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Joseph Smith Tells His Own Story

Joseph Smith, Jr.

I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, on the twenty-third day of December, in the town of Sharon, Windsor County, state of Vermont. My father, Joseph Smith, senior, left the state of Vermont, and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) County, in the state of New York, when I was in my tenth year. In about four years after my father’s arrival at Palmyra, he moved with his family into Manchester, in the same county of Ontario. His family, consisting of eleven souls, namely: My father, Joseph Smith, my mother, Lucy Smith, (whose name, previous to her marriage was Mack, daughter of Solomon Mack,) my brothers, Alvin, (who is now dead,) Hyrum, myself, Samuel Harrison, William, Don Carlos, and my sisters, Sophronia, Catherine, and Lucy.

Some time in the second year after our removal to Manchester, there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country; indeed, the whole district of country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “lo, here,” and some “lo, there;” some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptists.

For, notwithstanding the great love which the converts for these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody converted, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased.

Yet, when the converts began to file off, some to one party, and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real, for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued; priest contending against priest, and convert against convert, so that all the good feelings, one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words, and a contest about opinions.

I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My father’s family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith, and four of them joined that church, namely, my mother Lucy, my brothers Hyrum, Samuel Harrison, and my sister Sophronia.

During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness; but though my feelings were deep and often pungent, still I kept myself aloof from all those parties, though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. But in process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them, but so great was the confusion and strife among the different denominations that it was impossible for a person, young as I was and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.

(Continue...)

Part 2: The Vision in the Grove
Part 3: The Angel Moroni Appears
Part 4: The Book of Mormon
Part 5: The Aaronic Priesthood Restored
Part 6: The Book of Mormon Witnesses
Part 7: The Organization of the Church

 

From the Death of Joseph Smith, Jr. to the Reorganization

Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy,
Volume 2

  Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy, Volume 2

Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy, Volume 2, has been printed and may be purchased at the Restoration Bookstore and from our on-line store. This volume was printed only in a paperback version and is currently priced at $12—the same price as the paperback version of Volume 1. In addition, like Volume 1, we will produce an e-book of Volume 2. This will also be available for purchase at the bookstore and on-line.

Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy, Volume 2, is the Prophet Joseph Smith’s story. It is a continuation of documented facts concerning the young Prophet’s ongoing fight against polygamy, which is also known as plural marriage, spiritual wifery, and celestial or eternal marriage.

An earlier publication, Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy, Volume 1, documented how polygamy was brought into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as early as 1832 when missionaries made converts in the area of Saco, Maine, among members of a denomination called Cochranites. The Cochranites, whose leader was Jacob Cochran, were noted for practicing polygamy and having plural wives that were referred to as spiritual wives.

Newly baptized ex-Cochranites gathered to Kirtland, Ohio, which at that time was the headquarters of the Church where the Saints were gathering. The Cochranites brought their polygamous beliefs and doctrines with them, which caused the young Church to be reproached with the crime of polygamy.

Joseph Smith began a relentless battle against the new false doctrine at Kirtland, but he was unable to completely stamp it out. He continued to fight that doctrine year after year until he was murdered in June 1844, when the Church was only fourteen years old. This volume contains documentation of his battle during the Nauvoo era, the final years of Joseph’s earthly life.

The myriad of false testimonies seemingly implicating Joseph in polygamy have been trumpeted around the world for over one hundred and eighty years. Now it is time for the other side to be heard. This second volume is a continuation of Volume 1 of this work. It documents the many statements made by Joseph against polygamy. The documents and emphasis on Joseph’s spoken words and actions are evidences which support his monogamous beliefs, and his condemnation of plural marriage in all forms. These numerous, authentic accounts of Joseph’s valiant battle against polygamy should cause those who believe him to have been a polygamist to closely examine and consider his declarations on this subject in preference to those who bore counter testimonies to his. The records published during his lifetime show him to have continually contended against plural marriage, spiritual wifery, and polygamy in every form by preaching, testifying, and writing against those doctrines and those who were practicing and advocating them.

Whereas Volume 1 described how polygamy came into the Church, Volume 2 shows how Joseph Smith opposed the practice up to 1842. Volume 3 will continue describing Joseph’s opposition to polygamy from 1842 until his death, June 27, 1844.

 
   

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