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Joseph Smith - A Religious Mastermind?


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I was just thinking while reading part of the Bible the other day about how much of a sham it really is. When you read it as being written merely just by men, it brings a whole new set of thought processes about. Comparing this to the Book of Mormon, and you quickly realize that they are virtually no different.

 

I recall reading in a book about Joseph Smith's life that many times he was caught laughing hysterically about how seriously he was being taken. This makes me wonder: Do you think Joseph had it all figured out? Was he simply just taking advantage of the system? If so, then wow - you have to appreciate his genius. If other people could muse and rant about how an invisible god wants people to live, why couldn't he? And if other men could claim themselves as "prophets" who speak to said invisible god, why couldn't he? And if Old Testament heroes could have many wives and concubines, why couldn't he?

 

Setting morals aside (I am by no means condoning the demeaning practice of polygamy), Joseph got himself a great deal of power by making his own religion and slapping Jesus Christ on the church's name. And after reading about his life, it really makes you think that he didn't really believe it himself, but was rather just benefitting himself.

 

Just something to think about :)

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Who know why certain religious ideas catch on. Whether Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard, for example, committed a deliberate fraud is hard to ascertain. Perhaps the more outrageous and unfounded a concept is the better it catches on with the gullible. I mean, if you want to believe a lie, why not make it a whopper?

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He started out as a psychic collecting money from people telling their fortunes using seer stones in his hat. He then gave the book of mormon translation to a transcriber, lost the original copy and then made excuses regarding why his story contradicted and sidetracked from the original version he gave the same transcriber. I'd say it is a pretty good bet he knew he was pulling a fast one and wasn't simply deluded.

 

When Harris returned home, he showed the manuscript to his wife, who allowed him to lock them in her bureau. Harris then showed the pages not only to the named relatives but "to any friend who came along."[17] On one occasion Harris picked the lock of the bureau and damaged it, irritating his wife.[18] The manuscript then disappeared.[19]

Shortly after Harris left Harmony, Smith's wife gave birth to Smith's firstborn son, who was "very much deformed" and died less than a day after delivery.[20] Emma Smith nearly died herself, and Smith tended her for two weeks. As she slowly gained strength, Smith left her in the care of her mother and went back to Palmyra in search of Harris and the manuscript.[21]

The following day Harris dragged into the Smith family home in distress and without the pages. Smith urged Harris to search his house again, but Harris told him he had already ripped open beds and pillows. Smith moaned, "Oh, my God!…All is lost! all is lost! What shall I do? I have sinned—it is I who tempted the wrath of God".[22]

After returning to Harmony without Harris, Smith dictated to Emma his first written revelation,[23] which both rebuked him and denounced Harris as "a wicked man."[24] Nevertheless, the revelation assured Smith that if he was penitent, the interpreters would be returned to him during his annual visit with Moroni on September 22, 1828, and he would regain his ability to translate.[25]

Between the loss of the pages during the summer of 1828 and the rapid completion of the Book of Mormon in the spring of 1829, there was a period of quiescence as if Smith were waiting "for help or direction."[26] During this period Smith attended a Methodist class in Harmony but then withdrew when a cousin of Emma's objected to a potential member who was a "practicing necromancer."[27]

 

In April 1829, Smith was joined by Oliver Cowdery, a fellow Vermonter and a distant relation who replaced Harris as scribe.[28] The pace of the transcription increased dramatically so that within two months nearly the entire remainder of the manuscript of the Book of Mormon was completed.[29]

According to Smith, he did not retranslate the material that Harris had lost because he said that if he did, evil men would alter the manuscript in an effort to discredit him. Smith said that instead, he had been divinely ordered to replace the lost material with Nephi's account of the same events.[30] (Nevertheless, "evil men" might also have altered the lost manuscript to contradict the new account as well,[31] as is evidenced by Mark Hofmann's supposed desire to do so.)[32] When Smith reached the end of the book, he was told that God had foreseen the loss of the early manuscript and had prepared the same history in an abridged format that emphasized religious history, the "Small Plates of Nephi."[33] Smith transcribed this portion, and it appears as the first part of the book. When published in 1830, the Book of Mormon contained a statement about the lost 116 pages, as well as the Testimony of Three Witnesses and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses, who claimed to have seen and handled the Golden Plates.

 

:lmao:

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I just always thought it was hilarious that a prophet would ACTUALLY be named Joe Smith!!!! I mean really---what a common name!!! It's like saying I have a prophet and his name is Tom Jones, or Billy Bob, or Festus Fiddlehoover.....It just cracks me up!! And then the part about needing special glasses to READ the prophecy......oh, help, I can't breathe!!! Get me a kleenex!!! LMAO!!!

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i must say the book of mormon is a crazy but pretty cool read. i think he was just trying to manipulate a story but eventualy came to belive it himself.

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