Throughout the history of the Mormon movement, certain members or groups of members, have exercised free agency in the form of dissent against the direction which the prophet of that church chose to lead his movement. The form of this dissent varied but the theme was usually quite consistant: a demand for moderation. For many of these dissenters the extremes of Mormon doctrine seemed to take them out of touch with prevailing American values.
Joseph Smith III, a son of the Mormon founder, proved to be one of these moderates. He ultimately rejected all of his father's more radical theology as he created a movement in which the believers in his father's divine mission and the Book of Mormon could exercise their faith without losing the good will of the American people.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hutchins, Robert Duane, "Joseph Smith III: Moderate Mormon" (1977). Theses and Dissertations. 4815.
Joseph Smith, 1832-1914, Mormon Church, Succession in the presidency, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, History