LDS Articles of Faith, Part LI
Article 9, Latter-day revelation, part 9
The 9th LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” What great and important things have LDS prophets revealed that are necessary for eternal life with God? Jesus said in John 6:47, “He who believes in Me has eternal life.” And Col. 2:10 says, “You are complete in Him” (Christ). I Tim. 2:5 also says, “There is one God and One Mediator between God and men.” Anything added to that message distorts the only message God has for eternal life! Jesus gave important instructions about how we are to live in this life, but that isn’t what saves! Jesus is called our Savior because HE saves! Many of the revelations in the D. & C. deal with earthly things and with people who died long ago. But some “revelations” are contradictory like the location of the Garden of Eden in LDS scripture.
Genesis 2:8-15 in the Bible shows that the Garden of Eden was located in the area of Assyria in the middle east, and Moses 3:8-15 in LDS scripture in the Pearl of Great Price (P. of G. P.) says it is there too. But D. & C. 107:53-54; 116:1 and 117:8 indicates the Garden of Eden was in Missouri in the USA. The caption over D. & C. 116 says, “Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, near Wright’s Ferry, at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri.” D. & C. 116 only has one verse. It says, “Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken by Daniel the prophet.” The 10th LDS Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith, wrote three volumes called Doctrines of Salvation. In vol. 3, p. 74 he said, “In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri.” D. & C. 57:1-5 and 84:1-5 says the New Jerusalem or Zion was to be built in Independence, in Jackson Co. MO, so that is where Smith said the Garden of Eden was located. And he said when Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden, they went to Daviess Co. MO. But there is no evidence to support his claim that the Garden of Eden was in Jackson Co. Missouri or that Adam and Eve lived in Daviess Co. MO. Smith’s claim is all the evidence there is! Some LDS try to explain the two locations given for the Garden of Eden in LDS scripture by saying all land on earth was in one place during Adam’s time. Even if that was true, Assyria was never in Missouri! Moses 3:8-15 in the P. of G. P. says the Garden of Eden was in the middle east in Assyria but the D. & C. says it was in MO so, was God confused about where He put it? Did God tell Smith that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri or was that just Smith’s idea since he wanted LDS to gather there?
D. & C. 129 has 9 verses and says, 1.“There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones—2. For instance, Jesus said, Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 3. Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory. 4. When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. 5. If he be an angel he will do so and you will feel his hand. 6. If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect, he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—7. Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message. 8. If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands, he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him. 9. These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.” Verses 4-5 say, “When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God…request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so and you will feel his hand.” Is that really a good test? Some of us have had someone shake hands with us and then tell us they have a message from God for us. When we shook hands, we felt their hand but their message was NOT from God! Verse 6-7 say if the messenger is the spirit of a just man made perfect, he won’t shake hands with you but he will deliver his message. Have you ever had someone refuse to shake hands with you but delivered a message that you knew didn’t come from God? Verse 8 says if it is the devil appearing as an angel of light, he will shake hands with you, but you won’t feel anything. The devil didn’t offer to shake hands with Eve in the Garden of Eden. He just lied to her because he is a liar and the father of lies John 8:44 says. The devil isn’t dumb, so he would know if you couldn’t feel his handshake! Do the instructions in D. & C. 129 sound like an Omniscient God would give His people or something a fallible mortal might say?
Joseph Smith said he received D. & C. 42 as a revelation from the Lord on Feb. 9, 1831 at Kirtland, OH. The heading over that revelation says, “The Prophet (Joseph Smith) specifies this revelation as embracing the law of the (LDS) Church.” Verses 1-2 say, “Harken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; inasmuch as ye believe on my name and keep my commandments. Again, I say unto you, harken and hear and obey the law which I shall give unto you.” And verse 22 says, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and cleave unto her and none else.” That “law of the (LDS) Church” doesn’t need any explanation. Smith’s “revelation” wasn’t the origin of monogamy since it was the Biblical standard ever since Adam and Eve became husband and wife. But the caption over D. & C. 132 it says, “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded July 12, 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, as also plurality of wives. HC 5:501-507. Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, it is evident from the historical records that the doctrines and principles involved in this revelation had been known by the Prophet (Smith) since 1831.” The reason the caption over D. & C. 132 says Smith knew about the principles in D. & C. 132 since 1831 is because LDS records show he was probably involved as a polygamist as early as 1831! That was the same year he said D. & C. 42 was revealed to him saying to “cleave unto (thy wife) and none else! Would an omniscient Lord reveal D. & C. 42 saying, “cleave unto your wife and none else” and the same year tell Smith in D. & C. 132 that “having many wives and concubines” was okay? D. & C. 132:3-4 also says, “all who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same…for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.” Did the Lord contradict Himself about marriage, or was it Smith who authored this contradiction?
Next time we will continue our discussion of the 9th LDS Article of Faith.