Joseph Smith was far from the only itinerant bank scammer in the nineteenth century Midwest - plenty of similar operators were also the occasion of public meetings, organizations of posses, tar and featherings, assassinations and expulsions.
There is an economic narrative to this that seems to rarely be discussed.
Well, that was certainly the case in Kirtland Ohio, where Smith skipped out of town in the middle of the night because of that.
BTW, a building did burn in Kirtland before leaving...as the financial problems "coerced" Smith to leave Kirtland.
Note this admission by this Mormon Utah journalist (Doug Gibson): ...opposition leaders sought to use a[n LDS] printing office to manufacture anti-LDS tracts. That printing office was destroyed by fire to prevent that, and historians believe it was the ever-faithful Sherman who set the blaze to thwart Smiths enemies. Early Mormon Sherman died without ever knowing he was called to be an apostle
Gibson is referencing Lyman Royal Sherman. Of course, we don't tend to hear these details from the Mormon historians or the common Mormon narrative, do we?
BTW, in that Doug Gibson column, he wrote: However, unknown to Smith, Shermans health was ruined after the Kirtland strife and he was dying.
("Unknown to Smith"...so the Mormon god "calls" Sherman through Lds leaders, but they don't have a "clue" that Sherman is dying? I thought the way the Mormons interpret Amos 3:7 would "kick in," that the Mormon god doesn't do anything without cluing in his "prophet"?)
That sounded an awful lot like the D&C passage where Smith says David W. Patten would go serve as a missionary. But then Patten dies in Missouri Oct., 1838. Without serving as a missionary, and letting this D&C passage serve as yet another Smith false prophesy.
James K. Walker writes of an example "of a close-dated unconditional prophecy [of Joseph Smith's] found in Doctrine & Covenants 114, which is Mormon "scripture."
Writes Walker: This two-verse prophecy given April 17, 1838 are instructions to David W. Patten, one of the LDS twelve Apostles. He was to prepare to go on a mission with the other eleven (Apostles) into "all the world." According to the revelation, the mission was to take place "next spring" which would give the prophecy a "closed-date" somewhere around April or May of 1839. Less than three months later, the "twelve" were given a specific date to leave (April 26, 1839) and one of the apostles, Thomas Marsh, was instructed to stay behind to "publish my word" (Doctrine and Covenants Section 118). The date of April 26, 1839 came and as History of the Church, written by Joseph Smith, records, "The Brethren arrived at Far West, and proceeded to transact the business of their mission" (Vol. 3 p.336). However, David W. Patten was not part of that mission. David Patten was not present because he had died in October of 1838. History of the Church reports: "Captain Patten was carried some of the way in a litter, but it caused so much distress that he begged to be left by the way side...he died that night" (Vol. 3, p. 171). Rather than going on a mission with the Twelve next spring, as Joseph Smith had prophesied in 1838, Patten died before the next year even came.
Source: James K. Walker, Watchman Expositor, vol. 9, #9, 1992 David W. Patten: False Prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants
I guess the Mormon god is not omniscient and sovereign and has trouble gauging these kinds of things, eh?