>>> After intense thought, Marc favored us with:
>This is also true, but it's a logical extension of the first, not 
>something that's said explicitly to be inspired. I know it's a nit, 
>but I think the Lord uses historical events, he doesn't "cause" 
>them, else we wouldn't have free will*. His plan is so elegant 
>that His kingdom will come regardless of what choices humanity
But you are forgetting one truth: God is Omnipotent - he knows all. He
knew and planned for Joseph Smith to be born in the United States near
the hill Cumorah where the golden plates were buried and sealed up to
come forth by His power. Additionally, He knew that Joseph would
eventually give in to Martin's harangues and give up the 116 pages of
the Book of Lehi. Yet, God provided a way for his work to be
accomplished, DESPITE the choices made by men. While He might not
directly "cause" historical events, per se, He can and will certainly
intervene (remember Alma the Younger) if necessary. Knowing all, He can
plan around the mistakes of men.

As far as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin go (as well as perhaps
others of the Founding Fathers), their drift toward deism and away from
institutionalized Christianity may have been as much due to the corrupt
sects of the day as any other. Perhaps history knows them as such
because they sought to distance themselves from false Christianity. I
guess we will find out when we leave this earthly sphere and see them on
the other side. Perhaps having been finally taught the fulness of truth
in the spirit world, they fully embraced it (and at least some of them
did; else why appear to Wilford Woodruff and request that their work be
done for them?).
Your brother,

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