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Why Is Revelation So Offensive To The World?


bookofmormontruth

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Rob Bowman has stated in another thread: It'S Too Sacred

I would also suggest to you that there is no evidence of ever persecuting Joseph Smith or anyone else in LDS Church history for claiming to have seen Christ. Joseph got himself into a lot of trouble with a lot of people, but not because of the First Vision
.

As faithful members, we can understand Rob's desperate desire to speak for our own doctrines and to be the "expert" in on our own history, but regardless of Rob's myopic views, the Reed Smoot Hearings prove that Rob's distorted perception is completely wrong.

In 1903, Robert W. Tayler, attorney chief counsel led the hearings against Reed Smoot to allow him into the senate because Smoot was a Mormon and that he believed that Joseph Smith received revelation from God. In Robert W. Tayler's own words:

Now a Senator of the U.S. might believe anything else in the world, but that (revelation) and not be ineligible to a seat in the body to which he belongs. He might believe in polygamy, he might believe that murder was commendable, he might deny the propriety as a rule of life of the 10 ten commandments, he might believe in the sacrifice of human life, he might believe in no God or in a thousand Gods, he might be Jew or Gentile, Muhammadean or Buddhist, atheist or pantheist, he might believe that the world began last year and would end next year. But to believe in revelation from God was extremely arrogant and a masquerade Church leaders might use to exert undo control of its members and would disqualify any believer from being part of the U.S. senate.

The real "danger" wasn’t plural marriage or the “Oath of vengeance”, but revelation. Persecution as its finest!

In addition, Joseph Smith's own testimony of why he was persecuted definitively proves that Rob Bowman needs a new profession. Joseph Smith.

So then with the persecution examples of Joseph Smith and Reed Smooth, why is revelation so offensive to the world?

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It removes total control of our own decisions and puts the metaphysical into potential ascendency. That is why JFK's candidacy was abhorrent to many: the pope might intervene with "infallibility" in American affairs. It is why Romney went down and will continue to go down, no matter what a great guy he otherwise is: the Mormon prophet might intervene in American Gov't affairs. The risk is too great: put in a president who believes that "God" talks to him (even via an oracle) and you have introduced that uncontrollable influence that can use personal religion to subvert the Constitution.

And on the topic of Joseph Smith being persecuted for saying he had seen "God", the evidence is heavily in favor of his selective memory and immediate need for bolstered authority in 1838 being behind the sudden assertion that he was so-persecuted after 1820. There is no contemporary or otherwise early evidence that he was persecuted for claiming a theophany....

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It removes total control of our own decisions and puts the metaphysical into potential ascendency. That is why JFK's candidacy was abhorrent to many: the pope might intervene with "infallibility" in American affairs. It is why Romney went down and will continue to go down, no matter what a great guy he otherwise is: the Mormon prophet might intervene in American Gov't affairs. The risk is too great: put in a president who believes that "God" talks to him (even via an oracle) and you have introduced that uncontrollable influence that can use personal religion to subvert the Constitution.

And on the topic of Joseph Smith being persecuted for saying he had seen "God", the evidence is heavily in favor of his selective memory and immediate need for bolstered authority in 1838 being behind the sudden assertion that he was so-persecuted after 1820. There is no contemporary or otherwise early evidence that he was persecuted for claiming a theophany....

I definitely can see your first point.

CFR on your second point and no, Rob Bowman is not a reliable source.

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bookofmormontruth:

Not even there. The US Constitution directly prohibits a religious test for public office. Without getting too political I can't see me voting for Romney, maybe I could vote for Huntsman, and it has nothing to do with their religious beliefs.

Sorry, I am not sure what you are saying?

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Rob Bowman has stated in another thread: It'S Too Sacred

.

As faithful members, we can understand Rob's desperate desire to speak for our own doctrines and to be the "expert" in on our own history, but regardless of Rob's myopic views, the Reed Smoot Hearings prove that Rob's distorted perception is completely wrong.

In 1903, Robert W. Tayler, attorney chief counsel led the hearings against Reed Smoot to allow him into the senate because Smoot was a Mormon and that he believed that Joseph Smith received revelation from God. In Robert W. Tayler's own words:

The real "danger" wasn’t plural marriage or the “Oath of vengeance”, but revelation. Persecution as its finest!

In addition, Joseph Smith's own testimony of why he was persecuted definitively proves that Rob Bowman needs a new profession. Joseph Smith.

So then with the persecution examples of Joseph Smith and Reed Smooth, why is revelation so offensive to the world?

I would agree that generally the world views someone claiming modern revelation with some skepticism.........even more so someone they see as a false prophet.

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It removes total control of our own decisions and puts the metaphysical into potential ascendency. That is why JFK's candidacy was abhorrent to many: the pope might intervene with "infallibility" in American affairs. It is why Romney went down and will continue to go down, no matter what a great guy he otherwise is: the Mormon prophet might intervene in American Gov't affairs. The risk is too great: put in a president who believes that "God" talks to him (even via an oracle) and you have introduced that uncontrollable influence that can use personal religion to subvert the Constitution.

And on the topic of Joseph Smith being persecuted for saying he had seen "God", the evidence is heavily in favor of his selective memory and immediate need for bolstered authority in 1838 being behind the sudden assertion that he was so-persecuted after 1820. There is no contemporary or otherwise early evidence that he was persecuted for claiming a theophany....

If someone gives you a good piece of advice, you are not obligated to follow it. You will do what you feel is right in the end, no matter what someone else says is good for you. It always comes down to your own choice. How is revelation any different? Secondly, each member is encouraged to seek personal revelation on everything, even on something a prophet or apostle say.

I don't see how that "removes total control of our own decisions".

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BOMT,

I had stated that no one persecuted Joseph Smith or anyone else for claiming to have seen Christ. You wrote:

As faithful members, we can understand Rob's desperate desire to speak for our own doctrines and to be the "expert" in on our own history, but regardless of Rob's myopic views, the Reed Smoot Hearings prove that Rob's distorted perception is completely wrong.

I doubt it.

You wrote:

In 1903, Robert W. Tayler, attorney chief counsel led the hearings against Reed Smoot to allow him into the senate because Smoot was a Mormon and that he believed that Joseph Smith received revelation from God. In Robert W. Tayler's own words:
Now a Senator of the U.S. might believe anything else in the world, but that (revelation) and not be ineligible to a seat in the body to which he belongs. He might believe in polygamy, he might believe that murder was commendable, he might deny the propriety as a rule of life of the 10 ten commandments, he might believe in the sacrifice of human life, he might believe in no God or in a thousand Gods, he might be Jew or Gentile, Muhammadean or Buddhist, atheist or pantheist, he might believe that the world began last year and would end next year. But to believe in revelation from God was extremely arrogant and a masquerade Church leaders might use to exert undo control of its members and would disqualify any believer from being part of the U.S. senate.

Consider this a CFR for that last sentence. I found the text of the Reed Smoot hearings easily enough, and the first two sentences (as you quoted them) more or less in the text without any difficulty. But the material in bold above does not seem to be there. In fact, a Google search for the first part of that sentence found it in only one location--this thread. I also did a search specifically of that volume and found no occurrences of the words "arrogant" or "masquerade" anywhere in that volume. Furthermore, in context it is not "revelation" to which Tayler referred as "that" in his first sentence. Here is what Tayler says in the relevant portion of the hearings (with other mistakes from your quotation also corrected):

"Several hundred thousand sincere men and women have believed and now believe, as they believe in their own existence, that Joseph Smith, jr., received revelations direct from God, and if anyone ever believed that, we must assume that Senator Smoot believes it. Now, a Senator of the United States might believe anything else in the world but that and not be ineligible to a seat in the body to which he belongs. He might believe in polygamy; he might believe that murder was commendable; he might deny the propriety as a rule of life of all the ten commandments; he might believe in the sacrifice of human life; he might believe in no God or in a thousand Gods; he might be Jew or Gentile, Muhammadan or Buddhist, atheist or pantheist; he might believe that the world began last year and would end next year, but to believe with the kind of conviction that Reed Smoot possesses that God speaks to him or may speak to him is to admit by the inevitable logic of his conviction that there is a superior authority with whom here and now he may converse, and whose command he can no more refuse to obey than he can will himself not to think." Proceedings before the Committee on Privileges and Elections of the United States Senate in the Matter of the Protests against the Right of Hon. Reed Smoot, a Senator from the State of Utah, to Hold His Seat (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905), 3:594.

Now, it is true that Tayler argued that belief that one is the recipient of this kind of direct revelation from God should disqualify an individual from holding legislative office in a human government, though not from being a good citizen (3:612). This is a debatable argument, to be sure. However, Tayler also made it clear that the main objection to Smoot being a senator was that he was an integral member of the LDS Church hierarchy and complicit in its defiance of federal law (3:611).

In any case, I see no evidence here that any Mormon was being persecuted for believing that he had seen Christ. Tayler was not advocating that Smoot be persecuted, merely barred from holding a seat in the U.S. Senate -- and primarily on nonreligious grounds having to do with Smoot's participation in defiant violation of the law.

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BOMT,

I had stated that no one persecuted Joseph Smith or anyone else for claiming to have seen Christ. You wrote:

I doubt it.

You wrote:

Consider this a CFR for that last sentence. I found the text of the Reed Smoot hearings easily enough, and the first two sentences (as you quoted them) more or less in the text without any difficulty. But the material in bold above does not seem to be there. In fact, a Google search for the first part of that sentence found it in only one location--this thread. I also did a search specifically of that volume and found no occurrences of the words "arrogant" or "masquerade" anywhere in that volume. Furthermore, in context it is not "revelation" to which Tayler referred as "that" in his first sentence. Here is what Tayler says in the relevant portion of the hearings (with other mistakes from your quotation also corrected):

"Several hundred thousand sincere men and women have believed and now believe, as they believe in their own existence, that Joseph Smith, jr., received revelations direct from God, and if anyone ever believed that, we must assume that Senator Smoot believes it. Now, a Senator of the United States might believe anything else in the world but that and not be ineligible to a seat in the body to which he belongs. He might believe in polygamy; he might believe that murder was commendable; he might deny the propriety as a rule of life of all the ten commandments; he might believe in the sacrifice of human life; he might believe in no God or in a thousand Gods; he might be Jew or Gentile, Muhammadan or Buddhist, atheist or pantheist; he might believe that the world began last year and would end next year, but to believe with the kind of conviction that Reed Smoot possesses that God speaks to him or may speak to him is to admit by the inevitable logic of his conviction that there is a superior authority with whom here and now he may converse, and whose command he can no more refuse to obey than he can will himself not to think." Proceedings before the Committee on Privileges and Elections of the United States Senate in the Matter of the Protests against the Right of Hon. Reed Smoot, a Senator from the State of Utah, to Hold His Seat (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905), 3:594.

Now, it is true that Tayler argued that belief that one is the recipient of this kind of direct revelation from God should disqualify an individual from holding legislative office in a human government, though not from being a good citizen (3:612). This is a debatable argument, to be sure. However, Tayler also made it clear that the main objection to Smoot being a senator was that he was an integral member of the LDS Church hierarchy and complicit in its defiance of federal law (3:611).

In any case, I see no evidence here that any Mormon was being persecuted for believing that he had seen Christ. Tayler was not advocating that Smoot be persecuted, merely barred from holding a seat in the U.S. Senate -- and primarily on nonreligious grounds having to do with Smoot's participation in defiant violation of the law.

You mean Google failed you? Say it ain't so Rob. rofl.gif

The word for word quote came from Robert J. Woodford: Volume Co-Editor, Joseph Smith Papers. Television Documentary Series. Season 1. Episode 0. My link . Robert J. Woodford is a real expert on Joseph Smith, has access to Church archives and you can contact him in reference to what he specifically stated. My link

Get used to hearing about the Joseph Smith Papers in regards to real LDS Church history. No other sources will be taken seriously, at all - including your outdated website that heavily depends on unreliable tertiary sources.

Even with your quote above, why isn't surprising to hear you say it is "debatable". Being barred from a seat in the U.S. senate for religious beliefs (revelation) is persecution, no matter how much you spin it Rob. (If the very thing happened today, the news headlines would scream "Religious Persecution"!)

I guess we can't rely on the "Christian" world to come to our defense (despite differences) in any way when religious freedom is clearly thrown out the window as in the case with Reed Smoot. Nice to know Rob.

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BOMT,

You're going to have to do better than that to meet the CFR. Your link goes to a link of the project team members of the JSP. There is no TV documentary episode at that link.

I did not quote from an "outdated website." I quoted from the actual, official, U.S. Government Printing Office transcript of the Reed Smoot hearings. This is hardly a "tertiary source." You gave a link to the project team members of the Joseph Smith Papers. But since the Reed Smoot hearings took place about sixty years after Joseph Smith's death, it is puzzling, to say the least, to know what possible relevance the JSP could have to the question at hand. It is very difficult to take seriously (to use your words) your bald assertion that a so-far undocumented statement by a co-editor of one of the volumes of the Joseph Smith papers, dealing with events sixty or more years before the Reed Smoot hearings, would take precedence over the official government transcript of the hearings.

The CFR remains unanswered.

You mean Google failed you? Say it ain't so Rob. rofl.gif

The word for word quote came from Robert J. Woodford: Volume Co-Editor, Joseph Smith Papers. Television Documentary Series. Season 1. Episode 0. My link . Robert J. Woodford is a real expert on Joseph Smith, has access to Church archives and you can contact him in reference to what he specifically stated. My link

Get used to hearing about the Joseph Smith Papers in regards to real LDS Church history. No other sources will be taken seriously, at all - including your outdated website that heavily depends on unreliable tertiary sources.

Even with your quote above, why isn't surprising to hear you say it is "debatable". Being barred from a seat in the U.S. senate for religious beliefs (revelation) is persecution, no matter how much you spin it Rob. (If the very thing happened today, the news headlines would scream "Religious Persecution"!)

I guess we can't rely on the "Christian" world to come to our defense (despite differences) in any way when religious freedom is clearly thrown out the window as in the case with Reed Smoot. Nice to know Rob.

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BOMT,

You're going to have to do better than that to meet the CFR. Your link goes to a link of the project team members of the JSP. There is no TV documentary episode at that link.

I did not quote from an "outdated website." I quoted from the actual, official, U.S. Government Printing Office transcript of the Reed Smoot hearings. This is hardly a "tertiary source." You gave a link to the project team members of the Joseph Smith Papers. But since the Reed Smoot hearings took place about sixty years after Joseph Smith's death, it is puzzling, to say the least, to know what possible relevance the JSP could have to the question at hand. It is very difficult to take seriously (to use your words) your bald assertion that a so-far undocumented statement by a co-editor of one of the volumes of the Joseph Smith papers, dealing with events sixty or more years before the Reed Smoot hearings, would take precedence over the official government transcript of the hearings.

The CFR remains unanswered.

Petty, just like you private messages that you sent me. Which you should have done publicly Rob, to let the world see your true color$.

My link. Go buy the DVD and upcoming books. Then you can update your website for the actual facts on Joseph Smith and Church history. Your website is full of dishonesty and absolutely weak sources (I posted a few on other threads that you conveniently ignored) and to be taken seriously as an honest critic (which you aren't while supporting a dishonest website), you need to focus your petty, insincere and hypocritical efforts on your very own work.

Trust me, you don't want me to find more holes in your (sad excuse to attack the Lord's Church website) to "embarrass" you again, right Rob? Glad to see in your signature that you took your hyperlink to your website off, can't blame you for that. Too many people searching your own work to see what kind of "critic" you really are. You know, the same type of critic that keeps sacred Temple content up and even has the gall to post a new topic on "why are so many LDS members upset with me for how I mock the sacred?". rolleyes.gif

Yes, I understand that to keep your day job you have to discount the Joseph Smith Papers, yet the academic world doesn't and has given it high acclaims. My advice is to follow them and stop your embarrasment. You are welcome.

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BOMT,

This is a public notice to you that I am reporting your direct refusal to answer a CFR.

Petty, just like you private messages that you sent me. Which you should have done publicly Rob, to let the world see your true color$.

My link. Go buy the DVD and upcoming books. Then you can update your website for the actual facts on Joseph Smith and Church history. Your website is full of dishonesty and absolutely weak sources (I posted a few on other threads that you conveniently ignored) and to be taken seriously as an honest critic (which you aren't while supporting a dishonest website), you need to focus your petty, insincere and hypocritical efforts on your very own work.

Trust me, you don't want me to find more holes in your (sad excuse to attack the Lord's Church website) to "embarrass" you again, right Rob? Glad to see in your signature that you took your hyperlink to your website off, can't blame you for that. Too many people searching your own work to see what kind of "critic" you really are. You know, the same type of critic that keeps sacred Temple content up and even has the gall to post a new topic on "why are so many LDS members upset with me for how I mock the sacred?". rolleyes.gif

Yes, I understand that to keep your day job you have to discount the Joseph Smith Papers, yet the academic world doesn't and has given it high acclaims. My advice is to follow them and stop your embarrasment. You are welcome.

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You gave a link to the project team members of the Joseph Smith Papers. But since the Reed Smoot hearings took place about sixty years after Joseph Smith's death, it is puzzling, to say the least, to know what possible relevance the JSP could have to the question at hand.

Perhaps he was quoting from the less well known but just as important "Joseph F. Smith Papers Project"? :unsure:

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CFR on your second point and no, Rob Bowman is not a reliable source.

And just to be clear, bookofmormontruth, it's kind of hard to fulfill a CFR to show something didn't happen. Usually, a person who is claiming that something did happen has the burden of proof, so it would be good form to argue the point by finding sources that show persecution towards Joseph Smith between 1820-1822.

For example, you could cite this line from Lucy Smith's history of Joseph (admittedly written after his death in the 1840s):

From this time until the twenty-first of September, 1823, Joseph continued, as usual, to labor with his father, and nothing during this interval occurred of very great importance—though he suffered every kind of opposition and persecution from the different orders of religionists.
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BOMT,

You wrote:

Petty, just like you private messages that you sent me. Which you should have done publicly Rob, to let the world see your true color$.

And in another thread you wrote:

And a word to the wise, don't find embarrassing holes in Rob's website for your will be the lucky recipient of private emails.

No good deed goes unpunished. Your website home page included a quotation (used affirmatively) from A Course in Miracles, a New Age book supposedly dictated by Jesus Christ to Helen Schucman. The book denies that sin and evil exist and teaches a number of other obviously false doctrines that any Mormon would instantly reject. I politely suggested to you that such a quotation was not in keeping with your LDS beliefs and that if I were you I would remove it, as it could prove an embarrassment to you. You did remove it, which shows you recognized that what I was saying was correct. I could just as easily have posted something here exposing your lack of discernment in quoting such a book, but instead I communicated with you privately to save you the embarrassment. Now you have forced me to expose not only your lack of discernment but your utter lack of honesty about what happened.

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No good deed goes unpunished. Your website home page included a quotation (used affirmatively) from A Course in Miracles, a New Age book supposedly dictated by Jesus Christ to Helen Schucman. The book denies that sin and evil exist and teaches a number of other obviously false doctrines that any Mormon would instantly reject.

Oh my... you mean we aren't supposed to be reading books that at some level we might disagree with?!?! I guess that means I should stop reading the books I've purchased by Ehrman and Rob Bell.

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ELF1024,

You wrote:

Oh my... you mean we aren't supposed to be reading books that at some level we might disagree with?!?! I guess that means I should stop reading the books I've purchased by Ehrman and Rob Bell.

Of course that's not what I meant. Try to understand what I'm saying before ridiculing it (Prov. 18:13).

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Of course that's not what I meant.

However, it is what you said.

As I have oft told my ex-wife. I am not responsible for what you meant; I am only responsible for what you said. I do not pretend to be a mind reader. Please say you mean in the future to avoid such confusion.

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And just to be clear, bookofmormontruth, it's kind of hard to fulfill a CFR to show something didn't happen. Usually, a person who is claiming that something did happen has the burden of proof, so it would be good form to argue the point by finding sources that show persecution towards Joseph Smith between 1820-1822.

And to be clear on my end the CFR was for this statement: "the evidence is heavily in favor of his selective memory and immediate need for bolstered authority in 1838 being behind the sudden assertion that he was so-persecuted after 1820'.

"Evidence" is was happened, not what didn't happen.

For example, you could cite this line from Lucy Smith's history of Joseph (admittedly written after his death in the 1840s):

Good find! good.gif

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ELF1024,

I said exactly what I meant. I said that the quotation that he used was from a New Age book and that he might want to rethink using it, since without some explanation his affirmative quotation from it might be misunderstood as an endorsement of the book. I certainly didn't suggest that people should not read books with which they disagree; I didn't say anything at all about what books one should read! And BOMT evidently understood and agreed with me, because he removed the quotation! So try to sell your ridiculous misrepresentation of what I said to him.

However, it is what you said.

As I have oft told my ex-wife. I am not responsible for what you meant; I am only responsible for what you said. I do not pretend to be a mind reader. Please say you mean in the future to avoid such confusion.

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ELF1024,

I said exactly what I meant. I said that the quotation that he used was from a New Age book and that he might want to rethink using it, since without some explanation his affirmative quotation from it might be misunderstood as an endorsement of the book. I certainly didn't suggest that people should not read books with which they disagree; I didn't say anything at all about what books one should read! And BOMT evidently understood and agreed with me, because he removed the quotation! So try to sell your ridiculous misrepresentation of what I said to him.

Oh sure Rob, just because you quote one line from a book must mean you endorse the entire book! :rolleyes: Hogwash plain and simple. How many lines have you quoted from the Book of Mormon? I doubt you would call that any kind of an endorsement from the great and irrelevant Rob Bowman!

You were clearly indicating that it was somehow dishonest of him to be reading books which might be considered heretical in some LDS circles.

Dance all you want.

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cinepro:

You wrote:

And just to be clear, bookofmormontruth, it's kind of hard to fulfill a CFR to show something didn't happen. Usually, a person who is claiming that something did happen has the burden of proof, so it would be good form to argue the point by finding sources that show persecution towards Joseph Smith between 1820-1822.

For example, you could cite this line from Lucy Smith's history of Joseph (admittedly written after his death in the 1840s):

Not only that, but Lucy's account is entirely dependent on the official account (quoted from Times & Seasons). In fact, the statement you quoted follows a lengthy passage in which Lucy simply quotes the official account instead of giving her own.

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cinepro:

You wrote:

Not only that, but Lucy's account is entirely dependent on the official account (quoted from Times & Seasons). In fact, the statement you quoted follows a lengthy passage in which Lucy simply quotes the official account instead of giving her own.

Sure, but it is a statement (granted, long after the fact) from someone who would have known. It's possible Joseph was living in peace at the time and her recollection was entirely colored by Joseph's statement in 1838, but it's also possible that she simply remembered those years being difficult for Joseph.

Certainly, I have vivid memories of the times my children have had a tough time with peers at school, and 25 years from now I have no doubt I will still recall how my daughter had problems with bullies in the 5th grade. It's the kind of thing a parent tends not to forget.

And to be fair, if she hadn't mentioned it, the critics would be all over it like stink on a monkey.

So it is what it is.

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