A well written and organized book. The author used extensive footnotes with sources primarily from church leadership, primary documents (diaries, lettA well written and organized book. The author used extensive footnotes with sources primarily from church leadership, primary documents (diaries, letters, contemporary newspaper/magazine articles, affidavits etc), Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith's personally written histories, Journal of Discourses etc. However, some chapters were more convincingly documented than others. I found his Golden Pot chapter particularily unbelivable.
Palmer's book is rare because it is held up by Mormon and Non-Mormon alike as a "must read." His book examines the formative founding stories of the LDS church: Joseph Smith as a translator, the First Vision, Translation of the Book of Mormon, the Restoration of the Priesthood, the 11 Witnesses to the Book of Mormon etc.
This book is a good companion book to Richard Bushman's "Rough Stone Rolling." Both books provide a more thourough disclosure of Joseph Smith's history and contemporary environment than has been given in the past. Previous to these books, most books on Smith either presented him as a demogogue or the opposite extreme of a charlatan hick. I was always uncomfortable with either extreme. These books present a Joseph Smith that makes more sense to me.
Bushman's book is more of a biography of Joseph Smith and is an extrememly detailed and long book with a heavy apologetic slant. Palmer's book covers many of the same controversial topics, but focuses more on the founding and origins of the LDS church and is a much easier, uncomplicated read.
I would recommend starting wiht Palmer's book and then going to Bushman's book for apologetic arguments on the facts.
Palmer himself is an active, although disfellowed, member of the LDS church. In his books, he calls for an open acknolwegement of the problems with the church's origins and a return to more funamental teachings of Christ. Palmer is condemned by many for being hypocritical and dishonest. He did much of his research for this book while working for the LDS church's religious education department (CES). However, he was completely open with his employers about his concerns and research from the start. When his concerns reached a point where he no longer felt comfortable teaching students, the church moved him to the local prison to teach a class focusing on Christ's teachings rather than the Book of Mormon or church history and doctrine. ...more
Very good fantasy. He had many original and facinating fanstasy elements (hard to do in this day and age), interesting, compelling plot, easy to readVery good fantasy. He had many original and facinating fanstasy elements (hard to do in this day and age), interesting, compelling plot, easy to read flow, good characters and relationship development. He also writes politics fairly well. Not as well as Orson Scott Card, but better than most writers out there. ...more
I loved this series. Pratchett also wrote A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith with the Tiffany Aching character. This is technically a young adult bookI loved this series. Pratchett also wrote A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith with the Tiffany Aching character. This is technically a young adult book set in his Discworld setting. But as Pratchet say, Young Adult to him just means the age of his main character. He write fantasy with just a delightful sense of humor. I will paraphrase one of my favorite quotes from this book that shows a bit of what Pratchett's humor is like. Tiffany is explainging to a witch finder the circumstances surrounding the murder as a witch of a local old woman. She said, "Anyone with half a brain could see that..." to which the witch finder replied, "Ah yes, but it is so hard to find half a brain when you need one." ...more
Delightful because it is Tiffany Aching and there were some interesting ideas/concepts to think about, but my least favorite of the three Tiffany AchiDelightful because it is Tiffany Aching and there were some interesting ideas/concepts to think about, but my least favorite of the three Tiffany Aching books. ...more