Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
In keeping with a recent survey of religions formed by the inspiration of one man, the mormon faith is not so far removed from others like it such as Islam, Jehovah’s Witness, and Scientology.
How do so many people commit their lives to a belief system that was so unreliable at its formation?
A brief look into this modern day movement reveals classic patterns that others such as Muhammed used in forming the foundation of a faith without any real merit.
“Mormonism must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a Prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground. If Joseph was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead people, then he should be exposed, his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false…”Joseph Fielding Smith
The North American Mission Board states: Joseph Smith claimed he had a visit from God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in 1820. He said that they told him that all churches were wrong and were an abomination to God and that he should not join any of them. He said that when he told his community about God’s visit, that it initiated his fierce persecution. Later he said that he received visits from the angel Moroni who, Joseph Smith said was a resurrected being who had died close to Smith’s area in New York state about 1400 years earlier. Moroni, Joseph Smith asserted, had buried in New York in the Hill Cumorah a record of his people who had lived on the American continent from about 600 B.C. to about 421 A.D. That record, Joseph Smith was told, would be given to him to translate. Then a few years later, Joseph Smith said that he received the record written on gold plates, in “reformed Egyptian” language that no one but he could understand. He was also told not to show these gold plates to anyone, but that sometime later a few selected people would be given the privilege to view them. He said that he then translated the plates and published the material as the “Book of Mormon” and gave the gold plates back to the angel Moroni.
The deeper you peer into the life and “revelation” of Joseph Smith, the more inconsistencies, plagiarisms, unscientific facts, and impossible stories that meld biblical truth into a conundrum of self-exalting proclamations.
Jude 1:4 “For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims that the name of the Church was given to Joseph Smith by revelation. However, when Smith first organized the Church in 1830 it was called the “Church of Christ.” Four years later the name was changed to the “Church of Latter-day Saints.” In 1838, it was changed again, this time to the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” as it is known today.
Joseph Smith claimed that he received many revelations from God and he began to introduce many new doctrines to his new Church; one of the doctrines was polygamy, a practice that Smith denied publicly but practiced secretly. That doctrine was the obvious downfall of Joseph Smith, and he was killed in 1844 as a result of the polygamy controversy.
Joseph Smith claimed that after he had seen a vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ, he told it first to a Methodist preacher and that it started the entire community, “all men of high standing” and “the great ones of the most popular sects, ” to persecute him bitterly- he being only a boy of 14! Searching records of the town turned up little evidence to Joseph’s claims, newspapers wrote about mundane matters of town gossip but nothing was spoken of Joseph’s claim that “all men” were united to bring a “bitter and reviling persecution” against him.
A search fails to find a story regarding the revival excitement that Smith later claimed was the reason why he went to the grove to seek God in prayer, and received this fantastic vision. Joseph Smith said that he was told twice in this vision not to join any of the religions (see Pearl of Great Price 2:5-26), but it is interesting to note that in 1823 Joseph’s mother, sister and two brothers joined the Presbyterian Church, and later Joseph himself sought membership in the Methodist Church, where his wife was a member. Records show that Joseph was expelled in 1828, because of his belief in magic and also because of his “money-digging activities.”
2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”
Progression of Deceit
Joseph’s newly organized church started to publish its history, as events took place. In the publication called the “Messenger and Advocate”, Oliver Cowdery was the main writer, and its accuracy was checked by Joseph Smith himself and tells how, after his brother Alvin’s death, and after his mother, sister and two brothers had joined the Presbyterian Church, he started to seek religion and pray “if some Supreme Being existed” IF HE HAD HAD A VISION OF GOD THE FATHER AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST IN 1820, HE MOST CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE KNOWN BY 1823 OR 1824 THAT A SUPREME BEING EXISTED. By reading diaries, records, newspapers, etc., one seeks in vain to find any mention of this so-called “First Vision” story until 1842 when it was published in “Times and Seasons” 22 years after this vision supposedly took place. It becomes quite obvious that this report was an afterthought, since The Vision” story talks about two separate gods, and the Book of Mormon says that here is only one God; and that Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Ghost are this one God. (Examples: Alma 11:26-33; 18:26-28; Mosiah 15:1, 2, 5, etc.)
The Book of Commandments (now called Doctrine and Covenants) was published in 1835, and it included lectures given in the School of the Prophets. Lecture 5 says God is a Spirit and the Son only has the body of flesh and bones. (The lectures were later removed from the D&C but are available as a separate small book.) There is now an added footnote to lecture 5 which says that Joseph received further light and knowledge in 1843, and then knew that God the Father also had a body of flesh and bones. That statement alone tells that there was no vision of the Father and Son in 1820. Had there been one, Joseph would not have needed this “further light and knowledge” about the Father having a body of flesh and bones.
Revelation 2:2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.”
It was not until 1844 that Joseph started to preach about a god who was once a man and progressed into godhood, and how men can also become gods. (See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-347). Thus, there is absolutely no evidence for the First Vision as it appears in the Pearl of Great Price, or that The Vision was known to Mormons or non-Mormons prior to 1842 or thereabouts. It was not until the 1880’s that this story was accepted by the Church. Prior to that time, we were only able to read denials about it. For example, in Journal of Discourses, 2: 171, Brigham Young preached a sermon in 1855 which he said:
“LORD DID NOT COME…TO JOSEPH SMITH, BUT SENT HIS ANGEL…TO INFORM HIM THAT HE SHOULD NOT JOIN ANY RELIGIOUS SECT OF THE DAY, FOR THEY WERE ALL WRONG…”
John Taylor later said the same thing, (see J.of D. 20:167) on March 2, 1879. Heber C. Kimball in J.of D., 6: 29, said:
“DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT GOD IN PERSON CALLED UPON JOSEPH SMITH OUR PROPHET? GOD CALLED UPON HIM, BUT DID NOT COME HIMSELF…” George A. Smith told the same story in the Journal of Discourses, 12: 333-334.
One wouldn’t really have to dig deeper than that to find out that the claims of the LDS Church today regarding Joseph Smith’s so-called First Vision are not true, according to documentary evidence of the time, and Joseph Smith – and these facts-should be exposed, just as Joseph Fielding Smith said they should.
Mormons often refer to the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. Most of these men left the Church, but claims are also made that even though they did, they never denied that they had seen an angel who showed them “the plates of the Book of Mormon.” However, in the Journal of Discourses, (7:164 ), Brigham Young stated that:
“…witnesses of the Book of Mormon who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel.”
Joseph Smith himself called these men wicked and liars, and by many other demeaning names.
Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,”
In the Journal of Discourses, 7: 114-115, George A. Smith lists those who have left the Church and mentions specifically, among others, “the witnesses of the Book of Mormon.” Martin Harris later claimed that he had a better testimony of the “Shakers Book” than he ever had of the Book of Mormon. Reading about these witnesses, one is drawn to the conclusion that they were unstable men and easily convinced; for example, Martin Harris changed his religion at least eight times. Some of the others started their own religions later.
When considering the claims in the Book of Mormon, consider what we know today.
Language: 1 Ne. 1:2, etc., states that Hebrews who left Jerusalem and came to the Americas spoke Egyptian. It is a known fact that Hebrews spoke Hebrew, and their records were kept in Hebrew. Egyptians were their enemies. It is absurd to think that Hebrews would have written their sacred history in Egyptian as to think that American History would have been written in Russian. In Mormon 9:32, 34, it is state that the language was “reformed Egyptian” and that no other people knew their language. There is no known language called “reformed Egyptian.”
When Joseph Smith sought out a Professor Anthon to collaborate on the authenticity of the language, professor Anthon denied it being any language at all.
Desert Fruit: 1 Ne. 17:5 talks about ample fruit and wild honey being products of Sinai desert (called Bountiful). Not possible!
Laman River: 1 Ne. 2:6-9 mentions a river named Laman that flows into the Red Sea. There is no river there and has not been since the Pleistocene era.
Desert Timber: 1 Ne. 18:1 talks about ample timber that these Jews used to build a ship. There is not ample timber in that area. It was a desert. It still is a desert.
Botanical Problems are many in the Book of Mormon. Wheat, barley, olives, etc., are mentioned, but none of these were in the Americas at that time.
Animals: North America had no cows, asses, horses, oxen, etc. Europeans brought them hundreds and hundreds of years later. North America had no lions, leopards, nor sheep at that time. Honeybees were brought here by Europeans much later. Ether 9:18, 19, lists domestic cattle, cows, and oxen as separate species! They did not even exist in the Americas at that time.
It seems Joseph Smith tried to correlate his reality at the time with ancient history in a completely different part of the world—it just didn’t add up.
Joseph mentioned “cureloms” and “cumoms”? No such animals have ever been identified anywhere. Domestic animals that are thought to be “useful” would hardly become extinct.
Population: When Lehi left Jerusalem, according to the Book of Mormon, his group consisted of fewer than 20 people. Yet 19 years later the people had so prospered and multiplied in the Promised Land that they built a temple of which the “manner of construction was like unto the temple of Solomon: and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine” (2. Ne. 5:16).
Looking at what the Bible says about the construction of Solomon’s temple, we find that it took 30,000 Israelites, 150,000 hewers of stone and carriers, 3,300 supervisors (I Kings 5:13-16) and about seven years to build it (See also I Kings 6).
And how many people could Lehi have had in his group after 19 years?
The book further tells that in less than 30 years after arriving on this continent, they had multiplied so rapidly that they even divided into two nations. Even the most rapid human reproduction could only have resulted in a few dozen in that brief time, and most of them still would be infants and children and about one-third older people.
Not only did they divide into two nations, but throughout the book, about every few years, they had devastating wars that killed thousands.
Just like the Jews accusing Jesus of being demon possessed, the rebuke against those jews for making false claims still resonates today among people who carry on Joseph Smith’s deceptive legacy.
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
According to the Book of Mormon, beginning after the first 19 years or so, Laman and Lemuel and their descendants and followers (!) turned dark skinned because of their disobedience (2 Ne. 5:21). According to the Book of Mormon, dark skin color was a curse from God! This change of skin color takes place throughout the book. In 2 Ne. 30:6 we read that if Lamanites accepted the true gospel, they became “white and delightsome” (and since the 1981 printing of the Book of Mormon, they became “pure and delightsome.)
But if they left this true gospel, they became “dark and loathsome.” People’s skin color does not change if they believe or do not believe! Nor is the skin color a curse!
The Book of Mormon teaches that Indians originated from these Jewish settlers. Indians are distinctly Mongoloid. They have the “Mongoloid” blue spot, specific blood traits, and their facial features are of typical Asian origin, not Semitic at all. Current DNA evidence has confirmed this as well.
In Ether 7:8-9, we read of steel and breakable windows (2:23) in Abraham’s time! Try to explain that to an archaeologist. Steel was not even developed until about 1400 years later.
At the end of the Book of Mormon, Moroni tells about a great battle that took place on the Hill Cumorah. Over 200,000 people, armed to their teeth, were killed on that hill. The story tells about Their weapons, breastplates, helmets, swords etc. Nothing has ever been found on that hill or anywhere else in this continent. As a matter of fact, metal, helmets, swords, etc., do not disappear in a mere 1400 years.
Before the LDS Church purchased the Hill Cumorah, it was literally dug full of holes and even caves, but nothing was ever found. (Joseph Smith told about a cave inside Hill Cumorah and how they – he and Oliver – went in and out of it. Supposedly it had wagon loads of gold plates, Laban sword, etc.)
In the mid 1970’s, President Spencer W. Kimball made a statement that should have stopped these “faith promoting rumors.” The Church News published the statement, which said that people should stop looking for archaeological evidences for the Book of Mormon, for there is none. Perhaps he finally realized that it was too embarrassing to insist on Book of Mormon archaeology since professors in the Church’s own University had started to deny publicly that there was any truth to it.
Today’s Mormon Conflict
The Book of Mormon teaches against today’s Mormon doctrine; for example:
Polygamy: Jacob 1:15, 2:22-27; 3:5; Mosiah 11:2; Ether 10:5; (polygamy is not practiced by the mainstream Church today, but it remains as a doctrine of the Church; see D&C 132.)
Eternal progression: (God could not have progressed from man to God): Alma 41:8, 3 Ne. 24:6; Mormon 9:9, 10, 19; Moroni 8:18, 23.
Secret combinations or oaths (in temples): Mormon 8:27; 2 Ne. 9:9; 2 Ne. 26:22; Alma 34:36; 37:23, 31.
God created the heaven and the earth by His word: Mormon 9:17; Jacob 4:9.
That there is only one God: Mosiah 7:27; 13:34; 15:1-5; 16:15; Alma 11:26-33, 38, 39, 44;
No work for the dead: Alma 37:32-33.
Doctrines like temple or eternal marriage, priesthoods, etc. are not in the Book of Mormon, and as we have already mentioned, one can see that this book speaks against polygamy, work for the dead, oaths (temple), men becoming gods, or that there is more than one God, etc.
It becomes quite obvious to an investigator of Mormonism that after 1842 or so Joseph Smith changed his mind about who God is. He contradicted the Book of Mormon with the Doctrine and Covenants, i.e.: Alma 34:36: “And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of righteous doth he dwell…” And D&C 130:3: “…the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false…” And the Book of Mormon says, in Jacob 4:9, “For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created …” And Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith, p. 350, “…men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God…. God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all.” He had started to teach that his god had once been a mere mortal man, etc.
After Joseph Smith died, Brigham Young took over and eventually moved the church to Utah. Now they thought they were free to practice what had been illegal elsewhere; i.e., polygamy and blood atonement.
Brigham Young made polygamy public from 1852 on in Utah, even though the LDS Church still denied it outside of Utah. From this same year on, he started to teach that “Adam is God and Father and the only God with whom we have to do,” and that Adam was the father of human spirits as well as Jesus’ physical father. (For these, see Journal of Discourses, 1: 50-51; vol. 4, p. 1; 5: 331-332, etc.) The LDS Church has issued denials saying that the Adam-God doctrine was never taught, but records clearly show that Brigham Young taught it, not only by just mentioning it once or twice, but from 1852 until his death in 1877. If you don’t believe it, look in the Journal of Discourses, 1: 50-51
1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
What does the LDS Church teach about Jesus Christ? First of all, it is already documented above that Brigham Young taught that Jesus was a spirit child of Adam and spirit brother of all humankind, as well as a brother of angels, spirit beings, even the fallen ones, i.e., Jesus being a brother of Lucifer. Brigham further taught that Jesus was also physically a son of Adam who as an exalted resurrected being had come to Mary and fathered Jesus. Brigham also emphasized that Jesus was not begotten by the Holy Ghost, as the Bible says.
This teaching shows that the Jesus of the LDS Church is not “Emmanuel,” “God with us,” God who, according to the Bible (Matt. 1:23) became a man for us, to be our Redeemer. Jesus of the LDS Church is a created being who also had to be redeemed… But Jesus of the Bible is the Creator – uncreated God who created everything, including Lucifer
Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
The leaders of the LDS Church have also taught that their Jesus was married and had children, and that he was even a polygamist.
Orson Pratt, an apostle, explains in his doctrinal book titled, The Seer, at page 158,
“…The fleshly body of Jesus required a Mother as well as a Father. Therefore, the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife
In answer to the question “Was Jesus married?” Joseph Fielding Smith, who was the president of the LDS Church in the 1970’s, said, “Yes, but do not throw pearls to the swine!” We can clearly see that the LDS church still believes that Jesus was married, but doesn’t want to “throw pearls to the swine” in other words, to reveal this to non-Mormons.
Jesus of the LDS Church is not Jesus of the Bible. God of the LDS Church is not God of the Bible. Joseph Smith said that there is “A GOD ABOVE THE FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST…” and in Mormon Doctrine, pages 322, we read, …If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and… God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that he had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? …Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that he had a Father also?” In 1844, Joseph Smith, as recorded in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 344-347, first told the audience that: “…every man has a natural, and, in our country, a constitutional right to be a FALSE PROPHET, as well as a true one…” Then on the next page, he says: “I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see.” He explains that “…God himself was once as we are now…and you got to learn how to be Gods yourselves… the same as all Gods have done before you…
Just like Allah is not the God of the Bible, the Mormon jesus or god is not the God of the Bible.
Mormon’s today want to refer to themselves as “christians”, the term implies biblically a follower of God incarnate, the Savior of the world.
If you want to witness to a Mormon, use the gospel as your guide. Don’t get too caught up in endless discussions of doctrine, let the Moral law and God’s revelation of grace in Jesus be your guide.
The Mormon church thrives because of their community, their grandiose temples, and their moral values that are reminiscent of Biblical values. Don’t be deceived, be wise, know the Word of God and be ready to give a reply to Mormon’s when they have questions. Help them understand the reality of Hell and the consequence of worshipping a false god.
Maybe some will see the charade of Joseph Smith and turn to the Lord in repentance. We can only hope so.