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Joseph Smith, Jr.Reappraisals After Two Centuries$
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Reid L. Neilson and Terryl L. Givens

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369786.001.0001

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Seeking the Face of the Lord: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition

Seeking the Face of the Lord: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition

(p.143) 10 Seeking the Face of the Lord: Joseph Smith and the First Temple Tradition
Joseph Smith, Jr.

Margaret Barker

Kevin Christensen

Oxford University Press

This chapter comes to Mormonism as something only tangentially related to this chapter's author's own work in radically reformulating our understanding of ancient Jewish religion. The author of this chapter has elsewhere assessed the Book of Mormon in the context of pre-exilic Israelite religion. Here, that interest is extended here by considering the temple world view of early Israel before the reforms of King Josiah. Noting the primacy of this same temple-dominated vision in the prophetic career of Joseph Smith, the first part of this chapter concentrates on that subject. From his translation of the Book of Mormon through the corpus of his own visions, Joseph established continuity with the Bible as text and Jerusalem as sacred space. Equally important is the pattern in Joseph Smith of both chronicling sacred theophanies and urging their possibility in contemporary religious practice. That is why it has been argued that Joseph Smith's restoration converges on the key time, place, institutions, and issues involved in this chapter's reconstruction.

Keywords:   Mormonism, First Temple Judaism, Israelite religion, temple, Josiah, Book of Mormon, Jerusalem, American scripture, theophany

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