We are all familiar with the sins of the people in the Bible. It was written long ago and preserved through the generations. Their dirty laundry written for anyone who cares to spend the time to read. These were not perfect men. If we are honest with ourselves, we are all just the same. Why is it then do we choose to place certain men above everyone else and ignore the bad they did? It's okay and even acceptable to admit what those mentioned in the bible did, but some religions make it taboo to speak of the evil their leaders did. It's avoided to the point that not many, within the organization, are aware of their short falls. They are placed on a pedestal and only spoken of in the best light.
The Bible was written long ago yet the writings are acceptable and reliable to most. We have many many journals written within 150 years that we have access to that speak of some of these other men, yet they are dismissed by their followers. We have court records, yet they are dismissed by their followers. We have information, written by these same peoples own hand or their words written down by scribes, yet they are dismissed by their followers.
I will simply bring up the religion I'm familiar with. Not to offend anyone but isn't it best to talk of what we personally know instead of speculate? Does 36 years qualify and give me enough credibility? I hope others think so.
I grew up being taught of a young boy. This boy had to undergo a horrific surgery to his leg. Before the surgery, he turned down any alcohol that was suppose to help dull the pain because we were told, he was taught alcohol was to be avoided. Later, I learned he didn't stick with these convictions. This boy turned into a man and drank regularly. Even had a bar in his home at one point. (Mansion House) (An American Prophet's Record, Page 488). It's also recorded that he drank the day of his death. What was the point of the story, that is taught to small children within this organization, if he didn't hold to those convictions later in life? The leaders want others to hold to the convictions they teach through their "Word of Wisdom" practices, yet their founder held to no such practice. Shouldn't we expect others to hold to the same things they did and not expect anything more? Do as I say not as I do never goes over well. I'm not saying this man was a drunk as that would be speculation, but he did do what others are being told not to. That is called hypocrisy and makes those that follow them a hypocrite. I realize some state that the Word of Wisdom was interpreted differently back in the later 1800's and isn't what it's stated to be now. It's changed and evolved over time brought about by their "Modern Revelation". When we look at the Word of Wisdom now, many of the things the early followers did went against the understanding of those now... It still doesn't answer the question regarding the story of this young boy and the high emphasis of him turning down the alcohol to prove some point if he didn't hold to it the rest of his life. It turns into a weak example.
This man also fits into what we would call an adulterer. He slept with and married other women and young girls behind his wife's back. He later said God told him to. Even had an alleged revelation commanding his wife to accept it or she would be "destroyed".D&C 132:54 He told one woman if she didn't marry him, an angel with a drawn sword would kill him. That is coercion. It forces her into an uncomfortable situation and takes away her agency. Who wants to be placed into a position where their decision would be the cause of someones death? This organization holds "Free Agency" at a very high standard yet refuses to see the agency of this young girl taken away. He also married other women who were currently married. Recently, the organization admitted to this in an essay that can be viewed from their official web page. It is carefully worded in many areas to lesson the blow of the situations. Wording such as "The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph's closes friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday" She was 14 years old. Wording it the way they did is suppose to make the reader think of her as 15 and not 14. (not that that makes much of a difference.)
Then there are other records qualifying this man as a liar and more, braking every one of the 10 commandments, like we all have done. Not one of us is any better or worse in the eyes of God.
Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
1 John 1:8 "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us"
These fact alone do not cause him to be a false prophet. There is a Biblical test (Deuteronomy 18:22) that must be passed to confirm or deny that qualification, but we aren't talking on that subject here. I've already touch on those facts in the past. His followers, to this day, for whatever reasons, give this man a pass for all of his short falls. Excusing his behavior and still elevating him to a position he shouldn't be in. I do believe they have been instructed, by their leaders, to avoid talking ill of their leaders, past or present, even if it is true. Why suppress truth?
Talk from Boyd K Packer at BYU... "Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer…
"There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful…
"The writer or teacher who has an exaggerated loyalty to the theory that everything must be told is laying a foundation for his own judgment...The Lord made it clear that some things are to be taught selectively and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy…
"That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weaknesses and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith - particularly one within the Church, and more particularly one who is employed specifically to build faith - places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities…Do not spread disease germs!" (Boyd K. Packer, 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271)
If an organization isn't willing to put forth all of the truth and let it's followers decide for themselves, that act should throw up some red flags. If the organization is distorting it's past and it's founders pasts, some might say RUN as fast as you can away from it. Others see it as them begging for their past to be dug up and smeared for all to see. Isn't it easier to simply be truthful, even with the ugly stuff? We all have it. No, we don't like to have it paraded for all to see so but why be ashamed of it?
Point being is this. If we were to replace the names of each of the Biblical Prophets and insert another mans name with their sins/failures, who have been placed up high in other religious organizations, it would cause anger. Is it true? Sure. None of us are perfect. Why pretend? It's acceptable to see the bible prophets in this light, all of which did these thing on their own. God did not instruct them to sin in any way. They were simply rebelling, like we all do. Why not look at these other mere men in their truthful light as well? They, like us all, have sinned and fallen flat on our faces from time to time. It's time to begin to be intellectually honest with ourselves.
Joseph was a liar
Joseph was a hypocrite
Joseph was a murderer
Joseph was an adulterer
Joseph was a thief
Joseph was a womanizer
Joseph ran from the law
Joseph was a fraud
Joseph boasted of himself
Joseph was a traitor
Joseph was a human being.
I know the above hit a nerve for some, so let me add mine.
I am a liar
I am an adulterer - according to the bible standards
I am a murderer - according to the bible standards
I am lazy
I am proud
I am vein
I am a thief
I am a hypocrite
I am a fraud
I am a glutton
I am a human being.
...and I'm sure much much more...
(An now I feel like a little bitty bug ready to be smashed. Good thing I have an awesome God who has forgiven me and lifts me up to praise His Holy name giving Him all the glory!)
We don't need to be perfect to be used by our Awesome God! Simply admit we aren't perfect and sin. He is the one and only perfect being. Accept His awesome gift of Grace and let Him into our life. Let Him become our Lord and He will use us in ways we never would have imagined! Take His Word, The Bible, for face value and read it. Let God guide us though it's words. We'll find as we do, we will start to see things we missed before. Read it as a child without any preconceived notions. Let go of all of the idols in our life and cling only to Jesus. He's all that matters! All else only brings pride.
Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."
Allow God to change us. Take those things we struggle with, away. He is all powerful and can do all things.
Are you ready to start into one of the most loving, intimate relationships of your life? What's stopping you? Can I help?