|Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration|
Having said that, I am painfully aware that many members of the Church are not aware of some of the activities that the Prophet was involved in (treasure seeking, multiple accounts of the First Vision, plural marriage, etc). When they hear about these things, they wonder how such a flawed man could be called of God, and sadly many members leave the Church after becoming aware of these things. John Dehlin recently wrote on his Facebook that some people had mentioned to him that they had a testimony of who Joseph Smith truly was (which is laughable, because if they did they would not have left the Church).
One of the best resources that the modern Church has is Richard Lyman Bushman, author of the landmark book Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling and a current patriarch. I am convinced that no one (or if any, very few) knows more about Joseph Smith than does Bro. Bushman, and yet he is one of the Prophet's staunchest advocates. I ask my friends who have left the Church over what they have learned of the Prophet the following questions: Is it possible that Bro. Bushman knows more than you do about Joseph Smith's activities, character, and life? If so, is it possible that there is something that you missed and that you are looking beyond the mark(to borrow a phrase from the Book of Mormon)?
In this weeks traditio, I invite my readers to watch as Bro. Bushman talks about his landmark book and some of the concerns people have about what he wrote. Member or non-member, you will enjoy this.