By Marvin W. Cowan
Mormons often claim that the LDS Church is true because it has a living prophet. But claiming to have a prophet doesn’t mean that they really have one. Many “prophets” have prophesied things that didn’t happen, so they were false prophets. Joseph Smith, Mormonism’s founder, claimed to be a prophet and his “revelations” are canonized as LDS “scripture” in the Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.). D. & C. 116 is dated May 19, 1838 and Smith said he received it at Spring Hill in Daviess County, MO. It has just one verse which says, “Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said He, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth LDS Prophet explained, “In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri…We are committed to the fact that Adam dwelt on this American continent. But when Adam dwelt here, it was not the American continent, nor the Western Hemisphere, for all the land was in one place, and all the water was in one place” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, p. 74). D. & C. 107:53-55 and 117:8-11 also say that Adam lived in present day Missouri, but two other LDS books of scripture by Joseph Smith contradict that location. Both the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 3:8-15 and Genesis 2:10-18 in the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible place the Garden of Eden in Assyria where the Bible also places it. Even if the land was all in one place as Joseph Fielding Smith said, Assyria and Missouri would have been in different locations like they are now. Was it God who revealed this confusing information, or was it Smith?
Joseph Smith said he received four revelations on July 8, 1838 including D. & C. 117 through 120. In D. & C. 117:12 & 15 “the Lord” said, “I remember my servant, Oliver Granger, behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord…Therefore let no man despise my servant Oliver Granger, but let the blessings of my people be on him forever and ever.” Many LDS in the Kirtland, OH area lost all they had when the LDS owned Kirtland Safety Society Bank failed in late 1837. Some were so angry at Joseph Smith for promoting it that they apostatized from the LDS Church. In fact, the hostility toward Smith in Kirtland was strong enough to “inspire” him to leave Kirtland on January 1, 1838 and go to Far West, MO. Before he left Kirtland, Smith appointed Oliver Granger to organize the faithful LDS in Kirtland into “camps” so they could move to Far West, MO in groups. Oliver Granger was doing that when Smith received this revelation, but he died three years later in Kirtland on August 25, 1841 at the age of 49. Has Oliver Granger’s name been held in “sacred remembrance” by LDS since then? The Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual says on p. 290, “Though Oliver Granger is not as well known today as other early leaders of the (LDS) Church, if no one but the Lord had his name in remembrance that would be enough.” Would that really be enough when the “revelation” says, “Let the blessings of my (LDS) people be on him (Oliver Granger) forever and ever?” Most LDS have never even heard of Oliver Granger, so how can they bless him “forever and ever?” Did an all-knowing God reveal this to Smith?
Smith said D. & C. 118 was also revealed to him on July 8, 1838 as an answer to their prayer, “Show us thy will, O Lord concerning the Twelve” (Apostles). Verses 1, 4-6 say, “Verily, thus saith the Lord: Let a conference be held immediately; let the Twelve be organized; and let men be appointed to supply the place of those who are fallen…and next spring let them depart to go over the great waters, and there promulgate my gospel, the fullness thereof, and bear record of my name. Let them take leave of my saints in the city of Far West, on the twenty-sixth day of April next, on the building site of my house, saith the Lord. Let my servant John Taylor, and also my servant John E. Page, and also my servant Wilford Woodruff, and also my servant Willard Richards, be appointed to fill the places of those who have fallen, and be officially notified of their appointment.” At a conference in Far West the next day they began to replace the “fallen” Apostles. John Page and John Taylor were ordained Apostles on December 19, 1838, but the other two weren’t ordained until they met at the temple site in Far West on April 26, 1839. D. & C. 118 says the Twelve Apostles should meet there and then leave to “go over the great waters” as missionaries. The History of the Church, vol. 3, p. 336-337 shows there were only seven Apostles present, counting the two new ones who were ordained at that meeting, and none left immediately to go overseas. Some left late in 1839 while others didn’t arrive in England until April 1840. The temple site in D. & C. 118 is the same as the one in D. &. C. 115 that we wrote about in our last article. D. & C. 115:11 said that the foundation of the temple was to be laid on April 26, 1839 and that they should start building the temple then and not stop until it was finished. Alpheus Cutler rolled a large stone to the spot designated as the southeast corner of the temple on April 26, 1839 and said that fulfilled Smith’s prophecy of laying the foundation of the temple on that day! But a large stone is not a temple and no temple was ever built in Far West, MO. The Twelve were not all present in Far West on April 26, 1839 and they did not leave from there to go on a mission overseas. Yet, LDS claim these revelations were fulfilled!