You are here
Joseph Smith and Modernism
|Title||Joseph Smith and Modernism|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Bushman, Richard L.|
|Journal||BYU Studies Quarterly|
|Keywords||First Vision; Modernism; Multiple First Vision Accounts; Skepticism; Smith, Joseph, Jr.|
Two contexts for understanding the First Vision—denominational confusion and revival religion—are two ways of explaining how Smith understood his startling experience at different times in his life. To these two, I would like to add a third: Smith may have also been affected by an encounter with skepticism, one element in the coming of modernism, the word we use to summarize the broad reorientation of human culture over the past three or four centuries. One effect of modernism has been to drain away belief in the supernatural, leading to the famed disenchantment of the world. I believe that the touches of skepticism tinging Joseph Smith’s 1832 account suggest that faitheroding modernist currents had reached his world by the time of the First Vision.
Items in the BMC Archive are made publicly available for non-commercial, private use. Inclusion within the BMC Archive does not imply endorsement. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central.
Get the latest updates on Book of Mormon topics and research for free