"Whoa shit, guardian spirit dude! I wasn't even gonna touch
your golden treasure, promise!"
As Mormons, we believe that Joseph Smith got his knowledge and authority from the Highest of Authorities, yea, even the Kings of the Most High: God the Father and Jesus the Father (first just the Jesus and then the both of 'em - it doesn't matter...).
"Joseph, they're all self-righteous assholes.
And BTW, watch your fuckin' language around us."
But let's be honest, does that seem like a sufficient trump card for when others question your authority? Not when you don't even bother telling your family and followers that God the Father has spoken to you face to face. Instead Joseph dropped other names like Nephi/Moroni (he couldn't keep them straight at first), John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John. Only after he exhausted his some of these more recognizables he dropped the Elohim bomb on a few people. After that I'm sure it was easy to throw out that you've had special visits from the likes of Moses, Elijah, Elias, Paul, and just about everyone else worth meeting from the Bible and The Book of Mormon.
"Touch touch... touch touch touching. Sooo much touching. Never enough touching..."
The early saints eventually got tired of trying to discuss scripture with Joseph. He wasn't even pretending to pray about issues and wait for a revelation, he'd just shut people up with a "Fuck you! How would you know what Paul's trying to say in that verse anyway? Well I've fucking talked with Paul, so screw you!" It was enough to get anyone to stand down.
Hooray for made up Bible folk!
However, now that Joseph's dead and we can all get a word in, let's reflect for a moment on all these heavenly visitations Joseph claimed to have had.
Considering his direct contact with so many heavy hitters, why did it take him so long to figure out so many Gospel principles? What kinds of empty conversations was Joseph having with his heavenly messengers? Why did it take so long for polygamy to get some rules? All these visits and no clarifications that Joseph needed to ask for Emma's permission? Why did the temple endowment show up so late in the game? What's all this "line upon line, here a little there a little" business? When you're enjoying frequent visitations by all these incredibly important individuals, how can we honestly believe that they wouldn't spell things out very carefully and clearly in a short time rather than spread out Restoration through an extremely muddled communication model of prayer and trial and error?
If I listen to my heart I have to say this all sounds like total bullshit, and that is why I must doubt my doubts.