Joseph Smith: The Making of A Prophet - The Book of Mormon As A Representation of Smith’s Life

The Book of Mormon As A Representation of Smith’s Life

Vogel considers the Book of Mormon and Smith’s revelations as valid “primary sources” which may be used to deduce his state of mind, thoughts and dreams as a reflection of environmental and cultural influences. Some specific comparisons are:

  • The rivalry between Nephi and his older brothers Laman and Lemuel represents a rivalry between Smith and his brothers. The author states that although “neither Joseph nor his mother spoke of this rivalry,” the description of sibling rivalry as a theme in the Book of Mormon makes the possibility of such a rivalry “impossible to ignore.”
  • The incident in which Nephi breaks his steel bow and subsequently successfully locates food (1 Nephi 16:18-23) is stated to be a fantasy that Smith might have had in his own thoughts.
  • The abduction of the Lamanites daughters by the wicked priests of King Noah (Mosiah 20:1-5) is said to represent Smith's elopement with his wife Emma.
  • Abinadi's absence from King Noah's domain for two years is said to represent Smith's absence from Harmony, Pennsylvania.
  • Jacob’s criticism of the Nephites for having multiple wives (Jacob 2:31-35) is said to represent Smith criticizing his father, whom the author speculates was unfaithful.
  • Amalikiah’s poisoning of Lehonti in order to become the king of the Lamanites (Alma 47:18) is suggested to represent the death of Smith’s older brother Alvin, whom the author speculates died of poisoning.

Read more about this topic:  Joseph Smith: The Making Of A Prophet

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