Today on HubPages, where I write about Mormonism, as LdsNana-AskMormon - I am posting a Hub entitled -
Emma Smith - My Story: Are Mormons Ready To Tell Their Own History?
I began this Hub almost a month ago and am now finally publishing it. This Hub tells about the upcoming release this April, of the movie, Emma Smith: My Story. This film is told from the perspective of Emma Hale Smith and are the reflections of her own life... looking back. I have based the information to write this article, on the reviews of others who were able to preview the movie, Emma Smith: My Story.
The fact that this movie is being released, although a limited release - in my opinion, opens the door for not just the critics of Emma Smith and Mormonism, but more importantly - members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, to begin to engage in a much needed dialogue.
It is my hope as I state in my article, that a more positive conversation about early Mormonism will begin to take place; and particularly amongst members of the LDS Church, and even more so that we might hear from more active LDS Women in the Church today.
I have been active as a Latter-Day-Saint woman in The Church, for over thirty years now. I have yet to find a place where women are able to comfortably speak about the issues that the movie Emma Smith: My Story - will inevitably raise. Unfortunately, most often when the topic of Emma Smith comes up - women in the Church are often found to be on one side of the issue or the other, and never seem to reach a place of understanding - together.
As the wife of the prophet Joseph Smith, Emma Smith holds a revered position in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints... and so she should. Throughout her entire relationship and marriage to the prophet Joseph Smith, Emma's actions as the wife of the founding prophet leader of the Mormon Church - are for the most part, stellar.
Emma Smith is known to have stood by her prophet-husband, Joseph Smith Jr. - in every endeavor regarding the organizing and establishing of the LDS Church; except for one thing - her "history" that is vague, in regards to Joseph Smith and the doctrine and practice of polygamy. But, boy - do we sure have some great second-hand accounts, don't we?
From what evidence that is available, we know that Emma struggled with the issue and practice of polygamy - as to be expected. Who wouldn't, right?
Beyond a handful of recorded accounts, and a few letters that she wrote - Emma Smith's true feelings about her life's experiences, can only be speculated - at best.
Therefore, her life as we know it today is currently only; talked about, to be judged and written - to be that of an enigma.
Because of the many holes in Emma Hale Smith's 'her-story' - her history has been strongly put forth for the most part - as an opposition to Mormonism in general.
How can that be? Emma Hale Smith never denied the authenticity of The Book of Mormon; nor did she ever deny the fact that Joseph Smith Jr. was called of God as His Prophet to the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints.
Emma Hale Smith had a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it came forth from her prophet husband. Emma Smith was witness in many ways to the actual translation of The Book of Mormon. What caused her to turn away, 'if' that is even what she did? By her choosing to not go west with the Saints to the Salt Lake Valley; and her personal reasons for that choice - really can only be speculated upon.
Due to the vague information that is and should be considered fact - I believe that Emma Smith should be revered for that which we know for a fact. I also believe that for the most part, we need to set some personal feelings of some, who have been widely shared, for Emma - aside.
Emma stayed with her mother-in-law, Lucy Mack Smith. Either one of these women had it left in them to go all the way to Utah after such a devastating journey thus far... Joseph Smith, Emma's beloved husband and Lucy's cherished son - had been a martyr for their faith.
Is it possible, that the women of Mormonism today, feel much different about Emma Smith than the critics at large have suggested. Perhaps if better dialogue amongst members of the LDS Church were able to be engaged in - we would find that we actually draw strength from this women... this enigma.
Emma Hale Smith, wife of the Prophet Leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints must be more than a figure head, of which we revere in name only. This woman who was called to serve as the inaugural President of the first Relief Society in Nauvoo. This woman who saw the potential in her sisters and proclaimed "that we are going to do something extraordinary".
This first lady of Mormonism, must have a story wherein the women of the LDS Church today can and will draw strength from - if they will only discuss what that will be...
So, my question within my title as to "Are Mormons Ready To Tell Their Own History" - should perhaps have been more like "Are Mormons Ready To Own Their Own History And Embrace It"?
Are we? And how?
Perhaps, we can begin that positive dialogue right here and right now...