If the founder of the Mormon/LDS Church, Joseph Smith Jr., was a true prophet of God, you would probably expect to find that: A) He would respect God's Word, the Bible, and teach his followers to study it and trust in it. B) His Book of Mormon would be proven to be historically and archeologically correct. C) His prophecies as recorded in his Doctrines and Covenants, and The History of the Church would have been proven to be accurate. D) He was a truthful, nonviolent man of honor, such as the Apostle Paul. E) His ability to translate unknown languages, such as he claimed in the Book of Abraham, would be proven to be authentic.
But what if Joseph Smith was a false prophet, like those that Jesus warned us about in Matthew 7:15? You might expect to find that: A) Joseph Smith not only taught doctrines that were contrary to the Bible, but also taught that the Word of God could not be trusted. B) The Book of Mormon has been proven to be historically and archeologically bankrupt. C) Joseph Smith's "prophecies" have been proven to be fraudulent. D) Joseph Smith had the personality of a violent womanizing imposter. E) His ability to translate unknown languages would be proven to be just another one of his arrogantly boastful, yet vacuous claims.
Well, let's see if the facts verify that Mormonism was ordained by God, or if it is just a figment of Joseph Smith's wild imagination.
The facts are:
1) Joseph Smith taught many things that were contrary to the Word of God. Here are just four examples: A) Smith: "There are many Gods!" (History of the Church Vol. 6, Pg. 474) Bible: "There is only one true God!" (Isaiah 43:10 / James 2:19 / I Tim 2:5) B) Smith: "Jesus killed thousands of people!" (III Nephi Chapter 9:1-15) Bible: "Jesus refused to kill anyone!" (Luke 9:54) C) Smith: "The Black race used to be white and is cursed!" (II Nephi 5:21) Bible: "God is not a racist!" (Galatians 3:28) D) Smith: "You can have as many wives as you want!" (D&C Ch. 132) Bible: "You should only have one wife!" (Titus 1:6)
2) Joseph Smith also taught that the Bible could not be trusted, because it had become corrupt! (I Nephi 13: 24-34)
3) The Book of Mormon has been proven to be historically false in it's assertion that the American Indians are of Hebrew / Jewish descent. No modern non-Mormon historian or DNA Geneticist agrees with it's conclusions. It has also been proven to be archeologically inaccurate, in that it portrays the American Indians as possessing wheat, barley, chariots, steel swords,horses, elephants and a fully developed written language in 600 B.C! Plus, not one of the (huge; thriving) cities mentioned in the Book of Mormonhas ever been found. That is why the Book of Mormon contains no maps of any of its ancient cities. Most Bibles have many maps, because the cities mentioned in the Bible are real. And in spite of the fact that Joseph Smith claimed that the translation of the Book of Mormon was flawless, the Mormon Church has made over 4000 changes to it, since it's first printing in 1830.
4) The issue of Joseph Smith's false prophecies is better answered by asking did he get any prophecies correct. I have yet to meet a Mormon who can quote one single correct prophecy. Every prophecy / revelation of Joseph Smith that I have studied turned out to be false (unless they were conveniently written after the fact). Here are just two examples: A)The temple built in "this generation" in Independence, MO. (D&C 84:2) B) Jesus to return by 1891 (History of the Church Vol. 2, Pg.182)
5) What about Joseph Smith's reputation? He was convicted of "money digging" in upstate New York in 1826, which is the ability to divine the location of buried treasure, with the aid of a magic rock called a Seer Stone! This was all for a fee, and of course, with no results. According to Mormon historians Smith had at least 28 extra-marital affairs that he claimed that God commanded him to have. All the while, he was preaching that such behavior is an abomination to God (according to Jacob 2:28 in the Book of Mormon). Would you believe Bill Clinton if he said God told him to have and affair with Monica Lewinsky? Neither would I! He also ordered the Mormon people to seek vengeance on the local newspaper for revealing his practice of polygamy. His way of dealing with his enemies, contrary to the Scriptures, was to have them silenced through the total destruction of their business and source of income. Just another example of his disregard for the freedom of the press, and the laws of the land. ( History of the Church Vol. 6, Pg. 448 vs. Matthew 5:44)
6) We can't check Joseph Smith's work on his translation of the Book of Mormon from "Reformed Egyptian" into English, because he claimed that the "angel" Moroni took the Gold Plates back to Heaven. But we can check his work on the Book of Abraham, because we have the original papyrus and his symbol for symbol translation. We also have Joseph Smith's interpretation of the Egyptian "facsimiles" recorded in the Book of Abraham. The question is: Did he get one word right? NO! Is the name Abraham mention ANYWHERE in the papyrus? NO! Is the papyrus dated to the time of Abraham (since Joseph Smith said that it was written by the very hand of Abraham)? NO! (1500 years too young!) Well then, what was the papyrus? It was a pagan funeral text! In more modern terms, a type of death certificate! But what about the facsimiles, where he said it was Pharaoh and Abraham and a servant... etc., did he get any of that right? NO! They are all Egyptian gods and goddesses! He didn't even determine their sex correctly. Where he said they were male, they were actually female, and visa versa.
So our only logical conclusion is obvious. Joseph Smith was a false prophet, who used people for sordid gain! He was a fleshly man who sought to fulfill his desires for money, power, and sex. The evidence proves that Mormonism was inspired by Joseph Smith's wild imagination rather than inspired by God. Therefore, if you can't trust Joseph Smith, you can't trust any of his writings. All the clues or signs that you would look for (if Smith was genuine) are missing. And all the attributes of a con man, are unfortunately found at every turn. But his followers say, "Hey, nobody's perfect!" But is that God's standard, or man's? God said in Deuteronomy 18:20 and 13:1 that if a man gives forth a revelation or a prophecy and it doesn't come to pass, you are to consider him to be a false prophet, and you are not to listen to a word he has to say! So whose standard are you going to adopt? Bill Clinton's... or God's?
And you thought Joseph Smith was bad...
From The Weekly Standard book review section…
Bloody Utah Brigham Young and the Mountain Meadow massacre. by Bill Croke 07/28/2003, Volume 008, Issue 44
American Massacre The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857 by Sally Denton Knopf, 302 pp., $26.95
IN SEPTEMBER 1857, a wagon train bound for California was attacked in southern Utah and 140 people were slaughtered, a few children the only--and purposely spared--survivors. This was the Fancher-Baker party, and their destruction is known in the American West as the "Mountain Meadows Massacre." Originally blamed on Paiute Indians, the atrocity is now understood to have been the work of a group of white Mormon settlers called "Danites." After many years of denial, the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has accepted the fact that some of its members were involved. But the church still pins the blame on one renegade--John Doyle Lee--and vigorously rejects the culpability of the church itself and its president, Brigham Young.
In "American Massacre: The Tragedy at Mountain Meadows, September 1857," Sally Denton differs. The Mormon church came into being with the inspiration of Joseph Smith, a fourteen-year-old farm boy from Palmyra, New York, who in 1820 had a vision of an angel named Moroni who told him of the whereabouts of sacred golden plates buried in the ground. Smith transcribed these plates into the text of the "Book of Mormon," a sort of version of the Old Testament.
From the start, the fast-growing sect suffered serious persecution and moved steadily west--from New York, to Ohio, to Illinois, to Missouri, and finally to Utah--to escape it. The Mormons also tried to counter the persecution by creating the Danites or Avenging Angels, Smith's personal bodyguard. Unfortunately, the Danites quickly grew into a quasi-secret police, numbering in the hundreds, who enforced theological dogma among the faithful and, argues Denton, practiced the doctrine of "blood atonement" (the ritual murder of apostates and "gentile" enemies by throat-slitting and beheading).
Smith was a controversial figure deeply involved in the manipulation of regional politics (the Mormons' numbers made them a demographic factor wherever they were), going so far as to threaten the federal government. When he was murdered by a mob in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844, the new prophet, Brigham Young, led the "Saints" west to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. What followed is best described as "the most successful socialist experiment in American history."
It was initially based on polygamy, which was mostly seen in the church's hierarchy. At the time of his death, Smith was the husband of forty-eight wives. Brigham Young at one point had twenty-seven wives. In the East, polygamy had been the main stimulus for persecution, with newspapers publishing lurid exposés of the graying husbands of multiple teenaged wives. Utah's admission as a state was delayed for many years primarily because of the polygamy question. The church itself outlawed it in 1890 and has since excommunicated anyone who practices it, though it is still seen in small fundamentalist Mormon sects in the Southwest.
From the beginning, there was concern that Brigham Young was intent on establishing a theocracy in the West. In 1857, President James Buchanan, tiring of the mostly nonviolent though constant abuse of federal officials in Utah, sent an army of 2,500 commanded by General Albert Sidney Johnston to install a new territorial governor and to institute martial law if necessary to subjugate the restive Mormons. The army failed to make it to Utah that year and went into winter quarters at nearby Fort Bridger in Wyoming. This caused much anti-federal hysteria in Utah, and the Mormons fortified the canyons leading to Salt Lake City. The Danites enforced "an LDS version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution" to keep the population loyal to Young.
Meanwhile, through the summer of 1857, the Fancher-Baker party was making its way west. Being dedicated entrepreneurs, the Mormons were usually enthusiastic resuppliers of gentile wagon trains in transit. But the volatile political climate kept the Fancher-Baker group shunned as it made its way from Salt Lake City south through isolated Mormon settlements, and the travelers faced the bleak prospect of crossing the deserts to California short of rations.
There has been much speculation as to why the wagon train was actually attacked. It may simply have been greed on Young's part, as the church was in desperate financial difficulties and the train was transporting a large quantity of gold bullion in strongboxes. In "American Massacre" Denton describes the scene after the massacre: "Wagons were now dismantled and featherbeds ripped open in search of gold; utensils, tools, and home furnishings that had been strewn about were collected. The plunder proceeded with a strange quiet."
Though scores were guilty, the entire blame for the Mountain Meadows Massacre eventually fell on John D. Lee, who was executed by a firing squad twenty years later, at the conclusion of a federal investigation and trial. Lee's defense in 1877 was that he was only following orders emanating from "the highest authority."
This much is known for certain: One of Young's subordinates, George A. Smith, passed on orders instructing Lee "to prepare the people for the bloody work." Denton posits that because of "Brigham Young's complete authoritarian control over his domain and his followers, it is inconceivable that a crime of this magnitude could have occurred without direct orders from him." A spiritually disillusioned Lee chose the firing squad as a repudiation of blood atonement. Brigham Young outlived him by only six months.
Lee's execution legally absolved Young and the Mormon church. In September 1999, the current president, Gordon B. Hinckley, presided over a memorial ceremony at the massacre site. He reiterated the church's official line of the last century and a half: "That which we have done here must never be construed as an acknowledgment on the part of the church of any complicity in the occurrences of that fateful day." After reading Sally Denton's "American Massacre," you'll think the opposite.