I suppose that questions 2 and 3 people will say that Joseph Smith inherited characteristics from his parents. Question 2 refers to his mother’s characteristics and question 3 refers to his father’s. People could say that he inherited his thought process from his mother, her good looks (hehe), her search for knowledge, search for understanding, and perhaps her endurance during emotional pain. Perhaps we could say that from his father he learned the importance of hard work, his strength, his nose, broad build, and his height.
I think that a portion of these characteristics might be from his parents: his genetic characteristics. However, I think that the mental characteristics and morals are not possible to inherit or acquire from someone else. I think they are personality traits that every spirit carries with it; simply said, it’s a characteristic of the individual’s spirit, not acquired or inherited.
Now I suppose I should explain myself. The mind frame that one has in his or her early years seems to be the reflection of the society that he or she is in. Society determines what bounds people have, and to what extent they are allowed to publicly express themselves.
I think Joseph Smith had his own way of thinking. To further prove this point, I believe that is why he found his own ideas that didn’t always conform with his parents’ or the contemporary society’s. The fact that his mother or father may have also thought for themselves is merely a “coincidence. ” They too must have had the innate characteristic. The fact that they also had open minds, simply provided the environmental tolerance for Joseph to do the same and have his open thoughts and ideas feel welcomed.
I don’t believe that ethics, ideals, the want to think for yourself, and other characteristics are inherited from parents. This seems to be contradictory to all the situations were an individual in history has thought differently than others of their same society, family, surroundings, and background with which they were constantly subjected.
However, I believe that each individuals characteristics are individual and not inherited. People’s minds do not always agree with the familial or societal ethics they are around. Outwardly they conform to the family or society so they can be accepted, but inwardly they are suppressed.
I think that one’s parents can expect them to act in accordance with ideals they have placed upon them, but I think that the individual, Joseph Smith, already had these characteristics of thinking deeply and thinking for himself.
My opinion about what Joseph might have inherited from New England in the 19th century is very similar to what I believe his parents provided. I don’t think that Joseph inherited anything from New England in the early 19th century; I believe that the 19th century provided the acceptance for new ideas. It was a very philosophical period. Many new ideas were expressed and I believe Joseph also was provided an atmosphere where new ideas were often expressed and tolerated. The “why” behind his ideas not being accepted is a different story.
Things to consider:
Why would someone think that Joseph’s ability to think for himself could come from society or his parents?
Is hard work learned from one’s environment or part of one’s personality?