This is a double edged sword for me. Let me explain:
1. I actually agree with Bruce. Joseph taught unequivocal, clear, unmistakable, and profound doctrines that recently we have nigh abandon. I can really sympathize with the fundamentalist stance on these things and I understand why people would become such. People want something to latch onto, to be certain of. Joseph, and his first few successors gave clear speech ("thus saith the Lord...") that gave little room for interpretations. If we are to accept that Joseph knew what he was talking about, had a direct line to God, as most TBMs seem to believe, then picking and choosing which revealed doctrines we accept now, is nothing short of apostasy!
2. OTOH, I think it is unwise to be so certain in Joseph's abilities, revelations, etc. The worldview that is generated by such certainty is a dangerous one as evidenced by the abundance of ill-functioning cult members in our society. When will society learn that a single individual running the show is not a wise idea? Yet, we give full confidence to those we deem as prophets, assuming they are somehow beyond the reach of collective human wisdom showing this point. For this reason, I am very glad to see the church adopting a healthier worldview to pass on to its members. The leaders are admitting uncertainty in Joseph and past prophets by letting these things go (a fact supported by historical evidence IMHO).
Hence, I am very torn on the issue. The TBM part of me, and one who has studied Joseph's life, feels sad to see such powerful teachings going by the wayside. Yet, the realistic side of me is grateful that we are embracing a better view of reality. If the church eventually takes a stance on the BoM similar to the CoC church (as Bruce alluded to in his extreme example) I will be grateful again that we are embracing reality, while saddened at the implications for normal TBM thought.
I think rank and file members are in such a precarious position. We are taught that Joseph was a prophet, and are frequently reminded of how humble, honest, wonderful, powerful, spiritual, and charismatic he was. Indeed according to Taylor, "save Jesus only" no one has done more for the salvation of mankind (quite a lofty statement IMHO). And most members know something of the teachings in the King Follett discourse. But they are also taught dependence on and submission to the current prophet and his teachings. Throw in a dash of science, psychology, and reality and you have a recipe for something very hard to sort through. Fortunately for the church, they have done a good job I think of emphasizing that current prophets trump past prophets, so the pull toward fundamentalism will be diminished by loyalty to the current prophet.
Of course, in all honesty, I bet hardly anyone will even analyze it like we have here. Most will barely even notice anything changed. I think people are joining the church because of what it is today, not because of its history or founder.
I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priestcraft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women--all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there.
- Joseph Smith, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304)