It makes complete sense that if you are to trust what someone says, you consider several things: track record, honesty, integrity, openness, response to direct questions, etc. If you examined a broker’s track record and found he/she was wrong about which stocks to buy significantly more often than they were right, you would probably not allow them to invest your hard-earned green backs.
Constant tardiness, poor work performance and excessive customer complaints would not yield an employee the vacant VP position at his place of employment.
A lying, crooked, money spending, self-centered politician does not encourage the votes of her constituents.
Obviously the track record of an individual is very important. The same is true when it comes to those who are to teach us the Word. It is an amazing responsibility and those of us searching for the Truth have a responsibility to research the track record of the would-be teacher.
The LDS organization holds to the belief that Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet of God. This means that he received messages from the all-knowing, all-mighty, all-present God. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that any message we receive from this individual is absolutely, and beyond the shadow of a doubt, TRUE.
Deuteronomy 18:22 confirms this by stating:
When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
The introduction page of the Book of Mormon states that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon “by the gift and power of God” further emphasizing that Joseph Smith claimed direct contact with God and that his messages were directly from God.
It is, therefore, completely fair (and smart) to look at what Joseph Smith has proclaimed in the past…in other words: Let’s examine his track record!
First, Mr. Smith wrote in the Doctrine & Covenants 84:2-5 that a Mormon temple would be built in “the Western boundaries of the state of Missouri”. In verse four Joseph Smith narrowed the time line by stating the “temple shall be reared in this generation.
Let’s stop right here for a few seconds. We all know that when speaking plain English “this generation” means the generation in which the speaker lives and is a part of. We also understand that the speaker sees the generation in which he lives as separate from ones past and those to come. There is generally no confusion when this phrased is used. However, a man I know, who served two terms as a Mormon Bishop, and is still a dedicated Mormon, stated something to this effect:
“When reading scripture it is not possible to know exactly how long a generation is. Some say it’s 70 years others say it’s up to 100 or more.”
OK, let’s run with that line of logic and see where it takes us. We’ll examine it on three fronts.
No way to tell how long a generation is:
Let’s say I predict that there will be a snow storm of such magnitude in England that busses will be covered in snow, travel will be impossible and a state of emergency will be declared. However I give no definite date. I leave it open ended. This basically tells everyone that I am predicting this will happen at some time between the moment I say it and the end of the world. How miraculous is that? Anyone could be a “prophet” if it was that easy. Personally I don’t see why anyone is to be admired for such a vague prediction.
Exodus 1: 6- Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
Clearly this is Biblical confirmation that while the number of years each brother lived is not mention, they all are clearly seen to have belonged to one single generation- aka common sense.
Another example is found in Matthew 1:17 (NIV)
Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
When we put number to things or groups of things it is because we see a definite beginning, end and/or separation of those things- days, weeks, months, years and also generations.
The use of the word this: Smith used the word “this” to describe the generation of which he spoke. Plainly he understood that there was a definite beginning and end to the generation in which he lived. It was not a statement of indefinite time. It was a statement in which he showed that he knew there would be an end to the generation he spoke of and a beginning of another.
3. Generation equals parent, child, grandchild, etc.
Stand in any public place with a father, son and grandson present and yell loudly while pointing to the trio, “These three are of one family, a father, son and grandson. How many generations are they?” The unanimous answer will be “Three.” So apparently the general public understands what a generation is without the need to know exactly how many years equal a generation.
When considering the accuracy of this prophecy Joseph Smith plainly failed! No matter how you look at it a generation is definable and Smith himself put a finite description on the generation he spoke of. That generation has long passed which means that this prophecy has failed, period.
Let’s look at the Civil War Prophecy next. It is found in Doctrine and Covenants 87: 1--4 which states
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;
3 For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.
4 And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.
I've underlined certain words to drive home important points.
Smith claimed that this message was from The Lord and that this event was shortly to come. So if this was from God then it should have happened exactly as written shortly after Smith spoke it.
But, this is what we actually find in history:
· South Carolina had already rebelled when Smith wrote of “the rebellion of South Carolina”
· That rebellion did NOT spark the civil war (1833) - the war began in 1860.
· War was not poured out on the entire nation.
· The slaves did not “rise up against their masters” as a major part of the war... it was primarily a war of white men against white men, North against South.
Here’s another one to consider:
Doctrine & Covenants 103:13-25 speaks of the men of Zion's camp, who were organized to march to Missouri and RESCUE the Mormons there (verse 24). Verse 25 promises they would avenge God's enemies.
But in the History of the Church, Vol. 3, page 39 and following describes the failure of Zion's camp to do as predicted! God's OWN presence supposedly went with them according to verses 20 and 26...but the whole thing failed!
When considering this prophecy we must understand that not only does general history record that this prophecy failed but the very organization that believes in and teaches of the accuracy of Joseph Smith’s prophecies has recorded this one as a failure.
That’s very significant, don’t you think?
How about Mr. Smith’s attempt at predicting the second coming of Christ? Before we investigate its accuracy let’s consider a Bible passage about this event.
Matthew 25: 1-13 is a parable that ends with verse 13 emphasizing that we
“do not know the day or the hour” of Jesus’ return.
For anyone to then take it upon themselves to predict when Jesus would return is to contradict God- a.k.a. dangerous!
The “History of the Church”, Vol. 2, page 182 records that Joseph Smith said the coming of the Lord was…
“nigh — even 56 years should wind up the scene.”
This statement was made in 1835. Add 56 years to 1835 and you get 1891. This seems to be a little off, by 121 years….and counting.
Again- this “prophecy” was not a prophecy at all. It is another FAILED attempt at prophecy!
One last prediction:
In Church History, Vol. 2, pp. 380-381, Joseph Smith said he saw, in a vision of the CELESTIAL kingdom,
“the 12 apostles of the Lamb who are now upon the earth.”
But the History of the Church later records the apostasy and final excommunication of 5 of the 12 apostles referred to in this vision:
· Lyman Johnson Vol. 3:20
· Luke Johnson - Vol. 2:528
· William McLellin - Vol. 3:31
· William Smith - Vol. 7:483
· Thomas Marsh - Vol. 4:284
So according to Smith these listed men would one day be in the Celestial Kingdom with God. But, if they were excommunicated this means (according to Mormon philosophy) that they were doomed to never enter that realm. This contradiction means the LDS organization, again recorded a failed prophecy of their own prophet, leader and founder.
Deuteronomy 18:22 clearly states that if a predicted event does not come true then the person who spoke it did not speak on the behalf of God. Only one failure is needed in order to show that the speaker is a false prophet, ONE.
We have reviewed only a few of Smith’s multiple failed attempts at predicting the future.
Furthermore the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- the very organization he founded- recorded (in their own historic writings) the failures of their supposed prophet!
I pray that any Mormon who reads this will research it to see if anything said here is true. Pick up your Church history and read what is recorded, compare it to Smith’s predictions then ask yourself, “If he failed at prophecy, can he really be a prophet of God?”
Nothin’ but love for ya!!
S.T.I.L (Speaking Truth in Love)