---How silly you sound...
Eye of the beholder . . .
--Judging from your comments, I feel pretty certain I've read a lot more Mormon history, for a lot longer, than you have . . .
How silly you sound . . .
(... long litany of Joseph Smith’s alleged lies …)
"What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers."
I love this quote, by the way. Note that he, quite carefully, didn’t specify which
of his wives he was able to find at the time.
I love Joseph Smith, and I love the raw materialism of the kingdom of God he revealed.
Yes, Joseph Smith had more than one wife. And of the wives he had, I believe he had sexual relationships with most, if not all. And I don’t find cause for condemnation in anything he ever did!
Why? Because I know the nature and character of God. And the God I know sanctioned all that Joseph Smith did – with probably a few exceptions. And if there were a few things Joseph did that didn’t meet with God’s full approbation – oh, well. He shot a good enough percentage to meet my standards. I’m sorry he didn’t live up to yours.
Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them. But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves.
I’m sure I will find it quite gratifying and even mildly amusing when all the over-righteous, self-congratulating “moralists” who have condemned Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others end up quite surprised when they find out what God is really like.
Your extensive reading in Mormon history will also have let you know that Emma Smith herself, upon finding out years after Smith's assassination just how deeply her late husband had deceived her, commented that that being the case, that he deserved to die as he did. (That was Emma Smith talking, not me).
Actually, my “extensive reading in Mormon history” has already led me to believe that dear Sister Emma more than likely believed Joseph deserved to die in June of 1844, let alone “years after.” Emma had the same apparent visceral “moral outrage” towards Joseph that you do.
---But William...before you fall for that one, consider: even if I myself were a pathological liar, an egomaniac, and a rampaging adulterous savage instead of a committed husband and father of eight...how would that affect of what Joseph Smith and LDS church records themselves all tell you (sic) about Smith's credibility on at least one point of supposedly sacred experience and doctrine?
My opinion of your personal moral rectitude (or lack thereof) is, obviously, irrelevant to the topic at hand. As for Joseph Smith’s credibility, I have no reason to doubt it in any material respect. But you’re more than welcome to see if you can dredge up something that will surprise me.
Don't you see? Don't you see how the old "those who cry transgression" quote is just a rah-rah slogan to shut down our critical faculties, a distraction, a totally irrelevant point?
Quite to the contrary, it is precisely my “critical faculties” that have informed my judgment regarding those who accuse Joseph Smith (and Brigham Young, Porter Rockwell, etc.) of wrongdoing. It is my long-considered and often-confirmed observation that those who cry “transgression” the loudest when it comes to Joseph Smith, turn out to have a predilection for precisely the kind of debauchery they imagine him guilty of – hence the later polyamorous forays of so many of the piously-outraged contemporary condemners of Joseph Smith.
I never cease to be amused by the spirited denials of the apostate who never passes up an opportunity to assure us that his/her loss of faith had nothing to do with “sin.” You see, I’ve lost count of how many times in the last several decades I have scraped away the patina of their “intellectual integrity” and found a tawdry buggerer (or somesuch) lurking in the shadows. It’s just like John-Charles Duffy (see the most recent Dialogue
) and his coming to the conclusion, within days of discovering what he considered the joys of buggering, that the Book of Mormon is not an authentic ancient history.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Now I don’t give a damn how Duffy or Quinn or anyone else chooses to get his rocks off. I am simply not impressed by the pious finger-wagging with which the average apostate (many of whom participate frequently here in Shadyville) so often heaps condemnation upon Joseph Smith and his alleged licentiousness.
… you yourself must acknowledge that at least in this one case, Smith lied about his religious experiences.
I do not perceive any relationship whatsoever between Joseph Smith’s Nauvoo-era public references to plural marriage and “his religious experiences” – whatever exactly you mean by that ambiguous phrase. If you intend to imply that, if Joseph Smith “lied” about his participation in plural marriage in 1844, that it brings into question the reality of his first vision in 1820, or the visit of Moroni in 1823 – well, as I said, I discern no perceptible relationship between these things.
So if we are interested in the question of whether Smith was a reliable source of information about his experiences, why don't we do the right thing …
“The Right Thing?” ??? What might that be?
Certainly a careful examination of the available material
evidence is an indispensable aspect of such an investigation. But, in my estimation, there is no way to divorce any sophic examination of the history of Joseph Smith from its mantic counterpart. Hence the necessity of developing one’s acuity of spiritual sight, or, in other words, “growing into the principle of revelation.”
I am convinced that those who limit their examination of Joseph Smith to exclusively sophic approaches will always, in the end, conclude him to be a fraud – pious or otherwise. Only those who have mastered the ways by which mantic knowledge is acquired and interpreted can ever hope to understand God and his dealings with mankind, whether through prophets or through the personal ministrations of the Spirit of God.
If Joseph Smith never really visited with God and Jesus, never really had any golden plates, and never really visited with Peter, James, and John, would you still say that Mormonism is all it claims to be?
I’m not convinced that you and I mean the same thing when we speak, respectively, of what Mormonism “claims to be.”
the things you list were fantasy instead of reality, Mormonism could not be what it claims to be – according to my understanding of the phrase. Simply put, if there were no Moroni, no actual plates, no Nephites – there is nothing else, either. It’s a lie, and any other descriptor of fraud you might suggest.
On the other hand, if there were really no Moroni, no actual plates, no Nephites, etc., I am convinced that the “church” Joseph Smith founded would have never survived after his death, let alone grow steadily to the present day – not that its continued existence and growth are evidences of its truth, but simply because I consider the nature of its foundational claims such that, if not true, it would have failed long before now.