Spellbinder Saturday: Destiny makes for strange bedfellows

Easy as A, B, C . . . from HA

Men of DestinyMen of Destiny: Abraham Lincoln and the Prophet Joseph Smith by Lu Ann Brobst Staheli was a very interesting read. I’ve been familiar with the lives of both men for years, but had never really noticed the parallels in their lives. It took me on a journey I never expected.

As a biography of two great men, it covers the difficulties they faced, the similarities, and the differences; it was riveting. Though neither ever met the other, Lincoln was aware of Smith, even to the point of having checked out The Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress for eight months. There are more of these intersections, places, and visions they shared, losses they felt. History, as I have known it, will never be the same.

Contemporaries by birth, Abraham Lincoln and the Prophet Joseph Smith shared extraordinary connections beyond the hardships they endured: being raised in a poor farming family, suffering the loss of an older sibling, receiving little formal education, and experiencing a spiritual reawakening as a youth helped shape both Smith’s and Lincoln’s lives. The service they gave to their fellow men and country, marrying the women they loved despite opposition from the wives’ families, and a rise to leadership kept Joseph and Abraham on the same path. And in the end, they shared one remarkable common destiny—each died a martyr for the principles he believed in.

Men of Destiny: Abraham Lincoln and the Prophet Joseph Smith unveils the parallels between the lives of these remarkable men, from their humble beginnings to their rise from obscurity: one to head the restored church, the other to lead the greatest nation on Earth.

Michael K. Winder, author of Presidents & Prophets: The Story of America’s Presidents and the LDS Church, says: “Staheli has successfully brought to life two American giants—Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln—and we understand for the first time how similar their paths really were. A fascinating read!”

I couldn’t agree more.

See you next time for Tips on Tuesday

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