BYU Studies Quarterly
Mormon studies, Joseph Smith, legal cases
In 1842, Joseph Smith looked back on the events of his life and said, “Deep water is what I am wont to swim in” (D&C 127:2). This was especially true of his experiences with the law. Starting with his first exposure to the judicial system in 1819, at age thirteen, he spent much of his next twenty-five years of life entangled with legal concerns. The Joseph Smith Papers Project team now can count about 220 cases involving Joseph as plaintiff, defendant, witness, or judge. Of those, approximately fifty were criminal cases capable of taking away his liberty, his resources, or, ultimately, his life.
Bentley, Joseph I.
"Road to Martyrdom: Joseph Smith's Last Legal Cases,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 55:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol55/iss2/3