Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844

Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844

By: Bradley-Evans, Martha S.

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; Escaping imprisonment in Missouri in 1839, the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith quickly settled with family and followers on the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Under Smiths direction, the small village of Commerce soon mushroomed into the boomtown of Nauvoo, home to 12,000 and more members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For Smith, Nauvoo was the new epicenter of the Mormon universe: the gathering place for Latter-day Saints worldwide; the location of a modern-day Zion; the stage upon which his esoteric teachings, including plural marriage and secret temple ceremonies, played out; and the locus of a theocracy whose legal underpinnings would be condemned by outsiders as an attack on American pluralism.

In Nauvoo, Smith created a proto-utopian society built upon continuing revelation; established a civil government that blurred the lines among executive, legislative, and legal branches; introduced doctrines that promised glimpses of heaven on earth; centralized secular and spiritual authority in fiercely loyal groups of men and women; insulated himself against legal harassment through creative interpretations of Nauvoos founding charter; embarked upon a daring run at the U.S. presidency; and pursued a vendetta against dissidents that lead eventually to his violent death in 1844.

The common thread running through the final years of Smiths tumultuous life, according to prize-winning historian and biographer, Martha Bradley-Evans, is his story of prophethood and persecution. Smiths repeated battles with the forces of evilpast controversies transformed into mythic narratives of triumphant as well as present skirmishes with courts, politicians, and apostatesinformed Smiths construction of self and chronicle of innocent suffering.

Joseph found religious and apocalyptic significance in every offense and persecutionactual or imagined, writes Bradley-Evans, and wove these slights into his prophet-narrative. Insults became badges of honor, confirmation that his life was playing out on a mythic stage of opposition. By the time Joseph led his people to Illinois, he had lived with the adulation of followers and the vilification of enemies for more than a decade. Josephs worst challenges often proved to be his greatest triumphs. He forged devotion through disaster, faith through depression. Joseph interpreted each new event as Gods will set against manifestations of evil opposed to the restoration of all things.

Bradley-Evans ground-breaking portrait of Smith goes farther than any previous biography in explaining the Mormon prophet and the mystery of his appeal.

; 6.25" x 9.25"; 700 pages; 156085264X

Title: Glorious in Persecution: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1839-1844

Author Name: Bradley-Evans, Martha S.

Categories: Church History, Joseph Smith Jr.,

Publisher: Salt Lake City, UT, Smith-Pettit Foundation: 2016

Binding: Hardcover

Condition: New in New Dust Jacket

Seller ID: 58002