Joseph Smith and the Making of a Global Religion

In regard to the other “worlds” of the first Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith was certainly “in that world and of it.” He was clearly in attendance “in his own time;” he attempted to recover past worlds; he was and is present in his own and in the personal worlds of others; and he challenged the theological world of his day.

In the sense that his gospel vision was expansive enough to impel his sending members of the Quorum of the Twelve as missionaries to England and continental Europe—and even sending Orson Hyde to Jerusalem—Joseph Smith put down the foundations for reaching out to the entire world. Yet when he was murdered in 1844, Mormonism essentially remained an indigenous North American faith. Joseph the prophet was not present when Mormonism became what some now describe as a “global religion.”

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 44:4
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