I'll borrow my discussion on Church History this week from a few friends:
Cort once told me that the topical organization of the Joseph Smith priesthood/relief society manual gave him the sense that Joseph Smith more or less understood how the church and gospel were supposed to work all along. Only after getting hired as a Research Assistant for the Joseph Smith Papers Project did he begin to understand how principles unfolded more gradually, and that Joseph went through the changes along with everyone else. He thinks it's important to learn to see Joseph Smith as being affected by the Restoration instead of simply as affecting the Restoration.
Joe Darowski pointed out that sometimes we think of the Restoration as Joseph Smith's story, when in fact it is God's story, and Joseph Smith is one of many characters and movements that God wove into it.