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Daniel Peterson

The Shiftless, Lazy, Lying Smith Family

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On a rather venomous evangelical "countercult" discussion board that I look in on every few weeks, one of the posters declares that Mormonism can be explained as part of an effort by the Smith family to evade work.

Apparently both dishonesty and sloth ran in the Smith family's veins (in Emma's too, which is something of a genetic miracle).

I immediately thought of an article that I wrote quite some time ago: â??Can the 1834 Affidavits Attacking the Smith Family Be Trusted?â? Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, September 1993 Update. Reprinted in John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne, eds., Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s (Provo: FARMS, 1999), 285-288.

So they weren't lazy.

Does that a prophet make?

Can one be hard working and still be a liar?

How about a drunk?

Or a womanizer?

I mean all you have here is someone telling you that the Smith's weren't as lazy as some would have you to believe

What about all the other accusations?

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DCP, do you ever think that somewhere in Mormonthinkland that Richard Anderson might have got it wrong?

Try a little harder there, Noel; that well isn't completely poisoned yet.

But do you ever think that somewhere in EVnonthinkland that Richard Anderson might have got it right?

I understand that the Kelly Brothers (RLDS) collection was rather lacking in detail whereas Demming's was more methodiccal.

Translation: Deming supports your ideologically-driven assumptions, but the Kelley brothers do not.

Got it.

Anderson provides evidence and analysis to show why he prefers the latter over the former; you merely give an opinion. Hmmm, which is more compelling...?

BTW your comments about Richard Anderson seem pointless. I don't accept the LDS church as God's true church so I do not need to nail down every negative detail about Smith. I am just interested if it may or may not be true. If not no big deal. There is plenty of other material to assess Smith's legitimacy.

IOW, you'll just keep on slinging mud, not caring whether any of it sticks or not. Got it.

Incidentally, since I do accept the LDS Church as God's true Church, I do not need to nail down every negative detail about Joseph either. The Church's truth claims do not rest upon him. IOW, since you insist in trying to show us the error of our ways, you do need to come up with a plausible explanation for the Church's origins, and especially for the Book of Mormon.

So when will we see it?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Some resolutions from the first and only edition of the Nauvoo Expositor before Joseph Smith Jr had it destroyed.

Resolved 2nd, Inasmuch as we have for years borne with the individual follies and iniquities of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and many other official characters in the Church of Jesus Christ, (conceiving it a duty incumbent upon us so to bear,) and having labored with them repeatedly with all Christian love, meekness and humility; yet to no effect, feel as if forbearance has ceased to be a virtue, and hope of reformation vain; and inasmuch as they have introduced false and damnable doctrine into the Church, such as a plurality of Gods, above the God of this universe, and his liability to fall with all his creations; the plurality of wives, for time and eternity; the doctrine of unconditional sealing up to eternal life, against all crimes except that of sheding innocent blood, by a perversion of their priestly authority, and thereby forfeiting the holy priesthood, according to the word of Jesus: "If a man abide not in me, he is cast fort as a branch is withered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned," St. John, vx. 6. "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God, he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son; if there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed, for he that bideth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds;" we therefore are constrained to denounce them as apostates from the pure and holy doctrines of Jesus Christ.

Resolved 3rd, That we disapprobate and discountenance every attempt to unite church and state; and that we further believe the effort now being made by Joseph Smith for political power and influence, is not commendable in the sight of God.

Resolved 4th, That the hostile spirit and conduct manifested by Joseph Smith, and many of his associates towards Missouri, and others inimical to his purposes, are decidedly at variance with the true spirit of Christianity, and should not be encouraged by any people, much less by those professing to be the ministers of the gospel of peace.

Resolved 5th, That while we disapprobate malicious persecutions and prosecutions, we hold that all church members are alike amenable to the laws of the land; and that we further discountenance any chicanery to screen them from the just demands of the same.

Resolved 6th, That we consider the religious influence exercised in financial concerns by Joseph Smith, as unjust as it is unwarranted, for the Book of Doctrine and Covenants makes it the duty of the Bishop to take charge of the financial affairs of the Church, and of all temporal matters pertaining to the same.

Resolved 7th, That we discountenance and disapprobate the attendance at houses of revelling and dancing; drain-shops and theatres; verily believing they have a tendency to lead from paths of virtue and holiness, to those of vice and debauchery.

Some people were pretty convinced that Joseph Smith Jr, especially, was up to no good. They were pretty specific with their resolutions, too.

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So they weren't lazy.

Does that a prophet make?

No.

And, much to your surprise, nobody has asserted that it does.

What it does do is call into question the credibility of those who so eagerly accused him of laziness, as well as all the other things.

Can one be hard working and still be a liar?

How about a drunk?

Well, how about it? Are you going to tell us that you believe the ridiculous stories of Joseph getting drunk and lying around in vacant lots in Montrose giving loud "I am a profit" soliloquies?

Or a womanizer?

I mean all you have here is someone telling you that the Smith's weren't as lazy as some would have you to believe

What about all the other accusations?

The other accusations that come from the same sources, you mean?

Well, what about them?

I know you'd love to believe otherwise, but the burden of proof lies with the accusers.

So have you got any?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Anderson writes

"Another consideration which lessens Kelley's reliability is the fact that he published his reconstruction of the interviews without supporting documentation. Unlike Deming, Kelley did not write up the account of his interviews at the time and then have the person interviewed read it for correctness, sign it, and have it attested by independent witnesses. Rather Kelley took only brief notes, later using these and his own memory to reconstruct what had been said. The notes themselves and the responses of some of those interviewed show that Kelley sometimes depended upon imagination as well as memory."

Seen Roger Andersons chapter http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/york/...ter5.htm#arthur The Deming Affidavits

"Deming consequently tried whenever possible to have the affidavits attested to by more than just the interviewee. Most were notarized, witnessed by friends or relatives present at the time, and printed complete with addresses of the original testators.5 In this manner Deming not only guaranteed the authenticity of the statements but also provided potential critics with the information necessary to discredit him if they suspected that any of the statements were false."

Which would be more relaiable?

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Which would be more relaiable?

Statements taken in 1885 about events that happened 65 years earlier....

reliable? In 1885, Joseph Smith and the neighborhood guys would have

been in their 80s and 90s. When friends or relatives swore on the veracity

of the affidavits, where they swearing on the truth of what happened 65

years earlier, or where they swearing that they actually heard the storytellers

speak the words to the interviewer?

I'm over 60 and I can't remember what happened yesterday. Mrs. Gui constantly

swears at me.

45 years ago I knew a guy named Sonny Hildebrand. Ask me some

questions about him.

Bernard

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Here is a link to a picture I took a couple of years ago.

http://www.idigitalhouse.com/Family/images...e_winter_10.JPG

In other words, the rocks they removed from their farm land is still stacked up in a massive line along their old property line. Yikes.

3 Years ago, I dug up my garden along our property line. I discovered tons of rocks, which i had to remove. It was a lot of work, and that was only along a 30 foot stretch of my property line. The Smith family had a 100 acre farm? Farmers are anything but lazy.

The people who are lazy are the ones who dream up all these false accusations against the Church and the Smith family.

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The people who are lazy are the ones who dream up all these false accusations against the Church and the Smith family.

You are painting with a very wide brush there, my good man

They can't all be false. There are too many

Or maybe you think Joseph was some sort of angelic being?

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They can't all be false. There are too many

Are you seriously suggesting that because there are so many accusations against Joseph Smith that some of them therefore must be true?

Argumentum ad nauseam?

Argumentum ad numerum?

Argumentum ad populum?

Anything?

What about the heaps of accusations thrown against Jesus and the Apostles in the early days of the Church? Are some of them automatically correct because there were soooo many of them?

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Are you seriously suggesting that because there are so many accusations against Joseph Smith that some of them therefore must be true?

Argumentum ad nauseam?

Argumentum ad numerum?

Argumentum ad populum?

Anything?

What about the heaps of accusations thrown against Jesus and the Apostles in the early days of the Church? Are some of them automatically correct because there were soooo many of them?

Now you are comparing Joseph Smith to Jesus Christ?

Good luck with that.

I am suggesting that Joseph was not the angelic person your church makes him out to be. He was certainly NO Jesus Christ!

Just what DOES the church admit to with Joseph and his faults?

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Back to the topic, chapter 1 of Richard Abanes' "One Nation Under Gods" is entitled

"Vagabond Visionaries," in which Abanes tries to make the case that the Smith

family was indeed indolent, poor, alcoholic, shiftless, and lazy. He starts the

chapter with this quote from Smith's contemporary Pomeroy Tucker:

"Joseph Smith senior, with a family consisting of a wife and eight children, including

Joe the Prophet, ...were an illiterate, shifltess, indolent tribe, without any visible

means of a respectable livelihood, nor was it apparent that they earned an honest

living - young Joe being the laziest of the crew. The boys, who were frequently seen

lounging about the stores and shops in the village, were distinguished only for their

vagabondish appearance and loaferly habits. The femal portion of the household

were pretty much ditto."

Abanes calls their clearing of 100 acres of land and tapping over 1,500 sugar maples for 7000

pounds of sugar and syrup (the top production in the county that year) a

"small accomplishment."

Such writing is typical of anti-Mormons, and it shows a complete ignorance of

the truth about the Smiths as noted above by Dr. Daniel P.

Enders, Donald L. (1993) "The Joseph Smith, Sr., Family: Farmers of the Genesee" Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the Man Salt Lake City: Bookcraft. 213-225:

"Based on horticultural studies, approximately 100 trees per acre grew in that area. To clear the 60 acres, the Smiths cut down about 6,000 trees. A large percentage measured from four to six feet in diameter, and grew to heights of one hundred feet or more. These figures help us to better appreciate William Smith's statement: 'If you will figure up how much work it would take to clear sixty acres of heavy timber land â?¦ trees you could not conveniently cut down, you can tell whether we were lazy or not".

"The Smith farm had a perimeter of a one and 2/3 miles. To fence that distance with a standard stone and stinger fence required moving tons of stone from fields to farm perimeter, then cutting and placing about 4,000 ten-foot rails. This does not include the labor and materials involved in fencing the barnyard, garden, pastures, and orchard, which, at a conservative estimate, required an additional 2,000 to 3,000 cut wooden rails. Clearly, this work alone-all of it separate from the actual labor of farming-represents a prodigious amount of concerted planning and labor."

"Sources document over two dozen kinds of labor the Smiths performed for hire, including digging and rocking up wells, mowing, coopering, constructing cisterns, hunting and trapping, teaching school, providing domestic service, and making split-wood chairs, brooms and baskets. The Smiths also harvested, did modest carpentry work, dug for salt, constructed stone walls and fireplaces, flailed grain, cut and sold cordwood, carted, made cider, and 'witched' for water. They sold garden produce, made bee-gums, washed clothes, painted oil-cloth coverings, butchered, dug coal, painted chairs, hauled stone, and made maple syrup and sugar."

Let's see any of those modern critics who perpetuate the "lazy Smith family myth" produce a similar "small accomplishment" with the tools

available to the Smiths at the time.

Bernard

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Now you are comparing Joseph Smith to Jesus Christ?

No. I am trying to show that you are using a double standard. If I understand you correctly, because there are so many accusations against Joseph Smith some of them must be true. In response, I said, what about Christ? He had his fair share of critics who leveled all sorts of accusations against him. Based on your standard, some of them are true because there were so many.

I am suggesting that Joseph was not the angelic person your church makes him out to be. He was certainly NO Jesus Christ!

CFR that the Church has ever made Joseph the "angelic person" you think we are making him or that we ever compared him to Christ.

Just what DOES the church admit to with Joseph and his faults?

Gee, ever read the Doctrine & Covenants? What about History of the Church (and no, not the little proof texts you get from anti-Mormon websites)? Joseph Smith's shortcomings and flaws (after all, he was human like the rest of us) are discussed in these sources.

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You are painting with a very wide brush there, my good man

They can't all be false. There are too many

Or maybe you think Joseph was some sort of angelic being?

You are right, It is too broad a brush. I'm sure many people who fight against the church are not lazy at all, but spend many countless hours monitoring discussion boards, internet based news papers and other places to fight against the church. That's a lot of work!!! :P

I don't get your statement about 'They can't all be false'. Who is 'they' ?

I believe Joseph Smith was a mortal man who was called of God. God has his own authority to call whom ever he wants to be a prophet. He has the right to call anyone who will listen. And owing the the principle that he never puts new wine in old bottles, it makes sense that God starts afresh in this the American Continent, with a young untrained farm boy. Otherwise, I'm not sure why I should equate him with being an angelic being? Perhaps you can explain?

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...[was] an illiterate...

... man who wrote a 500 page book of multiple levels of complexity, complete internal consistency, authentic ancient rhetorical and literary devices, etc, etc? Really? Common, the critics can't have it both ways.

Just who was Joseph Smith, critics? Was he a super genius on the level of Einstein and Tolkien or an illiterate and lazy knave?

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On a rather venomous evangelical "countercult" discussion board that I look in on every few weeks, one of the posters declares that Mormonism can be explained as part of an effort by the Smith family to evade work.

Apparently both dishonesty and sloth ran in the Smith family's veins (in Emma's too, which is something of a genetic miracle).

I immediately thought of an article that I wrote quite some time ago: â??Can the 1834 Affidavits Attacking the Smith Family Be Trusted?â? Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, September 1993 Update. Reprinted in John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne, eds., Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s (Provo: FARMS, 1999), 285-288.

I agree.

To portray Joseph Smith as lazy, only shows an absolute disregard for any objectivity in the study of the history of Joseph Smith. He maybe portrayed as many things, but lazy? Continually traveling, building temples, Book of Mormon, Book of Commandments (D&C), PofGP, setting up communities, sending missionaries into the world. building houses, clearing land and school of the prophets and then plenty more.

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DCP, do you ever think that somewhere in Mormonthinkland that Richard Anderson might have got it wrong?It's conceivable, of course.

I don't believe that I've ever advocated the dogma of Richard Anderson's infallibility.

But I would have to be convinced that he got it wrong. And, thus far, I haven't been. Not even close. I think he's a meticulously careful historian.

BTW your comments about Richard Anderson seem pointless.

You mentioned Roger Anderson's criticism. I simply mentioned that Richard Anderson had responded to it.

A game in which one team is permitted to score goals but the other is forbidden to defend against them would seem rather unfair, don't you think?

So they weren't lazy.

Does that a prophet make?

Sigh.

Critic X says "The Smiths were lazy, and founded Mormonism in order to live without work."

Evil Defender responds, "The Smiths weren't lazy, and, accordingly, it seems unlikely that they founded Mormonism in order to live without work."

Critic Y interjects "Oh yeah? Well so what!! The fact that they weren't lazy proves nothing!"

Can one be hard working and still be a liar?

How about a drunk?

Or a womanizer?

Obviously.

I mean all you have here is someone telling you that the Smith's weren't as lazy as some would have you to believe.

Which seems a pretty direct contradiction of the claim that the Smiths were really, really lazy. Which was my point.

What about all the other accusations?

You're being, it seems to me, more than a bit silly.

The mere fact that a refutation of A doesn't refute B, C, D, and E in no way detracts from the fact that it does refute A.

B, C, D, and E are separate issues, and will be dealt with separately. But A has now been taken care of.

Now you are comparing Joseph Smith to Jesus Christ?

Good luck with that.

Good grief, Phinehas. Really.

Did anybody here suggest that Joseph Smith was sinless, as Jesus was? Has anybody here suggested that Joseph Smith was divine, as Jesus is?

This is a red herring.

But, yes, Joseph Smith and Jesus can be compared to one other, in innumerable ways. Jesus was born much earlier than Joseph, who was born much later than Jesus. Jesus spoke Aramaic, but Joseph didn't. Both had eyes, but probably of different color. If they were standing next to one another, one would be taller than the other, or they would be of comparable height. Joseph lived longer than Jesus did. Jesus died younger than Joseph did. Both died violent deaths. Both were and are religiously significant figures. Their lungs and circulatory systems were probably quite similar. And so on and so forth, and etc.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong or evil about comparing Jesus to some other historical personage (e.g., the Buddha, or Muhammad, or Moses), nor even to some other object (e.g., "The door was 12" taller than Jesus; Jesus was 12" shorter than the door"). And, in fact, the reaction to Jesus of ancient anti-Christians is comparable in many ways to the treatment of Joseph by anti-Mormons of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.

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Just what DOES the church admit to with Joseph and his faults?

Every 14 yr old seminary student knows that Joseph got in BIG trouble from God for loaning the translated manuscript to Martin Harris.

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And, in fact, the reaction to Jesus of ancient anti-Christians is comparable in many ways to the treatment of Joseph by anti-Mormons of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.

Hilariously parodied by Tvedtnes:

http://www.shields-research.org/Humor/STCP.html

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I agree. Any Tom, **** or Harry can claim to be a Prophet, but what do they have to show for it? Joseph Smith offered the Book of Mormon. That is the first thing critics are going to have to go through. (That and the Witnesses, IMO.)

Actually, there are other, uneducated humans, who have managed to bring forth mysterious works of their own, which surpass the Book of Mormon in content and number of pages (i.e., the "Urantia Book"). Just like some people have the gift of gab, others have the gift of writting or plagiarizing, whether they are educated or not. As far as the witnesses go, well, the Strangites, who some of those Book of Mormon witnesses considered joining after Joseph's death also had their eight witnesses of some plates that James Jesse Strang supposedly translated by the gift and power of god.

So let's put Jospeh Smith and Mormonism aside to see things from a different perspective... if a young man gave you a book, said an angel gave him plates written in a mysterious language to be translated by looking into a stone or stones that contain the power of God, would you consider that it may very well be a masterful lie???

Based upon the masterful lies I have witnessed in my life and the lives of many others, I would have to say, "Be very careful, as your mind, personal choices and resources may become hijacked by a gifted deceiver!"

Just something to think about if you haven't been hijacked yet...

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Actually, there are other, uneducated humans, who have managed to bring forth mysterious works of their own, which surpass the Book of Mormon in content and number of pages (i.e., the "Urantia Book"). Just like some people have the gift of gab, others have the gift of writting or plagiarizing, whether they are educated or not.

Ah, so once again the critic is forced to include Joseph in the small group of inordinately talented individuals who inspire awe and defy expectations. As Rommelator appropriately jokes, "Professor Joseph" keeps getting smarter and smarter. Of course, this sort of thing doesn't fit the descriptions of Joseph that we have.

As far as the witnesses go, well, the Strangites, who some of those Book of Mormon witnesses considered joining after Joseph's death also had their eight witnesses of some plates that James Jesse Strang supposedly translated by the gift and power of god.

Except, the Strangeite witnesses later admitted to the fraud, and retracted their testimonies. Oops.

So let's put Jospeh Smith and Mormonism aside to see things from a different perspective... if a young man gave you a book, said an angel gave him plates written in a mysterious language to be translated by looking into a stone or stones that contain the power of God, would you consider that it may very well be a masterful lie???

As we often say, it is either one of the greatest cons in the last 1000 years or it is in fact what it claims to be. So far no one critic has provided an alternate theory that accounts for all of the data. You would think that after close to 180 years later someone would have already blown the whole thing out of the water. Strangely, noone has.

Based upon the masterful lies I have witnessed in my life and the lives of many others, I would have to say, "Be very careful, as your mind, personal choices and resources may become hijacked by a gifted deceiver!"

Just something to think about if you haven't been hijacked yet...

Well, I fervently opposed Obama's campaign too. :P

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Back to the topic, chapter 1 of Richard Abanes' "One Nation Under Gods" is entitled

"Vagabond Visionaries," in which Abanes tries to make the case that the Smith

family was indeed indolent, poor, alcoholic, shiftless, and lazy.

Interesting....but a couple problems. Sigh. Bernard used: 1) faulty information; and 2) incomplete information.

Let's look at #1. Here's what Bernard stated: "Abanes tries to make the case that the Smith family was indeed indolent, poor, alcoholic, shiftless, and lazy."

First, references like that are to statements made by those who knew the Smith's and they highlight their opinions of the Smiths. That is relevant to any history. Sorry. That's what they thought of the family. And the farthest I would push this point is to simply say where there's smoke (and a lot of it) there's usually a fire of some kind.

Second, as for my own view, my chapter points to a family that desperately tried for years to make ends meet, but at some point they stopped fighting the odds against them and turned to such mid-19th century practices as magick and money-digging for survival. This, btw, would have probably caused the other townsfolk to see them as they did: ie., no good, untrustworthy, lazy-ish, superstitious, prone to cons/scams rather than a good living (remember glass-looking was illegal in those days, and Smith was convicted for that).

Moreover, on pp. 8-9 (paperback), Bernard neglected to quote the following remarks I made after noting how the Smith family needed tp move from New England to Palmyra:

"[T]he Smiths hoped to find better financial times via the thriving commerce flowing from the construction of the new Erie Canal, which would eventually be completed in 1825. The Smiths unfortunately arrived long after the high-quality tracts of land had been sold. So to make the best of a very difficult situation, Lucy opened up a 'cake and beer' shop where she sold gingerbread, rootbeer, and oilcloth accessories. Joseph Smith, Sr. hired himself out as a manual laborer until he was able to sign a note for a hundred acres of mediocre terrain near Manchester..."

Now let's look at #2. Here's what Bernard stated: "Abanes calls their clearing of 100 acres of land and tapping over 1,500 sugar maples for 7000 pounds of sugar and syrup (the top production in the county that year) a 'small accomplishment.'"

But page 9 (paperback) reads: "'They made seven thousand pounds in one season and won the fifty-dollar bounty for top production in the county.' Such hard work and admirable accomplishments, however, failed to alleviate their struggle against the haunting specter of utter destitution."

I think this might have been a change from the hardcover to the paperback (I am assuming this is the case, since I don't have a hard cover and I'm not going to say Bernard is lying). If I recall correctly, I made the change because all of you were gnashing your teeth over the fact that I dared call this a "small accomplishment" in the original hard cover. To me, again if I remember correctly, most of the criticisms of ONUG like this -- a matter of straining at gnats while ignoring the great big elephant in the room.

Anyway, back to the "small accomplishment," I can see myself writing such a thing IN CONTEXT as a way of expressing how that would have indeed been a "small accomplishment" in light of what the Smith's would have needed to break out of the poverty in which they found themselves. It would not have been intended by me as any kind of slight on the activity itself, or a criticism of that accomplishment somehow not being worthy of a collective "wow." Make sense?

But LDS, understandably, are terribly sensitive to anything that might be said in anyway negative about JS. After all, he is fairly high up there on the spiritual scale of movers and shakers, just under Jesus Christ -- i.e., I've even see side-by-side life comparison charts between him and Jesus. And, of course, he holds the keys to rule in the spirit world and you need Joseph's consent to make it to godhood. Brigham Young, for instance, warned:

"[N]o man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. . . . [E]very man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansions where God and Christ are.' he explained: '(Smith) holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation the keys to rule the spirit world; and he rules there triumphantly. . . . He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven."

I can see why you all would be a little sensitive.

R.A.

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Interesting....but a couple problems. Sigh. Bernard used: 1) faulty information; and 2) incomplete information.

Let's look at #1. Here's what Bernard stated: "Abanes tries to make the case that the Smith family was indeed indolent, poor, alcoholic, shiftless, and lazy."

First, references like that are to statements made by those who knew the Smith's and they highlight their opinions of the Smiths. That is relevant to any history. Sorry. That's what they thought of the family. And the farthest I would push this point is to simply say where there's smoke (and a lot of it) there's usually a fire of some kind.

The gossips' creed.

This "reputation" is clearly an artifact of Hurlbut's push-polling. The quantity of the "smoke" derives from the fact that these gossips are all quoting each other.

Gossip is very poor history.

Second, as for my own view, my chapter points to a family that desperately tried for years to make ends meet, but at some point they stopped fighting the odds against them and turned to such mid-19th century practices as magick and money-digging for survival. This, btw, would have probably caused the other townsfolk to see them as they did: ie., no good, untrustworthy, lazy-ish, superstitious, prone to cons/scams rather than a good living (remember glass-looking was illegal in those days, and Smith was convicted for that).

No. He was not.

Preliminary hearings do not produce convictions, but they can produce acquittals. Joseph was acquitted.

But LDS, understandably, are terribly sensitive to anything that might be said in anyway negative about JS. After all, he is fairly high up there on the spiritual scale of movers and shakers, just under Jesus Christ -- i.e., I've even see side-by-side life comparison charts between him and Jesus. And, of course, he holds the keys to rule in the spirit world and you need Joseph's consent to make it to godhood. Brigham Young, for instance, warned:

"[N]o man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. . . . [E]very man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansions where God and Christ are.' he explained: '(Smith) holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation the keys to rule the spirit world; and he rules there triumphantly. . . . He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven."

I can see why you all would be a little sensitive.

R.A.

Try just a little harder, Raybans. That well isn't quite poisoned yet.

In fact you seem to be quite intentionally transferring your own agenda to us. Anti-Mormon accusers seem to be strangely "sensitive" to any suggestion that their accusations might not stand up to scrutiny.

Why is that?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Every 14 yr old seminary student knows that Joseph got in BIG trouble from God for loaning the translated manuscript to Martin Harris.

Why would Joseph Smith have gotten into trouble? God had given him permission:

. . that he desired to carry them to read to his friends that peradventure he might convince them of the truth therefore I inquired of the Lord and the Lord said unto me that he must not take them and I spoke unto him (Martin) the word of the Lord and he said inquire again and I inquired again and also the third time and the Lord said unto me let him go with them only he shall covenant with me that he will not shew them to only but four persons and he covenented withe Lord that he would do according to the word of the Lord therefore he took them and took his journey unto his friends to Palmira Wayne County & State of N York and he brake the covenent which he made before the Lord and the Lord suffered the writings to fall into the hands of wicked men and Martin was chastened for his transgession and I also was chastened me for my transgression for asking the Lord the third time wherefore the Plates was taken from me by the power of God and I was not able to obtain them for a season' and it came to pass after much humility and affliction of soul I obtained them again when [the] Lord appeared unto a young man by the name of Oliver Cowdry and shewed unto him the plates in a vision and also the truth of the work and what the Lord was about to do through me his unworthy servant therefore he was desirous to come and write for me to translate now my wife had writen some for me to translate and also my Brother Samuel H Smith but we had be come reduced in property and my wives father was about to turn me out of doors & I had not where to go and I cried unto the Lord that he would provide for me to accomplish the work whereunto he had commanded me

[PJS 1:9-10.]

http://www.boap.org/LDS/History/HTMLHistory/v1c3history.html

That makes no sense that the Lord gives permission after the third time Joseph asks, and then when the pages are lost, the Lord gets mad at Joseph for asking him a third time.

It's amazing to me that the Lord couldn't just say "Joseph, if you give the pages to Martin, he is going to lose them. Trust me. And if you ask me again, I will get really angry. And if you read the Old Testament, you know you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

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Interesting....but a couple problems. Sigh. Bernard used: 1) faulty information; and 2) incomplete information.

Let's look at #1. Here's what Bernard stated: "Abanes tries to make the case that the Smith family was indeed indolent, poor, alcoholic, shiftless, and lazy."

First, references like that are to statements made by those who knew the Smith's and they highlight their opinions of the Smiths. That is relevant to any history. Sorry. That's what they thought of the family. And the farthest I would push this point is to simply say where there's smoke (and a lot of it) there's usually a fire of some kind.

Second, as for my own view, my chapter points to a family that desperately tried for years to make ends meet, but at some point they stopped fighting the odds against them and turned to such mid-19th century practices as magick and money-digging for survival. This, btw, would have probably caused the other townsfolk to see them as they did: ie., no good, untrustworthy, lazy-ish, superstitious, prone to cons/scams rather than a good living (remember glass-looking was illegal in those days, and Smith was convicted for that).

Moreover, on pp. 8-9 (paperback), Bernard neglected to quote the following remarks I made after noting how the Smith family needed tp move from New England to Palmyra:

"[T]he Smiths hoped to find better financial times via the thriving commerce flowing from the construction of the new Erie Canal, which would eventually be completed in 1825. The Smiths unfortunately arrived long after the high-quality tracts of land had been sold. So to make the best of a very difficult situation, Lucy opened up a 'cake and beer' shop where she sold gingerbread, rootbeer, and oilcloth accessories. Joseph Smith, Sr. hired himself out as a manual laborer until he was able to sign a note for a hundred acres of mediocre terrain near Manchester..."

Now let's look at #2. Here's what Bernard stated: "Abanes calls their clearing of 100 acres of land and tapping over 1,500 sugar maples for 7000 pounds of sugar and syrup (the top production in the county that year) a 'small accomplishment.'"

But page 9 (paperback) reads: "'They made seven thousand pounds in one season and won the fifty-dollar bounty for top production in the county.' Such hard work and admirable accomplishments, however, failed to alleviate their struggle against the haunting specter of utter destitution."

I think this might have been a change from the hardcover to the paperback (I am assuming this is the case, since I don't have a hard cover and I'm not going to say Bernard is lying). If I recall correctly, I made the change because all of you were gnashing your teeth over the fact that I dared call this a "small accomplishment" in the original hard cover. To me, again if I remember correctly, most of the criticisms of ONUG like this -- a matter of straining at gnats while ignoring the great big elephant in the room.

Anyway, back to the "small accomplishment," I can see myself writing such a thing IN CONTEXT as a way of expressing how that would have indeed been a "small accomplishment" in light of what the Smith's would have needed to break out of the poverty in which they found themselves. It would not have been intended by me as any kind of slight on the activity itself, or a criticism of that accomplishment somehow not being worthy of a collective "wow." Make sense?

But LDS, understandably, are terribly sensitive to anything that might be said in anyway negative about JS. After all, he is fairly high up there on the spiritual scale of movers and shakers, just under Jesus Christ -- i.e., I've even see side-by-side life comparison charts between him and Jesus. And, of course, he holds the keys to rule in the spirit world and you need Joseph's consent to make it to godhood. Brigham Young, for instance, warned:

"[N]o man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. . . . [E]very man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansions where God and Christ are.' he explained: '(Smith) holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation the keys to rule the spirit world; and he rules there triumphantly. . . . He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven."

I can see why you all would be a little sensitive.

R.A.

I think you need to change the book your reading JS history from. You state that Joseph was convicted for "glass reading" (CFR BTW) as a fact. Please allow me to educate you, the fact is Joseph was accused many times and convicted zero.

Anijen ~"Thanks for playing but come back when your better" said the master to the patzer...

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