Joseph Smith: Prophet, Revelator, Human

As Mormons celebrate the bicentennial of their church's founder, a new biography explores his achievements--and shortcomings.

pgrimm

04/05/2009 08:03:53 AM

To LDS Linda - How did God work through Joseph Smith? Is this information through an extra-biblical text?

edmason

10/29/2006 12:40:24 AM

"The success of Joseph Smith should give pause to all those people who place their faith in any document or person claiming to speak the literal word of God. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t." So sayeth... urk, can't find the user. Anyways -- I disagree. What could possible sound more like 'too good to be true' than the message of Jesus Christ Himself? It was one of the accusations hurled at Him by His earthly opponents.

LDSLinda

01/27/2006 12:56:27 PM

This Saudi Princess shared a story that her husband told about Mohammed and his feelings on the treatment of women by the men in their lives; their fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, etc. A man was sitting and talking with the prophet Mohammed, and his little daughter came into the room, and tried to be affectionate with her daddy, but he merely waved her off, and told her to go away. Then, his young son came in the same way, and the father hugged the son, and had him sit in his lap while he talked with the prophet. The prophet asked why do you have your son sit in your lap, but make your daughter leave? Do you not love your daughter? The man said, yes, very much, and the prophet said, you must show your love for her exactly the same way you show it for your son.

LDSLinda

01/27/2006 12:52:49 PM

gardenias says Muhammad never in his time forced his relgion upon anybody. Islam was created by Muhammad as a relgion of peace. Sadly it was only until later that both Christians and Muslims tarnished the images of their own religions by fanatically going around the world trying to spread their religion by the sword during the Crusades. I read a couple books, supposedly the edited diaries of a Saudi princess, smuggled out and published in several languages. This devoutly Moslem woman was able to show her anger at the traditions of her country, of how they treat their women, while at the same time, showing her love of, and the beauty of, the Islamic faith. She is well educated, and shows that most of the bad of Islam is not Islamic at all, but the traditions of the Arabic Bedouins, which has been "Moslem-ized" to justify it's continued practice. 2 B cont.

LDSLinda

01/27/2006 12:47:07 PM

rthebell says I for one can't countenance an excessively unhumble notion that I could ever progress one day to be what God is, or that God is anything less than the utterly eternal and majestic I AM (eternal in the completely unchanging Augustinian sense.) I don't understand why you say it's an unhumble notion, when Christ said that the only ones who would ever inherit such exaltation are those who do humble themselves as a little child. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be like Him. He is not a power-hungry God. He does not want us always and forever subservient to Him, but wants us to be as happy and filled with the same joy as He. This is what God, thru Joseph Smith, gave to us, that we can, as Paul said, be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

brigid

01/03/2006 11:00:55 AM

The Mormons wanted to establish a "Pure" state with no "Gentiles" (non-Mormons). It's documented in historical records. They also believed at that time that if they saw something they wanted, then God meant them to have it, so they took it. The legal owners had problems with that. Things came to a head when a Quaker minister in West Point Iowa and his son-in law caught two of Smith's followers helping themselves to the minister's winter provisions. They severly beat the son-in-law and killed the minister. Quakers don't believe in violence, and you can't say the thieves were doing it in self-defense. It's documented in history, and until the Mormon leaders admit the sins of the past and offer apologies, they will remain in the wrong.

LivingEZ123

12/29/2005 10:45:18 PM

The success of Joseph Smith should give pause to all those people who place their faith in any document or person claiming to speak the literal word of God. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.

kpax101

12/27/2005 03:23:00 PM

Mormons wanted to practice polygamy but quickly received a new revelation when they saw the guns and bayonets.

Jettboy

12/26/2005 07:05:26 PM

brigid, wrong! People of the frontier are usually tolerant of other people when they think just like them. Have a difference of opinion and your dead. Just read about what they did to Catholics, Masons, Quakers, and Abolitionists. When you read what they say about Muslims it wouldn't be hard to imagine those "tolerant frontiersman" killing them indiscriminately. Mormons were kicked out of each state because they believed differently than your average White Anglo Protestant of the era. Even worse, in the eyes of these "tolerant frontiersman," was they were mostly Abolitionist Easterners and immigrant Europeans. Mormons were kicked out because they wanted true religious freedom and not just pretend "just this much and no more" freedom they were granted.

brigid

12/22/2005 10:55:17 PM

People on the frontier are usually tolerant of other people's beliefs as long as they try to get along and be good neighbors. Actually, the Mormons got kicked out of Illinois for trying to set up their own country, and trying to drive Christian settlers out of the area. Joseph Smith got lynched in the backlash. He should have taught his people more about Christ's teachings. The traditions of Islam and Christianity both have roots in Judaism. Traditional Muslims are taught to respect "People of the Book", that is Christians and Jews. It is the fudamentalist Muslims who have misinterpreted the Koran who see Jews and Christians as enemies. It is also the fundamentalist Jews who see Muslims as enemies. The naative Christians in the Middle East, who've lived there for 2000 years, are caught in the middle. Equating Mormons and Muslims is apples and oranges.

BillThinks4Himself

12/22/2005 10:20:21 PM

Don't think I'm trying to endorse anything Bushman has said. As far as I'm concerned, he's on his own. But for those who would suggest that Mormons are anti-Muslim, nothing could further from the truth. Joseph Smith, and his generation of Mormons, actually had a great deal of respect for Muhammad, who was also persecuted for saying what others considered blasphemy. His people had to engage in a hajj or flight not unlike the Mormon exodus west. His people also had a peculiar dietary code and lived by a set of revelations, and a book, that were reviled by those outside his faith. One of the interesting aspects of the Mormon view of Islam is the idea that Muhammad was a prophet to his people. This is not unlike the Muslim view that Jesus was a prophet. While the two religions represent two very different traditions, there have been signs of a deep and profound respect between both religions.

kpax101

12/22/2005 03:48:27 PM

I'm sorry, gardenias11, but I don't know where you get the idea that Islam is a "religion of peace"? Have you read the Koran? I have, and know that it contains hundreds of passages that incite violence, psychologically and physically. Joseph Smith wasn't that disinclined to violence either, for that matter. In fact, all the religions of 'The Book' are awash in rivers of blood that their respective religions have unleashed throught the incitement to violence.

Jettboy

12/21/2005 09:36:27 PM

Gard, he was talking about the perceptions critical Christians had about Joseph Smith in comparision to Muhammad. The Christian critics didn't think of Muhammad in nice terms so they didn't think of Joseph Smith in nice terms in the same way. It has nothing to do with how Mormons think of the Muslim prophet. He was equating how cricital Christians equated Joseph Smith.

gardenias11

12/21/2005 02:47:20 PM

Thanks to Mr. Bushman for offending the 1.3 billion Muslims around the world. Muhammad never in his time forced his relgion upon anybody. Islam was created by Muhammad as a relgion of peace. Sadly it was only until later that both Christians and Muslims tarnished the images of their own religions by fanatically going around the world trying to spread their religion by the sword during the Crusades. I do not ask beliefnet to censor this article but I hope they would be a little more sensitive to the diverse audience of its readers.

rbethell

12/21/2005 01:59:01 PM

For many of the rest of us, Smith's claims are perplexing and bewildering. I for one can't countenance an excessively unhumble notion that I could ever progress one day to be what God is, or that God is anything less than the utterly eternal and majestic I AM (eternal in the completely unchanging Augustinian sense.) Nonetheless, I congratulate Mormons on this anniversary, for developing a rich culture and set of traditions.

BillThinks4Himself

12/20/2005 10:56:46 PM

Say what you want about Joseph Smith and the flaws of the man, but the seamless vision he introduced has brought joy to many. Joseph Smith believed that we are all literally children of God, with a life that stretches back before this and continues on forever. He believed that God was once on the same journey we're all on and that Jesus played a central role in that plan. He introduced the Book of Mormon, a new set of scriptures designed to show that Christ visited other peoples. He imagined a Plan of Salvation without a fiery Hell, but a Heaven with many kingdoms based on an individual's progress in this life. His vision included temples where couples could be married forever, families could be sealed together and those who missed out on the Gospel could hear it in the spirit world - and enjoy vicarious baptisms for their benefit in the next life.

Gwyddion9

12/20/2005 08:45:04 PM

Interesting but there are more "Mormons" other than those in Utah. On the Mormon discussion page, one will find a "non-lds mormons. a different perspective can be found there too.

Moksha8088

12/20/2005 08:17:55 PM

Joseph Smith was certainly an innovator on the American religious scene, taking many diverse religious ideas and weaving them into a whole that made American Christianity think, whether it wanted to or not. Smith expanded to boundaries of Christianity and furnished it with a friendly God. Mormons have drawn the wrath of the religiously narrow-minded but added more pluralism to religious tolerance by doing so.

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