When Joseph Smith Sr. first moved to Palmyra he rented a home in town prior to buying the farm in Manchester, south of town. How long did it take the Joseph Smith Sr. family to use their various talents and hire out to the locals, saving enough to finally put money down on a farm?
a. 6 months
b. 5 years
c. 4 years
d. 2 years
a. The published anti-Mormon letters of Ezra Booth
Soon after Booth [Ezra] was baptized, he was called to serve a mission. He found the call difficult to accept and acknowledged, “I hesitated for a while.” Booth then went on his mission, walking the whole way to Missouri as commanded, traveling without purse or scrip, forcing both him and his companion to assume “the appearance and [be] justly entitled to the character of beggars.” As Booth prepared to return from his mission, he and his associates were commanded by revelation to preach on the way and not return in haste. But he and his companion opted to head for home, using a steamboat and stagecoach. “It is true,” Booth acknowledged, “[that] we violated the commandment by not preaching by the way. . . . But it seems that none of us considered the commandment worthy of much notice.”
By the time he returned to his home in Ohio, Booth had lost his testimony. He came out in open opposition against the Church with the collusion of his good friend and fellow minister, Ira Eddy. Booth wrote a letter attacking Mormonism, and Eddy took that letter to the local newspaper editor, Lewis Rice, who published it in the middle of page five of his paper without editorial comment. The letter was an immediate sensation. Booth quickly wrote eight more. His letters were soon moved from the back pages to the front page and were given full attention by the newspaper’s editor and the general public. Other newspaper copied the letters, which gave them wide circulation throughout the country, and they were read with interest.
Although the letters were negative, they distributed information about the Church widely, resulting in many people hearing about it for the first time. Some people who might otherwise not have heard from the missionaries read the letters and wanted more information. Ira Ames was one of these. He was living in New York at the time and recalled: “When reading his [Booth’s] letters, I felt an impression that there was something to Mormonism. There was considerable talk about it in the neighborhood.” He joined the Church a few months later.
Glenn Rawson and Dennis Lyman ed., The Mormon Wars (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communication, 2014), 9-11.