Tuesday, December 10, 2013

No ordinary man

I always hated that statement that Joseph "did more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it". I guess it's not really a statement, it's scripture.

I think we can all admit that Jesus did a hell of a lot for the salvation of man, like proposing The Plan, creating the Universe, and suffering for everyone's sins and shortcomings so Our Father can legally forgive us without tanning our hides. That's a lot of work, but more important still - HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE THE ONLY REASON ANYONE IS SAVED AT ALL.

What did Joseph do? Well, he "brought forth the Book of Mormon", sent the Gospel to the "four quarters of the earth" via some missionaries, wrote the D&C and some other stuff, gathered thousands of people, and built a city (Nauvoo). Has anyone else ever done anything similar at all?

Moses dueled with the pharaoh, freed hundreds of thousands of Israelite slaves, gave them rocks with God's handwriting, paraded around the desert with them for 40 years, and showed them the Promised Land, which is full of many significantly more famous cities than Nauvoo.

What about Enoch? The dude was so bad ass that not only did every single person in his city go straight to heaven, but the city itself lifted off the ground and went celestial! That sounds like some mighty heavy work for the salvation of men.

How many billions of people are indebted to the Gospel writers for their knowledge of Jesus? And how many people are indebted to Joseph for their knowledge of the Savior? A few million.

This belief that Joseph is second only to Jesus in saving souls is nonsensical. Think for a moment how many souls could have been saved without Adam and Eve? Don't our first parents deserve a lot more credit than Joseph for the simple fact that their eating of the fruit made Jesus-Savior relevant in the first place? That sounds like a pretty huge role to play in the salvation of men.

The thing is this scripture always sounded ridiculously hyperbolic and overblown. As I recall from a Church movie, John Taylor wrote this when he was under the influence of a giganto cry-gasm. Why is it canonized scripture? Why is anyone even competing for the title of Person Who Did the Most for the Salvation of Men in the first place? All glory be the Father's, remember?

P.S. Here's a great entry about this topic at By Common Consent.

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