Joseph Smith was born to poor tenant farmers in Vermont. At age 38, he was shot by a mob, in a jail, in a small town in Illinois. In between, he faced so much adversity that his story is almost the stuff of myth. Around age 7, Joseph endured a painful leg surgery that required him to use crutches for several years. At 14, he was rejected and ridiculed when he reported on his First Vision to a minister. When Joseph was 17, his older brother Alvin died—one of four brothers who predeceased him. At 20, Joseph was criminally prosecuted for using a seer stone—the first of many times the law was used to harass him. When he was 22, his and Emma’s firstborn child died—the first of six children that they buried. At 25, he undertook the first of three migrations that forced him to start again with little. At 26, he was attacked and beaten. At 32, he was sentenced to death. Though he survived that peril, he languished in jail while his family and thousands of followers were driven out of their homes and exiled. At 36, he declared bankruptcy because he had taken on so much personal debt to build up the Church. In his final two years he rebuffed waves of legal and personal attacks, some from former friends, and started looking for places outside of the United States for his people to settle.1. Notwithstanding all this and more, he never turned against God, never denied his testimony that God and Christ had spoken to him, and never stopped preaching the gospel, building temples, and guiding the Saints.