James Adams, a Remarkable Mormon, and the Subject of a Remarkable Sermon. Part 1. Introduction.

[Crossposted from By Common Consent]

Joseph Smith was an intensely loyal family man and that attachment was mirrored in Church structure. Family members played important roles in the LDS hierarchy. His father was a member of the Church presidency for a period and also served as the first “patriarch.”[1] His brothers held prominent Church offices. He continued to mourn the loss of older brother Alvin, 20 years later. His wife led the women of the Church in the formal women’s organization, the Nauvoo Female Relief Society.[2]
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Urim, Joseph Smith, Book of Abraham, King Follett, part 2. Polygamy and Apocalypse

The previous post (part 1) gives, more or less in facsimile, a letter from Howard Coray to one of his daughters, Martha Jane Lewis. Howard Coray converted to Mormonism in 1840. His account of meeting Henry Ward Beecher is instructive, it gives us some flavor both of Coray’s intellect and his independence in dealing with some of the religious hot-buttons of the time. Coray met and heard Joseph Smith preach at the April 1840 church conference in Nauvoo. He described this experience several times as pivotal for him.[1] The available reports for this conference are very brief and unremarkable, demonstrating again the unfortunate lack of information regarding much of Joseph Smith’s public instruction and remarks.
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