Joseph and Josiah Stowell
CES Letter, Page 86
Critics claim Josiah Stowell was victimized by Joseph Smith, but Josiah’s actions indicate that he never would of agreed with them. He remained a staunch supporter of the Prophet throughout his life.
The CES Letter does not tell us that Stowell testified in favor of Joseph. Stowell would go on to join the Church and died a faithful member in 1844. Multiple authors have debunked this charge.
Joseph came to a preliminary hearing and was discharged. Why doesn’t The CES Letter tell us he was not found guilty, and this hearing was never invoked in subsequent trials?
In a letter written by his son, Josiah Stowell Jr., to John S. Fullmer in February 1843, Josiah Stowell expressed his belief in the Prophet and the Book of Mormon.
Josiah Stowell dictated a letter to the Joseph smith in Nauvoo on December 19, 1843, and told him of his desire "to come to Zion the next season"; however, conditions prevented his doing so. Josiah Stowell died in Smithboro, Tioga County, New York, on May 12, 1844.
The nephew who brought charges seems to have had religious issues with Joseph: “Within a month after the trial he was licensed as an exhorter by the Methodists and within three years had helped establish the West Bainbridge Methodist Church. Upon his death in 1872 his fellow ministers characterized him as 'an ardent Methodist and any attack upon either the doctrines or the polity of the Methodist Episcopal Church, within his field of labor, was sure to be repelled by him with a vigorous hand." Is it possible that the trial of Joseph Smith was just one of his first attempts to apply a "vigorous hand?" Click here.
CES Letter, Page 86
Joseph Smith learned early that reporting his vision would bring persecution. This appears to be alluding to concerns around 19th century culture having a stronger believe in religion and/or superstition.
More details coming:
Gordon A. Madsen, "Joseph Smith's 1826 Trial: The Legal Setting," Brigham Young University Studies30 no. 2 (1990), 106.
Does being a "treasure hunter" or believing in "second sight" make one an unreliable witness?—Some of Joseph's associates were "treasure hunters" and may have believed in "second sight." Does this make them unreliable witnesses? (Click here for full article)
Were the Book of Mormon witnesses not "empirical" or "rational" men because they lived in the 19th-Century?—Some accuse the Book of Mormon witnesses of not being "empirical" or "rational" because they lived in the 19th-Century. (Click here for full article)
- 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
- pt5 Legal trials of Joseph Smith
Danel W. Bachman, "Mormonism -- Shadow or Reality? History or Propaganda? Joseph Smith as a Case Study," (2000 FAIR Conference presentation.)