Sic et Non
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The mob gathers outside Carthage Jail, in Illinois, in order to murder Joseph and Hyrum Smith on 27 June 1844
Today’s column for the Deseret News:
Thank you for this column, Daniel.
I have long felt that in their haste to assure the world that we don’t worship Joseph or that we acknowledge his fallibility, too many among us have slighted the greatness of the man. His critics don’t even approach him in stature or goodness.
I couldn’t agree more. Thanks.
Just as with the murderous enemies who assassinated Joseph’s contemporary, Abraham Lincoln, their critics were enraged not so much by their flaws as by their strengths and accomplishments. Certainly Thomas Sharp, the instigator of the attack at Carthage jail, was envious of the great influence Joseph had among his own church members. I think that jealousy continues to be a sore point for modern critics as well, including pastors who don’t find themselves able to inspire the kind of loyalty that Joseph receives even today from the Latter-day Saints, and perceive Joseph as a competitor for the trust of even the pastor’s own congregants.
Thus, the more we supporters of Joseph praise his character and accomplishments, the stronger his critics feel motivated to undercut him.
Could you please share your thoughts on how Joseph handled his polygamous relationships and his treatment of Emma? It is my understanding that there was quite a bit of deception and manipulation going on. Thank you.
I list the best treatments I know of early Mormon plural marriage in this blog entry:
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