Skip to comments.Praising the man [Mormon Merry Smithmas!]
Posted on 12/12/2011 7:13:56 AM PST by Colofornian
No, we dont worship Joseph Smith, I explained to the investigator. We respect him as a prophet.
You mean, like Mohamed? he asked.
No, more like Moses, or John the Baptist.
It was a standard comparison that I had used repeatedly on my mission. Joseph Smith is just a prophet. Hes just like John the Baptist, or Moses, or Peter, James, and John.
Of course, there are a few problems with that characterization, arent there?
Chief among them if Joseph Smith is really just like John the Baptist, then why dont we treat the two similarly? And despite doctrinal protests, we really dont.
In the current hymnal, there are no hymns about Moses. None about John the Baptist (though Jesuss baptism is referenced a few times). A few cursory mentions of Peter, in places like What Was Witnessed (#11), and implied mention in #105, Master the Tempest is Raging. There are some mentions of Adam more than any other Biblical prophet, probably as well as Enoch.
In contrast, we get two very well-known, oft-sung hymns focusing directly on Joseph Smith: Praise to the Man, and Oh How Lovely was the Morning. Prior hymnals contained many more: The Seer; Blest was the Day when the Prophet and Seer; O Give me Back my Prophet; and so on.
The same goes for church art. The average church building might have pictures of Joseph Smith alone; of the First Vision; of the priesthood restoration; of translation. The Gospel Art kit reflects this. It contains ten pictures of Joseph Smith. There are six pictures of Jesus apostles, four pictures of Moses, Lehi, and Nephi, and three each of Adam and Daniel...
...the personal nature of much...music and art Praise to the Man cuts in the other direction...
(Excerpt) Read more at timesandseasons.org ...
IOW, if the current Mormon hymnal is bad enough in directing direct worship to Joseph Smith, who Mormons believe can become a god (perhaps he has already???), the previous Mormon hymnals had many more!
Mormon church art trots out this same iconic adoration of Joseph Smith.
Ancient religious practices were meant to communicate with the spirit realm directoy; those included oracles, prophets, "familiar spirits" as with the case of the "Witch of Endor", and pure electrostatic devices like the ark of the covenant. All of those things involved trance states, all involved static electricity, and they all stopped working around the time of Zechariah.
The first paragraph of the book of Hebrews mentions prophets as a thing of the distant past on the day Jesus was born. Anybody claiming to be a prophet since that time is basically a BS artist.
“No, more like Moses, or John the Baptist. “
Both of these guys are in my bible. Joseph Smith is not.
The author fails to note that the "scores and scores that talk primarily about Jesus" are hymns that mormons have "borrowed" from Christian hymnals...not hymns that have been composed by mormons. A salient point, IMO.
Funny. The bible doesn’t have anything in it saying that I need John the Baptist’s or Moses’s approval to get into heaven. It’s explicit that Christ is the way, the only way, the entirely sufficient way to salvation. Any additional requirements added onto that are heresy and blasphemy.
The bottom line is that the mormons fall prey to Satan’s deception of Eve in promising that a man can be a god. Any attempts to paint Joseph Smith’s role in the Mormon church as anything other than replacing Christ or standing co-equal with Christ are false and deceiving.
Actually “prophesy” is a gift from the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament—a sign that the Kingdom of God has come (I Cor. 14; Act 2:17,18; 13:9; 19:6). St. Paul was warned by the prophet Agabus in Acts (11:28; 21:10). Was Apostle Paul mislead by a “B.S. artist?”
St. John wrote the book of Revelation...probably around AD 100...it is full of prophesies—in fact, it is THE most prophetic book in the Bible. Was John just a B.S. artist?
A prophet in the biblical sense is an extra-special man of God whom, you are correct, receives direct revelation from God. Often (but not always) those revelations were written down. All prophets were...of impeccable character.
There was a great famine of prophets and prophesy...a silence if you will, of around 400 years, from Zachariah to John the Baptist—who, most Bible scholars recognize was the last of the Old Testament style prophets—who communicated the revelation from God that His Kingdom was near—and—John testified as to the Kingship of Jesus Christ.
All of the Apostles, in that sense, were prophets—as they received the ULTIMATE revelation from God—Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ. Of course they wrote down their Holy Spirit inspired writings—in what we now know as the New Testament.
That canon is closed however...and no orthodox Christian has maintained anyone, anywhere at any time has the authority to add to the Bible—the prophetic testimony of the eyewitnesses of the resurrection.
A part of the Jewish bible was called “The Prophets” and, the traditionally recognized prophets were, in New Testament times...from the distant past—as the book of Hebrews shows. However, Jesus Himself, in His role as PROPHET, Priest and King, was indeed, the ultimate Prophet...
Jesus’ designated spokesmen—and eyewitnesses to His resurrection—were the Apostles—and, as mentioned above, they too, were “prophets” as receivers and communicators of direct revelation from God. Their testimony IS the New Testament.
Was Joseph Smith a prophet-from-God? Absolutely not. Many proofs are available of that...but, the easiest is to show that St. Paul made an absolute requirement that ALL Church leaders be the “husband of one wife.” (I Tim 3, Titus 1)
The fact alone that Joseph Smith flagrantly violated St. Paul’s command for monogamy...and taught others to do likewise, proves, very simply, he was a false prophet, a man of terrible character—NOT from God.
Actually, John the Baptist, whom we Orthodox title “the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John” was most assuredly a prophet according to any honest definition. I realize there is some bizarre definition used by dispensationalists who want to herd the gifts of the Spirit into various historical eras, but the key qualities — foretelling the future and calling to repentance, of which the latter is more important, though we don’t use the title prophet without the first — were both there in St. John.
And, there have been plenty of examples of prophets fitting both characteristics among Orthodox monastic elders since, or even among the married clergy (St. John of Kronstadt, being the key example of the latter that comes to mind). For instance both the fall of Russia under atheist domination and its restoration were foretold decades in advance by monastic elders both Russian and Greek, often in terms calling on Russians to repent — St. Seraphim of Sarov and The Elder Heliodorus of Glinsk Hermitage both foresaw the horrors which would come on Russia from a distance of a century, or almost so, the Elder Porphyry also of Glinsk foretold both the fall and restoration in 1868. Even when the prophecy itself lacked the call to repentance as an integral part, the one foretelling was engaged in calling those around him to repentance, that being the chief office of a monastic elder, or in the case of St. John of Kronstadt a major part the ministry of a priest serving in a rough navy town.
A prophet is just that . . . a prophet! This Smith guy, if he were even for a moment talking to God about future events, would NEVER be wrong.
But this conman, stone reader, embezzler, child predator, adulterer, and polygamist was so horribly wrong on just about every prophecy. How anyone with any common sense could still adhere to his babbling is beyond me.
Admit you were conned, and return to the real ONE GOD, Jesus before you have a date in Hell.
I totally agree with Marcus. I find the singing of the song Praise to the Man to be vaguely idolatrous as well, and I refrain from singing it. I dont go out and campaign against it or anything, but if someone asks me why I dont sing it, Ill tell them that Im not comfortable singing praises to anyone except a member of the Godhead.
Its nice to see some real responses instead of the same generic/no meaning responses by some mormons here.
A salient point, but an incorrect one. What is the number you guys quote? About half the hymns in a Mormon hymnal are "borrowed." And there are two mentioned above that talk about Joseph Smith. I am pretty sure the hymnal is longer than 4 songs.
For the record - there are "scores and scores that talk primarily about Jesus" that have Mormon authors.
So, post the list. Leave out the ones that take an old Christian melody and put mormon lyrics to it.
JESUS: Hey Smith! Remember that boast you made about doing more than even I had done to hold the 'church' together?
JOSEPH SMITH: Where am I?
JESUS: Don't you remember? A few seconds ago you were in that jail.
JOSEPH SMITH: Oh; yeah; but where am I NOW?
JESUS: Don't you remember? Does bang - bang ring a bell?
JOSEPH SMITH: Oh; yeah - that crummy gun I had was about USELESS!
JESUS: I hope you left instructions on how to hold your church together.
JOSEPH SMITH: Dang! I knew there was SOMETHING I was forgetting!
JESUS: Looks like there's a power struggle going on down there.
JOSEPH SMITH: Yeah; there was always SOMEone who wanted the power that I held - especially over the LADIES - wink wink.
JESUS: No need to worry about that now; remember what my friend Matthew wrote down?
JOSEPH SMITH: This? At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven (Matthew 22:30)
JESUS: That's it.
JOSEPH SMITH: I thought that was mistranslated.
JESUS: Nah - it was right.
JOSEPH SMITH: Oh well; it was fun while it lasted. My buds will still get it on with the girls.
JESUS: Uh; I'm sorry; in just a few more years; your followers will cavein to the United States government and abandon the 'Eternal Covenant' that you came up with.
JOSEPH SMITH: ME!? YOU are the one that told me to do that!
JESUS: Sorry; but you must have mistranslated what I told you. What part of Do NOT commit ADULTERY did you not understand?
JOSEPH SMITH: mumble....
JESUS: What did you say?
JOSEPH SMITH: Oh, nothing.
JESUS: Well; it was interesting talking to you; but now I must get back to perparing a place for those who believe in Me.
JOSEPH SMITH: Oh, yeah; the Celestial Kingdom.
JOSEPH SMITH: The Telestial one?
JOSEPH SMITH: SUREly not the TERRESTRIAL one!!
JESUS: Nope. Didn't you read that the mind of man had NOT conceived of it? Paul wrote it down in 1 Corinthians 2:9.
JOSEPH SMITH: I thought that was mistranslated.
JESUS: No; it wasn't.
JOSEPH SMITH: You SURE?
JESUS: Yes. Now I must be going: what did you say your name was again?
JOSEPH SMITH: Joseph Smith.
JESUS: Hmmmm. According to my Heavenly FAITHbook, you didn't sign in as one of my friends - sorry, I never knew you.
JOSEPH SMITH: But....
Looks like things have CHANGED; down Zion way...
They succeeded in killing Joseph, but he had finished his work.He was a servant of God, and gave us the Book of Mormon.He said the Bible was right in the main, but, through the translators and others, many precious portions were suppressed, and several other portions were wrongly translated; and now his testimony is in force, for he has sealed it with his blood.As I have frequently told them, no man in this dispensation will enter the courts of heaven, without the approbation of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun.Who has made this so?Have I?Have this people?Have the world?No; but the Lord Jehovah has decreed it.If I ever pass into the heavenly courts, it will be by the consent of the Prophet Joseph.If you ever pass through the gates into the Holy City, you will do so upon his certificate that you are worthy to pass.Can you pass without his inspection?No; neither can any person in this dispensation, which is the dispensation of the fulness of times.In this generation, and in all the generations that are to come, everyone will have to undergo the scrutiny of this Prophet.They say that they killed Joseph, and they will yet come with their hats under their arms and bend to him; but what good will it do them, unless they repent?They can come in a certain way and find favor, but will they?
--JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES, vol. 8, p. 224
THE BOOK OF JACOB
THE BROTHER OF NEPHICHAPTER 224 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.
25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.
27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.
32 And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Or even HERE:
1 Timothy 3:2-3
2. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3. not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.1 Timothy 3:12
A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.Titus 1:6
An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTSSECTION 1325157, Emma Smith is counseled (commanded) to be faithful and true; 5866, Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth.51 Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to aprove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, areceive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God.53 For I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been afaithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.55 But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an ahundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of beternal lives in the eternal worlds.
Deuteronomy 131. If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and
2. 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;
3. Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
KJV Deuteronomy 18:17-22
17. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
18. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
20. 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.
21. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?
22. 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.
On most matters I can only make educated guesses at best, uneducated guesses at worst.
No need to guess, when the evidence is presented:
In 1976, the 137th section of Doctrine & Covenants (D&C) 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 Smith in Kirtland, OH 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 D&C. The reason for these omissions was that four obviously false prophecies were contained in the part of the revelation that was censored out. These were prophecies so obviously false that even the average LDS reader would pick them up. Therefore, they went down the "black hole" of Mormon history.
What exactly were in these missing parts? Well, if you go to the official history of the LDS church published by the church's own publishing company, you will be easily able to find the missing prophecies. 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"
Now, if this were true, it was a truly inspiring and wonderful declaration! Unfortunately, for the LDS faithful, a short look at the official history of the church reveals the false prophecies contained therein.
First of all, Smith claimed to see his (original LDS) Twelve apostles all in the celestial kingdom. This is difficult to imagine, since there was already division between Smith and the majority of the Apostles, beginning with discord in Kirtland, Ohio. The first portion of the "missing words" shows his less than subtle rebuke of their resistance to his will. "...fatigued....tattered...eyes cast downward....The Saviour looked upon them and wept." Smith was calling them to get into line and submit themselves to his full authority. That's the carrot offered in the last portion, "I finally saw the Twelve in the Celestial Kingdom of God."
However, his "thus saith the Lord" must have had little effect on them, since 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? They couldn't! They were not only accursed by their very acts of apostasy or excommunication, but fell victim to the LDS Church's own scriptural denunciation. D&C 84.40-41 clearly states:
"Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved. But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth there-from, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come."
Although a few of these men later returned to the church, none of them were even close to the standards necessary for attainment of that highest degree of glory. The majority remained apart for life. Therefore, the prophetic utterance, "I finally saw the Twelve in the Celestial Kingdom of God." was obviously false. It would have been false even if only one Apostle remained outside the fold.
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 either, or at least there is no trace of it in the very detailed records and diaries concerning his reign as prophet.
Finally, "Zion" (Independence, MO.) was never redeemed, has never been redeemed in the 150+ years since the prophecy was made. (See below, for more on Zion). Is it any wonder that the Brethren chose to remove whole chunks of this "inspired" revelation?
Four false prophecies for the price of one! (from > http://saintsalive.com/resourcelibrary/mormonism/testing-the-prophecies-of-joseph-smith- )
We do not know whether or not some instructions through prophets were not included because they were judged to be false or unreliable.
Hold this thought...
You know, the difference between knowing about Jesus Christ and knowing Him is eternal life. "And this is eternal life. That you may know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent." (Jesus, John 17:3)
Sorry, but the Mormon author of this article doesn't play word games like you do and reduce those hymns to "talking about Joseph Smith."
The author is forthright in saying "we get two very well-known, oft-sung hymns FOCUSING DIRECTLY on Joseph Smith: Praise to the Man, and Oh How Lovely was the Morning.
Also, Mormons from years past worshiped Smith more often: Prior hymnals contained many more: The Seer; Blest was the Day when the Prophet and Seer; O Give me Back my Prophet; and so on.
So that's the Mormon legacy left from earlier generations: The direct worship of Joseph Smith. Somebody made a decision to pare it back a bit. But the heritage and legacy is still there.
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