Join host John Dehlin with Mark Elwood and his partner Erin, for an illustrated historical adventure. Mark is the author and illustrator of a groundbreaking new graphic novel entitled The Glass Looker: Collected Tales of Joseph Smith.

The Glass Looker follows an ordinary American farm boy named Joseph Smith who discovers he possesses the magical ability for seeing in stones. Learn the origin story of the American boy-prophet through illustrated accounts collected from Joseph, his family, neighbors, and enemies. The Glass Looker illustrates the myths and legends surrounding the rise of Joseph from a teenage treasure seer to the man who would become a prophet of God.


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Show Notes:

Timecodes (for video):

00:00:00 Introduction and opening remarks
00:04:52 The unveiling of the seerstone in 2015 ignited the Elwoods’ interest in Mormon history
00:09:28 How they drew from historical sources to create graphic representations of Joseph’s story
00:15:40 Joseph Smith as the archetypal “Hero’s Journey”
00:22:17 Using art to make history tangible
00:29:39 Whether these events actually occurred has high stakes for both believer and non-believers
00:36:28 Re-envisioning the well-known figures and the lesser-known settings in Smith’s life
00:40:07 Upstate New York is much the same as it was in Joseph’s day; people there still talk about him today
00:44:52 Joseph’s long career of money-digging
00:57:29 The Mystery of Miner’s Hill
01:05:55 Creating representations of those who were involved with and/or affected by Joseph’s treasure-digs
01:13:12 Joseph’s magical influences and “the rock in the hat”
01:25:19 Did Joseph ever really find any buried treasure?
01:34:45 The psychology of belief in magic and buried treasure
01:48:24 Did Emma or her family believe in Joseph’s powers?
01:51:56 The Legend of Captain Kidd, the Spirit of Moroni, and the pursuit of a better life
01:55:58 The Book of Mormon narrative mirrors the treasure-dig narratives
01:58:35 Salamander? Frog? Hobgoblin? Amphibians in Joseph Smith’s story
02:19:24 Shipping Sally Chase with Joseph (or Alvin)
02:21:40 Alvin and the sheet on the roof
02:23:23 The Elwoods’ artistic influences
02:25:24 The Smith family parchment and Joseph’s Jupiter talisman
02:28:10 Audience questions
02:43:49 Closing remarks

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