… Joseph Smith (as you tacitly concede) deliberately, convincingly, and aggressively, misled others (or as it is known in Clintonian depositions and common parlance, "lied to others").
The thrust of my comments in my discussion with you (if you re-read them, you'll see) isn't to pass definitive moral judgment on early Mormon leaders. It is to acknowledge what you yourself tacitly acknowledged above: that Smith's lying about polygamy constitutes an undeniable example of Smith's unreliability as a source of information on one of his supposedly important religious experiences.
All because he claimed he could only find one wife? You’re funny. You don’t have much of a sense of humor anymore (a common apostate malady, I’ve found), but you are funny nonetheless.
Just to clarify, however, I do not concede, tacitly or otherwise, that Joseph Smith lied about his “important religious experiences.”
Your entire set of arguments to the contrary constitute nothing but a bold non sequitur
Emma (like you and I) finds out that Joseph Smith is an unreliable source of information about his experiences.
I did not cite, and I am unaware of any convincing evidence that would affirm the above statement. Quite to the contrary, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence would suggest that Emma Smith believed that her husband was an extremely reliable source of information about his experiences. And she continued to believe in him, and his reported experiences, to the end of her life.
According to Smith, she then tries to murder him, twice. Later, she vicariously assents to his death.
Then again, Emma was quite emotionally volatile at times . . .
And "therefore", I too carry an Emma Smithian (that is, murderous) "visceral moral outrage"?
To me, that's very much a non sequitir. (sic)
No, your reply is the only non sequitur
here. And once again, the exmo proves wholly unable to detect or appreciate irony and/or sarcasm. It seems that’s always one of the first things to go . . .
Yet you yourself, above, conceded that Smith indulged in some seriously misleading "private word redefinition", a la Bill Clinton, in announcing that he could "only find one" wife.
You’re starting to remind me a lot of Mr. Scratch, now. You should be concerned about that.
But let me reiterate my point: I do
love when Joseph Smith plants his tongue firmly in his cheek and jerks the chain of his enemies. I think he had a much more sophisticated sense of humor than any exmo I’ve ever known. And I believe he was engaging in sophisticated word play when he employed the “I can only find one” in referring to his multiple wives. On the other hand, I understand and well appreciate the necessity of attempting to conceal, for as long as possible, the early practice of plural marriage in Nauvoo. I’m not bothered, in the least, by anything Joseph Smith did in that respect. And I’m quite amused by the feigned (or otherwise) “visceral moral outrage” of the exmos who pound their bully pulpits in mock piety when it comes to this topic.
Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage in Nauvoo. He was married to several additional women, and I’m convinced that Emma Smith knew about most, if not all, of them – sooner or later. None of the women were forced to choose marriage to him – Nancy Rigdon’s refusal is proof enough of that. I think there is persuasive evidence that he chose to not consummate some of the marriages, but there is compelling evidence that he did consummate several of them. And I say, good for him! If I were married to multiple women, I’d make sure to get around to each of them as often as possible.
By the way, is this
your biggest problem with Joseph Smith? You’re outraged by his practice of plural marriage, and therefore you’re certain he lied about everything else? Amazing.
After all, William, as believing Mormons, we could find out that Joseph Smith roasted and ate small children, or was a serial rapist, and still find a way to make that okay, couldn't we? The argument would go like this:
"The Prophet may have roasted and eaten small children; but that doesn't mean he didn't see God, or translate golden plates. I am content to leave the judging in the Lord's hands. No one ever said the prophets were perfect".
No problem, is it?
Now I understand why you have so assiduously avoided doing battle with any of the “heavyweights” in LDS apologetics. Your shtick works well as a solo act, but put it up against anyone with even a basic understanding of logic and argumentation, and you start looking pretty silly pretty fast.
So if we only stick to orthodox sources, we must conclude (regardless of whether God approved) that:
Joseph Smith aggressively, repeatedly, and convincingly lied about a supposedly important religious experience involving an angel and revelations from God.
You may certainly conclude (and obviously have) anything you choose. But, as I stated quite plainly in my previous posts, your conclusion is not shared by everyone possessing an equal or greater knowledge of the primary source materials.
Nor did the overwhelming majority of his intimate contemporaries – with some notable exceptions, of course – conclude that Joseph Smith was engaged in deceptive, immoral behavior when it came to his practice of plural marriage. I concur with the judgment of Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, William Clayton, Willard Richards, et al when it comes to these questions.
Again, I ask, is this whole plural marriage thing the origin of your well-developed disbelief in Joseph Smith?
Now that I think about it, I guess it would make sense -- if that is the case. You know, the principle of projection and all . . .
I would say, stop announcing, in lieu of rational discourse, that you "know" that those who disagree with you are guilty of heinous sins.
Did I accuse you of heinous sins, dear Talmage? Remind me where I did that. I must have missed it. Not that I doubt, in the least, that you are
guilty of heinous sins. Aren’t we all?
As for the general principle to which I alluded, I stand by it: Those who accuse Joseph Smith of transgression do so, almost without exception, because they are the “children of disobedience themselves.” I’m sure, in your particular case, the accusation is apt. But I couldn’t care less what your favorite sins are.
… we started out here with you taking issue with my claim that Mormon belief relies on a denial of the constraints imposed on what we may justifiably believe by empiricism and logic. Yet you continue to affirm just that point, just using different language.
Your failure to understand the arguments is more a reflection on the rigidity of your current dogma than it is an indictment of the arguments themselves. Nevertheless, for the sake of our readers, I will reaffirm what I have consistently argued: my beliefs do not rely on a denial (implicit or otherwise) of “constraints imposed … by empiricism and logic.”
It is quite popular, in exmo circles, to insinuate just the opposite. And in your case the real problem is (as I have cited repeatedly above) your inherent inability to understand the “principle of revelation” to which I have referred. You are left with only a single avenue of investigation when it comes to these things: the sophic. And since you axiomatically reject even the possibility of a mantic avenue of approach to such questions, we are forever destined to reach an impasse. I have affirmed the fact that the “principle of revelation” consists of “more than a feeling”; that it involves the transmission of clearly-articulated intelligence. You simply ignore or deny the possibility of such a thing. Your appeal to Joseph Smith’s alleged duplicity and implied unreliability is really just a sideshow designed to argue that any “principle of revelation” that would sanction someone like him must be fatally flawed. Throwing in names like Jim Jones, Pol Pot, etc., is just your peculiarly-awkward method of poisoning the well, as it were. But none of this impacts the question upon which our discussion commenced: can logic and empiricism exist comfortably alongside the “principle of revelation” to which I allude? I argue that they can and do; that the “principle of revelation” is not
what you think it is at all. Your arguments amount to little more than rhetorical fiat – a tactic I’ve observed you employ quite often and to as minimal effect as you have achieved in this particular thread.
… sexual libertinism is only ok when God sanctions it first.
Precisely. Well, more or less. The definition of “libertine” is probably open to dispute.
… God bestows many "privileges" among his alpha males.
Yes He does. And I am personally gratified that it bothers you
so much. But don’t you worry, in the resurrection there will be no “alpha males” who will have any desire for your “Barbie doll-like” immortal body. I mean, I’m sure you’ll be nice to look at – but you’ll be good for nothing when it comes to the things that matter most. ;-)
It's a good thing most chapel Mormons have no idea of this garbage being pedaled on internet boards. Mormonism devolves into a pathetic exercise of self-indulgent, often repulsive, mental gymnastics at the hands of gifted dramatists such as Will.
I’m quite confident that you have no idea what most Mormons, chapel or otherwise, think about these things. I think you’d be surprised at how literally most believing Latter-day Saints view the precept that “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s …” Believe me, most of them understand clearly what one does with a body of flesh and bones. They also understand that:
… strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives …
They also believe that Joseph Smith knew exactly
what he was talking about when he gave the interpretation of the following image:
And they intend to do whatever is necessary to guarantee their
capacity for such things in perpetuity.