Monday, November 2, 2009

Joseph Smith, executive producer

What were the main issues Joseph Smith struggled with in the beginning of the mormon religion? —Wizard G

mainly that and also what do Mormons call people who don't follow their faith? i can't remember but it would be useful to know, thanks!

Gentiles maybe? That's a Book of Mormon term really. Mormons used to use it more; now you'd only hear people referred to as Gentiles if someone's joking around.

I'm not sure what you're looking for in terms of Joseph Smith's "issues." In his younger years Joseph Smith strikes me as a person who wanted out. He wanted to find his place in his own family, wanted financial freedom for his parents, wanted to be trusted and thought well of, probably a lot like most others. But he was also ambitious and apparently not held back by fear or self-doubt. And he had ideas.

Sometimes I wonder what sort of life Joseph Smith might have led were he born into the world today instead of being stuck in a little farming community with little hope of social mobility. Maybe he'd have been drawn to the clergy still, but oddly enough I've never seen Joseph Smith as a particularly religious man. I think it was just the train that happened to pass through town. No, when I try to picture a modern Joseph Smith, I somehow always see him as an actor or a performer of some kind. Makes you wonder how different the world would be today if young Joseph had had other opportunities to apply his talents.

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