Saturday, April 27, 2019

Believing Joseph


I am writing this blog because I believe that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a messenger of Christ and an honest man. That is to say, I believe that Joseph told the truth about the First Vision, the Golden Plates, the Ministering of Angels, the Kingdoms of Glory, and about not being a polygamist.

But people who hold these beliefs are rare. Even among those who consider themselves Joseph’s followers, very few are willing to take him at his word about all of these things, especially polygamy. But in the end, taking the Prophet at his word is the only way to remain true to the faith that he restored.

I have learned that it is impossible to believe that Joseph was a prophet of the Lord if one also believes all the ill that has been spoken of him. You must decide who deserves your credibility – Joseph, or the men who called him a liar.

This is only my first post, so I don’t have time to discuss all the evidence for and against Joseph’s integrity, though in the future I will of course go into the details regarding Emma Smith and Eliza Snow, John C. Bennett and Brigham Young, Richard and Pamela Price, Ugo Perego, and so forth.

For now, suffice it to say that I was raised Brighamite and didn’t question the polygamy narrative until I was twenty years old. Then, as I went about my study of church history, I found more and more of Joseph’s clear denials that he had any wife but Emma. And I was alarmed by these obvious lies – for such they were, from the perspective of someone who took it for granted that the Prophet had married dozens of women.

But my firm belief in the Book of Mormon and Joseph’s prophetic call would not allow me to let go of my faith, as so many others had done at this point. So I just held on tightly as I delved ever more furiously into the contradictions and controversies of our history… and eventually found out just how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

And I ended up believing that Joseph Smith told the truth – about everything. And I’ve created this blog to share my belief.

2 comments:

  1. I agree there is far more compelling evidence that Joseph didn't live polygamy, or even believe in it. But that doesn't mean he was truthful about other things or that he was a true prophet. We know that he believed in Abraham and other polygamous unChristlike prophets. If living polygamy would have made Joseph a false prophet according to Christ, it would also mean the same for Abraham and all other so called prophets of the OT who supported or lived polygamy, they couldn't have been true prohpets for they lived opposite Christ's teachings. As Christ taught, all true prophets would have understood right and wrong and how destructive and wrong polygamy is in every case and would never live it.

    When you study how the Bible came to be and try to truly live and study the teachings of Christ, you start to see how not everything attributed to Christ in the NT could have been what he really said or did, but just added in by later people for their own agendas. For Christ could not have believed that Abraham or others were true prophets or that the Bible is from God, for it continually teaches contrary to Christ's teachings. Truth and right never change they are eternal natural laws. Any righteous person in any age of time would understand this. Including Joseph if he had really been a true prophet. So it's obvious he wrote and made up the BoM because of all the falsehoods in it, despite it's many truths, like most mortal books. Just because the BoM teaches about Christ doesn't mean it is from Christ or all true or a true book. It's what it teaches wrong that gives it away, not what it teaches right. Everyone teaches some right things, but had the BoM prohpets really lived and been true prophets, they would have taught the same truths as Christ and would never had said or taught many of the things they did, things that are opposite Christ's teachings. Joseph may not have lived polygamy, and hopefully he did understand how wrong it was, but not enough to see thru all the false prophets in the OT, that's why be still believed in the Bible, which is just a false and very fallible work of man just like the BoM and other LDS Scripture. Christ's true teachings are our standard to be able to see who is really a true prophet or not, for they will teach and live Christ's teachings and not falsehoods like Abraham and others did, or like Joseph Smith did, whether he lived polygamy or not, he still did so many other things a true prohpet would never have done.

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  2. DeeLyn,

    Jesus believed that Abraham was a true prophet who had inherited the Kingdom of Heaven; see Matt. 8:11, Matt. 22:32, Mark 12:26, Luke 13:28, Luke 16:19-31, Luke 20:37, John 8:39-40, John 8:56. It's one thing to think that the Bible isn't perfectly reliable; it's another to reject literally everything that Jesus said about Abraham while still claiming to be a Christian.

    You can talk all you want about who and what you think is contrary to Christ's teachings, and how you can tell a true prophet by whether or not they live Christ's teachings, but as long as you hold a concept of "Christ's teachings" that is wholly unrelated to Christ's actual words and deeds as recorded in the New Testament, then you're simply worshiping an imaginary being.

    Actual Christians, in the meantime, will continue to look forward to the time when "many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven."

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