Category:Prophets/Joseph Smith/Personality

Joseph Smith's Personality

Parent page: Prophets/Joseph Smith

Military matters foreign to Joseph Smith

In fact, the youthful Joseph does not appear to have been an avid reader at all. His mother recalls that "he seemed much less inclined to the perusal of books than any of the rest of our children," and there seems no reason to doubt her word.20 Very few volumes sat on the shelves of the local library, and the Smiths do not appear to have had access to that library in any case.21 Yet the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith somehow produced contains a great deal of information that is unlikely to have emerged out of his own experience.

For example, Joseph Smith never fought in a war. His military experience, such as it was, was limited almost entirely to the parades and drills of the Nauvoo Legion, with all the patriotic panoply of fife and drum that an early-nineteenth-century-American frontier militia could muster. However, in the Book of Mormon's portrayal of the Gadianton robbers we find a detailed, realistic depiction of a prolonged guerrilla struggle—lacking any trace of romanticism, uniforms, glamour, or parades, but matching up remarkably well with the actual conduct of such unconventional conflict. Yet this portrayal was published well over a century before the great guerrilla warfare theorists of the twentieth century (such as Mao Tse Tung, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, and Vo Nguyen Giap) put their pens to paper.[1]


  1. Daniel C. Peterson, "Not Joseph's, and Not Modern," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 2, references silently removed—consult original for citations.

Pages in category "Prophets/Joseph Smith/Personality"

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