CONSTRUCTING JOSEPH SMITH’S LIFE AND TIMES: A CONVERSATION

CONSTRUCTING JOSEPH SMITH’S LIFE AND TIMES: A CONVERSATION This presentation compares and contrasts two important works on Joseph Smith published within the past three months: Richard L. Bushman’s Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling and H. Michael Marquardt’s The Rise of Mormonism, 1816-1844. The latter work, while not a biography, focuses on Smith and the controversies and contradictions surrounding his activities in establishing Mormonism. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these studies? How do they differ from other important, recent studies of Smith? How does each illuminate our understanding of Smith’s life and times?

Newell G. Bringhurst, Eduardo Obregon Pagan, Tom Kimball