El Mormonismo y la historia/La censura y la revisión/Ocultar los hechos

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Ocultar los hechos de la historia de la Iglesia a la vista usando publicaciones de la Iglesia

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Question: What Church sources discuss Joseph Smith and "folk magic"? Question: What Church sources discuss Joseph Smith's involvement with seer stones, treasure seeking or "money digging?

Joseph's 1826 Bainbridge trial




Highlights in the Prophet’s Life 20 Mar. 1826: Tried and acquitted on fanciful charge of being a “disorderly person,” South Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York. New York law defined a disorderly person as, among other things, a vagrant or a seeker of “lost goods.” The Prophet had been accused of both: the first charge was false and was made simply to cause trouble; Joseph’s use of a seer stone to see things that others could not see with the naked eye brought the second charge. Those who brought the charges were apparently concerned that Joseph might bilk his employer, Josiah Stowell, out of some money. Mr. Stowell’s testimony clearly said this was not so and that he trusted Joseph Smith.
—Anonymous, "Highlights in the Prophet’s Life," Ensign (Jun 1994), 24. off-site (Inglés)

Oliver Cowdery's divining rod



history.lds.org Revelations in Context "Oliver Cowdery's Gift"

Oliver Cowdery lived in a culture steeped in biblical ideas, language and practices. The revelation’s reference to Moses likely resonated with him. The Old Testament account of Moses and his brother Aaron recounted several instances of using rods to manifest God’s will (see Ex. 7:9-12; Num. 17:8). Many Christians in Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery's day similarly believed in divining rods as instruments for revelation. Cowdery was among those who believed in and used a divining rod.

The Lord recognized Oliver’s ability to use a rod: “thou hast another gift which is the gift of working with the rod.”9 Confirming the divinity of this gift, the revelation stated: “Behold there is no other power save God that can cause this thing of Nature to work in your hands for it is the work of God.” If Oliver desired, the revelation went on to say, the Lord would add the gift of translation to the revelatory gifts Oliver already possessed (D&C 8:8-11).
—Jeffrey G. Cannon, "Oliver Cowdery's Gift," Revelations in Context, history.lds.org. (December 15, 2012) off-site (Inglés)

Changes to the Book of Mormon

Textual changes to the Book of Mormon




"In a few places, however, Joseph Smith did intentionally add to the text to clarify a point. An illustration of this is the added words the son of in 1 Nephi 11:21, 32, and 13:40. The text would be correct with or without the additional words, but the addition helps the reader avoid misunderstanding." - George Horton, "Understanding Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon," Ensign (December 1983): {{{start}}}–{{{end}}}.


"Some have alleged that these books of revelation are false, and they place in evidence changes that have occurred in the texts of these scriptures since their original publication. They cite these changes, of which there are many examples, as though they themselves were announcing revelation. As though they were the only ones that knew of them. Of course there have been changes and corrections. Anyone who has done even limited research knows that. When properly reviewed, such corrections become a testimony for, not against, the truth of the books....Now, I add with emphasis that such changes have been basically minor refinements in grammar, expression, punctuation, clarification. Nothing fundamental has been altered. Why are they not spoken of over the pulpit? Simply because by comparison they are so insignificant, and unimportant as literally to be not worth talking about. After all, they have absolutely nothing to do with whether the books are true." -Boyd K. Packer, "We Believe All That God Has Revealed," Ensign (May 1974): {{{start}}}–{{{end}}}.

The seer stone and/or the stone with the hat

Plantilla:HiddenFact Joseph actually used a stone which he placed in a hat to translate a portion of the Book of Mormon in addition to or instead of the "Urim and Thummim." Sometimes there is reference to Joseph using the stone to receive revelation. Sometimes the hat is mentioned as well. These facts are found hidden in the official Church magazines the Ensign and the Friend on the official Church website lds.org.

Source:Dirkmaat:Ensign:January 2013:He...referred to it using an Old Testament term, Urim and Thummim...He also sometimes applied the term to other stones he possessed Question: What Church sources discuss either the use of the seer stone or the stone and the hat as part of the Book of Mormon translation process?

The stone and Nephite interpreters




"...the Prophet possessed a seer stone, by which he was enabled to translate as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for convenience he then used the seer stone."
—Richard Lloyd Anderson, "‘By the Gift and Power of God’," Ensign (Sep 1977), 79, emphasis added. off-site (Inglés)

Book of Mormon authorship theories


October 2009 General Conference

For 179 years this book has been examined, and attacked. Denied and deconstructed. Targeted and torn apart, like perhaps no other book in modern religious history. Perhaps like no other book in any religious history, and still, it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born, parroted and died. From Ethan Smith to Solomon Spalding, to deranged paranoid, to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination, because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young, unlearned translator.
—Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference talk, Oct. 4, 2009



He also bore his testimony in these words: “Friends and brethren my name is Cowdery, Oliver Cowdery. In the early history of this church I stood identified with [you]. … I … handled with my hands the gold plates from which [the Book of Mormon] was translated. I also beheld the interpreters. That book is true. Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Mr. Spaulding did not write it. I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the prophet.” 8 Even though Oliver came back, he lost his exalted place in the Church.
—James E. Faust, “‘Some Great Thing’,” Liahona, Jan 2002, 53–56 off-site (Inglés)



It is strange to me that unbelieving critics must still go back to the old allegations that Joseph Smith wrote the book out of ideas gained from Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews and Solomon Spaulding’s manuscript. To compare the Book of Mormon with these is like comparing a man to a horse. It is true they both walk, but beyond this there is little similarity.
— Gordon B. Hinckley, “My Testimony,” Ensign, Nov 1993, 51 off-site (Inglés)



At one time, it was popular among critics to contend that a literary work of Joseph Smith’s day, a manuscript authored by the Reverend Solomon Spalding (also spelled Spaulding), influenced the plot of the Book of Mormon. Spalding died in 1816, but his manuscript survived and was used by Eber D. Howe to advance a “Spalding theory” in the first anti-Mormon work of note, Mormonism Unvailed, (Painesville: E. D. Howe, 1834; original spelling preserved.) Howe held that Sidney Rigdon had been responsible for taking Spalding’s manuscript from a printing establishment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later making it available for publication through Joseph Smith.
—Larry C. Porter, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, June 1992, 27–29 off-site (Inglés)



Enemies threatened to knock down the walls of the temple. Philastus Hurlburt was excommunicated and in bitterness set in motion the Spaulding manuscript story of the origin of the Book of Mormon with all of the mischief that for years followed that concoction.
—Gordon B. Hinckley, “Go Forward with Faith,” Ensign, Aug 1986, 3 off-site (Inglés)

These restored truths came fully formed. Joseph Smith did not receive them through Solomon Spaulding, Ethan Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, or any others to be advanced by those desperate for any explanation other than the correct one.
—Neal A. Maxwell, “‘A Choice Seer’,” Ensign, Aug 1986, 6 off-site (Inglés)



This interpretation initially appeared in the first anti-Mormon book, Mormonism Unvailed, a work published by Eber D. Howe and, most believe, authored by Philastus Hurlburt, an apostate. This hypothesis for the formulation of the Book of Mormon can best be summed up thus: “The Book of Mormon is the joint production of Solomon Spaulding and some other designing knave.” They conjectured this “knave” to be Sidney Rigdon.
—Keith W. Perkins, “Francis W. Kirkham: A ‘New Witness’ for the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Jul 1984, 53 off-site (Inglés)



Every few years the opponents of the Church dust off one of the timeworn theories about how the Book of Mormon “really” was written. One of the dustiest is the theory that the Book of Mormon is based on a stolen manuscript written by Solomon Spaulding, a would-be novelist who died in 1816.
—Orson Scott Card, “Spaulding Again? ,” Ensign, Sept. 1977, 94–95 off-site (Inglés)

So it was that they sought to take the divine stamp away from his translation of the Book of Mormon. They determined to “humanize” his work by saying that he himself had composed the volume, or that he stole it from Spaulding, or that Sidney Rigdon wrote it, although it was published well before Joseph ever heard of Sidney Rigdon.
—Mark E. Petersen, “It Was a Miracle!,” Ensign, Nov 1977, 11 off-site (Inglés)



Would you respond to the theories that the Book of Mormon is based on the Spaulding manuscript or on Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews?
—Bruce D. Blumell, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Sept. 1976, 84–87 off-site (Inglés)

B.H. Roberts and the Book of Mormon




"The claim is made (in some anti-Mormon tabloids) that toward the end of his life, B. H. Roberts found insuperable difficulties with the Book of Mormon and even that he lost faith in it."
—Truman G. Madsen, "B. H. Roberts after Fifty Years: Still Witnessing for the Book of Mormon," Ensign (Dec 1983), 11. off-site (Inglés)

Book of Mormon and DNA

  • John L. Sorenson cautioned against reading the Book of Mormon text without care:
One problem some Latter-day Saint writers and lecturers have had is confusing the actual text of the Book of Mormon with the traditional interpretation of it. For example, a commonly heard statement is that the Book of Mormon is “the history of the American Indians.” This statement contains a number of unexamined assumptions—that the scripture is a history in the common sense—a systematic, chronological account of the main events in the past of a nation or territory; that “the” American Indians are a unitary population; and that the approximately one hundred pages of text containing historical and cultural material in the scripture could conceivably tell the entire history of a hemisphere. When unexamined assumptions like these are made, critics respond in kind, criticizing not the ancient text itself, but the assumptions we have made about it....[1]
Yet we need not feel self-righteous when the scholars are taken to task for their narrowness. Our people have exhibited a decided tendency to substitute comfortable “folk understanding” for facts on certain subjects, particularly having to do with archaeology. We must expect new facts and new interpretations about the ancient Nephites and Jaredites, for they are bound to come.[2]

Book of Mormon geography




John L. Sorenson discussed a limited geographical model for the Book of Mormon in 1984:


The practice of plural marriage during Joseph's lifetime



lds.org website

After God revealed the doctrine of plural marriage to Joseph Smith in 1831 and commanded him to live it, the Prophet, over a period of years, cautiously taught the doctrine to some close associates. Eventually, he and a small number of Church leaders entered into plural marriages in the early years of the Church. Those who practiced plural marriage at that time, both male and female, experienced a significant trial of their faith. The practice was so foreign to them that they needed and received personal inspiration from God to help them obey the commandment.

When the Saints moved west under the direction of Brigham Young, more Latter-day Saints entered into plural marriages.


Lesson manual: Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith

This book deals with teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that have application to our day....This book also does not discuss plural marriage. The doctrines and principles relating to plural marriage were revealed to Joseph Smith as early as 1831. The Prophet taught the doctrine of plural marriage, and a number of such marriages were performed during his lifetime.
—The 2008-2009 lesson manual Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007), pages vii–xiii (énfasis añadido)


Lesson manual: Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

While working on the translation of the Bible in the early 1830s, the Prophet Joseph Smith became troubled by the fact that Abraham, Jacob, David, and other Old Testament leaders had more than one wife. The Prophet prayed for understanding and learned that at certain times, for specific purposes, following divinely given laws, plural marriage was approved and directed by God. Joseph Smith also learned that with divine approval, some Latter-day Saints would soon be chosen by priesthood authority to marry more than one wife. A number of Latter-day Saints practiced plural marriage in Nauvoo, but a public announcement of this doctrine and practice was not made until the August 1852 general conference in Salt Lake City. At that conference, Elder Orson Pratt, as directed by President Brigham Young, announced that the practice of a man having more than one wife was part of the Lord’s restitution of all things (see Acts 3:19–21).
Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1996), 97



Her great trial came when the prophet revealed to Emma that they would be required to live the ancient law of Abraham—plural marriage. Emma suffered deeply hurt feelings because of it. While she agreed with this doctrine at times, at other times she opposed it. Years later, Emma is purported to have denied that any such doctrine was ever introduced by her husband.
—Gracia N. Jones, "My Great-Great-Grandmother, Emma Hale Smith," Ensign (Aug 1992): {{{start}}}–{{{end}}}.(énfasis añadido)



The Prophet introduced several doctrines relating to the temple including the temple ceremonies and plural marriage, which some could not accept....
—William G. Hartley, “The Knight Family: Ever Faithful to the Prophet,” Ensign, Jan 1989, 43 off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido)



How a family accepts members who join it by marriage is, in some ways, analogous to how a Church accepts members who join it by baptism. The experiences of plural marriage make the analogy even closer....the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded a revelation to the Whitneys on plural marriage....The Whitneys gave their daughter into the system of plural marriage and received into their family other plural wives.
—D. Michael Quinn, “The Newel K. Whitney Family,” Ensign, Dec 1978, 42 off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido)



Starting during Joseph Smith’s own lifetime but limited to a few dozen families until its official announcement in 1852, plural marriage brought a powerful new challenge to the equanimity of Latter-day Saint family life...
—Davis Bitton, "Great-Grandfather’s Family," Ensign (Feb 1977): {{{start}}}–{{{end}}}.(énfasis añadido)


New Era

The great prophet Elias, whom Joseph Fielding Smith says is Noah..., appeared and bestowed upon their heads the keys of the dispensation of Abraham, or in other words, as Elder Bruce R. McConkie says in Mormon Doctrine...the keys of celestial and plural marriage.
—Jerry C. Roundy, “The Greatness of Joseph Smith and His Remarkable Visions,” New Era, Dec 1973, 7 off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido)

Joseph's marriages to young women

The Ensign


  • June 1979 Ensign: Although little Don Carlos Smith died a short time later, Emily and Eliza continued to live in the Smith home, where, in the summer of 1842, both girls “were married to Bro. Joseph about the same time, but neither of us knew about the other at the time; everything was so secret” (Emily, “Incidents,” p. 186).
    —Dean Jessee, "‘Steadfastness and Patient Endurance’: The Legacy of Edward Partridge," Ensign (Jun 1979), 41. off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido)
  • December 1978 Ensign: How a family accepts members who join it by marriage is, in some ways, analogous to how a Church accepts members who join it by baptism. The experiences of plural marriage make the analogy even closer....the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded a revelation to the Whitneys on plural marriage....The Whitneys gave their daughter into the system of plural marriage and received into their family other plural wives.
    —D. Michael Quinn, “The Newel K. Whitney Family,” Ensign, Dec 1978, 42 off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido)

Some plural marriages occurred after the 1890 Manifesto



  • Just as the practice of plural marriage among the Latter-day Saints began gradually, the ending of the practice after the Manifesto was also gradual. Some plural marriages were performed after the Manifesto, particularly in Mexico and Canada. In 1904, President Joseph F. Smith called for a vote from the Church membership that all post-Manifesto plural marriages be prohibited worldwide. — Plantilla:Ldsorg

Brigham Young's practice of polygamy


Church web site lds.org

  • Polygamy — or more correctly polygyny, the marriage of more than one woman to the same man — was an important part of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a half-century. The practice began during the lifetime of Joseph Smith but became publicly and widely known during the time of Brigham Young.
    —LDS Newsroom, lds.org off-site (Inglés)

The Ensign

  • July 1980 Ensign: In Sunday School someone mentioned Brigham Young and polygamy...
    —Meryl C. Liptrott, “Waking from the Nightmare,” Ensign, July 1980, 54–55 off-site (Inglés)
  • February 1976 Ensign: Brigham Young, born on June 1, 1801, at Whittingham, Vermont, was 43 years old when he was called to the leadership of the Church. For over 33 years he lead the Saints, guiding them through some of their heaviest persecution—the exodus from Nauvoo, the crossing of the plains, the colonizing of the desert, the polygamy trials—until his death on August 29, 1877.
    —“Brigham Young,” Ensign, Feb 1976, 80 off-site (Inglés)

Changes to the Doctrine and Covenants

Changes to D&C revelations


The Ensign

  • January 2013 Ensign: Many Revelations Were Later Revised by Joseph Smith through Inspiration. Over the course of the first five years of the Church, Joseph and others under his direction made changes and corrections to some of the early revelation texts in an attempt to more closely portray the intent of the revelation. Other times, especially as the revelations were being prepared for publication, Joseph was inspired to update the contents of the revelations to reflect a growing Church structure and new circumstances. At times this process resulted in substantial additions to the original text.5 As early as November 1831, a Church conference resolved that “Joseph Smith Jr. correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the Holy Spirit while reviewing the revelations and commandments and also the fullness of the scriptures.”
    —Gerrit Dirkmaat, "Great and Marvelous Are the Revelations of God," Ensign (January 2013). off-site (Inglés)
  • July 2009 Ensign: In some instances, when a new revelation changed or updated what had previously been received, the Prophet edited the earlier written revelation to reflect the new understanding. Thus, as his doctrinal knowledge clarified and expanded, so did the recorded revelations. They were characterized by the changing nature of his understanding of the sacred subject matter. The Prophet did not believe that revelations, once recorded, could not be changed by further revelation.
    —Marlin K. Jensen, "The Joseph Smith Papers: The Manuscript Revelation Books," Ensign (July 2009), 46–51.(énfasis añadido) off-site (Inglés)
  • February 1985 Ensign: Many of the editing changes occurred after the revelations were printed in the Book of Commandments.
    —Melvin J. Petersen, "Preparing Early Revelations for Publication," Ensign (February 1985), 14. off-site (Inglés)
  • January 1985 Ensign: However, a correct understanding of the nature of the revelations the Prophet Joseph Smith received and how he updated them in light of continued revelation explains why many changes occurred. Indeed, each of the sections has been edited to some degree, demonstrating that Joseph Smith did not receive all these revelations as word-for-word dictations from the Lord (although he may have received some this way). Rather, he received inspiration and wrote the revelations using his own words, often couched in Victorian English.
    —Robert J. Woodford, "How the Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants Were Received and Compiled," Ensign (January 1985), 27. (énfasis añadido) off-site (Inglés)
  • December 1984 Ensign: This was the beginning of controversies and charges made by persons who do not know or understand that the text of recorded revelation can be edited and “changed.” First, we must recognize that Joseph Smith’s purposeful changes are in a different category from copying errors.
    —Robert J. Woodford, "The Story of the Doctrine and Covenants," Ensign (December 1984), 32. (énfasis añadido) off-site (Inglés)
  • May 1974 Ensign: Some have alleged that these books of revelation are false, and they place in evidence changes that have occurred in the texts of these scriptures since their original publication. They cite these changes, of which there are many examples, as though they themselves were announcing revelation. As though they were the only ones that knew of them. Of course there have been changes and corrections. Anyone who has done even limited research knows that. When properly reviewed, such corrections become a testimony for, not against, the truth of the books.
    —Boyd K. Packer, "We Believe All That God Has Revealed," Ensign (May 1974), 93. (énfasis añadido) off-site (Inglés); also in Boyd K. Packer, "We Believe All That God Has Revealed," in Conference Report (April 1974), 137.

First Vision Accounts

Multiple accounts

Plantilla:HiddenFact Critics charge that the existence of multiple accounts of the First Vision has been hidden. A review of just some of the sources demonstrates that this is simply false:

The Improvement Era

  • April 1970 Improvement Era: Here printed for the first time is a report on eight different accounts of the First Vision.
    Dr. James B. Allen, "Eight Contemporary Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision - What Do We Learn from Them?", Improvement Era, April 1970, 4-13. off-site (Inglés)

On page 12 of this official publication, all known accounts of the First Vision were compared in an easy-to-understand chart, demonstrating that the author and the Church did not think they had anything to hide:

Chart of First Vision account elements from Improvement Era (April 1970): 12.

The Ensign

  • January 1985 Ensign: On at least four different occasions, Joseph Smith either wrote or dictated to scribes accounts of his sacred experience of 1820. Possibly he penned or dictated other histories of the First Vision; if so, they have not been located. The four surviving recitals of this theophany were prepared or rendered through different scribes, at different times, from a different perspective, for different purposes and to different audiences. It is not surprising, therefore, that each of them emphasizes different aspects of his experience.
    —Milton V. Backman, Jr., "Joseph Smith's Recitals of the First Vision," Ensign (January 1985), 8. off-site (Inglés)
  • January 1996 Ensign:: I am glad, for example, that we have several accounts of the First Vision, the ministry of Christ, the Atonement, the plan of salvation, the signs of the last days, and the conditions during the millennium. None of the various accounts exhaust the subject; each contributes to its advancement line upon line, even though important elements may be repeated. We need not regard them as competing or as being at odds with each other, but rather, as enhancing our understanding of the whole.
    Keith Meservy, "Four Accounts of the Creation," Ensign (January 1986), ?. off-site (Inglés)
  • April 1996 Ensign: How many First Vision reports were made while the Prophet was alive? It is better to ask how many independent accounts came from contact with the Prophet. Some vision narratives were republished and are really copies of an original record.

    We now know of nine contemporary reports from the Prophet himself or from those who personally heard him relate his first vision: (1) the Prophet’s handwritten description in 1832, an attempt to start a manuscript history of the Church; (2) a Church secretary’s brief 1835 journal entry of Joseph talking with a visitor who called himself Joshua, the Jewish minister; (3) the 1838 history discussed above, published in 1842 and now in the Pearl of Great Price; (4) Orson Pratt’s publication, the first publicly disseminated, of the Prophet’s vision in his Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, issued in 1840 in Edinburgh, Scotland; (5) Orson Hyde’s revision of Orson Pratt’s pamphlet, published in 1842 for German readers and adding some insights that may have come from his contact with Joseph Smith; (6) the Wentworth Letter, created in response to editor John Wentworth’s inquiry and published by Joseph Smith in 1842 in Times and Seasons; this account adapted parts of Orson Pratt’s pamphlet; (7) Levi Richards’s diary about Joseph Smith preaching in the summer of 1843 and repeating the Lord’s first message to him that no church was His; (8) a newspaper interview in the fall of 1843; (9) Alexander Neibaur’s 1844 journal entry of a conversation at the Prophet’s house.
    Richard L. Anderson, "Joseph Smith’s Testimony of the First Vision," Ensign (April 1996). off-site (Inglés)
  • January 2005 Ensign: During the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the story of his First Vision was told in print several times, by him (in 1832, 1835, 1838–39, and 1842), or by others who had heard his account and retold it (in 1840, 1842, 1843, and 1844).
    —Ronald O. Barney, "The First Vision: Searching for the Truth," Ensign (January 2005), 14–19. off-site (Inglés)

CES manuals

  • CES Manual 2003: Church Educational System, “Additional Details from Joseph Smith’s 1832 Account of the First Vision,” in Presidents of the Church: Student Manual (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003), 5–6. off-site (Inglés)
  • CES Manual 2003: Church Educational System, “The First Vision,” in Church History in the Fullness of Times: Student Manual (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003), 29–36. off-site (Inglés)


  • Dean C. Jessee, "The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision," BYU Studies 9 (Spring 1968-1969): 275-294.
  • Richard Lloyd Anderson, "Circumstantial Confirmation of the First Vision Through Reminiscences," BYU Studies 9 (1968-1969): 373-403.


  • 2009: Matthew B. Brown, A Pillar of Light: The History and Message of the First Vision (American Fork, UT: Covenant, 2009).
  • 2005: Plantilla:OpeningtheHeavens See also BYU Studies version: PDF link
  • 2002: Plantilla:PWJSOrig
  • 2002: Plantilla:PWJS
  • 1989:Milton V. Backman, Jr., "Verification of the 1838 Account of the First Vision," in Pearl of Great Price: Revelations from God, edited by Charles D. Tate and H. Donl Peterson (Salt Lake City: UT, Deseret Book, 1989), 237-247.
  • 1989: Plantilla:PJSVol1
  • 1985: Dean C. Jessee, “The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision,” in Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, eds., Studies in Scripture, Volume 2: The Pearl of Great Price (Salt Lake City: Randall Book, 1985), 303–314.
  • 1984: Dean C. Jessee, The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision (Mormon Miscellaneous reprint series) (Mormon Miscellaneous, 1984).
  • 1980: Milton V. Backman Jr., Joseph Smith’s First Vision: Confirming Evidences and Contemporary Accounts, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980).
  • 1981: Adele Brannon McCollum, “The First Vision: Re-Visioning Historical Experience,” in Neal E. Lambert, ed., Literature of Belief: Sacred Scripture and Religious Experience (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1981), 177–96.
  • 1978 Truman G. Madsen, "The First Vision and Its Aftermath," in Joseph Smith the Prophet (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1978), 7-18.
  • 1971: Milton V. Backman, Joseph Smith’s First Vision: The first vision in its historical context (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1971).
  • 1971: Milton V. Backman, Joseph Smith's First Vision: Confirming Evidences and Contemporary Accounts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1971).

  • 1965: Paul R. Cheesman, "An Analysis of the Accounts Relating to Joseph Smith's Early Visions" (Master's thesis. College of Religious Instruction, Brigham Young University, 1965). Cheeseman was a graduate student who was the first to discover the 1832 account.

Kinderhook plates

Joseph and the Church thought the Kinderhook plates were authentic for many years


The Ensign

  • August 1981 Ensign: "A recent electronic and chemical analysis of a metal plate (one of six original plates) brought in 1843 to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois, appears to solve a previously unanswered question in Church history, helping to further evidence that the plate is what its producers later said it was—a nineteenth-century attempt to lure Joseph Smith into making a translation of ancient-looking characters that had been etched into the plates. Joseph Smith did not make the hoped-for translation. In fact, no evidence exists that he manifested any further interest in the plates after early examination of them, although some members of the Church hoped that they would prove to be significant. But the plates never did."
    —Stanley B. Kimball, "Kinderhook Plates Brought to Joseph Smith Appear to Be a Nineteenth-Century Hoax," Ensign (Aug 1981), 66. off-site (Inglés)

Kirtland Safety Society

Bank was unchartered


  • Milton V. Backman Jr., "A Warning from Kirtland," Ensign (Apr 1989), 26. off-site (Inglés)
  • Milton V. Backman Jr., "Kirtland: The Crucial Years," Ensign (Jan 1979), 24. off-site (Inglés)
  • Ronald K. Esplin, "Hyrum Smith: The Mildness of a Lamb, the Integrity of Job," Ensign (Feb 2000), 30. off-site (Inglés)
  • Glen M. Leonard, “Triumph and Tragedy,” Tambuli (Mar 1979): 34. off-site (Inglés)
  • Larry C. Porter, "Christmas with the Prophet Joseph," Ensign (Dec 1978), 9. off-site (Inglés)
  • Russell R. Rich, "Nineteenth-Century Break-offs," Ensign (Sep 1979), 68. off-site (Inglés)

Bank was held to be illegal


  • Dale W. Adams, "Chartering the Kirtland Bank," Brigham Young University Studies 23 no. 4 (Fall 1983), 467–482. PDF link
  • Marvin S. Hill, Keith C. Rooker and Larry T. Wimmer, "The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics," Brigham Young University Studies 17 no. 4 (Summer 1977), 389–471. PDF link
  • Paul Sampson and Larry T. Wimmer, "The Kirtland Safety Society: The Stock Ledger Book and the Bank Failure," Brigham Young University Studies 12 no. 4 (Summer 1972), 427–436. off-site (Inglés)
  • Scott H. Partridge, "The Failure of the Kirtland Safety Society," Brigham Young University Studies 12 no. 4 (Summer 1972), 437–454. PDF link

Martyrdom and Joseph's use of a gun

Joseph fired a gun at Carthage Jail


Museum of Church History and Art

Ensign (June 2013): 40, shows Joseph with the pepperbox pistol he would fire to defend himself and others prior to his murder.
  • Joseph's pistol is displayed in the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City, Utah, and labeled as such. An image of the pepperbox pistol may be viewed here]]

The Ensign

  • June 2013 Ensign: A full-page painting shows John Taylor with the hickory stick he used to defend himself, and Joseph Smith with the pepperbox pistol in his pocket.
  • June 1994 Ensign: The Prophet dropped to his brother. “Oh! My poor, dear brother Hyrum,” he groaned. The deep look of sympathy on Joseph’s face fastened itself to Elder Taylor’s mind. The Prophet then stood, and with a firm step he went to the door, pulled the pepperbox from his pocket, and, reaching around the door casing, fired blindly into the hallway. He snapped all six shots. Half discharged, striking three men.
    —Reed Blake, "Martyrdom at Carthage," Ensign (June 1994), 30. (énfasis añadido) off-site (Inglés)
  • April 1984 Ensign: ...the Mormons on the inside of the jail, including the Smiths, presented pistols through the windows and doors of the jail, and fired upon the guard"
    —Larry C. Porter, "I Have A Question: "How did the U.S. press react when Joseph and Hyrum were murdered?," Ensign (April 1984), 22–23. off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido) A photo of the pistol is in January 1984 edition of the Ensign.

Church lesson manuals

  • Primary manual, 1997: The brethren tried to bar the door shut and use their few weapons to drive off the mob. Joseph Smith fired a pistol and John Taylor used his heavy cane to try to knock down the guns of the mob as they were pushed into the room through the door, but there were too many people in the mob for the brethren to defend themselves.
    —“Lesson 37: Joseph and Hyrum Smith Are Martyred,” Primary 5: Doctrine and Covenants: Church History (1997), 210. off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido) Note that the pistol is here described even in a children's lesson manual!
  • Gospel Doctrine manual, Lesson 32: Joseph continued snapping his revolver round the casing of the door into the space as before.
    —“To Seal the Testimony”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 183. (énfasis añadido) off-site (Inglés)

The History of the Church

  • History of the Church tells about the pistol x 2.

There are many more references to the pistol in Church publications.

Changes to the Word of Wisdom

Joseph drank wine

Plantilla:HiddenFact Joseph and others drank wine at Carthage. This fact is presented without apology in Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 6:616. BYU Studies link:

Before the jailor came in, his boy brought in some water, and said the guard wanted some wine. Joseph gave Dr. Richards two dollars to give the guard; but the guard said one was enough, and would take no more.

The guard immediately sent for a bottle of wine, pipes, and two small papers of tobacco; and one of the guards brought them into the jail soon after the jailor went out. Dr. Richards uncorked the bottle, and presented a glass to Joseph, who tasted, as also Brother Taylor and the doctor, and the bottle was then given to the guard, who turned to go out. When at the top of the stairs some one below called him two or three times, and he went down. (énfasis añadido)

Joseph Smith and politics

Joseph's campaign for President


  • February 2009, Ensign: It was unanimously decided that Joseph Smith would run for president of the United States on an independent platform. Thus began one of the most fascinating third-party presidential campaigns in American history.
    —Arnold K. Garr, “Joseph Smith: Campaign for President of the United States,” Ensign, Feb 2009, 48–52 off-site (Inglés) (énfasis añadido)

Origin of the Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith papyri

The papyri and the Book of the Dead


  • August 1968 Improvement Era: The largest part of the papyri in the possession of the Church consists of fragments from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
    —Hugh Nibley, "A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price," Improvement Era (August 1968), 56–57. This issue contains color photographs of the papyri. A scan of the page from the article can be viewed here.
  • March 1976 Ensign: A Book of Breathings text that closely matches the Joseph Smith version (and there are precious few of them) is the so-called Kerasher Book of Breathings. It too has a frontispiece, only in this case it is the same as our Facsimile No. 3, showing that it too is closely associated with our text."
    —Hugh Nibley, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, 34–36 off-site (Inglés)
  • July 1988 Ensign: Why doesn’t the translation of the Egyptian papyri found in 1967 match the text of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price?
    —Michael D. Rhodes, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, July 1988, 51–53 off-site (Inglés)

Violence and conflict

The Danites


The Friend

  • July 1993 Friend: One Mormon, Sampson Avard, formed a group, called the Danites, to seek revenge on the Missourians. But when the Danites attacked the nonmembers, it only gave them more reason to distrust the Saints.
    —Sherrie Johnson, “Persecutions in Missouri,” Friend, Jul 1993, 47 off-site (Inglés)

The New Era

  • March 1972 New Era: Zane Grey, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joaquin Miller, and a host of lesser-known writers have used the Danites, but perhaps the most well-known treatment is that of A. Conan Doyle in A Study of Scarlet...
    —Neal E. Lambert and Richard H. Cracroft, “Through Gentile Eyes: A Hundred Years of the Mormon in Fiction,” New Era, Mar 1972, 14 off-site (Inglés)

The Ensign

  • April 1979 Ensign: Sampson Avard, an elder in Far West, may have taken license from the address to organize a covert society called the Danites which engaged in activities that did much damage to the Church’s reputation.
    —Max H Parkin, “Missouri’s Impact on the Church,” Ensign, Apr 1979, 57 off-site (Inglés)

Other Church magazines

  • March 1979 Tambuli: Exaggerated reports of this confrontation reached Governor Boggs. He was told that the Saints were burning towns, driving established settlers from their homes and undermining civil authority through the activities of a group known as the “Danites”—a band of avengers. Joseph Smith was charged with being the prime instigator but had nothing to do with it and exposed the participants when he became aware of it.
    —Glen M. Leonard, “Triumph and Tragedy,” Tambuli, Mar 1979, 34 off-site (Inglés)

Mountain Meadows Massacre


The Ensign

  • September 2007 Ensign: For a century and a half the Mountain Meadows Massacre has shocked and distressed those who have learned of it. The tragedy has deeply grieved the victims’ relatives, burdened the perpetrators’ descendants and Church members generally with sorrow and feelings of collective guilt, unleashed criticism on the Church, and raised painful, difficult questions. How could this have happened? How could members of the Church have participated in such a crime?
    —Richard E. Turley Jr., “The Mountain Meadows Massacre,” Ensign, Sep 2007, 14–21 off-site (Inglés)


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