‘CURSED BE HE THAT MOVES MY BONES:’ MYSTERY, CONTROVERSY, AND THE ‘CURSE’ OF JOSEPH SMITH’S BONES The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints has never assigned much importance to Joseph Smith’s grave in Nauvoo. Is this silence inspired by jealousy over the fact that the Community of Christ owns the grave, or does it arise from deeper motivations? In this illustrated essay, I follow the tortuous history of Joseph Smith’s bones, secret burials, exhumations, family feuds, and even the speculation that Smith has already been resurrected. I also explore what those bones could mean for a church that continues to recreate and aggrandize the Prophet’s life but seems no longer to be able to stomach his death.
HUGO OLAIZ and WILLIAM D. RUSSELL