How Counterfeiting, Anti-Masonic Sentiment, and the Second Great Awakening Affected Joseph Smith’s Religion

Evidence suggests that the Joseph Smith family was involved in counterfeiting long before the Book of Mormon emerged. Therefore, what was Joseph Smith’s relationship to the Christian society around him? Since the Christian Second Awakening and the Anti-Masonic movement were both in full swing, what might be Joseph’s reasons for creating the Christian/Masonic syncretism that is Mormonism? If we understand the past we can chart a better future.

Kathleen Kimball Melonakos, Emily Tucker