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Joseph Smith, A Fighting Prophet

  • Broadcast in Religion
Art Bulla

Art Bulla


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And yet, although so social and even convival [sic] at times, he would allow no arrogance or undue liberties. Criticisms, even by his associates, were rarely acceptable. Contradictions would arouse in him the lion at once. By no one of his fellows would he be superceded. In the early days at Kirtland, and elsewhere, one or another of his associates were more than once, for their impudence, helped from the congregation by his foot.... He soundly thrashed his brother William.... While with him in such fraternal, social and sometimes convivial moods, we could not then so fully realize the greatness and majesty of his calling. But since his martyrdom, it has continued to magnify in our view as the glories of this last dispensation have more fully unfolded to our comprehension (Letter by Benjamin F. Johnson, 1903, as printed in Testimony of Joseph Smith's Best Friend, pp.4-5). Brigham Young once made this evaluation of Joseph Smith: "Some may think that I am rather too severe; but if you had the Prophet Joseph to deal with, you would think that I am quite mild.... He would not bear the usage I have borne, and would appear as though he would tear down all the houses in the city, and tear up trees by the roots, if men conducted to him in the way they have to me" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, pp.317-18).