LDS Prophets and Prophecies, Part XXXI

By Marvin W. Cowan

The appendix of a book usually contains supplemental information for something already discussed in the main part of the book. But, as our last article mentioned, there were four articles in the Appendix of the original 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants that were not supplemental to any Section of the D. & C. but were new subjects. Two of those articles were deleted when the next edition of the D. & C. was published while the other two articles remained in the Appendix for 86 years and then in 1921 they became new “Sections” in the main part of the D. &. C. Changes like that might not raise questions in an ordinary book, but the D. & C. is no ordinary book. Mormons believe that the D. & C. is revealed scripture from God. If it really is “revealed scripture,” couldn’t God make up His mind where these articles belonged? Did God inspire Mormon leaders to put two articles in the D. & C. and then to delete them at the next printing? And did God want the other two articles to remain in the D. & C. Appendix for 86 years and then be moved into the main part of the D. & C. with Smith’s “revelations?” Shortly after Joseph Smith’s death, two more articles were added to the D. & C. Appendix where they remained until 1921 when they were also moved into the main part of the D. & C. We will discuss those last two articles now.

John Taylor, who later became the third LDS Prophet, was with Smith in jail in Carthage, IL on June 27, 1844 when Smith was killed. Taylor later wrote a brief article about Smith’s “martyrdom” which was put in the Appendix of the D. & C. when the next edition was published. It remained in there until 1921 when it became D. & C. 135 in the main part of the book. The title of Taylor’s article was “Martyrdom of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his brother Hyrum.” In his article Taylor quoted Smith who supposedly said when he went to Carthage, “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter.” Since Taylor was with Smith, he knew that Smith did not go like “a lamb to the slaughter.” In Taylor’s more complete account of Smith’s death in the Carthage jail he said, Smith “arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times. Only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died” (The Gospel Kingdom, by John Taylor, p. 360). That certainly doesn’t sound like a lamb going to the slaughter!

The History of the Church, vol. VI, p. 617-618 not only mentions Joseph firing his six shooter, but it also mentions that Joseph’s brother, Hyrum, had a “single barrel” that he fired before he was killed. The actions of Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, do not measure up to the title “martyr” since no Christian martyr used weapons against those who sought to kill them. The word martyr originally meant a witness, but came to be used of those who gave their lives as a witness for Christ. But Smith did not die because of his faith in Christ. He was involved in immorality and polygamy that was exposed by some of his former followers, including William Law, who was the Second Counselor in the First Presidency with Joseph Smith from January 24, 1841 until April 18, 1844. Law and others published the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper on June 7, 1844 which exposed Smith’s lifestyle. Smith was then the Mayor of Nauvoo, so he had some of his men destroy the printing press of the Expositor. In doing that, he broke the law and Illinois authorities tried to arrest him. But Smith, who was also Lieutenant General of the Nauvoo Legion (an LDS militia), called it out to prevent his arrest which resulted in a charge of treason. That is why he was in jail in Carthage! Smith was not in jail because of his faith in Christ as Mormons often say. Nothing we have said, however, can justify the mob that killed the Smith brothers. But it does show that the Smith’s weren’t killed because of their faith in Christ, so they were not Christian martyrs as LDS often claim.

Earlier in this article we mentioned John Taylor’s article on the “Martyrdom of Joseph Smith, The Prophet, and his brother Hyrum,” which was in the D. & C. Appendix until 1921 when it became D. & C. 135. In D. & C. 135:3, Taylor said, “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.” Mormonism claims to be Christian, but the Christian Bible says of Jesus, “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by Him, seeing He ever lives (or lives forever) to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). The Apostle Paul also wrote, “You are complete in Him {Jesus} (Col. 2:10). If Christ saves to the uttermost and we are complete in Him, what did Smith or anyone else do for our salvation? Furthermore, Paul said in I Tim. 2:5, “There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus.” If Jesus is the ONE Mediator between God and men, neither Smith nor anyone else has ever done anything to provide salvation for mankind!

On January 14, 1847, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith’s successor as LDS Prophet wrote, “The Word and Will of the Lord” concerning the Mormon move from Winter Quarters near Omaha, NE to the Salt Lake Valley. It was also put in the next edition of the D. & C. Appendix where it remained until 1921 when it became D. & C. 136. Verse 34 indicates that the LDS were driven out of the USA to what is now Utah, but in 1847 when the Mormons arrived it was part of Mexico. Verse 35 then says, “And now cometh the day of their (USA’s) calamity, even the days of sorrow, like a woman that is taken in travail; and their sorrow shall be great unless they speedily repent, yea, very speedily.” America didn’t speedily repent for what happened to the Smiths or the LDS Church, but everybody is dead that was alive in 1847 when that prophecy was made, so it was a false prophecy! On page 352, the Doctrine & Covenants Student Manual says that the War with Mexico, the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I & II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were the result of what the USA did to the Smith’s and to the LDS! Is that a logical, unbiased statement when many nations that never heard of Joseph Smith or Mormonism have also had wars, famine plagues etc.? None of the wars mentioned in the D. & C. Student Manual had anything to do with Joseph Smith either! If D. & C. Sections 133 through 136 were “revelations” like those Smith put in the D. & C., why were they in the D. & C. Appendix for so many years? Were they “revelations” then or did they become “revelations” when they became “Sections” in the D. & C.? LDS leaders say there are many problems with the Bible, but is that a diversion so that people won’t notice all the changes in LDS scripture?

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