Date: December 06, 2018 06:27PM
>>I like the story that the church tells. I can be with my family forever. It is beautiful doctrine.
>>What if I leave the church and it turns out to be true and I lose my salvation?
Mormons did not come up with the concept that you will be reunited with your family in the afterlife. This is a traditional Christian belief. All that is necessary in Christianity is to be baptized and accept Jesus as your savior.
The belief that we go to an afterlife predates even Christianity. The ancient pagan Romans believed it. The pagan Norse people believed it. The belief may well go back to the dawn of humanity. If there is an afterlife, you will be there and your loved ones will be there to greet you.
>>I am repulsed by troublesome history, specifically Joseph's young wives. But a TBM friend tells me it was a different time then, and that it wasn't bad as we see it now. Is this true?
The average age of first marriage for American women in the mid-1800s was roughly 23 years old. Even on the frontier it was only a couple of years younger than that. Marrying at age 14 or 15 was only very marginally more common back then than it is now. It was no more respectable to marry at age 14 or 15 than it is at present.
Here is some data that is sanctioned by the NIH:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002115/table/T1/
And bear in mind -- Joseph's marriages were not legal marriages. This was Joe coming up with some mumbo-jumbo to convince these young women and their families that they were "married." Joseph also sent his male followers on missions and then "married" their wives. How moral is that behavior? I don't know about you, but I have higher standards than that for people to whom I choose to listen.
Did Joseph see God and Jesus in a vision? This requires you to take his word for it. And frankly, his word is not worth much. This is a man who was convicted of glass-looking, defrauded people of money in the Kirtland Bank scandal, ordered the destruction of a printing press (which was simply notifying the community of his polygamous "marriages,") propositioned young girls, other men's wives, and his own servants and wards who were dependent on him, and was caught in not correctly translating the Book of Abraham. This is someone whose word you would trust? Really?
I would trust my own family members long before I would trust the word of such a liar and scoundrel.