Joseph Smith makes me angry

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dande48
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by dande48 » 12 Sep 2018, 10:34

GBSmith wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 10:17
...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...
...then I don't think the Church would've prospered or had the following it had. This is the #1 selling point of the Church. I fully disagree with the claim, and it has caused me a lot of heartache, but at the same time, it's largely the reason the Church has survived. As much as I gripe about the Church, as many of the doctrinal points I disagree with, and as much pain as it has caused me... I wouldn't be who I am without it. I wouldn't trade the life it has given me for anything.
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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by SamBee » 12 Sep 2018, 10:38

I actually think the whitewashed version makes Joseph Smith leas relatable.
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."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Sep 2018, 13:40

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.


Why? Seriously, why?

I chose my words VERY carefully. I was crystal clear in my comparison. It wasn't Joseph to Jesus. It was a statement about "all famous prophets". It was qualified by narrowing it to viewing Jesus only objectively, "without the lens of believing faith" - like a historian who was analyzing him strictly as a mortal without assuming he was a perfect God-made-man and the Sacior and redeemer of the world - or like a Muslim or Hindi or Jew or atheist would do. He can be analyzed legitimately both ways, and I believe ignoring the man and focusing only on the perceived God does serious damage to both. I also am certain it is classic whitewashing and leads to a whole lot of horrible, terrible, no good, very bad doctrine.

I understand completely the issue of even implying the entire Joseph was equal to the entire Jesus - but that isn't what I said or implied. I chose my qualifying words very carefully.

If you still believe the usage (relative to all famous prophets, without the lens of believing faith) is a step too far, I sincerely am interested in why.
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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.

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Roy
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by Roy » 12 Sep 2018, 14:32

SamBee wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 09:07
Stalin yes - one of the biggest mass murderers in history. Possibly killed more than Hitler.
I think that proves my point. I am not angry at Stalin. I barely think about him at all. When I do I most often think about him in the context as a ally in WW2. Even if I remember his atrocities, I do not think that it makes me angry. What can make me personally angry at any historical figure ... long since dead?
We may be using angry differently. I am using it as an emotional response of rage. I am not angry at the boston massacre or the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. What about JS brings him out of the relatively detached history books and makes him into a personal affront?
"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

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Ann
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by Ann » 12 Sep 2018, 16:21

LookingHard wrote:
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.
This is how I feel. It’s the lionizing of the man that bothers me. It starts at the top and trickles down to whole sacrament meeting talks and GD lessons and Primary sharing times in which Joseph Smith gets more press than Jesus Christ.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

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"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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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, 16:33

Roy wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 14:32
SamBee wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 09:07
Stalin yes - one of the biggest mass murderers in history. Possibly killed more than Hitler.
I think that proves my point. I am not angry at Stalin. I barely think about him at all. When I do I most often think about him in the context as a ally in WW2. Even if I remember his atrocities, I do not think that it makes me angry. What can make me personally angry at any historical figure ... long since dead?
We may be using angry differently. I am using it as an emotional response of rage. I am not angry at the boston massacre or the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. What about JS brings him out of the relatively detached history books and makes him into a personal affront?
Great post, Roy. I think you've hit on something important. Anger is not productive in the long run. Sure, we might feel anger at times or under certain circumstances. To do so is not only human, but it is an essential element of our survival. But to continue in anger, especially over something in the deep past is self-destructive, IMO.

I have felt anger about JS/BY in the past. But, I've come to the point where it just seems so futile. I'm seeking peace, not indignation. I don't feel anger toward the Church, because I believe that they believe what they say they believe.

In Buddhism, hate/anger is one of the Three Poisons (along with greed and ignorance) that keep us in a non-progressive state of unending and pointless reincarnation.

Closer to home, in Matthew 5, which contains the recounting of the first part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is described as teaching a higher law that is all about what is on the inside of us rather than simply acting according to accepted practices. Sure, you are allowed to divorce your wife as long as you get a lawyer to write up a bill of divorcement, but stay with her instead (which I take to mean don't leave your wife for another). Sure, you shouldn't commit adultery, but even better is not to think of women as objects of sexual desire. Of course, you are allowed to retaliate when mistreated, but try treating others with kindness, instead. Obviously, you aren't to kill anyone, but just don't even be angry. The anger question is very interesting, because the SotM doesn't address who's right and who's wrong, it just says to reconcile and implies that doing so will make it easier for YOU to approach God and doesn't say anything about the other person's benefit.
"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

GBSmith
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by GBSmith » 12 Sep 2018, 17:50

Curt Sunshine wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 13:40
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.


Why? Seriously, why?

I chose my words VERY carefully. I was crystal clear in my comparison. It wasn't Joseph to Jesus. It was a statement about "all famous prophets". It was qualified by narrowing it to viewing Jesus only objectively, "without the lens of believing faith" - like a historian who was analyzing him strictly as a mortal without assuming he was a perfect God-made-man and the Sacior and redeemer of the world - or like a Muslim or Hindi or Jew or atheist would do. He can be analyzed legitimately both ways, and I believe ignoring the man and focusing only on the perceived God does serious damage to both. I also am certain it is classic whitewashing and leads to a whole lot of horrible, terrible, no good, very bad doctrine.

I understand completely the issue of even implying the entire Joseph was equal to the entire Jesus - but that isn't what I said or implied. I chose my qualifying words very carefully.

If you still believe the usage (relative to all famous prophets, without the lens of believing faith) is a step too far, I sincerely am interested in why.
I think first of all we need to define what you mean by "prophet". Even in the absence of a faith based position looking at people like Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Peter, Paul, James, John, etc. or modern prophets excepting BY are in a entirely different category than those such as MLK, FDR, Mother Theresa, Donald Trump, Abraham Lincoln, people who were visionary for good or ill and projected a doctrine or set of beliefs that motivated people to action. Adding Jesus to those groups does not elevate or emphasize your point but does in the case of JS make him into much more than he was. And as regards seeing Jesus as someone distasteful possessing the worst characteristics a person might have when you only have the NT record on which to make your decision, is a stretch.

I know that you take great pride in your choice of words but I believe in this case you missed the mark in making what you wanted to say "crystal clear."

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dande48
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by dande48 » 12 Sep 2018, 21:24

GBSmith wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 17:50
And as regards seeing Jesus as someone distasteful possessing the worst characteristics a person might have when you only have the NT record on which to make your decision, is a stretch.
All we have is the New Testament, coupled with our faith and interpretations. Christ, according to the NT and from a secular point of view, did possess some pretty distasteful characteristics by today's standards. He was explicitly racist, intolerant of other religious beliefs, preached hellfire and damnation, sowed discord and division, encouraged self-mutilation as a cure for lust & sin... not to mention He claimed to be God, and said no one could get into heaven without His approval. And then, if you believe Christ was Jehovah of the Old testament, you've got religious genocide, mass infantcide, incest, pedophilia...

Just like we pick and choose what we accept about God and Jesus Christ, people often do the same thing with Joseph Smith. If he really was all he claimed to be, then he was disgusted by polygammy, institutional racism, etc, but God forced him. What it all comes down to, is what do you believe? Because it's faith and perspective that differentiates the heroes from the villians.
Last edited by dande48 on 13 Sep 2018, 06:02, edited 1 time in total.
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DoubtingTom
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by DoubtingTom » 12 Sep 2018, 22:11

I don't get angry AT Joseph Smith so much as I get frustrated by the revering of him. He was a flawed human being, as we all are, but he claimed much more of himself than the typical human being does, and so I hold him to a higher standard based on his own claims.

Joseph said this of himself:
I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.
And in the D&C we have the following:
Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.
I can fully accept Joseph as a product of his culture and time, including all the folk magic and religious superstition, flaws and all. I can't wrap my head around polygamy. Even if I accept that God commanded it (which I don't), the way it was instituted is completely abhorrent to me. That was not simply a product of his time and culture. He lied to his wife and his followers, he used his position of power to pressure young women into being married to him, promising eternal salvation to the woman and her family and demanding an answer with only a short time period to consider. It's just not right, no matter what cultural lens you try and look at it. And yet, he is so revered, almost next to the Savior. We sing hymns praising his name. All while the church white-washes his history. This reverence in the face of what we know about him as a man frustrates me.

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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith makes me angry

Post by SamBee » 13 Sep 2018, 03:04

Roy wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 14:32
SamBee wrote:
12 Sep 2018, 09:07
Stalin yes - one of the biggest mass murderers in history. Possibly killed more than Hitler.
I think that proves my point. I am not angry at Stalin. I barely think about him at all. When I do I most often think about him in the context as a ally in WW2. Even if I remember his atrocities, I do not think that it makes me angry. What can make me personally angry at any historical figure ... long since dead?
We may be using angry differently. I am using it as an emotional response of rage. I am not angry at the boston massacre or the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. What about JS brings him out of the relatively detached history books and makes him into a personal affront?
I suppose it would depend who you were and what your background was. Many people are still affected by Stalin today - lost their homelands or moved across a continent. I know a woman whose entire village was uprooted to Siberia from near the Black Sea because they were the wrong ethnic group.
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."

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