This is a continuation of my last post. There I talked about how the fruit of a prophet – the fruit by which we recognize whether a prophet is true or false – is not his character or even his success, but his words. But how do we go about looking at his words?
The LDS church cites James 1:5 and tells people to pray about it. But nowhere in the context does James apply this to judging a prophet’s words. No, when the subject is judging whether or not a prophet is true the Bible is consistent in its approach. You judge his words by comparing them with the Bible.
Isaiah 8:19-20: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” The law and the testimony were terms for Old Testament Scripture. That was the standard to be used. They were not told to pray about it.
We see the same thing in the New Testament. In Acts 16 Paul comes to the Greek city of Berea. In regard to his visit we read: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” (v.11) They examined Paul’s word in light of scripture to determine the truthfulness of them. Searching the Scriptures rather than praying about it was their method of discerning truth. For a fuller discussion of this see http://www.thecityofzion.com/postoffice/DiscerningTruth/GodsWay/359p3.htm
When one compares Joseph Smith’s teachings and subsequent LDS teaching to the Bible, there are major conflicts. The Bible says we are saved without works, the Book of Mormon says we are saved by grace after all we can do. Mormonism teaches that God was once a man – the Bible teaches that God has always been God. The Bible says that there is only one God – Mormonism teaches that there are countless gods. On and on it goes.
One can’t help but think that Joseph Smith saw these conflicts and that is why he taught that many plain and precious things were taken from the Bible. Or why Mormonism teaches that “we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.”
When his teachings are compared with the teachings of the Bible, Joseph Smith is revealed as a false prophet.