Question: Did Joseph Smith claim to have walked on water?

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Question: Did Joseph Smith claim to have walked on water?

The story about Joseph walking on water is recognized even by the Church's antagonists as a fake

It is claimed by critic Fawn Brodie that Joseph attempted to prove he was a prophet by walking on water; he sought to do so by hiding planks of wood under the water's surface.

The story about Joseph walking on water is recognized even by the Church's antagonists as a fake. It never happened. Fawn Brodie included it in her biography of the Prophet and wrote: "Baseless though this story may be, it is none the less symbolic."[1] So, this story is baseless, worthless, without truth. But it fit well with what Brodie thought about the prophet, and so she passed it on.

The application of this folk tale to Joseph is one example of a broader pattern of using such a tale to discredit unpopular religious claims:

  • Stanley J. Thayne, "Walking on Water: Nineteenth Century Prophets and a Legend of Religious Imposture," Journal of Mormon History 36:2 (Spring 2010): 160.

Notes

  1. ↑ Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), 84. ( Index of claims )