Joseph Smith was very complex person and did have severe character flaws. He remained confused for years, but would soon exuberate extreme certainty that would inspire others. He was torn by spiritual confusion in his family and environment. He had to deal with the conflicting religious persuasions between his parents, his wife Emma and father in law and he was desperately poor. He did become a Methodist and bolted when they demanded confession for repentance.
So in the end Joseph transitioned from doubt to certainty or so it appears on the outside and he changed poverty to prosperity. It worked very well for him. He attracted a faith following of thousands and then tens of thousands and in true Jewish manner he build faith communities. After his death millions, which has secured Joseph a place in history.
Joseph Smith's Jesus
In Josephs scriptures attributed to Jesus Christ he has denounced masonry and then embraced it later. He did not give up magic either as he continued in scrying and wore a talisman until the end of his life. For him the spirit world seemed to have a bright and sinister aspect at the same time. He talked about it in the first vision as well as in his final days of polygamy (a fear of destruction may have been a real aspect of being demonized). Since Jesus Christ allegedly is speaking verbatimly in Josephs scriptures he appears to be a false Christ. This is a Christ that commands plural marriage and masonic oaths and is capricious inasmuch as he constantly needs to fix his doctrines.
Today's Mormon Jesus
Today's Top 15 LDS Leaders (TSCC) do not make a video of Jesus being married, which is the #1 LDS requirement for being a God. I do really struggle to see Jesus coming to the RLDS temple in Missouri and wearing LDS temple robes. But that would be more genuinely and uniquely Mormon - right ? Why doesn't Pr Monson pick up the seer stone from the churches vault to find answers on how to fix conflicting Mormon doctrines ? The Mormon dilemma comes from within rather than from outside.
And the church keeps marching on
The Church has grown to 15 Million on the record, but real net church growth is nowadays is near zero. In essence when it comes to active members the church looses all its gains from converts as an equal amount of members drifts into inactivity or resigns. So the church growths organically only (fertility). As a missional faith it virtually stagnates in spite of having 60 000 to 80 000 full time missionaries on the ground.
Utah Stats (Wiki)
A majority of the state's residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As of 2012, 62.2% of Utahns are counted as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although only 41.6% of them are active members (4,815 congregations).
Utah's birth rate is 25 percent higher than the national average
The three largest denominational groups in Utah are
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 1,910,504 adherents;
- the Catholic with 160,125 adherents, and the
- Southern Baptist Convention with 12,593 adherents.
According to a report produced by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life the self-identified religious affiliations of Utahns over the age of 18 as of 2008 are:
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 58% (labeled as Mormon on survey)
- Unaffiliated 16%
- Catholic 10%
- Evangelicals 7% + Mainline Protestants 6% = 13%
According to a Gallup poll, Utah had the 2nd-highest number of people reporting as "Very Religious" in 2011, at 57% (trailing only Mississippi). However, it also had a higher rate of people reporting as "Nonreligious" (28%) than any of the other "most religious" states, and the smallest percentage of people reporting as "Moderately Religious" (15%) of any state.