Men of CharacterA couple of days ago (June 20, 2015), I saw an article in the Deseret News that caught my attention. They were profiling a new book recently published by the Church entitled ‘Men of Character’. You can get more info about it at their publisher’s website @ covenant-lds.com. The book gives short bios on 100 Mormon men who lived from the early days of Mormonism into the present (2015).

The reason this book caught my attention is because of a few men they (Deseret News) profiled. Here’s a little of what they said –

““Choosing only a hundred of these to feature in this book has been difficult,” they write. “And we know we could compile countless volumes profiling prominent LDS men of character who have made a positive difference in the world.”

The ones they did choose to include represent a broad range of experiences, talents and interests. There are the presidents of the LDS Church and other leaders, along with others in the church’s history, including Orrin Porter Rockwell and J. Golden Kimball…””

Let’s take a quick look at just two of the men the Church thinks are ‘men of character’. It might be a good idea to sit down first, and not have anything in your mouth to prevent choking…

J._Golden_Kimball‘The Swearing Apostle’, J. Golden Kimball –

His mother, Christeen Golden, was wife #23 for Heber Chase Kimball who was an apostle ordained by Joe Smith. J. Golden Kimball was born in 1853 and his claim to fame was his nickname ‘the swearing apostle’.

He obviously had quite the mouth on him, yet everyone in the Church from leaders to the most ordinary member, revered him in spite of the poor vocabulary he used at General Conference no less.

‘The Destroying Angel of Mormondom’, Porter Rockwell

Rockwell once said “I’ve never killed anyone who didn’t need killing” and was the rightPorter Rockwell Wanted Poster hand man for both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He was implicated and tried in more than one murder, and served eight months in the slammer for the attempted assassination of Missouri Governor Lillburn Boggs.

His claim to fame was his long hair. In a Samson-like prophecy, Smith once told him that as long as he never cut his hair he’d never be harmed by a bullet.

It’s amazing the Church thinks these guys are ‘Men of Character’. When I told Kirk they must not have very high standards, he replied ‘maybe they think this is the standard’. It’s very sad, but I think he’s right.

If nothing else, these two guys are definitely a couple of characters. While I don’t agree at all with Mormonism, there are Mormons who’ve done good things in life, and it seems they could’ve used other examples instead of these two.

How did murder and swearing make a positive influence on people’s lives? Were the victims of Rockwell’s avenging spirit positively influenced?

Was our dear sweet Jesus glorified when Kimball stood at the pulpit and used vocabulary that’d make a sailor blush?

When you see Jesus face to face, would you be okay telling God Himself you believe these are ‘men of character’? I know I wouldn’t.