Joseph Smith Quotes
"It is by no means improbable that some future textbook, for the use of generations yet unborn, will contain a question something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destiny of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. And the reply, absurd as it doubtless seems to most men now living, may be an obvious commonplace to their descendants."
– From Figures of the Past, by Josiah Quincy, former mayor of Boston (1926 ed., p 317)
"Let anyone, even a literary genius, after forty years of life, try to write a companion volume to the Book of Mormon, and then almost daily for a number of years give out `revelations' that internally harmonize one with another at the same time formulate a system of doctrine for a Church, introduce many new principles, resuscitate extinct priesthoods, and formulate a system of Church government which has no superior upon earth... to deny such a man a wonderful power over the human heart and intellect is absurd. Only fanatical prejudice can ignore it. However he may be accounted for by the reasoning mind, Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, was one of the wonders of his time."
– George Wharton James, quoted by Alvin R. Dyer, in Conference Report, October 1959, p 21
"The Mormon people teach the American religion; their principles teach the people not only of Heaven and its attendant glories, but how to live so that their social and economic relations with each other are placed on a sound basis. If the people follow the teachings of this Church, nothing can stop their progress--it will be limitless. There have been great movements started in the past but they have died or been modified before they reached maturity. If Mormonism is able to endure, unmodified, until it reaches the third and fourth generations, it is destined to become the greatest power the world has ever known."
– Count Leo Tolstoi, quoted in A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p 435–36
"Whatever his lapses, Smith was an authentic religious genius, unique in our national history."
– Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation, (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), p 82
"I also do not find it possible to doubt that Joseph Smith was an authentic prophet. Where in all of American history can we find his match? . . . In proportion to his importance and his complexity, [Joseph Smith] remains the least-studied personage, of an undiminished vitality, in our entire national saga."
– Ibid, p 95
"If there is already in place any authentic version of the American Religion then, as Tolstoy surmised, it must be Mormonism, whose future as yet may prove decisive for the nation, and for more than this nation alone."
– Ibid p 97
"Joseph's teachings provide solutions for most, if not all, of the genuine problems and contradictions of the Bible with which scholars have wrestled for generations."
– Heikki Raisanen, Finnish theologian, quoted in Edwin O. Haroldsen,
Good and Evil Spoken Of, unpublished article (quoted in Powerful Truths).
[After calculating that church membership would be 265 million by the year 2080:] "We are observing an extraordinarily rare event. After a hiatus [or break] of fourteen hundred years, in our time a new world faith seems to be stirring."
– Rodney Stark, "Modernization and Mormon Growth: The Secularization Thesis Revisited," Contemporary Mormonism: Social Science Perspectives, eds. Marie Cornwall, Tim B. Heaton, and Lawrence A. Young [Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois, 1994], pp 13, 22
See also: "The Rise of a New World Faith," Review of Religious Research, 26, no. 1 [September 1984], pp 18–27).