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 Post subject: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:49 am 
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Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant or boastful

For those interested.


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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:57 am 
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DCP wrote:
Given the manner of its composition, the nuances, tone and details of “History of the Church” should be treated with caution.


Fair enough, don't trust the "History of the Church" to give an accurate accounting, got it.

3 paragraphs later....

DCP wrote:
These are scarcely the words of a man who believed himself better than Christ. Nor are these, which are taken from “History of the Church” (5:401):

“I do not think there have been many good men on the earth since the days of Adam; but there was one good man and his name was Jesus. Many persons think a prophet must be a great deal better than anybody else. … I do not want you to think that I am very righteous, for I am not.”


I thought you just said we shouldn't be relying on the "History of the Church"?

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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:11 am 
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Sammy Jankins wrote:
First, the Book of Abraham is declared no longer literal, and now History of the Church?! When will it end? :biggrin:

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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:17 am 
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Since we now know thanks to DCP that the apparent increasing arrogance, even meglomania, in Joseph Smith's latter years can be attributed to an artifact of his scribes tainting the historical record, it leaves open an interesting question for me. Set aside for a moment Joseph Smith's behavior that seems to mirror increasingly arrogant statements such as the formation of the Council of 50. Original leaders of new religious movements often go through a pattern of behavior where they become increasingly arrogant, even meglomanical. It's a narrative you see over and over again. That such a leader wouldn't do this is more surprising than the contrary. So what makes Joseph Smith so special that he avoided this pitfall of arrogance endemic to people in his position and managed to be such a humble person as DCP reveals to us?

I guess he was just a true prophet of God, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:19 am 
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Joseph Smith:
Quote:
I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go. For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient clerks in constant employ: they have accompanied me everywhere, and carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been, and what I have said; therefore my enemies cannot charge me with any day, time, or place, but what I have written testimony to prove my actions; and my enemies cannot prove anything against me. They have got wonderful things in the land of Ham. I think the grand jury have strained at a gnat and swallowed the camel


Was before or after he had himself crowned the king of the world?

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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:25 am 
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Hey Steel! :smile:

(Thanks so much for your efforts to be placed in "Outer Darkness", I appreciate it and I know that you did this, on purpose, for my benefit.)

You're a good man! :smile:


SteelHead wrote:
Joseph Smith:
Quote:
I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go. For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient clerks in constant employ: they have accompanied me everywhere, and carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been, and what I have said; therefore my enemies cannot charge me with any day, time, or place, but what I have written testimony to prove my actions; and my enemies cannot prove anything against me. They have got wonderful things in the land of Ham. I think the grand jury have strained at a gnat and swallowed the camel


Was before or after he had himself crowned the king of the world?


Nope! Neither arrogant or boastful!


:lol:

Peace,
Ceeboo


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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:26 am 
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Sammy Jankins wrote:


Regarding Mr. Peterson's 4 points:

1. It matters not to compare Paul and Smith to determine whose "idea of boasting” it was, what matters is who was doing the boasting in this situation - that would be Smith.

2. It matters not if Smith is claimed to be throwing a weak compliment to his followers in the latter part of the passage, he quite plainly employs boasting in the first part where he states that he is the "only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam".

3. The 'we don't know if Smith actually said this' excuse doesn't go very far given that this passage is even in the Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith manual. The Brethren seem to be comfortable with that.

4. It matters not if some other statements by Smith could be interpreted to indicate that he was 'humble' in those other particular circumstances. What matters is what Smith said in this particular situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:42 am 
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I find it interesting that, out of the blue, DCP would drag up this largely forgotten statement by Joseph Smith in order for him to go on and defend it. It's like he wants to draw peoples attention to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Defending the Faith: Joseph Smith wasn't arrogant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:53 am 
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I think the author failed to grasp the logic of this passage:

1) People (mistakenly) believe that a prophet must live a decent life. None have.
2) I (Joseph Smith) have not led a decent life, but yet this fact can't be cited as an objection to my call as a prophet.

So if you want to overlook Joseph Smith's not-so-subtle justification for himself as a prophet and read his ostensible deference to Jesus as no more than deference, then I suppose I cannot deny the words on the page imply that Joseph viewed himself as less than Christ.

The Mormon prophet reminds me of another misunderstood Joseph;Josef Stalin, who promoted the legacy of Lenin and diminished his own importance:

Quote:
Like Lenin, Stalin acted modestly and unassumingly in public...Privately, Stalin claimed that he had tried to stop the pervasive level of frenzied devotion, but that everyone assumed he was acting out of false modesty. He admitted that he understood the cult of personality was a necessary evil among the simpler section of the Soviet population, who were used to worshipping a tsar, but feared that for the intelligentsia, this attention on the individual would take the focus away from Party ideas.


I haven't read the essay cited in this post, but I assume part of the motivation of the author is the oft-cited "boast" of Joseph Smith, where he boasts that he was greater than Paul and mentions the saints left Jesus but they hadn't left him yet. Ed Decker got a lot of mileage out of that one. But it was a matter of sarcasm.

Quote:
The Finnish communist Arvo Tuominen reports a sarcastic toast proposed by Stalin at a New Year Party in 1935 in which he said, "Comrades! I want to propose a toast to our patriarch, life and sun, liberator of nations, architect of socialism [he rattled off all the appellations applied to him in those days] – Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, and I hope this is the first and last speech made to that genius this evening



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin's_c ... ersonality

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