These are what make Him God.
Section 3 is God's response to Joseph Smith losing the 116 pages of manuscript.
God does walk is crooked paths. He means what He says. So when His servants deliberately disobey, He has no choice but let justice follow it's course. Joseph was denied the power to translate for a season.
But because He's God, He is also merciful. Although Joseph transgressed what God had told him, He was still forgiven. (After much prayer and humility.) Jospeh was still called to the work, and the power to translate the Book of Mormon was restored to Him.
I personally think part of the reason Joseph was still called was because there was still work to do. The Bookof Mormon had to be translated, and brought to the Lamanites.
As a parent, I can understand God's point of view. When my kids want something, and whine and whine and whine about it, it's hard to keep saying no. You get to the point where you just want the whining to STOP and so you capitulate.
I don't think this was exactly the case with Joseph, but you definately get the feeling that God finally said, "Look. I've given you an answer, and you keep asking. You know what I've told you to do and NOT to do, so it's up to you. Do what you want."
We also know that Martin Harris (and his wife, right?) were being pretty insistent. I'm sure Joseph wanted to prove that he was actually doing something behind that curtain besides playing the great and powerful Oz. Martin had probably already given him money at that point, and feeling like you owe someone something is rarely a fun position to be in.
And Martin's wife was no peach, either.
(I confess that most of what I know about this story, I know from The Work and the Glory. I think Gerald Lund stayed as close to the facts as he could, but I'm sure there was a bit of embellishment when facts simply weren't available about a particular subject. So please FEEL FREE to correct me if I'm wrong!!)
So.........do I do this? Have there been times in my life where I want something so bad, I keep "asking God," but I'm really just trying to convince Him that I'm right, and He should agree and give me the go ahead? Sure. I've done that. Luckily I got caught before things got too bad, but it made me question my relationship with My Father in Heaven. It made me doubt my ability to receive answers to prayer..
Maybe that's why Joseph was unable to translate for a time. It wasn't simply God being just, but a natural consequence. Joseph needed to take some time to repair his relationship with God. To develop a trust in himself again.
I've honestly never considered this before.
Just this morning I was thinking, I really can't spend an hour each morning reading scriptures and posting about it. I was going to just do something small.
But writing these mini-talks has already been really good for me. I'm learning things that I probably wouldn't if I weren't trying to coherently summarize what I'm reading.
And now I have more of an insight into this story. That didn't come from Gerald Lund. =D (Although reading D&C and studying out of the Joseph Smith manual really make me want to read them all again.)
Have you ever tried to convince God (and yourself) that something that's wrong is actually right?