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Why would a religious man like Joseph Smith dare to write a fraudulent book which mentions Christ once every 1.7 verses?

Joseph Smith was a religious man who believed in Jesus Christ and worshipped God. Would we expect someone so dedicated to his faith to willingly write a fraudulent book that mentions Christ every 1.7 verses?

George Cannon remarked:

No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so. 

– George Cannon, quoted in “The Twelve Apostles,” in Andrew Jenson, ed., The Historical Record, 6:175.

What motivation would Joseph Smith have to risk his salvation like this?


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