I think he really believed he was a prophet. And that confidence led others to believe in him as a prophet.SunbeltRed wrote:How are others of you able to hold on to the idea of JS's prophetic mantle and if so do you still value him as prophetic for the world or as another adding more to the rich fabric of our existential struggle?
If I can draw an analogy. When I was a missionary, everyone believed that if you were to teach with the spirit, you would have to be righteous. Your thoughts needed to at least achieve a certain threshold of cleanliness, or if not, you had to be in a pretty good state of humility and repentance.
But we had this missionary who was always making lewd comments about girls, mean to people (he was my companion) and generally not what I would consider to be full of character. But he could teach with the Spirit very well. I asked one missionary, who I respected, how this guy managed to teach with the Spirit. This missionary, who I asked this question replied "I think it's all up here" [pointing to his forehead].
This missionary believed that as long as you had the faith you could do it, or believed you were somehow inspired or prophetic, you could carry that belief into the hearts of other people. I think Joseph believed it somehow. And he was able to convince a lot of people that he was a prophet.
Me, I'm agnostic about it now. I don't know. Perhaps when I die I will find out.