Non-members laud the prophet as 'a hero'

Although not all who met the Prophet Joseph Smith joined the Church, many were extremely impressed with the humble man who preached the gospel with such conviction.

On Sept. 1, 1843, the New York Times stated: "This Joe Smith must be set down as an extraordinary character, a prophet-hero as Carlyle might call him; he is one of the great men of this age, and in future history, will rank with those who, in one way or another, have stamped their impress strongly on society. . . ."Few in this age have done such deeds, and performed such apparent miracles. It is no small thing, in the blaze of this nineteenth century, to give to men a new revelation, found a new religion, establish new forms of worship, build a city with new laws, institutions and orders of architecture, send out missionaries, and make proselytes in two hemispheres; yet all this has been done by Joe Smith, and that against every sort of opposition, ridicule and persecution.

"That Joe Smith, the founder of Mormons, is a man of great talent, a deep thinker, and an eloquent speaker, an able writer, and a man of great mental power, no one can doubt who has watched his career." (The Kingdom of God Restored, pp. 321-322.)

Josiah Quincy, a man who eventually became mayor of Boston, Mass., wrote in his book, The Figures of the Past: "A fine-looking man," is "what the passer-by would instinctively have murmured upon meeting the remarkable individual who had fashioned the mould which was to shape the feeling of so many thousands. . . . Capacity and resource were natural to his stalwart person. . . .

"It is by no means improbable that some future textbook, for the use of generations yet unborn, will contain a question something like this: What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet."