Sunday, January 13, 2008

False Prophet?

Some critics of the Church like to claim that the Prophet Joseph Smith prophesied the Second Coming of the Lord in 1890.

This is the text, from History of the Church, on which they base their statements:

" I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:

"'Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.'

"I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face. I believe the coming of the son of Man will not be any sooner than that time."

Joseph Smith made this statement at a conference held at Ramus, IL, on April 2, 1843.

Only the most bitter or blighted of minds could possibly label this a false prophecy of the Second Coming. Joseph Smith himself declares that it wasn't a prophecy of such an event. And, in fact, he stated elsewhere:

"The Lord has not shown me any such sign ... The Lord will not come to reign over the righteous, in this world, in 1843, nor until everything for the Bridegroom is ready." -- HOC 5:291.

More information:


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that it is admirable that you would open up your faith to criticism as you have. As a devote Christian of traditional belief and a follower of the bible as it was presented to me during my spiritual awakening, I am not as open to critique of my religion.

Clifford said...

Anon: Thank you for your comment.

The heart of Christianity is: God the Father; His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, by whom He created all things; the Holy Spirit; Atonement; the formation of His Church; the inspiration of the Bible; resurrection and the promise of a glorious afterlife.

Latter-day Saints and other Christians have these and other beliefs in common, and they are matters of faith.

But Christianity also has a lot of historical evidence on its side. That Jesus -- though He preached for barely three years -- would merit a mention within a few decades of His mortal life in the pages of Josephus, is striking, regardless of whatever embellishment may or may not have been added to the passage.

That Christianity, though its early adherents suffered terrible tortures and deprivations, soon outnumbered (and has long outlasted) the contemporary mystery cults of Isis and such, who never suffered such sustained attacks, is worthy of consideration.

Not ever believer is born to be an apologist, but you can rest assured that Christianity can and has been defended by some of the best minds in history.

Cycle said...

I am concerned that there is so much discussion on the matter of Joseph Smith being a false prophet, the answer to me seems so simple. Once this truth is discovered then no human can continue to believe in any of Smiths Morman Religion because the very basest of proclaimed truths, his first writing of his "experience" with God, is False.

From website:
1832 account of first vision. Handwriting: Frederick G. Williams & Joseph Smith Jr. (the story itself is in the handwriting of Joseph Smith Jr.) recorded between summer 1832 and November 1832. Spelling is from the original.

...a being who makith Laws and decreeeth and bindeth all things in theirbounds who filleth Eternity who was and is and will be fron all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered all these things andthat [that] being Seeketh such to worship him as worship him inspirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy forthere was none else to whom I could go and {to} obtain mercy andthe Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in [the] attitude of calling upon the Lord [in the 16th* year of my age] a pillar of {fire} lightabove the brightness of the Sun at noon day come down fromabove and rested upon me and I was filld with the Spirit of God and the [Lord] opened the heavens upon me and I Saw the Lord and he Spake unto me Saying Joseph [my son] thy Sins are forgiven thee. go thy [way] walk in my Statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life [behold] the world lieth in sin {and} at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the Gospel and keep not [my] commandments...

1835 account, written by Warren A. Cowdery. Monday Nov. 9th. . .
I knew not who was right or who was wrong, but considered it of the first importance to me that I should be right, in matters of so much moment, matter involving eternal consequences. Being thus perplexed in mind I retired to the silent grove and there bowed down before the Lord, under a realizing sense (if the bible be true) ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened, seek and you shall find, and again, if any man lack wisdom, let of God who giveth to all men liberally & upbraideth not. Information was what I most desired at this time, and with a fixed determination to obtain it, I called on the Lord for the first time in the place above stated, or in other words, I made a fruitless attempt to pray My tongue seemed to be swoolen in my mouth, so that I could not utter, I heard a noise behind me like some one walking towards me. I strove again to pray, but could not; the noise of walking seemed to draw nearer, I sprang upon my feet and looked round, but saw no person or thing that was calculated to produce the noise of walking. I kneeled again, my mouth was opened and my tongue loosed; I called on the Lord in mighty prayer. A pillar of fire appeared above my head; which presently rested down upon me, and filled me with un-speakable joy. A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed. Another personage soon appeared like unto the first: he said unto me thy sins are forgiven thee. He testified also unto me that Jesus Christ is the son of God. I saw many angels in this vision. I was about 14 years old when I received this first communication. .

The True Prophet Hears From God Through Dreams:
Old Testament

Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

This is the word of the Lord, there is no denying that God guaranteed that we would know a true prophet because he would come in a vision and speak to the prophet in a dream. In neither of these original accountings did Joseph or Cowdery claim to be alseep or dreaming, both claim to be outside in prayer at noon, both clearly recalled where there were at the time it supposedly happened. Mormons beware:

False Prophets Will Be Numerous, And Very Successful:
New Testament

Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

2 Pet 2:1 [NIV] But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2 Pet 2:2 [NIV] Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
2 Pet 2:3 [NIV] In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

Very simple, Joseph Smith was a false prophet and anyone who claims/practices Mormonism as their religion is bringing swift destruction on themselves.

Clifford said...

Cycle: You have suggested two premises for Joseph Smith being a false prophet. The first one is so old and silly it's hardly worth bothering about ... the supposed differing versions of the First Vision.

The Gospels present slightly differing accounts of various events in Jesus' life. The Apostle Paul's conversion story appears in slightly different forms in the New Testament.

Does that invalidate them? Of course not. There are logical reasons for it, but if you are just here to attack my faith, I won't waste the time trying to explain it -- you'd better just hope your faith in Jesus and Paul can withstand those "discrepancies."

As for your second proposition, come on! Was Moses asleep atop Mt. Sinai?

Cycle said...

The answer for Moses is the next verse
6 he said, "Listen to my words:
"When a prophet of the LORD is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.

7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.

8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?"

This is a simple premise, either God was not speaking the truth when he said I speak to a true prophet in dreams or Joseph Smith was lying about God speaking to him at noon while he was praying outside.

I never said anything about the supposedly differing versions of Joseph Smiths visit from God, you made that jump by yourself, I never questioned it. It was not a premise I suggested as being contradictory or proof that he was a false prophet. I merely included both narratives which clearly show that Joseph Smith claimed he was awake and God spoke to him which is contrary to what God promised, the word of God is the word of God, we would know his prophet because he would come to him in visions and speak to him in dreams. This is clearly not the case with Joseph Smith. So who was being untruthful, God or Smith?

Please, you opened up this discussion and I would hope that you would take the time to read the responses you are recieving and not attack on who proposes something that scares you. You know in your heart that this is true, there can be no way that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and it is his own words in his own handwriting that condemn him.

Clifford said...

Cycle, the difference between your faith and mine is that you interpret the scriptures to say what God cannot do and I interpret them to say what He can.

God can speak to prophets any way that He chooses, today, yesterday and forever.

If he made an exception to the dream policy for Moses, He can make it for Joseph Smith, and, in fact, there are other places in the Bible where He spoke -- and appeared -- to people who were fully awake. Note as well that Jesus is God and He appeared to a whole lot of fully awake people.

When God appears to men, He transfigures them to endure His presence.

In any case, Numbers allows for visions and a vision is what Joseph Smith had.

I am not afraid to defend my faith, Cycle.

Cycle said...


Numbers allowed for a vision and speaking in a dream, period. God did not say that the exception was for Moses and Joseph Smith, just Moses.

You have no idea what my faith is and you can have no concept of how I interpret the word of God. Besides there is no way to misinterpret the words that God spoke about his true Prophets. There are many places where God appears to others, there are many places that God spoke to others, but after Exodus, what true prophets arise that where God appeard in a vision and spoke to them while they were awake? If you could cite scripture to back up your rude remarks I would greatly appreciate it, otherwise I will not be back. I thought this was an intellectual discussion, not a denfend yourself with personal attacks kindergarden blog.

Clifford said...

Cycle: The most obvious example is Saul of Tarsus, as he was traveling, not sleep-walking, towards Damascus.

Isaiah makes no mention in Isaiah 6 of having been asleep when he saw the Lord in the temple.

Neither does Jeremiah.

And the prophet Ezekiel quite clearly traveled to the places that the Lord wished him to go, with no mention of being asleep either, Ezekiel chapter 3.

The Lord does not need to wait until a man is asleep to appear unto Him with His messages.

I don't know with what denomination you affiliate, Cycle, and I really don't care. You came to this blog attacking the Prophet Joseph Smith and telling me that I am in great danger for believing in him. I consider THAT to be very rude.

All I know about your methods of interpretation is that you have told me that God only reveals himself to sleeping prophets, a limitation which quite frankly is new to me and wholly unsupported by scripture, a wresting of the text in Numbers.

Notice that Anonymous before you, while we obviously differ in our beliefs, was able to post in a much more respectful manner.

You could have told me about this somnolent belief of yours without trying to tell me in the same breath that the Prophet Joseph is a fraud and that my poor soul is on the high road to hell.

Clifford said...

Some further thoughts:

The word in Numbers translated vision is mareh, which Strong's Concordance of the Bible defines as "seeing, whether real or mental."