Dan Vogel

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Daniel Arlon Vogel[1] (born 1955)[2] is the author of a number of books related to early Mormon history. He is a former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an atheist, and a skeptic.

Joseph Smith biography[edit]

Vogel was awarded the "Best Book" award in September 2004 by the John Whitmer Historical Association and the "Turner-Bergera Best Biography" award by the Mormon History Association in May 2005 for his biography Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet.[3][4]

In this Smith biography, Vogel argues that Joseph Smith was a pious fraud--that he essentially invented his religious claims for what he believed were noble, faith-promoting purposes. Vogel identifies the roots of the pious fraud in the conflict between members of the Smith family, who were divided between the skepticism and universalism of Joseph Smith, Sr. and the more mainstream Protestant faith of Lucy Mack Smith. Vogel interweaves the history of Joseph Smith, Jr. with interpretation of the Book of Mormon, which is read as springing from the young man's psychology and experiences.


Vogel's scholarship on the topic has come under fire by Mormon apologists who allege he is biased and critical of Mormon faith claims.[5] He is sometimes also criticised by ex-Mormons[who?] and anti-Mormons for not being sufficiently critical of Joseph Smith. Larry Morris praised his efforts to produce the award-winning multi-volume Early Mormon Documents.[6]

Vogel has also edited volumes skeptical of the possibility of receiving the future through the word of God.

Many of Dan Vogel's books have been critically reviewed by members of FARMS.[7] For example, in 1991, Mormon religion professor and FARMS apologist Stephen E. Robinson suggested that Vogel's arguments closely resemble those of Korihor, an atheist polemicist from the Book of Mormon.[8]


As editor


  1. ^ "Mounds Indians and the Book of Mormon : the Book of Mormon and its early...". Copyright Catalog (1978 to present). United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  2. ^ "Indian origins and the Book of Mormon : religious solutions from Columbus to Joseph Smith / Dan Vogel.". J. Willard Marriott Library Catalog. University of Utah. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  3. ^ "JWHA Awards"
  4. ^ "MHA 2005 Award Winners"
  5. ^ "Dan Vogel's Family Romance and the Book of Mormon as Smith Family Allegory"
  6. ^ Morris, Larry. "Joseph Smith and "Interpretive Biography"". Dan Vogel has made a significant and lasting contribution to Mormon studies, and he deserves to be thanked for his bibliographic work. I sincerely appreciate his prodigious research. 
  7. ^ FARMS reviews of Dan Vogel's works
  8. ^ Stephen E. Robinson, "Review of The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture by Dan Vogel" (Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1991), pp. 312–318.

External links[edit]