LDS Articles of Faith, Part LII
Article 9, Latter-day revelation, part 10
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.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims it is led by a prophet who receives current revelations from God, so they aren’t limited to old scriptures like the Bible. According to his wife, the current LDS President (in 2022), Russell M. Nelson, is constantly inspired and often wakes up in the middle of the night to write a message. What kind of content is in his revelations? He has “revealed” that the LDS Church will build temples in various places, and he has revealed some changes in the LDS Church’s organization and so forth. Secular organization presidents also plan to build plants or offices in various places and change their organization’s structure but they don’t claim a revelation inspired them to do it. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel etc. predicted future events in addition to messages for their own time. Joseph Smith prophesied future events but many of them failed to happen as these blogs have shown. His first five successors also prophesied a few future things which also failed to happen. LDS “prophets” since then just repeat Biblical prophecy or a prophecy by Smith that they think is true. But that is not really current revelation!
LDS refer to certain prophecies or revelations by Smith as evidence that he was a true prophet. The 13th LDS President and Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, said at the Semi-Annual LDS Conference in Oct. 1981: “Stephen A. Douglas was promised by Joseph Smith that if he ever spoke out against the (LDS) Church, the wrath of God would come down against him. That came to pass when in 1857 Douglas was aspiring to the presidency, he spoke out against the (LDS) Church, was badly defeated in the election and died a broken man one year later.” Not everything Benson said was accurate. He said Douglas died a broken man a year after he spoke out against the LDS Church in 1857. But official records show Douglas died June 3, 1861, of Typhoid fever after overworking to keep the United States from having a Civil War. When he was a young man, Douglas became active in the Democrat party and when he died, he was a Democrat Senator. He ran for President in 1852, 1856 and 1860. But in 1860 he disagreed with Democrat President James Buchanan, who forced a proslavery constitution on Kansas. So, Douglas bolted the Democrat party and ran for the presidency as an Independent which split the Democrat party and resulted in Abraham Lincoln being elected as a Republican. There is nothing in Douglas’ life that suggests “the wrath of God came down on him” for warning the nation about Mormonism unless you attribute his death at age 48 to God’s wrath on him. But that is not a good example since Joseph Smith died at age 38 just one year and one month after telling Douglas on May 18, 1843, that he would be cursed if he spoke against the LDS Church! Was Smith’s death also God’s wrath on him?
The prophecy about Stephen A Douglas was only part of Smith’s prophecy on May 18, 1843, which also said, “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the (LDS) Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left” (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 394). But the US governmentdid not redress the wrongs committed in Missouri and it was not overthrown, so Smith’s prophecy was false! Wrongs against LDS in Missouri were committed by people in Missouri, not by the federal US Government anyway. LDS also committed wrongs against people in Missouri, but LDS don’t mention those. Smith’s prophecy about Stephen Douglas is part of the same prophecy containing the overthrow of the US Government but LDS don’t mention that connection. Smith’s prophecy about the US Government is contained in part of a paragraph about the same length the one about Stephen Douglas. History of the Church, vol. 5 doesn’t comment on Smith’s prophecy against the US Government, but it has three full pages of comments about the Douglas prophecy! When LDS President Ezra Benson mentioned the prophesy of Stephen Douglas he also stated that “the ultimate test of a true prophet is that when he speaks in the name of the Lord, his words come to pass.” But Smith’s prophecy about Douglas and the overthrow of the US Government did not happen! He often used threats of God’s judgment to get people to do what he wanted. The LDS Lord said through Smith in D. & C. 132:52 & 54 “And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith receive all those (wives) that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and said that they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God…And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and unto none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not my law.” Smith used similar threats to get some of his polygamist wives to marry him. No records exist of any being destroyed and they all outlived Smith! Emma Smith never accepted polygamy and she lived twice as long as Joseph Smith, while he lived less than a year after D. & C. 132 was recorded on July 12, 1843. So, it is difficult to see Smith’s revelations as true messages from God!
II Peter 1:21 says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” So, God’s prophets did not ask for revelations, but Joseph Smith did! Notice what D. & C. 132:1 says: “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God and will answer theeas touching this matter.” Joseph inquired and the Lord answered. Why did Smith ask God about polygamy Smith since he was already involved in polygamy? D. & C. 132:52 says, “And let my handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those (wives) that have been given unto my servant Joseph…” So, Smith had those wives before he received D. & C. 132 as a “revelation!” Did Smith ask God about polygamy to justify himself for living in polygamy? Todd Compton’s book In Sacred Loneliness-The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, pages 463-464, 498-499 says Smith coerced young girls like 16 year old Lucy Walker and 14 year old Helen Mar Kimball by telling them God had commanded him to marry them. If they married him their families would be saved, but if they didn’t marry him it would bring damnation to their families. He gave them 24
hours to answer him. Is that what God would tell a true prophet to do?
Next time we will discuss more of the LDS “proofs” that Smith was a true prophet.