LDS Articles of Faith, part IX
Article I—Jesus Christ, cont’d
Our last blog said Christians sometimes tell Mormons their Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible because LDS scripture and prophets say things the Biblical Jesus wouldn’t say like Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.) 84:1-5 dated Sept. 22-23, 1832. It says, “A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high. Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophet, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. Which city shall be built beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the state of Missouri and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord is well pleased. Verily this is the word of the Lord that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house (temple) shall be built unto the Lord…” Smith claimed his prophecies were not his word but the “word of the Lord,” so if the prophecy did not happen, it wasn’t his fault! The New Jerusalem was to be “built” by the “gathered LDS” near the “Temple Lot” in Independence, MO by the generation alive in 1832. None of that happened, so this false prophecy was not made by the Jesus of the Bible!
Joseph Smith began preaching “the gathering of the (LDS) saints” to one location soon after he founded the LDS Church in 1830. Several sections in the D. & C. refer to it. D. & C. Sec. 29’s heading says, “This revelation was given some days prior to the (LDS) Conference beginning September 26, 1830.” D. & C. 29:1 says, “Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am.” And verses 7 & 8 say, “Ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts. Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land…” LDS living in 1830 were called to gather to one place on this (USA) land!
D. & C. 45:62-71 was a revelation Smith said he received on March 7, 1831. Verse 64 says, “I, the Lord, have said, gather ye out from the eastern lands…” and in verses 64-67 the LDS are told to go into the western countries and purchase an inheritance in the place to be appointed which “shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; and the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.” The LDS tried to gather in Independence (Zion), Jackson Co. MO, but they were driven out by the earlier MO settlers. So, Independence, MO (Zion) was not a place of peace, refuge and safety for LDS, and their “wicked” enemies still occupy that area today. Jesus of the Bible did not make false promises like these in the D. & C.!
Joseph Smith said he received D. & C. 57 as a revelation on July 20, 1831 while he was in Zion, Jackson County MO. Verses 1-5 says, “Harken, O ye elders of my (LDS) Church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints. Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion. And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom, here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence (MO) is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse. Wherefore, it is wisdom that the land should be purchased by the saints, and also every tract lying westward, even unto the line running directly between Jew and Gentile; and also every tract bordering by the prairies, inasmuch as my disciples are enabled to buy lands. Behold this is wisdom, that they may obtain it for an everlasting inheritance.” This revelation says the Lord appointed Independence, Missouri as the gathering place for the LDS and a specific spot on which to build a temple and the city of Zion and it was to be an everlasting inheritance. But LDS were there only about two years when they were driven out by earlier MO settlers. So, the gathering to MO and their “everlasting inheritance” didn’t last very long! They have never built a temple or the city of Zion in Independence, MO. On July 23, 1833 the LDS History of the Church, vol. 1, page 394 says LDS leaders signed an agreement to leave Independence, MO. They left and have never returned. While Smith was in Kirtland, OH he said the Lord revealed D. & C. 97 to him on August 2, 1833. In v. 19 “the Lord” said of that Zion to be built in Independence, MO, “And the nations of the earth shall honor her (Zion), and shall say: Surely Zion is the city of our God, and surely Zion cannot fall, neither be moved out of her place, for God is there, and the hand of the Lord Is there.” Smith was in OH so he didn’t know that two weeks before that revelation, on July 23, 1833, LDS leaders signed an agreement to leave Independence, MO. Obviously, the LDS “Lord” didn’t know it either!
In 1851 LDS Apostle, Orson Pratt said on p. 5 of his pamphlet, Divine Authority, “Joseph Smith…professes to have received, through revelation and commandment from God, a dispensation for the gathering of the Saints from all nations. Now the doctrine of the gathering of the Saints in the last days must either be false or true; if false, then J. Smith must be an impostor. It matters not how correct he may have been in all other points of his system, if this one point—the doctrine of the gathering be false, he must be a deceiver. Why? Because he professes to have received this doctrine by direct revelation and commandment.” On Dec. 1, 1999 the LDS First Presidency sent a letter to priesthood leaders which was printed on p. 79 in the Ensign in March of 2000 saying, “We wish to reiterate the long-standing counsel to members of the (LDS) Church to remain in their homelands rather than immigrating to the United States.” LDS leaders say times have changed so the Lord doesn’t require them to gather to one place now. But Smith’s “revelation” said the LDS were to gather to Independence, MO, which is to be an “everlasting inheritance” and build the City of Zion (also called the New Jerusalem) and build a temple on a designated spot. “The gathering” was only part of the Smith’s revelation. False Revelations like these contribute to the reasons why Christians sometimes say that the LDS Lord is not the Lord Jesus of the Bible!
Next time we will discuss more about the Jesus of Mormonism.