I think the main problem for the apologists that are giving you a hard time is the following:DBMormon wrote:9.) If Joseph was deceived apologists insinuate that this makes him less of prophet. I disagree as that's making an assumption and one that is not a fact but a point of view. Is Brigham less of a prophet because he was mistaken about Adam God - self proclaimed revelation, how about the brethren in the 40's because they were mistaken about race theories as Doctrine? This argument is weak and also opens a can of worms.
IF the angel with the drawn sword is an angel of darkness that dictated section 132 through deception, THEN JS bought the deception and spends the next decade slowly and tentatively introducing the church to what might reasonably be viewed as organized adultery. He reportedly sometimes used very coercive methods to get some women to comply.
It makes it hard to understand how JS can be a prophet and at the same time be so wrong about what God wants. In all the revelations that JS supposedly received from the time of Fanny Alger up until the martyrdom - was there never a moment where God could have interjected that he commands strict monogamy?
It also throws into serious question the idea of "the prophet will never lead us astray." For some the idea that a Prophet of God (while on his personal initiative and not actually acting as God's mouthpiece) could lead his followers to commit deep sins is unfathomable.
Add to that quandary the fact that prophets succeeding JS taught polygamy as almost the defining element of the church for almost an additional 50 years and we might start to question who it is actually running the show. Just how far can the church of God become corrupted before it is no longer the church of God?
On the other hand the church did eventually right itself. If we take the long and evolving view of the restoration as a continuing process we can espouse the view that God is leading us to a better way just as fast as we are prepared to go there. Prophets can still lead the people - but sometimes they lead them through a very circuitous route of 40 years in the wilderness before we are ready to give up our false assumptions and traditions. Has a very OT feel to it.
The view of the angel with the flaming sword being an angel of darkness IMO would be most helpful for people that love modern Mormonism but just have such a terrible feeling about polygamy. As you have shown, it offers a third alternative between the all or nothing approach.