Did Joseph Smith really chat it up with Jesus and God way back when, in a Sacred Grove somewhere in Western New York? For me, this was never a matter open for debate. I was told what must have been a thousand times that he was indeed a genuine prophet, and that the gospel he restored was the one true church, the only one that could get you to "Right Heaven", as I shall call it, as opposed to "Wrong Heaven", which is what you believe in if you are anything else but a card carrying, garment wearing Latter Day Saint. That "Right Heaven" should be your goal is also not a matter open to debate while growing up in Utah as an LDS Child of God.
But I was always a little bit different myself. At four years old, I asked my dad, "Hey, aren't we supposed to love the devil?" Now this was simply a matter of logic. I could remember distinctly Jesus saying "Love thy enemy" on the one hand, and being told over and over again our greatest enemy was the devil himself. Though by my dad's look on his face, and the level of red in his face, it was clear that this was not a proper conclusion despite it's logical soundness. And that's the thing with believing in good old Joseph Smith. There's something that doesn't seem logically correct here, and it's a lot less to do with the man himself than the great and powerful system he set in place to perpetuate a following.
See, I was told that what I had to do was get a testimony. Ask God, they told me, and again not just once but thousands of times, and God will tell you what's what. The problem here is that the existence of this God fellow is purely an assumption, a foregone conclusion. Why wasn't the first thing I should have done in my youth be "Verify that this God guy exists." It doesn't make any sense to ask what someone like God wants before I know that He really is something capable of wanting in the first place.
But of course, since your parents know that God exists, it is not only their right to teach their children this, but their duty. And hence came the justification for raising me up to believe not only that God exists, Joseph Smith was a prophet, but also repeated a thousand times was the sure premise that the only way I would not discover this for myself to be the truth was through a catastrophe of evil.
This is what I will focus my blog on, off and on with other random observations about my life--but this is the key thing I want to hit on. There is no one that I have ever encountered that offers up much in the way of explanations to why polygamy is ever a righteous endeavor, or how Laminites popping into white skins is a beautiful event, or how God requiring Abraham to kill his infant son was not horrifically, inherently sadistic. They just ride the God wave. "God helped me play the piano in that musical number in front of church, and therefore the Book of Mormon is also true, and none of those questions matter." Well it's great that you can make those kind of questions stop mattering. It's a nice talent, and I don't really judge your for being able to do so. But the consequence of rattling into your children's heads that by having these questions matter,and matter a lot, they are giving in to wickedness and sin at it's highest levels, that the devil has them by the hand, is just another big question to pile into the list: How is indoctrination right? We Mormons aren't quite as bat shit crazy as the folks in "Jesus Camp" but we're not so very far behind either. Why is to question in itself a wretched sin? It's a convenient defense, don't you think?