“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”
9th Article of Faith by Joseph Smith
Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote, “By the standard works of the Church is meant the following four volumes of scripture: The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. The Church uses the King James Version of the Bible, but acceptance of the Bible is coupled with a reservation that it is true only insofar as translated correctly (Eighth Article of Faith). The other three, having been revealed in modern times in English, are accepted without qualification” (M.D., p. 764). Notice the difference in the way Mormons accept the Bible compared to the way they accept the three LDS books of scripture. LDS apostle James Talmage said that these books were “adopted by the vote of the Church as authoritative guides in faith and doctrine” (A. of F., p. 7). We have already commented on the Bible and the B. of M., so we will now discuss the Pearl of Great Price, theDoctrine and Covenants, and other revelations through LDS prophets.
The Pearl of Great Price
This small book of LDS scripture, first published in 1851, contains the books of Moses, Abraham, Joseph Smith-Matthew, Joseph Smith-History and the Articles of Faith.
The book of Moses claims to be a revelation given to Joseph Smith between June, 1830, and February, 1831, much like the revelations found in the D. & C.Mormons believe it contains important material that has been lost out of the Pentateuch. With the exception of the first chapter of the book of Moses, the remainder of the book is found verbatim in Gen. 1:1 through Gen. 8:18 in the Inspired Version of the Bible by Joseph Smith.
Moses 1 and 7 are different from anything in the Bible, but the remainder of the book has many things found in Gen. 1-6. However, Moses 3 says God created everything spiritually prior to the physical or material creation. Moses 1 also teaches that God is omniscient, almighty, eternal, and that no other God exists (which contradicts current LDS teachings about God). The story of creation in Moses 2:3-4 says: “And I, God, said: Let there be light. And I, God, saw the light and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness.” Later we will quote this same account from Abraham, the next book in theP. of G.P. Remember that “Moses” was a revelation, not a translation, so there is no original document with which its accuracy can be checked. But, when its message is compared with the Bible, several problems will be seen.
On July 3, 1835, Michael H. Chandler went to Kirtland, OH where Joseph Smith was then living. He took with him an exhibit of four Egyptian mummies and two or more rolls of papyri covered with hieroglyphics. Having heard that Smith could translate such writings, Chandler asked him to translate some of it. Smith said it contained the writings of Abraham and Joseph who was sold into Egypt. Some Mormons in Kirtland bought the papyri and gave them to Smith to translate. He claimed the Book of Abraham in the P. of G.P. was “translated” from those Papyri. Smith didn’t say how he translated the papyri, but he didn’t know Egyptian so he must have translated it the way he did the B. of M. (D.H.C. Vol. 2, pp. 235-236; 349-351, Vol. 4, pp. 520-534).
Smith had three facsimiles made of the Egyptian writings which he claimed he had translated and those facsimiles, with his explanations and interpretations, are always published in the Book of Abraham. In March 1966, the author of this book sent copies of those three facsimiles with Smith’s explanations to two reputable Egyptologists, Dr. John Wilson of Chicago University and Dr. Richard Parker of Brown University. Dr. Wilson responded on March 16, and Dr. Parker on March 22, 1966. The essence of my questions follow with their responses to each of these questions in the parentheses.
1. Is the Egyptian language completely decipherable? (Yes).
2. Are the enclosed facsimiles copies of genuine Egyptian writing? (Yes, but poorly copied or distorted).
3. If they are copies of genuine Egyptian writing, are the explanations of them correct? (No).
4. If the explanations are incorrect, briefly what is the correct meaning? (All three are from common Egyptian funeral material used in burying the dead).
5. Is there a genuine Reformed Egyptian language? (No).
6. Has any ancient Egyptian or Reformed Egyptian writing been found by archaeologists anywhere in North, Central or South America? (No).
After Smith’s death the original papyri were missing and presumed lost for many years. Then in the spring of 1966, while Dr. Aziz S. Atiya from the University of Utah was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, he noticed some old Egyptian papyri that looked familiar. Upon closer examination, he found that they were the papyri once owned by Joseph Smith. The papyri were easily identified because Emma Smith Bidamon had a signed statement with them stating she was the former wife of Joseph Smith. After Joseph Smith’s death, Emma married Lewis Bidamon on Dec. 23, 1847 in Nauvoo, IL. The papyri had been glued to some stiff backing paper of nineteenth century vintage. On the back of that paper someone had drawn a map of Kirtland, OH as well as a temple.
About a year and a half after the papyri were rediscovered, they were given to the LDS Church in a public ceremony on Nov. 27, 1967. That day, the LDS church owned Deseret News published pictures of the papyri on the front page as their lead story. Prominent Mormons predicted that Joseph Smith’s translating abilities would finally be vindicated by the papyri. But, that did not happen. Every President of the LDS church is “a seer, a revelator, a translatorand a prophet” (D. & C. 107:92; M.D. 591-592). Therefore, it would seem that the LDS President should have translated the papyri when they were given to the church in 1967. But, LDS President David O. McKay was then 94 years old and in poor health. So, the papyri were given to Dr. Hugh Nibley, a Mormon scholar at BYU. Nibley was not an Egyptologist, but he said he would translate them. He wrote articles for a year in Mormon publications, but never did translate the papyri. Although the LDS Church has had several prophets since 1967, not one of them has even attempted to translate the papyri. Therefore, the LDS President’s title of “translator” is just as meaningless as their title “prophet” when they do not prophesy!
The author of this book sent photo copies of the recently discovered papyri to the two Egyptologists he contacted in 1966 and asked if they would change any of their answers now that the original papyri had been found. Dr. Wilson and Dr. Parker both indicated that they would not change anything except that these papyri were genuine Egyptian and not poor copies like the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham. Many Egyptologists around the world have now examined the “Joseph Smith papyri” along with his “translation” of them, and they all say that he did not convey the true meaning of the papyri.
The only “original” document the LDS have for any of their unique Mormon scriptures is this papyri for the Book of Abraham. This is the one document where Smith’s translating abilities can be tested, but he did not pass the test! Some Mormons try to justify Smith’s “translation” by saying that the papyri have a second, spiritual interpretation which Smith translated. But, the Egyptian language is a known language just like Hebrew, French or English. Those languages do not have a second, spiritual meaning behind every word. Thus, the LDS explanation for Smith’s “translation” sounds more like an excuse to avoid admitting that he did not really translate the Egyptian papyri.
Since Smith did not correctly translate the Egyptian language, can his “translation” of the unknown, non-existent Reformed Egyptian language of the B. of M.be trusted? No one but Smith ever saw that language, so there is no way to verify his translation of it like there is for the Book of Abraham.
The Book of Abraham is very important to Mormons because it teaches their unique views about pre-existence, creation, priesthood, and Deity. Earlier we quoted Moses 2:3-4 which said, “And I, God, said: Let there be light.” But, Abraham 4:3-4 says, “And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light. And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness.” The words in parentheses are in the text. Note the change from monotheism to polytheism between the two books! So, Mormons have a doctrinal conflict within the P. of G. P., not to mention with the Bible.
Joseph Smith – Matthew
The next book in the P. of G.P. is now called “Joseph Smith – Matthew.” Until 1981, it was “Writings of Joseph Smith – 1.” This book is also a duplication of Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version of the Bible, Matt. 23:39 through Matt. 24. Although Smith added a few words at the beginning and end of his book, it is really Joseph Smith’s plagiarism of Matthew 24 in the King James translation.
Joseph Smith – History
Following “Joseph Smith – Matthew” is “Joseph Smith – History.” Until 1981, this was entitled “Joseph Smith – 2.” In our chapter one on the “Origin and History” of Mormonism, we quoted from this book because it contains Smith’s “First Vision” story as well as the story of the Angel Moroni giving Smith the “gold plates.” We discussed those stories in that context. This history also tells of John the Baptist’s visit and how he gave the priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. We have discussed that story in our chapter on the “Priesthood.”
The Articles of Faith
The 13 Articles of Faith make up the remainder of the P. of G.P. The Articles of Faith contain 13 brief statements of LDS beliefs. However, those statements do not clarify what LDS believe. For example, Article 1 is quoted in our chapter entitled “God.” Does it convey what LDS Prophets and scripture teach about God? Most of our chapter headings are followed by at least one of the Articles of Faith and then that chapter explains the meaning of that Article. Originally, there were 14 Articles of Faith, but one concerning the resurrection of the dead has been deleted. Several others have been changed to read quite differently from the original. The first edition of the P. of G.P. also contained what is now D. & C. 77 and 87, as well parts of D. & C. 20, 27, and 107, and a hymn entitled “O Say What Is Truth?” But none of that material is in the current edition.
The Doctrine and Covenants
Along with the B. of M. and the P. of G. P., the D. & C. is one of the unique LDS books of scripture. Soon after Mormonism began in 1830, Joseph Smith began compiling his “revelations” for publication. They were being printed under the title, Book of Commandments, when conflict between the LDS and Missourians resulted in the destruction of the press on July 20, 1833. Only about 20 copies have survived from that printing. The current D. & C., Section 1, was the preface to that edition.
In 1835, the first edition of the D. & C. was published in Kirtland, Ohio. Between the 1833 and 1835 editions, Smith added to or changed several of the “revelations.” Why did the Lord need to change His revealed truth after only two years? He did not do that with the Bible! The following are some examples of the D. & C. changes.
Changes Between Editions
1. Chapter IV of the Book of Commandments says of Joseph Smith, in verse 2: “He has a gift to translate the book, and I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift.” That became D. & C. XXXII in the 1835 edition, and verse 1 said: “You have a gift to translate theplates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you, and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.” D. & C. 5:4 in the current edition reads the same as the 1835 D. & C. If God actually revealed it the way it was in the Book of Commandments, the current reading cannot possibly be true unless God can contradict Himself. But, II Tim. 2:13 says God “cannot deny (contradict) Himself.
2. Compare the Book of Commandments, Chapter 24, verses 44-45, with the 1835 D. & C., Sec. II, Verses 15-18 or the current D. & C. 20:64-68 to see another change. The “revelation” in the Book of Commandments did not mention high priests or a high priesthood, but from 1835 to the present, it does. Which way did God reveal it? The original “revelation” claims to have been given in June of 1830. The 1835 edition gives no date. The current heading claims it was given in April of 1830, and that it “pointed out to us the precise day upon which…we should proceed to organize his Church once more upon the earth.” Since the LDS Church was established on April 6, 1830, the original date of June 1830, would be a bit late to tell them to establish the Church the preceding April!
3. The Book of Commandments Chapter XXVIII was dated September 4, 1830, and had only seven short verses. But in 1835, it became D. & C. 50, was dated September 1830 and it had about 13 additional verses! In the current edition it is D. & C. Sec. 27 dated August 1830 and the added verses are verses 5 to 18. Yet, McConkie claimed that because the B. of M., D. & C., and the P. of G.P. were revealed in English they “are accepted without qualification” (M.D., p. 764). But, which way were they revealed? Both ways cannot be accepted without qualification!
4. Joseph Smith recorded that in January, 1835, “I was engaged in the school of the Elders, and in preparing the lectures on theology for publication in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, which the committee appointed last September were now compiling” (D.H.C., Vol. II, p. 180). Those lectures became the seven “Lectures on Faith” which made up the first part of the D. & C. from 1835 until 1921. Their deletion in 1921 was no small matter since they comprised 70 pages in the original D. & C. and 75 pages in the D. & C. editions after that. In our chapter on God, we mentioned that Joseph Smith’s description of God in “Lecture Fifth” does not agree with the current LDS teachings about God. That is one reason for their deletion. Were the LDS misled by the D. & C. from 1835 to 1921? If they were not misled, why were the “Lectures on Faith” deleted when Joseph Smith himself prepared them for inclusion in the D. & C.?
Additions to the Doctrine and Covenants
In the current D. & C., 135 out of 138 sections were given by Joseph Smith. Yet, LDS claim, “With prophets and new revelation for the current guidance of the people also comes new scripture, for as the divinely-given revelations are recorded they are added to the existing volume of holy writ and in this way the body of scripture grows. This then is another sign of the true church… Revelation, therefore, is an essential part of the true church, constant, current revelation (editorial, Deseret News, Church News Section” September 3, 1966, p. 16).
With the exception of the 1890 “Official Declaration,” which is usually called the Woodruff Manifesto, until 1976 the most recent addition to the D. & C. was Section 136 by Brigham Young, dated January 14, 1847. Then on April 3, 1976, the LDS Church voted to add Joseph Smith’s January 21, 1836, “Vision of the Celestial Kingdom” and Joseph F. Smith’s October 3, 1918, “Vision of the Redemption of the Dead” to the P.of G.P. But, neither 1836 nor 1918 can be considered current revelations! Since neither of those visions were “scripture” until 1976, why didn’t God wait until 1976 to give them? Then they really would be current revelations. Those two visions were deleted from the P. of G.P. and became Section 137 and 138 in the D. & C. in 1981. President Spencer Kimball’s June 8, 1978, statement allowing “all worthy male member of the (LDS) Church” to hold the LDS priesthood was also added to the D. & C. in 1981. It is called “Official Declaration-2” and was given to end LDS discrimination against the Negroid race. Black men could not be ordained into the LDS Priesthood prior to 1978 which also excluded them from LDS temple rites. The 1890 Manifesto which was given to end LDS polygamy is now “Official Declaration-1.” Many LDS consider this 1890 declaration to be a revelation. But it simply says, “I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” It was signed by the 4th LDS Prophet, Wilford Woodruff, but Charles Penrose and others compiled it. Since only LDS Prophets can receive revelation for the LDS church (D. & C. 43:3-6), can the Woodruff Manifesto be a revelation? The LDS already had the 12th Article of Faith, which says: “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” So, why did the LDS need “Official Declaration -1” unless they were breaking the law regarding marriage? Both “Official Declarations” came when the LDS Church was under enormous social and legal pressure to abandon polygamy and to stop discriminating against Blacks. Does God reveal His will only under pressure?
Deut. 18:20 says, “But the prophet, who shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” Speaking in the name of other gods is also condemned in Deut. 13:1-5. Since Joseph Smith claimed there are many gods, was he a false prophet? LDS President Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th LDS Prophet, declared, “The ultimate test of a true prophet is when he speaks in the name of the Lord, his words come to pass” (Deseret News, October 6, 1981, p. 6A). That agrees with Deut. 18:22, which says, “When a prophet speaketh in the Name of the Lord, if the thing follows not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken but the prophet hath spoken presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him.” The following are some of Smith’s prophecies in the D. & C.
Prophecies in the Doctrine and Covenants
1. D. & C. 84:1-5, is a revelation given to Joseph Smith in September, 1832, in Kirtland, Ohio according to the heading. It says the New Jerusalem and its temple are to be built by the Mormons then living in western Missouri, “for verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord.” Yet, neither the temple nor the city have yet been built, but the generation alive in 1832 has died! Some LDS try to explain away that problem by claiming that the Lord was bound to fulfill this only if LDS people were obedient and that generation wasn’t obedient enough so this prophecy is still to be fulfilled. If that generation wasn’t obedient, why do the LDS eulogize them so much? No religious group talks more about their faithful, pioneer forefathers than the LDS do! Other Mormons claim that non-Mormons cannot understand this prophecy because they don’t have the LDS priesthood. While it is true that non-Mormons don’t have LDS priesthood, surely LDS Apostles do! And, Apostle Orson Pratt quoted D. & C. 84:1-5 on May 5, 1870 and said, “God promised in the year 1832 that we should, before the generation then living had passed away, return and build up the City of Zion in Jackson County, that we should return and build up the temple of the Most High where we formerly laid the corner stone” (J. of D. Vol. 13, p. 362). Again on Nov. 9, 1871, Pratt quoted D. & C. 84:1-5 and declared “all the people that were living thirty-nine years ago have not passed away; but before they do pass away this will be fulfilled (J. of D. Vol. 14, p. 275). Thus, Apostle Pratt and other LDS leaders understood this text to mean exactly what it says, just like you or I do. But, it did not happen and can never happen because everyone alive in 1832 has died! Therefore, this is a false prophecy. There is also a big difference between the New Jerusalem in D. & C. 84 which is to be built in Missouri by the LDS and Lamanites and the New Jerusalem in Rev. 21:2, 10, and 22 which descends from God out of heaven. InD. & C. 84, the LDS build a temple in that “New Jerusalem.” But, Rev. 21:22 says that New Jerusalem “had no temple in it; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it.”
2. D. & C. 84:112-115 is in the latter part of the preceding revelation. In it Newel K. Whitney was told to go to New York, Albany, and Boston, and warn the people “with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which await them if they do reject these things. For if they do reject these things, the hour of their judgment is nigh, and their house shall be left unto them desolate.” D.H.C., Vol. I, p. 295 shows that Whitney went to those cities with Joseph Smith, but those cities did not embrace Mormonism. New York, Albany, and Boston still exist, but Whitney and Smith have been dead for well over one hundred years! The people who were alive in 1832 in those cities died no differently than the generations before and after them! Therefore, this was another false prophecy.
3. D. & C. 87, dated Dec. 25, 1832, is Smith’s famous “Civil War” prophecy. This is the prophecy that LDS usually use to “prove” that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, so it is important to examine it carefully. The prophecy mentions that soon “the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States,” beginning with “the rebellion of South Carolina.” South Carolina led the south by seceding first from the union on December 20, 1860, and by firing the first shots of the Civil War on January 9, 1861. But, does this make D. & C. 87 a true prophecy?
After mentioning the rebellion of South Carolina in v. 1, it says, “war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place” (v. 2). The only place mentioned was South Carolina. War was not poured out upon all nations beginning with South Carolina’s rebellion! After v. 3 mentions the division of the Northern and Southern States, it says, “and the Southern states will call upon 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.” The South did call upon Great Britain for help, but Great Britain did not get involved in the Civil War, nor did Great Britain call on other nations “in order to defend themselves” and war was not “poured out upon all nations” as a result of the Civil War. LDS often claim that the Civil War was the beginning of World Wars I and II. But, there is no more relationship between the Civil War and World Wars I and II than there is between the Spanish-American War and the Vietnam War!
Verse 4 says, “slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.” The Civil War was not between slaves and white people, but between Northern white people and Southern white people! The slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, not by fighting a war against their masters! Verse 5 says 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.” The D. & C. Compendium identifies the remnants as Native Americans. Did the Native Americans vex the white “Gentiles,” or was it the other way around?
Verse 5 to verse 6 also says, “with the sword by bloodshed, the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine and plague and earthquake and the thunder of heaven and 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 consummation decreed hath made a full end of all nations.” Have all nations ended? If not, the things mentioned must still be happening, or Joseph Smith was a false prophet!
D. & C. 87 is dated December 25, 1832, but it did not appear in the 1833 Book of Commandments or in any edition of the D. & C. or other LDS scripture until after the Civil War began! It was printed in the 1851 P. of G. P. in England and in The Seer by Orson Pratt in 1854, but neither of those were considered as scripture then. If this was really a prophecy from God, why did the LDS wait 30 years until after the Civil War started before including it in the D. & C.? Any good U.S. history book will help to put it into perspective. On July 14, 1832, (five and a half months before Smith’s prophecy), Congress passed a tariff act which South Carolina declared null and void. Because tensions were high, President Andrew Jackson put the U.S. army on alert and the United States expected war in 1832! The LDS Evening and Morning Star and many other U.S. newspapers reported that information before Smith’s prophecy! When things calmed down, and the war didn’t begin in 1832 as expected, Smith’s revelation was not published in the D. & C. until after the Civil War began in 1861.
The contents of D. & C. 87 sound much like Smith’s prophecy in the D.H.C., Vol. I, pp. 315-316, which is dated January 4, 1833, ten days after D. & C. 87. The D.H.C. prophecy will be examined later. But, four days before Smith’s D. & C. 87 prophecy, the Painsville [Ohio] Telegraph and Geauga Free Pressprinted excerpts from “The Crisis,” an article in the New York Currier and Enquirer. That article predicted that a war between the Northern and Southern states would soon begin in South Carolina. It gave some of the same warnings as Smith’s prophecy. Was that secular newspaper writer a prophet? Painsville is adjacent to Kirtland, OH, where Smith was living. Since the Painsville newspaper article was already in circulation when Smith’s prophecy was given, it seems likely that it “inspired” his prophecy. Thus, when the content of D. & C. 87 is carefully examined along with the historical setting, it is not the great prophecy that LDS claim it is.
4. D. & C. 97:19 was given to Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio on August 2, 1833 and it is about Zion, Jackson County, Missouri according to the heading. This revelation says, “Surely Zion cannot fall, neither be moved out of her place.” But, two weeks prior to this prophecy, on July 20, 1833, “Zion” began moving from Jackson County! LDS newspaper presses were destroyed by a mob, and leading LDS officials were tarred and feathered and run out of town (D.H.C. Vol.I pp. 390-400). Since Smith was in Kirtland, Ohio, he was unaware of what was happening in Missouri when he said God gave him this “revelation.” But, God should have known what was happening in Missouri! Therefore, the Mormon god is not omniscient or Joseph Smith didn’t get this message from God.
5. D. & C. 104:1 records the Lord’s words to Smith on April 23, 1834, in Kirtland, Ohio: “Verily, I say unto you, my friends, I give unto you counsel, and a commandment concerning all the properties which belong to the order which I commanded to be organized and established, to be a united order, and aneverlasting order for the benefit of my church, and for the salvation of men until I come. Verse 4 continues, “Therefore, inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the command-ment, but have broken the covenant through covetousness, and with feigned words, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse.” Brigham Young said on Aug. 9, 1874, “concerning the United Order… it is the order of the Kingdom where God and Christ dwell (and) for the perfecting of the Saints, for the salvation of the living and the dead (J. of D. Vol. I7, p. 154). The third LDS prophet, John Taylor, also said on Sept. 21, 1878, “Referring to the United Order, the Lord has given us to understand that whosoever refuses to comply with the requirements of that law, his name shall not be known in the records of the Church, but shall be blotted out, neither shall his children have inheritance in Zion” (J. of D. Vol. 21, p. 58). But, LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie said, “Early attempts to operate various united orders failed” (M.D. p. 813). Up to the present time, the LDS Church has never been able to establish a successful united order! Therefore, there should be no members of the LDS church according to LDS prophet John Taylor. Those who claim to be Mormons should be suffering “a very sore and grievous curse” according to D. & C. 104:4. This leaves the LDS Church with a dilemma. Mormon scripture and LDS prophets were wrong or the LDS Church is not the Lord’s church because it is not suffering as v. 4 said it would. The united order did not continue from 1834 until Jesus’ return to earth as D. &C. 104:1 said it would, so it was neither an “everlasting” nor a “united order” as that verse called it. Therefore, this is another false prophecy.
6. D. & C. 111 was given to Joseph Smith on August 6, 1836, while he was in Salem, Massachusetts according to the heading. In verses 2-4, the Lord said, “I have much treasure in this city for you… I will give this city into your hands… and its wealth pertaining to gold and silver shall be yours.” The only recorded time that Smith was in Salem, MA was in 1836 when he was there about a month and received this revelation (D.H.C. Vol. 2, pp. 464-466). There is no record of the city of Salem, Massachusetts, or of its wealth pertaining to gold and silver being given to Smith before his death in 1844.
7. D. & C. 112 claims to be a “Revelation given through Joseph Smith to Thomas B. Marsh at Kirtland, Ohio, July 23, 1837.” Verse 1 begins, “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Thomas…” while verse 6 says, “I the Lord have a great work for thee to do…” Verse 7 states, “thou art chosen…” and verse 11 says, “I know thy heart…” Verse 16 declares, “Thomas, thou art the man I have chosen to hold the Keys of my Kingdom, as pertaining to the twelve…” Marsh was President of the Twelve at the time of the revelation, but he was an apostate only 15 months later on October 24, 1838 (D.H.C., Vol III, pp. 166-167). The “Lord” who gave this revelation to Joseph Smith either did not know Marsh’s heart as He claimed, or Marsh could do the work of the Lord as an apostate from the LDS Church! The only other alternative is that Smith did not get this message from the Lord, which means that he was a false prophet!
8. D. & C. 114, was given through Joseph Smith on April 17, 1838 according to the heading. It says of LDS apostle David W. Patten, “Verily, thus saith the Lord: it is wisdom in my servant, David W. Patten…that he may perform a mission unto me next spring…” But, David Patten was shot and killed on October 25, 1838, during the Mormon conflict in Missouri, so he was not even alive the next spring! D.H.C., Vol III, pp. 170-171 give the details surrounding his death. Would an omniscient Lord make that kind of mistake?
9. D. & C. 115 is recorded as a revelation to Joseph Smith on April 26, 1838 at Far West, Missouri. It begins by saying: “Verily, thus saith the Lord… Let the city, Far West [Missouri] be a holy and consecrated land unto me… Therefore, I command you to build a house unto me, for the gathering together of my saints that they may worship me… and let there be a beginning of this work, and a foundation and a preparatory work, this following summer and let the beginning be made on the fourth of July next, and from that time forth let my people labor diligently to build a house unto my name and in one year from this day let them re-commence laying the foundation of my house. Thus, let them from that time forth labor diligently until it shall be finished, from the cornerstone unto the top thereof, until there shall not anything remain that is not finished – it is my will that the city of Far West, Missouri should be built up speedily by the gathering of my saints” (vs. 1-7, 12, 17).
The Lord told Joseph Smith in April 1838 that Far West, Missouri is holy ground, consecrated unto Him (v. 7), and that He wanted it built up quickly by the “gathering” of the LDS to it (v. 17). While many LDS people did go to Far West, their stay was very brief because of their conflict with the people in Missouri. On Nov. 2, 1838, Joseph Smith and other leading Mormons were taken as prisoners from Far West (D.H.C. , Vol. 3, pp. 192-193). That started an exodus that ended on April 20, 1839, when “The last of the Saints left Far West” (D.H.C. Vol. 3, p. 326). Thus, less than a year after this revelation was given, Far West no longer existed! But, this revelation also said the LDS were to “build a house” (temple) in Far West beginning on July 4, 1838 (vs. 8-10). They did begin it that day (D.H.C. Vol. 3, p. 41), but little else was done. Then, the revelation says one year from the day this revelation was given, the LDS were to “re-commence laying the foundation of my house” and from that time on they were to “labor diligently until it shall be finished” (vs. 11-12). Since this revelation is dated April 26, 1838, one year from that date would be April 26, 1839. But, the last Mormons left Far West on April 20, 1839! A few Mormons went back to Far West just after midnight on April 26, 1839 and Alpheus Cutler, “rolled a large stone near the southeast corner” of the designated temple site and then left Missouri and never returned (D.H.C. Vol. 3, pp. 336-339). On May 1, 1839, four days after the stone was laid in Far West, Joseph Smith purchased land in Commerce, IL which he re-named Nauvoo and the Mormons gathered there (D.H.C. Vol 3, pp. 336-342). Although a few LDS tried to fulfill this revelation by rolling a stone into place on the temple site, the revelation required much more than that! It required that the city of Far West be built for thegathering of the LDS (vs. 7, 8, 17). It also required the LDS to start building a temple on July 4, 1838, and continue building it until it was completely finished(vs. 10-12). None of that happened. Many LDS excuse this failure by claiming either their enemies prevented it or there was sin among the LDS that prevented it. But, D. & C. 3:1-3 won’t allow such excuses. It says. “The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught… Remember, that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.” If that was true, then it must not have been God’s will that Far West be built up, which means that D. & C. 115 didn’t come from God! The other alternative is that D. & C. 3 didn’t come from God. But, either alternative makes Joseph Smith a false prophet!
10. D. & C. 124 was revealed to Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois on January 19, 1841 according to the heading. The introduction says that “the saints are commanded to build both a house for the entertainment of strangers and a temple in Nauvoo.” Verse 1 begins, “Verily thus saith the Lord…” Verses 31-33 continues, “But I commanded you, all ye my saints, to build a house (temple) unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me… But if ye do not these things at the end of the appointment, ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.” Eleven months later on Dec. 13, 1841, the twelve apostles wrote an epistle to the LDS people saying, “The building of the Temple of the Lord in the city of Nauvoo, is occupying the first place in the exertions and prayers of many of the Saints at the present time, knowing, as they do, that if this building is not completed speedily, ‘we shall be rejected as a Church with our dead;’ for the Lord our God hath spoken it.” This epistle was signed by nine of the twelve apostles (D.H.C. Vol. 4, pp. 472-475). Three of those apostles later became Presidents of the LDS Church. Brigham Young was one of those three. He later said concerning the temple in Nauvoo, “they got it nearly completed before it was burned, but the saints did not enjoy it” ( J. of D. Vol. 18, pp. 303-304). Notice that the Lord gave enough time to complete the Nauvoo temple and if the LDS failed to complete it, they would be rejected as a church. The LDS Apostles understood and quoted this prophecy. Yet, Brigham Young admitted that the Nauvoo temple was never completed! Therefore, this was a false prophecy or the LDS have been rejected by the Lord!
11. D. & C. 124:56-60 is part of the previous revelation and says the “Nauvoo House” was to be built and that Joseph Smith and his descendants were to “have place in that house, from generation to generation, forever and ever!” But, Smith was killed, and the Nauvoo House was never even completed, so the Smith family never occupied it. The unfinished building still stands by the Mississippi River and is owned by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thus, this prophecy has never been fulfilled. But, D. & C. 1:37 says, “Search these commandments for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” This is part of the preface to all the revelations given by Joseph Smith in the first edition. Therefore, all of the examples we have given in the D. & C. should have been fulfilled!
Other Prophecies by Smith
1. Joseph Smith declared, “And now I am prepared to say by the Authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall 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 earthquake 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… therefore, ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come’. Repent ye, repent ye, and embrace the everlasting covenant, and flee to Zion, before the overflowing scourge overtake you, for 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” (D.H.C., Vol. I, pp. 315-316).
This prophecy was dated January 4, 1833. All those living in 1833 are dead, but none of Smith’s prophecy has been fulfilled except that there was bloodshed in the United States… which was predicted by the secular press before Smith’s prophecy. (See our comments on D. & C. 87 for background information on this revelation). But, pestilence, hail, famine and earthquakes did not sweep the wicked who lived in 1833 off of the face of the land, nor did the “lost tribes of Israel” return from the North country. And, the gathering that began in Missouri was aborted by the LDS.
2. Joseph Smith said, “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left” (T. of P.J.S., p. 302). Smith and his generation are all dead. Yet, no redress was given, and the U.S. government was not overthrown, so Smith’s prophecy was false.
3. Oliver B. Huntington, a devout LDS contemporary of Joseph Smith, said that Smith taught, “The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being six feet in height. They dress very much like the Quaker style and are quite general in style or fashion of dress. They live to be very old; coming generally; near a thousand years. This is the description of them as given by Joseph (Smith) the Seer, and he could see whatever he asked the Father in the name of Jesus to see” (Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, Vol. II, p. 166). That is not what the astronauts found when they went to the moon!
Prophecies by Other LDS Prophets
1. Brigham Young, second LDS Prophet, 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 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. XIII, p. 271). Young also said, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture” (Ibid., p. 95). This “scripture” about men on the moon as well as the sun by Brigham Young ought to raise eyebrows about Brigham Young’s inspired messages.
2. Brigham also argued in favor of building the Salt Lake temple out of mud or adobes because it would last longer than marble or lime stone. He also declared that the Egyptian Pyramids were made out of “adobes, clay mixed with straw” (J. of D., Vol. I, p. 219). Almost any high school student today know that those statements are false!
3. John Taylor, third LDS Prophet, said, “Referring to the United Order, the Lord has given us to understand that whoever refuses to comply with the requirements of that law, his name shall not be known in the records of the Church but shall be blotted out; neither shall his children have an inheritance in Zion. Are these the words of the Lord to us?… It is the word of God to me; it is the word of God to you” (J of D., Vol. 21, p. 58). If the United Order was the word of the Lord and LDS who did not comply with it were to be blotted out of the LDS Church records, then there would be no LDS Church today because they all failed to live the United Order. When D. & C. 104 was discussed, it was mentioned that the United Order was tried several times, but it always failed.
4. Wilford Woodruff, fourth LDS Prophet said on June 27, 1875, “I believe there are many children now living in the mountains of Israel (Utah) who will never taste death, that is, they will dwell on the earth at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ” (J. of D., Vol. 18, p. 37). On June 6, 1880, Woodruff again said, “Welive in the generation itself when Jesus Christ will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (J. of D., Vol. 21, p. 124). Woodruff died on September 2, 1898, and all the children he spoke of in 1875 are now dead. Therefore, Woodruff’s predictions are false!
5. Lorenzo Snow, fifth LDS Prophet, said in the April 1898, LDS Conference, “There are many – hundreds and hundreds within the sound of my voice – that will live to go back to Jackson County (Missouri) and build a holy temple to the Lord our God” (Conference Reports, pp. 14, 64). He also said, “Many of you will be living in Jackson County and there you will be assisting in building the temple; – I am saying things to you now of which I know something of the truth of them” (Deseret News, June 15, 1901). Snow understood D. & C. 84 to mean that some of the people from Smith’s generation would be alive and go back to Jackson County, Missouri. But, all of that generation are dead, and the LDS still have not moved to Jackson County nor built a temple there! Early LDS prophets made many other false prophecies, but recent LDS prophets have not predicted anything! Perhaps they noticed that earlier prophecies were not being fulfilled.
President Joseph F. Smith, the sixth prophet of Mormonism, was questioned in court under oath by Senator Dubois (Reed Smoot Case, Vol. I, pp. 483-484):
Senator Dubois: Have you received any revelations from God, which has been submitted by you and the apostles to the body of the church in their semiannual conference, which revelation has been sustained by that conference, through the upholding of their hands?
Mr. Smith: Since when?
Senator Dubois: Since you became President of the church?
Mr. Smith: No sir; None whatever.
President Joseph F. Smith’s answer shows that he, as LDS prophet received no revelation or he lied under oath! It is no wonder that LDS today often find it difficult to show any “current revelation” from their living prophet! Prophets do not always have to prophesy, but surely they should sometime, or there is no reason to call them prophets! Still, the LDS claim that they have a living prophet who guides the LDS Church through constant, current revelation.
At a BYU Devotional Assembly on February 26, 1980, President Ezra Taft Benson presented “Fourteen Fundamentals In Following The Prophets.” The first six are:
First: “The Prophet is the Only Man who speaks for God in everything.”
Second: “The living Prophet is more vital to us than the Standard Works” (LDS scriptures).
Third: “The living Prophet is more important to us than a dead Prophet.”
Fourth: “The Prophet will never lead the Church astray.”
Fifth: “The Prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.”
Sixth: “The Prophet does not have to say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ to give us scripture.”
President Benson also declared, “The inspired words of Prophets, when written down, become scripture, and whenever God has His representative on the earth, there is always new revelation and new scripture” (Deseret News, Church News section, October 7, 1972, p. 12).
Mormons claim that the LDS President is God’s representative and prophet on the earth. But, when Benson became the 13th LDS Prophet, he gave no new revelations or scripture. Therefore, by his own standard, Benson could not have been God’s representative on the earth! For other information about prophets, read about that office in our chapter on the Church. Also, read about Joseph Smith and his successors in our chapter on “Salvation.”