Exonerating Joseph Smith

A couple of years ago, while travelling through Salt Lake City, my parents and I took a brief tour of the Church History Museum. One thing that struck me as odd was the exhibit “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration1, specifically the details about Joseph Smith’s death and the lack of information regarding the circumstances which put him in jail.

It has always been my understanding that when Joseph Smith was murdered, he was in Carthage Jail waiting trial for his order to destroy the printing presses of the Nauvoo Expositor (wikipedia, original text), but according to one of the couple missionaries at the museum, he was there under the charge of treason.

It turns out, both charges are related. Smith had originally been charged and exonerated of “inciting a riot” with regard to the printing press situation but due to public outcry the Illinois governor, Thomas Ford, ordered that he be arrested and tried again—violating the United States constitution by putting Smith in double jeopardy.

Several days before his death, the charges were changed from “inciting a riot” to “treason” for his declaration of martial law in Nauvoo. Was this change of charges legal? Whether legal or not was Joseph Smith posthumously exonerated for the charge of treason?

In my mind, if he has been exonerated of all wrongdoing, the church should put up a statement saying so in the Church History Museum and on their website. If he hasn’t, is there some reason?

1 The exhibit details can be found at josephsmith.net.

He exclaimed many things unto the Lord

While reading my scriptures tonight, I ended up in 1 Ne 1:14:

And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!

At this point, Lehi is having a vision. In the vision, he saw someone I presume to be Jesus and 12 others, I presume to be his apostles. The first person gave him a book to read, and after reading it, the above was his response.

Under the verse, I had written the question: do I have a similar reaction when I read the scriptures?

I wondered again tonight if I have the same reaction as Lehi when I read the scriptures. I wonder if any of us do? Do we trudge through the scriptures trying to get in our 15 minutes or our chapter each day? Or do we give praise to God?

More Sorrow For Sin

While waiting in Sacrament Meeting today between receiving the bread and water, I read through the hymn “More Holiness Give Me.”

As I thought about the words of the hymn, I noticed how much relevance it seemed to have toward my post-conference resolution. Phrases like “more patience in suffering” and “more gratitude give me” were directly touching on the areas where I am trying to improve.

As I pondered the entire song, however, one specific phrase stuck out to me: more sorrow for sin.

I wonder how often we try to repent without having sufficient sorrow. One of the most critical components of the repentance process is feeling bad about what we do. Who’s going to forgive us for lying to them, for example, if we apologize while a grin adorns our face?

Vows and Stuff

Recently I found out that it now makes 4 couples from our old friends in Regina that have gotten divorced. To say I was surprised is to minimize it big time. I found out about the last couple just before we went to Hawaii and I had a lot of time to reflect on my own marriage, on my parent’s marriage and watching 3 of our sons with their wives on vacation, their marriages and I wondered what happens to that magic that we all experience on our wedding day? Do we really have rose colored blinders on? Do we really know who we are marrying? Does life get in the way of “for better for worse, for richer for poorer in sickness and in health for all time and eternity (or till death do you part for those that aren’t members of my faith)”? We raised our children the exact same way and yet all 3 of our sons that were in Hawaii with us treated their wives completely different.

When does one decide where you get to the point of no return? After one chance, two, three, none? I remember way back when some political wife took her adulterous husband back and Hilary Clinton made a comment that put women all over the world up in arms by saying “I’m not a little woman that “Stands By Your Man (from Tammy Wynette song)”.. but when the shoe fell by her bed she did stand by him.

Do you just go by sheer emotion, lack of being able to trust again, forgive and forget as Christ did many times over? When do you step up to the plate and say I don’t think so my name is not spelt D-O-O-R-M-A-T? What makes one person leave after just one “offense” yet another stick by their spouse through it all?

By no means am I writing this to offend anyone that has ever left their spouse for any reason or in the middle of a divorce/separation. I am just curious at to what other’s?Ǭ†point of no return is. I know the day I met Keith I told him flat out if he ever laid a hand on me or even looked like he was going to, he would never see me again. To me that was my line of do not cross. Am I too naive to think there isn’t anything that can’t be worked out other then abuse?

Mormon.org – Chat Live

The church now provides an opportunity to chat with missionaries (at the MTC?) online. They answer questions about the church and the content of the mormon.org website.

Use this feature to speak with a missionary online. Enter the information below to begin your session. A missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will greet you and answer any questions that you may have relating to the content of this Web site.

Chat live.

Brothers and Sisters, Aloha

We are on vacation in Lai?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢e, Hawai?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢i, this week, and attended church in the Laie 7th Ward. I thought I would share a few things that I thought were interesting.

The meeting with not only prelude music, but a prelude hymn, in which the congregation joined in. We sang ?¢‚Ǩ?ìSpirit of God?¢‚Ǩ¬ù. I have to admit that I thought it was odd, and at first thought it was the opening. After we were done, however, and sang the opening hymn shortly thereafter, I thought how cool it was to sing a prelude hymn. It set the tone for the rest of the meeting.

The bishop started out the meeting with ?¢‚Ǩ?ìBrother and Sisters, Aloha?¢‚Ǩ¬ù. It was Fast and Testimony Meeting today, and before each testimony there was a ?¢‚Ǩ?ìBrother and Sisters, Aloha?¢‚Ǩ¬ù. In fact, they did it at the start of priesthood opening exercises and elders quorum.

A young father blessed his first child, a daughter, today. Part of the blessing paralleled structurally with initiatory ordinance. I thought that was pretty cool.

Another interesting part of the testimony meeting was that there was a constant stream of people bearing the testimony.

There was as simple faith among those I heard speaking. I found myself drawn to that.

There are quite a few mixed families here. It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s kind of weird to hear someone say an anglicized name when introducing another person only to find the second person looks polynesian.

All in all, it was a neat experience, and I wish we could stay for more.