Schooling the Prophet

Schooling the Prophet

How the Book of Mormon Influenced Joseph Smith and the Early Restoration

August | 2015
Subject Categories book-of-mormon

Table of Contents


Gerald Smith asks a pertinent question: How did the Book of Mormon influence Joseph Smith’s restoration? He has thought long and hard about the issue and gives us here the results of his investigations. His answer: From temple culture and the priesthood to the doctrine of God and baptism, the Book of Mormon profoundly shaped the doctrines and practices of the restored church.

Richard L. Bushman, Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History Columbia University, and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

With great attention to historical detail, this book brings to light the critical and often overlooked influence the Book of Mormon had on the restoration of the priesthood, church administration, temple, and other ordinances revealed to Joseph Smith. Gerald Smith’s portrayal of the Prophet’s schooling illuminates a pattern God still uses to teach his children.

Barbara Morgan, Director of Boston LDS Institute and Assistant Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University

Gerald Smith has written an extraordinary book—original, insightful, and rich in detail. This book represents a major achievement in our understanding of the fundamental role played by the Book of Mormon in the development of church doctrine and practice. It will be of great interest to everyone—LDS or not—to whom these issues are vital.

John Lundquist, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Pace University


I highly recommend Smith’s Schooling the Prophet. It is an important contribution to Latter-day Saint scholarship on the Book of Mormon that deserves careful attention by laymen and academics alike who share a common interest in the history and doctrines of the early Restoration.

Stephen Smoot, FairMormon Blog, August 31, 2015

As Smith works through topics such as Christology, soteriology, Zion, priesthood, and salvation as well as ordinances such as sacrament, baptism, and the various forms of temple worship, it is clear that he sees a rich, connective tapestry woven between Joseph’s own teaching and the ways in which specific phrases, forms, and themes from the Book of Mormon text clearly provide Joseph with material to investigate, imitate, and ultimately integrate.

Jenny Webb, Association for Mormon Letters, October 1, 2015

Although Smith's primary audience is scholars who study the Book of Mormon or early Latter-day Saint history and are interested in the role the book played in the formative Church, it is also a useful volume in helping anyone who reads the Book of Mormon appreciate its role in influencing Joseph Smith's thinking and in developing Latter-day Saint doctrine. It contributes toward a greater understanding of those doctrines.

Mark L. Staker, BYU Studies 55:3 (2016): 183-186.

Publication Information

Publication Date: 2015

ISBN 13: 978-0-8425-2936-5

Page Count: 304

Illustration(s): 3

Size: 6 x 9

Binding: Paperback, ePub

Price: $19.95

Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Gerald E. Smith

As of 2015, Gerald E. Smith teaches religion courses for the Boston LDS Institute of Religion. He is a business professor at Boston College in the Carroll School of Management, advisor to American and European business leaders, and advisor to religious educators with the Roche Center for Catholic Education and  the Lynch School of Education. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, his MBA from Harvard Business School, and his doctorate from Boston University.

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