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TitleHugh Nibley and Joseph Smith
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBushman, Richard L.
JournalJournal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture
KeywordsEarly Church History; Historicity; Smith, Joseph, Jr.

Just as attorneys representing the church wouldn’t bear their testimonies in a courtroom, Hugh Nibley defended Joseph Smith through facts and scholarly dialogue, not testimony bearing. Although Nibley did, at times, discuss the Prophet specifically, his defense of Joseph came primarily through academic vindication of the Book of Mormon. When others made scholarly attacks against Joseph’s character, Nibley would move the debate to a discussion of the historicity of the book on its own terms. When Nibley did directly discuss the Prophet, he portrayed him as a humble, loving servant of God.