Richard Bushman, author of Rough Stone Rolling, offered this view: “The closer you get to Joseph Smith in the sources, the stronger he will appear, rather than the reverse, as is so often assumed by the critics.”*

  • Going to the primary sources is key in understanding the truth about Joseph Smith, rather than reading about the many caricatures that are found in books, blogs, comments, and videos by those who are hostile to him and the Church.
  • Ronald Esplin, former Managing Director of the Joseph Smith Papers Project explained;

Our work [in publishing Joseph Smith’s papers] is not designated to defend Joseph Smith so much as to understand him. . . . If we will do that, understand him, he will come off just fine. Since he is who he said he was, his life and works can withstand scrutiny. There is no need to distort the historical record, but a great need . . . to understand it. To the degree that we do our work well, all of us will, in the future, have tools for that which we don’t have now—and have never had before—the material that will allow us to know Brother Joseph again.[1]

  • John Taylor penned:

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord's anointed in ancient time, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!  (D&C 135:3.)


Additional Resources:

 

Top Websites:

The Joseph Smith Papers Project

FAIRMORMON: Joseph Smith

 

 

Top Podcasts:

Best of Fair 7: The Joseph Smith Papers, Ron Esplin, 1:00:05

FAIR Conversations, Episode 3: Richard L. Bushman p.1, Richard L. Bushman, 1:01:16

FAIR Conversations, Episode 4: Richard L. Bushman p.2, Richard L. Bushman, 0:47:51

Faith and Reason 3: A Prophet’s Birth from Noble Heritage, Michael R. Ash, 0:07:54

Faith and Reason 4: A Miracle Operation, Michael R. Ash, 0:08:46

Faith and Reason 5: Joseph Smith’s Name Known Worldwide, Michael R. Ash, 0:05:19

Rough Stone Rolling — Richard Bushman — Fair Mormon Podcast

Rough Stone Rolling-Richard Bushman- Fair Mormon Podcast part 2

Rough Stone Rolling- Interview with Richard Bushman– Fair Mormon Podcast part 1

 

 

Top Videos:

Joseph Smith The Prophet of the Restoration

Joseph Smith Papers,Vol 1, Gerrit Dirkmaat

Joseph Smith Papers, Vol 2, Matthew Godfrey

pt 1, A Change in Venue: Joseph Smith’s Escape from Liberty Jail

pt 2, A Change in Venue: Joseph Smith’s Escape from Liberty Jail

pt 3, A Change in Venue: Joseph Smith’s Escape from Liberty Jail

pt 4, A Change in Venue: Joseph Smith’s Escape from Liberty Jail

pt 5, A Change in Venue: Joseph Smith’s Escape from Liberty Jail

pt 6, A Change in Venue: Joseph Smith’s Escape from Liberty Jail

pt 1 Joseph Smith Miscellany, 2005 FAIR Conference address

pt 2 Joseph Smith Miscellany, 2005 FAIR Conference address

pt 3 Joseph Smith Miscellany

pt 4 Joseph Smith Miscellany, 2005 FAIR Conference address

pt 5, Joseph Smith Miscellany, 2005 FAIR Conference address

pt 6 Joseph Smith Miscellany, 2005 FAIR Conference address

pt 1 Legal trials of Joseph Smith

pt 2 Legal trials of Joseph Smith

pt 3 Legal trials of Joseph Smith

pt 4 Legal trials of Joseph Smith

pt 5 Legal trials of Joseph Smith

pt 1 Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Story

pt 2 Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Story

pt 3 Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Story

pt 4 Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Story

pt 5 Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Story

pt 6 Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Story

pt 1, The Protean Joseph Smith

pt 2, The Protean Joseph Smith

pt 3, The Protean Joseph Smith

pt 4, The Protean Joseph Smith

pt 1, The Trial of 1826                   

pt 2, The Trial of 1826

pt 3, The Trial of 1826

pt 4, The Trial of 1826

“Without a Cause” What this Phrase Means with Mike Ash

1st Joseph Smith JR The Prophet in videos

2nd Series of Joseph Smith JR The Prophet

3rd of 1st Disc of Series of Joseph The Prophet

4th Joseph Smith, 4th in Series

5th Series of Joseph Smith JR The Prophet

6th Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Story

7th of 1st Disc of Series of Joseph The Prophet

Jesus Christ vs. Joseph Smith video review

JOSEPH SMITH – Did he have a gun? Why?

Joseph Smith Miscellany by Richard Bushman

Joseph Smith Papers

Joseph Smith Papers Constance Lewis and Four Church Historians

Joseph Smith Papers Jeffrey Cannon and Online Papers

Joseph Smith Papers Karen Davidson and John Corrill

Joseph Smith Papers Nathan Waite and Edward Partridge

Joseph Smith Papers Richard Jensen and Missouri Mormon War

Joseph Smith Papers, Documents Series, Ron Esplin-1

Joseph Smith’s Escape from Carthage Jail by Jeff Walker

Joseph Smiths Escape from Liberty Jail

Legal Trials of Joseph Smith by Joseph Bentley

Refuting Joseph Smith’s Critics by Matthew Brown

Review of Jesus Christ vs Joseph Smith part 1

Review of Jesus Christ vs. Joseph Smith part 2

Review of Jesus Christ vs Joseph Smith part 3

Revised or Unaltered: Joseph Smith’s Foundational Stories

Ron Hellings on Joseph Smith and Modern Cosmology

The Joseph Smith Papers

The Protean Joseph Smith by Daniel C Peterson

 

Top Essays and Articles:

A Joseph Smith Miscellany (2005 FAIR Conference) by Richard Bushman

Joseph Smith and Modern Cosmology (PDF) (2009 FAIR Conference) by Ron Hellings

Joseph Smith and the Biblical Council of the Gods (PDF) (2010 FAIR Conference) by David Bokovoy

Joseph Smith and the Question of Book of Mormon Geography (PDF) (2010 FAIR Conference) by Matthew Roper

Joseph Smith’s History Confirmed (PDF) by Craig N. Ray

Legal Trials of the Prophet: Joseph Smith’s Life in Court (2006 FAIR Conference) by Joseph Bentley

Revised or Unaltered? Joseph Smith’s Foundational Stories (2006 FAIR Conference) by Matthew Brown

The 1826 Trial of Joseph Smith (2002 FAIR Conference) by Russell Anderson

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph Smith: Defending the Faith (2004 FAIR Conference) by David L. Paulsen

The Joseph Smith Papers (PDF) (2008 FAIR Conference) by Ronald Esplin

The Joseph Smith Papers Project

The Protean Joseph Smith (2002 FAIR Conference) by Daniel C. Peterson

Was Joseph Smith a Martyr or a Murderer? (PDF) by Lance Starr

To Do the Business of the Church: A Cooperative Paradigm for Examining Gendered Participation Within Church Organizational Structure (2012 FAIR Conference) by Neylan McBaine