Two people recently mentioned that a photo of Joseph Smith had been found. One sent me this article.
I find this interesting for three reasons. First, they sure have assembled a whole lot of experts and spent a whole lot of time and money "certifying" that the photo is, in fact, Joseph Smith when any uncredentialed child could look at that picture, look at the death mask or the forensic bust created from it, and say "these are obviously not the same person."
Second, there was a photo found back around 2008 that is a dead ringer for Joseph Smith, complete with his unusually prominent cheekbones and lips, which has received no attention at all to this day.
Third, truth be told, who really cares what Joseph Smith looked like. Here's what is much, much more important: If he were to come to the churches (any of them, but especially the LDS church) that claim to be founded by him, he would be summarily excommunicated and asked not to speak in them.
If that seems an extreme claim, please see this book, which lays out the case in detail.
It is interesting that so many people in an organization that has drifted so far from his teachings would care so much about what he looked like while caring so little what he believed. And no, I'm not talking about polygamy. We don't even have to go there. I'm talking about:
-You actually have to become like Jesus in character and action to be saved.
-You can actually forsake your sins, and you must to be saved.
-You actually have to care about the welfare of people and you actually have to care for the poor.
Remember when Jesus said this?
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23)
It is interesting to me that, when it comes to finding truth--whatever the domain--the supposed experts tend to be the absolute last place you should look. And, for whatever reason, that property seems to be expanding in how often it is true. But even in Jesus' day, you could get more truth out of a child than you could the Pharisee priests and lawyers, and the richest truths were found from a zealot weirdo in the wilderness and the renegade zealot he claimed was the Son of God. What, exactly, has changed?