This week's Gospel Doctrine lesson was on "Deception." One area of deception that I wanted the class to understand was the negative things that are said about the Prophet Joseph Smith. Moroni told him that his name would be had for good or evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people (JS-History 1:33). The prophet found that he had to defend himself verbally toward the end of his life even among some of the saints. Several months before his death he made this statement:
When did I ever teach anything wrong
from this stand? When was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel
before I depart hence and am no more seen. I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught. Must I, then, be thrown away as a thing of naught?
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.368)
132 has some very important statements about the Prophet Joseph. The
Lord tells him that his calling and election is made sure and why it was
made sure or that he was sealed up unto eternal life.
49 For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father.
50 Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins;
I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you.
Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the
offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
Here the Lord tells the Prophet that He
will forgive all of his sins because of the sacrifices that he has made. Then the Lord makes this statement to him:
60 Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
It is important to know that the word "set" as used in the verse above means "to oppose or reject"
according the the 1828 dictionary. So, what the Lord is saying is that
Joseph is not perfect but that his sins are between Joseph and the Lord
and not between us and the Prophet. His sins are none of our business.
The Lord is handling him as he sees fit just like he will do with each