LDS Articles of Faith, Part XXVII
Article VI, LDS Church & Organization, cont’d
The sixth LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, viz., apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.” But do LDS really believe in the “same organization” that existed in the New Testament Church? LDS use Eph. 2:20 to teach that the true Church must be built upon the foundation of Apostles and Prophets. But builders lay a foundation first and then the building is built on it. LDS say they have 12 Apostles on which their Church is built, but they didn’t have twelve apostles until five years after their Church began! Did the LDS Church build their building (Church) for five years and then lift it up and slide a foundation under it? The LDS Church was organized on April 6, 1830. The LDS History of the Church vol. II, pp. 181-192 says it was on Feb. 14, 1835 that Joseph Smith and the LDS First Presidency laid their hands on the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon and blessed them and told them to ordain the first Twelve LDS Apostles. When those witnesses selected a man to be an Apostle, they laid their hands on his head as they ordained him and prayed a personal prophecy over him. Then the LDS First Presidency also laid their hands on each Apostle and confirmed those blessings, prophecies and ordinations.
The first LDS Apostle ordained was Lyman E. Johnson who’s prophetic prayer and blessing was “That he should bear the tidings of salvation to nations, tongues, and people until the utmost corners of the earth shall hear the tidings…and no power of the enemy shall prevent him from going forth and doing the work of the Lord; and that he shall live until the gathering is accomplished…Satan shall tremble before him; and he shall see the Savior come and stand on the earth with power and great glory” (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 188). But Lyman was disfellowshipped on Sept. 3, 1837 and excommunicated April 13, 1838 so none of those prophecies were true! The prophetic prayer over LDS Apostle Luke S. Johnson included, “The angels shall bear him up till he shall finish his ministry…The Ancient of Days shall pronounce this blessing, that he has been faithful.” The prophetic prayer over LDS Apostle John F. Boynton included “Thou shalt overcome all evils that are in the world…and thou shalt see the face of thy Redeemer in the flesh.” But Luke and John’s prophecies failed and they were disfellowshipped the same day as Lyman E. Johnson and they publically renounced the LDS Church about December 10, 1837 (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 509, 528 and vol. 3, p.20). Half of the first 12 LDS Apostles apostatized from the LDS Church within three years. Is that a good foundation on which to build the “true church?” Can true Apostles be ordained with false prophecy?
In his book, The Articles of Faith, Talmage listed all of the offices in the “true Church” when he said on p. 199 that ministers in the true church must not be men merely bearing these names (or titles) “but ministers able to vindicate their claim to position as officers in the Lord’s service, through evidence of power and authority accompanying their ministry.” But, when LDS are asked for evidence of “power and authority” in their Apostles and Prophets, they say the Lord won’t allow them to show their power just to prove they have it! If they can’t show any evidence of their power, how do you know they have it? Other sects or cults that claim to have Apostles and Prophets can’t show any “evidence of power” either, but they love to use the titles because it makes them sound super spiritual.
The second office listed in the sixth LDS Article of Faith and by Talmage is “Prophets.” LDS claim that Joseph Smith and his successors are Prophets like the Old Testament Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. But Jesus said in Matt. 11:13 and Luke 16:16, “The Law and the Prophets were until John (the Baptist).” John the Baptist prophesied and was killed during Jesus’ earthly ministry, which was while Old Testament Law was in effect and before Christ’s atonement. So he was the last Old Testament Prophet, but his story is in the New Testament! Heb. 1:1-2 also says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son.” And what did His Son say? In John 12:48 Jesus said, “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him (man) in the last day.” When Jesus said, “The word that I have spoken” He referred to what He already said during His earthly ministry, so it will judge men in the last day, not some new revelation! No “prophet” or anyone else can add anything to what Jesus revealed that can change our eternal destiny! Jesus said is in John 6:47, “He who believes on Me has everlasting life.” He did not say, “He who joins the true church with all the right offices and keeps all the laws, ordinances, and commandments, including the LDS temple rites and does lots of good works will gain eternal life.” Jesus was asked in John 6:28 “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” He answered in v. 29 “This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He (God) hath sent.” Is that how LDS answer that question?
LDS say their Church is led by a Prophet but their Prophet has not predicted anything future in the last 120 years! LDS say “Prophets don’t have to prophesy all the time. That’s true, but surely sometime they should prophesy or there is no reason to call them “Prophets!” LDS Prophets seem to be Prophets in name only without any evidence of power, as Talmage said. The first six LDS Prophets tried to prophesy about the future, but most of it wasn’t true, so later LDS Prophets have only quoted the Bible or Joseph Smith, so they can’t be labeled “false Prophets.” In Matt. 7:15 Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Jesus called His followers “sheep” in John 10, so in Matt. 7 He was saying false prophets will come looking like My followers when they are really ravenous wolves. Wolves don’t care about the sheep; they just want them for their own satisfaction! False prophets look at Christians the same way and that is why Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets” or watch out for them because they want you for themselves but they will destroy you! In Matt.7:22-23 Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils (demons)? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?” Those “prophets” claimed to do all of those things in the Lord’s name! But Jesus said in v. 23, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me ye that work iniquity.” Even though they claimed to do all those things in the name of the Lord, He said “I never knew you, depart from Me ye that work iniquity.” Since the Lord didn’t know them, they weren’t His people but were workers of Iniquity. Iniquity is evil! Some who claim to do the Lord’s work are evil because they are deceivers pretending to serve the Lord. In Matt. 24:5 Jesus said, “Many shall come in My name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Jesus warned His followers to be on guard because many deceivers would use His name to try to get them to believe their false teachings!
Our next blog will continue to discuss LDS prophets and other LDS Church offices.