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Knowing Brother Joseph Again: Perceptions and Perspectives Kindle Edition

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Kindle, Kindle eBook, July 12, 2011
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 29, 2011
This essay collection by the late Davis Bitton may be my new favorite "Intro to Joseph" text.

Instead of presenting a comprehensive and fully chronological biography, this updated collection presents, in a series of essays, different perspectives that have been expressed over time concerning who this Joseph Smith was, and what roles he filled in the minds of those who knew of him. It's not a Missionary Tract. It's not an exposé. It is not just a book of Joseph, but a book of Josephs.

As the introduction states, "It is the image of Joseph Smith rather than the man himself" that the author "wishes to delineate".

The majority of the book centers around Joseph's contemporaries, and how they understood him. It does not attempt to tell us who Joseph was. It clearly shows us who many different types of individuals thought he was.

Bitton summarizes his reasoning to this approach when he writes, "Presuppositions and assumptions do indeed serve as lenses that select, ignore, emphasize, and frame, resulting in different perspectives and conclusions. It is a truism that people act, not according to how things are, but the way they think they are. During his lifetime, different people perceived Joseph Smith differently and behaved accordingly. The same is true of the present. If our paradigm of reality - the map of possibilities by which we govern our lives - allows room for God, angels, miracles, prophets, and the like, we are in the population that at least potentially might follow Joseph Smith or someone like him. If our paradigm rules out such possibilities, we, of course, look for alternative explanations,"

To some, Joseph very clearly was a hero. But what does that mean?
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By VernalPhD on July 8, 2014
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