Modern-day Mormons do not believe much of Smith's century-old writings.<quoted text>" was stunned after I learned these uncomfortable truths. I had naively believed that when church leaders transgressed, they followed the required steps of repentance, as taught to members and investigators. I believed they had the courage to face their mistakes and confess their shortcomings, no matter what the consequences; to live the same standards they set for the members. I believed they were completely honest.
D. Michael Quinn called the use of deception by LDS church leaders, "theocratic ethics." (The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, page 112) Smith lied to protect himself or the church; which was an extension of himself. Dan Vogel in his excellent work, Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet, described Smith's viewpoint; he was a pious deceiver. Smith used deception if in his mind; it resulted in a good outcome. Smith had Moroni, an ancient American prophet and custodian of the gold plates declare, "And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me.( Moroni 4:11-12). Translation: if deception was necessary to do good, or bring a soul to Christ, then it was worth it, as long as God approves. Smith believed he knew when God approved of lying.
Smith believed God also approved of murder if it was for a good cause. He wrote in the Book of Mormon that Nephi was inspired by God (1 Nephi 4:6) to deceive and capture a servant; and then murder another man in order to secure an ancient historical record on brass plates. And in Missouri, Smith and his counselor Sidney Rigdon threatened to kill Mormon's who disagreed with Smith's policies and initiatives (Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Chapter 3, "Theocratic Beginnings," 79-103).
Smith re-wrote scripture to demonstrate that God had ordered the prophet Abraham to lie to protect himself and his wife Sarah from harm (Abraham 2:23-25)."
A lot of us don't get the Mormon religion. But I don't get a lot about the Catholic religion either.
Guess what people choose to believe is none of our business.
However, there are a lot of good-hearted and good-natured people in both the Mormon and Catholic religions.
Isn't that what matters?