Monday, July 23, 2012

Joseph Smith: Madman or Prophet?

I have never been one to try to demand that others believe in the same manner I do.  I believe we can all learn from each other.  I know that many have been wondering as to Mormonism of late, and I thought we might discuss rationally together the much debated topic of Joseph Smith.  This man claimed to see visions and talk to God.  What are the facts?  These are they as I see them.  Joseph had to be either a liar, madman, inspired by the devil or a prophet of God. 

When Joseph was seven he had to undergo a painful surgery.  He refused the alcohol offered him on moral conviction and endured the surgery fully conscious and without pain killers.  He underwent much persecution for his claim to see a vision from God which included his own physical torture, the death of his child, mass murder of his followers, repeated imprisionment, banishment, poisoning, betrayal and eventually death.  He might have stopped it all with the two words "I lied."  Whatever else, he obviously believed his own story.  He believed it with every fiber of his soul.  This was no liar.

Madman?  Well, let's discuss it.  I have studied him extensively and nowhere have I found the slightest symptom of potential madness save his religious conviction.  He founded a city, ran a business, led men on a daily basis, taught languages and religious texts, and maintained a calm demeanor.  No sign of mental diminishment has ever been laid to his charge except on the grounds of his religious beliefs.

Joseph was known for being profoundly kind.  He was kind to crying children in the street, he sacrificed his own personal assets to aid others in need, he taught from the Bible, he professed his love of Jesus, and immediately and continually forgave those countless who wronged him.  Is this the inspiration of the devil?  Judge for yourself.

Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God?  I will never tell you what to believe.  I do not wish to do so.  I respect you for the beliefs you have and whatever they may be, I always will.  But I know of myself independent of anyone else that he was a prophet.  I know that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God.  I know he opened a way for others to come nearer to heaven and revealed profound but simple truths that can take us to a higher level of happiness.  I know for a fact he was a great man.  I love him for who he was, what he did and all he suffered.  Decide for yourself, my friend.   I only hope this outlines with some clarity some of the more pertinent aspects of his life and to disabuse the public mind.

2 comments:

  1. Very well put Michelle. You're on a roll girl.

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  2. I have been loving your posts. Thanks for sharing your testimony and point of view with others.

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