Joseph Smith makes me angry

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Shawn
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Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by Shawn » 11 Sep 2018, 21:04

That's all.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Sep 2018, 21:44

Fwiw, I have come to accept him as a very human, very complicated person - as a quite typical "visionary" and charismatic man. There are things about him I find distasteful, but there are other things about him I find incredibly admirable. I think he truly was a serious saint - and a serious sinner. He seemed to be and do most things to excess.

Ironically, that fits almost all famous "prophets" throughout history. They tend to be our best and worst characteristics on steroids. Judged objectively, without the lens of believing faith, even Jesus, of Nazareth, legitimately could be described that way.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mom3
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by mom3 » 11 Sep 2018, 22:12

I have been in the angry part before.

Today my heart breaks for him.

I don't think he had any idea what an impact he would have on life. If his early accounts are accurate he didn't rush out and start anything for 3 years. In teenage timelines that is eternity. Once he got going I think whatever drove him was like a fire hose. Too much, too fast.

Did he screw a bunch of it up? Yes. Did other's screw things up and he end up with the brunt of it? Yes.

Don't feel guilty about the anger.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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LookingHard
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by LookingHard » 12 Sep 2018, 04:56

I think the anger isn't always just his behavior, but the frustration of the totally whitewashed version presented by the church. When you realize the real man - it can make you very angry. I look at John C. Bennett in Nauvoo. That guy seemed like a scoundrel - but I can look back on him without getting all angry. At least for me it isn't just the history of the man, but anger over being intentionally mislead.

I had some bad timing today. I had a long business trip drive to and from a client in the car. So I borrowed an audiobook from the city library. It was a novel called, "the chosen one" and modeled around the FLDS a few years ago. I got home after sitting in a ton of traffic and was also furious at how the leaders abused their power and abused those around them in most every way they could to keep power. I walked in to the house and wasn't in a good mood. Then I saw the latest Mormon Leaks where they showed a 1 week status of K&M law firm and what was being done. Once again, the church seemed to be doing very little for the victims, never involving the police, and actually making decisions around not releasing a missionary back to his home as the SP would be required to report him as he knows the missionary was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl. "Luckily" my wife had a really bad day and I was able to focus on her issue. Not a good day.

Shawn - Do take care of yourself. Do something that helps with the anger. I plan on doing that today.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by DarkJedi » 12 Sep 2018, 07:37

I guess I'm more in the camp of seeing Joseph for what he was - just a man like me. I make mistakes, he made mistakes. He was in a position of power greater than I will probably ever be, and powerful people do things I can't whether they're right or wrong. Some of his mistakes were greater than those I can make. I'm not angry with Joseph at all and never have been. I have been angry with his descendant Joseph Fielding Smith, who I perceive as the main "whitewasher" of his history, and I do get mildly angry with people who persist in perpetuating the myths/falsehoods (especially if I know they know otherwise).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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On Own Now
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by On Own Now » 12 Sep 2018, 08:21

Hi, Shawn,

it's good to hear from you again. Thank you for stopping by.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

Roy
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by Roy » 12 Sep 2018, 08:41

JS lived a long time ago. I never met him. Sure, he did some things that I find objectionable.

What about Julius Ceaser or Joseph Stalin? Should I be mad at them?

I submit that there are other reasons causing the anger. Possibly being in an organization that treats his words as scripture and is unable to discuss any of his failings? Sometimes I feel that taking some distance from the church can help me become more objective. I am pretty good at being my own kind of Mormon. OTOH, I can only take so much of being reminded that other Mormons do not see my path as valid.

Rest, recharge, and recuperate. "It is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." How do I know this? Because JS put it into our book of scripture. ;) :lol:
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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dande48
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by dande48 » 12 Sep 2018, 08:57

In all fairness, we do judge him heavily by today's standards. He lived in a time that was VERY superstitious, and ultimately he was very superstitious himself. He didn't know any better, and clinged to what "certainty" he felt he could. The religion of the time, that Joseph Smith was raised with, was very vindictive and confrontational. You were forced to double down, because the cost of folding was too high. I keep hearing "It must be true, because there were so many opportunities to walk away, and he suffered so much!" I disagree. Do you know what would've happened had he walked back on a word he said?

Maybe that was the best God had to work with. Maybe Joseph Smith was just a complicated mix of superstition, certainty, and charisma. Maybe sometimes he lied. But maybe he fully believed every lie he told. I can't bring myself to stick him in the dichotomy of good and evil. A tree can produce both good and bad fruit, and JS was as "fruitful" as any. Humans are a complicated mess. I leave it to God to judge.

I'm angry at the situation. But I feel too human to be angry at any particular person.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by SamBee » 12 Sep 2018, 09:07

Stalin yes - one of the biggest mass murderers in history. Possibly killed more than Hitler.

As someone said above, Joseph Smith is complex. But whatever he was, he didn't deserve to be murdered.

All of these contradictions are true:
* Plagiarist vs original thinker.
* Poor leader vs great leader.
* Unfairly treated vs treating others unfairly.
* His legacy stands vs his legacy is divided.
* A builder of cities vs a breaker of homes.
* A family man vs an adulterer.

What is clear to me though is that JS was no Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite. I believe he had charm to him and also goodness, but he let himself down. He was well within his rights to found a new church but people weren't having it.

I believe many people genuinely loved him though which is why he is still remembered and he was spoken of fondly years later. So many other leaders of the time are forgotten.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

GBSmith
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by GBSmith » 12 Sep 2018, 10:17

SamBee wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 09:07

All of these contradictions are true:
* Plagiarist vs original thinker.
* Poor leader vs great leader.
* Unfairly treated vs treating others unfairly.
* His legacy stands vs his legacy is divided.
* A builder of cities vs a breaker of homes.
* A family man vs an adulterer.
I guess if he didn't claim that God's priesthood authority had been restored through him and that all saving ordinances by any other denomination were not recognized and that the church he organized under the direction of Jesus Christ was the only true and living church, I could go along with the idea that he was just a flawed human being and I need to cut him some slack
Curt Sunshine wrote:
11 Sep 2018, 21:44
Fwiw, I have come to accept him as a very human, very complicated person - as a quite typical "visionary" and charismatic man. There are things about him I find distasteful, but there are other things about him I find incredibly admirable. I think he truly was a serious saint - and a serious sinner. He seemed to be and do most things to excess.

Ironically, that fits almost all famous "prophets" throughout history. They tend to be our best and worst characteristics on steroids. Judged objectively, without the lens of believing faith, even Jesus, of Nazareth, legitimately could be described that way.
I'm not sure comparing JS to Jesus is a step up for him or a step down for the Savior, but I think it's a step too far.

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