This year, on December 23, Joseph Smith, Jr., prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will turn 200 years old. Accordingly, there is much “to do” in the Mormon community regarding Smith’s birthday. In fact, this year, it’s as if they are celebrating a “Merry Smithmas.”
I even heard they had a “nativity” of Joseph’s birth set up on the Brigham Young University campus, although I have not had this validated.
But none of this is any surprise to me. Although Jesus Christ’s name plays big in the official church moniker, the Mormons have never really been “all about Jesus.” Rather, Joseph has always had a more prominent place in the theology. And that, of course, is how Joseph Smith would have it.
Read the very words of Joseph Smith, Jr., himself.
“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”
History of the Church Vol. 6, p. 408-412