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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I must say that I was hesitant to buy this book. The author is a medical professor. I was unsure as to whether a professor of medicine could write a book on the historical, and evolutionary thoughts of a past religious figure. I bought the book, read it, and decided that not only could this man write such a study but he could write a damn good one.

This book traces Joseph Smith's ideas on death, and other related topics. There are already great reviews of this book online, so I want go into detail here but the book is good, it is well researched, and it is well bound (a very important thing for me). It is worth the money, it is worth your time reading it, and it will change your understanding of death in the early Mormon church. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For my money, the best book dealing with Joseph Smith is Richard Bushman's 2007 biography of the Prophet, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. In 2012, Samuel Brown has produced the second best book about Joseph Smith. Brown, a medical researcher and physician, takes on the 19th century American Christian death culture that was so present in the daily lives of Joseph Smith and his family. Using that culture as a backdrop, Brown presents, through the eyes of Smith, the complex development of an afterlife/death theology in early Mormonism.In Heaven as it is on Earth is a must for any serious student of the theological thought of Joseph Smith and early Moronism.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The author did a great job highlighting the different world Joseph Smith lived in. He convincingly demonstrates how the world's preoccupation with death and dying affected everything else, and how this was especially true for Joseph Smith. Read this book to see how the Mormon prophet had close encounters with death, sought after the things of the dead, was forced to confront the dead and dying, spoke with and for the dead, and forged a unique system to unite himself and fellow saints with the dead in a triumph over death. It is well worth it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book it a well-researched and considered analysis of the milieu that spawned the thoughts surrounding death and dying that have continued to shape Christianity in America. While the focus is the LDS Church, the material is interesting and enlightening to even a non-Mormon such as myself. The writing style is very beautiful but can be challenging to some readers. The kindle edition does assist the user to find the definition for those words which they are not familiar. We purchased a hard copy and the Kindle edition. A perfect combination.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Brown situates Joseph Smith in an milieu wherein premature death is rampant, and interprets revelations based on conquering death. Polygamy, polytheism, Book of Mormon, treasure digging, temples, eternal families, Book of Abraham, Mormon angelology, divine feminine, religion itself, all can be seen through that lens.

This book does well in sticking to its thesis and also serves as a great reference for background on revelations to Joseph Smith.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
First off, I suppose there must always be one that says "sour grapes". I am no scholar just a reader who was intrigued by the title of the book. I have read Bushman's biography of Joseph Smith and found it hard to put down. So, given all the glowing reviews, I was hopeful for this book. The author is obviously erudite and educated and his writing shows it. But, after reading it, I have come to the conclusion that it reminds me of the old saying, "When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail!"
Mr. Brown seems to be making the case that everything that Joseph Smith ever said, ever did, or ever thought was motivated by his struggle with Death. Hardly believable, but it does makes it necessary to span the chasm of disbelief. And so, the bridge. On one side he assembles the world of 19th century America, Joseph Smith, and, of course, the King of Terrors. It is quite a collection of pertinent building materials, consisting of facts(true and otherwise), myths, stories, social and cultural mores,and whatever can be dug up. Using these, he then builds a bridge, which appears to me, to be constructed mostly of assumptions and conclusions to assumptions. With these, he spans the gulf and connects it to the religion of Joseph, its origins, thought, actions, ideas, and innovations. It is quite a job and quite a story, but to me, it is an awful rickety bridge.
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