Morain identifies two events in the history of Joseph Smith, Jr., which he proposes shaped the form and the substance of Mormonism. First, Smith underwent surgery on his leg without the benefit of anesthesia. A published report of the surgery from the perspective of Smith’s mother suggests that he was unusually calm and that he behaved most unlike what one would expect of a child his age. Nevertheless, Morain proposes that this surgery underlies many of the violent metaphors inherent in the Mormon faith, not the least of which is found in the title of the book—the sword of Laban. The Laban referred to is not the Biblical Laban but, rather, the son of the patriarch Lehi in The Book of Mormon. Laban, an evil young man, is decapitated by his more virtuous brother, Nephi, with a "wondrous sword." Thus, Nephi is enabled to acquire engraved brass plates with the Judaic record and genealogy of the family. Morain discovers Freud all over this account, and, from the psychoanalytic perspective, his discoveries are not surprising. The second event targeted by Morain is the sudden death of Smith’s older brother when Smith was a teenager. Morain suggests that bizarre bereavement fantasies, another focus in the Book of Mormon, contributed to the formation of Mormonism.