THE INFLUENCE OF JOSEPH SMITH
To say the Mormons worship Joseph Smith in every sense of the word would be an understatement. There are many subject matters within the doctrines of Mormonism that warrant a closer look and this is definitely one of those times. The influence Joseph Smith has had on people is mind boggling. His name alone throws my own mother into another frame of mind every time his name is mentioned.
Joseph Smith-History 1:33; “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.”
For my research on Mormonism I use the computer program “Gospelink”. It’s sold through the LDS owned company Deseret Books. In that program I have a file of no less than 106 quotes containing titles and/or descriptions of Smith made by leaders in the Church or Smith himself. I can assure the reader that I’ve merely scratched the surface.
The following is an excerpt from an article I wrote after visiting my mother in Utah in the summer of 2005:
“The False Prophet Joseph Smith”
I asked my mother a couple of weeks ago which prophet of all time that she liked the best. She replied by asking me which one I liked. I told her I couldn’t pick but have a tendency to turn to Isaiah time and again. I told her that his words are comforting to me when he prophesied about Jesus in chapter 53, or when he spoke of the ‘Highway of Holiness’ in chapter 35. She had never heard of Isaiah then told me that Hinckley and Joseph had to be her favorites. I found it interesting that Mormons refer to Joseph Smith by just his first name and everyone knows who you’re talking about. Yet I can’t recall the last time my own mother referred to Jesus without calling Him by His title instead of by His given name.
The above scenario is typical of any Mormon you might meet. Another phenomenon you may encounter while mentoring is when the new Christian has stories from the Bible confused with Joseph Smith. This is caused from Smith and others using scripture to describe the greatness of Smith. In their eyes he is superhuman. Below are some of the descriptions of Smith.
Foreordained from foundation of the world
DS 1:184; “Joseph Smith was chosen to stand at the head of the work of the Lord in the last days, and his work was assigned to him through the fore-knowledge of our Eternal Father in the eternities before he was born. He came in the spirit of Elias to prepare the way for the coming of our Lord. No prophet since the days of Adam, save, of course, our Redeemer, has been given a greater mission.”
God to all
TPJS, pg. 363; “God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him. (April 8, 1844.) —DHC 6:318-320.”
Controls minds of believers
TPJS, pg. 341; “President Joseph Smith again arose and said—In relation to the power over the minds of mankind which I hold, I would say, It is in consequence of the power of truth in the doctrines which I have been an instrument in the hands of God of presenting unto them, and not because of any compulsion on my part.”
Holds endless priesthood
LDS Hymn #27 & Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the Man, pg. 3; “Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold. Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old. (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns #27)”
His name will never perish
Gospel Doctrine, pg. 479; “God lives, and Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God—living, not dead; for his name will never perish.”
Genius with no education
Divine Authority or the Question, Was Joseph Smith Sent of God?, pg. 4; “How came Mr. Smith, if a deceiver, to think of all this? Did Martin Luther, Wesley, Whitfield, Swedenborg, or Irving think of this? Whence his superior intellect, his depth of understanding, his extensive foresight, that he should so far surpass all former impostors for 1700 years? John testifies that when the everlasting gospel is restored to the earth it shall be by an angel. Mr. Smith testifies that it was restored by an angel, and in no other way. This is another presumptive evidence that he was sent of God.”
People studied at the feet of Joseph
Joseph Smith, The Choice Seer, Preface #3; “In assessing the marvelous impact of the Choice Seer’s work on this dispensation, we will turn first and foremost to the doctrinal teachings of Joseph Smith as set forth in his sermons, letters, revelations, translations, and narrations. In addition, we will rely occasionally on the clarifications and expansions of those who knew Brother Joseph firsthand and studied at his feet, as well as those apostolic and prophetic successors to whom is given the divine mandate to build on the doctrinal foundation he laid.”
Joseph had more followers than Jesus
JD 14:202-203; “…this personage whom we call the Savior of the world, there were not, strange to say, as many persons believed on him as have believed on Joseph Smith in the latter days. Not that Joseph was the Savior, but he was a prophet.”
Reverence for Smith’s name advised
Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, pg. 181; “Whenever we speak of the Prophet Joseph Smith … it should be in reverent appreciation of the Lord who called him and whom Joseph served so well. (“‘A Choice Seer,'” p. 113.)”
Confessing spirit of Smith is of God
Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 435; “Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God to reveal the holy Gospel to the children of men, and lay the foundation for gathering Israel, and building up the Kingdom of God on the earth, that spirit is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Antichrist, no matter whether it is found in a pulpit or on a throne. 8:176.”
Joseph defies world to refute him
TPJS, pg. 372; “The head God organized the heavens and the earth. I defy all the world to refute me.”
Joseph is Heaven’s Gatekeeper
JD 7:290; “Should not this thought comfort all people? They will, by-and-by, be a thousand times more thankful for such a man as Joseph Smith, junior, than it is possible for them to be for any earthly good whatever. It is his mission to see that all the children of men in this last dispensation are saved, that can be, through the redemption. You will be thankful, every one of you, that Joseph Smith, junior, was ordained to this great calling before the worlds were.”
Joseph’s name known for good and evil
Joseph Smith History 1:33; “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.”
Set aside some time to go through each description with the ex-Mormon. There are three reasons why you’d want to do this!
1. Allow them to share their thoughts on what they’ve read and understood about that description.
2. Help them to find a scripture to refute each example.
3. If the person believed these things about Joseph Smith lead them in a prayer of repentance.
© 2010 Life After Ministries, Inc.