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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Record of a Man and a Religion
In the 1842-43 journals, it's written "I wish you had my soul long enough to know how good it feels." I suppose that I came to this book trying, in a sense, to borrow a little bit of Joseph Smith's soul long enough to see how good it felt-- or at least trying to understand a little bit of the person behind the history.
It's more opaque than that...
Published on May 28, 2000 by frumiousb

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6 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Joseph's narcissistic personality really shows...
nar·cis·sism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (närs-szm) also nar·cism (-szm)

n.

Meanings:

1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.

2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.

3. Erotic pleasure derived from...
Published on December 1, 2004 by FireStar


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Record of a Man and a Religion, May 28, 2000
By 
frumiousb "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Paperback)
In the 1842-43 journals, it's written "I wish you had my soul long enough to know how good it feels." I suppose that I came to this book trying, in a sense, to borrow a little bit of Joseph Smith's soul long enough to see how good it felt-- or at least trying to understand a little bit of the person behind the history.
It's more opaque than that. Although there are flashes of personal insight-- particularly religious insight-- these journals are more the record of Mormonism and the issues about it that concerned Smith as he moved across the country. From lists of payments and donations, to intra-faith quarrels, to visions of Nauvoo, to complaints about lawsuits, it gives a clear day-to-day picture of the man and his movement.
The diaries and journals were written by a mix of Joseph Smith and various secretaries acting in his name. In the introduction, the editor comments that he was trying for ease of reading rather than faithful photostatic reproduction-- and I have to say that I would have hated to see what happened if he'd tried for faithful, because the major problem I had with the book was that I found it very difficult to read-- all shorthand, omitted words, crossed out words, and misspellings were noted as they occurred in the text and while I'm sure that it's more valuable as a scholarly text because of the inclusion, it was very distracting. Also, some annotations about historical events wouldn't be amiss rather than the reader always being forced to refer to the (very sketchy) timeline at the beginning. I suppose that most people who will read this would be scholars of Mormon history rather than people with a more casual interest, but it would have illuminated parts of this book much more clearly for readers like myself.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read for yourself!, February 13, 2002
By 
Kendal B. Hunter (Provo, UT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Paperback)
This is one of several books that attempt to get at the root texts of Joseph Smith. We are in an unusual position with Joseph Smith: we have no autograph manuscripts of previous church leaders, such as Buddha, Moses, Mohamed, or Jesus Christ, but whit Joseph Smith, we have a tidal wave of primary documents that can be studied.
This book has the precious 1832 autograph history which has the second earliest version of the First Vision ever recorded, the earliest being D&C 20:5. It also has transcripts from his official journals. It is wonderful to have this book of the real words of Joseph Smith. The most surprising thing is to see that there was no monkey business going on with Joseph Smith's official history.
This edition is by Signature Books, which is a publishing house not friendly to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which makes this book even more interesting. The problem comes with the silent editing (p. xvii) that occurs with the book, especially with the disputed texts, such as the 27 July 1838 entry (see footnote p. 198), or the 26 September 1843 entry associated with the temple endowment, where the silent editing becomes rather loud.
The font is somewhat small, but it is quite readable, and this edition contains the manuscript strikeouts and misspellings, which impede reading a bit. This book has great biographies on people mentioned in the journals, and has a superb index, and a chronological overview of Smith's life. On the down side, there are no illustrations, except for the RLDS portrait of Joseph Smith.
This is a good one-volume alternative to the two-volume "Papers of Joseph Smith" published by Deseret Book, since it covers his entire life, stopping days before his assassination on 27 June 1844.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable though incomplete record, February 2, 2009
By 
Alan E. Barber (Idaho Falls, ID USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This edition of Joseph Smith's diaries was released in a very limited hardback edition in 1987, and now is available only in paperback. It was, and remains, valuable because it presents some of the unvarnished writings of this most enigmatic man, an unschooled farm boy who claimed divine revelation, and founded in 1830 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), now one of the largest denominations in America, well on its way to being a world-wide Church.
It remains to be seen how this edition will stand up, in light of the LDS Church's decision to release the complete Joseph Smith diaries and writings. Volume 1 of that multi-volume project has just been released, and if it is any indication, that set will be absolutely indispensable for researchers and scholars. It's interesting that it took the institutional Church 20 years to respond to Faulring's opening salvo.
Nonetheless, this single volume is still the best collection of Smith's writings now available, and presents a unique opportunity to enter into his mind and world. For anyone interested in exploring Mormonism, whether as a member of the Church, an inquirer, or a debunker, Faulring's volume is a great aid.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major contribution to personal, community, academic library American Biography and Mormon History collections, October 14, 2009
This review is from: An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Paperback)
Never before available to the general public, "An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries And Journals Of Joseph Smith" is a complete an unexpurgated volume comprised of Mormon Church founder Joseph's Smiths (1805-1844) personal diaries and journals. It should be noted that when parts of these diaries and journals were previously published they were censored, selectively assembled, and sometimes even re-written. Now they are presented by Mormon scholar Scott Faulring in their comprehensive and complete entirety. The result is a 518-page compendium that provides original source material that will prove invaluable for both academic scholarship and the interested non-specialist general reader alike. "An American Prophet's Record" is a biographical treasure trove and a major contribution to personal, community, academic library American Biography and Mormon History collections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoy getting right inside the actual thoughts of old JS... this is a book for you., January 20, 2013
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This review is from: An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Paperback)
Journal entries by JS's scribes, his own thoughts, and a little varnished history as seen only as those of his time and himself could see their own versions of truth. Interesting read if you care to know facts from inside JS's thoughts as he had them and as his scribes documented them in their own words.
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16 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Source, April 29, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Paperback)
This is an excellent collection of the personal writings of the founder of the largest pseudo-Christian cult in America--the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly known as the "Mormons"). It is a valuable resource for any cult apologist or theologian desiring to better understand the Mormon cult founder
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6 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Joseph's narcissistic personality really shows..., December 1, 2004
This review is from: An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Paperback)
nar·cis·sism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (närs-szm) also nar·cism (-szm)

n.

Meanings:

1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.

2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.

3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.

If you are still unsure on the meanings, please pick this book up today for clarification.
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An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith
An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith by Joseph Smith (Paperback - February 15, 1989)
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