What did Mormon founder Joseph Smith really look like? It turns out that's a pretty complicated question. The portraits that have been painted tend to offer an idealized version of a real man. But what if there were a photo, a real image of Joseph Smith, would that change things?
An early form of a photograph has re-emerged and is raising these questions again. The researcher Michael Tracy insists it is the only known photographic image of the Mormon founder Joseph Smith. In this episode of Utah NOW, we'll look at the evidence and explore the power of an image.
S. Michael Tracy
After serving an LDS mission, S. Michael Tracy joined the Air Force and worked in the ICBM Missile Systems. He received a degree from the College of the Air Force in Electronics. Tracy is the author of In the Search of Joseph, which was the basis of his most recent book, Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph Again. Tracy's passion is using technology to improve research into LDS Church history. He has his own computer consulting company in Mesa, Arizona.
William W. Slaughter is a photo historian and archivist for the LDS Church History Department. He and his wife, Sheri, live in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Bagley has worked as a country musician, carpenter, and public speaker, and is recognized as an award-winning writer, editor, and publisher. His column, "History Matters," appeared every Sunday from May 2000 to December 2002 in the Salt Lake Tribune. He has served as a consultant for the National Geographic Magazine, National Park Service, and several documentary films, and won the Mormon History Association's "Best Article of the Year" award in 1997 for Blood of the Prophets. Today, he works in Salt Lake City as a full-time writer and historian, with projects including Mormon-Indian relations and the Oregon California Trail. Will Bagley has published five books: Blood of the Prophets, Frontiersman, Gold Rush Saints, Kingdom in the West, and Scoundrel's Tale. He currently resides in Salt Lake City.
Sanders is an antiquarian book dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah. His knowledge of rare books has attracted producers of the PBS hit program "Antiques Road Show," who include him now as an expert appraiser of such rare finds.
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