Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Series: Joseph Smith's Dreams

A long time ago, I started a thread called Church History Thursdays. Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of the posts, I didn't keep that tradition going for long. In its place, I'd like to offer a new series called "Joseph Smith's Dreams" over the next few months. With each fictional dream, I'll attempt to imagine what some of the pressures on Joseph Smith might have felt like. As always, I'd appreciate your comments/questions/reactions.

Joseph Smith's Dreams: Introduction

When he’s awake, he sees angels, finds hidden records, stands face-to-face at least once with the Father and twice with the Son. When he’s awake, he sees Eden somewhere between white and native civilizations, hears words streaming out of the mouth of God, feels the weight of apostles’ hands on his head by a riverbank. When he’s awake, people press around him—some hungry for the Spirit, some thirsty for his blood—and he loses himself sometimes in the whirlpools of their words. When he’s awake, plagues sweep the nations, earthquakes roar—he can almost see the Second Coming and he’ll close his eyes and imagine the Son of Man in red when the mobs cover his body in hot tar.

So what is left for this Joseph-son-of-Joseph to see when he sleeps?

Maybe, on the banks of the Mississippi, drained by blessing the sick while camped in a malarial swamp, Joseph’s eyes slam shut like a Missouri prison and he dreams nothing at all.

Maybe, looking out at the moon from a second-story cell in Carthage, the dreamlessness of his sleep is a sweet respite.

But maybe, just maybe, there is no calm between the stormy days of this life. Maybe Joseph dreams every night.

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