Could evangelicals accept Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet?

Since Tim’s on hiatus for Lent, I’m doing a guest post so that we can still have an evangelical voice while he’s away. I know you’re excited about that, you don’t even have to say it. Now on to the post!

I’ve always been intrigued by the 1832 account of the First Vision, written in Joseph Smith’s own hand. It says:

marvilous even in the likeness of him who created him (them) and when I considered upon these things my heart exclaimed well hath thewise man said the (it is a) fool (that) saith in his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotant and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and decreeeth and bindeth all things in their bounds who filleth Eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered all these things and that (that) being seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in (the) attitude of calling upon the Lord (in the 16th year of my age) a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the (Lord) opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph (my son) thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy (way) walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life (behold) the world lieth in sin and at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not (my) commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them acording to th[e]ir ungodliness and to bring to pass that which (hath) been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud (clothed) in the glory of my Father and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could reioice with great Joy and the Lord was with me but [I] could find none that would believe the hevnly vision nevertheless I pondered these things in my heart about that time my mother and but after many days

Some observations:

1. No mention of seeing God the Father, only Jesus Christ is described.

2. No direct mention of the other churches being wrong or their creeds being corrupt. The imprecations about the world being in sin, no one doing good, etc. are mostly hyperbolic quotations from the Bible. In fact, believing that all are wicked and no one does good is a soundly Protestant notion.

3. The focus of the account is Joseph Smith’s testimony of God and Christ, his concern for his own salvation, and his joy at the confirmation he receives. I like that.

4. There technically isn’t anything in the actual account of the First Vision here which Protestants would dispute. The introductory paragraph (which I haven’t included above) is another story.

To clarify, I am not arguing that this account contradicts the official canonized 1838 version and I’m not interested in a discussion of such; that has been addressed by LDS apologists in many places. While I do believe that Joseph Smith probably embellished his First Vision account as time went on to adapt to his evolving theology, that isn’t really the point of my post, either.

The question I ask is, could Joseph Smith have had a vision of Jesus Christ in the early 1820s, a vision in which Christ confirmed to him the fallen state of the world and the truth of His goodness and mercy? Couldn’t Smith have subsequently fallen away, for any number of reasons? From an evangelical paradigm which rejects the notion of one true denomination and an ancient worldwide apostasy, is there any reason that could not have happened?

Not only do I think it could have, but I’ve long been uncomfortable with brushing Joseph Smith off as a charlatan from the beginning. There’s a lot about the early trends within Joseph Smith’s movement which impress me, things which strike me as good and praiseworthy and even fitting behavior for a people passionately led by God. I certainly believe Smith was over the edge and on into flaming heresy by the time of his death in 1844, but I think we evangelicals do ourselves a disservice when we try to paint Smith as a wicked deceiver from the beginning. There’s more to this than that.

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About Bridget Jack Jeffries

Bridget Jack Jeffries is a human resources professional living in Chicago. She holds a BA in classics from Brigham Young University with a minor in Hebrew and an MA in American religious history from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She is a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church and a single mother of two. You can read more of her writings at www.Weighted-Glory.com.

180 thoughts on “Could evangelicals accept Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet?

  1. Ah, blog-hopping good time.

    I’m the first to admit my ignorance in the matter. A lot of what I’ve read on Joseph Smith’s writing has spoken of condemnation of his later years versus trying to understand what sort of illuminations his original visions held for him and for others.

    I guess what I have is a question: if a prophet is “fallen,” does this invalidate their earlier work? When a prophet becomes fallen, are they then considered to have never been able to truly have related the will of God?

  2. I think we see this on both sides. There are Mormons who strain to paint other Christians as wrong in every way possible—if a Catholic believes “X” then it must be false. They end up despising the Bible (whether they admit it or not). Sad.

    “…when we try to paint Smith as a wicked deceiver from the beginning.”

    This is funny, because I think while you’re trying to point out common ground (at least partially), you are actually saying the opposite of what many Mormons are coming to believe. Richard Bushman’s work, for example, paints a Joseph who was into mysticism, treasure-seeking, etc. in the beginning and really was a wicked deceiver, but God helped him out of that and made him into a proper prophet. IOW, your Joseph started right and gradually fell away whereas Bushman’s (and mine) started a bit shaky and gradually came to the truth. Maybe we can agree on the intercept?

  3. Seth ~ You gotta give us more to go on than that. If you think all of the LDS prophets have been “fallen,” I’m not sure you think fallen means very much.

    Laura ~ if a prophet is “fallen,” does this invalidate their earlier work? When a prophet becomes fallen, are they then considered to have never been able to truly have related the will of God?

    I would say “no” on both counts. Judas, as one of the twelve, would have preached, performed miracles, and taught people about God, yet he fell away. I can only assume that the people he taught did not suddenly become unsaved or the people he healed became sick again or anything of that sort.

    In fact, I think prophets who once knew and taught the truth have a much greater capacity to deceive than prophets who were liars from the beginning. It goes along with something C.S. Lewis wrote in The Last Battle: “And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies’ plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger.”

    Brian ~ They end up despising the Bible (whether they admit it or not).

    I can’t tell you what a relief it is to me to hear an LDS person admit this. The way Mormons treat the Bible has always been a turn-off to me, but if you bring it up to an LDS apologist, they’ll get snarky and insist that Mormons revere the Bible more than other Christians. Brings out the inner Kullervo in me.

    Then again, I’m sure my comparatively rigid inerrancy is a huge turn-off to Mormons and other people.

    I think the dynamics in how our two groups view Joseph Smith are fascinating. I really do need to read Rough Stone Rolling (it’s on the to-do list).

    It’s not a huge surprise to me, though, that if Latter-day Saints are going to accept JS as troubled, they’ll want his troubles to be at the beginning of his life rather than the end. The stuff that truly makes Mormonism unique—baptism for the dead, plural marriage, endowments—were mostly implemented in the 1840s in the Nauvoo period. I’m going by Shipps, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition as my source on that. If Smith was still having issues in the 1840s, Mormonism has issues now.

    I’m curious, I know there’s some evidence that Smith tried to recant polygamy, celestial marriage, and garments in the days before his death. Does Richard Bushman deal with that? What’s his interpretation of that?

    Can we meet in the middle? I guess we’ll find out.

  4. Do you have an example of a fallen prophet?

    David?
    Solomon?

    I think there is no question that Mormons have essentially rejected a lot of Joseph’s prophecy, but I can’t see how that should dissuade them from accepting what is good.

    Should we throw out Proverbs and half of Psalms because the authors were brutal and licentious.

  5. Jared ~ Should we throw out Proverbs and half of Psalms because the authors were brutal and licentious.

    Well, if you’re Mormon, you already throw out the Song of Solomon, which was by far the best poetry book in the Bible. Honestly, what’s that all about?

    The closest thing I can think of to a fallen prophet is Judas. David and Solomon are along the same lines, but I don’t think either of them was really a prophet. My husband says that means I’m calling Joseph Smith a son of perdition, but that’s not really my intention. Evangelicals don’t have a special category for apostates like that.

    No, I don’t think you should throw out what’s good; we simply disagree on where to draw that line.

  6. Joseph Smith once said something to the effect that the Song of Solomon MAY not be inspired. Bruce R. McConkie disliked it too.

    That’s not really enough for me to write the book off though.

    One thing I’ve been thinking about Evangelical criticisms about Joseph Smith though… does Christ’s atonement only apply to an individual when he is not a prophet?

    Because it seems a lot of Evangelicals pretty-much chuck any talk of forgiveness, mercy, and all that, when the sinner in question happens to be promulgating God’s word. It really does seem like the much-vaunted law of mercy only applies when you aren’t a prophet.

  7. Because it seems a lot of Evangelicals pretty-much chuck any talk of forgiveness, mercy, and all that, when the sinner in question happens to be promulgating God’s word.

    Not to totally thread-jack, but Seth’s point is something I’ve always tried to understand about the Evangelical perspective. It seems like you’re saved by grace AS LONG AS you say and believe the right things. If not, you’re basically screwed.

    It kinda freaks me out, actually, because there’s a lot of stuff I’m confused about…and I’m gonna be seriously pissed (can I say that on this board?; if not, please correct me and I will not say it again) if I get to judgment and God’s like, “You believed in me, you loved me, and you loved your fellow man–but you BELIEVED WRONG, so here’s a nice half-acre plot of fiery burning hell for you to enjoy for eternity.”

    Scary!

  8. “Richard Bushman’s work, for example, paints a Joseph who was into mysticism, treasure-seeking, etc. in the beginning and really was a wicked deceiver, but God helped him out of that and made him into a proper prophet.”

    I don’t think that’s really an accurate summary of Bushman’s position Brian.

    True, Bushman takes the position that Joseph started out rough-hewn, but was gradually polished by the work God had for him (thus the title – “Rough Stone Rolling” – derived from a quote from Joseph about the polishing process). But it’s a bit much to say that he claims Joseph started out as a “wicked deceiver.” I never heard Bushman make that claim.

    Rather, Bushman seems to actually suggest that Joseph was the real deal from day one. He really COULD locate buried treasure (many of his neighbors swore to it), he really did have a connection with the supernatural.

    Bushman paints Joseph’s early forays into mysticism as serving as a schoolmaster for Joseph – it prepared him and made him the sort of person who would unquestioningly accept true visions from God and revelations.

  9. I’m not an Evangelical, (I’m a Lutheran) but I could never accept Joseph Smith as any kind of a prophet.

    Either he was a con man (he was actually convicted on that crime in N.Y.), or he was deceived by the devil.

    A genlteman laid out many false Mormon doctrines on my blog (just today).

    I’d love to have an intelligent LDS refute or try and refute these charges.

    http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/mormonism/

    Thanks very much!

    – Steve Martin

  10. Seth ~ Because it seems a lot of Evangelicals pretty-much chuck any talk of forgiveness, mercy, and all that, when the sinner in question happens to be promulgating God’s word. It really does seem like the much-vaunted law of mercy only applies when you aren’t a prophet.

    Two things. While I believe in forgiveness and mercy, I think certain sins render a man (or woman) unfit to be a leader in a Christian movement, at least for a time. Teaching false doctrine, serious sexual sins (adultery, fornication), and certain financial crimes, they’re all up there on my list of reasons why a pastor should remove himself (or herself) from leadership. I certainly think forgiveness and mercy are open to such a person; I don’t think they should be shepherding the flock. I’m sure the LDS church would remove a bishop or branch president or a Relief Society president for the same reasons today, too.

    And if that person never repents of said crimes, then no, I don’t think he (or she) is saved and I certainly think he’s a fallen spiritual leader, if he ever truly knew God. Repentance of sins is the outward evidence of the Spirit’s indwelling. Joseph Smith seemed to use his status as prophet to justify a lot of things which I would call sins instead of repenting of them, so I have a hard time believing he was misguided-but-saved at the end of his life.

    Then again, I don’t know what went through Smith’s mind in the final days of his life. If he really did try to recant polygamy, celestial marriage, etc., maybe he had remorse about his false teachings, too. Only God knows.

    Katie ~ It seems like you’re saved by grace AS LONG AS you say and believe the right things. If not, you’re basically screwed.

    Yes, it does seem like some evangelicals believe this. I don’t. My own soteriology makes exceptions for Calormene warriors—people who are saved in spite of having some things wrong about God.

    I was talking in e-mail with my friend JP Holding about this once, and he said something like, “If a correct understanding of the Trinity is required for heaven, then there are only going to be, like, 12 people in the New Jerusalem. At least they won’t have to worry about the streets getting dirty.” I think many evangelicals at the lay level could not properly define the Trinity and distinguish it from modalism or polytheism, but I certainly don’t think these people are unsaved because of it.

    I have often spoken with evangelicals who think some Mormons are genuinely saved. They just aren’t the ones writing books and running weblogs.

    Todd ~ Feel free to elaborate. I’d love to hear your take on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

  11. Excuse me for butting in, but I thought this might be helpful info. From Ike on my site:

    Here are only a few of the many false doctrines of the mormon religion.

    Joseph Smith said, “I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the elders for fifteen years” (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.35).
    Brigham Young, the second president of the LDS Church, once stated,
    “How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity. You cannot comprehend this; but when you can, it will be to you a matter of great consolation” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:334, October 8, 1859).
    However, Isaiah 44:6,8 tells us that the God of the Bible knows of no other Gods. “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God…Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any.”
    According to Joseph Smith,
    “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret, if the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345. Also cited in Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p.129).
    The Doctrines of Covenants, considered to be scripture by Latter-day Saints, teaches, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (130:22).
    Jesus taught that God the Father was not a man at all. In fact, John 4:24 records Jesus saying, “God is spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
    Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught,
    “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. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.345; also cited in Gospel Principles, p.305).
    In contrast to this, Psalm 90:2 states, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you have formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”
    In a pamphlet published by the LDS Church First Presidency, it says:
    “Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim both as spiritual and bodily offspring; that is to say, Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh, and which body died on the cross and was afterward taken up by the process of resurrection, and is now the immortalized tabernacle of the eternal spirit of our Lord and Savior” (”The Father and The Son; A Doctrinal Exposition by The First Presidency and The Twelve,” June 30, 1916. Reprinted in Articles of Faith, p. 421).
    Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie taught that God stepped down from His throne to “join with one who is finite and mortal in bringing forth, ‘after the manner of the flesh,’ the Mortal Messiah” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 1:315).

    The Bible describes the incarnation of Christ as a miracle known as the Virgin Birth. Mary, the mother of Jesus, became pregnant without the aid of man, mortal or otherwise (Luke 2:35).
    The Book of Mormon teaches in 2 Nephi 25:23, “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”

    President Spencer W. Kimball said,
    “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation” (12th Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.206; also cited in The Book of Mormon Student Manual, religion 121 and 122, 1996, p.36).
    Though Christians are saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10), the good works of a Christians do not justify (or make right) the believer before God. The apostle Paul made this very clear when he wrote, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
    Writing for the Mormon magazine Ensign, BYU professor Clyde J. Williams said,
    “The perfect relationship between the atoning grace of Christ and the obedient efforts of mankind is powerfully stated by Nephi: ‘We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23). Furthermore, we are invited to ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.’ When we deny ourselves ‘of all ungodliness,’ then and only ‘then is his grace sufficient’ for us (Moroni 10:32)” (“Plain and Precious Truths Restored,” Ensign, October 2006, p.53).
    Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote, “And unless men have the agency to choose to do good and work righteousness—and, in fact, do so—they cannot be saved. There is no other way” (The Mortal Messiah 1:406).

    However, in his pastoral epistle to Titus, the apostle Paul wrote that a believer’s salvation was “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” He went on to write that this great kindness was “shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).
    According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism,
    “Logically and naturally, the ultimate desire of a loving Supreme Being is to help his children enjoy all that he enjoys. For Latter-day Saints, the term ‘godhood’ denotes the attainment of such a state—one of having all divine attributes and doing as God does and being as God is” (2:553).
    Brigham Young declared,
    “The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself; when we have been proved in our present capacity, and been faithful with all things He puts into our possession. We are created, we are born for the express purpose of growing up from the low estate of manhood, to become Gods like unto our Father in heaven. That is the truth about it, just as it is” (Brigham Young, August 8, 1852, Journal of Discourses 3:93).
    Historically, such a notion has been considered blasphemous by Christians. Never have Christians taught that mankind has the capacity to become ontologically like God. As God Himself said through the prophet Isaiah, “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10).

  12. Steve, actually, it’s not helpful info. It’s pretty standard anti-Mormon spam, which your commenter Ike plagiarized from Mormonism Research Ministry here. Everyone here knows what MRM is and where to find it.

    If you’re not going to interact with my actual discussion, please don’t post comments in this thread. I’ve already let you advertise the discussion at your site.

  13. One last thing…

    I had no idea that the info Ike gave was false.

    Assuming they are false and those writings really are not on the pages of those Mormon publications.

    Ciao,

    Steve

  14. It’s okay Steve, I don’t blame you for not knowing.

    Take it from an old hand at this, “Mormon bashing” is not the way to go. Respectful dialogue is. I think MRM has its uses, and Bill McKeever was always kind to me when I knew him, but I take a vastly different approach. Here is my account of my story in and out of “Mormon bashing” if you’re interested.

    I don’t know that the info Ike gave was false. This weekend I certainly don’t have time to go over it.

  15. Bridget,

    I don’t really ‘bash’ anyone..or at least I try not to ever do it.

    But I do think it is important that the truth is known, one way or the other, because so much is at stake.

    There ceratinly is a lot of information to go over, that’s for sure.

    I do know some Mormons with whom I am pretty good friends and we have had very interesting discussions (we are still good friends) about out differing theologies.

    The red flags for me are that they do not believe Jesus to be on par with the Father…they believe that man can become a God (the first sin in the Garden of Eden – I think) and that God was a man to begin with. Huh?

    If it really is not a Christian church (accounting for the fact that God can save anyone) is it not our responsibility to warn others of the dangers of being associated with such a “church”?

    It’s getting late…I’ll leave you alone, Bridget.

    Thanks fir tghe link to your other site, I’ll try and read some of it tomorrow evening (first chance).

    Thanks again, and goodnight!

    – Steve

  16. If it really is not a Christian church (accounting for the fact that God can save anyone) is it not our responsibility to warn others of the dangers of being associated with such a “church”?

    Maybe so, but jumping into an actual conversation with pages and pages of Mormon quotes that you don’t like is probably not a very effective way to do it..

  17. Theoldadam said:

    The red flags for me are that they do not believe Jesus to be on par with the Father…they believe that man can become a God (the first sin in the Garden of Eden – I think) and that God was a man to begin with. Huh?

    If it really is not a Christian church (accounting for the fact that God can save anyone) is it not our responsibility to warn others of the dangers of being associated with such a “church”?

    Yes, but when you do, you need to state your facts accurately and in correct perspective.

    For starters, LDS teaching is that Jesus is our creator and is certainly “on par” with the Father in terms of his abilities and such. But we also believe he is subservient to the Father — an entirely Biblical concept and one held by many evangelicals.

    Similarly, many other non-LDS Christians believe that we can become gods in some sense (C.S. Lewis, for example, did), so if you’re going to call us heretics on that count, we’re in pretty good company. And aren’t all Christians worthy of the name trying to be Christlike or, in other words, seeking to be like God?

    And as far as God being a man “to begin with,” well, some LDS believe that, some don’t. It’s not even clear what Joseph Smith believed in that regard; his comments on that matter were uttered late in his life and were never made part of a systematic theology by him. The idea is barely taught in the church today, so to raise that as something that makes us non-Christian is a bit disingenuous at best. I, for one, am not sure how God came to be God, and I am far from the only Mormon in that position.

    I am not saying we believe the same as evangelicals, because we emphatically don’t. But taking a few snippets here and there of our beliefs out of context isn’t a good way to begin a dialogue either.

  18. Kullervo,

    “…Maybe so, but jumping into an actual conversation with pages and pages of Mormon quotes that you don’t like is probably not a very effective way to do it..”

    I think that you might be right, Kellervo, assuming that the truth really does not matter to these folks.

    Or, they are so heavily invested that a cognitive dissonance develops.

    Any suggestions that don’t put us in a position of ignoring false doctrine?

    Thanks, Kullervo

    – Steve

  19. Eric,

    “Similarly, many other non-LDS Christians believe that we can become gods in some sense (C.S. Lewis, for example, did), so if you’re going to call us heretics on that count, we’re in pretty good company. And aren’t all Christians worthy of the name trying to be Christlike or, in other words, seeking to be like God?”

    Thanks for your reasoned response to my comments, Eric.

    Well, to the extent that Evangelicals are themselves trying to become gods, or to be olie God…they are wrong.

    That was and IS the essence of the first sin. Didn’t the serpent sat o Eve, “you will be like God” ?

    We don’t want to stay creatures of God, we want to become God. That is sin.

    That is the original sin (I don’t know if Mormons believe in that Christian doctrine as well).

    I’m a Lutheran. We do not believe (when we are at our best) that we are on a becoming “more Christlike” project.

    That is God’s job…not ours. We are content to be what God has made us to be. We believe very strongly that God does EVERYTHING needful for our salvation and sanctification.

    This keeps us off the “religious treadmill” which leads to either seld-righteousness or despair.

    I can’t tell you how often when I ask my Mormon friends if they are living by (actually keeping) the 10 Commandments, they will answer ,” Yes” . That is the wrong answer and it stems from a distorted view of God’s law and it reflects self-righteousness. A state that our Lord does not care for at all. (The Pharisee and the publican)

    I’m running a bit late for church.

    I won’t be able to check back until much later in the day or early evening.

    I thank you, Eric, for the chance to discuss these things.

    Yours,

    Steve M.

  20. theoldadam,

    Welcome to the blog. Your comments were a little off-topic and I agree with others that unloading with both barrels on Mormons you’re meeting for the first time is probably not the optimal approach. But no harm done. However, I did have at least one clarification for you:

    The idea of becoming “like God” is intensely biblical and has a long and respected history in traditional Christianity. The technical term for this is “theosis.” The Eastern Orthodox church has probably the most advanced notion of this entirely biblical doctrine – which has been often neglected by Protestants.

    You can find a good introduction to the subject here:

    http://www.antiochian.org/node/16916

    This is not a Mormon source. anitochian.org is an Eastern Orthodox website. There are key differences between the Mormon concept of theosis and the Orthodox concept of theosis. The biggest is that Orthodoxy holds that we merely become divine by participating in God’s energies/emanations/etc. Mormonism holds that we become divine by our own inherent nature. Big difference.

    But BOTH believe that we become divine through the mediating influence of Jesus Christ.

  21. For the record, theosis is one area where I think evangelical Protestants could stand to move closer to Mormonism. I don’t think Adam & Eve’s sin in the garden of Eden was merely wanting to be like God. Wanting to be like God is a good and natural desire, one that evangelicals preach regularly when they admonish each other to be like Christ. Sin is all about corrupting good and natural desires into something else. That’s what Satan did in the garden of Eden, he took something that was good and natural and corrupted it.

    The difference is, I don’t believe in being exactly like God because I think God is a different type of being. I don’t believe I’ll ever be omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient, and I also don’t believe I’ll ever be doing what God does now.

    But if you could see what I’m going to be in the next life and compare it to what I am now? Yes, I think I’ll be what men would now call a god.

  22. BJM said:

    The difference is, I don’t believe in being exactly like God because I think God is a different type of being. I don’t believe I’ll ever be omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient, and I also don’t believe I’ll ever be doing what God does now.

    Indeed, that is a big difference between much of Christianity and traditional LDS Christianity. The supposition is that we are of the same “species” as God, so to speak, that we are children of God in a more literal sense than what other Christians believe. For whatever reason, however, the church’s teaching on this matter is neither explicit nor thorough. I assume that the afterlife ultimately entails some sort of creative activity, but I have no way of knowing whether that means “doing what God does now” or something else. But, certainly, I agree with this statement of yours:

    But if you could see what I’m going to be in the next life and compare it to what I am now? Yes, I think I’ll be what men would now call a god.

  23. Theoldadam said:

    We do not believe (when we are at our best) that we are on a becoming “more Christlike” project.

    That is God’s job…not ours. We are content to be what God has made us to be. We believe very strongly that God does EVERYTHING needful for our salvation and sanctification.

    There’s definitely a difference there between your take on things and the LDS view. But I don’t think the LDS view on this is really all that much different than what many Arminian-oriented Protestants (and many others, for that matter) believe. I can’t speak for them, but I would suspect that many of the Protestants who have participated in this forum would agree that our own efforts play a role in sanctification. (That in itself doesn’t mean you’re wrong, but you may be in a minority here.)

    He also said:

    We don’t want to stay creatures of God, we want to become God. That is sin.

    Mormons would agree with you there. The church’s teaching is very clear that we will never supplant God or become nonsubservient to him, and that he will always be our God. Such doesn’t contradict the idea of being fully like God. Just as Jesus will always be subservient to his Heavenly Father even though he is divine, the same will be true of us.

  24. I think that you might be right, Kellervo, assuming that the truth really does not matter to these folks.

    Or, they are so heavily invested that a cognitive dissonance develops.

    Any suggestions that don’t put us in a position of ignoring false doctrine?

    Yeah, I do: don’t be [a butthead].

  25. Eric,

    The Bible does not say that we are to be like God.

    St. Paul says that we are to be imitators of Christ.

    But that is far different than becoming like God.
    Christ’s fully human (the only complete human) qualites of grace and mercy are worthy of our efforts…but we do not profit in staus because of it. There are no brownie points for it. Jesus says to the disciples that the slave doesn’t get praise for doing what was expected of him.

    When we rise above our staus as children of God towards the goal of becoming like God, we overstep our humanity and enter into idolatry.

    We all do it. It is our default position. But we ought not glory in it, but rather recognize it for the sin that it is.

    My 2 cents.

    Thanks, Eric!

    – Steve

  26. Steve,

    You strike me as one of those dudes that lives spoon fed from your minister what the Bible “really” says, just like you rely on somebody (other than a Mormon) to tell you what Mormons “really” believe.

    It seems that you are like so many protestants that I have met, claiming to follow “only the bible” but really have very little grasp of what is actually there. You end up sounding like you are just parroting what you heard at church

    Read the bible and you will find dozens of references to becoming like God. But, since that doesn’t seem to fit in with your belief, you probably skip over them.

    One that is pretty clear to me is 1 John 3:2-3:

    Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.

    But we know that when he appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

    Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

  27. Jared,

    Those verses say nothing about OUR BECOMING GOD.

    It says WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM.

    There is nothing that we do to attain this…it is in HOPING in Him.

    Just another way we see Christainity very differently.

    Mormons see it as a progressive, gradually perfecting yourself and becoming more God-like project, and orthodox Christianity believes that Christ has DONE it all.

    For us, “It is finished.” means “It is finished.”

  28. hmmm

    did you just say in your previous post:

    “The Bible does not say that we are to be like God.”

    I am glad you have been able to learn something about the bible with your interactions with us heretic Mormons. It seems you have adjusted your view to be more biblical.

    Mormons don’t believe that we can become God, only that we can become like him. just like the bible says

    I suppose there are other beliefs you have that could be corrected by a more enlightened approach to the Bible that us Mormons could help you with.

  29. Jared C.,

    This is a great place to highlight our different theologies.

    You believe that you can become like God.

    We believe that He makes us like God to the extent that He will.

    NOTHING REQUIRED from our end.

    We (Lutherans anyway) believe that you will never be a better Christian than at the moment you were baptised.

    Now that is the radical nature of the gospel!

    It ia ALL about what God has DONE for us…and not at all about what WE DO.

  30. I understand what you believe, you have repeated it several times. . . I just can’t see how that is Biblical.

    I think that many protestants would even disagree with the way you have put the gospel.

  31. Jared C.,

    Most of the world’s Christians disagree with us.

    We (Lutherans) are about the only ones that believe that Christ has done everything for our sakes.

    That’s one of the reasons that I believe it to be true!

    (and because it is biblical)

  32. Yup, and I believe in Mormonism because it is consistent with the Bible.

    Fun thing about the Bible – it is harmonious with more than one view.

  33. Seth,

    Not the Bible that I read.

    The Bible I read (RSV) paits quite a different picture of the Christian faith.

    One that I have already touched upon.

  34. Seriously, if you depend on the specific wording of a given translation to justify your doctrine, you’re on shaky ground.

  35. Anyway, theoldadam, you’re way off topic. did you even read the post, and the comments? Of did you just feel like blustering in here screaming about what you don’t like about Mormonism.

    Because that’s all you’re doing. “Mormonism is terrible because it teaches doctrines that I do not believe are true.” Um, duh. It teaches doctrines that everyone who isn’t Mormon thinks aren’t true. But you’re going to have to do a hell of a lot better than “I think [whatever doctrine] is not true” to impress people.

  36. Kullervo,

    Joseph Smith may not have been a “wicked deceiver” but he was certainly deceived.

    St. Paul spent a good deal of time rebuking those that were advocating and implementing “another gospel”.

    The Book of Galatians could have been written (I think it was, and also to any group, my own included) to the Mormons…beacuse the doctrines they believe in are counter to the gospel. The complete forgiveness of sins and restoration of the sinner to God, on the basis solely of what God had done and not at all because of what the siiner has done, said, thought, or felt.

    Any doctrine that teaches a co-operative system of restoration is false and ought be called that way, whether it be Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon, Baptist, J.W., or …whatever.

  37. I don’t really mind that the comments have strayed off topic, so long as everyone is having fun. Are we still having fun?

    I can do a topic on theosis if we want, since it sounds like there’s interest for that, but I have to go over the archives and see what’s been covered on this blog before. I hate re-inventing the wheel. There’s also been some people interested in discussing grace v. works at my blog, but I’m sure that topic has been beaten into a bloody pulp here.

    Steve, regarding Galatians, while I agree that Mormonism teaches “another gospel,” the problem is, from their perspective other Christians are the ones who teach “another gospel.” Trying to show that we’re the ones who have the real gospel requires more than just proof-texting.

  38. Bridget,

    “Trying to show that we’re the ones who have the real gospel requires more than just proof-texting.”

    What do you suggest?

  39. The issue you’re having to deal with, “TheOldAdam,” is much of what Seth said above in his rather short comment. Essentially quoted (and mostly paraphrased), “I believe in Mormanism because that’s that the Bible teaches,” and other such wonderful comments about it being multi-interpretable. Discussions with my own Evangelical friends and relations have proven that, including both of us quoting the same scripture as “proof-text” according to our stance.

    And now to bring things back to the actual topic at hand . . .

    As the original poster has stated, there are things Joseph Smith taught and did that evangelicals can and should agree with, herself taking note of The Fall (getting kicked out of Eden). It should be noted at first that the record of the Creation and Fall of man, while certainly factual (as far as the faithful are concerned) is still writen in a poetic and symbolic style. Set up as creative days, using the serpent to tempt Eve, woman being created out of a rib, and a good number of other options.

    Mr. FogeyAdam claims the Fall was man trying to be like God, even considering the Fruit was called “the Fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.” So what you’re saying, Fogeyboy, is that Learning to discern good and evil is a sin? I’m confused, isn’t that what one goes to church for? So then doesn’t that make being a church-goer/Bible-reader/prayer-sayer an evil and vile sinner?

    Or is it the fact that God commanded them not to eat of the fruit that made eating the fruit bad?

    And now the next logical argument (assuming you have a logical mind) would be to state, “yes, they’re desire for power was the cause for them to break said commandment.” Yes, that’s a possibility. But let us consider for a moment what actually happened. God made a lot of fruit, God said eat the fruit but don’t eat that one. The “serpent” appears and tells Eve she’ll be “as Gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5 KJV, which is what I had on hand at the moment). The following verse claims the fruit was “good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise . . . ” so she eats it. So trying to be like God is “good for us physically, a nice idea, and makes us wise,” as we understand one can understand the stories symbolism as well as the facts.

    And of course the whole of the above is really a very long-winded of restating the question and proving earlier comments from Seth and Bridget that you can’t just dismiss Mormons because you don’t THINK the Bible agrees with them, and that not everything Joseph Smith taught was evil, false, and designed to brainwash the masses (which if it was is doing an awfully good job of it).

  40. LTU,

    Great points!

    I do think that God drew the line at these trees. but not this one.

    We (our fore- parents )crossed that line.

    We were not content, and are not content, to be creatures trusting a loving God, but we want to be gods of our own…for we know better than God.

    This, I believe, is the essence of that first sin, and it is the essence of all sin.

    We still do not trust Him, but know better ourselves.

    He knows this about us and yet out of His great love for sinners, died for us and forgives us all our sin that we might be His, called and chosen.

    Thanks, LTU!

    – Steve M.

  41. Steve ~ What do you suggest?

    Depends. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, it just depends on who you’re dealing with. Personally I favor highlighting the problems in early LDS church history, doctoral and behavioral indiscretions on the part of important LDS leaders, because I know enough ex-Mormons to know that those things have always been high on the list of reasons for why people leave the church.

    Most of the Latter-day Saints who post here are aware of and have accepted these problems, but they still stay in the church, and I think this is actually a good trend. The more LDS people are admitting that their leaders are fallible and their words open to rejection and interpretation, the more they become like Protestants. What’s the good in modern-day revelation if most of it gets treated with, “Oh, that’s just his opinion”?

    I also think it’s very important to stress what Mormonism has right, which is a lot. If you treat the entire system as corrupt, you throw the baby out with the bathwater, and I think this is why so many ex-Mormons leave Christianity altogether and become atheists, agnostics or deists. Critics of the church typically do little to acknowledge the immense good in Mormonism.

    I don’t go in for Bible-bashing much though. It’s not impossible for a Mormon to leave the church due to studying the Bible and concluding that it’s at odds with the church’s doctrine; the ex-Mormon members of the local Utah band Adam’s Road claimed that was how they left the church.

    But I generally find it ineffective, and it’s especially ineffective for the Mormons who post here. They’ve all been there done that.

    To everyone who has been posting here for years (Kullervo, BrianJ, Jared, Seth, Eric) ~ I’m not seeing any posts on deification or theosis in the LDS & Evangelical Conversations archives. Anything I’m missing that you recall, or should I go ahead and do a post on it this week?

  42. What’s the good in modern-day revelation if most of it gets treated with, “Oh, that’s just his opinion”?

    FWIW, this articulates one of my biggest concerns about Mormonism. We huff and puff about the need for modern-day revelation, and yet so many of the prophets have said so many strange/inaccurate things that it really makes you wonder what the point is at all.

    In other words, I’ve got plenty of fallible opinions of my own. Why trade some third party’s fallibility for mine, especially when it comes to matters that conflict with my own innate sense of truth and/or personal revelation?

    RE: the OP, from my experience, I doubt many Evangelicals would be willing to admit that Joseph Smith is any kind of prophet whatsoever–though it’s refreshing to see folks on this blog who will claim our similarities where they do exist.

  43. Well Eric, that conversation touched on theosis, but didn’t really go into it too much.

    Besides, most people don’t comb the archives anyway. Nothing wrong with pulling up an old classic for new discussion (even if the jaded regulars roll their eyes over it). I was about to have a go at the Biblical basis for theosis on this thread anyway. If Jack wants to put up a new thread, I’ll save it for there.

  44. Okie-tay, I’ll try to have a post on deification up by tomorrow afternoon. I only asked Tim for permission to do one guest post, but since he gave me moderation access I’m assuming it’s okay.

    Katie ~ the OP, from my experience, I doubt many Evangelicals would be willing to admit that Joseph Smith is any kind of prophet whatsoever–though it’s refreshing to see folks on this blog who will claim our similarities where they do exist.

    This is true, I don’t think many evangelicals have studied Joseph Smith’s life like I have. Hopefully one day (you know, when I have a PhD in history) I’ll be able to write things that make evangelicals look at Joseph Smith in a different light. Something to replace Fawn Brodie as the biography of choice on Smith for evangelicals would be good.

    Steve ~ Quick question. Which Lutheran denomination do you attend? I’ve generally thought of Lutherans as part of the evangelical movement (and I have several books on evangelical Christianity labeling them as such), so I’m curious why you seek to distinguish yourself from it.

  45. I’d be curious to know about Steve’s affiliation also. I’d guess Wisconsin synod, but that’s just a semi-educated guess. I do know that there’s a wide variation among Lutheran denominations, as they range from mainline liberal to separatist/fundamentalist conservative.

    FWIW, my father grew up Lutheran, and I attended a Missouri Synod school in my early years.

  46. Eric,

    The church that I am a member of is ELCA.

    But we hardly have anything to do with anymore.

    We feel they have ‘drank the Kool-Aid’ with all this pluralistic, rationalism, PC stuff.

    But we cannot leave them (at the moment) for legal reasons.

    So we stay (in the center) of Lutheranism (we believe) not giving in to the libertine ‘left’, or the legalistic ‘right’.

  47. Jared C.,

    With respect to God.

    There is only room for One God.

    Jesus said that he didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword.

    He would divide families. The world id divided over Him as He said it would be.

    So, do we give in to the culture of rationalism, and inclusiveness…where we can’t be so intolerant as to say that Jesus is the only way?

    I don’t (give in).

  48. Seth:

    “Richard Bushman’s work, for example, paints a Joseph who was into mysticism, treasure-seeking, etc. in the beginning and really was a wicked deceiver, but God helped him out of that and made him into a proper prophet.”

    I don’t think that’s really an accurate summary of Bushman’s position Brian.

    Sorry, I’m way behind on comments but I thought I should respond to this. You’re right, Seth. I was writing hastily and overstated. What I meant to say is that Bushman paints a Joseph who was into mysticism, treasure-seeking, etc., and would leave one to conclude that Joseph was confused himself. I didn’t get the impression that Bushman really thought Joseph’s treasure-seeking abilities were real because Bushman doesn’t give evidence that they ever worked. True, Bushman sees the attempt as a kind of schoolmaster for Joseph, but I got the impression that Bushman still sees Joseph as confused about the whole treasure-seeking thing.

    If Joseph thought he had a gift that he didn’t really have, that makes him a deceiver. He’s not malicious about it—he’s not knowingly lying—but he’s wrong all the same. That is what I meant by “deceiver.”

    That Joseph was wicked—we don’t need Bushman for that: Joseph says so himself.

    Anyway, you were right to call me out on my hasty comment. Thanks.

  49. “Jesus said that he didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    That’s fine, but you and I aren’t Jesus. A little more caution is probably in order in our cases.

  50. We we speak of Jesus we carry His Word.

    It is as if Jesus, not AS IF, IT IS JESUS doing that Word to the hearer.

    His Word, which is Himself, divides people.

    Because some believe it and some don’t.

  51. Figuring it out has nothing to do with it.

    His Word pf Law and Gospel is in scripture, and it is proclaimed.

    One either believes it…or not.

  52. Right, there is no reason to figure it out.

    I think it would be easier if we didn’t have to think about it at all.

    We just repeat the words of the Bible and say we believe.

    Done.

  53. Hearing the Word is how faith is created, by God in us.

    There is a lot to think about. But sizing it all up and making a decision of our “free will” is not how faith is born.

    We are born not of blood, nor of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.(Gospel of John)

    And it’s not done until God says it’s done.

    Our salvation is a process, but God is driving that process and He will bring to completion the good work in us which he began.

  54. Thinking too much about what the Bible says might lead you into the crooked paths of those rational liberal people or heretical Mormons . . or even worse, rational Mormons!

  55. Theoldadam said:

    The church that I am a member of is ELCA.

    That would have been my last guess. Interesting.

  56. Jack:

    I don’t really mind that the comments have strayed off topic, so long as everyone is having fun. Are we still having fun?

    No.

  57. I’m having fun!

    Whenever I get a chance to pit Jesus who died for us on the cross against that part of us that would DO something for our salvation…it is fun!

    The old Adam abd Eve in us all needs to die and the New Man/Woman needs to be raised again.

    Our self ascendency, holiness projects be damned. Clinging to the cross of Christ is our only hope.

    (try and hear that in an ELCA church these days!…good luck!)

  58. I’m getting into this discussion a little late but I wanted to give my 2 cents (which is about all it’s worth). Personally, I don’t think Joseph Smith was a prophet but for the sake of the topic at hand I will suppose that he was. If he was and then fell away, I think the more important question to ask is this.

    At what point did he fall and consequently, what doctrine/prophecy is ok to follow or what should be thrown out?

    This would be a very hard question to answer but whatever was decided to be wrong will inevitably affect very key points of doctrine and even their cannon of scripture.

  59. “what doctrine/prophecy is ok to follow”

    Why Soy Yo,

    The doctrines I like of course!

    To give a more serious answer though, I haven’t found any actual DOCTRINES from Joseph Smith that I really disagree with, when they are properly framed in light of the accepted scriptures. Most questions of him being a “fallen prophet” for me personally, have been more along the lines of his personal behavior rather than anything he taught.

  60. Some of Joseph’s prophecies did not happen. His doctrines generally were enlightening and gave an enriched understanding of God.

    In my view, according to Mormon doctrine, whatever the Spirit does not ratify can be ignored.

  61. Seth,

    I understand that most LDS will say what you have in that you agree with the doctrines that JS brought to light. However, you have to look at it from the perspective of being in the right position to receive revelation from God as a prophet if you are not acting accordingly. There is a point in the Joseph Smith story where he says that he can no longer receive revelation for a while because he went against the will of God. So if his personal behavior was such that he fell from his roll as a prophet, can we be so sure that the doctrines and even scripture he revealed actually came from God. Is it possible that at some point he stopped receiving revelation from God because of his unrepentant actions but continued to “reveal” things to the saints that came from him and not God?

    I have not looked at a timeline of his teachings and revelations but I would venture to guess (dangerous in this crowd I know) that he was acting as a prophet up until the day he died. If he was a fallen prophet yet still acting as a legitimate mouth piece of God, then at some point he would have begun speaking for himself and not God. If he was speaking for himself when key doctrines were revealed then those would have to be examined and thrown out. The same would be true for scripture…Book of Abraham comes to mind.

    We are dealing with a hypothetical here so I guess there is no real answer but it would be interesting to find a point in his life where the change might have occurred and see what was revealed after that.

  62. Soy Yo: thanks for the interesting questions and dialogue. At a certain point, I don’t care when/if Joseph fell; I don’t believe something just because he said it. Rather, I want to study it out myself. Certainly I give more weight to his words than to others’; i.e., I am far more reluctant to disagree with Joseph than with someone else. That has more to do, however, with trusting him as a “tried and true” source than as an infallible prophet.

  63. it would be interesting to find a point in his life where the change might have occurred and see what was revealed after that.

    That’s where I think your assumption is different from mine. You talk as though there is a moment when Joseph fell, never to get back up; i.e., he was a real prophet from 1820-1832, and everything 1833-death is false. I don’t see why (for sake of argument) he couldn’t have been a real prophet from 1820-1832, 1835-1836, 1839-death—or some other smattering of on/off periods.

    (Those dates are just thrown out there; nothing significant about them!)

    Remember, the OT paints Moses as a fallen prophet—he is not allowed to enter Canaan because of a particular error he committed as prophet. But nothing else before and after that error is called into question.

  64. Actually, my original stance is that he NEVER was a prophet to begin with. I am only entertaining the idea that he could have been and then fell because Jack suggested it.

    The main point I am trying to make is simply that if we are looking into it from the fallen prophet point of view, the things he revealed during those “fallen times” (however long they lasted) would need to be looked at with more scrutiny then the rest and potentially thrown out. Of course, coming to a consensus as to when those fallen times were would be the tricky part.

  65. Soy Yo ~ At what point did he fall and consequently, what doctrine/prophecy is ok to follow or what should be thrown out?

    Soy Yo, that’s an excellent question. Something that I wish I could do (but lack the resources for right now) is look at the contemporaneous evidence for when certain doctrines and ideas were introduced. When did he begin claiming that the Angel Moroni began instructing him to translate the Book of Mormon, when were the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods implemented, polygamy, the endowment, etc. If Smith had stopped introducing new doctrines in the mid-1830s, what would Mormonism look like? If Mormonism didn’t have polygamy, eternal marriage, the Pearl of Great Price, temple ordinances, and the King Follett discourse, would we still consider it heretical? If Mormonism just had the Book of Mormon, the D&C (minus polygamy and some other things), exclusive claims to priesthood and baptism, I think we would classify it as “quirky-but-okay,” kind of like the Seventh Day Adventists.

    When they try to convert other Christians, Mormons say “Keep the good you have and let us add to it.” I guess I’m looking for a way to say, “Keep the good you have and let us correct what wasn’t from God.” I’m looking for a new way to build a bridge.

    My problem is, I’m not certain Joseph Smith left us with much room to accept him as a prophet in his earlier phases but not in his later. I might think the Book of Mormon is a nice work of fiction with inspiring ideas in it, but Smith clearly never thought that. He believed it was Scripture from God same as the Bible is and that angels visited him to deliver it. Sort of like C. S. Lewis’s “Lord, Liar or Lunatic” trilemma, one could say Smith was a prophet, liar or lunatic and you have to accept the rest of him if you accept any part of him.

    I’m not adverse to the notion that Smith was a bad guy all along, but if there’s a new angle to be found, I’ll find it.

    Brian ~ Tough cookies. What do I look like, the fun fairy?

    Don’t answer that.

  66. Soy Yo: I understood that you don’t accept Smith at all–you said that up front. I guess a way to summarize my counter-point to you is this: I don’t think the tricky part is just agreeing on the time periods when Joseph was behaving wickedly—you’d have to prove that bad/good behavior and false/true doctrine are always correlated. And the way to do that would be to identify doctrines that are false, which is really the whole point anyway. Rather than try to look for a change in behavior that signifies a downturn, it’d be simpler to look for when Smith’s doctrines became unacceptable—which I think is what Jack suggests above. In other words, rather than say, “Smith was acting wickedly from 18XX-18YY so his teachings during that period are suspect,” you should just cut right to questioning the teachings themselves.

    Jack: Fun fairy? No, but you do look a lot like the person who asked the question I answered.

  67. Brian, I see what you are saying and you have a point.

    I would like to add that if his sin made it impossible for him to do certain things, like translate the Book of Mormon, until God felt he had fully repented, then you could reason that anything done during those periods of time did not come from God but from Joseph Smith the man.

    In the end, we have to face the actual validity of the doctrine and translations in question as you stated. But in my mind, seeing that they came during a “fallen” period of time adds to the probability of them being false.

  68. If we’re looking for a date that Joseph fell from his status as a true prophet, I’d start looking around the time Sidney Rigdon started whispering in his ear.

    I think in the context of true prophets, they all can make personal errors, but still remain true prophets. Their “falseness” is a label for their teachings and/or predictions.

    I don’t believe Joseph was ever a true prophet, but at some point around Nauvoo there as a turn for the worse and he started believing the things his ego told him. I don’t know if his narcissistic tendencies were always there, but by the time he was declaring himself king of the world they had taken over.

  69. So long as this thread is resurrected, I did find an interesting quote about this by Paul Owen:

    I do believe that Joseph can be viewed as a prophet of sorts (something along the lines of Balaam in Numbers 22-24), who experienced a taste of the charismata, and who may have been used to speak a true word of rebuke upon a wordly, divisive church which was gripped by the spirit of revivalism. God used Joseph to speak to the churches, and to expose their shallow versions of the Christian religion… When the Church does not bear witness to its Catholicity, when the Faith becomes more of a mechanism of producing converts than maintaining the unity and identity of the visible body, God raises up men and movements to rebuke the worldly church. The Rechabites (Jer. 35) and the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) provide us with comparable models in which to understand God’s purpose in raising up Joseph Smith and the Mormons.

  70. Steve Martin wrote: “…A gentleman laid out many false Mormon doctrines on my blog (just today). I’d love to have an intelligent LDS refute or try and refute these charges…”

    Many believers in Christ want to know why Mormon blindly obey their leaders, like how Mitt Romney couldn’t deny he would. I’m a 5th generation of Parley P. Pratt. Romney was a 4th. Joseph Smith had 7 good years (1830-37) and 7 bad years (1837-44) so he could experience good and evil. After this period he was repenting. That was needed. The others around him didn’t want him to remove their powers. Joseph Smith was taken out because he feared them over God.

    Brigham Young claimed Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet back in 1841. Many religions expire after the death of the founder. Why hasn’t Mormonism? Because they have the second witness, as required by the Bible.

    Jesus is God as taught by the Original Book of Mormon.
    http://www.mormonstruth.org

    Christians recognize Mormons as good people. As an insider and a former “prominent church leader”, the truth will set us free, as promised by Jesus (John 8:32).

    Mormonism needs cleansing, like all other religions which have faith in One God. Originally Mormonism taught One God. Freemasonry will be abolished soon and when all the 150 Mormon temples are “taxed” (secret society), Mormons will return to the plain and precious truths (2 Nephi 3:24)

    I learned all about Lutherans when I purchased a company in Grand Forks, ND. A billboard on a freeway stated: “Within 50 miles of the sign there are 76,452 Lutherans. Come join us.” Freedom of speech happened when I taught all my Lutheran employees about the location of King Solomon’s Treasures in the US (discovered in 1982).

  71. I plan to stay. Blogs like this one is very healthy for Mormons to connect with others who are open to seeking truth. I believe Joseph Smith had guardian angels, protecting him to live a parallel life like Joseph of Old (Gen. 43 deals with 7 good years and 7 bad years). After he repented in 1844 and proclaimed Polygamy as a sin, he was murdered from within. This is a fact few Christians know about the true history of Joseph Smith.

    Jesus is the only person who has control over life. Between 1837 – 1844 Joseph Smith experienced many evil practices because his had a special message about the importance of the United States. When you remove all the false stories that have been manufactured since 1844 by the Freemasons, Mormons become good Christians.

    The Pentecostals in St. Louis, Missouri believe in the same teachings of the Original Book of Mormon = Jesus is God and there is only One God. Their current leader (Dr. David Bernard) is a good friend. Their 3 Million members believe in the same teachings as taught in the Original Book of Mormon. Hundreds of Thousands of Mormons believe in this doctrine – very different from those in Salt Lake City! The 2002 Winter Olympics exposed how corrupt Utah has been (corporate America). The same can be stated about other states where One religion dominates the political arena!

    Mormonism is unique only because it deals with a story of the Stick of Judah (Mulekites) merging with the Stick of Joseph (Nephites) about 200 BC. See US history dealing with the Hopewell civilization (Ohio). Nobody knows what happened to the King Solomon Temple treasures. But we know that the Prophet Jeremiah fled Jerusalem just before Babylon destroyed it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopewell_tradition

    Any person who wanted to know about guardian angels and how things happen to anyone (life or death) can appreciate a person who was given a choice to live or die. That happened to me 49 years ago (October 29, 1960). At the time my father was the geologist for the United States since 1953 and we lived in Tucson, AZ. I was ten and rarely saw him because the 12 Western States are owned by the government (state and federal). It didn’t matter who was in the White House, anyone who wanted to do business on federal land had to get permission from my father. I was accidently shot in the head by my father and was in coma, like Saul/Paul, for three days.

    Mormonism needs a lot of cleansing. So does every other religion. Thank goodness we all have histories of our heritage. Open discussion is very valuable, especially when truth and ful-disclosure is available, thanks to the Internet. Isaiah 13 discribed Salt Lake City as Babylon for the Millennium. It came true. But it is also written in 2 Nephi!

  72. Mormonism isn’t unique at all.

    It’s just another man-made religion that does not trust in God’s work ALONE for sinners.

    It’s a little bit of God and a little bit of me…only it turns out in reality to be a little bit of God and a LOT of ME.

    This type of religion is everywhere (not just Mormonism).Look around.

    Everyone seems to be in the self-justification game.

    That is nothing more than religion and it stinks in God’s nose.

    What the heck was that cross (which the Mormons don’t display on their buildings) all about, then?

  73. theoldadam has an excellent point of fact when he describes the current Mormon Church structure – it is patterned after the leadership of King Solomon and how Freemasonry is in all religions. theoldadam must like controlling others through his excellent wisdom of the Bible and Book of Mormon.

    Joseph Smith was a Freemason for only six months (3/1842-10/1842) then excommunicated by the Illionis Governor (Master Mason within the state) because Joseph Smith allowed women to know all the secrets and blood-oaths (of Lucifer, see Moses 5:29).

    In the US during the days of Joseph Smith, women were ‘property to their husbands’. D&C 25 gave equality to women when Emma Hale Smith replaced Oliver Cowdery as the scribe. Even though she refused, the message was very clear – women are equal to men. Because of this honor, five western states allowed women to vote in state elections in the 1890s. By 1920 the general public amended the US Constitution allowing women to vote.

    Jacob chapters 2 & 3 describe how King Solomon and Freemasonry (control of women) is an abomination. In 1992 sixteen Million US Citizens and members of the Southern Baptist Convention proclaimed Freemasonry as not Christian. I was personally involved in this movement (as a prominent LDS church leader). Thanks to the US and honoring women, the world is changing and becoming closer to God.

    In world history what relilgious leader honored a woman before Joseph Smith? Jesus Christ. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi scrolls in 1945 honored women during the time of Christ.

    Mormon women will clean up Salt Lake City. The Nag Hammadi scrolls reveal that a Tribe of Levi Bishopric during the time of Christ was the husband and wife. There were no counselors (other men involved). Equality for all.

  74. I do not wish to control anyone.

    I desire that people be free from the yoke of slavery which is ‘religion’ that dictates people by their own actions can make themselves right with God.

    That kind of religion is anti–Christ and of the devil.

    It makes the cross go away. It places the onus on the individual instead of Christ Jesus.

    If an angel from Heaven (Moroni), brings you another gospel, let him be accursed.

    – St. Paul

    (I added the name Moroni – what he gave to Joseph Smith was ANOTHER gospel…which is no gospel at all)

    Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free.

    There is NO freedom in Mormonism. None.

  75. theoldadam asks about the “cross” not being used at Mormon chapels.

    Repentance creates a new life. Focus on life is more healthy than “death”. Mormons believe in the Resurrected Jesus Christ and life after death. Jesus appeared to the people in the Book of Mormon as a resurrected person and taught all to Come Unto Him through baptism.

    Who baptized Jesus? John the Baptist. This same person appeared to Joseph Smith.

    Peter, James and John never appeared to Joseph Smith. This is a Freemasonry fabricated story minimizing baptism and glorifying “many gods”, like other fabricated and false scriptures after the death of Joseph Smith. The RLDS (Community of Christ) has proven that these Apostles never appeared in 1829. In 1966 the Book of Abramham was proven false. But this book never became scripture until 1880, long after Joseph Smith died.

    Christians need to separate Mormonism from Brigham Young and the current leaders who blindly follow the traditions of the Natural Man (Mosiah 3:19).

    Repentance is very valuable (D&C 82:7)

  76. Without the cross…there is no life.

    Death and Resurrection. Repentance and forgiveness.

    Both are necessary.

    Without dying, you just focus on the self-improvement project (which is not Christian).

    For us, it begins…and ends…at the cross.

    Otherwise, you might as well be playing church.

  77. Baptism came before “Church”. Symbolism is good.

    I would rather look at the Resurrection of Jesus, rather than death. Jesus is the only person who had to die so that all can live.

    Death was a requirement and everybody dies. What is so unique about Jesus is that His lives.

    Anyone is dead until that person properly comes unto Jesus, the way He lived.

  78. “Do you not know that all of you who were baptized were baptized into a death like his?”

    St. Paul in Romans.

    We need to die to ourselves, to the religious project of self-justification and self-betterment before a God that demands a perfection that we could never achieve.

    We must die here and now, over and over again…and be raised with Christ over and over again.

    All will die, that is for sure. But not all will die the second death.

    Got to head off to work.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    I’ll be back later..

  79. One last thing.

    St. Paul deoesn’t say “symbolizes” when he speaks of the death that takes place in baptism.

    He knew that word, but does not use it.

    Ciao!

  80. I don’t play “church”. I practice my faith 7/24. I am not a Sunday Mormon. Utah Mormons are mostly one day participants of their religion because Mormons control the economy of that state/religion.

    North Dakota is controlled by Lutherans. Big deal! Other states are controlled by a specific faith because the majority rules policy. When I lived in Mountain View, Arkansas some years back my discussions with Governor Mike Huckabee (Southern Baptist Preacher) exposed his membership as a Freemason. SBC was created (1845) after the death of Joseph Smith because of the John Baptist baptism requirement and the practice of slavery.

    I share the second witness of Christ because the Lord requires an independent witness (Stick of Judah and the Stick of Joseph).

  81. theoldadam cites St. Paul very wisely. St. Paul dealt with baptism for the dead. It wasn’t symbolism. It was a requirement. 1 Corinthians 15:13,29 (D&C 127 like the persecution of St. Paul and D&C 128)

    The Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Scrolls dealt with this same subject matter.

  82. Not talking about you personally…but those that insist upon a works-righteousness program.

    Upward and onward…higher and higher…when in truth…Jesus has come all the way down (to the bottom of a grave) for us.

    He declares us righteous, totally apart from anything we do, say, feel, or think.

    That is the radical gospel. That is the truth of it.

    But many just don’t believe it.

  83. “I practice my faith 7/24. Utah Mormons are mostly one day participants of their religion.”

    I take it your faith = making sweeping condemnatory judgments?

  84. Seriously,

    I think Davistruth is way ahead in points, the non sequiturs are coming one after another and landing in combinations.

    Oldadam has thrown quite a few but they seem to be just glancing blows, Davistruth has the knack for just radically changing the subject which is confusing his opponent.

    I am predicting a Davistruth TKO in the 3rd, by then I think absolutely nothing will follow from the premises given. I think oldadam will still be hanging on to the soli scriptura, sola fide mantra. He may think it will ultimately save him, but it won’t save him in this brawl.

  85. Of course some may say that Davistruth is cheating since nothing can follow from untrue premises. . . and most of the “facts” he is giving are simply preposterous.

  86. The top Mormon leadership (LDS & RLDS) all are related and descendants of the Merovingians, but for sake of discussion let us take Brigham Young. Brigham Young’s first name was Brigham. It was given to him because of the importance of the Brigham family. His grandmother was Sibil Brigham. Sibyls were prophetesses of the ancient world, and the name is a semi-common occult name. Brigham Young and his family practiced magic. They were also intimately aware of their genealogy, which goes back to the Merovingian Dynasty! One wonders if it is coincidence that the Merovingians’ primary symbol–the bee is also the symbol for the Mormon church and Utah. Look at a Deseret Industries (Mormon thrift stores) building in your area and you will see the bee on their side. But not only does Brigham Young have Merovingian blood from at least two lines of blood (and possibly as many as 6 lines of blood back), but he also is related to the Collins family of Massachusetts that we wrote about in the 2/1/93 newsletter. Further, Brigham Young is also a blood relative of the Wheelers. This is the clue which is amazing. A. chart of all this is given on the next page. If Young’s Wheeler relatives are related to the Satanic Illuminati Wheelers, then we have an example of how 3 strains of top Satanic blood have interwoven and resulted in the birth of the Freemason, Witch, and President of the LDS Brigham Young. Perhaps the tie-in doesn’t exist, but it certainly is worthy of our examination.

    http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/bloodlines/freeman.htm

  87. Murder of Joseph Smith. Also a descendent of Joseph Smith, Jr. who was Satanic Ritually Abuse victim, has quietly told certain people that her family is indeed a Satanic bloodline. Further, I have mentioned other confidential pieces of information about how the leaders of the Salt Lake City Mormon church (LDS) are working with the various parts of the Illuminati’s empire, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    I’ll bet Davistruth already knows about this website.

    http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/masons/part1b.htm

  88. What shocked me was that just before I had left on the trip I had been looking at anomalies on the moon that had been leaked on the internet and on various websites throughout it that NASA had not itself made public. Perhaps at one time and then they took them off of their website so they were grabbed by others interested in the ‘dark side of the moon.’ I remember seeing one structure that was huge and it looked like a palace and it’s located on the dark side of the moon. And as I stood there at temple square in Salt Lake City there sat a replica of that same picture I had seen from the moon! I don’t know how anyone else hasn’t put this together already. The new Mormon temple and the object/palace on the moon are the same exact structures!

    See this is quality stuff.

    http://sherryshriner.blogspot.com/2007/06/part-sixannihilating-strongholds.html

  89. True, that is dangerous stuff. . .

    Davistruth better hope that oldadam doesn’t start slinging this.

    But I think you actually have to believe what you are posting for the blows to land. Do we really think oldadam can train himself into the “watcher files” level of delusion and nonsense?

    I am skeptical.

    It seems that Davistruth is sincere through years of ingraining which gives him the upperhand. I just don’t see how oldadam could fully swallow the watcher files stuff spit it out in time to win.

  90. The words of a prophet will stand forever. Staying on the topic (fallen prophet), Moses was a true Prophet of the Lord. But Moses did some things and wasn’t worthy to enter into the Promised Land with the Israelites because he challenged God and was exposed. The Israelites continued without Moses. Did Moses repent for his actions, doing something not of God, and did he then pay the price? Yes.

    How many times has the Bible been altered from the original writings? Why did the Lord preserve the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Scrolls until 1945 after WWII? Are there other documents out there still being preserved?

    The same happened to Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon was printed and distributed, beginning in 1830. In 1837 when the first 5,000 copies were gone another 3,000 were printed and paid for by my relative, Apostle Parley P. Pratt. This book was deliberately altered by the Freemasons, creating “many gods senerio”. Joseph Smith didn’t correct it back to the original. Did he pay the price, like Moses?

    The 1833 Book of Commandments had 17 witness signatures (like the 3 and 8 special witnesses for the Book of Mormon) about the truth in each “vision”. In 1835 the first Doctine and Covenants was printed with many “alterations” from the 1833 script. Many original followers challenged it.

    The customs, traditions and practices by “educated people” falsely claiming things not directly connected to Joseph Smith will not stand. I have personally invested years of time, money and travel in checking out every proof of the Life of Joseph Smith, in addition to the murder of Parley P. Pratt (Mountain Meadow Massacre, etc). I caught a bank stealing money from my business. I sued them back in 1993 and discovered proof of theft by deception. With this proof we stopped a bank merger in 1999. How effective has this been in waking up people to truth?
    http://www.mormonstruth.org/bank.html
    http://www.stopzion.com

    Rightfully, the name of Joseph Smith is connected to the early history of the United States of America because he directly connected himself to face-to-face confrontations against those who challenged him. Has any other Mormon President/Prophet done that; or do they seek protection through secret societies? Joseph Smith exercised his rights as an American and asked a question about authority. He got an answer. Isn’t that what Moses did? He had no interest in returning back to Egypt. But he obeyed. And the world has been blessed because he listened to God.

    I guess a fallen prophet can repent and be restored to his right place in history.

  91. Boom! Davistruth answers with peppering random conclusory thoughts. I think its just going to be too much for theoldadam. He might not even be able to answer this last barrage.

  92. Not a chance, Jared. This looks like the end. I predict that theoldadam will go into broken-record mode from this point on, a sure sign of desperation. Saying the same thing twice may be pointless, but it can’t properly be called a non-sequitur. Classic bad form.

  93. Thought I’d add some interesting confirmations (not known by most Mormons) that Joseph Smith (JS) fell as a prophet but then repented just weeks prior to his Masonic Murder. He fell as a prophet because he did not heed the dire warning by God in D&C 3:1-11: “For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength…and follows after his own will and CARNAL DESIRES, he must fall…”

    I believe JS finally woke up to his wickedness of Masonry (secret combinations) & the suppression of women with polygamy (abomination) which the Book of Mormon warns against many times (Jacob 2:23-24, Jacob 3)

    ~ Polygamy caused the Nephites to be destroyed with a correlating time line of existence provided by the ancient artifacts of the “Hopewell Civilization” carbon-dated and housed in the Smithsonian.

    The ancient Americans were the “other sheep” that Christ visited after His Resurrection & Ascension (John 10:16). This is why the Native Americans knew and expected the return of “the Great White God.”

    “D. Michael Quinn’s historical research “The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power” of the early years of the church found that Joseph Smith repented of polygamy weeks prior to his assassination by burning the original polygamy manuscript with his first wife Emma and telling the Quorum to burn their Masonic temple garments and to stop practicing polygamy.
    June 10, 1844: “Hyrum (Joseph’s brother) tells Nauvoo City Council that the 1843 revelation pertains to ancient polygamy, not to modern times…” (NEVER of God; obvious political statement)
    June 20, 1844: “Smith writes the apostles to return to Nauvoo immediately…instructs them to destroy their endowment undergarments.”
    June 23, 1844: “…Joseph and Emma Smith burn the original manuscript of the 1843 polygamy revelation…” (Quinn, pg 645 ¶ 6, ¶ 12, pg 646 ¶ 1).

    I also agreed with Kulluervo of the extreme evil of Brigham Young (and present day LDS leaders~ thefts, murders, Masonic hand shakes with Bush & Cheney, Tommy Monson witnessed on drugs by a neighbor, etc.~ different topic…) as witnessed by Ann Eliza Young in the 1876 historical account of the “horrors” of polygamy and masonry.

    For instance, apostates disappeared and it was blamed on the Indians… This is a free e-book at google Book entitled “The 19th Wife” written by her in 1876 as I’ve mentioned. She describes the simplicity and purity of the church in the happier early years with women (and blacks) holding the priesthood, etc. prior to polygamy, masonry, and the alteration of the Book of Mormon (removal of the “plain and precious truths” e.g. identity of God~only one God).

    Brigham Young repeatedly spewed out his “Blood Atonement” e.g. suicide/murder of sinners belief which caused William Smith’s “blood to turn cold” in his paper disputing the Masonic Satanic rituals of the Nauvoo temple. Joseph had never taught these Blood oaths. The penalties were taken out in 1990, but this is what all LDS Temple members were requred to do: (Satanic blood oath stemming from Satan’s secret oath Moses 5:29 contrary to Jesus’ teachings to never taken an oath but to only say “yea, yea or nay, nay as anything more than this comes from evil.”)

    There was the accompanying chant of “I _______ promise not to reveal this, the first token of the Aaronic Priesthood along with it’s accompanying name, sign, and penalty; rather than do so I would suffer . . . [raise right hand with extended thumb, palm down with thumb tip under left ear] . . . my life . . . [draw thumb across throat to right ear] . . . to be taken [drop right hand to side]. The officiator mentioned that these movements symbolized ways the life could be taken.

    The best example of Brigham Young’s Blood Atonement decry being carried out is the Mountain Meadow Massacre. My ancestor was duped John D. Lee; a murdering “Danite Warrior” and a puppet for Young.

    Yes, prophets can fall!!! Abraham lied to the Prince about his beautiful wife Sarah and received Hagoth, feared man more than God, lacked faith (& enough sex) and today we have the Muslims who hate the Christian infidels… another example of a fallen prophet and the consequence.

  94. I’m not interested in winning anything.

    I just want to state what the pure gospel is…and what it isn’t.

    Mormonism is a self justification project. One might as well become a Jew. Law Law Law Law…no gospel.

    I throw it out there, and let the chips fall where they may.

    It’s no skin off my nose if someone does not believe and wants to make the whole enterprise into a navel gazing, works project.

    When Jesus said “It is finished”…He didn’t mean that He needed someone else to come along centuries later with ANOTHER gospel.

  95. John 8:32 is my favorite scripture; better than anyother one, including the Old Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price; because truth and no secrets is the Gospel of Jesus.

    “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    Jesus was talking to the “jews” who wanted to know why they needed to be born again through baptism. When Jesus resurrected and in Matthew 27:52-53:
    “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

    Making different groups throughout the world believed in Jehovah at the time of Christ. The United States and several states have certified that the Hopewell Civilization existed in the Ohio region between 200 BC and 500 AD. Then they totally disappeared.

    Have an open heart to check out the plain and simple truths of the Gospel found in the Original Book of Mormon. 1000s of alterations, including the identity of God, happened within the second printing in 1837, paid for by my relative, Parley P. Pratt. He was assassinated 13 years after Joseph Smith because an angel came to him just before he returned back to Nauvoo in June, 1844. Because of this testimony by Pratt, the Quorum of the 12 took charge for three years before a “king” took over. A curse was the consequence (Exodus 20:3-5) for four generations.

    Back in 1829, Joseph Smith was told he needed to be an apostle (D&C 20 & 21). An Apostle is greater than a prophet (1 Corinthians 12:28). Check and balance of 12 Apostles replaced Jesus through the Holy Ghost being with them is what Jesus taught at the Last Supper.

    What would have happened in Mormonism if Joseph Smith accepted and served as a member of the Quorum of the 12 on April 6, 1830? There would not be a “king” in Mormonism today!

    Thank goodness we’re in the Millennium (commenced April 6, 2000) and the Lord is a thief in the night, assisting one by one come unto Him through personal faith in His Gospel and through proper baptism, taught by two separate and independent witnesses (Judah and Joseph).

  96. The gospel is the forgiveness of sins for the sake of Christ Jesus.

    That’s it.

    None of this self-perfection project is needed.

    We are perfect in Christ, already.

    “Those who have been baptized have put on Christ.”

    Notice how many the false religions have dietary restrictions?

    The Muslims do. The Jews do. I’m sure others do as well.

    Christianity does not.

    Jesus said it is what comes out of our mouths that defile, not what we put into them.

    Mormonism…no thanks.

    You are saying to Jesus (who IS God by the way) that you do NOT completely trust in His work for sinners….ALONE.

    And you must kick in, also.

    Nope…it’s all Jesus…or nothing at all.

  97. Wait… Christ returned and nobody told me?! And he’s stealing stuff while also helping folks out one at a time? So he’s like… Robin Hood meets Peter Petrelli? Dude… this is totally an excellent plot line for a crazy alternate universe novel!

  98. Jesus stated He knew not when He would come during the Millennium when He was alive in Jerusalem. In the Garden, after He realized his Apostles were asleep, he was comforted by an angel because of actions or lack of faith of others. What a beautiful example of His love.

    All that I stated was the completion of the first 6,000 years ended on April 5, 2000. Jesus is order and justice. According to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance in a probationary/preparatory state. The work of justice cannot be destroyed. All mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice of God so the plan of mercy could happen through an atonement.

    Jesus/God atoneth for the sins of the world to bring about the plan of mercy. Repentance could not come unto people except there is a punishment.

    Mormonism is not Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus Christ is who is honored by all members. Smith simply restored the plain and simple truths, lost by the actions of people through free agency. What is the definition of a prophet?

    What is the definition of a fallen prophet? What is the definition of repentance?

  99. Ok I am calling this NSCM for davistruth. . . .it played out just like you said Kullervo, and you have to be impressed with the final knock out blow.

    “All that I stated was the completion of the first 6,000 years ended on April 5, 2000. Jesus is order and justice. According to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance in a probationary/preparatory state. The work of justice cannot be destroyed. All mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice of God so the plan of mercy could happen through an atonement.”

    Wow!, devastatingly without any logical relationship between the premises and conclusion.

    I don’t know what to say about truthseeker, he didn’t really support either of the other combatants, which you have to give him points for in a NSCM. I can’t say that he could eclipse davistruth’s fine performance, but he may have pulled even with theOldAdam who, as predicted, ended up simply repeating the same arguments in different words.

    Thanks for coming everyone! Next time we will pit Rick Hurd against all comers!!! Given the competition that davistruth has shown, I think Rick is going to seem more reasonable than ever before.

  100. Rick Hurd at least stays on topic a little bit, provided the topic is about James Strang or Mormon polygamy. I’m not sure if putting him against them is such a great idea.

  101. what ?
    We’re in the millenium ?

    How come no-one told me ? Thanks davistruth… you ruined my day..

    I better go figure out if I have a number tattoo-ed somewhere.

  102. Participants in this blog have discussed very openly about a modern day prophet being “fallen”. It happened. He also repented, as documented by “truthseeker”. I welcome Rick Hurd and anyone else in an open discussion.

    Isaiah described Salt Lake City as “Babylon” at the commencement of the Millennium. It is also mentioned at 2 Nephi 23 because Book of Mormon Prophets also knew of the condition of ‘born again Saints” by April 6, 2000 because of their “pride” and “blind obedience” (like the Phasisees and Sadducees at the time of Christ):

    “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together; the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven,k even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. How l ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” Isaiah 13:1-6

    Since April 6, 2000 Salt Lake has been exposed and many investigations are happening throughout the world about their connections with the CIA and other “money-changer” operations. This happened because a special event was postponed, thanks to the internet.

    Four thousand years before the birth of Jesus came. A revelation from God gave the sign of His Birth: Zach 14:6-7. So hundreds of years before 0 AD, the Lord let the world know what sign would happen signifying His birth. Because of this “history” (found in the Bible), the US government created a technology to counterfeit the beginning of the Millennium, because God is Order and True == NASA Blue Beam Project, recreating the Day-Night-Night revelation, was scheduled to happen on April 6, 2000 while Mormon President Hinckley was dedicating the Palmyra New York Masonic Temple, as agreed to many religious leaders (secret economic pact, secured by faithful Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, etc). We exposed this event and US Attorney General Janet Reno wrote a letter on March 27, 2000 thanking us for the information. The event was postponed (Freedom of Information Act).

    Isaiah 13 was fulfilled. Salt Lake City has been exposed as one of the most wicked economic cities in the world (1987 US Congress law allowing a Utah Corporation to be a bank = largest operation for money-laundering). Congress had to stop Wal-Mart from becoming a part of this evil operation a few years ago.

    No other religion was anywhere as powerful as the Mormon “corporate America” was by April 6, 2000. Not one of the 500+ Mormon employed in the Twin Towers was present on the 9/11 morning.

    None of the present conditions are connected to Joseph Smith. After his death, 2000+ followed James Strang to Wisconsin, including all the 3 witnesses and the Smith Family. All Book of Mormon believers since June 27, 1844 can only focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Bible and Book of Mormon because the founder and restorer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ had trusted US Justice (false promise from the Illinois Governor).

    I believe in US Justice. This is why many states have openly connected the Nephi/Mulekite history to the Hopewell Civilization (thousands of artifacts) because Salt Lake City followed Brigham Young’s claim that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet and that the Book of Mormon history was in the Rocky Mountains.

    Thousands of Mormons (all groups) are returning back to the original teachings of the Original Book of Mormon and unaltered visions of Joseph Smith.

  103. I believe in US Justice. This is why many states have openly connected the Nephi/Mulekite history to the Hopewell Civilization (thousands of artifacts) because Salt Lake City followed Brigham Young’s claim that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet and that the Book of Mormon history was in the Rocky Mountains.

    ok, I am calling late hit on this one. This was a brutal after-the-stoppage blow.

  104. Hold on here… my watchtower magazine of April 1, 1968 mentions that the 6,000 years were over in 1975

    Drat…missed that too….

    oh yeah.. my brother’s meeting in the WTC on 9-11 got canceled. he was having coffee a couple of blocks away….he must be a Mormon in secret.. it all makes sense now

  105. We are not the same person. We also very much think our own thoughts and have dedicated our lives to truth and to God. I’ve had spiritual experiences throughout my life since I was four years old witnessed by family and friends.

    Needless to say, we both know a lot about spiritual matters and enjoy the internet where the truth can be proclaimed as Isaiah prophesied. Isaiah did not fall as a prophet, but knew that to keep his message intact (political mistranslations/ interpretations throughout history) he had to put it in parable/symbolic form as even Christ did.

    You might want to research early Christian history especially the very political compilation of the Bible where many pure early Christian writings were ordered destroyed (those that established the equality of women as religious leaders and the spiritual teachings of Jesus). Check out the Bishop of Alexandria; Athanasias and others who wanted “orthodoxy” above the simple truths of Jesus (Pagels, King, etc.).

    The Bible was put together more than 325 years after Christ and it was not an inspired event. (These men never did agree on the identity of God). And Constatine who ordered the Council of Nicea after his “conversion” murdered his wife and son…
    In fact, the book of Revelations was not the last book written so the heed to “not add to this book” did not pertain to the other separate writings of the Bible or to other records of God!

    Jesus had “other sheep” that knew of Him and that He taught (descended from the sky in power & great glory 3 Nephi ~ recorded in the Book of Mormon). Did you read John 10:16 regarding Christ’s “other sheep” that he taught? ~ Of course, they kept a record of this. Why do children make it into heaven? Because they can be taught…

    We are living in the time for truths to be restored to the earth. I had a spiritual witness regarding the Millennium as have MANY others. There are thousands of awakened Mormons who see the simplicity of going back to the original Book of Mormon to restore the “plain and precious truths” and as a 2nd witness to the Bible regarding God. The LDS church at this time if “Babylon” and is the “great and abominable church” due to polygamy, masonry, inequality of priesthood (originally held by women and blacks 1830-37), and the prophesied alteration of the Book of Mormon.

    “Blessed are the pure in heart as they shall see God” is a true teaching of Christ. A lot is happening spiritually which ties in the “Thief in the Night,” “the oil in the lamps” and many other parables of Christ warning us to be spiritually awake and aware. God teaches line upon line so, of course, there is more to learn especially since the world has been corrupted for thousands of years. A clean-up is going on which is the fulfillment of the overlapping of the 6th and 7th seals mentioned in the book of Revelations. A time of transition.

    There is no religion on the earth at this time that has the truth as all have gone off in man’s fallible interpretations.

    Please do check out our websites! http://www.bridgingtruth.com provides scriptural confirmation of the identity of God stemming from the Torah, the Bible, and the original Book of Mormon (not used by any religion). How important is it to know who God is? This knowledge might have helped prophets to stay on course. Even the men Apostles (who fell asleep, hid in fear, and denied Christ) did not know who Jesus was: “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9).

    This is the knowledge that will cover the earth for peace: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the eknowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9).

    Prophets and prophetesses are men and women who receive revelation, but can fall very easily when people put them on pedestals. Our identity is not of importance, however, our teachings are!

  106. Even the men Apostles (who fell asleep, hid in fear, and denied Christ) did not know who Jesus was

    Wrong !

    Matt 16:15-19
    He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

  107. You put a lot a power and authority in Peter. It is a fact that only Peter can only save himself. He is nothing as an individual, even as the prophets Noah, Daniel and Job were described (Ezekiel 14: 14 & 20) were described by the Lord.
    “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God…..Though Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.”

    The Quorum and the Holy Ghost is equal to Jesus. So each person needs to have the Holy Ghost with them and a uniform accounting to equal Jesus!

    Wow, I guess every “prophet” has been fallen during sometime in their life! The Hopewell Civilization will prove the truth found in the Book of Mormon.

    Matt 16 compliments Peter by the Lord. Chapters afterwards exposes him as being very “human” and a liar (denying thrice; challenging Paul; not willing to maintain the Quorum of 12 — thus becoming “fallen” just a few years after the Resurrection of Jesus). How long did the Church of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem function before the Quorum of the 12 disband? Lots of sole Bible believers have a very short period to rest all their faith on.

    How important is repentance and full-disclosure, even in this Blog? I entered this discussion group wanting to share with you new insights about what is happening all throughout the US concerning the investigation of Mormonism since Mitt Romney got utterly destroyed by the evangelicals! Mormonism is now forced to address topics which have been very secret until now because “insiders” are coming forward and delivering evidence of a revolt from within. The Life of Joseph Smith is totally different from all other Mormon leaders.

    It seems like many in this discussion group are former active Mormons who have thrown out the baby with the dirty bath water. Then there are those who want to utterly destroy anything to do with Joseph Smith and his influence on today.

    Thanks for your comments. tchau.

  108. Mitt Romney got utterly destroyed by the evangelicals!

    I hear that they can’t even find his body!

    UTTER Destruction, that is what I’m talking about!

  109. Man, and the revolt from within is intense. Mormonism is literally crumbling before our eyes because of all of the intense secrets that have come forth since Mitt Romney’s body was disintegrated by evangelicals and they read secret doctrines which had been programmed into his DNA. Also, the revelation about the temple palace on the moon had been absolutely devastating: Mormons everywhere are demanding that their moon masters address them at General Conference next year.

  110. But you forget Kullervo, the heretofore undisclosed links between the LDS hierarchy and the Japanese Mafia. With this explosion of truth I would expect the Yakuza to attack and utterly destroy this blog and all of its participants!!!!!!

    Be afraid.

  111. I have so many questions now.

    1) Why is anyone nervous about annihilation by the Yakuzas with the Assassin Wives around?

    2) Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd were Jewish? Or is Hava Nagila just the great uniting dance of the universe?

    3) How did the fencers from Total Eclipse of the Heart get lost and end up on the moon?

    4) How did this thread end up with so much awesomeness in a span of mere days? My head is ready to burst with the sheer power of it.

  112. I ain’t going to no moon fortress till I get my forty virgins.

    Oh, so you think you’re getting 40 now instead of just 30? I’m glad you’re showing a little ambition.

    How did the fencers from Total Eclipse of the Heart get lost and end up on the moon?

    The fencers from the Total Eclipse of the Heart video are actually Seth and Andrew S from Irresistible Disgrace. And the Quakers showed them how to get to the moon, of course.

  113. “4) How did this thread end up with so much awesomeness in a span of mere days? My head is ready to burst with the sheer power of it.”

    The same reason the lastest season of the “Girls Next Door” has been funded by the secret treasure of Brigham Young to ultimately undermine all rational thought in America today.

    Its really simple if you just focus on the facts.

  114. John 8:32 is still my best scripture. Truth is free and will stand forever.

    While you’re on the moon with the 40 virgins, I’ll still be an American fighting for truth in the Court System. This week the European Courts issued an order removing crosses from “state-run” classrooms. That’s sad. I respect a cross all over the USA because it honors Jesus (plus a cross by the side of the highway honoring someone who died in an auto accident, unexpectedly and returned home to Jesus and watched family recover from the loss).

    Respect is earned. I was born an American before I was baptized a Mormon. God Bless America; even when a “fallen prophet” repented and was removed from “within”. What is happening in America today?

    Freedom of speech

  115. Wait a minute. Who’s talking about sex here?

    I was just thinking of forming a totally awesome community choir.

    Geez you guys! Get your heads out of the gutter.

  116. I check in on this thread every now and again, but fear that I missed something ,or somethings……are there special 3-D glasses, or helmets or something that de-code this thread ?? And , like several others have mentioned, I too am overwhelmed at the sheer awesomeness of the last few days.

    Truthseeker and friend(s): are you allowed to say what tribe or frat you hail from ? I’m very interested….make that mildly interested in getting your handle.

  117. I don’t know about virgin women singing better, but concerning men

    In Europe, when women were not permitted to sing in church or cathedral choirs in the Roman Catholic Church, young boys were sometimes castrated to prevent their voices breaking at puberty and to develop a special high voice. These men, known as castrati were very popular in the Eighteenth Century. The practice of employing castrati lasted longest in Italian churches, most notoriously in the Sistine Chapel Choir.

    So disturbing. How did people ever come up with this stuff?

  118. So you’re a Jonas Brothers fan I take it?

    When I still lived in Washington, my autistic brother and his girlfriend asked me to take them to a Jonas Brothers concert. I grudgingly had to agree to do it.

    After a while, my father changed his mind on letting them go. Guess that’s one way to dodge a bullet.

  119. Okay, okay, since I threw it out there, I know that’s technically true, but come on. Even Captain Jack Sparrow was well aware of the libido-crushing consequences of said nip-and-tuck.

  120. No, I am talking about the secret break-away sect that castrates its young men to prevent the dilution of bodily fluids.

    Of course I expect them to be utterly destroyed eventually.

  121. No, I am talking about the secret break-away sect that castrates its young men to prevent the dilution of bodily fluids.

    Is this one of those creepy things Mormons do in their temples?

    That would give a whole new meaning to the phrase “taking out your endowments.”

  122. Except that The Final Countdown is about going to Venus, not going to the Moon. SOLAR SYSTEM FAIL.

    Cry of the Blackbirds is about going to Valhalla, which is probably on the Moon. It is why the Moon will turn to blood: because of all the Vikings and brutal metal that will be there. I have Odin tattooed on my leg, so I can speak authoritatively on the subject. I like pears.

  123. I bet you have “pear pressuring juice cult” t-shirt. Or at least can relate.

    http://www.threadless.com/submission/232245/The_Pear_Pressuring_of_the_Juice_Cult

    But seriously, America is faltering due to recent court decisions that not only outlaw genuflection prior to eating genetically modified food, they have allowed MSG to infiltrate our indie rock through abusive intellectual property decisions.

    In 10 years everyone who genuflects will have to pay a dime to the federal reserve, and all will eventually be used build Mormon temples!

    An you wonder why Joseph is considered a fallen prophet?

  124. “Is this one of those creepy things Mormons do in their temples?”

    Jack, That was a break-away fundamentalist Evangelical sect I was talking about. . . . do you always have to jump to the “Mormon” conclusion when something weird is involved?

  125. America isn’t faltering because some bull[poop] or other is infiltrating indie rock. America is faltering because of indie rock. And “(anything)-core.”

  126. Take America back from Speed-core trance music!

    (Another diabolical invention of Paul H. Dunn and ETB and the ultra-secret utah kabal)

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