For more than 150 years the story of Mormon origins has been rewritten to a point where only fragments remain of the original. This book restores much of the human drama and detail. Moving from village to village, the Joseph Smith, Sr., family lived in constant poverty. When in 1825 Joseph, Sr., a cooper, defaulted on the family’s final mortgage payment, he and his nineteen-year-old son, Joseph Jr., traveled 100 miles south to Pennsylvania to join a band of money diggers on a desperate hunt for buried Spanish treasure.
Following this ill-fated quest, father and son returned near-penniless to New York to face eviction. They resettled in a small Manchester cabin where young Joseph later saw angels–not unlike his father and other contemporaries–and eventually found hieroglyph-inscribed sheets of gold, which his former money-digging associates repeatedly tried to steal.
During this turbulent time Joseph Smith was brought to court three times for crystal gazing, eloped with a former landlord’s daughter, watched as his mother and siblings were excommunicated from the Presbyterian church, published his translation of the hieroglyphs, founded the Church of Christ, saw a potential convert forcibly abducted by her minister, and eventually sought refuge in Ohio where he changed the name of his church and its place of origin.