I just realized that Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so December 23 is on a Sunday. This of course provides a great opportunity for the LDS church to prove its Christian roots by using that day to talk about Joseph Smith, it is his birthday after all.
Aristotle, no TBM will be able to overlook the close proximity of birthdays as random. Any Christmas I've had with TBMs always mentions Joseph Smith and the restored gospel. It's impossible to disentangle the two, and given the Joseph Smith part of the celebration members have that the rest of the world lacks, he becomes the most important ingredient by default. Anyway, check this lament
out from the Church News in 1993 http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/2 ... eason.html
Falling as it does just two days before Christmas, the birthday of the Prophet Joseph Smith is often overshadowed for Church members by the festivities of Christendom's most widely celebrated holiday.
The tragedy! The "unnamed holiday" takes priority over Joseph Smith.
But there's an explanation:
..birthdays were evidently not celebrated in rural America in the early 19th century as they are today...
It's an accident of custom that Joseph Smith's birthday has not been a recognizable feature of the Christmas season for LDS, but this is slowly changing as the article implies.
Certainly, however, the birth of Joseph must have been a joy to his parents and older family members. Perhaps they were even reminded of the sacred birth of the Savior observed two days later.
ROFL! Well, if the parents weren't reminded of Jesus, the author sure is, as every TBM out there should be.
Here's another one:https://www.lds.org/ensign/1978/12/chri ... h?lang=eng
The Prophet Joseph was born here just two days before Christmas. What a joy this beautiful infant son must have been to the Smiths, and to the Mack grandparents, who lived nearby, as they commemorated that holy day. Perhaps the event reminded them of another sacred birth under humble circumstances, in the meridian of time.
As we commemorate the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, the Savior of the world, may we also remember his emissary, Joseph Smith, and consciously rejoice in his life and sacrifice, as well.
Smithmas is alive and well. In the first article I linked to, after describing several accounts of activities that happened during the Christmas season, and building up the case that we "owe" Smith better than we've given in celebration, the author says,
Perhaps the greatest commemoration of the Prophet's birth was made on the 100th anniversary of his birthday. On Dec. 23, 1905, a massive granite shaft erected at his birthplace near Sharon, Vt., was unveiled and dedicated.
WTF? There's another quote about this:
A special, virtually tangible spirit envelops the Christian world at Christmas with an intensity unknown the rest of the year. To Latter-day Saints the Christmas story, from Bethlehem to Calvary, takes precedence over the tinsel and the toys, for the Savior is the center of Christmas.
Within the Church there is also a second story associated with Christmas—from Sharon, Vermont, to Carthage, Illinois—which draws our attention during this season.
So what happened at Sharon Vermont that finally gave Joseph Smith his proper observance during Christmas time?This:
I'll let the reader be the judge as to what aspect of Smith's life this massive, erect granite shaft best celebrates. Let us all keep it close to our hearts this December 23.