The heading of this book review was a little unfortunate, as the point of the
book is not to claim that Joseph Smith was not the only restorationist. The
author is well aware of this fact as she gives a detailed history of
restorationists before Smith and Campbell. The book compares the two founders
and movements as they existed side-by-side. I found it a very enlightening
read. I liked that Benson was meticulous in her research that she was
respectful of both Campbell and Smith in her portrayal of their doctrines.
"While the Prophet Joseph Smith worked to restore Jesus Christ’s
original church to the earth, he was not the only “restorationist”
of the 19th century."____________________This is not news to
historians. Restorationism goes back to long before Joseph Smith or Alexander
Campbell appeared on the scene. It began in Europe but achieved a wide adherence
in the New World. It was in fact an element of the 16th century Reformation when
Martin Luther excoriated the Church of Rome as a paganized corruption of the
early church. Puritanism and Separatism both cited Bible passages in their
earnest attempts to reconstruct the early church in post-Reformation times.