Since the earliest days of the Church, observers have searched for the cause that has drawn so many people into the movement started by Joseph Smith. Givens gives several reasons for the success of Joseph Smith, all of which relate to the establishment of community. Joseph lived in a time period when revolutionaries and Romantics sought freedom from oppressive institutions and philosophies, particularly those that had traditionally claimed divine sanction. Yet even in this period of ideological friction between religion and freedom, Joseph was able to establish a harmonious community which incorporated both. Joseph also shook the theological establishment by proclaiming new doctrines on both God and man--he revealed a loving and personal God, demonstrated t!hat He communicates directly with man, and affirmed that man is eternally existent, inherently innocent, boundlessly free, and infinitely perfectible. By thus ennobling human nature, Joseph attracted followers into a community which possessed new respect for God and man. Joseph not only revealed the doctrine of enduring personal relationships through the sealing ordinance, but he also forged loving relationships with his followers which helped them form a genuine community based on communal respect, friendship, and love. Furthermore, he created a culture of certainty--he was certain of the events that gave him prophetic authority and he taught that his followers could likewise have certainty of their position relative to God and to the community. The shared knowledge of the gospel built a strong community. Joseph, who came to earth as "lightning out of Heaven" ignited the hearts of the prepared, who "waited for him like fuel" and who freely chose to accept Joseph's message and to participate in the community he founded.