To Moroni With Love
The entire booklet
J. Edward Decker
This is a very special booklet. I'm sure that you have never read one quite like it. And I can assure you that it has been a tremendous burden of research and prayer for me in its development. It is given to you, my LDS friend, in love and in Christ.
If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you may doubt the sincerity of that love, but I assure you that it is real and it is honest. If you are one of the many people investigating the church, I pray that you will take time out from your studies to read this thoroughly and ask the Lord to settle the matter in your heart and mind.
Whatever your reason for reading these words, I promise that the next hour of reading time may well be the most significant hour in your spiritual life. Significant, because it will either solidify your belief in the absolute truth of the Mormon message, or questions will be raised that may cause you to take another and deeper look at some of the key doctrines of the church.
I write this an ex-Mormon who spent almost 20 years in the LDS Church, a member of the Melchizedek priesthood, a Temple Mormon and active in many church callings. I am setting forth a challenge that first came from Brigham Young:
Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it and see if it will stand the test. (Journal of Discourses 16:46, 1873)
No man can disprove a truth…Why not rather every man rise up and say, "Let God be true, let the truth remain and let me know the truth. That is what I want I will submit to it; and let every false theory and principle fall, to rise up no more." (ibid. 8:132, 1860.)
Even more to the point was Orson Pratt's statement regarding the "truth":
If we cannot convince you by reason nor by the Word of God, that your religion is wrong, we will not persecute you…we ask of you the same generosity…Convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by logical arguments, or by the Word of God and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflections that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings. (The Seer, p.15)
I am not going
to try to outwit or out quote Mormon theologians and apologists. I am just going to tell it to you like it is, and put the "Restored Gospel" of the LDS Church to the test of God's Word and common sense logic.
MY CHALLENGE is that you read this with the same sincere heart mentioned in Moroni 10:4, asking God to manifest His truth to you. I exhort you to apply the same test to these pages. Seek not my truth or the Mormon truth, but God's eternal truth. Our very eternal lives are at stake, both yours and mine.
It is my solemn witness before God that he hold me accountable for any soul that I might lead from the light of His Son Jesus into the darkness of error and false doctrine. It is my earnest prayer that God so bless each reader with a full comprehension of the information written herein that, through His Holy Spirit, the truth will be evidenced without doubt or turmoil.
Points of Reference
It is the premise of this work that the Mormon and the Christian worship at entirely different altars, with "gospels" that fully separate the one from the other. It is therefore quite important that we identify the major points of division so that we can work from correct points of reference.
Joseph Smith's First Vision
One of the most important events in all of Mormon history was the day that God the Father and Jesus Christ came down, in the flesh, and told Joseph Smith that the churches were all wrong and that, in effect, Christianity was totally lost.
When the Light rested upon me I saw two personages…one of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other, "This is My beloved Son, hear Him!" I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light which of all the sects was right and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong…all their creeds were an abomination in His sight, that those professors were all corrupt. (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith (History 1:19)
If we accept Joseph Smith's word for this, we must immediately conclude the Christian church is in very deep trouble. While the Christian may doubt the authenticity of Joseph Smith's statements, several very solid facts remain.
- First, it is the basic Mormon belief that God finds the Christian worship of Him unacceptable and even loathsome.
- Second, the LDS belief in a great apostasy irrevocably separates Mormonism and Christianity.
- Third, there is no way that both can be right. The claims of Mormonism to being the "restored" church exclude that possibility forever.
The Nature of the Mormon God
The foregoing description of God's appearance to Joseph Smith is noteworthy beyond his expressed displeasure with Christianity. Far more critical is his statement that God the Father and Jesus Christ both appeared before him separately, side by side, and in the flesh. It is critical because it immediately separates Mormonism and Christianity in regard to the nature of God.
Deeper review of the LDS doctrine of the Godhead reveals further separation. Basically, it is found in the doctrine of the "Law of Eternal Progression" (as man is, God once was as God is, man may become). In the book Mormon Doctrine, we are told:
Further, as the Prophet also taught, there is a God above the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…God the Father of Jesus Christ had a father…Mortal persons who overcome all things and gain an ultimate exaltation will live eternally in the family unit and have spirit children, thus becoming eternal Fathers and eternal Mothers. God Himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted immortal resurrected man. (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, pp.322-23, 517, 643)
Joseph Smith really let the cat out of the bag in his sermon at the funeral of King Follett. Because of the length of the sermon, I will extract a few of the key thoughts.
I will prove that the world is wrong by showing what God is…I will go back to the beginning before the world was…God Himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the Great Secret. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea...
Here then is eternal life to know the only true God; and you have got to learn to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you namely by going from one small degree to another from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation…and to sit in glory as do all those who sit, enthroned in everlasting power. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.345 -47)
Not only did he tear apart the Christian belief about the nature of God, but he then brought to full circle the Law of Eternal Progression by placing man within it.
Putting all this into perspective, Joseph Smith then described the method by which his God planned the creation of the world.
In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it. (ibid. p.349)
Biblical Perspective on God
The Biblical position on this is quite simple. It just doesn't teach or accept a single part of the "Law of Eternal Progression." The Bible is very clear in the matter.
I am He, before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be any after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour. Isaiah 43:10-11.
I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6
God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swore by Himself. Hebrews 6:13
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Gather, He hath declared Him. John 1:18
God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man that he should repent. Numbers 23:19
On these and many other scriptures like them, stands the Biblical concept of God. They are in total disagreement with the Mormon view.
In fact, the whole matter goes beyond the concept of "different views of God"; we are dealing with "views of different Gods!" The emphasis is critical.
What we face is the fact that either Mormonism is correct or the Bible is correct. One is right, the other is wrong!
The Two Kinds of Mormon Salvation
Articles 2 and 3 of the Articles of Faith of the LDS church give a brief look into Mormon doctrines regarding salvation.
- We believe that men shall be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression.
- We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the Laws and Ordinances of the Gospel. [the LDS Gospel]
The LDS gospel essentially teaches that everyone will be saved. But the degree of glory depends on one's obedience to the Mormon doctrine, including everything from tithing to Temple Ordinances for self and family, as well as baptism for the dead, obedience to the living Prophet and the hierarchy of the Priesthood, attending all meetings, missionary work, welfare work, etc. Perhaps the most widely accepted work on the subject is The Articles of Faith by early Mormon Apostle and key theologian, James Talmage.
The summation of his words is the LDS position that there are actually two levels of salvation.
Level 1 The General Salvation
Talmage explains it this way:
The extent of the atonement is universal, applying alike to all descendants of Adam. Even the unbeliever, the heathen and the child who dies before reaching the years of discretion, all are redeemed by the Saviour's self-sacrifice from the individual consequences of the fall. (Articles of Faith, p.85)
In other words, Christ's death upon the cross brought a general salvation for all men, which is a resurrection in order to be judged for our works.
Level 2 Individual Salvation, or Exaltation
Of the Saved, not all will be exalted to the higher glories. No one can be admitted to any order of glory, in short, no soul can be saved until Justice has been satisfied for violated law…In the Kingdom of God there are numerous levels of gradations provided for those who are worthy of them. (ibid. p.91)
The basic LDS doctrine is that Christ's atonement places all humanity at a judgment table to be reviewed for our righteousness and works, or "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel."
The LDS concept is, we shall all have access to 3 different kingdoms of levels of glory, depending upon our worthiness. The lake of fire, as a place of destination, is not part of present-day LDS theology.
The Celestial Kingdom, the highest level of which is reserved for those obedient members of the Melchizedek Priesthood, who shall, with their worthy wives, become gods and goddesses.
The Terrestrial Kingdom is a secondary level set aside for those who, though honorable, failed to comply with the requirements for exaltation, or for those who proved not valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The Telestial Kingdom is the lowest. It is reserved for those who had no testimony of the gospel and were lost in the carnality of the world.
The Christian Concept of Salvation
In contrast, the Christian understanding of salvation is altogether different. In the first place, the Bible teaches that all humanity has sinned and faces the judgment of God.
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:20
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15
But the Bible also teaches that God has provided a way to forgiveness and eternal life for man. It is not something we can do. It is something God has already done for us! It can be summed up in one scripture:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
The Bible teaches that it is only through Christ that a person can be forgiven of sin and released from its penalties.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. 5:21
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
The Bible teaches that salvation is a free gift, price already paid, unearned by us.
For by grace are ye 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
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24
The Bible teaches that by confessing and forsaking our sins, asking the Lord to forgive us, confessing our inability to come to the Father except through Jesus and asking Him to be our Saviour and Lord of our life, we shall be forgiven and be born-again and live eternally with God.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. Mt.10:32
I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
The Bible also teaches that those who refuse to believe Christ and obey Him will experience frightful judgment by God. Read Revelation 20:11-15. There are no three levels of glory taught here but the lake of fire!
Also, John 3:36 states:
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36.
The difference between the two theologies is this: The Mormon believes that personal salvation is a function or result of works of righteousness and obedience to laws and ordinances of the gospel.
The Bible teaches that works and obedience to God's laws are a function or result of personal salvation.
In other words, the Bible teaches that you don't bark to become a dog, you bark because you are one. You can sit there forever and go "Baa, Baa, Baa" but you will never become a sheep. You bark because you ARE a dog, you baa because you ARE a sheep. You don't work to get saved; you work because and when you ARE saved.
The scriptures say it this way:
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. Romans 9:31-32
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Romans 10:1-4
Either the Mormon concept of salvation is correct or the Biblical concept of salvation is correct. One is RIGHT and the other is WRONG!
Another point of separation between Mormonism and Christianity is the LDS belief that God has revealed, through His Latter-day Prophet, new and more complete scripture. The LDS Church teaches that The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants are all new and vital scripture.
The Christian denies the divine origin of these and maintains the Holy Bible to be the only Holy Scripture given by God.
Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you. Deuteronomy 4:2
What thing soever I command you observe to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish it. Deuteronomy 12:32
Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Proverbs 30:6
Thus, the Bible shows the LDS scriptures false. Again, either the Mormons are correct in this or the Christians. There can be no middle of the road.
What's the Difference Anyway?
In summary, the doctrines of Mormonism that irreconcilably separate the Mormon Church and the Christian Church are as follows:
- 1. All churches except the Mormon Church are in error, all are abominations before God.
- 2. The Bible is, at best, a weak source of truth. It is in error and God has sent more complete and accurate scripture.
- 3. We must earn our own salvation.
- 4. We can become "Gods."
- 5. God was once a man but progressed into Godhood. So did our Heavenly Mother.
- 6. All this is known because God sent a prophet in the latter days.
These doctrines are not conceptual differences of the same man/God relationship. If they are truly the LDS theology, then Mormons and Christians are actually worshipping at different altars with totally different Gods and gospels!
Now the question is, what do we do with this information? If God is a loving and caring God, He will have provided some way for us to check out different gospels, different christs, and even different gods.
How can we, at such opposite ends in doctrinal difference, come together on some common ground to evaluate these differences in an effort to determine both truth and error?
The Common Denominator
The one area upon which we agree is the Holy Bible being the Word of God (insofar as it is translated correctly).
And we do have the correct translation of the original scriptures. The Dead Sea scrolls verify that we have the correct translation of the Old Testament; and a huge mass of ancient manuscripts of the New Testament verify that our New Testament is the same text that was first given to the Church of Christ.
Since both the Christian and the Mormon basically believe that the Bible is God's Word to man through the age of the Apostles, let's see what it has to say regarding the subjects we have covered.
First, a Warning or Two
The Bible is explicit in its warnings regarding doctrines other than those given in detail by the New Testament writers. Let's look at a few. Remember, they pertain to warnings against teachings other than those THEY brought to the people.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted…
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-9
Just what was the gospel Paul preached to the early church?
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I have preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. 1 Cor. 15:1-5.
Preach the word; be instant in season, and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:2-4
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Peter 2:1-2
And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. Mark 13:21-23
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Romans 16:17-18
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15
Out of the mouths of two or three witnesses are all things proven true (Matthew 18:16). In the case of warnings about false doctrine and false prophets, I have more than doubled the number of two or three witnesses.
I am concerned that you come to know that Mormonism faces the grave danger of eternal condemnation if its doctrines are not in full accord with the Word of God.
A True Prophet?
James Talmage stated the challenge quite clearly in the book, The Articles of Faith.
The question of this man's [Joseph Smith] divine commission is a challenging one for the world today. If his claims to a divine appointment be false, forming as they do the foundation of the Church in this last dispensation, the superstructure cannot be stable; if however, his avowed ordination under the hands of heavenly personages be a fact, one need search no farther for the cause of the phenomenal vitality and continuous development of the restored church. (The Articles of Faith, p.8)
Joseph Smith, himself, put it all into boastful perspective when he said:
I have more to boast of than any man had. I am the only man that has been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. (History of the Church, vol.6, pp.408-09, 1844)
Brother Talmage, we accept the opportunity to test the Prophet Joseph Smith because upon his honor rests the honor of the Mormon gospel.
Biblical Tests of a Prophet
The Word of God is amazingly clear in the testing of a prophet. Numerous scriptural tests are available, in detail and with enough backup scripture to confirm the validity of each test. Although there are many tests, we will limit ours to four areas.
Test #1 Other Gods
If there arise among you a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee saying, let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams…and that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death. Deuteronomy 13:1-5
A true prophet of God will not teach a conflicting doctrine of God. Not only does the Mormon doctrine of God (the Law of Eternal Progression) totally conflict with the basic scriptural God, but it is even in conflict with Mormonism's teachings.
First, the "official" version of the first vision is in major conflict with the "only known account of the vision in Joseph Smith's own hand," which was written about six years before the official account as recorded in The Pearl of Great Price. It states:
…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 pillar of 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 at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned aside 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 according to their ungodliness and to bring to pass that which hath been spoken by the mouths of the prophets and Apostles behold and lo I come quickly as it was written of me in the cloud clothed in the glory of my Father.
This account was taken from BYU Studies, Spring 1969, p.281. Dean C. Jessee, Church Historical Department states: "This is the only known account of the vision in his [Joseph Smith's] own hand." (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1971, p.86).
There was no mention of God and Jesus in the flesh, only Jesus in a vision into the Heavens.
Secondly, the God of Mormonism and the Law of Eternal Progression do not agree with The Book of Mormon spoken of as containing the "Fullness of the Everlasting Gospel" (D&C 27:5). Nowhere in its pages is there any reference to either the God of Mormonism or the Law of Eternal Progression. In fact, quite the opposite. One of the many Mormon scriptures that describes the nature of God is as follows:
And now Abinadi said…I would that ye should understand that God Himself should come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people, and because he dwelleth in the flesh he shall be called the Son of God and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son.
The Father because He was conceived by the power of God; and the Son because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and the Son. And they are one god, ye the very eternal Father of heaven and earth.
And thus the flesh becoming subject to the spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God. The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 15:1-5
Test #2 False Prophecy
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other Gods, even that Prophet shall die.
And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:20-22
A true prophet of God cannot utter a single false prophecy, not one! At no time can he give out a "Thus saith the Lord" and have it not come to pass. Joseph Smith gave forth approximately 64 prophecies. 64 times he said, "Thus saith the Lord."
If even one single one of these prophecies failed to come to pass, the scriptures call Joseph a false prophet. Some very comprehensive research has gone into this area. It is easy to do research on historical events. Out of 64 prophecies, 58 of them fail the test! Only six of them came to pass!
Even granting the ability of the Mormon challenger to persuade the researcher to ignore or disregard 50 of them, the remaining eight still totally destroy (eight times) the honor of Joseph Smith as a prophet of the God of Abraham, of Moses and of John the Baptist.
Let's look at a few of these prophecies.
The Civil War Prophecy
Every Mormon should be familiar with the prophecy concerning the Civil War. But have you really looked at it in its entirety and checked it out?
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;
2. And the time will come that war will be pour out upon all nations, beginning at this place.
3. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain…and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.
4. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshalled and disciplined for war.
5. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.
6. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations.
7. That the cry of the saints, and the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabbath, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.
8. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen. (Doctrine and Covenants, p.87)
First, it was given on Christmas day, 1832, in appearance almost 30 years before the Civil War began. Yet, in actual fact, Congress had passed a tariff in July of 1832 that South Carolina declared unacceptable. Six months later, or during Christmas season, 1832, the nation's press expected and wrote about an immediate outbreak of Civil War to being with this South Carolina rebellion. Even the US Army was on alert in the matter. With this in mind, it was no great revelation to predict the events stated in verse #1.
In fact, however, the outbreak did not come to pass. The entire prophecy was shelved and never appeared in print during Joseph Smith's lifetime! The first two editions of the History of the Church did not include it even though it was in the handwritten manuscript. It did not appear in print until 1851, when the nation was again having problems between the north and the south.
Secondly, the scope of the prophecy is that the war would begin locally and pour out upon all nations, and it shall be the direct cause of an international global war. This is a definite prophecy that DID NOT come to pass at all.
Third, verses 3-6 state that the slaves shall rise up, the "remnants left in the land" shall come against the Gentiles (non-Mormons) and the bloodshed, famines, plagues (caused by this great war) shall bring, with God's wrath, "a full end of all nations." Again, a definite, tangible prophecy that DID NOT come to pass.
By any test, within any standard, the prophecy on the Civil War was and is a false prophecy.
The Grease Spot Prophecy
On 16 December 1843, Joseph Smith spoke of a petition he had filed with Congress for protection of the Latter-Day Saints:
While discussing the petition with Congress, I prophesied by virtue of the Holy Priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that, if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government, and God shall damn them and there shall nothing be left of them not even a grease spot. (Millennial Star, vol.22, p.455)
Needless to say, Congress did not grant the petition and the government grew to be the most powerful government in the world! Another false prophecy!
While Ezekiel and other prophets of old set the stage for specific events to unfold over the centuries, Joseph Smith was talking in the NOW times, not in the distant future. In 1835:
President Smith then stated…it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, would be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for the coming of the Lord which was nigh, even fifty-six years should wind up the scene. (History of the Church, vol.2, p.182.)
He later added that if he met with a violent end, the scene would wind up a good ten years earlier. Well, 1881 and 1891 came and went without any return of Christ. Another specific test of exact prophecy and another failure.
Who Is Oliver Granger?
Just one of the simpler prophecies dealt with the great fame of one Oliver Granger.
And again I say unto you, I remember my servant, Oliver Granger; behold, verily, I say unto him that his name shall be hand in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever; saith the Lord. (Doctrine and Covenants 117:12)
Silly? Yes! Of great importance? No! False? Yes, unless you and three out of four Mormons you ask tell you with fond remembrance, just who Oliver Granger really was.
Test #3 Out of Harmony with Other "True" Prophets?
To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20
Joseph Smith not only falls out of harmony with the Bible with his doctrines on God, but is also in disharmony with the Word of God in several other areas.
The Mormon Apostasy not Scriptural
Joseph Smith claims a total, complete apostasy took place. This, in spite of numerous scriptures promising that Christ shall come and establish His Church and it shall never be taken from us. Matthew 16:18 says:
And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter [Petros = "little stone"], and upon this rock [Petra = Bedrock = Jesus] I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [See 1 Cor.10:4 for the same use of the word "Rock"]
The Mormon Priesthood Not Scriptural
The LDS Church teaches that Christ established the "true church" government before He ascended. Where is the establishment of the Melchizedek Priesthood? Where is the witness of even one scripture where Christ laid hands upon any man and ordained him to the Melchizedek or Aaronic Priesthood?
Further, where in the New Testament does Jesus confirm the Old Testament Priesthood to be established order for His Church? Quite the opposite was actually true! (See Matthew 16:5-12)
In fact, John the Baptist, the man who Joseph Smith said came down from heaven and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood NEVER even had that authority! (See Matthew 21:23-27) If he did, the people who controlled the Aaronic Priesthood in those days surely didn't know about it!
Where in the New Testament does Christ establish temple ceremonies the rites and rituals, blood oaths, secret words, names, combinations? The wearing of specially designed and marked garments?
Where did He establish His 12 apostles to be under the control and direction of a prophet and his two counselors? Who was the first Prophet, Seer and Revelator so established? Where in the New Testament was he set apart and ordained as such?
Where did Jesus establish polygamy as the path to righteousness as the "New and Everlasting Covenant" with God?
If the Church Jesus established was "God's Perfect Church" (Mormon emphasis), how could Christ establish it forever and miss all these highly important items?
Test #4 A Lying Prophet
The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and they that are led of them are destroyed. Isaiah 9:15-16
The LORD said unto me, the prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: the prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of naught, and the deceit of their heart. Jeremiah 14:14
Joseph Smith openly violated this trust many times. Two of the more significant times he knowingly lied while the Prophet and spiritual leader of the LDS people are herein mentioned. Both times, his position would have been in serious jeopardy had the real facts been known!
Joseph the Glass Looker
It was charged that Joseph Smith was accused and found guilt of parting a local farmer from his money in a less than honest scheme, commonly money digging or glass looking. It was reported to have been an activity that brought him rebuke from his soon-to-be father-in-law, Isaac Hale. It is also historically recorded that he was removed from membership in a local Methodist church because of the activity and trial results.
Joseph Smith skims over the specific event leading to the trial in The Pearl of Great Price (Joseph Smith History 1:56) explaining that he was only a day worker for the man so engaged and not personally involved. Mormon writers have continually challenged its doubters to find the records (seemingly lost) and prove Joseph Smith a liar or stop the attacks.
Mormon writer Hugh Nibley, in The Myth Makers, p.142, says:
If this court record is authentic it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith.
Well, in spite of 140 years of silence, the records did turn up. In 1971, Reverend Wesley Walters discovered them in the basement of the Chenango County, New York jailhouse.
The records, affidavits, and other data show conclusively that Joseph Smith was arrested, went to trial, was found guilty as an imposter in the Stowell matter of "glass looking." It is not a matter of debate, opinion or religious preference. It is a proven historical fact.
The key issue here is NOT where he did or did not indulge in the practice. The issue is that Joseph Smith LIED in the matter.
Joseph the Polygamist
In the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the issue of polygamy was very definitely spoken out against.
Inasmuch as this "Church of Christ" has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy; we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband; except that in the event of death when either is at liberty to marry again. (Doctrine and Covenants 101:4, 1835 edition)
In other words, no man could marry a second wife unless the first one died. No divorce and no polygamy. It was labeled a CRIME! That was the "Word" from God.
However, Joseph Smith didn't exactly live as he preached. In 1887, Andrew Jenson, Mormon Church Historian, listed 27 women who were married to Joseph Smith, officially, during the time such a union was a "crime" before God.
Fawn Brodie, in her book, No Man Knows My History, (Appendix C) lists each in detail and brings the number to a total of 48 women who were sealed to the Prophet and united with him in "Holy Polygamy." These marriages are not to be confused with later "proxy" sealings to the dead Joseph Smith. 149 additional dead women were later sealed to him in temple ceremonies, according to Brodie.
It was only when it became so openly known that Smith finally admitted it and declared it a special gift of God and released the now "scripturized" law of polygamy given in Doctrine and Covenants §132. Although this "revelation" came forth in 1843, it not show up in "scripture" until 1876. The earlier warning against polygamy (Doctrine and Covenants 101:4, 1835 edition) just disappeared without not or explanation.
It should be noted that Joseph's new "revelation" giving God's sanction for what was a crime before Him only a few years earlier, DID NOT retroactively absolve Joseph of all wrong. Doctrine and Covenants 132:61 states.
If any man espouse a virgin and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
First, Joseph had already been quite active in the "espousing" business long before his wife heard of the doctrine, long before she reluctantly gave consent to be party to it.
Second, seven of the ten wives he already had were already married to other living men in complete opposition to the new "revelation" Joseph received! Joseph received "Marriage for eternity, with concubinal privileges" while the husbands had married for "time only."
Third, notwithstanding the problems already stated, the whole idea of multiple wives was (and still is) in total disagreement with Doctrine and Covenants 42:22 which says, "Thou shalt love thy WIFE with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto HER and NONE else." (Author's emphasis)
A Lie is a Lie
Friends, a lie is a lie is a lie, and when it comes out of the mouth of a man proclaimed to be a prophet of God, that man is sent not of God, neither has God commanded him. He speaks only out of "the deceit of his heart." (Jeremiah 14:14)
Joseph the False Prophet
I beseech you to seek further in the Word of God, the Bible, to test all things by it and through it. The salvation Joseph Smith taught is not of the Lord. He has led you to follow after other gods and he has led you away from the true Word of God into false scripture.
MORMONISM, AS THE "ONLY TRUE CHURCH," CANNOT BE PARTIALLY TRUE! IT MUST BE TOTALLY CORRECT OR TOTALLY WRONG. IT IS MY TESTIMONY TO YOU THAT IT IS TOTALLY WRONG!
You may look about you in a Sacrament Meeting and find my words harsh and difficult to accept among all the smiling, radiant faces. But Satan is not going to come to you looking like a 14-foot frog with hair and fire coming out of his nostrils. He is going to look just like an "angel of light" and so will his ministers (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
My heart weeps because the scriptures are clear in the warnings as to the end of those who follow such prophets and their ministers.
For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Isaiah 9:16
A Personal Testimony
This witness is not given to hurt you. It is given to testify to you that the Lord loved me as much when I was a Mormon as he loves me today; that He loves you every bit as much as He loves me, but that He weeps for every soul lost in false doctrines and false religions. This is not some intellectual battle between us; for the battle is the Lord's, and it is with powers outside the realm of flesh and blood. He is calling His own from the world. He stands at the door and knocks. He has NO prophets and priests waiting there ahead of Him…He stands there!
Dear brothers and sisters, Joseph Smith has led you back into the bondage of the Old Testament Law, and more than that, back under the control of a false prophet. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law. The New Covenant Lamb of God put an end to it all and replaced it with His love and intercession. JESUS is my high priest after the order of Melchizedek and there is no other in the kingdom of God (Hebrews 7:24).
Having left the Mormon Church after almost 20 years, it is my personal testimony to you that:
1. I do not place my eternal life in the hands of any Latter-Day Prophet nor is it (my eternal life) conditional on my membership in any church or priesthood. I place my life at the foot of the cross, in Jesus Christ and in God's Holy Word, the Bible.
2. Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. He fails every test of a prophet, including teaching false doctrine, uttering false prophecies and lying.
3. The LDS Church is NOT "The Restored Gospel." Scripture promises and history proves that the "Gospel" never left the earth.
4. The Book of Mormon is manifestedly a contrived document and not of divine origin.
5. The Pearl of Great Price (particularly the Book of Abraham) is a work of pure fraud.
6. The Doctrine and Covenants have been rewritten, added to, and whole sections deleted in such proportion as to make it invalid as scripture of any kind, even if it were true that God originally spoke to Joseph Smith (which He didn't).
7. The LDS Church leadership has made serious and substantial changes to all their scriptures as well as most Church history. I believe they have done this in order to dupe their members, to hide doctrinal errors and to protect some leaders from exposure of their moral failure.
8. The Priesthood of the LDS Church holds absolutely NO authority to act in the name of GOD. Its origin is a lie and its power is the power of priestcraft, and its author is Satan.
9. The LDS Law of Eternal Progression with its unscriptural description of the True Nature of God is the real abomination in the sight of God.
It is my solemn testimony and firm belief that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fails every test God has given us for this purpose.
As mentioned earlier, the Saviour foretold of this happening in Mark 13:21-22:
And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
I chose to take heed to His Word in the 21st verse. "I believed them not." After my own evaluation, I determined that they were false prophets with a false christ and I had my name removed from the records of the LDS Church.
THE REAL JESUS
The real Jesus is waiting to love you and nurture you and lead you into the safety of His Word. It is no strange doctrine, but a COMPLETE doctrine, to submit yourself to the gentleness of the true Saviour.
Ask Him into your heart today! The Real Jesus, the one who died on Calvary for your sins. Believe on Him, believe that having Jesus of Nazareth as your Lord and Saviour is all that you need to live with your Heavenly Father; that you don't need church membership or a special priesthood or temple garments or a prophet to guide you…just JESUS! He is every that God could give.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Ask Him into your life right now. He stands at the door of your heart and knocks!
copyright 2005, 2009 Ed Decker
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