Prophetic Smackdown: Moses vs. Joseph Smith

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Today’s post is from an anonymous guest blogger.  The critics of the church like to point the finger at Joseph Smith, citing polygamy, concealing polygamy, the Kirtland Bank failure, etc.  Could Moses withstand the same scrutiny?  Let’s take a look.http://globalfire.tv/nj/graphs/moses.jpgMoses promised to take the Hebrews to the promised land, but he didn’t, he kept them in the desert 40 years.  He lied.  Then, when he failed to deliver the goods, he claimed it was due to the Hebrews’ lack of faith.  We’ve all heard that one before!  Joseph Smith promised to establish Zion in Missouri, but instead, led everyone on a pointless “character-building” camping trip before conceding failure.  And, once again, the failure of the mission was blamed on the people.  But a 40 year camping trip gone bad?  C’mon, Moses wins this one.

He was a murderer (killed an Egyptian).  Joseph Smith was not accused of murder, but he did destroy a printing press and engage in suspicious treasure-digging endeavors.  Even so, Moses wins this one.

He was a thief and organized criminal, instructing his people to plunder the Egyptians and take everything of
value that wasn’t nailed down when they left.  Joseph Smith told the early Saints in Missouri to abandon their homes that were then destroyed or plundered by neighbors.  Once again, Moses wins.

He abandoned his people in the desert for long periods of time, then when they struggled due to his own absentee leadership, he blamed them (Exodus 32:1).  Many early church leaders left due to weaknesses they perceived in Joseph.  Let’s call this one a draw.

http://scatt.bilegrip.com/goldencalf.jpgHe was a mass-murderer, ordering his enforcers to slaughter 3000 men for worshiping the golden calf (Exodus 32:28).  Then he tried to poison them by making them drink it.  On the Zion’s camp journey, they did have to drink some pretty disgusting swamp water.  Still, not even close on this one–Moses takes it.

He hypocritically spared the life of his brother, who was the one who made the calf/idol in the first place.   Nepotism!  Joseph frequently misjudged others’ character out of love and loyalty for them, often to his own detriment.  Whether bolstering his father’s confidence or entrusting John C. Bennett with a leadership role he was unworthy to hold, Joseph often erred on the side of mercy with those whom he loved.  This looks like a draw.

He denied freedom-of-religion to those wanted to worship the golden calf and other idols.  Joseph’s political platform and the voting bloc of the early church caused many to fear that the church was becoming too powerful and would deny freedoms to neighbors and rights to citizens.  And those fears appear to be alive and well today in certain parts of the country.  But, given that one of our Articles of Faith specifically speaks to allowing all to worship how they choose, Moses once again wins this one.

He was a bigamist.  Joseph has 33 wives of record during his life time, some of which may have been platonic and none of which were openly co-habitating with him (unless you count Fanny Alger); still we have to give this one to Joseph.

Oh, and he was very homophobic, sexist (calling women unclean, and they were unclean for twice as long if they gave birth to a female child as opposed to a male child–how insulting!)  Joseph created the Relief Society and did not prohibit women from practicing the priesthood, although he also did not specifically ordain women to the offices in the priesthood.  Joseph was pretty progressive for his day; Moses clearly wins this one.

He was bigoted, prejudiced and provincial (he wouldn’t let his people date or marry non-Hebrews).  Joseph welcomed all visitors openly, offering his home to all, regardless of their race or religion.  He crafted a plan to buy and free all slaves so that their owners would not come after them for retribution, and his presidential platform was anti-slavery.  Moses was clearly the more bigoted.

I think with some research, one could come up with a lot more indictments on Moses’ character.

So, for those who like to criticize Joseph Smith, does this list more securely solidify him as a prophet?  Or do two wrongs not make a right?  Is Moses’ character simply characteristic of his era, or has the historical record been embellished over time?  How does the Lord work through imperfect prophets?  How do other modern-day prophets’ flaws stack up against these historical precedents?  Are modern-day prophets’ flaws evidence that humanity is evolving or that message control is getting tighter or something else?  Discuss.

Comments

comments

Comments 42

  1. Moses was played by Charlton Heston in an epic movie. That’s why he gets a pass 🙂

    Seriously though, you portray an interesting perspective. I’ve wondered at times if prophets thousands of years ago seem more mystical and grand because we lack a connection to them. Joseph Smith lived recently. I can picture his environment better. His mistakes and shortcomings seems so much more real for some reason. Moses did things that were far more offensive to our modern sensibilities. Curious to consider …

  2. Thinking of many Biblical figures in this way is one of the reasons why Joseph’s flaws have never seriously bothered me. Moses, Abraham, Peter and many others…they all had flaws, because they are all men. Then on top of their personal weaknesses, they were given tough jobs to do.

  3. Great post! Very interesting. And Moses was and has been revered for thousands of years by many faiths. I think it adds an interesting element that (though it’s been debated) Moses wrote his own account of all these trials. I take him at his word when he calls himself meek…

  4. Thinking of many Biblical figures in this way is one of the reasons why Joseph’s flaws have never seriously bothered me. Moses, Abraham, Peter and many others…they all had flaws, because they are all men. Then on top of their personal weaknesses, they were given tough jobs to do.

    That is why I have many times said that reading the Bible is the best way to inoculate members.

  5. That is why I have many times said that reading the Bible is the best way to inoculate members.

    Yeah, I’m just not super comfortable with the idea that we should become desensitized to leaders doing bad things, because its always been that way and we should get used to it. If we decide something is broken in our time, I don’t think the fact that it was also broken in ancient times means that it should be viewed as “whole” across the whole continuum. Why exactly can’t we expect more from those who claim to be God’s servants? They certainly expect much more from their adherents.

  6. “They certainly expect much more from their adherents.”

    That’s why I love the concept of real, human prophets, Clay. Yes, they expect more of their adherents, but they don’t expect more than they expect of themselves. They might not measure up to our unrealistic expectations of perfection, but they are MUCH closer in many ways than those they lead – and they ask us to be much closer than we are. I certainly don’t want the standard alternative that takes away the entire possibility of everlasting growth and progression, built on a solid foundation of grace.

    As I read their words, I generally find MUCH more “grace” for us than I find reciprocated by many of us for them. That’s worth considering, I believe.

  7. Not really a relevant article. I am amused when Mormons try to compare things like this. To make this relevant, one would need to see how Moses acted pursuant to HIS time and how Joseph acted pursuant to HIS time. Yes, Moses killed a man, yet, that was not against the Ten Commandments at the time he did so. When Joseph was defrauding people with treasure seeking and bank schemes, that was against the law. When Joseph smashed the printing press, that was against the law. Seems Joseph really wins this one.

    As to the 40 years in the desert, that was oursuant to God’s command….do you fault God? Joseph took an Army to fight and failed miserably. Moses followed God’s command. Joseph wins this one.

    As to the plundering of Egyptians…they took what they had earned after years of slavery. Joseph took money from people in a bank scheme and they all lost all their money. Joseph wins this one.

    Yes, people who brought in gods that defied God were handled as God asked. LDS Church members were similarly treated when they broke away or taught against the Church. They even vowed to “suffer thier life to be taken”. My children were almost kidnapped when I left the LDS Church because I was “not a fit father anymore for Mormon children”. Police had to be involved. I think Joseph wins this one.

    As to the nepotism one, look at who the early leaders were in the LDS Church……I think the nepotism is a draw, but Joseph almost wins this one.

    he abandoned his people in the desert when God asked him to come to see him. Again, you dare blame God? You are correct about Joseph….Joseph wins this one.

    As to bigamy….again, look at the times. In Moses time, bigamy was not illegal or even frowned upon. Not so in Joseph’s time. And when one reads Martin Harris’ comments about Fanny Alger, it seems questionable if polygamy was not introduced only to cover indiscretions. Joseph wins this one.

    The homophobic one is likely a draw. Again, look at the times….hundreds of years BC was a LOT different than 1830s. Moses acted as to what was accepted IN HIS TIME. You cannot compare, though many LDS woman have complained about how women are often treated as seciond class citizens. Women even had to pledge themselves to men….not visa versa. I think Joseph wins this one, but only because of the times.

    I think it is a bad idea for Mormons to try to compare. Comparing is what folks do who are trying to catch up. You never hear McDonalds comparing itself to Burger King or Jack in the Box, but you sure hear BK and JITB comparing themselves to McDonalds.

    I am not LDS, but I hold a deep love for the Church. I served a mission and met my wife on my mission. I miss my days as a Mormon and I miss having a testimony. But to compare is bad. Rejoice in what you have. Rejoice in how you are different. If what you have is true, then there is no need to compare…you should be wanting others to compare themselves to you.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.

  8. I think the difference is that the people of the Old Testament worshiped a God of power. The people of God will worship a God because of God’s goodness. The moral is not that Joseph Smith would have been a super star in the late Bronze age, but rather that we was one worthy enough to show an example and worthy to be a receptacle of inspiration that will lead all people to the type and quality of life we long for, but can’t find.

    The church is a fine institution, but Joseph Smith is a rouge by almost all accounts. Lauding him with respect to a low bar is not doing anyone any favours.

  9. There is no need for modern day prophets? I’m afraid Paul didn’t get the message, Joe.

    1 Corinthians 12:28 – “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (This was AFTER Christ’s ascension.)

    Ephesians 2:19-20 – “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Again, AFTER the ascension.)

    Ephesians 4:11-13 – “And he agave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (They hadn’t reached “the unity of the faith” then, and we aren’t there yet.)

    I won’t turn this into a verse quote match, but these three are ones I grabbed without thinking about it much.

    The point of this post is not to debate whether or not prophets are needed in our time. It is to discuss whether or not there is a double standard applied against modern prophets. Others haven’t discussed the way Paul gets vilified by lots of modern Christians (or, at the very least, how some of his teachings get ignored as not relevant to our day), but he’s still accepted as an apostle. Of course, there’s a double standard.

  10. Awesome post. The comparison is fair and Joseph would do pretty well against other servants of God of the past. The average person probably doesn’t read his/her scriptures detailed enough to recognize the human nature of the Lord’s servants. They are just like the rest of us, struggling to do What God wants us to do.

    I, for one, ma grateful for living Prophets and Apostles. We need them.

  11. Ricercar:

    I believe the point here is not that really that Joseph’s frailties (indeed, his sins) were laudatory at any time. Rather, Christian critics need to stop the blatant hypocrisy of accusing Joseph Smith of these “heinous” crimes even as they praise the names of the prophets who themselves faced similar or worse charges by today’s standards.

    Excellent post.

  12. Interesting stuff, and I think it illustrates exactly what we need to be mindful of: so much of what we expect of a prophet or leader is shaped by a mythos that in many ways does not really exist.

    We hear the words “prophet of god” and expect the person filling the role to be perfect. It is a shared assumption that the person is holy, and therefore without blemish or imperfection–and not just in the role, but throughout their life. But this is a blatantly false and ridiculous assumption, and lays not the foundation for grace nor mercy in the gospel, neither now nor in times past. It ignores the atonement, and denies God an ability we claim so preciously–Agency.

    As mortals we claim agency–the ability to choose freely between two actions, but we would deny that to God by a set of rules and regulations. We would bind our God tightly. Yet our LDS theology states that our ultimate goal is to become like Him. Would we then abrogate our agency? Surely our ultimate goal cannot be to self-deny all agency? If that is the goal, then the adversary might well have led us in the first place, and so by the nose to salvation, for we claim his plain was to force us to live a perfect life, and in so doing insure that all were exalted, losing none.

    That plan, though Lucifer wished it, was never a real option, for salvation does not come in that fashion. Once does not gain salvation without learning, and one cannot learn without making decisions. One does not progress in the absence of moral agency. Thus, the goal cannot be to abrogate agency, for we declare that eternal progression is a principal. The assumption of stagnation without agency is likely difficult to prove, admittedly, but I will admit that freely.

    What then can we do to accept that prophets must be weak like unto others? They are mortal, they must have agency, and therefore are going to make imperfect decisions. At times, their decisions will be colored by their time and circumstances (zeitgeist is such a great word). I will say that Joseph Smith was not perfect, but he was a good man. He tried. Will he be made perfect eventually? Yes. Then again, so will some of the people on this blog that are currently lambasting the church. Eventually both a good number of Mormons and non-mormons will be made perfect. Likewise a good number of both groups will fail to reach that goal. That’s just how it goes. Not because God will not give them every chance, but because they will fail to take the opportunity.

    Oh, and if Moses had trouble, what about Samson?

  13. Ray: I’ll check out those verses you quoted and study the issue further. I appreciate your input.

    If you all are saying Prophets can be flawed how can we test them to know if they are true? I’m sure many Muslims fall into the same situation with Mohammed. How do we know Mohammed isn’t a prophet?

  14. Good question, Joe. All I have come up with is if their teachings are generally consistent with what I believe has come from God (accounting for variances in culture and time and terminology) and appear to produce “fruits meet for repentance” – if s/he encourages introspection and change and progress and growth.

    I believe that “prophet” means less than what we tend to think of now when it applies to those who lived much earlier. For example, the OT speaks of prophets and prophetesses sometimes “only” as those who passed on a message from God (received through some sort of revelation or strong inspiration – like Isaiah’s focus on the future Messiah) or “only” as those who were called to perform some great service for God (like Samson, who was as deeply flawed as any). In this generic sense, Mother Teresa might be considered a prophetess, for example.

    Otoh, Prophets (“The prophet”) were generally those who occupied a particular position of leadership for God’s children (like Moses and Samuel in the OT, Alma in the BofM, Peter in the NT, perhaps Mohammed or Confucious or Oshaka-sama or the founder of any other religion). It’s a subjective determination, but Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law) is a GREAT example of someone OUTSIDE of the “standard” lineage who had “the Priesthood” and might have been a Prophet of his time. Frankly, he and the Wise Men of Jesus’ time are fascinating examples of people who might show that non-Biblical people’s had prophets and Prophets among them. The Brother of Jared is another.

    That might not be the answer you wanted (essentially, “I don’t know; it’s subjective.”), but it’s all we have right now. I just read the Bible and Book of Mormon and come to the conclusion that God spoke with more of His children than we have recorded there.

  15. Ray,
    Iet me make a preemptive post on where I think Joe might be doing with his question. he will then quote this:

    Deuteronomy 18:21 – 22)
    And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
    When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

    And then say that Joseph was a false prophet because….. and a list will then emerge like the building of the Temple in Missouri.

    That’s what I suspect. The same old tired stuff… 🙂

  16. Jeff,

    I assumed you were all intelligent enough to know the list of Joseph’s false prophesies.

    I wanted to know how Ray tests prophets personally (especially considering he believes Mohommad “might” have been a prophet). His test appears different than mine, which is okay with me. I’m just trying to see his perspective.

    My personal test is more in line with the Deutoronomy tests as you assumed.

  17. How do we test prophets? By using the Old Testament/New Testament seal of truthfullness: Rash Elohim, the Spirit of God. If the Spirit witnesses to you that they are prophets, you have your answer.

  18. “I assumed you were all intelligent enough to know the list of Joseph’s false prophesies.”

    Joe, we know the list of CLAIMED false prophesies.

    So, Joe, which OT and NT prophets and apostles fail the Deuteronomy test?

  19. Carlos U: The spirit tells me that Joseph Smith is a false prophet. The spirit told the 9/11 hijackers that they should fly a plane into buildings. How can we remedy this? Are “feelings” really a good test for truth?

    Jeff: All of the OT and NT prophets pass the Deuteronomy test.

  20. Joe said: “The spirit told the 9/11 hijackers that they should fly a plane into buildings.” I’ve heard this one said many times, and I have to cry BS. First of all, we can’t possibly know that the 9/11 hijackers felt anything like “the spirit.” If you look at the pictures of Mohammed Atta going through security, he’s hardly enrapt in light and spirituality. He looks like the beleagured thug and mass-murderer that he was. I disagree that we can equate religious fanaticism with spiritual experience. Terrorists are not religiously-oriented; they are cause-oriented. Those who are in desperate situations are willing to take desperate measures to prevent further “degredation” if that’s what they feel they are experiencing or “humiliation” at the hands of more successful countries.

    So, let’s get over this ridiculous analogy once and for all. I am perfectly willing to equate spiritual experiences of non-fanatics across a variety of religions. And “logic” is equally flawed in spiritual matters. The very existence of God cannot be proven or disproven.

  21. I knew that’s where you would be going, Joe, and the list of Biblical prophecies that have not occurred yet are almost innumerable. (That’s phrasing it as generously as I can. If I were not a Christian believer in the Bible, I would phrase it very differently – as almost innumerable examples of failed prophecy. Since I am a believer, I will stick with “not occurred yet” for most of them – not those like Jonah’s perfect example of a prophecy that simply didn’t occur.) This discussion simply proves Hawk’s original point – that there are two separate standards for prophets. The liberal one is used for those someone accepts as prophets; the stricter one is used for those someone does not accept.

    Also, Joe, I notice you didn’t even try to address the actual answer I gave to your first statement – but rather switched topics. That’s also classic, but I will chalk it up to mere oversight this time. I really don’t care to keep that particular threadjack going, since it really isn’t relevant to this post, so don’t worry about it. We’ll keep focused on the actual issue of a double standard.

  22. “Jeff: All of the OT and NT prophets pass the Deuteronomy test.”

    C’mon, Joe, this is where the rubber meets the road. You need to apply the same standard as you would to Joseph. After all, you used to be LDS, didn’t you????

    They all meet the test?

  23. Ray: As I indicated earlier I thought your response to the first question requires more study on my end. Your argument was plausible and I want to seriously consider what you said. I admit I could be wrong so I want to keep an open mind when I hear a valid argument.

    Hawkgrrrl: I do not believe “logic” is flawed AT ALL in spiritual matters. You say that God can not be proved or disproved. I say he can. Look at his creation, his fingerprint, his immaculate design. God is provable beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    Back to the claimed double standard….

    I’m assuming you are speaking of Jonah’s prophesy that Nineveh would be overturned?

    The book of Jerimiah has an answer for this:
    If at some time I announce that a nation or kingdom will be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it” (Jer. 18:7-10).

    1. God makes an announcement that a nation will be uprooted, etc. That is what prophets often announced, isn’t it? Jonah’s prophecy fits this case – he simply announced that Nineveh would be overturned.
    2. God calls that announcement a warning. If the people repent, God will relent.
    3. Therefore, God’s prophetic judgments are actually prophetic warnings: “This is what you’ll receive if you don’t repent.”
    4. God announces that a nation will be built up.
    5. But if that kingdom does evil and does not obey God, He will reconsider and not do the good he had promised.
    6. Therefore, God’s prophetic promises are actually prophetic incentives. “This is what you’ll receive if you continue in faithfulness.”

  24. Joe: “You say that God can not be proved or disproved. I say he can. Look at his creation, his fingerprint, his immaculate design. God is provable beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Many people live in the shadow of that doubt. They see the same evidence you cite and attribute it quite differently.

  25. Hawkgrrl: I believe they do know… The Book of Romans, Chapter 1, says they do:

    18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
    21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.(NIV)

    We might have to agree to disagree on this issue, but I belive “logic” is essential for true belief. If you can’t follow something logically how can it be believed? I don’t want to get off track (and make Ray mad at me) but, how can the Book of Mormon be true when there is no logical archaeological evidence for a single city, person, civilization, etc.

  26. Joe – the absence of evidence is not evidence of something being false. And there are compelling arguments on both sides of this and every religious debate. For that matter, there is no proof that Jesus was the son of God. I’m glad you feel confident in your rightness. So do many who disagree with your conclusions. Namaste.

  27. Joe,

    We can go on and on about the circular debate of does God exist or does the Bible prove itself true? You know where we all stand to a large degree. After all, you claim to be once LDS and live in a small Utah town. So, bringing the typical arguments to bear doesn’t get us very far. Most of us have heard it all before. Including yourself?

  28. #29 – Joe, now that you’ve explained what is supposedly your basis for understanding under what circumstances a prophecy doesn’t have to come true and still be a valid prophecy, please give me a documented example of Joseph Smith giving a false prophecy as per your own standards that you have now established.

    The Missouri temple certainly doesn’t qualify anymore, the Saints had their promises revoked due to their own unrighteousness. (To say nothing of the fact that that prophecy was actually a quote from the Bible about Jesus returning in “one generation.” Yes, I know that doesn’t actually mean one literal generation, but since it’s a quote, I have always wondered why antis use it when it undercuts their own beliefs if taken the way they use it for Mormons.)

    Also, how do you view —
    Ezek. 29: 10-13
    10 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, afrom the tower of Syene even unto the border of bEthiopia.
    11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.
    12 And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will ascatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.
    13 ¶ Yet thus saith the Lord God; At the end of forty years will I agather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered:

    There is no archelogical evidence at all that this prophecy ever came true. You either have to accept that the prophecy did come true but evidence wasn’t found or you have to accept that it got revoked even though the scriptures never say so.

    Also, many Bible prophecies “come true” in ways that a skeptic like yourself, if you were not using a dual standard, would consider somewhat silly. For example, Jacob being told by prophecy that God would bring him out of Egypt so finally they carry his bones out. Same with Joseph. Again, I understand that to God the bones and the descendants were part of the whole in these prophecies, but they are certainly not straightforward interpretations as you are demanding of the Mormons.

    A few others:
    * Prophecy of Judah reigning until Shilo comes. But Saul (first) wasn’t Judah and Jews were conquered long before Jesus came.
    * Prophecy of 400 years in Egyptian captivity, but it’s actually 430. A skeptic like you would probably think that the 30 miss was relevant if not using a dual standard.
    * Soloman’s kingdom didn’t last forever like prophesied… at least not literally. Of course we both believe it did in the sense of Jesus being the spiritual successor of David and Soloman. But again, a skeptic like you is using a dual standard here.
    * Multiple promises of driving out the Caananites that never come true. Yes, I know, due to unrighteousness of the Israelites. But again, a skeptic like you is using a dual standard.

    If the Bible were Mormon only scripture, you’d be scoffing at this “failures of prophesy” right now on this very site.

    Just trying googling “false bible prophesies” or something like that and you’ll find out how easy it is to play the game you are playing with your own beliefs. Time to rethink this particular attack on Mormonism.

  29. Bruce:

    Regarding Ezek. 29: 10-13. There is archeological evidence that those places exist. The bible has places and peoples that exist in real life, not made up geography and civilizations. Why hasn’t a single city talked about in the Book of Mormon been found? It is too big of a stretch for me personally to believe in places that don’t exist, people that don’t exist, languages that don’t exist, etc.

    Since you asked for a, “documented example of Joseph Smith giving a false prophecy as per your own standards that you have now established.”

    I won’t do a google list of Joseph’s false prophesies… How about D&C Section 132, Verse 4: 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.

    Is the entire LDS faith damned? What does everlasting mean? Maybe the FLDS are right?

  30. #35 – Let’s stick with this thread before we go off on another, Joe.

    Before I answer your question on 132:4, which I believe you are misinterpreting, will you please answer me this:

    Ex. 40: 15
    15 And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.

    Since the Aaronic priesthood was meant to be an everlasting priesthood, and since unlike Mormons you believe it wasn’t, was this a false prophecy to you?

    And also, please explain how you personally interpret the Egyptian prophecy that didn’t seem to come true before we continue.

    If you don’t want to respond to these (I wouldn’t if I were you) so that we can do a fair comparision of our beliefs wihtout a dual standard, I’ll understand, but then this conversation is over. Thanks for your time.

  31. Bobbing and weaving is a great tactic in boxing when the boxer has no knockout punch. I’m tired of the bobbing and weaving here, so I won’t be commenting further. I think the central point of the thread has been proven in spades. I won’t get mad at anyone, but I won’t participate in this never-ending threadjack.

  32. Joe, if you want to find some un-biblical or non-biblical Mormons who are easy to prove wrong, go visit, http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

    #36, Bruce, good way to keep things on track. Your responses to Joe have been both diplomatic and concise. I learned something. I got involved in responding to some evangelical-type commenters on Mormanity.blogspot.com and MormonMentality.org. My conclusion is that we need to be very diplomatic and keep the doors open because some of them eventually “graduate” from their Bible studies and come to more knowledge about the gospel. I found Christ as a teenager in an evangelical-type church, and brought whatever good and correct things I had with me when I joined the LDS church. I commented on it more extensively at:
    http://www.mormonmentality.org/2008/08/25/mormon-home-evening-by-helen-hulse.htm#comment-89911

  33. Hmmm, maybe ‘graduate’ is not the best word choice, because we should never stop studying the Bible, we just have more scriptures in the curriculum. Maybe “graduate from” would be better applied to the mainsteam protestant/evangelical school of interpretting the bible. It still sounds a bit too condescending, so “add to” sounds better.

  34. Bookslinger, I enjoyed your post. I liked this quote: “It’s really hard to tell a happy evangelical they are wrong, because for the most part, they’re right…” 🙂 I agree. Excellent insight.

  35. Joseph Smith’s False Prophecies:

    Prophecy about Jesus return within 56 years – History of the Church, Vol. 2:189
    Jesus did not return within fifty-six years when 1891 arrived.

    Apostle Patten to go on mission in Spring 1839 – Doctrines and Covenants 114
    He was shot in Oct. of 1838. Wouldn’t God have known he was going to die before the next spring?

    Prophecy that the temple would be built in Missouri within Smith’s Generation – Doctrines and Covenants 84:2-5,31
    i. The Mormons were driven out of Jackson County in 1833. They were not gathered there in accordance to this prophecy dealing with building the temple.
    ii.The prophecy clearly states that the generation present when the prophecy was given would not pass away until the temple was built at the western boundaries of the state of Missouri which is in Independence. This clearly failed.

    All Nations would be involved in the American Civil War – Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3
    This is clearly another false prophecy since all nations did not get involved in the American Civil War

    Prophesy that the earth will tremble and the sun be hidden in “not many days. – Doctrine and Covenants 88:87
    i. The sun hasn’t yet been hidden nor has the moon hidden its face.
    ii. This prophecy was given on 12/27/1832. “Not many days hence”?
    Since the writing of this article on 6/22/06, it has been 63,364 days or 173 years, 5 months, 26 days. I think that 63,364 days is more than “not many days”. For reference to January 1, 2000 it was 61,000 days (even), or 167 years, 5 days.

    Prophecy that Isaiah 11 was about to be fulfilled – Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, History, verse 40
    This has not yet been fulfilled. The wolf is not dwelling with the lamb, the calf and the lion are not together, nor are the cow and bear grazing together. The lion is not eating straw like an ox. Nursing children are not playing in the dens of cobras.

    Zion (Independence, Mo.) can not fall – Doctrine and Covenants 97:19
    Mormons were driven out.

    Army to redeem Zion (Independence, MO) – Doctrine and Covenants 103
    Mission unsuccessful. V.30-34 Mormon God seems to be unsure about how large an army to raise.

    Build a temple in Nauvoo and house for Smiths – Doctrine and Covenants 124
    Temple and house not completed.

    US Government must redress wrongs or be destroyed – History of the Church, vol.5, p.394, vol.6, p.116 and Millennial Star, vol.22, p.455.
    It doesn’t and is not destroyed.

    Three grand keys to test Messengers – Doctrine and Covenants 129
    No known reference where any LDS church leader ever used this test. Does God give meaningless revelations?

    Now these are just some of the false prophecies of Joseph Smith Jr.

    j.

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