Today’s guest post is from Bishop Bill.
A few months ago I finished reading the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson. I had always heard what a jerk Jobs was, but didn’t realize the magnitude of his narcissism, selfishness, and just plan meanness. He was a complex, gifted and flawed individual. He initially abandoned his own daughter, left his ex-wife on welfare while he was worth millions, and was cutthroat to “friends” in his company. But he was a creative genius nonetheless, and no doubt influenced and continues to influence the lives of millions for better (or worse) with his iPhone and other inventions. In fact many of you are probably reading this very blog post on an Apple product. It does not seem to bother the millions of people who use his products that he was such a flawed man.
How does this compare to Joseph Smith? He too was a complex, gifted, and some would say psychologically flawed individual. He treated some of his “friends” terribly, married other women behind Emma’s back, and yet created a church and produced a book that has influenced millions of people’s lives. And even when people learn of his flaws, it does not seem to bother them as they use his product (church).
Is it human nature to ignore flaws in great individuals as long as the product is life changing? Do the ends justify the means?