Was Joseph Smith a Freemason?
Yes, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and many other early church leaders were Masons. More info
Why was Joseph Smith imprisoned at Carthage?
He was imprisoned for ordering the destruction of the printing press of the Nauvoo Expositor, a newspaper that printed an article exposing Joseph’s involvement in polygamy. More info
Was Joseph Smith a polygamist?
Yes. Joseph Smith had many wives. For more information see the dedicated page about polygamy.
What was the peep or seer stone?
Long before Joseph had been visited by Moroni or seen the Urum and Thumum, he discovered a seer stone in a well. Though he originally used it to find buried treasure, he also used it translated most of the Book of Mormon.
How did Joseph translate?
Mormon art has led many members to believe that Joseph was reading directly from the Golden Plates as he translated. Actually, Joseph would bury his face in a top hat with his seer stone at the bottom and dictate to his scribes.
Did Joseph kill anyone?
During the attack on Carthage Jail, Joseph pulled the trigger 6 times in self defense, though only 3 bullets fired, injuring 3. Though there is speculation they died of their wounds, there is no evidence supporting this.
Was Joseph racist?
The short answer is no, Joseph believed strongly in equality. For the long answer, see the FAQ on Mormons and slavery.