Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship



Mormon Studies, Joseph Smith, Mohammed, modern prophets


In his book The World and the Prophets, Hugh Nibley observes that critics are not slow to point out superficial resemblances between our modern prophets and other men of their time. For example, Joseph Smith founded a church, and so did other men; he claimed revelation from heaven, and so did they; he was persecuted, and so were they; he read the Bible, and so did they; and because they were impostors, so accordingly was he. This last point, of course, is not supported by the superficial resemblances. What we must ask in the case of the modern prophet is what we must ask in the case of Jesus: where was he essentially different from all the rest?