Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Virtual Deification of Joseph Smith

A couple years ago I posted the article, “Salvation Through Joseph Smith?” which examined a Mormon hymn praising Joseph Smith.  I also cited a quotation from Mormon President Harold B. Lee where he said that no one could accept Jesus as the savior without first accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet.  This statement alone says salvation in the Mormon church is based on Joseph Smith.  

Mormon Research Ministry has an interesting post examining an article by a Mormon blogger denying that Mormons don’t really worship Joseph Smith.  MRM points to LDS doctrine and teachings contradicting the blogger’s claims, and by doing so has some interesting citations.

First thought-provoker for Mormons is the claim that they believe Jesus is the head of their church, yet Doctrine & Covenants 28:6 says that Joseph Smith is the head of their church!

MRM points out:  In 1966 Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie said that there would be no salvation if it had not been for Joseph Smith. The man who became the tenth LDS President, Joseph Fielding Smith, taught that one must accept Joseph Smith in order to enter the kingdom of God, and early Mormon prophet Brigham Young claimed that no man or woman will ever enter the “mansion where God and Christ are” without the “consent” and “certificate of Joseph Smith” as their “passport” (respectively, Mormon Doctrine, 670; Doctrines of Salvation, 1:189-90; Journal of Discourses 7:289).

While the blogger claims that Smith doesn’t have the power to raise the dead,  Brigham Young taught that Joseph “will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation” and, holding the keys of resurrection, “will seal this authority on others” who will find their friends and resurrect them (Discourses of Brigham Young, 116).

When the blogger claims that the LDS do not place Smith on the same level as Christ, MRM responds,  in 1922 an LDS Church lesson taught that there are at least nine parallels between the lives of Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. After listing them side-by-side, the lesson concluded, “Who shall doubt the divine mission of these Saviours of mankind?” (Weber Stake Ward Teachers’ Lesson, January 1922).

Throughout the history of the LDS, their leaders have indeed virtually deified Joseph Smith by claiming for him attributes which only apply to the real Jesus of the Bible.  Even the LDS blogger admitted to the statement in D&C 135 which says, 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.

When all the evidence is in, it is plain that — as much as they wish to deny it — Joseph Smith is treated like a god, being praised and virtually worshiped in their hymns, doctrines, and presidential proclamations.

And yet they still claim to be Christians.  A more appropriate name for them would be “Smithians.”

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