Question: What did Parley Chase claim about Joseph Smith in the Hurlbut affidavits?

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Question: What did Parley Chase claim about Joseph Smith in the Hurlbut affidavits?

Parley Chase claimed that the Smiths were lazy, intemperate that they "boasted of their skill" at lying

Parley Chase made the following claims about the Smith family on 2 December 1833, three years after the publication of the Book of Mormon:

I was acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, Sen., both before and since they became Mormons, and feel free to state that not one of the male members of the Smith family were entitled to any credit, whatsoever. They were lazy, intemperate and worthless men, very much addicted to lying. In this they frequently boasted of their skill. Digging for money was their principal employment. In regard to their Gold Bible speculation, they scarcely ever told two stories alike. The Mormon Bible is said to be a revelation from God, through Joseph Smith Jr., his Prophet, and this same Joseph Smith Jr. to my knowledge, bore the reputation among his neighbors of being a liar. The foregoing statement can be corroborated by all his former neighbors.[1]

Hugh Nibley: "Skillful liars don't boast about it"

Hugh Nibley notes:

"Frequently"? A liar's "skill"...consists in not being recognized as a liar. Skillful liars don't boast about it. [2]

For a detailed response, see: Lazy Smiths?


  1. E.D. Howe, "The Testimony of Parley Chase," Mormonism Unvailed (1834).
  2. Hugh W. Nibley, Tinkling Cymbals and Sounding Brass: The Art of Telling Tales About Joseph Smith and Brigham Young (Vol. 11 of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley), edited by David J. Whittaker, (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Company ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), 105. ISBN 0875795161. GL direct link