Mormon prophet

Home        Contact        Statement of Faith       Free audio and PDF books       Spanish..... Mormonism Index

LDS leaders

Should we trust Mormon Leaders like Joseph Smith or Brigham Young? What about more current L.D.S Leaders like Gordon B Hinckley? I was raised a Mormon myself yet I came to the conclusion that the answer to these questions is no!

You can click on LDS Leadersto start reading at the beginning of this topic or use the page index to jump to the part that interest you most.

To see index for all topics on Mormonism click on “Mormonism Index” above

See Free PDF Books for list of downloadable Mormon Books quoted from here.

Overview of content in this section is as follows:

PAGE INDEX  (LDS Prophets)

LDS Leaders
Was Joseph Smith an honest man?
What about Gordon B. Hinckley?
Challenge and arrogance of L.D.S authorities
Brigham Young taught that Adam was God
Joseph Smith was not a martyr

.

WAS JOSEPH SMITH AN HONEST MAN?

Page Index      

Some people look into Smith’s past and ask was Joseph Smith a crook? My question addressed here is far more basic; was he honest?

Joseph Smith was the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have already offered evidence showing that he was a false prophet. Let’s next ask the question, “Was Smith himself deluded, or was he simply dishonest?”

If a heavenly messenger visited me and had conversations with me, I am quite sure it is something I would not forget. Yet, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the events of Joseph's first visions, or encounters. Either Joseph Smith could not clearly recall the facts surrounding these events, or other L.D.S. authorities altered the stories that are now the foundation of the church. Let’s consider some of these visions.

First vision, version #1

  • BYU Studies Volume 9, 1968-1969, Number 3- Spring 1969, (PDF pg. 279-281)

“The Early Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision”, pgs.280-281
In this account Joseph was sixteen years old, and he was not praying to find out which church was true; he already knew they were all wrong. He was seeking forgiveness of sin and Jesus alone appeared to him and granted him forgiveness.

First vision, version #2

  • BYU Studies Volume 9, Number 3, pg. 283 (PDF pg. 283-284)

In this account Joseph was fourteen, and his tongue seemed swollen so that he could not pray. Two beings appeared to him in this account; the entities are unidentified. Smith also saw many angels in this account.

First vision, version #3

  • The Pearl of Great Price, by Joseph Smith (PDF LDS Scripture pg. 918-920)

Chapter1:7-20.
In this account Joseph was fifteen, and he was seeking to know which church was true. Two beings appeared to him and one of them said "this is my beloved Son, hear Him"; it is presumed that these entities were God the Father and Jesus. Smith was told to join none of the churches. There is no mention of forgiveness of sins, or angels.

Gold plates message, version #1

  • Early L.D.S. periodical, Messenger and Advocate(Feb 1835), by Oliver Cowdery

"Letter IV", pg.77 (PDF pg. 77-89)
In this account Joseph was seventeen years old and the angel Moroni appeared to him and forgave him of his sins. Moroni then proceeded to inform Smith of the “Plates”, which Smith was to later translate into the Book of Mormon.

Gold plates message, version #2

  • Early L.D.S. periodical, Times and Seasons Vol. 3, pgs. 748-753 (PDF pg. 77-89)

In this account Joseph was between fourteen and fifteen years old when the angel Nephi appeared to him, informing him of the “Plates”. There is no mention of forgiveness of sins.
Some Mormons would have us believe that these accounts are various views of the same events. Perhaps, after receiving such a visitation, one might forget his exact age at the time of the visitation — but certainly he would remember the name of an angel who appeared with news about gold plates. And surely he would remember whether Jesus alone appeared in the vision, or whether it was “God the Father” as well as Jesus, and whether or not there was a multitude of accompanying angels. Another discrepancy: in one version, Smith is praying for discernment regarding determination of the true church; in another version, Smith already knew that no church was true, so he was not praying for such discernment. Rather, he was praying for forgiveness of sins. Why do the same stories have different versions? We must consider the obvious explanation: there was no first vision at all, and Joseph Smith (or some other early church leader), concocted the whole story. The contrasts in the stories hold stronger to the idea that the stories are a lie, than they do to the idea that there are simply different versions of the same events.

Other interesting quotes concerning this subject.

Journal of Discourses, Vol.2, by Brigham Young. February 18, 1855, pg.171 (PDF pg. 179)

  • “But as it was in the days of our Savior, so was it in the advent of this new dispensation. It was not in accordance with the notions, traditions, and pre-conceived ideas of the American people. The messenger did not come to an eminent divine of any of the so-called orthodoxy; he did not adopt their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven, in power and great glory, nor send His messengers panoplied with aught else than the truth of heaven, to communicate to the meek, the lowly, the youth of humble origin, the sincere enquirer after the knowledge of God. But He did send His angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith Jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong; that they were following the precepts of men instead of the Lord Jesus; that He had a work for him to perform, inasmuch as he should prove faithful before Him.”

Journal of Discourses, Vol.20, by John Taylor. March 2nd, 1879, pgs. 166-168
(John Taylor was the third president of the church) (PDF pg.175)

  • “I had a visit from some of your folks during the session of the Legislature. How was it, and which was right? None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right. What, none of them? No. We will not stop to argue that question; the angel merely told him to join none of them that none of them were right.”

Journal of Discourses, Vol.12, by George Albert Smith. November 15, 1868, pg.334,
(George Albert Smith was sustained first counselor in the first presidency in 1868)

(PDF pg. 342)

  • “Joseph Smith had attended these meetings, and when this result was reached he saw clearly that something was wrong.  He had read the Bible and had found that passage in James which says ‘If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not,’ and taking this literally, he went humbly before the Lord and inquired of Him, and the Lord answered his prayer and revealed to Joseph, by the ministration of angels, the true condition of the religious world. When the holy angel appeared, Joseph inquired which of all these denominations was right and which he should join, and was told they were all wrong,--they had all gone astray, transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant, and that the Lord was about to restore the priesthood and establish His Church, which would be the only true and living Church on the face of the whole earth.”

Why do they not teach it was an angel that appeared to Joseph now?

Page Index

What about a more current prophet like
Gordon B. Hinckley?

Since Joseph Smith is the founder of the Mormon Church and he was a false prophet and a dishonest man, it is not reasonable to expect the church to be true today.

It is well known that the Mormon Church teaches that God was once a man and that we may become a God. I went to the library and obtained two articles in which Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008; fifteenth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) was interviewed. These are (A) the San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 13, 1997. This is a seven-page article beginning on page 3/Z1; and (B) Time Magazine, 8-4-1997, pgs. 51-57. In the San Francisco Chronicle Don Lattin asked Gordon B Hinckley, “There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don't Mormons believe that God was once a man?" Hinckley's answer was," I wouldn't say that. There is a little couplet coined, ‘As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.’ Now that's more than a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about."

The reporters for Time Magazine were S.C. Gwynne and Richard N. Ostling. Their article included the following about Hinckley."On whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a man, he sounded uncertain. ‘I don't know that we teach it. I don't know that we emphasize it...I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don't know a lot about it, and I don't think others know a lot about it.’”

I find it quite interesting that Hinckley said, “I don't know that we teach it", as well as, “That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about.”and,I don't know a lot about it, and I don't think others know a lot about it."Joseph Smith, James Talmage, and Bruce McConkie seem to have known.

Articles of Faith by James Talmage. Ch.24, pgs.430-431 (PDF pg. 457-458)

  • We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists in eternal advancement — a Being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow, whose glory it is their heritage to share. In spite of the opposition of the sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the Church proclaims the eternal truth: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be." With such a future, well may man open his heart to the stream of revelation, past, present, and to come; and truthfully should we be able to say of every enlightened child of God, that he ‘beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’”

Mormon Doctrineby Bruce R. McConkie. Pg.321 (PDF pg. 117)

  • “GODHOOD

Joseph Smith said: ‘God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. 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; yea, that God himself the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did; and I will show it from the Bible. "Here, then, is eternal life — to know the only wise and true God and you have got to learn how 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, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. . . . [Such persons are] heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before (Teachings, pp. 345-347).” Again: "Every man who reigns in celestial glory is a god to his dominions (Teachings, p. 374).”


Should we conclude that a current president of the Mormon Church does not know Mormon doctrine? I find this very unlikely. We are then left with two options: (1) the doctrine of God is currently being changed by the Mormon Church; or (2) Gordon B. Hinckley lied. I came to the conclusion that he lied. Although I cannot speak of Hinckley’s motivation to lie, one truth to consider is that this teaching (man becoming as God) could hinder missionaries who are striving to gain converts into the Mormon faith. Mormon missionaries certainly do not come to your door and say, “God was once a man, and you can become a God.”Nor do they say, “Jesus and Lucifer are brothers” I believe if L.D.S missionarieswere up front about these L.D.S. teachings, fewer people would become Mormons.

Reference Notation:  Teachings of Lorenzo Snow p. 2

“As man now is, God once was. As God now is, man may be.”

Page Index 

THE CHALLENGE BY L.D.S. AUTHORITIES!

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 Vol. 16pg. 46, 1873) (PDF pg. 54)

Brigham Young:

  • “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 principal fall, to rise up no more.” (Journal of Discourses Vol. 8pg. 132, 1860) (PDF pg.140)

Orson Pratt:

  • "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 you the same generosity...convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God and we will be forever grateful for the information." (The Seer, pg.15) (PDF pg.15)

THE AUTHORITY OF L.D.S. LEADERS?  OR THE ARROGANCE?

The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff,pgs. 212-213

  • "…the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program."

Journal of Discourses, Vol.6, pg.32, Heber C. Kimball, November 8, 1857 (PDF pg.40)

  • “…learn to do as you are told.........if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it.  None of your business whether it is right or wrong.”

Louis Midgley, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, pg.11

  • “‘The membership of the Mormon church,’ Smith writes, ‘is taught not to “question the mysteries”: When the Prophet speaks, the thinking has been done.

History of the Church Vol.6, Ch.19, pg.408 (Joseph Smith is speaking) (PDF pg. 2432)

  • “In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil — all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever 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.”

If Joseph Smith was not a follower of Jesus Christ, then whom was he following?

Page Index

BRIGHAM YOUNG TAUGHT THAT ADAM WAS GOD

Journal of Discourses Vol.1, pgs.50-51(Brigham Young, April 9, 1852) (PDF pg.58)

  • “Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him.  He helped to make and organize this world.  He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken--HE is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do.  Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later.”

Journal of Discourses, Vol.5, pgs.331-332 (Brigham Young, October 7, 1857)

(PDF pg.339-340)

  • “Their belief reminds me that brother Joseph B. Nobles once told a Methodist priest, after hearing him describe his god, that the god they worshipped was the ‘Mormons’ devil—a being without a body, whereas our God has a body, parts, and passions. The Devil was cursed and sent down from heaven. He has no body of his own; therefore he is constantly endeavoring to obtain possession of the tabernacles belonging to others.  Some have grumbled because I believe our God to be so near to us as Father Adam. There are many who know that doctrine to be true. Where was Michael in the creation of this earth?  Did he have a mission to the earth?  He did. Where was he? In the Grand Council, and performed the mission assigned him there.  Now, if it should happen that we have to pay tribute to Father Adam, what a humiliating circumstance it would be!  Just wait till you pass Joseph Smith; and after Joseph lets you pass him, you will find Peter; and after you pass the Apostles and many of the Prophets, you will find Abraham, and he will say, ‘I have the keys, and except you do thus and so, you cannot pass;’ and after a while you come to Jesus; and when you at length meet Father Adam, how strange it will appear to your present notions. If we can pass Joseph and have him say, ‘Here; you have been faithful, good boys; I hold the keys of this dispensation; I will let you pass;’ then we shall be very glad to see the white locks of Father Adam.  But those are ideas which do not concern us at present, although it is written in the Bible— ‘This is eternal life, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.’”

Adam-God references can also be found in

  • Journal of Discourses, Vol.5,  PDF pg. 339-340
  • Mellineal Star, Vol.15, PDF pg. 807, 831; Vol.16, PDF pg 490, 538. ;Vol.17, PDF pg. 203,328

BRIGHAM YOUNG'S WORDS ARE AS GOOD AS SCRIPTURE:

Journal of Discourses, Vol.13, pg.95 (Brigham Young, January 2, 1870) (PDF pg. 103)

  • “The Lord is in our midst.  He teaches the people continually.  I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture.  Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve.”

Page Index (Death of Joseph Smith)

JOSEPH SMITH WAS NOT A MARTYR.

Smith died in a gunfight shooting at those who were trying to kill him. I am not implying that it is wrong to defend yourself when a mob comes to kill you; my argument is simply that Smith did not die as a martyr.

D&C 135:4 (PDF LDS Scripture pg. 847)

  • “When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: ‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer's morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I SHALL DIE INNOCENT, AND IT SHALL YET BE SAID OF ME — HE WAS MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD.’ — The same morning, after Hyrum had made ready to go — shall it be said to the slaughter? yes, for so it was — he read the following paragraph, near the close of the twelfth chapter of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, and turned down the leaf upon it…”

Read the account. Ask yourself if it describes a “lamb led to slaughter”, or a martyr?

History of the Church, Vol.6, Ch.34, pg.617 (PDF pg. 2580)

  • “It is said that the guard elevated their firelocks, and boisterously threatening the mob discharged their firearms over their heads. The mob encircled the building, and some of them rushed by the guard up the flight of stairs, burst open the door, and began the work of death, while others fired in through the open windows.

“In the meantime Joseph, Hyrum, and Elder Taylor had their coats off. Joseph sprang to his coat for his six-shooter, Hyrum for his single barrel, Taylor for Markham’s large hickory cane, and Dr. Richards for Taylor’s cane. All sprang against the door, the balls whistled up the stairway, and in an instant one came through the door.
“Joseph Smith, John Taylor and Dr. Richards sprang to the left of the door, and tried to knock aside the guns of the ruffians.

“Hyrum was retreating back in front of the door and snapped his pistol, when a ball struck him in the left side of his nose, and he fell on his back on the floor saying, ‘I am a dead man!’ As he fell on the floor another ball from the outside entered his left side, and passed through his body with such force that it completely broke to pieces the watch he wore in his vest pocket, and at the same instant another ball from the door grazed his breast, and entered his head by the throat; subsequently a fourth ball entered his left leg. A shower of balls was pouring through all parts of the room, many of which lodged in the ceiling just above the head of Hyrum.

Joseph reached round the door casing, and discharged his six shooter into the passage, some barrels missing fire. Continual discharges of musketry came into the room. Elder Taylor continued parrying the guns until they had got them about half their length into the room, when he found that resistance was vain, and he attempted to jump out of the window, where a ball fired from within struck him on his left thigh, hitting the gone, and passing through to within half an inch of the other side. He fell on the window sill, when a ball fired from the outside struck his watch in his vest pocket, and threw him back into the room.

“After he fell into the room he was hit by two more balls, one of them injuring his left wrist considerably, and the other entering at the side of the bone just below the left knee. He rolled under the bed, which was at the right side of the window in the south-east corner of the room.

“While he lay under the bed he was fired at several times from the stairway; one ball struck him on the left hip, which tore the flesh in a shocking manner, and large quantities of blood were scattered upon the wall and floor.

When Hyrum fell, Joseph exclaimed, ‘Oh dear, brother Hyrum!’ and opening the door a few inches he discharged his six shooter in the stairway (as stated before), two or three barrels of which missed fire.

“Joseph, seeing there was no safety in the room, and no doubt thinking that it would save the lives of his brethren in the room if he could get out, turned calmly from the door, dropped his pistol on the floor and sprang into the window when two balls pierced him from the door, and one entered his right breast from without, and he fell outward into the hands of his murderers, exclaiming, ‘O Lord, my God!’”

Page Index