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Glen M. Leonard, a senior scholar on Mormonism, will discuss the faith’s first leader in an upcoming presentation titled “Joseph Smith: The Man and the Myth” at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints White Rock Ward. The lecture is free and open to the public.Leonard, an Utah historian and author of books and articles on Utah, the Mormons and the American West, will discuss Smith’s role as city planner, militia leader, presidential candidate and the leader of what one scholar has called “a new religious tradition.”Also included in the program will be a slide show of paintings, etchings and photos, plus performances of historic hymns by the White Rock Ward Choir, led by Marion Pack and accompanied by both Terry Helm and Ronalee Freestone.Smith organized the Church of Jesus Christ in 1830. He also laid out cities in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, and in the early 1840s headed the Nauvoo Legion, the largest citizen militia in Illinois at the time.Additionally, Leonard said, Joseph Smith ran for presidency in 1844.
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