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José Smith/Carácter/Era una buena persona
¿Era Joseph Smith, Jr. una "persona de mala reputación?"
Saltar a subtema:
- Pregunta: ¿Se conoció a Joseph Smith, Jr. como una "persona de mala reputación?"
- Pregunta: ¿José Smith se dedican a "la especulación de tierras" en Nauvoo?
- Pregunta: ¿José Smith realmente le dijo a Orrin Porter Rockwell que "era correcto robar"?
- Brigham Young (1855): "él era un hombre honorable y tratado justamente, sabemos su verdadero carácter. Pero que sus enemigos le den su carácter, y le harán aparecer uno de los hombres más malvados que haya vivido"
- B.H. Roberts: "José Smith era un hombre de pasiones similares con otros hombres; luchando con las mismas debilidades; sometido a las mismas tentaciones"
- José Smith: "frecuentemente cometía muchas imprudencias y manifestaba las debilidades de la juventud y las flaquezas de la naturaleza humana"
- José Smith (1834): "durante este tiempo, como es común a la mayoría, oa todos los jóvenes, caí en muchos vicios y locuras"
- Walker: In 1819 "Bajo la ley de Nueva York, siendo sólo trece, el testimonio de José sobre el trabajo que él había realizado era admisible solamente después de que el tribunal lo encontró competente"
Pregunta: ¿Se conoció a Joseph Smith, Jr. como una "persona de mala reputación?"
Joseph was only seen as lacking character in the opinion of those that misunderstood him and opposed his efforts in restoring the Church
In many—if not most—critical treatments of the Church, Joseph is made out to be "one of the basest men that ever lived." A Boston Bee reporter wrote after interviewing Joseph:
I could not help noticing that he dressed, talked and acted like other men, and in every respect appeared exactly the opposite of what I had conjured up in my imagination a prophet [to be].
Clearly, Joseph is not what the critics imagine a prophet to be either. Was Joseph perfect? No; he never said he was. What he did say of himself was, "Although I do wrong, I do not the wrongs that I am charged with doing; the wrong that I do is through the frailty of human nature, like other men. No man lives without fault."
Joseph was only seen as lacking character in the opinion of those that misunderstood him and opposed his efforts in restoring the Church. The recorded details and testimonies from firsthand accounts as to Joseph's good character cannot be ignored and certainly must be looked at by anyone serious in their study of Mormonism. The critics often avoid portraying the simple man who recognized the saving grace of Christ for his errors and sought to further the cause of righteousness.
Sectarian critics in particular ought to be careful, since the standard they apply to Joseph Smith might easily disqualify various biblical prophets. Paul for example, would not have been called to be an Apostle after his participation in the persecution of Christians and role in the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 8:1-3).
Ultimately, however, attacks, on Joseph's character are classic ad hominem—the man is attacked instead of the message.
Pregunta: ¿José Smith se dedican a "la especulación de tierras" en Nauvoo?
Se afirma que José Smith utilizó donaciones miembros de la Iglesia a participar en "la especulación del suelo" en Nauvoo.
Los beneficios de Laws fueron perjudicados por la política de José de entrega de tierras a los pobres, y las leyes también se resentían su capacidad de influir en los compradores. Cuenta del autor GD Smith en el libro' Nauvoo poligamia es una caricatura de los hechos. Basten unos citas de la literatura relevante.
GD Smith afirma que " los hermanos ley entró en a. . . disputar con [José ] sobre su conducta como administrador fiduciario para la iglesia. En esa capacidad, [José ] se había apropiado de las donaciones de caridad miembros de la iglesia para la especulación inmobiliaria , comprar barato y reventa de alta a los inmigrantes que podían pagar "(p. 423) . De hecho , José había firmado dos pagarés de $ 25,000 para Nauvoo , a nombre de los especuladores de tierras orientales.
Sin embargo, el despojo sufrido por los santos de Misuri para efectuar el reembolso difícil, ya que muchos no podían permitirse el lujo de comprar la tierra.  "José quería ayudar ", informa Richard Bushman ", pero enormes deudas le impidió simplemente regalando tierras . ¿Qué podían hacer conversos pobres ? "Preferencia de José era " dar tierras a los pobres , especialmente a las viudas y los huérfanos . Para financiar estos regalos , él quería que los demás a pagar generosamente . El sumo consejo precio montón Nauvoo desde $ 200 a $ 800, dejando espacio para la negociación . Todos estos juicios requieren paciencia y sabiduría y se expusieron a José a las críticas por la especulación y el trato injusto " Además," . En junio de 1840, pidió al Alto Consejo para nombrar a otra persona para asistir a ' las temporalidades de la Iglesia. ' . . . [B ] ut su recurso no fue escuchada , . . . dejando Joseph responsable de las deudas y la disposición final de la tierra " .
Así, la acusación de que José estaba involucrado en la "especulación inmobiliaria" no es cierto. La afirmación de GD Smith que José estaba vendiendo alta "para ellas. . . que podían permitirse el lujo de pagar " es un poco de prestidigitación verbal - es cierto , mientras que la gestión para ocultar el hecho de que el Profeta estaba regalando tierras a los que no podían pagar. José ya estaba en deuda por la tierra ; terrenos vendidos a precios más altos no se benefició Joseph pero se benefició esos santos demasiado pobres para pagar la tierra en absoluto.
¿Sobre qué base , a continuación , se quejaban de que los hermanos de Derecho ? Sus motivos no eran tan puros como GD Smith sugiere , al igual que las acciones de José no eran tan venal como la versión de GD Smith implica. Las Leyes invertidos en lotes en Nauvoo superior y en la periferia , mientras que la iglesia celebra el título de la ciudad baja . Como Lyndon Cook ha explicado,
- En 1843 los intereses económicos fundamentales de las [ leyes ] y el líder mormón estaban en conflicto definido. Competencia Brisk causado al Profeta para insistir en que los Santos de la compra del edificio un montón de sólo la Iglesia . Si bien la mayoría reconoce esto como un sacrificio que ayudaría a liquidar las deudas de la Iglesia , a William Law sonaba demasiado como totalitarismo.
Pregunta: ¿José Smith realmente le dijo a Orrin Porter Rockwell que "era correcto robar"?
The only evidence for this statement is a fourth-hand claim made by a convicted fifteen-year-old thief attempting to justify himself
The only evidence for this statement is a fourth-hand claim made by a convicted fifteen-year-old thief attempting to justify himself. Joseph's diary recorded the comment, suggesting it cannot have threatened or worried him.
Quinn's use of the source is incorrect, and his lumping of a later journal entry with it creates a false impression
Historian D. Michael Quinn's material for this claim reads:
10 Mar . Fifteen-year-old Thomas Morgan says that Orrin Porter Rockwell told him "Joseph had taught that it was right to steal…which was the means of drawing Thomas into the practice of stealing." Smith's next remark about his boyhood friend: "conversed much about Porter, wishing the boy well." 
Unfortunately, in this section of his book, Quinn provides no references, footnotes, or endnotes. One reviewer noted that "In a work where source notes are taken as seriously as they are in this book, it is unfortunate that they were not included in appendices 6 (Biographical Sketches) and 7 (Selected Chronology). The careful student needs to be able to weigh the evidence for the extensive and sometimes sensational information that is given here." 
So it proves here.
Background: identifying the participants
The source for Quinn's source appears to be an entry made in Joseph Smith's journal. A transcript of the journal for the period in question reads:
[Entry for February 20, 1843] Last night Arthur Milikin had a quantity of books stolen and found them at 3 this P.M. in Hyrum Smith's Hayloft. Thomas Morgan and Robert Taylor (Morgan 15, Robert Taylor 13 years old next April) /both members of the Church/ were arrested on suspicion in the forenoon. On finding the books [they] immediately went to trial before the Mayor having had a brief examination about noon. Court adjourned till 10 [A.M.] tomorrow.... 
So, Thomas Morgan was a fifteen-year-old member of the Church brought before Joseph (in his role as a civil judge) for theft. The History of the Church notes that the next day:
Robert Taylor was again brought up for stealing, and Thomas Morgan for receiving the books, [referred to above] and each sentenced to six months imprisonment in Carthage jail. 
Morgan and Taylor were found guilty, and sentenced to jail. The History of the Church later says that
I [Joseph] went with Marshal Henry G. Sherwood to procure some provisions for Thomas Morgan and Robert Taylor, who, on petition of the inhabitants of the city, I had directed should work out their punishment on the highways of Nauvoo. 
So, far from approving theft, Joseph sentenced the young thieves to jail time, which was later converted into labor at the petition of others.
Evaluating the claim
We now come to the source (9 days later) to which Quinn likely alludes:
Friday, March 10th 1843 Clear and cold....As Thomas Morgan went out to speak with Mayor, said he had been told by several that Joseph had taught that it was right to steal viz. O. P. Rockwell, David B. Smith, and James Smith which was the means of drawing Thomas into the practice of stealing. 
So, it turns out that Quinn's source is a hearsay statement from a fifteen-year-old member boy found guilty of stealing, and sentenced to jail by Joseph (later commuted to road work). The young man doubtless wanted to excuse himself in the prophet's eyes, and so makes the claim that the only reason he was 'draw[n]...into the practice of stealing' is what he has heard (unnamed) others say that Joseph said to Porter Rockwell. This statement is thus at least fourth hand:
Joseph -> Rockwell -> "others" -> Thomas Morgan.
Moreover, why would Joseph's personal journal record this incident if there were any truth to it? Why would Joseph allow a record to be made of advocating theft?
Next remark: wishing the boy well?
Quinn follows his claim about what Joseph told Porter by writing:
Smith's next remark about his boyhood friend: "conversed much about Porter, wishing the boy well."
This is disingenuous at best. The entry which reads "Conversed much about Porter, wishing the boy well," comes from a diary entry on March 14, 1843—four days after the encounter with Thomas Morgan!  Quinn gives the impression that the very next thing that Joseph said, after hearing the tale from Morgan, were warm reminiscences regarding Porter Rockwell. Nothing could be further from the truth—this is simply the next remark about Porter in Joseph's journal, eight journal pages later. Small wonder that Joseph's thoughts turned to Rockwell, since on March 4, 1843, Rockwell was arrested for the attempted murder of former governor Boggs of Missouri. 
Brigham Young (1855): "él era un hombre honorable y tratado justamente, sabemos su verdadero carácter. Pero que sus enemigos le den su carácter, y le harán aparecer uno de los hombres más malvados que haya vivido"
The history of Joseph and Mary is given to us by their best friends, and precisely as we will give the history of the Prophet Joseph. We know him to have been a good man, we know that he performed his mission, we know that he was an honorable man and dealt justly, we know his true character. But let his enemies give his character, and they will make him out one of the basest men that ever lived. Let the enemies of Joseph and Mary give their characters to us, and you would be strongly tempted to believe as the Jews believe. Let the enemies of Jesus give his character to us, and, in the absence of the testimony of his friends, I do not know but that the present Christian world would all be Jews, so far as their belief that Jesus Christ was an impostor and one of the most degraded men that ever lived.
B.H. Roberts: "José Smith era un hombre de pasiones similares con otros hombres; luchando con las mismas debilidades; sometido a las mismas tentaciones"
[Joseph Smith] claimed for himself no special sanctity, no faultless life, no perfection of character, no inerrancy for every word spoken by him. And as he did not claim these things for himself, so can they not be claimed for him by others; for to claim perfection for him, or even unusual sanctity, would be to repudiate the revelations themselves which supply the evidence of his imperfections, whereof, in them, he is frequently reproved.
Joseph Smith was a man of like passions with other men; struggling with the same weaknesses; subjected to the same temptations; under the same moral law, and humiliated at times, like others, by occasionally, in word and conduct, falling below the high ideals presented in the perfect life and faultless character of the Man of Nazareth.
But though a man of like passions with other men, yet to Joseph Smith was given access to the mind of Deity, through the revelations of God to him; and likewise to him was given a divine authority to declare that mind of God to the world.
José Smith: "frecuentemente cometía muchas imprudencias y manifestaba las debilidades de la juventud y las flaquezas de la naturaleza humana"
José fue abierto y directo sobre sus debilidades, diciendo a sus acusadores:
Durante el tiempo que transcurrió entre la ocasión en que vi la visión y el año mil ochocientos veintitrés —habiéndoseme prohibido unirme a las sectas religiosas del día, cualquiera que fuese, teniendo pocos años, y perseguido por aquellos que debieron haber sido mis amigos y haberme tratado con bondad; y que si me creían engañado, debieron haber procurado de una manera apropiada y cariñosa rescatarme— me vi sujeto a toda especie de tentaciones; y, juntándome con toda clase de personas, frecuentemente cometía muchas imprudencias y manifestaba las debilidades de la juventud y las flaquezas de la naturaleza humana, lo cual, me da pena decirlo, me condujo a diversas tentaciones, ofensivas a la vista de Dios. Esta confesión no es motivo para que se me juzgue culpable de cometer pecados graves o malos, porque jamás hubo en mi naturaleza la disposición para hacer tal cosa. Pero sí fui culpable de levedad, y en ocasiones me asociaba con compañeros joviales, etc., cosa que no correspondía con la conducta que había de guardar uno que había sido llamado por Dios como yo. Mas esto no le parecerá muy extraño a cualquiera que se acuerde de mi juventud y conozca mi jovial temperamento natural.
José Smith (1834): "durante este tiempo, como es común a la mayoría, oa todos los jóvenes, caí en muchos vicios y locuras"
- ...during this time, as is common to most, or all youths, I fell into many vices and follies; but as my accusers are, and have been forward to accuse me of being guilty of gross and outrageous violations of the peace and good order of the community, I take the occasion to remark that, though as I have said above, 'as is common to most, or all youths, I fell into many vices and follies,' I have not, neither can it be sustained, in truth, been guilty of wronging or injuring any man or society of men; and those imperfections to which I allude, and for which I have often had occasion to lament, were a light, and too often, vain mind, exhibiting a foolish and trifling conversation. This being all, and the worst, that my accusers can substantiate against my moral character, I wish to add that it is not without a deep feeling of regret that I am thus called upon in answer to my own conscience, to fulfil a duty I owe to myself, as well as to the cause of truth, in making this public confession of my former uncircumspect walk, and trifling conversation and more particularly, as I often acted in violation of those holy precepts which I knew came from God. But as the 'Articles and Covenants,' of this Church are plain upon this particular point, I do not deem it important to proceed further. I only add, that I do not, nor never have, pretended to be any other than a man 'subject to passion,' and liable, without the assisting grace of the Savior, to deviate from that perfect path in which all men are commanded to walk.
Walker: In 1819 "Bajo la ley de Nueva York, siendo sólo trece, el testimonio de José sobre el trabajo que él había realizado era admisible solamente después de que el tribunal lo encontró competente"
In 1819, a year prior to the First Vision, Joseph Smith was thirteen years old. His family sued a neighboring farmer over a dispute regarding some horses they had purchased. One author explained that Joseph's use as a witness indicates that the trial judge and jury found him both trustworthy and competent to give evidence:
Under New York law, being just thirteen, Joseph's testimony about the work he had performed was admissible only after the court found him competent. His testimony proved credible and the court record indicates that every item that he testified about was included in the damages awarded to the Smiths. Although Hurlbut [the farmer they were suing] appealed the case, no records have survived noting the final disposition of that case; perhaps it was settled out of court. The significance of this case is not limited to the fact that a New York judge found the young Joseph, just a year prior to his First Vision, to be competent and credible as a witness....
The trial was held on February 6, 1819. Twelve jurors were impaneled, all men and property owners. The Smiths called five witnesses, Hurlbut seven. Both Joseph Jr. and Hyrum were called to testify. This appears to be young Joseph's first direct interaction with the judicial process. He had turned thirteen years old a month and a half previously. New York law and local practice permitted the use of child testimony, subject to the court's discretion to determine the witness' competency. The test for competency required a determination that the witness was of 'sound mind and memory.' A New York 1803 summary of the law for justices of the peace notes that 'all persons of sound mind and memory, and who have arrived at years of discretion, except such as are legally interested, or have been rendered infamous, may be improved as witnesses.' This determination of competency rested within the discretion of the judge....
From the record it appears that Judge Spear found Joseph Jr. competent, and he indeed did testify during the trial. This is evident in a review of the List of Services that was part of the court file. Joseph Jr.'s testimony would have been required to admit those services he personally performed. His testimony was certainly combined with Hyrum's. Hyrum was born February 11, 1800, and was therefore nineteen years old at the time this case was tried.
- "Mormonism," Boston Bee (24 March 1843); cited in Plantilla:Periodical:Times and Seasons
- Plantilla:Book:Smith:History of the Church
- Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 430.
- Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 414, 417.
- Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Knopf, 2005), 417.
- Lyndon W. Cook, “William Law: Nauvoo Dissenter,” BYU Studies 22/1 (Fall 1982): 62.
- Plantilla:CriticalWork:Quinn:Mormon Hierarchy
- History of the Church, 5:283, for date 20-21 Feb 1843. for date 20-21 Feb 1843 BYU Studies link
- History of the Church, 5:292, for date 1 March 1843. for date 1 March 1843 BYU Studies link
- History of the Church, 5:295. BYU Studies link
- Brigham Young, (6 October 1855) Journal of Discourses 3:366
- Brigham H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1965), 2:360–361. GospeLink
- Joseph Smith, Historia (1838), 3–4; citado in Plantilla:Book:Jessee:Personal Writings of Joseph Smith 1st
- Letter to Oliver Cowdery [December 1834]; cited in Jessee, 336–337.
- Jeffrey N. Walker, "Joseph Smith's Introduction to the Law: The 1819 Hurlbut Case," Mormon Historical Studies 11/1 (Spring 2010): 129-130.