Joseph Smith had his revelations here. The first theophany he scored was at age fourteen, capable son of a gun. Father and Son, our Gods, stepped forth to him from the depths of being. God, formally, but in Smith’s plowboy’s clasp that subtle dogma had diverged somewhat. In any case, they confirmed to him that none of the existing churches was true, over which dilemma teen Smith was despairing like another lad over pizza face. Three years later the angel Moroni showed him where in America the book of golden plates from the time before Columbus was buried; just about the shack. When he was 22, another angel put him in contact with the plates, and hence we have the Book of Mormon.
Those were so-called founding revelations. Afterwards Joe was still getting offshoots. When Emma, for instance, the first wife, had become unmanageable concerning other chicks, Joe smack received the revelation that the existing covenant had been suspended, and from now on a husband could have a pew of wives. And if she, Emma, wouldn’t cool her stew, He, the Lord, would take care of her: “she shall be destroyed,” D & C 132:54.
Fun stuff. More or less, you can find it in any religion’s beginnings, so who is to gloat.
The thing that made me like Mormonism instantly was that it withdrew the exclusive rights to prime epiphany from the past and returned to the folks who here and now had to plow that furrow. This, I must say, was cool. We were again treated seriously. We again had a living religion and the hotline to the Maker to boot. One hundred percent American. You can almost see that sturdier ingredient within the self-selected European character, how it dumps the Old World for the New One, gets into a tiny shell, hits the gales and rollers of the Atlantic full breast, risking body and carry-ons for weeks on, and if upon hitting Plymouth Rock it had to hear that for a prime chatter with G. was 1700-1800 years too late – what do you think such a sturdier ingredient within the self-selected European character would say?
Damn right, and that it did. That’s how Mormonism was born.