(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith, a visionary and mystic, founder of the Church of Latter-day Saints; a poor, handsome, humorless giant who believes himself a prophet of God and who reports the finding of some inscribed golden plates, which he translates into a bible for his followers. Persecuted in New York, Ohio, and Missouri, he is finally killed by a mob in Illinois.

Brigham Young

Brigham Young, the strong, able leader of the church after Smith’s death. Unsentimental, hardheaded, and unceasingly devoted to the church, he leads his saints to Utah and becomes governor until the territory is made a state. After withstanding many onslaughts, he dies just before being tried for his reputed crimes.

John Taylor

John Taylor, leader of the church after Young’s death.

Oliver Cowdery

Oliver Cowdery, a schoolteacher, Joseph’s first convert, who records Joseph’s dictated translation of the Book of Mormon and later becomes a missionary to the Indians.

Heber Kimball

Heber Kimball, Brigham’s close friend and one of his chief aides. He dies of pneumonia after falling from a carriage.

Emma Hale Smith

Emma Hale Smith, Joseph’s first wife, who complains, among many other things, about Joseph’s many wives.

Newel Knight

Newel Knight, a convert who introduces Joseph to conditions among his Ohio...

(The entire section is 444 words.)