Falling in Love with Joseph Smith

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jane Barnes tells how, when she was working on the PBS Frontline/American Experience special series "The Mormons," she found herself passionately drawn to the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith. In Falling in Love with Joseph Smith: My Search for the Real Prophet Barnes describes moving from secular curiosity to the brink of conversion to Mormonism. She explains coming to respect the innovative American spirit that lies at the heart of Mormonism.


Jane Barnes

Comments [12]

Ed from Larchmont

The Mormons sincerely believe in their faith, and it's a moral one. They are the only faith that started in America (except for the native American faiths, of course). From a Catholic point of view, however, their theology is problematic.

Aug. 22 2012 08:22 AM

Perhaps if the author was from 1850 she would have an excuse, but how do you remain credulous of such a story in 2012? I agree with the other poster - why not try scientology next? I'm sure they would love to have a sap like you tell their story as well. Listening to this segment was nauseating.

Aug. 22 2012 01:42 AM
Barbara Lifton from New York CIty

Jane Barnes "passionately" needs sex -too much in love with Joseph Smith-- and also psychological treatment.
Anyone who hears voices in their head urging them to a specific action has a Schizoid disorder.
MOrmonism and the Mormom practices are despicable. They had the ummitigated gall to retroactively "baptize" relatives of mine murdered by the Nazis, after violating our family's privacy by collecting and archiving our family's geneological history. They did the same to Simon Weisenthal's parents and Elli Weisel's father. That's not counting their hatred of Blacks and supression of women.
And the Mormons didn't take 'Jesus' out of the 'Bible!' The 'Bible' is NOT the New Testament- there is only one "Bible" in Western religion: the Jewish Scriptures, or Tanach. The New Testament was written beginning sometime in mid-First Century C.E. and continued to be written for more than a hundred years afterward as a "project" of the new "Christian" Church, LONG after the Hebrew Bible was written (sometime beginning in 700 B. C. E and afterward to the early First Century C. E.) And "CHrist" or the "Messiah" in Greek, was an invention of Paul. Jesus, or Jeheshua, the subject of a minor Jewish cult in Palestine in the beginning of the First Century, was Jewish - and always Jewish- and he preached, if he was real, from the Tanach.
I think Ms. Barnes and Mitt Romney need to go back to college.

Aug. 21 2012 01:29 PM
Henry from Manhattan

The Book of Mormon sounds inspiring and beautiful; offering wise parables and life guidance.

I feel the same way as Jane Barnes with my favorite works describing fictional magical universes where anything can happen.

I think I’m falling in love with J. K. Rowling!


Dear Mormons,

I apologize for singling you out and picking on your source material when really most all religious texts are no more goofy than your own.

Aug. 21 2012 01:09 PM
nontheist from bklyn

A thing people seem to do best falling in love with religious cults....
not exactly facebook, but religious cults are what people do.

Aug. 21 2012 01:04 PM
Emily Johnson from Rutherford, NJ

Joseph Smith was 14, not 18, when he had his vision. And the Book of Mormon contains many passages from the Bible and duly quotes it, which makes sense because it was written by prophets in who came from the same biblical/Hebrew tradition.

Aug. 21 2012 12:56 PM
Michael from manhattan

Please, Jane, it's an absurd fairly tale concocted by an uneducated huckster. May I suggest a couple more tags for this story such as 'misogyny' and 'racism.? Who's next for you -- L. Ron Hubbard? I hear his story is even MORE "fun."

Aug. 21 2012 12:55 PM

Don't forget the part about the leprechauns and woodland sprites.

Aug. 21 2012 12:54 PM
antonio from baySide

Can the guest explain the Mormon perspective on race?

Aug. 21 2012 12:54 PM
Joe from Brooklyn

Mormonism is a total fraud

Aug. 21 2012 12:53 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Mormonism is the most American Christianity since the Book of Mormon recounts when Jesus visited the early United States shortly after his crucifixion and resurrection.

The New Testament that other Christians use doesn’t even know that the New World exists let alone the United States.

Clearly, the religion the recounts Jesus visiting America must be more accurate than ones that doesn’t even acknowledge its existence and that the US is the center of the universe.


Aug. 21 2012 12:52 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Falling in love with Joseph Smith?

Barnes isn’t the only one since he had so many wives. (Rimshot!)

Aug. 21 2012 12:46 PM

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