Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Mormon doctrine, Alexander Campbell, Campbellism, Charles Finney, authorship


Twentieth century attempts to include the "Lectures on Faith" in the writings of Joseph Smith, Jr., provoked this comprehensive survey of historical evidence and carefully designed authorship testing of the text. Every credible approach reaches the same conclusion. Sidney Rigdon wrote the Lectures on Faith, likely without help from Joseph Smith or any others. These Lectures are characterized by both teachings and language that Rigdon may have retained from his recent discipleship with Alexander Campbell. The published Lectures follow both the form and content of lectures given and then published by frontier phenomenon Charles Finney. The decision to insert these Lectures as the first section of the 1835 reprinting of Smith's revelations appears to have been made by Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery during a period of time when Smith and all of the apostles were absent from Kirtland on missionary assignments.

Original Publication Citation

“The Case for Sidney Rigdon as Author of the Lectures on Faith,” Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 31 (No. 3, Fall), 2005, 1–41.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Journal of Mormon History




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Political Science

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor