Inside the mind of Joseph Smith: psychobiography and the Book of Mormon
A troubled childhood. A difficult adolescence. How might these have affected the adult character of church founder Joseph Smith? Psychiatrist Robert D. Anderson explores the impact on young Joseph of his family's ten moves in sixteen years, their dire poverty, especially after his father's Chinese export venture failed, and his father's drinking.
It is equally significant, writes Anderson, that Joseph's mother suffered bouts of depression. For instance, "for months" she "did not feel as though life was worth seeking" after two sisters died of tuberculosis and later when she buried two sons, Ephraim and Alvin. A typhoid epidemic nearly claimed her daughter Sophronia, and the same affliction left Joseph with a crippled leg, after which he was sent to live on the coast with an uncle. Such factors and others produced emotional wounds that emerged later in the prophet's life and writings, in particular, according to Anderson, in the Book of Mormon.
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Review: Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of MormonUser Review - James M. Madsen, MD - Goodreads
A book to ruffle feathers, for a variety of reasons. Like Joan of Arc, Joseph Smith is an incredibly fascinating character, especially with respect to his reported visions and to his behavior in ... Read full review
Prolegomenon to a Biography of the Child Joseph
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