King: Joseph Smith was a 'great writer'

The first thing the Mormon missionaries gave Arthur Henry King was a pamphlet on Joseph Smith's First Vision.

"The style of the Joseph Smith story immediately struck me," King later said. "He spoke to me, as soon as I read his testimony, as a great writer, transparently sincere and matter-of-fact. That is what endeared him to me -- so matter-of-fact."

King was uniquely positioned to make an unbiased scholarly judgment on Joseph's sincerity and writing style. In 1966, he was investigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he also had a keenly trained mind.

His educational career had taken him from Cambridge University to Lund University in Sweden, where his dissertation on the language of renaissance playwright Ben Johnson was, as BYU philosophy professor C. Terry Warner described it, "a singular contribution to scholarship."

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