I have been reading and reflecting on Rock Waterman's latest post, "Joseph Smith and Polygamy" from January 12th. As usual his writing is awesome, and I would like to thank Rock for all of his efforts to teach me and everyone else lucky enough to read his blog.
Rock's work inspired me to come up with the following basic list of some of Joseph Smith's activities from his teens until his tragic death.
1. Joseph's first recital of his first vision (1820) included only JESUS. I believe all other versions to have been changed after Joseph's death to create a false narrative where only one church is true. The theme of his original story is "I asked GOD to forgive my sins, and JESUS showed up, and there was no mention of a church, so JESUS is the only way out of this mess." That message was too simple for modern scribes, Pharisees. and priests.
2. Joseph then used the power of GOD to write a book that has more references to JESUS per verse than even the New Testament.
Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon by Susan Easton Black is a study of The Book of Mormon's extremely high level of Christology. Even apostate modern Mormons came up with a good subtitle for the book, "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." An even better subtitle would have been "The Best Testament of Jesus Christ So Far", but no one asked me.
3. Joseph then started a church originally called "The Church of Christ" in April of 1830. Later we get the arrogant addition of "Latter Day Saints" which GOD may have allowed, but I doubt He approves.
4. Joseph undertook an inspired version of the Bible, where he focuses mainly on Genesis and the New Testament, in order to help people better understand...you guessed it, JESUS.
5. Joseph attempted to publish the Book of Commandments in 1833 with revelations he received from JESUS.
6. Joseph succeeded in having the Doctrine and Covenants published in 1835 with even more revelations from JESUS.
7. Joseph writes the Lectures on Faith to demonstrate primarily that the prototype of a saved being is...JESUS. These Lectures where the "Doctrine' part of the Doctrine and Covenants until 1921.
8. Joseph corrects the Book of Mormon twice, once in 1837, and again in 1840. He was trying make it clear that JESUS is the son of GOD, but also GOD the Son.
9. Joseph gives his 2 greatest talks in the spring of 1844, "The King Follett Discourse" and the "Sermon in the Grove." Without using a great and spacious conference center or a teleprompter, Joseph explains that JESUS was following in the footsteps of GOD the FATHER.
Translation: If you want to be a God, you get to suffer for all of your children's sins.
10. Joseph is unjustly killed with his older brother Hyrum in 1844, dying to seal his testimony of JESUS with his own blood.
Regardless of what you think about Joseph Smith, there is no denying his unrelenting emphasis of JESUS CHRIST.
Here is my paraphrase of his well-known quote about his new religion's central role of CHRIST and its "appendages".
"JESUS is 99.99 percent of this faith, and the rest isn't important."
Since the summer of 1844 the Utah version of Mormonism has been focused on power, sex, and money. Up until roughly 1900 it was hyper-focused on illicit sex. Since then it has done a complete 180 and now discourages any kind of sex that was not preceded by a temple wedding between two naive heterosexuals. The money and control goals have always been there.
Makes me long for the good old days of 1820-1844 and the flood of information that Joseph Smith added to the world. Information that unmistakably points to the One Being that can save all the other beings...JESUS.