I came to the conclusion years ago that the difference between Mormons and Evangelicals was the difference between taking Paul’s philosophy and taking Joseph Smith’s seriously. If the LDS Church wants to be what it claims to be, I think it behooves them to think though and reconcile these differences in a way to keep the theology of both men intact, even if they have to be viewed within different metaphysical paradigms. My view currently is that the failure to reconcile these differences without discrediting what Paul said is a grave mistake. I think that the historical antagonism between the LDS and Paul’s theology has been as unhelpful as the LDS policy of denying the priesthood to people of African descent.
In my mind, Paul and Joseph Smith are very similar figures. Both assumed authority within their Christian communities because of supernatural experiences with Christ, and claims that they spoke and wrote under the authority of the Holy Spirit. Both were religious geniuses, able to bring the patterns of ancient scripture to spectacular effect in promoting their new worldviews. They both claimed to bring to light hidden knowledge from God that was hidden in the past due to false traditions perpetuated by the hard-headed, and hard-hearted. Both claimed to speak the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.