Date: September 13, 2017 02:51PM
My TBM wife's testimony is very tied up in her pioneer ancestry. She has a hard time believing that her ancestors, many of whom knew Joseph Smith well, could have been duped...or worse, knowingly gone along with his con. Reading many of their stories, I believe that were good people. They believed in Joe's prophetic calling. Some suffered and died trying to follow him and Brigham. They were simply deceived. Is it so hard to believe that Joe was that good at conning people?
I was recently shocked to learn that a well respected member in the area here has been abusing his wife and living multiple lives (several long-term relationships) for decades. He seemed like the nicest guy you could meet. If you asked every ward member who the nicest person in the ward was, most would have named him. He just seemed like a genuinely nice guy that would do anything to help anyone. His wife finally asked for a divorce, spilled the beans, and not he's about to be excommunicated.
I also just barely learned that the last SP here is about to be excommunicated. He's another guy that just seemed like a genuine, caring person. The woman he's been having an affair with for years just came to his home and turned his world upside down. This was going on while he was SP...while he did my last recommend interview, while he was attending the temple, while he was meeting with area and general authorities, while he was holding "courts of love" for others that had done the same...
These two guys had almost everyone in their lives fooled...for far longer than Joseph Smith had his con running before getting himself killed. There are many stories out there of Mormon leaders, other religious leaders, and many others that have hid dirty secrets for years and years. Why is it so hard to believe that Joe was capable of the same?...especially with how clumbsy he was with his con...changing his stories/"revelations", breaking the law, chasing off some of his closest friends...