Thursday, September 9, 2010

Joseph Smith;

Now I am not going to say whether I am LDS or not because I think that might change what people think about what I think about what I read. Maybe I am not familiar even with the Mormon culture, maybe I am. Maybe I am the most devout Mormon ever. Either way, I am not from Utah and I have spent alot of time in other countries, Yes plural, countrieS, I am not talking about an LDS mission.... Anyways,...I also do not completely understand the Mormon culture here.

I dunno about you but when I was fourteen I was much different then I am now and I think if I went into a forest to pray and heard some noises while I wanted so desperately to communicate with God, I would have been scared and frozen if I had heard noises too. Maybe it was an animal, a boogie man, something else my "unlearned" mind could come up with. Maybe he (Joseph) had gone into a place in the forest that was full of black mold or pot, or something and he hallucinated (I mean no disrespect, I am only trying to look at this like I never have before, and maybe I haven't and I know nothing other than what I am reading about Joseph Smith)..He says "not to an imaginary ruin but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being." Kids can make things up and make things so real to them that they create their own (false and unreal) memories. I am not calling Joseph Smith a lair by any means, but he was only 14. Fourteen. I don't even think if something such as that happened to me at 14 I could even comprehend it. However, maybe that is why he could comprehend it because he had not yet been tainted by everything the world throws at you with age, maybe because he was 14 he was able to have such powerful faith. Maybe what happened to Joseph he could only describe in the words he used, do to the confines of language, and it was actually something completely different then the representation that the Mormon religion follows.
Just some thoughts from another unlearned boy

And on another note, I love what Roger Keller said, in that in all other religions that have 5% of truth, in the Mormon religion he found 6%.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that in the bible there is a description of something as a chariot of fire. I believe this description is used because it was the best way to describe what was seen with the knowledge and language at the time, but who knows, maybe that description was a F-16, but "F-16" was not known then, the word, nor the name which describes it.


Scott Abbott said...

I like the way you think through this. It's an amazing story and ought to help us understand some things about language.

Ty G said...

I think you make a good point... I also liked how you masked your own religious beliefs/knowledge in order to make an observation - I wish people would do that more.

What you said about Joseph Smith being so young I think is an important piece of the story. It ties into the discrepancy discussion we had today. At fourteen everything is so dramatic and if I were to retell a story of something traumatic that happened to me at such a young age it would be full of discrepancies and exaggerations. While there may be discrepancies and exaggerations, that does not mean nothing happened and that I made it all up. On the other hand though, it certainly does not mean that everything in the story was "real." This holds true for any religious text or defining moment that we try to put language to - the moment we try we fail and it is up to everyone to use their own knowledge to fill in the discrepancies to suit their own needs/wants.