Sunday, May 15, 2011

If you knew that Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ disagreed, which one of them would you believe?

I posed this question to a couple of young LDS men attending the Mormon Miracle Pageant this last summer. To my delight, they both unhesitatingly answered "Jesus!" But, I don't usually get that response; many other Mormons believe that such a thing is impossible. Having received nothing but good (but fanciful) report of their founding prophet, they believe Joseph an extraordinary man - God's chosen vessel to restore His true gospel in these latter-days.

This article was written to introduce the fact the teachings of Joseph Smith oppose those of Jesus Christ. Though it is not an exhaustive comparison, I hope you find it helpful.

10 Disagreements

1. Joseph Smith said that there is more than one god. His religion teaches that men can become gods; that god was a man who progressed to godhood, just like all the gods before him. In the Bible, Jesus said:

"...this is life eternal, that they might know thee THE ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3), and

"...The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord... the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he..." (Mark 12:29-32)

2. Joseph Smith said that couples need to be sealed to one another in temples, that their marriage might continue for all eternity. In the Bible, Jesus said:

" the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." (Mat 22:30, 12:25; Luke 17:27, 20:34-35)

3. Joseph Smith said that Jesus is our and Satan's spirit brother, that we were all begotten of the god "Elohim" by his goddess wives, and that we all lived together as spirits in our "pre-earth life." Jesus' apostle Paul said:

"... by him (Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." - (Colossians 1:16-17)

and Jesus' apostle, John the Beloved, said:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:12-13)

4. Joseph Smith said Jesus' could not hold a church together, that the true gospel had to be brought back to the earth by Joseph Smith. In the Bible, Jesus said:

"...I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt 16:18), and

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt 24:35)

5. Joseph Smith instituted the use of "the Melchisedec Priesthood" by the "worthy" men of his church. In the Bible, Jesus is the ONLY ONE who is a priest "after the order of Melchisedec" (note: not a Melchisedec Priesthood holder, but a Melchisedec PRIEST) because He is:

"... made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life" (Hebrews 7:16), and "because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood" (Hebrews 7:24) and because He is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26) and "consecrated for evermore." (Hebrews 7:28)

6. Joseph Smith instituted a religion in which the family is of central focus and importance. Jesus said:

"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:35-37)

7. Joseph Smith said that repentance (the forsaking of your sin, in Mormonism) is a prerequisite for baptism, baptism for confirmation, and confirmation by the "laying on of hands" of LDS priesthood holders for receiving the Holy Ghost. All of these are primary steps toward becoming good enough to go to heaven. Smith's religion rejects the cross as a symbol of Jesus' death for our sins. Jesus' apostle Paul said:

"I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius... For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:14-18)

The New Testament believers received the Holy Spirit without "laying on of hands" (i.e. Acts 2:1-4), and/or before water baptism (i.e. Acts 9:3-17). And Jesus, speaking of natural birth and spiritual birth, said:

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:5-6)

8. Joseph Smith said that Heavenly Father has a physical body, that he is a separate person and a separate god from Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul said:

"...Who (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God..." (Colossians 1:15)

Jesus Himself said:

"If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." Philip said: "Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." and "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:7-9), and
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)

9. Joseph Smith said that proxy work must be done (by the Mormon faithful) for those who didn't accept the "true" gospel of Jesus in this life, so they can repent and become righteous in the afterlife. Jesus said:

"Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." (Matt 8:22, Luke 9:60)

10. Joseph Smith said that baptism and confirmation (and membership in the LDS church), repentance, keeping the commandments and covenants of the LDS church, including but not limited to temple marriage and knowing the secret handshakes, signs and tokens, are required to get into heaven. He said that eternal life is free to everyone, because of Jesus' atonement, but all the other is necessary to live with God in the highest level of heaven. John the Baptist said:

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36)
Jesus said:

" Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:15-17)

and to the thief dying on the cross next to Him, who had just confessed "... we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom," Jesus said:

"Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:41-43)

No you know that Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ disagree. Whom will you believe?

"Jesus answered... To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." - John 18:37

by Staci Lee 

© Copyright 2002 Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

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Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine