Date: July 02, 2021 06:05PM
Yes. Read about the First and Second Great Awakenings during the 1700s and 1800s in the US. It was a time of protestant revival camp meetings which attracted huge crowds. The preachers were emotional and fiery, creating hysteria in the audience. If it hadn't been for the Protestant revival meetings, the Mormon church wouldn't exist.
Here's a description of one of the camp meetings in Kentucky in 1802. Twenty thousand people attended:
"The noise was like the roar of Niagara. The vast sea of human beings seemed to be agitated as if by a storm. I counted seven ministers, all preaching at one time, some on stumps, others on wagons ... Some of the people were singing, others praying, some crying for mercy. A peculiarly strange sensation came over me. My heart beat tumultuously, my knees trembled, my lips quivered, and I felt as though I must fall to the ground."https://www.ushistory.org/us/22c.asp
That could have been written by Joseph but it was written by a young man who became a Methodist minister.
Josep, a conman and treasure seeker, was greatly influenced by the camp meetings. I think he was mostly influenced by the hysteria of the audience. He said the meetings inspired him to pray in the woods and ask God which church to join. He saw a great opportunity, wrote a book and founded a religion. He was in the right place at the right time to start a new religion. People were more receptive to new ideas.
Prior to the Great Awakening of the 1700s and 1800s I don't think Joseph would have been successful. I don't think people would have been as receptive to the Book of Mormon.
It's all about timing. Circumstances have to be just right for someone like Joseph Smith to be successful. Martin Luther wouldn't have stood a chance if it hadn't been for the newly invented printing press.
It makes me wonder why the Mormon church teaches that the true church came to an end when Jesus was crucified, and wouldn't be restored for almost 2,000 years when Joseph Smith came along to restore it. It makes no sense. Instead of Jesus having a successful and lasting church, that honor went to Joseph Smith, a country bumpkin and conman. I guess the timing wasn't quite right for Jesus.