JOSEPH SMITH FALSE PROPHET
The Mormon Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded in 1830 by a man called Joseph Smith who claimed to be a prophet of God. Was this man really a prophet of God? We will soon see that he wasn’t.
Smith published the Book of Commandments which recorded the revelations he and others received while the Book of Mormon was coming forth and after. He was dictating the Book of Mormon to a secretary at this stage as he translated. The Book of Commandments was printed in 1833 and in 1835 it was expanded into Doctrine and Covenants with many parts added to and many alterations made. The excuse was that the 1833 book was incomplete which only the most stupid among us would believe.
The Book of Commandments says the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God (page 1:5). Chapter 2 is about God’s reaction when the 116 pages, which Martin Harris wrote for Smith as he dictated, of the Book of Mormon were stolen thanks to Martin’s carelessness. In it God warned that nobody could receive revelations from him if he disobeyed God and warned Smith that he will become as an ordinary man and be no longer a prophet if he continued to disobey like he had in not watching the pages carefully and giving them out to Harris: “Thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift”. God took away the gift to translate for a season. In Chapter 4 we read that God said that Smith “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”. This tells us that Smith was not a prophet but only a dictator for what appeared on the magic glasses and would never be anything else. The Book of Commandments only gives guidance from God for Smith alone and was not scripture or on the same level as it. It is the same guidance God would give anybody. That is how you reconcile the existence of the Book of Commandments with this statement.
God then complained that if nobody would believe in what Joseph was doing they would not believe if he showed them all the wonders of Heaven. But Joseph was only saying he was translating from a book at that stage and there was no evidence that the golden book of the other half of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, existed! There could be better miracles than that.
God promised to provide three witnesses so that they could testify that the Book of Mormon was true by seeing the plates and knowing that the translation of them by Joseph Smith was true and the result was the word of God. God said that “three shall know of a surety that these things are true, for I will give them power, that they may behold and view these things as they are, and to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation. And the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth” (4:4; See also Doctrine and Covenants -14). This was in the context of complaining that everybody was stiff-necked in that generation. This then plainly suggests that there were to be three witnesses only and since the audience they would have would be stiff-necked it follows that they would have to be the most trustworthy men that could possibly be found. They were not and even Smith condemned them later as frauds and liars. Smith chose eight witnesses later on for he was unhappy with the three. 1:7 says, “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them, shall all be fulfilled”. Meaning yes! Not only does this tell us that the Book of Commandments was complete – God would not say such a thing if it was incomplete for what use are incomplete commandments? But it also proves that there were to be no more than three and God would not change his mind. 2 Nephi 27 says that only three will be chosen and then as an afterthought it is said a few more will be chosen to testify to the truth taught by the Book of Mormon. But the eight witnesses only saw plates and that did not put them in a position to say the translation was right and the result was the word of God. The prophecy was false.
Chapter 6 gives a
piece translated by Joseph and Oliver Cowdery from parchment written by
Chapter 5 says that the schoolteacher Oliver Cowdery received the power to translate like Joseph Smith and that he would translate ancient records. It does not, however, say that he would translate the Book of Mormon. God says that two or three witnesses are necessary to establish that the translations of hidden scriptures are true. Cowdery or somebody would have to translate with Smith to fulfil that. The prophecy says that Cowdery will translate with Smith if he is obedient. Cowdery was praised for obedience at that time and when he was able to get revelations. So Cowdery must have translated more than the parchment but portions of the Book of Mormon as well. The power of Cowdery to translate was confirmed (in 7:4). Chapter 8 has God telling Cowdery “because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant Joseph, even so I would that you should continue until you have finished this record, which I have entrusted unto you: and then behold, other records have I, that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate. It is not expedient that you translate at this present time” (8:1,2). This informs us that he did not translate as he wished yet but was still just a secretary for Joseph and must remain doing this until the Book of Mormon is completed. This prophecy failed for Cowdery left the Mormon Church and did not translate. The Mormons may say that it is conditional. But God said nothing about conditions. Also Cowdery was faithful for years and had plenty of time to get the records and translate them but didn’t. His resistance to the temptation to do so must have been heroic!
Chapter 9 indicates that the Book of Mormon was finished for now the problem of what to do about the missing portion, the manuscript with the Book of Lehi on it, which was the start of the book came up. God directed Smith to use the small plates of Nephi and not to use the plates he used to translate the missing pages. God said that if he did re-translate the missing pages a forged version would appear with alterations which would be used to convince the world that Smith could not translate at all for the wording would not be the same though it was the same plates supposedly being translated. God said that this was Satan’s idea. God boasted that he would confound Satan in this thing. But it occurred to nobody and not even God that if Smith used the small plates as directed that a new manuscript of Lehi could still have been composed by a forger copying the writing of Martin Harris or however – or even a few pages - that gave an account that contradicted the plates of Nephi completely for it was held that both books covered the same period except that Lehi was less spiritual. The forgers could not issue the same pages with erased bits and new insertions squeezed in for that would be too obvious. If anybody was going to create a new Lehi translating from other plates was not going to make much of a difference. Smith was lying and the episode proves beyond doubt that Smith was faking the miracle of the translation and it stands as stronger evidence than any evidence for his miracle being genuine for it is from his own mouth and undermines everything he claimed.
The Mormon Church admits that Smith added to the revelations after he gave them and that this was not deception. They reason that the revelations of God come across as vague and abstract and mysterious to man and man has to struggle to express them. A prophet can have a revelation and put it down as best he can and then later get more inspired insights or remember things that were lost in the confusion and clarify and add to the writings. This is not right. Smith’s revelations were not that difficult to grasp. He did not grapple with incomprehensible problems like God being a spirit without parts or the three persons of the Trinity being one God which would be harder to understand than anything he wrote about and which did not stop the likes of St Thomas Aquinas from writing about them clearly. And the Mormon God used to be an ordinary man so he would have been down-to-earth for Joseph’s sake. There is just no law that says that Joseph had to understand what he was told but he certainly had to write it down as he was told and God would have boosted his memory for that purpose. If prophets could write like Smith did then Deuteronomy 18 would have no effect against false prophets. In Deuteronomy 18, God says that even the most accurate of prophets must be rejected as a fraud if he reports the least thing that God didn’t say or predicted something that didn’t come true for God knows the future. The way Smith worked would have made it too easy for false prophets to be taken for true ones, for they could say they blame God for not been clear or themselves for being unintelligent and so could alter and correct and change their prophecies after making them when they fail.
In recent years, the Church added Section 137 to the Doctrine and Covenants with four false prophecies from Smith, one of which concerned Elder McLellin preaching to a multitude in the south and curing a lame man, excised. So here we have a case of the Church correcting a revelation and then saying it was inspired by God!
Smith had to get some prophecies right and these are the ones the Mormons are interested in. But he made a lot fewer impressive prophecies than the Church would have you believe. Here is a study of Jeff Lindsay’s collection of Smithian prophecies which he thinks we should be impressed by.
The Mormons say
that Smith prophesied that the Saints would go to the
The Church says
that the Rocky Mountain Prophecy was written before the event. But the manuscripts in question have the
prophecy written in small handwriting which is obviously showing that it is an
interpolation inserted after the Mormons went to the
incredibly regard section 87 of Doctrine and Covenants which says there will be
a war that will start off a world war which will begin in
The Mormon Church says that when Smith was in Liberty Jail it was extremely likely that he would be put to death but he prophesied that this wouldn’t happen. God told him he would triumph over his foes. The Church says this came true. There is not enough in the prophecy to demand a supernatural fulfilment. Had Smith died then by execution the Church would have burnt the prophecy or even started a resurrection report.
The Mormon Church
says a remarkable prophecy about Stephen A Douglas made by Smith has been
But all Smith
said to the man was that the government of America will be destroyed if they do
not start respecting the Saints and that Douglas would try to become President
and if he ever turned against God he would strike him. But what government and when? One in forty years time? In those days a collapsed government had to
happen sometime soon.
But the government
was certainly never destroyed despite its troubles. And Smith only said
The Word of Wisdom, Section 89, of the Doctrine and Covenants, forbids tea and coffee, tobacco and alcohol to Mormons. The Mormon Church says this proves that God told Smith that tobacco was bad before it was discovered to be unhealthy in the twentieth century. But he could have allowed tea within reason. This shows that he was only guessing that these things were immoral and harmful. Smith knew that tobacco was harmful to the chest and that was known long before its carcinogenic properties was known.
The prophecies that there would be branches of the Church in New York and Boston are unimpressive for Smith had more success with Mormonism than he thought possible so he knew it had to expand into these places someday. Had he been a prophet he would have been able to give the decade when the branches would be organised.
Smith allegedly told Dan Jones the night before the assassination at Carthage Jail that he would survive the impending unexpected attack and serve the Church in Wales. This came true. But we have only Dan Jones’ word for this. It is one of the lies that are always told about people after they die. Was Dan like a fortune tellers client who remembers the “hits” and forgets the predictions that are wrong or ridiculous?
Smith said that God made Sidney Rigdon a spokesman for him to the Mormon people (Doctrine and Covenants 100:9-11). The Church says Smith foreknew how Rigdon would lead the Church under him. But how a man like Smith who has the power to fulfil the prophecy by giving Rigdon a high office could have the right to make such a prophecy is not explained. It would be a sure sign that he was claiming supernatural significance for what was not supernatural. So what else was he doing? However, the assertion does not claim to be making a prediction. Had Rigdon not become a leading Mormon the Church would be teaching just that.
The Mormon Church says that Smith knew Newel K Whitney by name without having seeing him before in 1831. This is supposed to show that Smith really was a Prophet. But there are other explanations.
How to Answer a Mormon by Robert A Morey is an excellent refutation of the Mormon claim that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. It copies the prophecies so you can read them for yourself and make your own choice.
Internet Infidels has a good page called Joseph Smith as a Prophet by Richard Packham. It shows that Smith was a false prophet and refutes the Mormon boast that Smith made fulfilled prophecies.
Read Section 114. David Patten died before he could accomplish this mission.
The Mormon excuse is that God knew he would die but was not predicting his future but telling him what to do if he lived. This is a lame answer beyond belief. It overlooks the fact that it could be a prophecy, it could be a command and it could even be both. Two out of three chances then that it was predictive.
God rarely speaks and would not waste his words on a command that won't be fulfilled.
Prophecy or command the section has God saying Patten will be alive to do the mission. Why else would it tell him to take care of his business affairs and sell things so that he will have the money to do the mission? God says it is wisdom that David do this.
The detail in the command shows that if it was not merely a prophecy it was a command-prophecy. If it were a command God would not say, "It is wisdom in my servant David W Patten that he settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others, even twelve including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world." He would say, "It is wisdom in my servant David W Patten that he settle up all his business and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world". The stuff about the mission in the spring, David joining with eleven others means that God sees the need for this to be done meaning he has seen the need in the future. He knows what circumstances are needed.
God says that those who deny his name will be replaced and links this with Patten. So Patten will be accepted by God to replace those who have gone astray. He is predicting then that Patten will be alive "to bear glad tidings unto all the world".
Joseph Smith was a false prophet.
A GATHERING OF
SAINTS, Robert Lindsay, Corgi,
A MARVELLOUS WORK AND
A WONDER, LeGrand Richards, Deseret Books,
AN ADDRESS TO ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, David Whitmer, Board of Publications of The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Lacy Road, Independence, Missouri
ARE THE MORMON
Harry L Ropp, IVP,
ASK YOUR BISHOP,
Ira T Ransom, 317 W 7th South,
CHANGES IN JOSEPH SMITH’S HISTORY, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1965
CHANGING OF THE
REVELATIONS, Apostle Daniel McGregor,
GOD’S WORD FINAL INFALLIBLE AND FOREVER, Floyd C McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, 1985
CONCISE GUIDE TO TODAY’S RELIGIONS, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1983
HOW TO ANSWER A
MORMON, Robert A Morey, Bethany House Publishers,
JOSEPH SMITH AND MONEY DIGGING, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1970
BAINBRIDGE NY COURT TRIALS, Wesley P Walters, Utah Lighthouse Ministry,
LARSON’S BOOK OF
CULTS, Bob Larson, Tyndale,
MORMONISM SHADOW OR REALITY? Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1972
Hoekema, Paternoster Press,
MORMONISM, MAGIC AND MASONRY, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1988
AND ME, Thelma Geer, Calvary Missionary Press,
PROPHET, THE BOOK AND THE CULT, Peter Bartley, Veritas,
NEW LIGHT ON
MORMON ORIGINS, Rev Wesley P Walters,
NO MAN KNOWS MY HISTORY, Fawn M Brodie, Vintage, New York, 1995
FAITHS, Maurice C Burrell and J
THE BOOK OF
THE BOOK OF MORMON, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret Enterprises Ltd, Manchester, UK, 1972
THE CASE AGAINST MORMONISM, VOL 2, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1968
THE FACTS OF
MORMONISM ARE STRANGER THAN FICTION, Charles Crane and J Edward Decker,
Christian Information Outreach,
THE HUMAN ORIGIN
OF THE BOOK OF MORMON, Wesley P Walters, Ex-Mormons for
FULFILLED PROPHECIES OF JOSEPH SMITH
THE BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES
Excellent refutation of the claims of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon
JOSEPH SMITH AS A PROPHET by Richard Packham
Refutes the Mormon
claim that Smith was a real prophet of God.
The Mormons accept the validity of Ezekiel 12:21-28 which says that if a
prophecy is too long in being fulfilled then it is a false prophecy. A prophecy will come true by chance given
Smith made many prophecies
that have not come true yet so he was a false prophet. By the same criteria, the Old Testament
prophets failed and the Christian claim that they predicted Jesus and his life
by the power of God is false for even if the prophecies did come true it was
not God that was behind it.
Covenants 1:37 pledges that every word prophesised by Smith will come true for
God has spoken.
JERALD AND SANDRA TANNER’S DISTORTED VIEW OF MORMONISM: A RESPONSE TO MORMONISM, SHADOW OR REALITY?
This page shows plainly the harm that the Christian Church in general is doing
with its rotten Bible for the evil commanded by God in the Bible is defended on
the basis that it has a purpose known to God and this is used to justify the
terrible doctrines such as polygamy that the Mormons used to live out. The page does what all apologists for
religion does, ignore the major problems and nitpicks on rather minor errors in
the hope of showing the critics to be not worth listening to. For example, the Tanners believed that Joseph
Smith copied his father’s story of a dream he had in 1811 into the Book of
Mormon as the dream of Lehi because Joseph’s mother Lucy wrote about the dream
in 1845 and the two were identical in all serious points. The page says that Lucy Smith simply filled
in her memory of her husband’s dream subconsciously from the Book of
But she had family and friends
to help her remember.
The page says that
since the Book of Mormon was written first and she was writing 15 years later
it is wrong to say that the author of the Book of Mormon was the one doing the
But how do you know? It is still most probable that the Tanners
If it is not then we still
have no reason to take one side or the other.
Anyway, what about the more serious objections to the Book of Mormon
that the Tanners made?
The page says that since the
BY HIS OWN HAND ON PAPYRUS, Charles Larson
At Mormons in Transition Website www.irr.org
MORE PROBLEMS WITH THE FIRST VISION, ANSWERING DR CLANDESTINE, Jerald and Sandra Tanner
PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS WITH THE MORMON CONCEPT OF GOD, Francis J Beckwith,
Barry R Bickmore
MORMON SCHOLARSHIP, APOLOGETICS AND EVANGELICAL NEGLECT, Carl Mosser and Paul Owen,
BOOK OF MORMON QUESTIONS
MORMONISM UNVAILED: MORE EVIDENCE THAT IT IS TRUE. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
THE ABRIDGEMENT OF D&C 137
THE BOOK OF MORMON: ONE TOO MANY M’S Stephen Van Eck
This shows that when Smith translated the book of Abraham he invented hieroglyphics where there was a piece missing from the papyri. The characters Smith added make no sense to translators. Yet he translated these imaginary hieroglyphics! His mother and close associate David Whitmer spoke of Joseph copying characters of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon before he translated and that like the Book of Abraham Smith often produced two lines in the manuscript with the translation of a single character which shows that the whole Book of Mormon thing was a hoax.
by Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Gathers evidence that indicates that it was possible that Smith was insane and had manic depression.
DR CHARLES ANTHON RE AUTHENTICITY OF WRITING SAMPLES ALLEGEDLY COPIED FROM THE GOLDEN PLATES
INTERVIEW OF MARTIN HARRIS
COMMENTS ON THE BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES: A RESPONSE TO JERALD AND SANDRA TANNER
A ridiculous rebuttal that has been taken into account for this book and refuted.
FACTS ON THE BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES, PART 1
Excellent refutation of the reliability of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon
THE STOLEN MANUSCRIPT
Wednesday, 23 January 2008