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The Boy Joseph Smith as a Type of Christ?


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Since we are focusing on the restoration and in particular the experiences of Joseph Smith, has anyone considered young Joseph's leg operation as a type of Christ?

He was seven  years old. Seven can signify the fulfillment of a prophecy, in this case a type of the fulfillment of Christ's Atonement.

His body had an infection that needed to be removed. Analogous to sin that needed to be cleansed.

He declared that he would do whatever was required to remove the infection...Christ was willing to do whatever was required to remove our sins.

The infection was removed by the shedding of a lot of blood. He endured pain that took him to his bodily and spiritual limits.

Before the final operation, painful incisions were made in his leg, analogous to a scourging of his body.

He was upheld through the experience by His Father.

He refused a drink that might have made the ordeal more bearable.

During his greatest agony, his concerned turned towards his Mother, by asking her to leave the awful scene.

The doctors wanted to amputate his leg, but in the end, not bones were broken.

He bore the marks, a limp, of his ordeal for the remainder of his life.

Perhaps there are other analogies, and maybe this is a stretch comparison, but Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets, if not the greatest prophet to live on the earth. He had unusual spiritual and physical strength to enable him to do the work. For the Lord to use him as a type of himself would not be unusual for a prophet of God.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

I have grown more simple as I have aged and these types of things have lost their sparkle. I tend to reject the concept of "type". Joseph was just a man that was willing to serve God. The Savior was the Son of God and chose to take upon himself the sins of the world. There is no comparison between the two. One is a member of the Godhead and the other a mortal man. 

I agree, my friend. Pushing this "typology" into extremes borders in heresy. There is but one Christ. No mortal man, regardless of who he was or what he did can come even close to who the Only Begotten of the Father is or did for mankind. 

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15 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

That we are to follow this model is a current church teaching, as saviors on Mount Zion. It is no surprise that the Joseph Smith story is told as a type of this model.

No, I think you are stretching still. In one of the most clear teachings of the Book of Mormon, it is stated, "“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” 2 Nephi 25:26.  

I agree that are taught to strive to emulate the Savior in all that we do. Some do so more clearly than others and we each appreciate having an example. The problem is stretching it out of context or to make one individual's experiences equal that of the Savior. Yes, as a boy and throughout his life, Joseph went through some terrible experiences. But, I expect each of us can name many, many individuals who have done the same thing throughout the history of Christianity. If we are going to have an exemplar, then it is and always will be, Jesus Christ. 

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13 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

No, I think you are stretching still. In one of the most clear teachings of the Book of Mormon, it is stated, "“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” 2 Nephi 25:26.  

I agree that are taught to strive to emulate the Savior in all that we do. Some do so more clearly than others and we each appreciate having an example. The problem is stretching it out of context or to make one individual's experiences equal that of the Savior. Yes, as a boy and throughout his life, Joseph went through some terrible experiences. But, I expect each of us can name many, many individuals who have done the same thing throughout the history of Christianity. If we are going to have an exemplar, then it is and always will be, Jesus Christ. 

The church teaches that we are to be "saviors on Mount Zion." I'm not stretching anything.

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Have to say that I find any discussion of modern day mortals as a "type of Christ", offensive (maybe just because we know mortal failings, but also because we don't need "type of Christ" because now we KNOW Christ Himself).

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3 hours ago, Islander said:

I agree, my friend. Pushing this "typology" into extremes borders in heresy. There is but one Christ. No mortal man, regardless of who he was or what he did can come even close to who the Only Begotten of the Father is or did for mankind. 

I am with you on this.  There are less extreme examples that occurred in the past (before the Meridian of Time).  Famous example is Abraham (emulating God the Father) offering his son Isaac (foreshadowing the Christ).  Another is King Solomon being given all power and awesome graciousness, being the Son of David (foreshadowing Christ, who was also called the Son of David).

Joseph Smith was the  ELIAS of the Restoration.  He also was the ELIAS to "prepare the way" for the Second Coming of Christ.

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I think this OP is putting forth a test to see what members say. Or I could be wrong. 

I'll add two that help their point possibly. In some comments in the past made by Joseph or Brigham Young. Though these are taken out of context according to FairMormon. 

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Joseph_Smith/Narcissism/Boasting

I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam... Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, 6:408–409. Volume 6 link

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Joseph_Smith/Status_in_LDS_belief

Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.... I will now tell you something that ought to comfort every man and woman on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith, junior, will again be on this earth dictating plans and calling forth his brethren to be baptized for the very characters who wish this was not so, in order to bring them into a kingdom to enjoy...he will never cease his operations, under the directions of the Son of God, until the last ones of the children of men are saved that can be, from Adam till now.... It is his mission to see that all the children of men in this last dispensation are saved, that can be, through the redemption.[1]

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6 hours ago, Broker said:

Since we are focusing on the restoration and in particular the experiences of Joseph Smith, has anyone considered young Joseph's leg operation as a type of Christ?

He was seven  years old. Seven can signify the fulfillment of a prophecy, in this case a type of the fulfillment of Christ's Atonement.

His body had an infection that needed to be removed. Analogous to sin that needed to be cleansed.

He declared that he would do whatever was required to remove the infection...Christ was willing to do whatever was required to remove our sins.

The infection was removed by the shedding of a lot of blood. He endured pain that took him to his bodily and spiritual limits.

Before the final operation, painful incisions were made in his leg, analogous to a scourging of his body.

He was upheld through the experience by His Father.

He refused a drink that might have made the ordeal more bearable.

During his greatest agony, his concerned turned towards his Mother, by asking her to leave the awful scene.

The doctors wanted to amputate his leg, but in the end, not bones were broken.

He bore the marks, a limp, of his ordeal for the remainder of his life.

Perhaps there are other analogies, and maybe this is a stretch comparison, but Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets, if not the greatest prophet to live on the earth. He had unusual spiritual and physical strength to enable him to do the work. For the Lord to use him as a type of himself would not be unusual for a prophet of God.

 

 

I like what you've done here. Those are some amazing observations.

I guess the question becomes, what do these observations lead you? (I think the other repliers are implying this in their own way.)

Is it just a "This is super cool!" Or is there some other consequence of mind or behavior that come of it?

When I read this, I took it as just one more testimony of Christ (not of Joseph Smith), and I felt it was offered in that spirit.

I feel that we could look almost anywhere and get a type of Christ; which is a good thing.

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4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

The church teaches that we are to be "saviors on Mount Zion." I'm not stretching anything.

We are definitely talking past one another. I have said nothing that conflicts with the concept of being saviors on Mount Zion. That statement has nothing to do with typism. 

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24 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

We are definitely talking past one another. I have said nothing that conflicts with the concept of being saviors on Mount Zion. That statement has nothing to do with typism. 

What does "typism" mean to you then?

I don't think there is any conflict between aspiring to be like Christ and comparing people who have already lived to Christ, who are believed to be, in effect, the embodiment of the that aspiring.

Certainly the church holds up Joseph Smith as a mortal who aspired to be Christlike and therefore embodied many Christlike qualities, if only to a mortal extent, any extra credit going to divine help?

 

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8 hours ago, Broker said:

Since we are focusing on the restoration and in particular the experiences of Joseph Smith, has anyone considered young Joseph's leg operation as a type of Christ?

He was seven  years old. Seven can signify the fulfillment of a prophecy, in this case a type of the fulfillment of Christ's Atonement.

His body had an infection that needed to be removed. Analogous to sin that needed to be cleansed.

He declared that he would do whatever was required to remove the infection...Christ was willing to do whatever was required to remove our sins.

The infection was removed by the shedding of a lot of blood. He endured pain that took him to his bodily and spiritual limits.

Before the final operation, painful incisions were made in his leg, analogous to a scourging of his body.

He was upheld through the experience by His Father.

He refused a drink that might have made the ordeal more bearable.

During his greatest agony, his concerned turned towards his Mother, by asking her to leave the awful scene.

The doctors wanted to amputate his leg, but in the end, not bones were broken.

He bore the marks, a limp, of his ordeal for the remainder of his life.

Perhaps there are other analogies, and maybe this is a stretch comparison, but Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets, if not the greatest prophet to live on the earth. He had unusual spiritual and physical strength to enable him to do the work. For the Lord to use him as a type of himself would not be unusual for a prophet of God.

 

 

Agree, and I have had similar thoughts but not in the greater detail you provide. Thanks.

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6 hours ago, Islander said:

I agree, my friend. Pushing this "typology" into extremes borders in heresy. There is but one Christ. No mortal man, regardless of who he was or what he did can come even close to who the Only Begotten of the Father is or did for mankind. 

Disagree.

We survive on made-up stories and parables. I see it as a logical error to take scripture literally. History is always by its nature hearsay and what actually happened is unknowable.

All of religion is about constructing Concepts and ideas which give us a stronger faith.

I find this sort of thing very rewarding.

Religion is about finding explanations for what is important to us.

Like science, these ideas are useful until something better comes along.

All of religion and theology functions as parables do. We don't know what "actually is" we only know what we can construct to give us meaning in life.

"Christ died t save us all" this itself that kind of proposition. Even if we were eyewitnesses to the crucifixion, we would still have to have a spiritual witness that Jesus took away my sins.

The story itself, becomes what is valuable.

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5 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

The problem is stretching it out of context or to make one individual's experiences equal that of the Savior.

If that was what was happening here I think you would be right.

As it is I don't think it was what is happening here at all.

To me essentially what he is saying is that Joseph was a symbol pointing toward Christ.

I don't think he was saying that Joseph was as great as Christ.

If it's faith promoting, nothing wrong with that.

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There are various uses of the word typology. Whether or not what Broker said is heresy depends on his or her definition of the word "analogy" and "type," both of which he or she uses. Using one definition, someone could correctly say that everyone who was ever crucified on a Roman cross was a type of Christ. Since I wrote a book on the subject, I am often asked to identify who made a piece of Mata Ortiz pottery by the designs on the outside of the pot. What designs are similar to those used by one specific potter at one given time?  That is using typology to identify a specific potter via commonalities and similarities. In hermeneutics, typology usually refers to an example of something or someone that is a foreshadow of Christ. It might be the water brooks of The Book of Psalms, the Pillar of Fire in front of the tabernacle, the shepherd of Psalm 23, or any other person or thing that foreshadows Christ. This last definition cannot refer to Joseph Smith except in retrospect, and then its use must be very narrow or it leans towards heresy.

What this thread has brought to my attention that I find really fascinating is the "Seven Thunders." What a great title for a book or article! This is the quote in FairMormon from Elder McConkie: "And thus, all men—every living soul who has lived or shall live on earth between the spring of 1820 and that glorious future day when the Son of God shall return to reign personally on earth—all men in the latter days must turn to Joseph Smith to gain salvation. Why? The answer is clear and plain; let it be spoken with seven thunders. He alone can bring them the gospel; he alone can perform for them the ordinances of salvation and exaltation; he stands, as have all the prophets of all the ages in their times and seasons, in the place and stead of the Heavenly One in administering salvation to men on earth.... What a fascinating and interesting comment! This seems to be the bedrock statement of all of LDS doctrine that distinguishes it from every other form of Christianity. Is that too far a stretch? I have never read the idiosyncrasy and uniqueness of LDS doctrine stated more fully. I don't believe Elder McConkie is putting Joseph Smith in the place of Christ, but is putting him as the sole, only, unigenito (one of a kind) messenger of the gospel since 1820. I find this enlightening but startling. I know that McConkie's works are not today in the same good graces as they once were. I would certainly value your collective thoughts about this statement.

I have often thought of Joseph Smith like I do Billy Graham. It is not uncommon to hear an older non-LDS Christian say "I was saved during a Billy Graham crusade." They are not putting Graham in the place of Christ, but Graham was the messenger, the prophet who declared the gospel and thus "led" the person to Christ.  The same could be said of any number of folks (prophets as preachers - forthtellers). McConkie makes Smith the only one by whom someone can "gain salvation." What a stunning statement. What an outlandish statement (to me) yet it seems to put the entire salvific doctrine of the LDS church in a nutshell sealed with seven thunders. This is why I like this forum. I so like learning things like this. That doesn't mean I agree with it; but I want so badly to learn what LDS Christianity really teaches that is the same and that is different from non-LDS Christianity. There is so much distortion of the other on both sides. I want to see through the glass clearly, not with the glass covered with mud! So, do all my LDS friends on this forum agree with McConkie's statement as quoted in FairMormon?

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10 hours ago, Broker said:

Since we are focusing on the restoration and in particular the experiences of Joseph Smith, has anyone considered young Joseph's leg operation as a type of Christ?

He was seven  years old. Seven can signify the fulfillment of a prophecy, in this case a type of the fulfillment of Christ's Atonement.

His body had an infection that needed to be removed. Analogous to sin that needed to be cleansed.

He declared that he would do whatever was required to remove the infection...Christ was willing to do whatever was required to remove our sins.

The infection was removed by the shedding of a lot of blood. He endured pain that took him to his bodily and spiritual limits.

Before the final operation, painful incisions were made in his leg, analogous to a scourging of his body.

He was upheld through the experience by His Father.

He refused a drink that might have made the ordeal more bearable.

During his greatest agony, his concerned turned towards his Mother, by asking her to leave the awful scene.

The doctors wanted to amputate his leg, but in the end, not bones were broken.

He bore the marks, a limp, of his ordeal for the remainder of his life.

Perhaps there are other analogies, and maybe this is a stretch comparison, but Joseph Smith was one of the greatest prophets, if not the greatest prophet to live on the earth. He had unusual spiritual and physical strength to enable him to do the work. For the Lord to use him as a type of himself would not be unusual for a prophet of God.

I read a report that said he had an episode of hematidrosis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hematidrosis according to Lucy Mack Smith's account (History of Joesph Smith, pp 56-58).

Edited by CV75
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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I know that McConkie's works are not today in the same good graces as they once were. 

I would write that in red capital letters 20 feet tall and then put gold leaf around the edges.  - The Hollywood sign in red and gold leaf! ;) 

He was a wonderful human being himself, and met him on one occasion in a Stake Conference setting when I lived in SLC for the year I spent there looking for Zion and not finding it.  He was a great servant of the Lord who did what he believed was right, but let's just say that I would disagree with his dogmatic literalism. 

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

There are various uses of the word typology. Whether or not what Broker said is heresy depends on his or her definition of the word "analogy" and "type," both of which he or she uses. Using one definition, someone could correctly say that everyone who was ever crucified on a Roman cross was a type of Christ. Since I wrote a book on the subject, I am often asked to identify who made a piece of Mata Ortiz pottery by the designs on the outside of the pot. What designs are similar to those used by one specific potter at one given time?  That is using typology to identify a specific potter via commonalities and similarities. In hermeneutics, typology usually refers to an example of something or someone that is a foreshadow of Christ. It might be the water brooks of The Book of Psalms, the Pillar of Fire in front of the tabernacle, the shepherd of Psalm 23, or any other person or thing that foreshadows Christ. This last definition cannot refer to Joseph Smith except in retrospect, and then its use must be very narrow or it leans towards heresy.

What this thread has brought to my attention that I find really fascinating is the "Seven Thunders." What a great title for a book or article! This is the quote in FairMormon from Elder McConkie: "And thus, all men—every living soul who has lived or shall live on earth between the spring of 1820 and that glorious future day when the Son of God shall return to reign personally on earth—all men in the latter days must turn to Joseph Smith to gain salvation. Why? The answer is clear and plain; let it be spoken with seven thunders. He alone can bring them the gospel; he alone can perform for them the ordinances of salvation and exaltation; he stands, as have all the prophets of all the ages in their times and seasons, in the place and stead of the Heavenly One in administering salvation to men on earth.... What a fascinating and interesting comment! This seems to be the bedrock statement of all of LDS doctrine that distinguishes it from every other form of Christianity. Is that too far a stretch? I have never read the idiosyncrasy and uniqueness of LDS doctrine stated more fully. I don't believe Elder McConkie is putting Joseph Smith in the place of Christ, but is putting him as the sole, only, unigenito (one of a kind) messenger of the gospel since 1820. I find this enlightening but startling. I know that McConkie's works are not today in the same good graces as they once were. I would certainly value your collective thoughts about this statement.

I have often thought of Joseph Smith like I do Billy Graham. It is not uncommon to hear an older non-LDS Christian say "I was saved during a Billy Graham crusade." They are not putting Graham in the place of Christ, but Graham was the messenger, the prophet who declared the gospel and thus "led" the person to Christ.  The same could be said of any number of folks (prophets as preachers - forthtellers). McConkie makes Smith the only one by whom someone can "gain salvation." What a stunning statement. What an outlandish statement (to me) yet it seems to put the entire salvific doctrine of the LDS church in a nutshell sealed with seven thunders. This is why I like this forum. I so like learning things like this. That doesn't mean I agree with it; but I want so badly to learn what LDS Christianity really teaches that is the same and that is different from non-LDS Christianity. There is so much distortion of the other on both sides. I want to see through the glass clearly, not with the glass covered with mud! So, do all my LDS friends on this forum agree with McConkie's statement as quoted in FairMormon?

Remember always we have two definitions of "salvation" - one being the "salvation" of most Christians- sins forgiven and going to "heaven" and then we ambiguously use the word "salvation" also to mean exaltation.

Mc Conkie here meant "salvation" to mean exaltation.

And in a sense he was right- of course, putting asside how much I disagree with him.

Without Joseph Smith, there would be NO Christians who believed that they could become "saved" to be "as God is"

There would be no endowment, no ordinances to at least make the Celestial Kingdom something to BELIEVE in.  It might be said that Joseph created the BELIEF in becoming "as God is" in a Christian context and so then is the "author of exaltation" in the 19th and 20th Centuries.  Yes Orthodox Christians believe in something LIKE exaltation, but it is NOT what we believe exaltation is.  That still leaves Joseph as the originator of the concept in the 19th and 20th centuries.

You cannot gain a mental state that you have never heard of or created yourself.  You cannot believe that Antarctica or God exists if you have never heard of either God OR Antarctica 

Surely Joseph created the BELIEF in exaltation in a Christian context. 

Valid syllogism :

IF

 "salvation"=exaltation

AND

Joseph S invented "exaltation"

THEN

Joseph S invented "salvation"

And that is what Mc C believed. 

Perfectly VALID, yet in my opinion FALSE because there are two senses of "salvation" so "salvation" does NOT equal "exaltation" in all cases.

Quote

McConkie makes Smith the only one by whom someone can "gain salvation." 

If Joseph is the one who came up with the idea of "exaltation" and "salvation" MEANS exaltation then no one could be exalted without belief in the idea of exaltation.   

You would not seek it out, you would not know it is possible.

It is a point of semantics.

Does that help?

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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54 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

If Joseph is the one who came up with the idea of "exaltation" and "salvation" MEANS exaltation then no one could be exalted without belief in the idea of exaltation.   

You would not seek it out, you would not know it is possible.

It is a point of semantics.

Does that help?

Yes oh wow yes. Here we go again divided by a common language. I have often thought that some of the concepts in LDS beliefs are unique. It never dawned on me to consider (duh!) that if Joseph Smith and his immediate followers had not come up with them, they wouldn't today exist. They are not all uniquely LDS; some of course have basis in much earlier traditions as well. Thanks again for helping me understand. That really helps. I have often thought of trying to understand this by equating salvation and sanctification to the LDS concept of salvation and exaltation, but that is imperfect as well. I think it comes down to the difference between "like" and "as" God. Thanks again. I still like the "Seven Thunders" part for a book title. I can just see the cover photo now - really powerful! 

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1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

With 60+ years in the Church, this is the first time I have seen the parallel between Joseph's leg problem and Christ's tribulation. If Navidad wants to learn what the LDS really believe, good luck with that quest. 

Yep, that is what it is . . . "To dream the impossible dream . . . "

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