Kimberly wrote an incredibly thought-provoking post on Feminist Mormon Housewives last year about how she has come to see Joseph Smith, the man. It probably will be somewhat shocking to many LDS members, but, as someone who wants my prophets to be "real people", it resonated with me - especially since I have had similar thoughts and wondered along similar lines. (not just about Joseph, but also about Nephi)
I am adding a rare disclaimer to this post prior to providing the link, because Kimberly's post is not standard Sunday School fare. Although I have a very positive view of it, I understand fully that it probably won't be the view held by most members - and I honestly and sincerely don't want anyone to walk away from reading the post and question whether or not Joseph was a prophet of God. Kimberly believes he was, and so do I. We just believe he was a "real" person at the same time - and, more than that, an incredible, amazing, marvelous person, as well. I just want to make that point crystal clear upfront: I love and admire Joseph Smith and accept him as a prophet of God - but I love him even more in seeing him as a truly complicated man who was not the two-dimensional caricature we too often portray him to have been.
So, if you don't want to read a heterodox, somewhat controversial, speculative post about Joseph, please don't click the link. Rather, simply leave a comment about how you have come to view the man whom I personally see as the modern American Moses (with Brigham Young being the modern American Joshua).
Dealing with Joseph - Kimberly (Feminist Mormon Housewives) [My own comments are #59 & #60.]
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