Joseph Smith

  • by Robert V. Remini
  • Narrated by Del Roy
  • 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The most important reformer and innovator in American religious history, Joseph Smith has remained a fascinating enigma to many, both inside and outside the Mormon Church he founded. Born in 1805, Smith grew up during the "Second Great Awakening", when secular tumult had spawned radical religious fervor and countless new sects. His contemplative nature and soaring imagination were nurtured in the close, loving family created by his deeply devout parents. His need to lead and be recognized was met by his mission as God's vehicle for a new faith and by the hundreds who, magnetized by his charm and charismatic preaching, gave rise to the Mormon Church. Remini's vital portrait contextualizes Smith's enduring contribution to American life and culture within the distinctive characteristics of an extraordinary age.

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What the Critics Say

"Impressive scholarship with a riveting narrative." (The New York Review of Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Joseph Smith (Unabridged)

Whether or not you like Joseph Smith, I think you'll find this book somewhat lacking. If you are LDS and believe Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of God, you'll be disappointed in how skeptical the author is; given his knowledge, background, and the wealth of information he was given for his book. Conversely, if you think Joseph Smith was a pretender and liar; you'll be disappointed in the author's care of Joseph's history and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The author misses the point that the works of Joseph Smith comprise the keystone of one of the fastest growing Churchs in the world; thus you cannot ride the fence on Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon; he was either a Prophet or a liar and the Book of Mormon is either a book of God or a book of satan. If you are seeking a definitive characterization of Joseph Smith because you want to know the truth about Joseph, you'll not find it in this book. The author is all over the playing field trying to cover both sides of his issue.
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- J

Out to Prove a Point

Mr. Remini tries hard to objective, but his unstated thesis comes through clearly: Joseph Smith and his works are simply a product of the times. He honestly tries to be fair, but cannot get beyond his own preconceived notions-- he does not try to present a Latter-day Saint explanation for significant events (e.g., that the Book of Mormon addresses modern concerns not because it was written in 1830 but because it was written anciently with an eye toward modern times). As a scholar of the Jacksonian era of American history, Mr. Remini reads into nearly every aspect of the Mormon Prophet's life something reflective of this thesis. An example: the "Word of Wisdom" (the Mormon "health code") was a product of the temperance movement. Another example: the priesthood government of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was (and presumably still is) a reflection of populist democratic sentiments. I had hoped this book would help place Joseph Smith more clearly into the context of his times. Instead, I heard the times placed into Joseph Smith's life. On the technical side, the reader might have done well to talk to a Latter-day Saint or at least check the pronunciation guide in the Book of Mormon. Nearly every Book of Mormon name is mispronounced and is jarring to the Latter-day Saint ear.
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- Mark Patterson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-01-2004
  • Publisher: Books on Tape