Once again, someone has informed me that I am bitter and attempting to “pick a fight.” It’s true that I was angry for a time when I first admitted to myself that my belief in Mormonism was sadly misplaced. But those feelings have long since passed.
Sometimes I wonder where this accusation of bitterness comes from, and I usually reach the same conclusion: it arises from the insecurity of knowing that one’s beliefs are not always on solid ground. Otherwise, if you believe that you have good reasons for your belief, you can shake off just about anything.
But with Mormonism, you are forced to do a ridiculous amount of rationalizing. Among other things, you have to explain why
- Joseph Smith’s sleeping with other women, including married women, without the consent of his lawful wife was not only justified but commanded of God.
- The Book of Mormon describes a people and culture who left no trace of themselves and at the same time the book contains a multitude of anachronisms and nineteenth-century textual dependencies.
- The Book of Abraham borrows from sources such as Thomas Dick and Josephus (both of which Joseph Smith had been studying) and yet in its explicit translations of the facsimiles bears no relation to the actual Egyptian text.
The list could go on, but these suffice. People who are sure of the facts don’t need to get defensive or accuse other people of being bitter. They simply deal with the facts. That some of my readers cannot do so speaks more of them than it does of me.