The notion of Joseph Smith as a lazy, scheming, yarn-spinning ne’er-do-well without a single serious idea in his head simply can’t withstand scrutiny. He was anything but that.
Those who reject the claims of Joseph Smith often dismiss him as merely a shallow fraud who lurched from one crisis or opportunity for exploitation to another, improvising as he went. His unbelieving 1945 biographer, Fawn Brodie, set the tone with her depiction of him as (in Hugh Nibley’s summary of her position), a “chuckle-headed, pipe-dreaming, glory-mongering” charlatan. . . .
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