How is it that the testimony of a 14 year old boy, Joseph Smith building on the doctrine of Christ, led to the founding of an organization that has since spread throughout the world?
Would people be more accepting of him if he had been prominent Bible scholar? No, because the theology he revealed countered the philosophies of men that had ruled in the religious creeds and institutions for millennia.
Members in their Wards as the congregations are called, or branches if they are small are all over the world. None of us have met or seen Joseph Smith. We are not influenced by his presence in any way, only by his testimony. How is it that millions of followers express such confidence in the testimony of a boy from the early 1800's?
Because we can see the hand of God in the doctrine and the organization with actual authority to teach it. The Book of Mormon is a testament of Christ that cannot be denied when with sincere and honest study of its message. It leads people to Christ and saving covenants and ordinances that only His church is authorized to perform.
Those that would defame Joseph Smith use fallacies to spred mis- information about his life and character. By taking historical issues that are vague and subjective without historical accuracy and cultural issues they construct a narrative of defamation.
His detractors and critics considered him a threat to their false religious precepts. They use terms like cult and con-man to act as if Mormonism was some kind of conspiracy because they can't undo the present success of the church that has grown to fill the world. It was founded on the prophet's mission as one called of God and an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Using narrow viewpoints of past past events and questionable testimonials they distort the history. Their audiences don't even know what they are talking about or whether it is true or not. The facts are mixed with narratives suited to display their negative intentions of defaming Joseph.
Why those that would profess faith in Jesus Christ would object to additional testimonies, witnesses, even scripture that testifies of his involvement in the world. Who wouldn't want a second, third, or fourth witness of their Saviors life, love and teachings?
As evidence of his prophetic calling additional scripture has been revealed to fill the voids left by uninspired theologians and translators.
Joseph Smith's life's story revolves around his testimony that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. What became of that experience and subsequent experiences with divine beings is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as it presently stands. It is an organization of incomparable stature in what it represents. It is the true and living Church of Christ. The Lord is the head of the church and directs it through his living apostles and prophets.
The foundation of Apostles and Prophets exists as it did in the church when Jesus organized it anciently. Though small in comparison to the world, it is in all the world and has made significant impact in many areas. It is not growing in a small corner of nowhere.
Whatever the historical issues of the latter-day church, I'm sure if it were even possible to discover the full facts the Bible we would find that they too are full of unknown details.
The answers to the questions of life are found in the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. www.lds.org