Changing Doctrine, False Prophecies by Joseph

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Once again I am following up on a site that helped me realize Mormonism wasn't true... the site is called 20 Concerns about Mormonism, and there is a handy-dandy link to your right. If you are questioning the church, this is a fantastic tool... I am not taking credit for this research, but I want to share it.

Adam-God doctrine. Brigham Young taught that Adam (as in Adam and Eve) was God. He also claimed that Adam was the father of our spirits, as well as the father of Jesus Christ. Here are some quotes:

"How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me - namely that Adam is our Father and God…Our Father Adam helped to make this earth, it was created expressly for him. He brought one of his wives with him. Who is he? He is Michael…He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He with the help of his brethren brought it into existence. Then he said: 'I want my children that were born to me in the spirit world to come here and take tabernacles of flesh that their spirits may have a house, a tabernacle, or a dwelling place as mine has' and where is the mystery?" (Brigham Young, Deseret News, June 18, 1873)

Adam and Eve (aww... aren't they cute?)

In a discourse delivered April 9, 1852, Brigham Young stated:

"When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family…I could tell you much more about this; but were I to tell you the whole truth, blasphemy would be nothing to it, in the estimation of the superstitious and over-righteous of mankind. However, I have told you the truth as far as I have gone.... Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, pp. 50-51)

Heber C. Kimball, first counselor to Brigham Young, declared that:

"There is but one God that pertains to this people, and he is the God that pertains to this earth--the first man. That first man sent his own Son to redeem the world…" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, p. 1)

In a 10-page letter written to B.Y.U. associate professor Eugene England on Feb. 19, 1981, Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes the following admission:

"Yes, President Young did teach that Adam was the father of our spirits, and all the related things that the cultists ascribe to him. This [i.e., Brigham Young's teaching on Adam], however, is not true. He expressed views that are out of harmony with the gospel." (p. 6 of McConkie's letter)

This despite earlier claims by church leaders to the contrary. For example, Joseph Fielding Smith, who became the 10th President of the church, claimed concerning the source of the Adam-God theory in the church's own Journal of Discourses, that:

"...in all probability the sermon was erroneously transcribed". (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 96)

Yet Brigham Young pronounced:

"I have never yet preached a sermon and sent It out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95)

In an interview from The New Yorker on January 21, 2002 President Gordon B. Hinckley had this to say about Brigham's doctrine:


"But Hinckley did not seem interested in discussing matters of theology. When I asked him to characterize God's connubial relationship, he replied, "We don't speculate on that a lot. Brigham Young said if you went to Heaven and saw God it would be Adam and Eve. I don't know what he meant by that." Pointing to a grim-faced portrait of the Lion of the Lord, as Young was called, he said, "There he is, right there. I'm not going to worry about what he said about those things." (Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, January 21, 2002)

"I'm not going to worry about what he said about those things..." President/Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley


Okay, so here we have one Prophet saying that what another Prophet said isn't important. If Brigham Young wasn't right how can we still call him a prophet? It's example one of how the church changes it's doctrine constantly.

Blacks and the Priesthood

Blacks were not allowed to hold the Priesthood or receive exaltation until the policy was changed on 9/30/1978. Does that mean blacks living after that date can receive exaltation while those prior to that date cannot?

What sense does this make? Firstly, I want to be clear that everyone is equal... I in no way want to make it sound like I agree with the Church's past doctrine on African Americans. But, if the Book of Mormon is correct, blacks are supposedly cursed by God and their skin will turn white once they learn and accept the Mormon Gospel. It's stupid, yes. That is why they changed it... it also had much to do with the government warning them they would have to start paying taxes if they didn't make everyone welcome in their church. Presto-change-O.

Polygamy

Polygamy was practiced sporadically by prophets such as Abraham and Jacob in the old testament. It made a comeback in the early days of the LDS church and has since gone away again. The church has tried to distance itself from polygamy in recent years by, for example, changing all the quotes in the Brigham Young lesson manual from "wives" to "wife" and removing all mention of Joseph F. Smith's many plural wives and divorces from his lesson manual.

Hmmm... that isn't very honest, is it? Changing quotes in lesson manuals? Tell the truth if you have nothing to lie about.

Again... they had to change in order to survive. They are not being true to anything Joseph Smith taught, or Brigham Young for that matter.

Temple Endowments

There is no mention of temple endowments in ancient scripture resembling what is done today in the Mormon church. The endowment has even changed repeatedly in modern times. For example, the endowment given in the Kirtland Temple lacked the Masonic elements later added at the Nauvoo temple. Significant changes to the endowment have occurred as recently as 1990. If it came from God, why wasn't it done "right" the first time?

False Prophecies by Joseph

Joseph's prophecy of the Civil War (D&C 87) is often touted by Mormons as evidence of his prophetic calling. However, many are not aware of the numerous specific prophecies from Joseph which were never fulfilled.

The Government Overthrown

The plight of the early Saints after being driven out of their homes time and again is well known. Their wrongs were never redressed. Well more than "a few years" have passed since that time. Yet, despite the following prophecy from Joseph, the U.S. government continues strong.

"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children, and the wholesale plunger and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished, thereby perpetrated a foul and corroding blot upon the fair name of this great republic, the very thought of which would have caused the high-minded and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide their faces with shame." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 5, p. 394, May 1843)

A Temple in This Generation

On April 30, 1832, Joseph prophesied that a temple would be built in Independence, Missouri before the current generation passed away:

"4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.

5 For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house." (D&C 84: 4-5)

Allowing the widest possible latitude of 100 years for a generation, that still leaves the prophecy unfulfilled more than 70 years late and counting. There still is no LDS temple in Independence, Missouri.

Abridgement of D&C 137

In 1976, the 137th section of Doctrine and Covenants was submitted to the general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a vote to be "sustained" as scripture. It is a narrative of a vision supposedly seen by Joseph in Kirtland, Ohio in 1836.

What the members who voted on this new addition to scripture were not told by "the Brethren," is that whole paragraphs (216 words) of the actual revelation as recorded in The History of the Church had been conveniently left out of the version to be included in the Doctrine and Covenants. The reason for these omissions was that four false prophecies were contained in the part of the revelation which was censored out. These were prophecies so obviously incorrect that even the average LDS reader would pick them up. Therefore they went down the "black hole" of Mormon history.

Here is what is not in the new D&C 137:

[Joseph Smith:] "....I saw the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, who are now upon the earth, who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle, much fatigued, with their clothes tattered and their feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus standing in their midst, and they did not behold him. The Saviour looked upon them and wept.

"I also beheld Elder M'Lellin in the south, standing upon a hill, surrounded by a vast multitude, preaching to them, and a lame man standing before him supported by his crutches; he threw them down at his word and leaped as a hart, by the mighty power of God.

"Also, I saw Elder Brigham Young standing in a strange land, in the far south and west, in a desert place, upon a rock in the midst of a bout a dozen men of color, who appeared hostile. He was preaching to them in their own tongue, and the angel of God standing above his head with a drawn sword in his hand, protecting him, but he did not see it.

"And I finally saw the Twelve in the celestial kingdom of God. I also beheld the redemption of Zion and many things which the tongue of man cannot describe in full."

First, at least seven of the twelve under discussion were soon excommunicated or apostatized from the church: John F. Boynton & Luke S. Johnson (1837), Lyman Johnson (1838), William E. M'Lellin (c.1838), Thomas B. Marsh & Orson Hyde (1838), and William Smith (1845). How could they have ever attained the celestial kingdom under those conditions? Although a few of these men later returned to the church, the majority remained apart for life.

Second, the vision of M'Lellin preaching and working miracles in the south never came true because he apostatized from the church without ever doing it (see above).

Third, although Brigham Young did bring the Mormons west and was a great colonizer and orator, the vision of Brigham Young preaching to "men of color" in their own language, in some strange and faraway place in the southwest never took place, or at least there is no trace of it in the very detailed records and diaries concerning his reign as prophet.

Finally, Zion (Independence, Missouri) was never redeemed, and has never been redeemed in the 150+ years since the prophecy was made. Is it any wonder that the Brethren chose to remove whole chunks of this "inspired" revelation?

United Order

In D&C 104:1 (1834) a prophecy is given concerning the LDS institution, the "United Order" (a theocratic, communistic method of distributing and controlling property and goods):

"…I give unto you counsel and a commandment, concerning all the properties which belong to the order which I commanded to be organized and established, to be a united order, and an everlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come…"

LDS history reveals that this "everlasting" order had to be disbanded soon after because it failed. Mormons today do not practice a communal approach to property.

Treasures in Salem

With more than $50,000 in debts coming due, Joseph hearkened back to his gold digging days when he read a story in the Painesville Telegraph concerning a vast treasure buried beneath an old house in Salem, Massachusetts. Joseph had been enchanted by Salem as a youth, as it was where he first tasted the exciting world outside his small Vermont village. A convert named Burgess offered to lead Joseph to the exact location of the house in Salem. So Joseph departed east with Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and his brother Hyrum, ostensibly on a missionary tour. When they arrived in Salem in August 1836, he received this revelation:

"I have much treasure in this city for you, for the benefit of Zion, and many people in this city, whom I will gather out in due time for the benefit of Zion, through your instrumentality…and it shall come to pass in due time that I will give this city into your hands, that you shall have power over it, insomuch that they shall not discover your secret parts; and its wealth, pertaining to gold and silver shall be yours. Concern not yourselves about your debts, for I will give you power to pay them… And the place where it is my will that you would tarry, for the main, shall be signalized unto you by the peace and power of my Spirit, that shall flow unto you. This place you may obtain by hire. And inquire diligently concerning the more ancient inhabitants and founders of this city. For there are more treasures than one for you in this city." (D&C 111)

Joseph never found any treasures in Salem. The "many people" were never gathered out, as only 13 were baptized out of the whole city. The treasures of silver and gold prophesied were never found. They returned to Kirtland, Ohio the following month, disillusioned and without funds to pay their debts. (Fawn Brodie, No Man Knows My History, 192-193)

Mission of David W. Patten

"…thus saith the Lord: It is wisdom in my servant, David W. Patten, that he settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others, even twelve including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world. (D&C 114:1, 1838)

Sadly, Patten was killed before he could fulfill this prophecy. Apologists have two arguments against this fact. One is that Patten was actually being called on a mission to the spirit world after death. Although that is a creative response, the verse itself contradicts it since 1) he was to go on the mission with eleven other men, none of whom were killed before spring; and 2) the verse says his mission was to "the whole world."

The other argument is that he wasn't worthy of the mission so the Lord killed him. The problem with that assertion is that Joseph Smith himself proclaimed that:

"Brother David Patten was a very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him…and died as he had lived, a man of God, and strong in the faith of a glorious resurrection…one of his last expressions to his wife was 'whatever you do else, O! do not deny the faith.'" (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 171).

These explanations do not hold water.

Mission to Toronto

In the work, An Address to All Believers in Christ, David Whitmer, (one of the "Three Witnesses" to the Book of Mormon) related that in the winter of 1829-1830, Joseph Smith sent Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery on a mission to Toronto, Canada to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon. This mission was ordered by a revelation that Joseph claimed he had received from God.

Unfortunately, both the mission and the revelation were failures. This is yet another false prophecy, as the man anxious to buy the copyright to the Book of Mormon never appeared. When Joseph was asked why the revelation had failed, he explained that:

"Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil…When a man enquires of the Lord concerning a matter, if he is deceived by his own carnal desires, and is in error, he will receive an answer according to his erring heart, but it will not be a revelation from the Lord." (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, p. 31)

But the question must be asked, if the "prophet" Joseph Smith cannot tell which of his revelations are from God and which are not; why should we trust any of them?

Joseph's Successor

Despite claims by the LDS church to the contrary, the evidence is strong that Joseph blessed his eldest son, Joseph, and promised him succession as the church's next prophet. In the winter of 1843, during a sermon to his people in the grove next to the Nauvoo temple, Joseph called his son to the stand beside him and declared:

"I have often been asked who would succeed me as the prophet to the church. My son Joseph will be your next prophet."

This event was confirmed through sworn testimonies by Sophia K. Cook, niece of Martin Harris, as well as James Whitehead, secretary to Joseph Smith, and John H. Carter, all of whom heard the speech (Zion's Ensign, Vol. 12, No. 29, p. 5; Temple Lot Case, pp. 28, 180; No Man Knows My History, p. 381-2).

Lyman Wight said in a letter to the Northern Islander:

"Now Mr. Editor, if you had been present when Joseph called on me shortly after we came out of jail, to lay hands with him on the head of a youth, and heard him cry aloud, you are my successor when I depart, and heard the blessings poured on his head…you would not have been led by blind fanaticism…" (Reprinted in Saints Advocate, Vol. 7 (September 1884), p. 478)

Joseph's son recalled this incident in later years:

"I was also present at a meeting in the grove near the temple, and I remember my father laying his hands on my head, and saying to the people that this was his successor, or was to be his successor." (Temple Lot Case, p. 79).

Henry Brown in his History of Illinois (New York, 1844) stated:

"The prophet, it is said, has left a will or revelation appointing a successor; and, among other things, it is stated that his son, a lad of twelve years, is named therein as his successor. Of this, however, there is no certainty." (History of Illinois, p. 489)

And finally, John D. Lee confirmed:

"It was then understood among the Saints that Young Joseph was to succeed his father." (Mormonism Unveiled, p. 155)

Of course, the Reorganized LDS Church broke away on this very issue, because Brigham Young rather than Joseph's son was appointed the successor in the LDS Church.

Failed Miracles

Although Joseph was reputed to have been involved with miracles of healing, there were cases where his miracles went awry. For example, at the first general conference in Kirtland he seized a convert's hand which had been crippled in an accident, stating: "Brother Murdock, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to straighten your hand!". He tugged stiffly at the curled fingers, but to no avail. Turning to an old man who was lame in one leg, Joseph ordered him to rise and walk. The old man took a step or two, then could go no further. A father brought forth the body of his small child, but despite earnest prayers by Joseph the child could not be brought back to life. Some later rationalized that the failure of Joseph's miracles was because Ohio was not consecrated ground, and that only in the promised land would they become efficacious. (As detailed through several letters from Ezra Booth to Edward Partridge, published in 1831-1832 in the Ohio Star at Ravenna. See also John Whitmer, History of the Church, MS., Chapter 7; and History of the Church, Vol. I, p. 176n)




4 comments:

  1. foxjones Says:

    Sydney,

    You gave me your blog from postmormon.org, I am foxjones there. It's funny but this thing about Hinckley answering the reporter the way he does on the Adam God doctrine is the very thing which lead me to investigate (ALL the history of the Church).

    I started asking questions back in July about this issue which led to many other findings. Strange how no one in Mormondom is interested in the truth including of all people Gordan B. Hinckley!

    I too live in Utah, you should add me to your msn: foxjones6@hotmail.com, I think we would have a lot to talk about you and I.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Good to see you again foxjones. I would like to learn more about Gordon B. Hinkley, but I can't seem to find more than official church sites, and you know how "honest" they are. Do you have any links or sites I haven't seen? I would love to read them! What info do you have? I will add you soon to my msn :)

  1. Anonymous Says:

    How sad that you need someone elses research to help you decide about Mormonism.... and how said that you are not well founded in the word of God.

    Your foundation has not changed... when you blindly followed the Mormon leaders you were putting your trust in the "arm of flesh"... now that you had made your decision based on the research someone else has done, you are still putting your trust in the arm of flesh...

    You have missed the point.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Dear anonymous,

    Just because I choose to post research on my blog from another author you assume I have not done my own research? Tisk, tisk... you are so wrong. I am not blindly following anyone here...

    The only thing proven by your comment is that you feel you have the ability and need to judge people.

    If you feel I have missed the point you are sadly mistaken. I am quite happy with my journey so far, thank you. Next time you feel the need to leave a horrible message like that, leave your name. What are you afraid of?