The Second Great Awakening
“Joseph Smith Jr. arrived into a family of religious zealots at a time and place drenched
in religious fervor, if not frenzy, with practices of divination, magic, astrology, alchemy, and
mysticism commonplace occurrences.”
Mormonism has experienced persecution since its initial
founding in the early nineteenth century until present day.
Arguably, the founding of
Mormonism is closed connected with the influences on Joseph Smith Jr.’s life.
Founder of Mormonism: A Psychological Study of Joseph Smith, Jr.
states his belief that
“Smith was more an unwitting product of his culture than a conscious deceiver.”
Joseph Smith Jr.’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, grew up in New Hampshire in a strong
religious family of ten.
Illness and death were common elements of the day, and death took its
toll on the Mack family leaving her depressed and curious if life was “worth living.”
At the age
of nineteen, she struggled joining a church, but conceded her battle to avoid being labeled as
One of Lucy’s older brothers, Jason, left home at an early age to become a “seeker”
in order to receive the same gifts that the disciples received while they were with Christ.
became a preacher at the age of twenty, and while Lucy was in a time of seeking herself, she
spent a year with her brother.
It was while staying with her brother that she met Joseph Smith
They married on January 24, 1796.
(New York: Penguin Group), 17.
Ronald Walker, David Whitaker, James Allen,
(Chicago: University of Illinois Press)
Joseph Smith: The First Mormon
(New York: Penguin Group), 11-12.