The Prophet Joseph Smith was no double-dealing cynic

This past Monday, June 27, marked the anniversary of the assassination of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I've been thinking of him.

For a critic wanting to reject Joseph's own account, there are, broadly speaking, only two logical alternatives for explaining him: Either he was a false prophet but thought he was a real one, or he was a false prophet and knew that he was a false prophet. That is to say, again in general terms, that he must have been either dishonest or delusional, or some hybrid of the two.

But mere subjective delusion within Joseph's mind cannot explain the material objects — the sword of Laban, the Liahona, the plates, the breastplate and the "interpreters" — described by the Three Witnesses and, in several cases, "hefted" or handled by others (e.g., the Eight Witnesses, various members of the Smith family, Mary Whitmer).

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