A Fiery Mormon Prophet (feat. Stephen Taysom):
Season 2, Episode 2
December 30, 2020
Hosted by Stephen Betts.
Today on Scholars & Saints, I’m chatting with Professor Stephen Taysom about former Latter-day Saint president Joseph F. Smith. The nephew of church founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., Joseph F. Smith witnessed many of the most striking events of early Mormonism from his childhood in Nauvoo, to his adolescence on the Midwestern plains, to the settlement of the Great Basin in Utah, and more. A complex figure, Smith was known as much for his courage as for his temper. He was supremely confident and privately insecure. He was a committed polygamist, and yet he was responsible for transitioning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into a new era of exclusive monogamy. In this episode we’ll discuss Smith’s complicated life and reflect on what it means to apply the methods of religious studies to biography.
Please note: this episode contains descriptions of domestic violence that some listeners may find disturbing.