In our English class yesterday we read a number of poems and opinions on the apostle Peter. They poets themselves didn't appear to always have a positive opinion of Peter, and they presented their opinions throughout the poems. While that makes sense for a person who doesn't come from a religious understanding that is developed and shaped by modern revelation, it became difficult to stomach as classmate after classmate expressed similar opinions of Peter. One comment in particular has stuck with me, and made me continue to reevaluate the way that we talk about prominent historical figures. There was a class member who stated that we didn't really know what was going on in Peter's life, and then went on to show that David sinned, and Emma Smith "went crazy at the end of her life."
I couldn't let this one comment go. Peter remains one of the most noble spiritual children of our Heavenly Father. He was instrumental in the restoration, and he is the symbol of the power of the the Melchezidek Priesthood. Emma Smith was one of the staunchest supporters of the prophet Joseph. She lost her own family when she married and supported Joseph, and then lost child after child in part to the hardships she endured with her husband. She remained faithful to her testimony to the very end, and decided that she did not want to travel West and leave the nth home she had made. She supported her only biological son when he started another Church, but never denied or fell away from the Church her husband had given her life for. Emma Smith should not be used as a person who fell away, she should be used as an example of what it means to be dilligent in their testimony.