The Man Behind the Discourse: A Biography of King Follett | BYU Studies

The Man Behind the Discourse: A Biography of King Follett

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The Man Behind the Discourse: A Biography of King Follett
Author Joann F. Mortensen
Salt Lake City, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2011

The Man Behind the Discourse: A Biography of King Follett

Reviewer Emily H. Bates

Joann Mortensen, a third great-granddaughter of King and Louisa Follett, has long been involved in documenting the lives of her ancestors. Her book, The Man Behind the Discourse, is the first published biography of King Follett, the man whose funeral sermon became known as one of the Prophet Joseph Smith's greatest discourses.

Mortensen has structured the book to be accessible to a wide audience. For those less familiar with the Church, a short, simple introduction to the beliefs of the Saints stands at the beginning of the book, and a "brief overview of Joseph Smith's life and prophetic mission" (59) provides context for the conversion of King Follett and his family. Readers interested in more information about the events and people in the text will appreciate the copious notes accompanying each chapter. For anyone interested in learning about King Follett's life—or the lives of the early Saints in general—The Man Behind the Discourse is a thorough, well-written, and readable resource.

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