cover of book

Charisma under Pressure: Joseph Smith, American Prophet, 1831–1839
by Dan Vogel
Signature Books, 2023
eISBN: 978-1-56085-439-5 | Cloth: 978-1-56085-460-9

When Joseph Smith entered Kirtland, Ohio, for the first time, he had only the year before established a church and brought forth a new book of scripture, the Book of Mormon. After moving the church and most of its members from western New York and establishing its headquarters at Kirtland—while simultaneously establishing his Zion in communities in Missouri—he oversaw a decade of both peace and prosperity and chaos and conflict. 

But just who was Joseph Smith? What motivated him? In examining Smith’s life during his Ohio and Missouri sojourns, Vogel seeks to answer those questions. But, Vogel is quick to note, “There are, in fact, many possible constructions of Joseph Smith, and depending on how one assesses the evidence for his truth-claims, a completely different Joseph Smith emerges. But this is probably as Smith wanted it.” 

During this period, Smith established a temple, printing presses, additional scripture, expanded church offices, and built a bank—all indicating a sense of permanence and strength for his young church at one level while causing its near collapse at another. 
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