Joseph Smith: The Man and the Seer

By Hyrum L. Andrus

Synopsis: This book is a study of the type of man that Joseph Smith was, assessing him by his physical features, his personality, and his prophetic abilities, using accounts of those who knew him. Printed in 1973, this book is an expansion of a talk given by Hyrum L. Andrus about the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1959, converted into book form as a result of popular demand and enthusiastic encouragement from those who heard his talk.

Strong Points: This book is a fascinating and edifying look into the character of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is full of wonderful anecdotes of the Prophet, including the very familiar ones and also many not so familiar. In fact, the little book leaves few stones unturned when it comes to stories about the Prophet Joseph Smith. Each one is used to gather insight into the man and the seer. Andrus' meticulous and dazzlingly insightful research does not here disappoint, but on every page the reader feels that they are in the hands of an expert on the subject. The veracity of the author's conclusions is bolstered by the fact that he draws heavily upon contemporaries of the Prophet for source material; the reader gets to see Joseph Smith through the eyes of those who knew him. The unimpeachable evidence from so many contemporary sources of the goodness of Joseph's character and the reality of his prophetic mantle seems to steamroll right over the critics' complaints of the Prophet. This book is great for members of the Church who would like to get to know the Prophet better, or who wish to strengthen their conviction of his prophetic ministry.

Weak Points: The reader will not find much within this book that qualifies as weak points. What is perhaps both a strength and a weakness - depending on what the reader is looking for - is that the concept of the book is rather narrow; it focuses on who the Prophet was and does not bother with other lines of evidence confirming his prophetic mantle. Also (perhaps not a weakness), the most stirring passages in the book do not come from the able author, but rather from the quotes of those who knew the Prophet. No controversial aspects of the Prophet’s life are directly addressed, but rather the goodness of the Prophet, as seen by those who knew him, is the entire presentation of the text.

Interesting: 5/5

Must Read: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

Pages: 144

Selected Quote: “Joseph the Prophet and the Seer was chosen and foreordained of God to usher in the last and greatest dispensation of gospel truth and power ever revealed to man on earth. The work he was instrumental in establishing is here to purify the world of unrighteousness, to establish the millennial society of peace and prosperity throughout the earth, and to prepare all things for the reign of Christ. To initiate this titanic task and to lay the foundation upon which the perfected superstructure will one day rest, God chose a select seer, with spiritual, mental, and moral powers suited to the work at hand, and with personality and physical strength to bear the burden of that great responsibility.” (p. 139).


Make a free website with Yola