Joseph Smith – Part Two

Lesson 4 of the Teachings of George Albert Smith, the lesson that will be studied this coming Sunday in Relief Society meetings and priesthood quorums throughout the LDS Church, is about Joseph Smith.  Since I talked about whether or not Joseph Smith was a true prophet in my last post (please see), in this post I am going to focus on what he was supposedly told in his first vision – a subject that lesson four addresses.

I found it interesting that when President George Smith talked about Joseph’s first vision of the heavenly Personages, he quoted the first and last parts of Joseph Smith – History 1:19 but not the middle section.  (Joseph Smith – History is part of LDS Scripture, as it is contained in the Pearl of Great Price.)  Especially noticeable by its absence was the reference to the existing churches’ creeds, namely, the words:  “and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight”.  Because of that, Joseph was commanded not to join any existing church because “they were all wrong”.

Let’s just take the most widely used creed at that time, the Apostle’s Creed.  “I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended into hell.  The third day he rose again from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.  From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.”

According to LDS Scripture, that is an abomination.  What is so abominable about that?  According to Mormonism’s god, it is.  In addition, most Christian churches still use and agree with that creed.  That means that, again to LDS Scripture and to Mormonism’s god, they are all wrong.  Why then do so many Mormons today say that Christians and Mormons believe the same thing?  I was just talking with a man yesterday who told me that it took three months of pretty regular discussions with his good LDS friend before his friend would admit that there were differences in their beliefs.  How many times haven’t Mormons told Christians that they believe the same things – but that they just have the fullness of the gospel?

Let me put it as simply as I can to any Mormon reading this.  Do you agree with your Scriptures – do you agree that the Apostles’ Creed is an abomination?  If you do agree, please tell me specifically why it is an abomination.  Wouldn’t warning me of its abominable teaching be the loving thing to do?


9 Responses to “Joseph Smith – Part Two”

  1. 1 JBR
    February 15, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Ater the many years of witnessing, I can only conclude that many of the well meaning Mormons simply compartmentalize their belief in the Mormonism god so as to make each compartment true within itself as individual units much like a chain that it’s links are individual of one another………. but rarely linking them together to make what the larger ramifications of what an unbroken chain means.

    But be that as it may … if nearly everyone goes to some sort of heaven as Mormonism suggests, why the need to warn?

  2. February 15, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Jesus said to beware of false prophets . His apostle, John, warning those he ministered to beware of
    false prophets/teachers by advising them to test any professing prophet as to what that prophet taught
    about Jesus Christ. A test he advocated to evaluate false prophets in his day is recorded in 1Jn4:1-3.
    This scriptural passage had been a welcomed measuring rod for christians for centuries . However
    one apostle 1700 years later felt that it need to be revised . He cited these scriptures in Jn 4 as a test
    for Christian confession : ” The time was when the test of a christian was his confession of Christ.”
    BUT that was a old test, there was now a new one : ” This generation however is not left without a test…
    … he that believeth in his heart and confesseth with his mouth that Jesus is the Christ AND that Joseph
    Smith is His prophet to this generation , is of God and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in
    the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the gospel to this generation, is not of God , but is
    of anti-christ. ” So taught modern day prophet Brigham Young. Revising what the apostle John wrote
    in 1Jn 4:1-3 by inserting an additional person in the test as being the new test whether a person is a
    true believer in Jesus today , is troubling . The test recorded by John in his Epistle has been a good
    test, and though not the only one mentioned in the N.T. , it stands free of any manipulation by those
    who come today claiming to be true fellow apostles with John . Today false prophets love to claim any
    connection to the N.T. as a way of convincing people they are endorsed by Jesus to issue “tests” to
    evaluate people as to whether they’e , ” in the truth” , as “true believers in Jesus ” . But we don’t need
    their new tests , or them . Beware .

  3. 3 shematwater
    February 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm


    Your reasoning is very flawed. Simply put, it assumes that John was meaning this to apply to our day, which I doubt, because then it would have applied to all time periods, which is not very reasonable at all.

    Let me ask you a question that i ask many people, though few actually answer it: If I was to deny that Moses was called of God and reject all the scripture written by him, could I still rightly claim to be a follower of Christ? What if I rejected Paul as a prophet and thus rejected everything he wrote? What of Peter? What if I rejected John and what he wrote (and thus rejected this Test)? Could I reject any prophet of God and still claim to be His follower?


    I understand what you say, and I have seen that many times. Of course I have seen it in every other Christian denomination as well. It is hardly unique to the LDS.
    Just so you know, I understand the connections, and I glorify God and praise him, thanking him that he has giving me such an understanding and spirit of discernment that I am able to see through the false doctrine that you profess, as well as see the errors in the way you portray his true gospel.


    Out of curiosity, what translation are you using?

    “who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,”

    He was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, but by the Power of the Holy Spirit. It is a subtle difference, but an important one.

    “He descended into hell”

    He did not descend into Hell. He went to the world of Spirits, and dwelt among the the righteous dead. In this the Catholic translation is actually right, for it says “He descended to the dead.”

    “I believe in …the holy Christian Church,:”
    If the church at the time was corrupt, than to profess belief in it would be an abomination.

    “the communion of saints”
    This is a reference I mention simply because I would like it clarified, or what you understand it to mean.

    Given that there are errors in the creed, or that it professes what is not true, it would be an abomination before God. Now, I have no doubt that you will disagree with all this. You do not see these things as errors. That is fine. But at least now you understand why we do not use this profession of faith, and why it might be considered an abomination.

  4. February 17, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Shem, My reasoning is not flawed . You said, ” Simply put, it assumes that John was meaning this to
    apply to our day, which I doubt…..” My point is simple : are there false prophets/teachers today ? I believe
    that there are and I evaluate them by the Bible. The way in which Brigham Young altered the Apostle
    John’s statement in his epistle is a red flag that should concern everyone that looks to the Bible as a
    valid way to test prophets . The context here is : today. Today when followers of prophets/apostles come
    to our doors claiming to have a message from a modern day prophet, one who claims to be directed by
    the same Jesus as those in the N.T. then I can sit down and compare their message , their teachings ,
    with the N.T. I’ve had very fruitful dialogues with such people , including Mormon Missionaries . In First
    John 4 ( and 2Jn 7 ) John was warning about false teaching infiltrating the Church, as there were those
    who believed that Jesus ” is not come in the flesh ” , this was false doctrine since it would undermine
    the atonement and also the Person of Christ , His true identity. John knew first hand who Jesus was —
    —John 1:1, 14 . This warning was a valid test for his flock and is for us today . It needs to be mentioned
    that your leaders understand this also and agree with John as heresies similar to what John faced are
    promoted by false prophets today they are anti-christ’s . I agree . Consider such modern day prophets
    like Warren Jeffs, Christpher Nemelka ( he was a faithful Mormon, he claims Joseph Smith appeared
    to him in 1987 , since then Ida Smith, Hyrum Smith’s great, great, grand daughter has had a spiritual
    witness that Mr. Nemelka has been appointed by God to write the sealed portion of the gold plates that
    Joseph Smith did not translate etc. is what this man teaches about Jesus in line with the Bible ? )
    There’s also James Strang . Then, Rev. Moon ( he claims to have been troubled at all the injustice in
    humanity and so prayed for guidance, Jesus appeared to him , in 1935 . Moon claims to be the Lord of
    the Second Advent , he has several million followers ) . There are many others as Jesus warned would be
    so I evaluate all these prophets with the Bible ( with the Holy Spirit’s help) . I don’t need their “gospel” ,
    since the Jesus I encounter in the Bible is sufficient because of who He is to save me to the uttermost because I’ve come to God through Him — Heb 7:25 . WW

  5. 5 shematwater
    February 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm


    My point is that there is a flaw in assuming that the ‘test’ John gave to the saints of the Apostles day is still a valid test today.
    Your main point was that Brigham Young changed this test and based on that you rejected him as a prophet. Now, you can reject him all you want, but to do so on this point is to use flawed logic.

    What is the test that John gives: “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
    And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4: 2-3)

    So, let us look at the men you list.
    Warren Jeffs confesses that Christ is come in the flesh, thus by this test he has the Spirit of God.
    Christopher Nemelka confesses that Christ is come in the Flesh, and thus he also has the Spirit of God.
    James Strang, while confessing Christ came in the flesh, does deny his divine parentage. So it can be argued both that he passes this test, as well as that he fails.
    Reverend Moon also confesses that Christ came in the flesh.

    So, if we use the test given by John at least three of the men you mention would pass and there is a good argument that the fourth would as well. Are these men prophets, carrying with them the Spirit of God. I would agree with you that they are not. But they still pass the test of 1 John 4: 1-3.
    It is for this reason that Brigham Young said that there was a time in which confession of Christ was a true test for a true believer. However, in the 2000 years since John wrote this there have been so many that have confessed that Christ is come in the flesh, but are not true believers. So, the test has to be modified to account for this.

    Now, in your last post you changed your argument to be using the entire Bible as a test, and in doing so you make a much stronger case. My point was that in your first post you used only the one reference in 1 John, and in so doing your reasoning became flawed because that test alone is now insufficient to reveal a true believer.

    (PS You never actually answered my question.)

  6. February 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Shem, Let me respond to your last comments . I see the point you’re making here , but in saying my
    reasoning is flawed I think a better way to see this is that I did not articulate my thoughts effectively.
    ( the hours keep have something to do with this but some times I already have the next thought in
    my mind when I’m still not finished with the preceding one so they can sometimes not connect
    properly etc ) . You said , ” My point is that there is a flaw in assuming that the test John gave to the
    Saints of the Apostles day is still valid today.” It was B.Y.’s insertion of J.S. name with the verses that
    are recorded in 1Jn 4:1-3 that caught my attention and hence my raising objection to his usage of it
    the way he did. This , as I mentioned , is a “red flag ” to me . Fact of the matter is that these verses are
    still a valid test of any would be prophet today. As I mentioned it is not the only test in the N.T. to evaluate
    prophets/apostles by and I’m sure John would agree also ( 1Jn 2:22 ) . While the particular group
    that was John’s focus may not be around today , their heresy can very well be and should
    they knock on my door I would use these scriptures . I mentioned that similar heresies are around today
    because to teach that Jesus ” is not come in the flesh ” , is false with ramifications that undermine
    not only the Atonement of Jesus but also the true identity of who Jesus is . I tried to explain this fact
    but it did’nt come out clear enough but that was my reason for mentioning a sample of recent prophets
    that I consider to be false prophets. ( you’ll have to give me a little more credit , as I was fully aware of
    what each of these prophets teach on their Jesus “coming in the flesh ” — this being not the only “test” etc)
    You said that because there’s been so many in the last 2000 years that have confessed Christ is come in
    the flesh , but are not true believers. So the test has to be modified to account for this . While I think that
    I know what you meant by this last sentence, to me I think the “test” should not be “modified” , rather
    other tests can be employed ( 1Jn 2:22 for one example) . My whole point in referencing the statement by
    B.Y. was to call attention that every would be prophet that come our way today would love to insert their
    name onto a familiar verse of scripture as a way to mislead people into thinking that now we need them as
    our guide in revealing spiritual truth , or as our way to measure who is true believer is . The Bible is
    sufficient for that in my opinion. It’s how I measure the teachings of prophets today.
    ( I did notice your question. Explain what your point is and perhaps I can address it ) WW

  7. 7 shematwater
    February 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm


    This is the point of the question: You object that Brigham Young says belief in Joseph Smith is required, and is now part of the test. Would you object if someone said accepting Moses was required and part of the test? What about Paul? Or Peter or John?
    Brigham Young stated that belief in Joseph Smith was required. He said this because we believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, and thus we hold him in the same regard that we do any of the ancient prophets. He was not trying to add him as equal to Christ, but as equal to the hundreds that have called to witness of Christ. For us to say that belief in him and his words are not required is equivalent to you saying that belief in Paul and his words are not required.
    (After all, if you don’t believe the messenger how can you believe the message?)

    Now, I understand what you are saying. I think it would be more easily understood if you said that 1 John 4: 1-3 is one part of the test, but that other parts need to be used to fully discover heresy. So, yes, if a person denies Christ came in the Flesh we can know by this that they are not of God. But if they confess that he did we are still not completely sure that they are of God, and must now go through other steps to discover it.
    This is all that Brigham Young was saying: This test is not sufficient to root out all heresy, but recent events have provided an additional test to help with this. Today even what Brigham Young said is not sufficient, for there are many that confess that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and yet are not of God.
    Honestly, I think anyone who uses only the Bible is basing things on a flawed reasoning for this very fact. Things change, and while the truths of the Bible are always there, the tests will not always be valid, as they do not account for events that occurred after them. After all, before Christ was born a believer was usually identified by their observance of the outward ordinances, a test that is no longer valid.

  8. February 20, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Shem, I understand your point relative to how you view belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet is a
    requirement for salvation. I also realize that B.Y. was not adding him as an equal to Jesus to Christ
    Himself . I also believe that for you to hold J.S. words as not being required is similar to how I would
    view the apostle Paul’s words as not being required , namely I could’nt do that , and neither could you
    with Joesph Smith. I do get a little concerned when I hear someone these days state that their particular
    prophet occupies such a place that adherence to their teachings is required for me today to gain eternal
    life. This “test” of who is a christian is not warranted in my opinion. Every prophet coming down the pike
    would love to offer such a test for us today. Simply put I believe that the Bible , especially the N.T. holds
    the information that can safely inoculate us from being misled by false prophets for all but a few extreme
    examples ( then common sense would be utilized ) . My use of the Bible as the valid means to evaluate
    anyone claiming to be a prophet who has “tests” for me to abide by today is not all that unreasonable
    since your leadership has said : ” The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS accepts the Bible as the first and
    foremost of her Standard Works, chief among the books which have been proclaimed as her written
    guides in faith and doctrine. ” [ Articles of Faith, by Talmage, 1899 ed p. 240 ] . Now I realize that you
    have additional “written guides” , but I use the Bible , it has served me well . If any teaching today does’nt
    line up with it then I will dismiss it in lieu of not only 1Jn 4:1-3; 2jn 7 but by other scriptures as well , which
    I stated in my last post. When Mormon leaders state that salvation is again available after 1700
    yrs because of a “modern-day” prophet , then I test them . The prophets in the O.T. all were used
    by God to prepare mankind for the coming of the Savior ( Lk.24: 25-27; ) , the Savior has come . He has
    taught , and has taught apostles to carry His good news to man , this they did . Their preaching is
    available in the N.T. the warnings against false prophets/apostles is also included therein . In needs to be
    mentioned that your Church curriculum has counseled that should any of the heresies that John faced or
    their modern day counterparts face us today then the test in 1 Jn 4:1-3 and 2 Jn 7-9 are a valid means to
    dismiss these particular heresies . I guess my whole point in this thread is that I don’t need Joseph
    Smith / Brigham Young etc. You’ll disagree and that’s your prerogative . I hope you can understand
    my points here . Thanks.

  9. 9 shematwater
    February 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm


    I understand your point. I still think your reasoning flawed, but that is just an opinion.

    I personally agree that any person who teaches a doctrine that is directly contradicted by the Bible is not a true prophet, and is not of God. (I must mention that speculation and opinion do not count as doctrine.) But, as I have said before, I have yet to see the LDS doctrine that does contradict the Bible. Now, this is not the only reason I accept, but it is a primary reason.
    I will also say this: Just because a doctrine is not directly stated in the bible does not mean the bible contradicts it. For this to be the case the bible has to either teach the exact opposite, or state that the doctrine is false. Which is why I say that to use only the Bible seems like a flawed reasoning, because it doesn’t actually contradict a lot of things that I know are false.

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February 2012

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