LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXX

By Marvin W. Cowan

In the original Doctrine & Covenants published in 1835, there were four articles in the Appendix. The first article in that Appendix in 1835 had no introduction or heading except “Section C, Appendix.” In 1921 it was moved into the main part of the D. & C. where it became D. & C. 133 as stated in our last installment. Although this article had no introduction in 1835, the current edition of D. & C. 133 introduces it with these words, “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Hiram, Ohio, November 3, 1831.” If it was a revelation in 1831, why wasn’t it put in the main part of the D. & C. with Smith’s other revelations instead of in the Appendix? If it wasn’t a revelation in 1831, how did it become one 90 years after Smith said he received it? Most people don’t consider an Appendix to be as important as the main part of the book and many never read it. So, is that the best place to put a revelation?

The only heading for the second article in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix was “Section CI, Marriage.” That article was read to the General Assembly of LDS who met in Kirtland, Ohio on August 17, 1835 and they voted unanimously to accept it and have it published in the D. & C. That was the same meeting and the same LDS people who also voted unanimously to accept the D. & C. as “the doctrine and covenants” of their faith. But the article on “Marriage” was entirely deleted from all new editions of the D. & C. after the Mormons moved to Salt Lake City under Brigham Young’s leadership. LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explained that the article on “Marriage” was deleted because it was written by Oliver Cowdery in the absence of Joseph Smith and did not reflect Smith’s views. He also said that “It was clearly understood by all concerned, however, that the article on Marriage was not a revelation” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 52). But there is nothing in the article on “Marriage” or in the History of the Church to indicate that Cowdery wrote it. And if everyone clearly understood that it was not a revelation, why did LDS vote unanimously to accept it and have it put in the D. & C. in 1835 along with Smith’s revelations?

The 1835 article on “Marriage” clearly did not teach the same thing as Smith’s 1843 “revelation” in D. & C. 132 which taught polygamy. The article on “Marriage” stated that “All marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints should be solemnized in a public meeting.” But after Smith’s 1843 “revelation” in D. & C. 132, LDS have taught that the most sacred marriages are performed in LDS temples where the public cannot enter! The “Marriage” article also says “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached for the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman should have one husband, except in the case of death.” The article on “Marriage” was published in 1835 which was eight years before Smith’s 1843 revelation on polygamy was published. But, apparently some LDS were doing things that caused others to think they might be involved in immorality or polygamy in 1835!

The third article in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix was entitled “Of Governments and Laws in General.” That article was also read at the LDS “General Assembly” meeting in Kirtland, Ohio on August 17, 1835. After it was read, the same LDS who had voted unanimously to accept the article on “Marriage” as well as the entire Doctrine and Covenants, also voted unanimously to accept the article entitled “Of Governments and Laws in General” and to have it published in the D. & C. as Section CII. It was placed in the Appendix of the 1835 D. & C. right after the article on “Marriage” where it remained until 1921 when it was moved into the main body of the D. & C. and became D. & C. Sec. 134. The heading in the original 1835 edition stated: “That our belief, with regard to earthly governments and laws in general, may not be misinterpreted nor misunderstood, we have thought proper to present, at the close of this volume, our opinion concerning the same.” That is still part of the heading in the current edition. This article has 12 verses which are the same today as they were in the 1835 edition. Verse 12 declares: “We do not believe it right to interfere with bondservants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their master.” In the New Testament, Onesimus was a slave who belonged to Philemon, but had run away and then became a Christian. The Apostle Paul wrote to Philemon urging him to accept Onesimus back and treat him as a brother in Christ (Philemon 1:10-18). The Biblical gospel is for all men according to Mark 16:15 and Gal. 3:28.

The fourth and last article in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix was actually the minutes of the General Assembly meeting held on August 17, 1835 in Kirtland, Ohio. It was published in the 1835 D. & C. Appendix under the title “General Assembly” and is found on pages 255 through 257 of that volume. But like the article on “Marriage,” the minutes of that “General Assembly” on August 17, 1835 were deleted from all future editions of the D. & C. It is easy to see why the article on Marriage was deleted, but why was the one entitled “General Assembly” deleted? Was it because those minutes show that the same Mormons who voted unanimously on August 17, 1835 to accept the article on “Marriage” and have put it in the D. & C. were the same ones who voted unanimously at the same meeting to accept the D. & C. as their “doctrine and covenants”? If they were wrong to accept the article on “Marriage,” could they also have been wrong to accept the D. & C. as scripture? Why were two of the original articles in the Appendix of the 1835 D. & C. dropped from future editions of the D. & C. while the other two became LDS scripture along with Smith’s revelations? Who made those changes and why was it done?

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXIX

By Marvin W. Cowan

Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, said of Doctrine and Covenants, Section 133, “At this time there were many things which the Elders desired to know relative to preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, and concerning the gathering; and in order to walk by the true light, and be instructed from on high, on the 3rd of November, 1831, I inquired of the Lord and received the following revelation.” That is part of the current introduction to D. & C. 133. Smith called the content in D. & C. 133 a revelation, but unlike his other revelations it was put in the Appendix and labeled “Section C” (100) in the first edition of the D. & C. in 1835. It remained in the Appendix until 1921 when it was moved into the main part of the D. & C. and became D. & C. Sec. 133. Many LDS lived and died during the 90 years between 1831 and 1921 while it was in the Appendix and didn’t have the same status that Smith’s other revelations had in the main part of the D. & C. Smith died in 1844, which was 77 years before 1921, so he didn’t move it from the Appendix to the main part of the D. & C. If it really was a revelation why was it put in the Appendix in the first place? Smith “received” this document in 1831, so why did LDS wait 90 years to give it equal status with Smith’s other revelations? Did God change His mind about it or did some man decide to move it?

Joseph Smith’s revelations were first published in The Book of Commandments in 1833, but most of that edition was destroyed during the LDS conflicts in Missouri. Chapter one in it is “A Preface or instruction unto the Book of Commandments.” That Preface became D. & C. Section 1 when the first edition of the D. & C. was published in 1835. It is still Section 1 in the current edition and is a preface to the entire D. & C. Smith claimed he received D. & C. 1 as a revelation on Nov. 1, 1831 and D. & C. 133 on Nov. 3, 1831 and presented them both to the LDS conference in Hyrum, OH in November 1831. In D. & C. 1:37-38 the “Lord” said: “Search these commandments for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord, have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” That refers to all the prophecies in the D. & C., including D. & C. 133.

In D. & C. 133:4, 7, & 10 the “Lord” said, “Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion…Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations…Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.” That was addressed to Mormons living in November of 1831. Did they go out to meet the Bridegroom (Christ) in 1831? The official name of the Mormon Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they believed they were living in the “latter days” when Christ would return. At an annual LDS conference held in Nauvoo, IL on April 6, 1843 Joseph Smith said, “There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste of death till Christ comes. I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, ‘My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.’ I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this; and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He would make His appearance” (History of the Church, vol. V, p. 336). When Smith said “The rising generation” wouldn’t taste death until Christ returned, he was referring to the children living in 1843 when he made this prediction. But all of the children living in 1843 died over a hundred years ago, yet the Lord still hasn’t come! Smith was killed in 1844, a little over a year after he made that prediction, so he didn’t live to be 85. He would have been 85 in 1890, but Christ didn’t come by that date either. So, was he a true prophet of God?

Joseph Smith said he received D. & C. 84: 1-5 as a revelation on September 22 & 23, 1832. It says LDS are to gather in Zion, Jackson County Missouri where they would build the New Jerusalem and a temple. Verse 5 also says the generation living then (in 1832) wouldn’t all pass away until this was accomplished. But the gathering to Zion in Missouri was aborted on July 23, 1833 when LDS leaders signed an agreement to leave Missouri. The temple and the New Jerusalem were never built there and the generation living in 1832 all died over one hundred years ago, so it is impossible for this revelation to be fulfilled now! D. & C. 101:16-20 also says Zion could never be moved, so it isn’t located in Salt Lake City or any other place. The “gathering” of the LDS to Zion is mentioned in the D. & C. many times and was a major doctrine in Joseph Smith’s time, but in the March 2000 Ensign the LDS First Presidency said: “We wish to reiterate the long standing counsel to members of the Church to remain in their homelands rather than immigrate to the United States.” So, did the Lord change His mind or did this revelation really come from God? While D. & C. 1:37-38 says the prophecies and promises in the D. & C would all be fulfilled, many like D. & C. 84:1-5 and 133:4-10 have not been fulfilled and cannot be fulfilled now because the LDS people who were to fulfill them all died over 100 years ago. That says a lot about the validity of LDS scripture and of Joseph Smith as a prophet!

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXVIII

By Marvin W. Cowan

Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 132 has 66 verses, most of which focus on Joseph Smith and “the new and everlasting covenant” of eternal marriage and polygamy. In D. & C. 132:3-4 and 6-7, “the Lord” told Joseph Smith, “Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory….And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.”

These verses state that all who have this “new and everlasting covenant” revealed to them must obey it or be damned and no one can reject it and enter God’s glory. D. & C. 132 is still LDS Scripture, so all Mormons have it revealed to them, but almost none of them obey it. Are they damned, or can they enter God’s glory? This text also says any who accept it must keep all of the laws etc. or they will still be damned. And it declares that polygamous marriages must be sealed for eternity by the priesthood power held only by Smith in the last days. But Smith died in 1844 just 11 months after this revelation was recorded. 170 years of “last days” have now passed since Smith was alive to seal marriages by his priesthood power. But LDS today claim that Smith’s priesthood power is held by the LDS prophets who succeeded him. There are numerous LDS temples now in which many LDS men are “sealing marriages” for eternity simultaneously by their priesthood authority. So, that authority is not in the hands of Joseph Smith or the LDS Prophets who succeeded him. Mormons also now teach that eternal marriages can only be performed in LDS temples, but D. & C. 132 does not say that.

Joseph Smith’s first wife, Emma, was opposed to polygamy which caused a lot of trouble and disharmony in their home. But, “the Lord” revealed a message for Emma to Joseph Smith in D. & C. 132:52, 54-55 saying, “And let mine handmaid, Emma, receive 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…And I command mine handmaid Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not my law. But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world…” More about how polygamy is to be established in LDS homes is found in verses 61-65: “And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desires to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given to him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she hath committed adultery, and shall be destroyed;… if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her;…Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor…”

This text told Emma to accept the law of polygamy and the wives Joseph had married before this “revelation” or she would be destroyed. Emma did not accept polygamy or his wives yet she lived until 1879, which was 35 years longer than Joseph who died 11 months after he recorded this revelation! Emma was commanded to cleave to Joseph and to none else, but after Joseph’s death she remarried and cleaved to her new husband! D. & C. 132 required all plural wives to be virgins and that Joseph and all LDS men get their first wife’s permission before marrying them. Joseph married 11 women who were already married to other men, so they were not virgins and he did not get Emma’s permission before marrying his plural wives. This text said if Smith’s wives were with another man they would be destroyed, but they weren’t destroyed and he was! D. & C. 132 is for men who desire more than one wife but it does not even consider the wife’s desire! If she refused to go along with him, he was still to get what he desired and the wife who refused to go along with his desires is called the transgressor and was to be destroyed! Would a lustful man using a “revelation” to coerce a woman to submit to him look any different than this? Why did LDS Prophet Woodruff nullify this revelation in 1890 if it came from God? And why is it still in LDS scripture if it isn’t to be obeyed? For any who want to read more about Joseph Smith’s polygamy, see In Sacred Loneliness, The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, by Todd Compton, pub. by Signature Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 1997.

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXVII

By Marvin W. Cowan

The current heading of Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 132 says it is a “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives.” However, from the time it was first published in the D. & C. until 1921, the heading said, “Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, including Plurality of Wives. Given through Joseph, the Seer, in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, July 12, 1843.” Both headings tie eternal marriage and polygamy or “plurality of wives” together. The main difference in the headings is that the earlier one clearly says this revelation was given to Smith on July 12, 1843 while the current one just says it was recorded on that date. This change in the heading was made because LDS historians found that Smith was married to a “plurality of wives” beginning in 1831, yet the only “revelation” commanding LDS men to have a plurality of wives is D. & C. 132, given by Smith in 1843. In order to justify Smith’s earlier polygamy, LDS leaders claim Smith knew the content of this revelation in 1831 even though it wasn’t recorded until 1843. Since Smith was already secretly living as a polygamist as early as 1831, why didn’t he reveal it then if it was a revelation from God? Why wait 12 years before revealing it.

D. & C. 132:34-35 and 37-39 says, “God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did he do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord commanded it…
Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods. David also received many wives and concubines and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me. David’s wives and concubines were given to him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of this world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.”

Some content in D. & C. 132:34-39 conflicts with the Bible. For example: 1. The Bible does not say God commanded Abraham to take a concubine. 2. No Old Testament law says that wives should give concubines to their husbands. 3. The Bible does not say that God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled by his son Ishmael through his concubine Hagar. Gen. 17:19 says God would establish His covenant with Abraham and Sarah’s son Isaac, for an everlasting covenant and with his seed after him. And Gen. 17:21; 21:12; Rom. 9:7; Heb. 11:18 confirm that the promise was fulfilled through Isaac. 4. The Bible says in Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6 and James 2:23 that “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.” But it does not say that Abraham’s children by his concubines were counted to him for righteousness. 5. Nor does the Bible say that Abraham or anyone else was ever exalted and became gods. 6. And, why did the Lord speak to Joseph Smith in the King James English of 1611 instead of the English that Smith spoke in America during his life?

D. & C. 132: 34-39 also contradicts the Book of Mormon. In Jacob 1:15 it says that the people “began to grow hard in their hearts and indulge themselves, somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son. Jacob 2:24 also says, “Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.” Jacob 2:27 also says, “For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.” Jacob 3:5 teaches the same thing. If David’s wives and concubines were given to him by the Lord and it wasn’t a sin to have them as D. & C. 132:39 says, why did the Lord call it a wicked practice and an abomination in Jacob 1:15 and 2:24? If the Lord’s people were not to have more than one wife as Jacob 2:27 says, why does D. & C. 132 command LDS men to have more than one? Mormon scripture gives Mormons contradictory information about polygamy. If they have more than one wife they are involved in a wicked practice that is abominable to the Lord according to Jacob 1:15 in the B. of M. But D. & C. 132:4 says if they fail to obey the new and everlasting covenant of having many wives and concubines, they will be damned! Such contradictory information did not come from the God of the Bible. The Apostle Paul was writing about God when he said in II Timothy 2:13, “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful; He cannot deny (contradict) Himself.”

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXVI

By Marvin W. Cowan

Polygamy was so important in early Mormonism that their first seven Prophets or Presidents and thousands of members were polygamists. “The Lord” commanded Joseph Smith and other LDS men to have more than one wife in Doctrine & Covenants (D. & C.) Sec. 132 which was recorded on July 12, 1843. That is the only LDS scripture that clearly teaches polygamy, but it also teaches celestial (eternal) marriage and those two LDS beliefs are so intertwined that it is not easy to separate them. D. & C. 132 is still in LDS scripture even though LDS claim polygamy ended in 1890. It remains in LDS scripture because it is their only scripture that defines Celestial Marriage, but it also teaches polygamy, so it can be a problem for them. D. & C. 131:2 does mention “the new and everlasting covenant of marriage,” but it doesn’t define it. It is dated May 16 & 17, 1843, which was two months before D. & C. 132 defined Celestial Marriage.

D. & C. 132:4 says polygamy is “a new and everlasting covenant.” LDS Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie said, “Each time this everlasting covenant is revealed it is new to those of that dispensation” and it is everlasting because the Everlasting God revealed it (Mormon Doctrine, p. 530). Was it really new if Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other Old Testament men lived it as D. & C. 132:34-39 says? And was it really everlasting if it was first recorded in 1843 and ended 47 years later in 1890 when LDS Prophet Wilford Woodruff issued his “Manifesto”? Is “everlasting life” that brief? D. & C. 132 was recorded on July 12, 1843 and was announced publically on August 29, 1852 by LDS Apostle Orson Pratt, but it didn’t become LDS scripture until 1876 when it was added to the D. & C. If LDS polygamy ended in 1890, the “new and everlasting covenant” was only in their scripture 14 years when they were told not to obey it! Although years of pressure by the US Government led Woodruff to issue his Manifesto which told LDS to obey the laws of the land, they still call it a “revelation from God.” But polygamy was so important to LDS from Joseph Smith’s time until 1890 that many didn’t give it up. Brigham Young, the second LDS Prophet even said, “The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God are those who enter polygamy” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269). So, some polygamists went to Canada or Mexico to continue polygamy while still others secretly practiced it in the USA. But, pressure from the US Government continued until another LDS “Manifesto” was issued in 1904. That ended most of the LDS polygamy the USA, but some Mormons still didn’t give it up because they thought their leaders were obeying man rather than God.

Many of those who continued to practice polygamy claimed to be the true successors of Joseph Smith’s Church. They formed the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) and other Mormon polygamist or fundamentalist groups. A few LDS today have their membership in both the LDS Church and one of the polygamist groups. But LDS leaders claim there is no connection between their Church and polygamist groups like the FLDS. If there is no connection between the LDS and FLDS Churches, why do they both claim that: 1. Joseph Smith was their founder; 2. their first three Prophets are the same men; 3. they are led by a Prophet today; 4. they accept the Bible, Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price as scripture; 5. they have the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods; 6. they are the one true church; 7. they have temples where sacred (secret) rites are performed for eternity; 8. God authorized Joseph Smith in D. & C. 132 to teach and live in polygamy and it is “scripture”. Such things show that there is a long historical connection between LDS and FLDS Churches even though there is no organizational connection today.

In April 2008 the polygamous Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch in Texas, which is owned by the FLDS Church, was raided by Texas authorities because they were told underage girls were being pressured to marry older polygamous men. The news media carried many reports about the raid and the FLDS Church. A survey later showed that 36% of people interviewed thought the YFZ Ranch was part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon or LDS Church). The LDS Church wants to be accepted as “Christian” and they know if people think they are involved with polygamy, that acceptance won’t happen. So, whenever the news media reports about fundamentalist Mormon groups, Mormon leaders have asked them to clearly state that they are not part of the LDS Church. If the Mormon Church doesn’t want to be identified with polygamy there are at least three things they can do that will help them: 1. Take D. & C. Sec. 132 (about polygamy) out of their scripture or have a “revelation” canceling it. 2. Quit the current practice of marrying or sealing multiple wives to Mormon men for eternity in LDS temples, even though they may not live in a polygamous relationship now. 3. Quit teaching that LDS men will have multiple wives after this life in eternity when they become gods. In those areas Mormonism still has a strong connection to polygamy!

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXV

By Marvin W. Cowan

Joseph Smith, the founding Prophet and first President of the Mormon Church, was a polygamist. He claimed God revealed to him that he and other LDS men were to have more than one wife. That revelation was “recorded on July 12, 1843” and is now Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 132. The first four verses out of the 65 that make up D. & C. 132 state: “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph (Smith), that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.”

The introduction to D. & C. 132 says, “Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet (Smith) since 1831.” If Smith knew the doctrines and principles of having more than one wife since 1831, where did he get that information? There is no record of a revelation on that subject prior to D. & C. 132 recorded on July 12, 1843. The introduction to D. & C. 132 says “It is evident from historical records” that Smith knew about this doctrine since 1831, but the only historical evidence that exists is that Smith began marrying other women as plural wives in 1831! Wouldn’t an all wise God have given the revelation before Smith began marrying other wives if the revelation came from Him? Since Smith “recorded” D. & C. 132 twelve years after he began to marry several other wives, was he trying to justify what he was already doing? D. & C. 132 clearly shows that Smith had other wives before he received this revelation because he is told in verse three, “Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you…” Since “the Lord” was “about to give” instructions concerning having more than one wife, He had not given those instructions to Smith previously. But, verse 52 of this revelation says, “And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith (Joseph Smith’s first wife) receive all those (wives) that have been given unto my servant Joseph…” The words “have been given” show that Smith already had other wives when “the Lord” gave him this revelation!

In D. & C. 132:1 Joseph Smith was obviously thinking about polygamy when he asked “the Lord” how Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other Old Testament men were justified in “having many wives and concubines.” Some men in the Old Testament did have more than one wife, but the Bible does not say that God commanded them to do that or that He “justified” them in it. Smith seems to be looking for a way to justify himself since he already had several wives. In verse one of this “revelation” the subject of having many wives was brought up by Smith, not God. But the Bible says, “No prophecy (revelation) ever came by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Pet. 1:21). In other words, revelation from God doesn’t originate with man and isn’t given because man wants it. Revelation is given only because God knows we need it and He wants to give it.

When God created the first man and woman He said, “Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Notice, it says “wife,” not wives. Jesus also said in Matt. 19:4-5 “Have ye not read, that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain (two) shall be one flesh.” Again it says “wife,” not wives. It also says “they two” shall be one flesh, not the man and his five, ten, or twelve wives shall be one flesh! Eph. 5:31 also says, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” These and other Biblical texts clearly teach monogamy, not polygamy. There is no Biblical command to be a polygamist, but there are many texts that teach monogamy. So, why was Joseph Smith asking about polygamy instead of monogamy? Was he was looking for a way to make the polygamous lifestyle he had lived since 1831 appear to be holy or scriptural because he knew that most people would not accept it otherwise?

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXIV

By Marvin W. Cowan

Joseph Smith said the Lord named their Church the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because they were living in the last days (Doctrine and Covenants 115:3-4). And he said D. & C. 112:15 was revealed to him by the Lord on July 23, 1843. It said, “Exalt not yourselves; rebel not against my servant Joseph; for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to youward, shall not be taken from him till I come.” That indicates that Smith will be alive and have the “keys” until Jesus returns! Joseph Smith also claimed that the Lord said in D. & C. 130 14-17, “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. D. & C. 130 is dated April 2, 1843 and came from Smith’s diary dated that day. Smith was born December 23, 1805, just one week before 1806 began. If 85 years are added to 1805 or 1806 Christ’s coming would be no sooner than 1890 or 1891, according to Smith.

At the LDS General Conference on April 6, 1843, just four days after the above prophecy, Joseph Smith also said, “Were I going to prophesy, I would say the end [of the world] would not come in 1844, 5, or 6, or in forty years. There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes. I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, ‘My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.’ I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this; and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He will make His appearance or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written—the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old” (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 336, also in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 286, by Joseph Fielding Smith, 6th LDS Prophet). Note that Smith said in 1843, “There are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till Christ comes.” Is anyone still alive who was alive in 1843? LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie knew that this prophecy had to be fulfilled or Smith would be a false prophet. So he said, “It is not unreasonable to suppose that many young men had babies at the time of this prophecy (1843) and also had other children as much as 50 or 75 years later, assuming for instance that they were married again to younger women. This very probable assumption would bring the date up to, say, the 2nd decade in the 20th century—and the children so born would be members of that same rising generation of which the Prophet spoke. Now if these children lived to the normal age of men generally, they would be alive well past the year 2000 A D” (Mormon Doctrine, pages 692-693). So, if a 20 year old man had a child in 1843 and 75 years later in 1918 when he was 95 he had another child by a younger wife, that child would be 96 years old in 2014. Is 90 “the normal age of men generally”? How many 95 year old men fathered children in 1918? How many 96 year old people today are really part of the rising generation of 1843? McConkie tried very hard to show that Smith was a true prophet, but Christ has not come, so Smith’s prophecy still has not been fulfilled! On January 4, 1833 Smith also predicted many things would happen to that generation related to the coming of Christ and again said, “There are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things which I have spoken, fulfilled” (H. of C. vol. 1, pp. 315-316). Most of what he predicted never happened, yet all of the people living in 1833 are dead!

The minutes of a meeting on February 14, 1835 when the first Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church were selected say: “President (Joseph) Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion (Missouri)—our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry , and 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” (H. of C. vol. 2, p. 182). The names of the 210 people who went to Zion and who were to “prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord” are listed in vol. 2, pages 183-185. They all died more than a century ago! A baby born the day Smith made this prophecy would be 179 years old in 2014 and everyone else living then would be older. Is anyone that old still alive? Smith also said those who went to Zion would “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.” If 56 years are added to 1835 when this prophecy was made, it equals 1891, the same year Smith’s other prophecy predicted the Lord’s return. Did the Lord come then? Was this a true prophecy? What does that tell us about Joseph Smith as a prophet?

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXIII

By Marvin W. Cowan

Diaries are not usually considered to be scripture, but Doctrine and Covenants, Section 130 was copied from Joseph Smith’s diary dated April 2, 1843. All the introduction to D. & C. 130 says is, “Items of instruction by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Ramus, Illinois, April 2, 1843 HC 5:323-335,” but D. & C. 130 doesn’t cite the source of those instructions. HC 5:323-335 is History of the Church vol. 5, pp. 323-325 and is given as a reference but neither it nor the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual pp. 321-324 give the source of Smith’s instructions in D. & C. 130. However, parts of Smith’s diary on April 2, 1843 were copied with a few words changed to make D. & C. 130. To see that, compare D. & C. 130 with photo copies of Smith’s original 1843 diary, pages 37 through 44 or in the published volume entitled An American Prophet’s Record, The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, pages 339 to 341, published by Signature Books in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1987. Smith’s diary on April 2, 1843 has other content before, after and between some of the verses in D. & C. 130, so how and why was the content selected to become LDS scripture? Did God intermittently inspire what Smith wrote in his diary that day? Smith didn’t say that any part of his diary was LDS scripture.

D. & C. 130:1 says, “When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.” I John 3:2 also says “We shall see Him as He is,” but it does not say He is just like us now. It says “We shall be like Him,” but that is future, when He returns. So, He is NOT a man like us now, as Smith said. D. & C. 130:2 says, “That same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory which glory we do not now enjoy.” Nothing in the Bible indicates that the same social structures we have here continues in eternity. On the contrary, the picture given in Revelation 21 & 22 is very different from our present society. Smith wrote in D. & C. 130:3, “John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.” If that is a false sectarian notion, why does the Book of Mormon say in Alma 34:36: “…the Lord hath said He dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth He dwell.” This is just one of many places where Smith contradicted what he said somewhere else. The context of John 14:23 shows Jesus was not talking about a personal (physical) appearance. In John 14:19-20, Jesus said, “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” In John 14:22 a disciple asked Jesus, “How is it that you will manifest yourself unto us and not unto the world?” In response Jesus said in v. 23, “If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” So, the context does not imply a personal, physical coming of the Father and Son as Smith claimed. Furthermore, John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit.” The Bible also says that God or Christ is in believers in Rom. 8:9-10; Eph. 4:6; Col. 1:27; I John 4:4 etc., so that is not an old “sectarian notion” but a Biblical doctrine.

D. & C. 130:4 is not in Smith’s diary, but is a transition to a new subject. Then D. & C. 130:5-6 says angels who minister to this earth “belong to it or have belonged to it.” D. & C. 132 not only teaches polygamy but it also says in verses 16-17 that angels were mortals who lived on earth but did not get married for eternity (in an LDS temple) and therefore can’t become gods but will become angels who are single and who will serve others forever. So, LDS scripture says that is how angels “belong to this earth.” D. & C. 130:7-9 says angels and God live on a great “Urim and Thummim” which is “like a sea of glass and fire.” “This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto a crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon.” On page 323 of the Doctrine & Covenants Student Manual the 2nd LDS Prophet, Brigham Young, explained what that means when he said, “When it (the earth) becomes celestialized, it will be like the sun, and be prepared for the habitation of the (LDS) saints (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 163).” It also quoted Brigham saying, “This earth, when it becomes purified and sanctified, or celestialized, will become like a sea of glass; and a person, by looking into it, can know things past, present, and to come; though none but celestialized (LDS) beings can enjoy this privilege (J. of D. vol. 9, p. 87).” But, Brigham also said, “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 will find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with 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 about it; it was not made in vain” (J. of D. vol. 13, p. 271). In the same volume Brigham said, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture” (p. 95). Does Joseph Smith’s and Brigham Young’s “scripture” teach the same thing as the Bible? LDS claim to believe the Bible and they want to be accepted as part of mainstream Christianity, but the LDS teachings above are neither Christian nor Biblical.

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXII

By Marvin W. Cowan

The caption over Doctrine and Covenants Section 130 says, “Items of instruction given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Ramus, Illinois, April 2, 1843.” But, the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual adds, “This section contains important items of instruction and doctrinal truths which the Prophet Joseph learned from God by revelation” (p. 321). So, Joseph Smith gave the instructions, but God gave them to him by revelation” and they were canonized as LDS scripture in D. & C. 130. Smith said in verses 12-13, “I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina. It may probably arise through the slave question. This voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25, 1832.” So, Smith said the slave question in South Carolina may probably cause the difficulties and bloodshed leading up to “the coming of the Son of Man (Christ).

The full text of Smith’s December 25, 1832 revelation is now D. & C. 87. LDS often call it “The Civil War Prophecy” and they believe it proves Smith was a true prophet. It says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters and be marshaled and disciplined for war. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightening also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations” (vs. 1-6).

On December 25, 1832, when Smith received this “revelation,” he lived in Kirtland, OH, next to Painesville, OH. Four days before Smith’s revelation the Painesville Telegraph & Geauga Free Press reprinted excerpts from “The Crisis,” an article originally in the New York Currier and Enquirer. It predicted South Carolina would soon start a war with the Northern States and also predicted many other things found in Smith’s “prophecy.” Other newspapers predicted similar events as early as July 1832 when Congress passed a tariff act that was harmful to the South. On November 24, 1832 South Carolina nullified that tariff act and declared their state was a free and independent nation. Tensions were so high that on December 10, 1832 President Andrew Jackson sent General Scott with part of the army and a warship to South Carolina and war was expected then. So, Smith’s prophecy isn’t as unique as Mormons think it is. But most of Smith’s predictions in D. & C. 87 did not happen. He said that “wars will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina” and that “war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place” (SC). Even though the Civil War did begin in South Carolina as expected, no other war after it had anything to do with South Carolina. But Joseph Fielding Smith, the 10th LDS Prophet, said that “the Civil War was the beginning of the war that will bring about the end of the world” (Doctrine & Covenants Student Manual, p. 194). South Carolina did call on Great Britain but Britain did not enter the Civil War, nor did they call on other nations in order to defend themselves against other nations as Smith predicted. Nor was war poured out upon all nations as a result of the Civil War. And while the Civil War produced more casualties for America than any other war, it did not lead to famine, plague, earthquake, thunder and fierce and vivid lightening and “a full end of all nations” as verse six predicted!

In verse four Smith said “slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.” That didn’t happen in the USA. The Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual says that “slaves” rising up against their masters may refer to slaves all over the world, especially in Russia and China (p. 195). But that isn’t mentioned in the text, nor did it happen. D. & C. 130:12-13 shows that “slavery” refers to slavery in South Carolina and the Southern states! D. & C. 87:5 says the “remnants who are left of the land shall marshal themselves and shall become exceedingly angry and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.” The D. & C. Compendium says the “remnants” refer to American Indians. And LDS also call non-LDS “Gentiles.” But, U. S. history shows that it was the Indians who were vexed by white men who put them on reservations. The D. & C. Student Manual tries to make Smith’s prophecy true by saying that “remnant always refers to a segment of the house of Israel” and may mean Indians in Mexico, Central and South America (p. 195). But Indians in those areas did not vex white men! The authors of the D. & C. Student Manual obviously accepted the Book of Mormon claim that Indians in the Americas have an Israelite ancestry. But, DNA shows that all Indian tribes in the Americas come from Asian ancestry. D. & C. 87 does not say that any Indians are included in this prophecy other than those in the USA, so this was a false prophecy.

LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXI

By Marvin W. Cowan

Joseph Smith claimed he had a vision in 1820 when he was 14 years of age which led him to organize the Mormon Church ten years later (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:14-19). He also said the angel Moroni began visiting him in 1823 and visited him once a year until 1827 when he began to translate the Book of Mormon. Following Smith’s example, many of his early followers also said they were visited by angels or had revelations. Smith soon realized that such claims could result in a loss of his authority. Fortunately for him, he received revelations that said he was the only one who could receive revelations for the LDS Church (Doctrine & Covenants 23:1-5; 28:2-3; 43:3-6). Smith also said on July 2, 1839 “An angel of God never has wings” (History of the Church vol. 3, p. 392). On April 1, 1842 Smith wrote an editorial in the LDS Times and Seasons saying, “There have also been ministering angels in the (LDS) Church which were of Satan appearing as an angel of light. A sister in the state of New York had a vision, who said it was told her that if she would go to a certain place in the woods, an angel would appear to her. She went at the appointed time, and saw a glorious personage descending, arrayed in white, with sandy colored hair…Many true things were spoken by this personage, and many things that were false. How, it may be asked, was this known to be a bad angel? By the color of his hair; that is one of the signs that he can be known by” (H. of the C. vol. 4, p. 581).

The Bible mentions Heavenly messengers or angels many times. Some angels appeared as men like those in Gen. 19, so they didn’t have wings. Sometimes angels can’t be seen while at other times they can, as in Numbers 22:21-35. The Angel Gabriel was able to “fly swiftly” in Daniel 9:21, but it doesn’t say he had wings. However, Cherubim are angelic beings with wings as Gen. 3:24 with Exodus 25:18-20 shows. Seraphim are also angelic beings with six wings according to Isaiah 6:2. So, Smith’s statement that “An angel of God never has wings” is not Biblical. Nor does the Bible teach that if an angel has “sandy colored hair” he is a “bad angel.”

On Feb. 9, 1843 Smith said, “A man came to me in Kirtland (OH), and told me he had seen an angel, and described his dress. I told him he had seen no angel, and there was no such dress in heaven. He grew mad, and went into the street and commanded fire to come down out of heaven and consume me. I laughed at him and said ‘you are one of Baal’s prophets’” (H. of the C. vol. 5, pp. 267-268). That same day Smith gave the instructions in D. & C. 129 which reveal the “Three grand keys by which the correct nature of ministering angels and spirits may be distinguished.” There are nine verses in D. & C. 129 which say, (1) “There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—(2) For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (3) Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory. (4) When a messenger comes from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. (5) If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. (6) If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—(7) Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message. (8) If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him. (9) These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.”

Smith said in this LDS scripture that there are three kinds of heavenly messengers and you tell them apart by a handshake. If you feel his hand he is an angel. If you don’t feel his hand, it is the devil. The spirit of a just man made perfect will deliver his message, but won’t shake your hand. By Smith’s instructions anyone could claim to be a messenger from heaven and offer to shake hands to prove it. Or, someone could imitate “the spirit of a just man made perfect” by claiming to be a messenger from heaven and delivering his message without offering to shake hands. But it would be more difficult to imitate the devil by a handshake! There is no record of Joseph Smith giving the “Angel Moroni” the handshake test, so how do LDS know he was really an angel? Smith also claimed he was visited by John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, Elias, Elijah and others, yet there is no record of Smith giving the handshake test to any of them, so how can LDS be sure they were messengers of God and not the devil? But the Bible does not say to test a “heavenly messenger” by a handshake or by looking to see how he is dressed or if he has wings or sandy colored hair. I John 4:1 says “Try (or test) the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” And the next two verses show that they are to be tested by what they believe and teach about Jesus Christ!