QUOTE: “Questions concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith are not new. They have been hurled by his critics since this work began. To those of faith who, looking through the colored glasses of the 21st century, honestly question events or statements of the Prophet Joseph from nearly 200 years ago, may I share some friendly advice: For now, give Brother Joseph a break! In a future day, you will have 100 times more information than from all of today’s search engines combined, and it will come from our all-knowing Father in Heaven. Consider the totality of Joseph’s life—born in poverty and given little formal education, he translated the Book of Mormon in less than 90 days. Tens of thousands of honest, devoted men and women embraced the cause of the Restoration. At age 38, Joseph sealed his witness with his blood. I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Settle this in your mind, and move forward!” – Neil L. Andersen, in General Conference, October 2015. [source]
COMMENTARY: Isn’t it great that we have a prophet of God to tell us that questions about Joseph Smith’s history are really old and worn out and are only “hurled” by “critics” but that honest questions should be ignored because, man, that was like two hundred years ago, and when you look at the “totality of Joseph’s life” you can conveniently ignore his polygamy, polyandry, and associated dishonesty; his evolving stories of spiritual experiences; his fraudulent claims of translating Egyptian; his fascination with and use of folk magic; his abuses of power; and his “martyrdom” in which he fired a gun at his attackers? Explain to me why exactly we should give Joseph a break. If we presented a list like this to Neil Andersen and attached any name but Joseph Smith to it—say, Warren Jeffs, for example—my bet is that Neil would not hesitate to say it was a false prophet. But what do I know? I’m just another apostate.