Who Was Joseph Smith?


They believe that he will also attain a body after his calling as the Holy Ghost is fulfilled.


Agreed. It was pretty close.


That’s an interesting point. In their Doctrine and Covenants there’s a verse that says they only worship God the Father but they sing a hymn called I Believe in Christ, a line which says “I’ll worship Him with all my might”. Mormons are divided about who they actually worship.


He was obviously a fraud. Has anyone ever seen these “Blessed” Gold Plates?


Like any other religious figure outside Catholicism and the historic Abrahamic faiths, Smith had a true calling to service of the Lord. Through vanity, he promoted himself to “prophet”, and believed his writings that became the Book of Mormon to be inspired. Legend the embellish the details.

There was no single lie, but many, most of which he came to earnestly believe. Being of Protestant background, he rightly percieved the true church to have never been locally established. He went about re-establishing it in one of the most misguided ways imaginable.


I was going to say someone with a really boring name that supposedly received a prophetic revelation in Western New York of all places. Give me a break.


Funny. I was actually thinking the same thing. There are MANY Josephs in the Bible. Smith is the most common name in the English language for surnames. Maybe Joseph Smith DID restore the true church but we got the wrong one because there are so many of them.:laughing:


Probably my biggest beef with Joseph Smith is the subject of polygamy and polyandry. It’s really difficult to get LDS people to address it. Why the different, conflicting revelations from the BOM (Jacob 2) and the D&C (101 and 132)? Why did Joseph Smith not even have to follow the conditions for polygamy per D&C 132, even assuming it was a revelation from God? If polygamy was for the purpose of raising up seed unto the Lord, where are Joseph’s seed? When did God approve of polyandry, particularly sexual polyandry? When did He disapprove of it? There were revelations from God on the subject of polygamy, but the only revelation that I can think of on the subject of polyandry strictly forbids it.


You ever thought about talking to Mormon fundamentalist groups about this?


I don’t know any fundamentalists. I would be interested in what they have to say about it, though.


I’ve heard Mormons say he actually lives on Kolob, but ok.


Interesting, I had a Mormon once tell me this, but others tell me that he would get no body.


For as many years as I was a devout Mormon, you would think I would know, but I don’t. That’s just one of those things that gets talked about a lot, but I don’t believe there is any scripture or official doctrine on the subject.


He made it all up. I believe in the beginning JS used the BoM and the resulting organization to con others out of money & property. I don’t believe he was possessed or mentally ill. He was most likely a narcissist, but that is a personality disorder rather than one mentally illness.


His early career as a conman certainly would suggest that the Book of Mormon was just a conman’s evolution. Certainly it appears the Book of Mormon itself is largely cribbed from other sources, and considering the time that he wrote in, during a period of evangelical Revivalism, when there were no lack of preachers, some with their own unique interpretations and revelations to be peddled, it strikes that that Smith was just a very bright guy who recognized an opportunity.

At any rate, there are enough purely absurd aspects of the Book of Mormon, like the origins of the American Indian, that I view the Book of Mormons as the prototype for nonsense like Dianetics.


He had enough information at his fingertips, in his own home or community to be able to write at least 75% of the BOM. He was not uneducated. He was a precocious young man. It was no terrific feat. Especially considering all the mistakes that he made. It had thousands of errors–historical, doctrinal, archeological, grammatical, spelling, and so forth. It was far from a perfect book. And there’s sufficient evidence showing that he worked on the BOM for a lot longer than three months.

In my OPINION, he found that with his magic rock, he was able to fool a lot of people into paying him for glass looking. He had the idea to use the same magic rock to run a religious enterprise, the results of which we have seen.

People who are bipolar have amazing abilities to manipulate and con people. They can tell you the most fantastic lies and you’ll fall for it. It’s a gift they have. And they can and will destroy you without conscience. I’m not saying that he was bipolar, but it would not surprise me one bit if he was.


You seem to be describing narcissistic antisocial personality disorder; ie. sociopaths. Bipolar is really the modern name from “manic depressive”, that is people who suffer moderate to pretty intense mood swings, along with a whole host of other pathological symptoms. Bipolar people are generally not bad people, and often are aware of just how destructive their disorder can be. Sociopaths, on the other hand, fundamentally lack empathy, and you do find that sociopaths often make the best con men simply because they care nothing for consequences, or for who gets hurt. They can learn to behave like a reasonable facsimile of a normal empathic person, but what they’re really being taught is simply to put on that face.

Not that people with extreme bipolar can’t be dangerous, both to themselves or others, but they’re still capable of all the emotions of a normal person, it’s just that they can swing wildly between manic and depressive states; euphoria at one end and severe depression at the other. Winston Churchill, for instance, is generally believed to have been bipolar (he called it his “black dog”). He was well known for periods of intense depression, and by the same token was also well known for at times seeming to have boundless energy (there were reports during the height of the Second World War that he was often getting by on only a few hours sleep a night).

As to Joseph Smith, maybe he was a sociopath, though the biographies I’ve read of him don’t really suggest that. A person can, over time, lose some degree of empathy without being a sociopath, and I imagine as Smith’s new religion began accruing followers, he probably became like some other religious leaders like L Ron Hubbard or David Koresh, getting drunk on the power, and perhaps even ultimately conning themselves.


I know more about bipolar disorder than most psychiatrists. I’ve seen it, lived it, been around it more than I can describe. I’ve dealt with dead bodies from suicides, broken homes, broken families, jail, theft, incredible destruction, weeks with virtually no sleep, severe depression, all the highs and lows. Trust me, there’s NOTHING you could begin to teach me about bipolar disorder. I’m not saying that he was bipolar. I’m saying that from my studies of his character, he could easily have been. There are many similarities between bipolar disorder and narcissism. And then there’s the ugliest form of it—schozoeffective disorder. Been there, done that. Cleaned up the dead bodies. Comforted the broken families.


Never the less, being bipolar does not render one lacking in empathy. They are two different disorders. Bipolar, at least in moderate cases can be at least partially treated. There is no cure for being a sociopath; it’s literally a structural problem in the brain. Cognitive therapies might have some effect, but unlike bipolar, the best you can do with a sociopath is teach them to mimic an empath, and hopefully convince them that mistreating people for personal gain or amusement isn’t in their own best interests.

And I’m sorry, while I respect that you may have had to deal with the crises created by bipolar, that doesn’t make you more of an expert. There are plenty of people who are able to live relatively normal lives with therapy and medications who are bipolar.


Yes and no. It may affect some and not others. However, a bipolar in the middle of a manic episode often has no problem with lying, stealing, cheating and wild living. They would not hesitate to steal the last quarter from a widowed mother or toss a baby down a flight of stairs if it served their purposes. And it’s not like they will come back in a week remorseful about it. Instead, they might acknowledge that it happened, but it was all your fault. Many bipolars lack empathy. That is one of the flags.

Correct, however, I am one.

That depends on what you call “normal”.

In any case, we are probably getting off course from the intended OP. My position is this–if the bipolar George Frideric Handel could compose the amazing Messiah in 24 days, I have no doubt that the bipolar Joseph Smith could write the BOM in under a year.

Once again, I’m not even saying that he was bipolar. I’m just saying that it has the earmarks all over it.

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