LDS Articles of Faith, Part XLVI
Article Nine, Latter-day Revelation, Part 4
The ninth 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.” LDS say their Church is led by a living prophet who receives constant, current revelation and that sets LDS apart from “other Christians.” In the early 1830’s LDS believed that too, but they had different beliefs and practices than LDS today. In 1830 they didn’t have temples with temple rites and special temple clothing. They didn’t practice eternal marriage, baptism for the dead etc. either. LDS do those things now by proxy for dead people. Why do LDS today think they can make decisions for dead people when no people before did that? Are LDS today “more holy” and perfect than all people who lived before them? Acts 10:34 says, “God is no respecter of persons,” so He doesn’t see LDS today as more holy!
Gospel Topics on the LDS website says: “In the 19th and early 20th centuries, both (LDS) men and women performed healing blessings in the name of Jesus Christ, often by laying hands on the affected part of the body but without specifically invoking priesthood authority.” LDS women can’t do that today, but men with the priesthood are authorized to anoint the head of the sick or injured and pray for their healing. Did God change His mind or was that change made by men? Gospel Topics also says in the early days of Mormonism “baptisms were sometimes performed for health reasons. In such cases, men and women were immersed in water, not for the remission of their sins, but for their physical well-being. These baptisms were performed in temples by men holding priesthood authority until the early 20th century.” LDS can’t do that now, so were LDS led by God then or now? It also says, “glossolalia (speaking in tongues) continued as an important part of Latter-day Saint worship during the rest of the 19th century, though the practice gradually declined over time and all but disappeared in the early 20th century.” Was that decline caused by God or men? LDS did those things with the approval of the highest leadership in the LDS Church in the 1800’s. If God changed such beliefs and practices, couldn’t He also change the all-male LDS priesthood, temple marriage, baptism for the dead etc.? If LDS prophets get current revelation from God, why did earlier LDS do things that are now unacceptable? Did God change His mind and the LDS gospel message?
Joseph Fielding Smith was a grand nephew of LDS founder, Joseph Smith, and was an LDS apostle for many years before becoming the 10th LDS President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator. As an apostle, he wrote five volumes of Answers to Gospel Questions. In vol. 4, p. 170, he said, “Mormons have no animosity toward the Negro. Neither have they described him as belonging to an inferior race.” But in his book, The Way to Perfection on p. 101 he said, “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain.” On p. 107 of the same book Smith said, “It was well understood by early elders of the (LDS) Church that the mark which was placed on Cain and which his posterity inherited was the black skin.” In vol. 5 of Answers to Gospel Questions, Smith said on p. 163, “In the world of spirits there came a rebellion and one third of the hosts of heaven…had to be cast out. When they were cast out, there were many who did not join the rebellious forces, but who were not valiant. Because of their lack of obedience, they were not deprived of receiving bodies, but came here under restrictions. One of those restrictions is that they were denied the (LDS) priesthood. They may come into the (LDS) Church, but they are not privileged to obtain the priesthood in this life.” And on p. 168 of the same volume Smith said, “When (an LDS) person is baptized and confirmed and receives the priesthood and is worthy, he may go to the temple and be married for time and all eternity. We do not question his genealogy, except that he is WHITE. Those who have the blood of Cain do not go to the temple for endowment.” LDS leaders now say their previous treatment of those with Negroid blood was just a policy and not a doctrine. If it was just a policy and not a doctrine, why did it take a “revelation” to change it? LDS often change policies without any revelation! But in 1978 LDS Prophet Spencer Kimball claimed he had a revelation allowing black men to have the priesthood. A statement about that revelation is at the end of the D. & C. and is entitled “Official Declaration—2. Whether the LDS treatment of the Negroid race was called a policy or a doctrine, was not the issue. The real issue was how the black race was treated by LDS. LDS adults until 1978 were taught what Smith said above and it was considered doctrine!
The 9th LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe all that God has revealed…”, but is that true? Most LDS today reject polygamy as a requirement to enter the celestial kingdom. Yet, D. & C. 132:1-4 says, “Verily, thus saith the Lord…as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines…prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.” Joseph Smith wrote the “revelation” in D. & C. 132 primarily to convince his wife, Emma, to accept polygamy. In D. & C. 132:51-56 the (LDS) Lord even threatened to destroy Emma if she didn’t accept all of Joseph’s wives, but she still rejected polygamy! D. & C. 132 is the only LDS scripture that mentions eternal marriage, which most LDS accept, but it also teaches that polygamy must be embraced, which most LDS don’t like. LDS leaders today emphasize eternal marriage and ignore the parts about polygamy, which is a bit tricky when both are in the same “revelation!” During the 1800’s many LDS were polygamists even though it was against US law. The US Government seized some LDS property to get the attention of LDS leaders. Then the 4th LDS prophet, Wilford Woodruff, published his “manifesto” urging LDS to obey the law of the land. It doesn’t say polygamy is wrong, it just said obey the law of the land. But today, if an LDS man is married in an LDS temple for eternity and his wife dies, he can still marry another wife in an LDS temple for all eternity and LDS believe he will have both wives in eternity. Some LDS men have two or more women sealed to them for eternity, so they believe polygamy is an everlasting covenant! However, Jesus said to the Sadducees in Matt. 22:29-30, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Even LDS scripture in D. & C. 132:16-17 says angels are not married!
We will continue our discussion of “latter-day revelation” next time.