Joseph Smith’s Letter from Liberty Jail: A Study in Canonization*

  title={Joseph Smith’s Letter from Liberty Jail: A Study in Canonization*},
  author={Kathleen Flake},
  journal={The Journal of Religion},
  pages={515 - 526}
  • K. Flake
  • Published 7 September 2012
  • Philosophy
  • The Journal of Religion
In honor of this occasion and as a formof deeply sincere flattery, let me invite you to consider a letter from prison: specifically, a letter written by Joseph Smith while incarcerated in Missouri during the winter of 1838–39. Like virtually all letters from prison, this one reveals the human soul in the grasp of dehumanized authority, or that abstraction we call “the state” and its disciplinary technologies. The technology applied to Smith and his five cohorts was very rudimentary: a below… 
2 Citations
Irenaeus, Joseph Smith, and the sociology of heresy
This thesis attempts to illustrate the salience of the concept ‘heresy’ for sociologically-informed studies of religious violence and opposition by removing it from its traditional moorings in


For an example of dissent, see Ronald W. Walker, Wayward Saints: The Social and Religious Protests of the Godbeites against Brigham Young
  • For the history of federal antipolygamy legislation, see
  • 2002
For the canonized text of these words, see, in the Pearl of Great Price
  • History of the Church
Personal Writings, 441; cf
  • D&C