You are one of the Mormons who have recently started bombarding us
with emails claiming that the Mormon Church has never taught, doesn’t
teach today and never will teach that Joseph Smith is equal in status to
Jesus Christ. I am sorry to say that the 'pages' of quotes given
to not answer the matter as this email will show.
For most if not all this is a genuine response but unfortunately not
one has been able to answer the clear facts that there are clear
statements and attitudes in the Mormon church writings that show this is
true. I know Mike Parker and others have given me pages of quotes
or hymns or whatever but it still does not answer the quotes where
clearly either Joseph Smith himself or one of his followers gave a clear
testimony that shows our claim to be true.
I am not being deceitful, I am not lying for the Lord and I will not
be damned over what I am saying despite the very vehement threats to
that end that I have received. Again, I lay out the facts, as they
are and not one of you has addressed them in detail. All I receive
is at worst abuse or at best, treatment that can be best summed up by
the word disdain.
Please read the argument carefully and check the quotations.
You may not want to accept them today but they are still there within
the teachings and writings of the Church.
IS JOSEPH SMITH EQUAL WITH CHRIST?
You state quite clearly that you accept salvation through Jesus
Christ but that of course depends on what you mean by that
statement. For instance, does that mean that you accept totally
that you are saved through grace by faith and that works pays no part in
it at all? This is the salvation that God revealed in the Bible at
Ephesians 2:8,9 - salvation is NOT OF WORKS. Yet the Book of
Mormon would add the phrase AFTER ALL WE CAN DO. The third article
of faith would add BY OBEDIENCE TO THE LAWS AND ORDINACES [sic] OF THE
MORMOM [sic] GOSPEL. This then is not by grace but by grace plus
works. You quote from Joseph Smith that he said; "all other
things... are only appendages to it." However, are those
appendages essential or non-essential? As I read the Book of
Mormon and the other recognised [sic] works you freely quote from, I
find it clear that works are an essential part of the salvation of a
Please also will you make clear to me who is the Jesus of
Mormonism? For instance how many Jesus' will there need to be -
one for every planet? That seems inevitable because the Jesus who
died for this earth would not die for the earth that is ruled by the
planet that you would be god of
In the pre-existence, was the Jesus of Mormonism the spirit brother
of Lucifer who became the devil? Were they on the same
level? How then did this pre-existent only-begotten Jesus Christ
of Mormonism come to earth? How was he transferred into the womb
Was the Jesus of Mormonism polygamous? Did he have a number of
wives and children?
We do need to discover whether the Jesus of Mormonism is different to
the Jesus of the Bible and that we need to heed the warning of 2
The first paragraph of the introduction to the Book of Mormon states
that the Bible contains the 'fullness of the everlasting gospel.’
This raises the issue, if all we need to know about Jesus is in the
Bible why do we need the Book of Mormon. Fullness is complete and
everlasting never ends. It must also be true that what the Bible
talks about Jesus and salvation cannot be contradicted by the belief
system of the LDS. However in one central and vitally important
issue it is.
When Jesus died on the cross He said, "it is finished" and
at that point the veil in the Temple was torn in two from top to
bottom. The removing of the veil signified that all that was
necessary to be done for the removal of the wall of sin that separated
us from God had been completed. For the first time the priests
could look into the holy of holies and not be destroyed. From this
time on the way back to God was opened for all that would come by way of
the cross. Why has the Mormon Church put back the veil within the
Temple and demanded passwords and handshakes in order to go through
it? Jesus showed that the way was free and clear but the LDS have
put special ceremonies in the way that only a comparatively few Mormons
can achieve. Surely, this is a different Jesus and a different
Mike stated that I came to my conclusions abut Mormon salvation from
"a selective reading from antagonistic sources..." On
the contrary I came to the conclusion from reading the official
literature of the Mormon Church and talking to Mormon missionaries
The Role of the Prophets
Mike’s statement that all men and women must accept the testimony
of the prophets to receive salvation is not strictly true. I have
known people come to Christ through reading the Bible alone.
However as we read in Romans 10 in the majority of cases they hear from
a preacher. However, who is the preacher asking them to believe -
in the preacher or in the one they are preaching about? The answer
is obvious and so it is not so much the person but the message that is
vital. In the Old Testament, if a prophet came preaching a false
message he was stoned. People were told to ignore the words of a
false prophet. What is important in this matter then is
twofold. First, was Joseph Smith a true or false prophet?
Second did his message agree with the gospel of Jesus Christ or was it
First, I believe that Joseph Smith was a false prophet when you look
at the following quotations in context.
And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that
not many years will pass away before the United States shall present
such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our
nation: pestilence, hail, famine and earthquakes will sweep the wicked
of this generation from off the face of the land to open and prepare the
way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north
country. The people of the Lord those who have complied with the
requirements of the new covenant have already commenced gathering
together to Zion, which is in the state of Missouri
History of the Church, Vol.1, p.315.
This was written in 1833 and had no fulfilment [sic]. The
generation has longed since left this earth, most of them peaceably and
Zion is no longer considered to be in Missouri.
President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because
God commanded it; and it was made known to him through vision and by the
Holy Spirit. He (said)… it was the will of God that those who went to
Zion… (should) go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or
the coming of the Lord, which was nigh - even fifty-six years should
wind up the scene.
History of the Church, Vol.2, p.182.
Written in 1835 it meant that the winding up would take place in
Second the message of the gospel that Joseph Smith taught is as we
have seen above different to the one we see in Galatians and so it is
not true and is to be rejected.
You are indicating that only the LDS has prophets today and only
therefore the LDS has the ability to know what God is saying. On
what basis can you show me that Joseph Smith was chosen of God anymore
than Dwight Moody or John Wesley or any other of the great preachers of
the evangelical church? Yet, they preached a different gospel to
Joseph Smith. It was not Jesus Christ or God who failed it would
have been people who disobeyed Him. There did not need to be
another ushering in but rather a message of repentance preached.
In what you have said here about Joseph ushering in this dispensation
and holding the keys you have shown that to the Mormon Church Joseph is
as important as Jesus.
I would also like to question another matter that you raise under
this heading. You quote from D&C 107:55 concerning the 'chain
of command.' This according to Joseph Smith started with Adam as
the first prophet. How can this be reconciled with the
Bible? Nowhere in Scripture is Adam called the first prophet and
indeed as a prophet is someone who hears and obeys the Word of God and
Adam did exactly the opposite I find this impossible to reconcile.
As you rightly encourage, I would like to put the verse from D&C
107:55 into context. As far as I can see, the word 'prophet' is
not mentioned in D&C 107 it is all to do with the priesthood.
It seems that Adam instituted the priesthoods but we must put this into
context and the Bible shows that the priesthood had not even been
brought into being at Adam. Aaron was not alive and Melchizedek
had not met Abraham. It is impossible for Adam to pass on
something that never existed.
How was the priesthood restored to Joseph Smith does he fulfil [sic]
the conditions of D&C 107:16 and is a literal descendant of
Aaron? The problem though is deeper than this. In order for
John the Baptist or Peter, James and John to restore the priesthood,
they must have held either the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthoods.
But where in the Bible does it say that anyone held the Melchizedek
priesthood except Christ?
According to D&C 13:1 the Aaronic priesthood "holds the keys
of... gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins..." It seems strange to me that with all
the cross-references no mention is made of the Book of Hebrews which
holds some of the clearest teaching on the priesthood. The Aaronic
priesthood we read about in Hebrews 7:11 forward and we see that it was
not perfect and that there would need to be another one, after the order
of Melchizedek. In other words, the Aaronic priesthood REPLACED the
The information on the Aaronic priesthood continues and we find later
in Hebrews 7:18 that it needed to be set aside because of its weakness
and then finally in 8:13 we are told it is 'obsolete'. The system
of priesthood that you are claiming for Joseph Smith is not
biblical. We quoted above D&C 13:1
"holds the keys of... gospel of repentance, and of baptism by
immersion for the remission of sins."
Please compare this with Hebrews 10:4,
"For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take
The Bible says the opposite of the Book of Mormon - the Aaronic
priesthood could not be restored because it was obsolete and to say that
it deals with remission of sins is to deny the very thing that God says.
Where is there any record in the Bible of the Melchizedek priesthood
being bestowed on John the Baptist or Peter or James or John? The
only person who ever held the Melchizedek priesthood was Jesus and there
we have something so foundational it is vital we understand it.
Jesus is eternal, He has never passed away and indeed as Hebrews 7:17
says neither has the Melchizedek priesthood. How can those who do
not have it restore something? And more importantly how can
something be RESTORED that never passed away in the first place
Joseph Smith and the final judgement [sic]
I have no problem in agreeing with you that in certain circumstances
and specific situations mentioned in the Bible there would be those
involved in judging others. However, whatever preamble you give to
the matter the point in the end is whether Joseph Smith can have the
position given to him and whether such claims make Joseph Smith equal
with Jesus Christ.
Your quote from John Taylor is very revealing - "it would seem
quite reasonable..." I do not think it reasonable. There are
many men that are more spiritual in the world than those of the First
Presidency and the Twelve. There have been those who have been
martyred and laid down their life for Christ in this dispensation who
are far more worthy than these. These men lead very comfortable
lives; there is no hardship for them on what basis should they be chosen
above all others?
But let us get to the quote from Journal of Discourses. You
seek to put it in context by adding the preceding paragraph about
holding the priesthood. We have already dealt with this matter and
of course from the conclusions drawn above this does not alter the
situation one whit. Now I live in this dispensation and I believe
in Jesus Christ and have committed my life to Him. I serve Him,
follow Him and believe that the promise He made that those who follow
Him will be with Him where He is. Even if He hands my judgement
[sic] to others the BASIS for the judgement [sic] does not change.
Whether I stand before Jesus or a representative the same basis will be
in operation. Have I given my life to Him and have I come into the
reality of the situation? Do I know that my sins have been atoned
for at Calvary and there is nothing else I can do but receive His free
gift via repentance? I need no other mediator; the representative
will not ask me if I accept the Archbishop of Canterbury or John Wesley
or Peter or James or John or Joseph Smith but did I accept Jesus - HIM
Now let us come to the scenario that Brigham Young put forward.
As I am in this last dispensation to get into the celestial kingdom and
be with Christ forever I will not be judged by Jesus Christ but by
Joseph Smith who Jesus has given the authority to. What will He
ask me to ensure I can go through?
JS. "Do you believe in the atoning work of Jesus Christ?"
ME. "Yes I do can I do in please?"
JS. "Not yet there is one more question - do you believe in the
testimony that I wrote concerning Christ?"
ME. "No because it contradicted what I read in the Bible - can I go
JS. "No I will not sign your passport."
ME. "But the Bible tells me that the only judgement [sic] for
entering the best Kingdom with Jesus is to believe in His atonement
surely then I can go in."
JS. "No, Christ gave the keys to me and I have added some of my own
Joseph Smith is making himself equal to Christ because he is changing
the BASIS of the judgement [sic] that Christ laid down. That is a
very serious matter. I can reject the testimony of Joseph Smith
because it disagrees with the testimony and foundation of Jesus Christ.
The same is true of the other quote from Journal of Discourses
concerning confessing Joseph Smith. I am in the dispensation you
are talking about. I read in the ETERNAL word of God that will
never pass away
"...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe
in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you SHALL BE SAVED"
The ETERNAL word of God is for all dispensations including
mine. But now I am told that confessing Christ is not enough for
this generation I also have to confess Joseph Smith and if I do not do
this then I am not of God but "anti-christ." Whatever
you try to say to the contrary for the millions of Christians in this
world that want to enter God's kingdom and receive the reward they have
been promised Joseph Smith is as important as Jesus Christ.
The Mormon canon of scripture is not a complete canon but a founding
canon, clearly identified as the "standard works" of the
church, but the whole canon is not fixed since it is purported to
include further revelations and announcements up to the present
day. Hence the statement, "The most important prophet, so far
as we are concerned, is the one living in our day and age."
This makes Gordon Hinckley and the rest of the ‘general authorities’
of the church more important to current church members than Abraham,
Moses, Isaiah, Peter James and John, or even Joseph Smith and Brigham
Young. ‘Watch the prophet’ is the phrase sometimes used.
On the other hand, as the church grows more sophisticated, in an
increasingly sophisticated world, it is apparent that these prophets are
more closely scrutinised [sic] by a people who are ever more critical
and discerning. Leaders can no longer make pronouncements that are
xenophobic, confrontational or overtly triumphalistic in nature, and
expect to get away with it. Nor can they any longer make
ridiculous claims about archaeology and the Book of Mormon, the imminent
fate of the United States Government, or the inhabitants of the
moon. The answer is to have a fixed canon of scripture, controlled
from the centre, [English spelling] against which everyone, even the
prophet, is to be tested. This is the current thinking. The
message here is that one should test the present by the past. The
position of the church has shifted. Surely, though, in a church
that claims continuing revelation, and promises unerring guidance there
should be perfect accord between prophets past and present?
It has long been apparent that the phenomenal success of the Mormon
Church is in no small measure due to its ability to change and
adapt. Mormon leaders have long been image conscious and anxious
to own the correct reputation. Such concerns have been the driving
force behind some remarkable changes in policy and practice over the
years. The nineteenth century Mormon Church was isolationist and
aggressive, much in the traditional style of new religious
movements. Speeches and statements from church leaders frequently
reflected inflated ambitions to "rule every nation." In
that rare atmosphere of triumphalism all sorts of wild statements of
doctrine and belief were made, leaders never imagining that the world
would change so much as to be able to put Mormon claims to the test (a
singular absence of prophetic foresight here). One classic example
is the following extract from a contemporary journal:
Inhabitants of the Moon are more of a uniform size than the
inhabitants of the Earth, being about 6 feet in height. They
dress very much like the quaker Style & are quite general in
style, or the one fashion of dress. They live to be very old;
comeing [sic] generally, near a thousand years. This is the
description of them given by Joseph the Seer, and he could
"See" whatever he asked the Father in the name of Jesus to
Journal of Oliver B. Huntington.
Again, from the Journal of Discourses we have this from Brigham
Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines
of an evening, called the moon? When you inquire about the
inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as
ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it
is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is
inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any
life there? No question of it. It was not made in vain.-
Journal of Discourses,vol.13, p.271.
Thinking that their 19th century world-view would endure they never
imagined that one day ‘the most learned’ would land on the moon and
find it barren and uninhabited. Trusting in their splendid
isolation amongst the Rocky Mountains they defied the world and
developed many of the doctrines and practices for which they are still
famous. One notorious teaching was Brigham Young's Adam/God
doctrine. Young stated on April 9th, 1852:
Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth…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 is Michael, the
Arch-angel, the Ancient of Days!…He is our Father and our God, and
the only God with whom we have to do. –
Journal of Discourses, vol.1, pp.50-51.
Today what the church calls the Adam/God ‘theory’ is stridently
denied and those who teach it are excommunicated. Along with
polygamy, blood atonement and men on the moon, Adam/God was dropped, and
the church buried its 19th century mistakes with its 19th
century dead. One commentator observed that "The [Mormon]
Church entered the twentieth century in anxious pursuit of
This century, however, has also seen the Mormon Church face
controversy. One notable hangover from the days of Brigham and
Joseph has been the church's stance on Negroes. One noted Mormon
As a result of his rebellion [in a pre-mortal existence], Cain was
cursed with a dark skin; he became the father of the Negroes, and
those spirits who were not worthy to receive the priesthood are born
through his lineage. –
Bruce R McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p 102.
Another leader declared:
Is there any reason then why the type of birth we receive in this
life is not a reflection of the worthiness or lack of it in the
pre-existent life?…We cannot escape the conclusion that because of
performance in the pre-existence some of us are born as Chinese, some
as Japanese, some as Latter-day Saints. These are rewards and
punishments. - Mark E Peterson,
Race Problems - As They Affect the Church.
According to performance in a pre-mortal state men and women are born
into different races. The Negro is the lowest of these and not
deserving of Mormon priesthood blessing. Clearly to be born White,
Anglo-Saxon and LDS puts a person at the top of this caste system.
In 1978 the then prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, announced that
"all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to the
priesthood without regard to race or color," claiming to have
received revelation on the matter. This has opened a whole new
mission field to the church, which is now expanding at a phenomenal rate
amongst African nations.
Again, the Mormons are digging graves for past mistakes. Dead
and gone are key portions of the temple ceremony. Notably the
blood oaths were removed in 1990, and a controversial section portraying
the typical Christian clergyman as a lackey of Satan, who taught a
"ridiculous and incomprehensible" philosophy, which he called
"orthodox religion," was removed. The Journal of
Discourses was once an essential source of doctrine. It has
recently been demoted to the position of interesting but uninspired
teachings, which may, or may not, be reliable. Many of the
problems they are trying to bury are from this, once unimpeachable,
source. (The preface to volume eight of the Journal states
"The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the Standard
Works of the Church") Bruce R McConkie simply shares the fate
of all past prophets. While his writings were once essential reading in
every seminary and institute class, he is increasingly marginalised as
his teachings fall behind current Mormon thinking. As with the
prophets of the nineteenth century, the Mormons seem to be burying their
20th century mistakes with their 20th century dead.
So here we are quoting McConkie and Talmage etc. as authorities,
naively thinking that they are endorsed by a church that itself
extensively quotes them. In manuals, periodicals and journals we
are led to believe that, if an apostle says it then it must be so.
But I am afraid the Mormon Church wants the penny and the bun. It
wants apostles and prophets but it does not want to be held accountable
for what they say when what they say is no longer politically correct.
Where are we to look then when we wish to know "what Mormons
believe"? Perhaps the writings of apologists like Dr. Stephen
E Robinson of Brigham Young University might help us. He is
certainly the flavour of the month as author of Are Mormons
Christians? and co-author of How wide the Divide?
No help here I am afraid. In the first mentioned volume he writes
in the preface, "It should be understood that I do not speak
officially for the LDS church or for Brigham Young
University." Perhaps we can look to Mike Parker for some
authoritative teaching on Mormonism? No luck here either I am
afraid. A similar disclaimer is found on the Mike Parker LDS
Library, "Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here do not
necessarily represent those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints or its presiding authorities."
So you see, when a Mormon jumps up and declares "but I don't
believe that Joseph Smith is as important as Jesus," he must of
course be believed. We must also believe, however, that he does
not speak for the church and therefore is only an authority on what is
both Mr Robinson's and Mr Parker's favourite subject – ‘what I
believe.’ He is not an authority on ‘what Mormons believe.’
That honour is claimed and jealously guarded by a group of elderly
gentlemen in Salt Lake City. We will then continue to quote them,
and their predecessors, and show the world ‘what a tangled web [they]
Meanwhile it should be categorically understood that many do not
believe that Joseph Smith is as important as Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, it is the opinion of some that no Mormon of his
acquaintance believes it and he further believes, in his own opinion,
that should any Mormon subscribe to and teach it then they would be in
danger of excommunication from the church.
So we come back again to the question "which LDS writer has
claimed that the Mormon Church believes Joseph Smith is as important as
Jesus Christ?" Joseph Smith said of himself,
I combat the errors of the ages; I meet the violence of the mobs; I
cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the
gordian knot of powers, and I solve mathematical problems of
universities, with truth diamond-truth; and God is my "right hand
History of the Church vol.5, p.467.
If they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the
top of a mountain and crow like a rooster; I shall always beat them... I
have more to boast of than any man had. I am the only man that has 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. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.
followers of Jesus ran away from Him, but the Latter-day saints never
ran away from me yet. –
History of the Church vol.6, pp.408-9)
Then we could add these words by Joseph's successor:
Well now, examine the character of the Savior, and examine the
characters of those who have written the Old and New Testaments; and
then compare them with the character of Joseph Smith, the founder of
this work - the man whom God called and to whom he gave the keys of
Priesthood, and through whom he has established his Church and kingdom
for the last time, and you will find that his character stands as fair
as any man's mentioned in the Bible. -
Journal of Discourses, vol.14.p.203.
We allow his followers to explain what they think of him:
MEDIATOR OF THE RESTORED COVENANT
In [an Ensign] article Robert Millet says,
The life of Joseph Smith was in some degree patterned after that of
his Master, Jesus Christ. That pattern holds true even when extended to
its tragic conclusion. Like his Master, Joseph Smith also shed his blood
in order that the final testament, the reestablishment of the new
covenant, might be in full effect" (see Heb.9:16).
Hebrews 9:16 is a reference to the death of Jesus releasing to his
beneficiaries (all who believe - Rom.10:9) "the promised eternal
inheritance" (v15), thus making him "the mediator of the new
covenant" (v15). Mormon theology teaches that such benefits were
lost in apostasy (a complete falling away from the truth) before the end
of the second century and that a restoration was necessary. It was
necessary, then, that there had to be a shedding of blood once more in
order to re-establish that which was once lost. The blood of Joseph, it
seems, was deemed sufficient to achieve once more that for which the
blood of Christ alone was once thought to be sufficient. Joseph, then,
becomes the mediator of the restored covenant.
You may of course, not wish to believe what Robert Millet is saying
about Joseph Smith, although he was published in the Ensign. I know that
the editors publish the usual disclaimer but it is hardly credible that
they would include something if it were so very wide of the mark. He may
not wish to subscribe to what Joseph Smith said of himself, i.e. that
"God is my right hand man", and that he had more to boast of
than any man, including Jesus, (Jesus was in that list of people who
failed where Joseph succeeded wasn't he?). I am confident that there are
many things Mormons wish Joseph and Brigham had not said, but they did.
We did not, indeed could not exaggerate the prophet, nor did we
misrepresent what Robert Millet wrote. If Joseph's blood had to be shed
"in order that the…[re-established] covenant might be in full
effect that makes him the mediator of the re-established covenant.
Without Joseph's shed blood the covenant would, effectively, not exist.
The direct comparison with Jesus' role described in Hebrews 9:16 could
not be clearer.
Therefore, although we did not quote any source as saying it,
nevertheless it is as clear as crystal that Joseph Smith is as important
as Jesus Christ.
In his genealogy
The Lord had his eye upon him, and upon his father, and upon his
father's father, and upon his progenitors clear back to Abraham, and
from Abraham to the flood, from the flood to Enoch, and from Enoch to
Adam. He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated
from its fountain to the birth of that man. –
Discourses of Brigham Young.
As a Mediator:
The life of Joseph Smith was in some degree patterned after that of
his Master, Jesus Christ. That pattern holds true even when extended to
its tragic conclusion. Like his Master, Joseph Smith also shed his blood
in order that the final testament, the reestablishment of the new
covenant, might be in full effect (see Heb.9:16).
And as a Judge:
No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the
celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. –
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol.14.p203.
I would finally point out the wording of the typical Mormon
I bear you my testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God,
that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that a living prophet stands
at the head of the church and that the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth today.
This is a testimony about Joseph, not Jesus!
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