Abstract

Questions regarding the conditions of the origin of Mormonism have been asked repeatedly since Joseph Smith first made his claims public regarding his religious experiences. The same questions have been asked by both proponents and opponents of Smith's story: "How did Mormonism begin?", "Who was Joseph Smith?", "What was Joseph Smith?", "What did he do?" If it could be shown that Joseph Smith was an honest, upright, and sincere person, then the religion he produced was more likely to be reliable and truthful. If it could be shown that Joseph Smith was a fraud and a deceiver, then presumably, the religion could have been revealed as a fake and a great hoax. For many years the issues were wrapped up in the polarization of these extreme points of view. Not until the 1940's did the emotional content of these questions abate to the degree that a more objective examination of the evidence was possible.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

1974

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etdm777

Keywords

Mormons, Biography, Mormon converts, Surveys

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