortunes. Richard Bushman has compared the Smith's attitude toward treasure digging with a modern attitudes toward gambling, or buying a lottery ticket. Bushman points out that looking for treasure had little stigma attached to it among all classes in the 17th century, and continued to be respectable among the lower classes into the 18th and 19th. [3]

Despite the claims of critics, it is not clear that Joseph and his family saw their activities as "magical."

For a detailed response, see: Joseph Smith/Occultism and magic


Response to claim: "Smith was periodically hired, for about $14 per month, as a scryer, using what were termed'seer stones' in attempts to locate lost items and buried treasure"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Beginning as a youth in the early 1820s, Smith was periodically hired, for about $14 per month, as a scryer, using what were termed "seer stones" in attempts to locate lost items and buried treasure.

Author's sources:
  1. Smith (1838b) , pp. 42–43 (stating that he was what he called a "money digger", but saying that it "was never a very profitable job to him, as he only got fourteen dollars a month for it").

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event


Question: Was "money digging" Joseph Smith, Jr's primary source of income during his early years?

Tax records indicated that the Smith family was intensely engaged in activities related to improving their farm

The primary evidence–especially tax records, which provide a relatively unbiased look at the Smiths' work ethic—cannot support the argument that Joseph and his family were not intensely engaged in the duties related to farming.

See also: Lazy Smiths?

LDS scholar Daniel C. Peterson notes,

[I]n order to pay for their farm, the Smiths were obliged to hire themselves out as day laborers. Throughout the surrounding area, they dug and rocked up wells and cisterns, mowed, harvested, made cider and barrels and chairs and brooms and baskets, taught school, dug for salt, worked as carpenters and domestics, built stone walls and fireplaces, flailed grain, cut and sold cordwood, carted, washed clothes, sold garden produce, painted chairs and oil-cloth coverings, butchered, dug coal, and hauled stone. And, along the way, they produced between one thousand and seven thousand pounds of maple sugar annually. "Laziness" and "indolence" are difficult to detect in the Smith family.[4]

The data shows that the Smith farm increased in value, and was worth more than 90% of the farms owned by their neighbors

The data shows that the Smith farm increased in value, and was worth more than 90% of the farms owned by the four families—the Staffords, Stoddards, Chases, and Caprons—who would later speak disparagingly of the Smiths' work ethic.[5] How did they manage this without doing farm work? These are physical improvements. They were too poor to pay someone else to do it. So, are we to believe that Joseph's family let Joseph just sit around doing his "magic business" while the rest of them worked their fingers to the bone?

The Smith farm had a perimeter of a one and 2/3 miles. To fence that distance with a standard stone and stinger fence required moving tons of stone from fields to farm perimeter, then cutting and placing about 4,000 ten-foot rails. This does not include the labor and materials involved in fencing the barnyard, garden, pastures, and orchard, which, at a conservative estimate, required an additional 2,000 to 3,000 cut wooden rails (McNall 59, 84, 87, 91, 110-11, and 144). Clearly, this work alone—all of it separate from the actual labor of farming—represents a prodigious amount of concerted planning and labor....

In comparison to others in the township and neighborhood, the Smiths' efforts and accomplishments were superior to most. In the township, only 40 percent of the farms were worth more per acre and just 25 percent were larger. In the "neighborhood," only 29 percent of the farms were worth more and only 26 percent were larger (Assessment Rolls 1-34).[6]

Orlando Saunders: "They were the best family in the neighborhood in case of sickness; one was at my house nearly all the time when my father died"

What did Joseph's associates have to say about Joseph's work? Former neighbor Orlando Saunders recalled,

They were the best family in the neighborhood in case of sickness; one was at my house nearly all the time when my father died....[The Smiths] were very good people. Young Joe (as we called him then), has worked for me, and he was a good worker; they all were. . . . He was always a gentleman when about my place."[7]

John Stafford, eldest son of William Stafford said that the Smiths were "poor managers," but allowed as how Joseph "would do a fair day's work if hired out to a man...."[8]

Mrs. Palmer's father "loved young Joseph Smith and often hired him to work with his boys"

According to Truman G. Madsen,

Mrs. Palmer, a non-Mormon who lived near the Smith farm in Palmyra, said of Joseph that "her father loved young Joseph Smith and often hired him to work with his boys. She was about six years old, she said, when he first came to their home. . . .She remembered, she said, the excitement stirred up among some of the people over the boy's first vision, and of hearing her father contend that it was only the sweet dream of a pure-minded boy.”[9]

Martha Cox's father said "that the boy [Joseph Smith] was the best help he had ever found

According to a contemporary, Martha Cox,

She stated that one of their church leaders came to her father to remonstrate against his allowing such close friendship between his family and the "Smith boy," as he called him. Her father, she said, defended his own position by saying that the boy was the best help he had ever found.[10]

Joseph's brother William noted that derogatory comments about Joseph's character came only after he reported his visions,

We never heard of such a thing until after Joseph told his vision, and not then, by our friends. Whenever the neighbors wanted a good day's work done they knew where they could get a good hand and they were not particular to take any of the other boys before Joseph either… Joseph did his share of the work with the rest of the boys. We never knew we were bad folks until Joseph told his vision.[11]

Joseph Knight said that Joseph Smith, Jr. was “the best hand [my father] ever hired”[12]

Martin Harris described what a good hand Joseph was: "He lived close by my farm, and often worked for me hoeing corn for fifty cents a day, which was the biggest wages given in those times." [13] "He also said that he had hoed corn with Joseph often, and that the latter was a good hand to work."[14]

The Smith family produced maple sugar and constructed barrels

Furthermore, the Smiths produced maple sugar, a difficult and labor-intensive occupation:

Sources document over two dozen kinds of labor the Smiths performed for hire, including digging and rocking up wells, mowing, coopering, constructing cisterns, hunting and trapping, teaching school, providing domestic service, and making split-wood chairs, brooms and baskets. The Smiths also harvested, did modest carpentry work, dug for salt, constructed stone walls and fireplaces, flailed grain, cut and sold cordwood, carted, made cider, and "witched" for water. They sold garden produce, made bee-gums, washed clothes, painted oil-cloth coverings, butchered, dug coal, painted chairs, hauled stone, and made maple syrup and sugar (Research File).

Joseph Jr.'s account suggests honest industry in the face of difficult conditions: "Being in indigent circumstances," he says, "[we] were obliged to labour hard for the support of [our] Large family and . . . it required the exertions of all [family members] that were able to render any assistances" (Jessee 4). The Smith men had a reputation as skilled and diligent workers. William Smith asserted that "whenever the neighbors wanted a good day's work done they knew where they could get a good hand" (Peterson 11). Eight wells in three townships are attributed to the Smiths (Research File). They likely dug and rocked others, including some of the 11 wells dug on the farm of Lemuel Durfee, who lived a little east of Martin Harris. The Smiths did considerable work for this kindly old Quaker; some of their labor served as rent for their farm after it passed into his ownership in December 1825 (Ralph Cator; Lemuel Durfee Farm books).

Father Joseph, Hyrum, and Joseph Jr. were coopers. Coopering was an exacting trade, particularly if the barrel was designed to hold liquid. Dye tubs, barrels, and water and sap buckets were products of the Smiths' cooper shop. They also repaired leaky barrels for neighbors at cidering time (Research File).

Sugaring was another labor-intensive work. William recalls, "To gather the sap and make sugar and molasses from [1,200-1,500 sugar] trees was no lazy job" (Peterson 11). Lucy said they produced an average of "one thousand pounds" (50) of sugar a year. One neighbor reportedly said that the Smiths made 7,000 pounds of sugar one season and won a premium for their effort at the county fair (Brodie 10-11). Many people could make maple syrup, but it required considerable skill to make sugar and particularly good skill, dexterity, and commitment to make high quality sugar.[15]


Response to claim: "Smith's contemporaries described his method for seeking treasure as putting the stone in a white stovepipe hat"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Smith's contemporaries described his method for seeking treasure as putting the stone in a white stovepipe hat, putting his face over the hat to block the light, and then "seeing" the information in the reflections of the stone.

Author's sources:
  1. Harris (1833) , pp. 253–54; Hale (1834) , p. 265; Clark (1842) , p. 225; Turner (1851) , p. 216; Harris (1859) , p. 164; Tucker (1867) , pp. 20–21; Lapham (1870) , p. 305; Lewis (Lewis) , p. 1; Mather (1880) , p. 199; Bushman (2005) , pp. 50–51, 54–55.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event


Question: Did Joseph Smith place his seer stone in his hat while looking for lost objects?

Martin Harris recounted that Joseph could find lost objects with one of his seer stones

Martin Harris recounted that Joseph could find lost objects with the second, white stone:

I was at the house of his father in Manchester, two miles south of Palmyra village, and was picking my teeth with a pin while sitting on the bars. The pin caught in my teeth and dropped from my fingers into shavings and straw. I jumped from the bars and looked for it. Joseph and Northrop Sweet also did the same. We could not find it. I then took Joseph on surprise, and said to him--I said, "Take your stone." I had never seen it, and did not know that he had it with him. He had it in his pocket. He took it and placed it in his hat--the old white hat--and placed his face in his hat. I watched him closely to see that he did not look to one side; he reached out his hand beyond me on the right, and moved a little stick and there I saw the pin, which he picked up and gave to me. I know he did not look out of the hat until after he had picked up the pin.[16]

Joseph's mother also indicated that Joseph was sought out by some, including Josiah Stoal, to use the stone to find hidden valuables. He

came for Joseph on account of having heard that he possessed certain keys by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye.[17]

Joseph referred to this incident in JS-H 1:55-56.

Stoal eventually joined the Church; some of his family, however, charged Joseph in court for events related to this treasure seeking. Stoal testified in Joseph's defense.

Joseph Knight also said that, at the command of the angel Moroni, Joseph looked into his seer stone to learn who he should marry. He "looked in his glass and found it was Emma Hale."[18]

For a detailed response, see: Joseph's 1826 glasslooking trial


Response to claim: "Smith did not consider himself to be a 'peeper' or 'glass-looker,' a practice he called 'nonsense'"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Smith did not consider himself to be a "peeper" or "glass-looker," a practice he called "nonsense."

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , pp. 50–51,,

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Note that Bushman is quoting a secondary source for Joseph's words (Alva Hale), and is demonstrating that Joseph no longer considered himself to be a "peeper" at all. From Bushman, p. 51:

Alva Hale, a son in the household where the Smiths stayed in Harmony while digging for Stowell, said Joseph Jr. told him that the "give in seeing with a stone" was "a gift from God" but that "' peeping ' was all d–d nonsense"; he had been deceived in his treasure seeking, but he did not intend to deceive anyone else....By this time, Joseph apparently felt that "seeing" with a stone was the work of a "seer," a religious term, while "peeping" or "glass-looking" was fraudulent.

Response to claim: "Smith and his family viewed their folk magical practices as spiritual gifts"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Rather, Smith and his family viewed their folk magical practices as spiritual gifts.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , pp. 50–51. Lucy Mack Smith later remembered that the family did not abandon its labor "to win the faculty of Abrac, drawing magic circles, or sooth saying to the neglect of all kinds of business. We never during our lives suffered one important interest to swallow up every other obligation but whilst we worked with our hands we endeavored to remember the service of & the welfare of our souls."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Bushman, quoting Lucy Mack Smith (p. 51):

Lucy...showed her knowledge of formulas and rituals and associated them with "the welfare of our souls." Magic and religion melded in Smith family culture."


Response to claim: "nor did he ever relinquish the magic culture in which he was raised"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Although Smith later rejected his youthful treasure-hunting activities as frivolous and immaterial, he never repudiated the stones themselves nor denied their presumed power to find treasure; nor did he ever relinquish the magic culture in which he was raised.

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , pp. 50–51 Smith "never repudiated the stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture stayed with him to the end."; Jan Shipps, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition, University of Illinois Press, 11.

FairMormon Response

  •  Violates Wikipedia: Citing sources off-site— There is either no citation to support the statement or the citation given is incorrect.
    Violated by COgden —Diff: off-site

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The wiki editor has taken "remnants of the magical culture" from the footnote and solidified them into the culture never having been "relinquished" in the main text.
  • From Bushman, p. 51:

Joseph Jr. never repudiated the stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture stayed with him to then end. But after 1823, he began to orient himself away from treasure and toward translation.


Response to claim: "He came to view seeing with a stone in religious terms as the work of a 'seer'"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

He came to view seeing with a stone in religious terms as the work of a "seer",

Author's sources:
  1. Bushman (2005) , p. 51.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Response to claim: "and indeed, in his view a seer was even greater than a prophet"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

and indeed, in his view a seer was even greater than a prophet.

Author's sources:
  1. Book of Mormon, Mosiah 8:15-17.

FairMormon Response

  •  Violates Wikipedia: No Original Research off-site— Do not use unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position.
    Violated by COgden —Diff: off-site

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

The wiki editor is synthesizing a conclusion based upon a primary source (The Book of Mormon) regarding Joseph Smith's belief with respect to the relative importance of seers versus prophets.

15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.


Response to claim: "Joseph Smith's first stone, apparently the same one he used at least part of the time to translate the golden plates, was chocolate-colored and about the size of an egg"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

Joseph Smith's first stone, apparently the same one he used at least part of the time to translate the golden plates, was chocolate-colored and about the size of an egg,

Author's sources:
  1. Roberts (1930) , p. 129. Roberts was at the time the official historian of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his opinion has considerable weight, given that the LDS Church attempted to downplay any influence of magic in early Latter Day Saint history.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Note the reference to the stone in the official Church children's magazine, the Friend:

"To help him with the translation, Joseph found with the gold plates “a curious instrument which the ancients called Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones set in a rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate.” Joseph also used an egg-shaped, brown rock for translating called a seer stone."
—“A Peaceful Heart,” Friend, Sep 1974, 7 off-site (emphasis added)

Response to claim: "found in a deep well he helped dig for one of his neighbors"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

found in a deep well he helped dig for one of his neighbors.

Author's sources:
  1. Harris (1859) , p. 163; Lapham (1870) , pp. 305–306. The stone was found in either 1819 (Tucker (1867) , pp. 19–20 Bennett (1893) ) or 1822 Chase (1833) , p. 240.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

For a detailed response, see: The Hurlbut affidavits—Willard Chase

Response to claim: "The statement has been made that the Urim and Thummim was on the altar in the Manti Temple when that building was dedicated"

The author(s) of Wikipedia article "Golden plates" make(s) the following claim:

This stone may still be in the possession of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Author's sources:
  1. Joseph Fielding Smith (a former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints): "The statement has been made that the Urim and Thummim was on the altar in the Manti Temple when that building was dedicated. The Urim and Thummim so spoken of, however, was the seer stone which was in the possession of the Prophet Joseph Smith in early days. This seer stone is currently in the possession of the Church." Doctrines of Salvation 3: 225.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event


References

Wikipedia references for "Golden Plates"

Further reading

Articles on this subject

FairMormon's Wikipedia Article Reviews

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia article "Martin Harris"

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia article "Oliver Cowdery"

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia article "First Vision"

Summary: Current review is based upon Wikipedia revision dated 9/17/2011. This article has undergone moderate improvements in its use of sources since our last review. The article still contains a substantial amount of original research based upon primary sources, with the intent to disprove the vision and highlight perceived discrepancies between vision accounts. Believing scholars are labeled "apologists" in an attempt to diminish their credibility.

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia article "Joseph Smith"

Summary: Current review is based upon Wikipedia revision dated 9/3/2011. This article has undergone substantial improvements in its use of sources since our initial review in 2009. Most of the citations are now accurately represented.

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia article "Golden plates"

Summary: Current review is based upon Wikipedia revision dated 9/21/2011. This article has undergone only minor improvements in its use of sources since our last review. The article contains a large amount of original research on the part of the wiki editors.

A FairMormon Analysis of Wikipedia article "Three Witnesses"

Summary: Current review is based upon Wikipedia revision dated 9/28/2011. This article has been constructed in such a way as to discredit the witnesses by emphasizing any perceived contradictions in their various statements regarding their encounter with the gold plates.


Copyright © 2005–2013 FairMormon. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The content of this page may not be copied, published, or redistributed without the prior written consent of FairMormon.
We welcome your suggestions for improving the content of this FAIR Wiki article.

Sites we recommend:


  1. Palmyra Herald (24 July 1822); cited in Russell Anderson, "The 1826 Trial of Joseph Smith," (2002 FAIR Conference presentation.) FairMormon link
  2. "Wonderful Discovery," Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, New York] (27 December 1825), page 2, col. 4. Reprinted from the Orleans Advocate of Orleans, New York; cited by Mark Ashurst-McGee, "A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet," (Master's Thesis, University of Utah, Logan, Utah, 2000), 170–171.
  3. Richard L. Bushman, "Joseph Smith Miscellany," (Mesa, Arizona: FAIR, 2005 FAIR Conference) FairMormon link
  4. Daniel C. Peterson and Donald L. Enders, "Can the 1834 Affidavits Attacking the Smith Family Be Trusted?," in Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s, ed. John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1999), 286—87. off-site
  5. Donald L. Enders, "The Joseph Smith, Sr., Family: Farmers of the Genesee," in Joseph Smith, The Prophet, The Man, edited by Susan Easton Black and Charles D. Tate, Jr., (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1993), 220–221.
  6. Enders, "Joseph Smith, Sr., Family," 219, 221.
  7. William H. Kelly, "The Hill Cumorah, and the Book of Mormon," Saints' Herald 28 (1 June 1881): 165.
  8. William H. Kelly, "The Hill Cumorah, and the Book of Mormon," Saints' Herald 28 (1 June 1881): 167; cited in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 2:121.
  9. Cited from a typescript by Truman G. Madsen, "Guest Editor's Prologue," Brigham Young University Studies 9 no. 3 (Spring 1969), 235.
  10. Stories from the Notebook of Martha Cox, Grandmother of Fern Cox Anderson, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah)
  11. Deseret News, 20 January 1894
  12. Autobiography of Joseph Knight Jr., 1, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah
  13. Martin Harris, quoted in Edward Stevenson to the Editor, 14 October 1893 Deseret Evening News (20 October 1893); reprinted in Millennial Star 55 (4 December 1893): 793-94; in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 5:326.
  14. Martin Harris, quoted in Edward Stevenson Reminiscences of Joseph, the Prophet and the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Edward Stevenson, 1893), 30-33.
  15. Enders, "Joseph Smith, Sr., Family," 222–223.
  16. Joel Tiffany, Tiffany's Monthly (June 1859): 164;cited in Van Wagoner and Walker, 55.
  17. Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations (Liverpool, S.W. Richards, 1853),91–92.
  18. Dean C. Jessee, "Joseph Knight's Recollection of Early Mormon History," Brigham Young University Studies 17 no. 1 (August 1976).; cited in Mark Ashurst-McGee, "A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet," (Master's Thesis, University of Utah, Logan, Utah, 2000), 281. Buy online