Joseph Smith and Lincoln

This entry is part 38 of 62 in the series 2010

John C posted an interview with a biographer of Joseph Smith located at:
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Here are my comments

I enjoyed the interview but didn’t notice anything very controversial. He pointed out some of Joseph’s flaws and human frailties but you can also get a feeling of them from reading the orthodox History of the Church.

The one thing in the interview that was new was Joseph’s period of melancholy when alone similar to Abraham Lincoln. Actually, I haven’t seem much evidence of this in either men.

This melancholy is widely written about Lincoln but I have seen little hard evidence. It seems to be mostly derived from Lincoln’s reflections on his responsibility for the war and what his judgment before God will be because of it. I have never got the impression that he spent a lot of time in moody reflection.

It is interesting that Joseph and Lincoln were two main figures in history that were constantly called “old’ when they were young. Joseph was frequently called “Ole Joe” and Lincoln was often called “Ole Abe.” They were called this by friend and foe alike. Maybe it was a subconscious recognition that they were old souls.

Here are some interesting parallels:

Both their wives were difficult to get along with and both had terrible tempers.

They both rose to prominence in Illinois.

The both had famous Bible names.

Words from their speeches are often quoted with about as much authority as scripture.

They were both hated by the press.

They were both described as unpolished.

They were both self educated and had little formal schooling.

Neither joined any orthodox church.

They both had great physical strength and were taller than most.

They were both either loved or hated.

Both had doubts that blacks and whites could peaceably live together in a free state and thought it would be best if the blacks had their own country.

They were both assassinated with gunfire.

An attempt was made to kill associates of both men.

It is thought that some within the inner circles of both men supported their assassinations.

Both men had premonitions of their death.

Martyrdom greatly increased the stature of both men.

Copyright 2010 by J J Dewey

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