LDS Articles of Faith, part XXVIII
Article VI, Church and Organization cont’d
The sixth LDS Article Faith says, “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, viz., apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.” We began our discussion of “prophets” in our last blog, but will continue it here. Luke 16:16, Heb. 1:12 etc. state that Old Testament prophets prophesied until John the Baptist but now God has spoken by His Son. God’s Son, Jesus, said in Matt. 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” Jesus also said in John 12:48, “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him (man) in the last day.” That means what He has already said in the past is what we will be judged by, NOT what some prophet says in the future. But LDS teach that prophets are needed today and that the LDS President is a Prophet. Isaiah, Jeremiah and other Old Testament prophets were prophets because of their messages which included future events. By contrast when an LDS prophet dies the longest serving LDS Apostle becomes the new Prophet so he is quite old and sometimes senile. The last eleven LDS Prophets haven’t prophesied future events possibly because the first six LDS Prophets spoke false prophecies and they don’t want to do that! But LDS founder, Joseph Smith, prophesied many things in LDS scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.). The heading of D. & C. Sec. 1 says it was a revelation from the Lord and is the Lord’s preface to the revelations in the D. & C. D. & C. Sec.1:37 says, “Search these commandments for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” D. & C. Sec. 3:1 says, “The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.” Verse 3 says, “Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.” How will Joseph Smith’s prophecies measure up to those standards? Look at the following three revelations:
D. & C. 45:64-71 is dated 3-7-1831. It says, (64). “Wherefore I, the Lord, have said, gather ye out from the eastern lands, assemble ye yourselves together ye elders of my church; go ye forth into the western countries, call upon the inhabitants to repent, and inasmuch as they do repent, build up churches unto me. (65). And with one heart and with one mind, gather up your riches that ye may purchase an inheritance which shall hereafter be appointed unto you. (66). And it 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; (67). 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. (68). And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety. (69). And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another. (70). And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand. (71). And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.”
The introduction over D. & C. Sec. 57 says it is a “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri, July 20, 1831.” D. & C. 57:1-5 says, (1). “Harken, O ye elders of my 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 which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints. (2). Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the City of Zion. (3). 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. (4). 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; (5). 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.” Notice that Independence, MO was to be an “everlasting inheritance.”
Joseph Smith said D. & C. 84 was revealed on Sept. 22 & 23, 1832 while he was in Kirtland, OH. D. & C. 84:1-5 says, (1). “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. (2). 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 prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. (3). 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 was well pleased. (4). 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. (5). For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house (temple) shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.”
These three “revelations” given by Smith are about the LDS gathering to Independence, MO to build a temple and the New Jerusalem and prepare for the Lords return. The gathering was so important that LDS Apostle Orson Pratt said in 1851, “Joseph Smith professes to have received through revelation and commandment from God a dispensation for the gathering of the saints from all nations. If this one point—the doctrine of the gathering be false, he must be a deceiver” (Divine Authority, p.5). Yet, “the gathering” was aborted and the LDS Church now tells its members to remain in their homelands rather than immigrate to the United States” (The Ensign, March 2000, p.79). D. & C. 84:5 says this generation” (of 1832) shall not all pass away until the LDS temple and New Jerusalem are built in Independence, Missouri, but that generation all died long ago without building that city and LDS Temple! Conflicts between the people of Missouri and the LDS was so bad that it was not a place of peace, refuge, and safety as D. & C. 45:66 said and LDS leaders agreed to leave Independence on July 23, 1833 (History of the Church, vol. I, p. 194). That was less than a year after D. & C. 84 said the LDS would build the New Jerusalem and Temple! D. & C. 57:5 said it was to be an “everlasting inheritance! And D. & C. 45:67 said the wicked will not come into it, but now they own that area and the LDS don’t! Do Smith’s revelations comply with the last 6 lines of the 1st paragraph of this blog?
Next time we will continue our discussion of Article VI and the organization of the Church.