From inside jacket:
When Joseph Smith joined Sidney Rigdon in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1831, "men were called to church offices — elders, priests and teachers — given authority and licensed without reference to a bestowal of priesthood" and "authority" was unitary. Smith had yet to mention John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, Elias, Elijah, Levi, Aaron or Melchizedek. He hadn't yet described one "crucifyed" "omnipotent" "omnipreasant" Lord (1832), two personages and many angels (1835), a first visitation of angels (1835), or "two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description" and no angels (1838-39). In the Book of Mormon first published in 1830, there was no Aaronic/Levitical Priesthood, heaven and hell were undifferentiated, the Father was the Son and crucified. Christ was underived, from eternity to eternity eternal, without beginning of days or end of years, father, mother, or descent. The natural man was corrupt, inclined to evil, incapable of doing good, "carnal, sensual, devilish," "worthless and fallen." There were no degrees of glory, there was no spirit world, the dead weren't baptized and Adam wasn't God.
Rigdon, who quickly became Smith's trusted consigliere, "guided the prophet's tottering steps till he could walk alone."
Table of Contents
Introduction: Remembering Joseph
- One God
- First Vision Accounts: 1832 to 1842
- The Evolution of First Vision Accounting
- 1971: Six Versions of Five Discrepant Accounts
- Strange Happenings
- True Zion
- Promises and Prophecies
- The Redemption of Zion
- The Forgotten Order
- Authority Theory
- From "Authority" to "Priesthood"
- God's Editors
- History Is an Institution's Resume
- Kirtland Implodes
- Witnesses, Mormonism Unvailed, E.D. Howe, Painesville, Ohio, 1834
- Better than Jesus Joseph: "I boast that no man ever did such a work as I"
- Statement: Richard L. Bushman, December 16, 2013
- High Priesthood Timeline: The Path to June 3, 1831
- Failed Prophecies and Promises
- Amending the Word