Joseph Smith’s Lies About Polygamy

Joseph Smith’s Lies About Polygamy

Mormonism is built on the testimony and character of Joseph Smith. As Brigham Young proclaimed:

“Well now, examine the character of the Savior, and examine the characters of those who have written the Old and New Testaments; and then compare them with the character of Joseph Smith . . . and you will find that his character stands as fair as any man’s mentioned in the Bible” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 14, p. 203).

But the record of history indicates that Smith was sexually immoral and a liar. He lied over and over again by claiming that he did not practice polygamy when in fact he did.

You can see an affidavit here where Mormon leaders (acting with the approval of Joseph Smith) publicly deny Smith’s polygamy when they knew for a fact that he practiced it. One of the signers was Eliza R. Snow who was one of his plural wives at the time! Smith believed he could marry women who were already married to other men without committing adultery and then he proceeded to lie about his polygamous marriages demonstrating that he cannot be trusted to tell the truth. He once said:

“What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers” (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 411).

But at the time, he was secretly married to over 20 women!

Up until this point, Mormonism had publicly condemned the practice of polygamy. The Book of Mormon in Jacob 2:24 allegedly records God as saying that the practice of polygamy is an abomination before him:

“Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”

The original 1835 version of the Doctrine and Covenants forbade the practice of polygamy. In section 101 (which has now been removed) it read:

“Insomuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.”

But apparently, Smith did not believe that the rules applied to him. He created the prophecy of D&C 132 to justify his polygamy and threatened his wife Emma with destruction if she left him over his plural marriages. In contrast to Jacob 2:24 where God says David and Solomon having many wives and concubines was an abomination before him, he now says in D&C 132:38 that David and Solomon did not sin in having many wives and concubines:

“David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.”

Self-serving prophecies are a sure sign of a false prophet. Smith told some of the women he wanted to marry that he would be struck dead unless he engaged in plural marriage with them and that God had told him they were to be his celestial wives. At least one of the girls he married was only 14 when he married her! He also married at least three different pairs on sisters. This is strictly forbidden by Leviticus 18:18: “And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive.” He also married a mother and her daughter contrary to Leviticus 20:14: “If a man takes a woman and her mother also, it is depravity; he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no depravity among you.” Smith deceptively hid many of his plural marriages from his first wife Emma (including his affair with Fanny Alger) because he knew she would not approve.

It was Smith’s attempt to cover up his polygamy that resulted in his death. When the Nauvoo Expositor exposed Smith’s polygamy, he ordered that it be destroyed. This resulted in Smith’s arrest and murder fulfilling the words of Proverbs 21:6: “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.”

Smith also lied about the Kinderhook Plates and the Book of Abraham demonstrating that he is a false prophet.

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Sunday Meditation – God Is Never at a Loss

Sunday Meditation – God Is Never at a Loss

“An earthly parent may have affection for his child, and would gladly provide for him — but may not be able; but God is never at a loss to provide for his children, and he has promised an adequate supply. ‘Truly you shall be fed.’ Psalm 37:3. Will God give his children heaven, and will he not give them enough to bear their charges there? Will he give them a kingdom, and deny them daily bread? O put your trust in him, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’ Heb 13:5. If God is our Father, let us imitate him. The child not only bears his father’s image — but imitates him in his speech, gesture, and behavior. If God is our Father, let us imitate him. ‘Be followers of God, as dear children.’ Eph 5:1. Imitate God in forgiving injuries. ‘I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions.’ Isaiah 44:22. As the sun scatters not only thin mists — but thick clouds, so God pardons great offences. Imitate him in this. ‘Forgiving one another.’ Eph 4:32. Cranmer was a man of a forgiving spirit: he buried injuries and requited good for evil. He who has God for his Father, will have him for his pattern.”

Thomas Watson

The Testimony of Mormons

The Testimony of Mormons

In talking with Mormons, the ultimate argument they always bring up in defense of Mormonism is their personal testimony of how God supernaturally revealed the truth of the Book of Mormon to them confirming their Mormon faith. This powerful emotional experience serves as the filter through which they interpret the Book of Mormon and the Bible. Mormons are told to avoid any material that is causing them to doubt their testimony making it difficult for Mormons to know the truth about their religion.

The famous missionary passage of Moroni 10:4-5 in the Book of Mormon instructs those who read it to pray to God asking him if the Book of Mormon is true:

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

If a person does not get a testimony from the Holy Spirit that the Book of Mormon is true, then it is argued that the problem lies with that person because he or she did not really ask “with a sincere heart” or “with real intent.” But this is the same manipulative tactic that faith healers use. If you were not miraculously healed, then the problem was with you. You were not healed because you simply did not have enough faith to be healed.

Another major problem with relying on an internal testimony to discern the truth of a belief is that members of other religions have the exact same emotional experiences. I encourage you to watch this video which exposes how cults use this test to emotionally manipulate people into believing lies. Rather, the biblical model is to test the claims of Mormonism against the Bible (Acts 17:11; Rev 2:2).

The evidence against Mormonism is overwhelming. The CES Letter is causing young Mormons to leave their church in record numbers. But sadly, many of these people are not just abandoning Mormonism, but the belief in God as well. They are going straight from Mormonism to atheism. They conclude that because Joseph Smith was a deceiver, then Jesus Christ must have been a deceiver as well. The author of the CES Letter is now an atheist and argues against not only Mormonism, but also the Genesis Flood in his letter. But in contrast to Mormonism, there is good objective evidence to believe in a worldwide flood and the resurrection of Jesus.

Sunday Meditation – the Happiest Persons on Earth

Sunday Meditation – the Happiest Persons on Earth

“Thus you see what strong consolation there is for all the heirs of the promise. Such as have God for their Father are the happiest persons on earth; they are in such a condition that nothing can hurt them; they have their Father’s blessing, all things conspire for their good; they have a kingdom settled on them, and the entail can never be cut off. How comforted should they be in all conditions, let the times be what they will! Their Father who is in heaven rules over all. If troubles arise, they carry them sooner to their Father. The more violently the wind beats against the sails of a ship, the sooner it is brought to the haven; and the more fiercely God’s children are assaulted, the sooner they come to their Father’s house.”

Thomas Watson

The Virgin Birth in Mormonism

The Virgin Birth in Mormonism

Mormonism’s rejection of the virgin birth of Christ is one of the clearest examples of how their leaders reject the authority of Scripture to establish their own tradition. To get around this contradiction, Mormons redefine the virgin birth of Christ to mean that the conception of Jesus was the result of the union of Mary and an immortal man rather than a mortal man.

Brigham Young taught that the Father was the literal flesh and blood father of Jesus who had sexual relations with Mary to produce Jesus:

“The birth of the Savior was as natural as the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

“When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50).

“When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218).

“I believe the Father came down from heaven, as the Apostles said he did, and begat the Saviour of the world; for he is the only-begotten of the Father, which could not be if the Father did not actually beget him in person” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p.238).

“The man Joseph, the husband of Mary, did not, that we know of, have more than one wife, but Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 268).

Apostle Heber C. Kimball echoed the same belief:

“In relation to the way in which I look upon the works of God and his creatures, I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also my saviour Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 211).

Unlike many of the other strange teachings of early Mormonism, Mormon leaders have never repudiated the belief that Jesus was conceived as a result of the sexual union of the Father and Mary. President Joseph Fielding Smith likewise denied that Jesus was begotten by the Holy Spirit:

“They tell us the Book of Mormon states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The Book of Mormon teaches no such thing! Neither does the Bible” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 19).

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie reaffirmed this doctrine:

“Christ was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 547).

“And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p.742).

According to BYU professor Stephen E. Robinson, God the Father has DNA just like we do which was passed on to Jesus:

“The official doctrine of the Church is that Jesus is the literal offspring of God. He’s got 46 chromosomes; 23 came from Mary, 23 came from God the eternal Father”

Mormon prophet Ezra Taft Benson declared that Jesus was sired by Heavenly Father and was not begotten by the Holy Spirit:

“Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. He was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost.”

Now contrast their words with the words of Scripture in Luke 1:34-35:

“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.’”

What is even more ironic is that the Book of Mormon teaches that Mary was still a virgin after giving birth to Jesus demonstrating that the belief that the Father was the literal flesh and blood father of Jesus who had sexual relations with Mary to produce Jesus developed over time and was not the original teaching of Mormonism:

“And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms” (1 Nephi 11:20).

But when there is another source of authority through which the Bible is interpreted, what the Bible says ultimately doesn’t matter because the leadership of Mormonism interprets the Bible and the Book of Mormon for Mormons and adds extra revelation to them. This is why the doctrine of sola Scriptura is not only central to the Protestant-Catholic debate, but in every encounter with a non-Christian cult that adds to God’s Word.

Sunday Meditation – God’s Decree

Sunday Meditation – God’s Decree

“God’s decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saint’s perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder. . . . When God calls a man, He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favourites, and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration. God’s call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names.”

Thomas Watson

Blood Atonement in Mormonism

Blood Atonement in Mormonism

The practice of blood atonement is the Mormon belief that only the shedding of our own blood can atone for the sin of murder. Brigham Young taught that, “There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 247). Young preached this doctrine multiple times throughout his life:

“There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 53).

“Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved . . . and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but what would say, ‘shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?’” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 219).

He said that he would even kill his own wives if he found them in bed with other men:

“Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them. You would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the Kingdom of God. I would at once do so, in such a case; and under the circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 247).

Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith confirmed this belief:

“Man may commit certain grievous sins – according to his light and knowledge – that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone – so far as the power lies – for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 133).

But today, the leaders of Mormonism reject the doctrine of blood atonement:

“In the mid-19th century, when rhetorical, emotional oratory was common, some church members and leaders used strong language that included notions of people making restitution for their sins by giving up their own lives. However, so-called ‘blood atonement,’ by which individuals would be required to shed their own blood to pay for their sins, is not a doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in and teach the infinite and all-encompassing atonement of Jesus Christ, which makes forgiveness of sin and salvation possible for all people.”

The modern leadership of Mormonism is right to reject blood atonement because it contradicts 1 John 1:7 which tells us that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin, including murder:

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

But in rejecting blood atonement, Mormonism has condemned the prophets of their church who taught blood atonement as a doctrine coming from divine inspiration. So, which group of leaders are Mormons supposed to believe? Because the Holy Spirit does not contradict himself, it is logically impossible for both the historical leadership of Mormonism and the leadership of Mormonism today to both be speaking on behalf of God. Dismissing the many statements on blood atonement as “emotional oratory” as if Young really wasn’t serious about the necessity of the shedding of blood to atone for one’s own sin is disingenuous and can’t be taken seriously by anyone who cares about authorial intent. If this was merely “emotional oratory,” then why was blood atonement not only taught, but also practiced?