Today we’re looking at what the Lord says about this, and the LDS practice of talking to dead people. They seem to have an affinity for this behavior and unfortunately, it didn’t stop with Joseph Smith.
As we all know, the very foundation of Mormonism is built upon necromancy. As a matter of fact, the Book of Mormon’s message was delivered by none other than a supposed resurrected, man-turned-angel of light, by the name of Moroni. As it is today, Moroni’s gospel is trumpeted from atop the spirals on almost every Mormon temple throughout the world.
Between Joseph Smith’s claim of receiving this new gospel from a resurrected person who lived circa 400 AD, and the numerous written accounts by Mormons who’ve had encounters with spirits of dead people, we’re left to believe this is not only a by-product of, but a core belief in all of Mormonism.
We’ve listed some of the interactions Mormons have had with the dead, but first let’s take a look at what God has told us.
Comparatively speaking, the Bible has much to say about this, and it’s not favorable for the Mormon’s list of apologies. Like the Israelites, Mormons have rejected the grace of God, and His outstretched arms. One of the most dramatic examples is found in the book of Romans.
Matthew Henry reminded readers of Paul’s haunting exhortation to the Jews in Romans 10:21.
“But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”
Henry pointed out God didn’t just use a finger to beckon them to Himself. Rather, God sent His beloved Son, Jesus, to hang on a cross with outstretched arms, awaiting their return all the day long.
The reason Paul pointed this out was to remind them of their predecessors who rejected God’s warnings through His prophets Isaiah, and Jeremiah. Paul considered Jews of his day were behaving the same way they did long ago. While the Israelites traditionally worshiped Yahweh exclusively, they did have their problems with backsliding at times by trying to fit in with the surrounding communities.
Their neighbors, the Assyrians, and Babylonians, had a fetish for ancestor worship which took on a number of different forms. While some outright worshiped ancestors by administering libations, still others would seek out conversations with, or favors from, dead ancestors. Seeking advice from the dead is an all out no-no for any true believer!
Isaiah 8:19; “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?”
Jeremiah 19:13; “And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.”
The most alarming item of note from Matthew Henry’s commentary is when he said they forsook God’s temple to sacrifice in groves because they rejected what God had given them. Isn’t this what Smith did in the grove of trees when he went to pray and talked to dead people who appeared to him? See Joseph Smith’s Testimony 1:17-26.
We believe we’ve provided a solid foundation of what God has mandated, so let’s look at what the Mormon Church has entangled itself with. We’re asking that Christians pray for these dear people.
While it may seem this is a relic from Mormon days of old, nothing could be further from the truth. After our daughter Mallory died, my mother kept calling me to ask if I’d seen or talked to her yet. I wasn’t saved at the time, and yet a sense of horror went through me even then.
Their ritual of baptizing dead relatives, and performing other acts for the dead in their temples is nothing more than modern day ancestor worship the Israelites were guilty of in Biblical times. Sadly, they see nothing wrong with what they’re doing and have gone out of their way to publish it!
Wilford Woodruff Visits Deceased Leaders
Journal of Discourses 21:317-318; “I believe the eyes of the heavenly hosts are over this people; I believe they are watching the elders of Israel, the prophets and apostles and men who are called to bear off this kingdom.…I have had many interviews with Brother Joseph until the last 15 or 20 years of my life; I have not seen him for that length of time. But during my travels in the southern country last winter I had many interviews with President Young, and with Heber C. Kimball, and Geo. A. Smith, and Jedediah M. Grant, and many others who are dead. They attended our conference, they attended our meetings. And on one occasion, I saw Brother Brigham and Brother Heber ride in carriage ahead of the carriage in which I rode when I was on my way to attend conference; and they were dressed in the most priestly robes…” – Wilford Woodruff, Salt Lake City, October 10, 1880
Brigham Young Visits Deceased Joseph Smith
Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 8, No. 15, July 19, 1873, p. 114; “While at Winter Quarters, on the 17th of February, 1847, President Young had a very interesting dream which he related to the brethren. He dreamed that he went to see Joseph the Prophet, and when he met him he looked perfectly natural. He appeared to be sitting in a chair at the time. President Young took hold of his right hand and kissed him many times, and said to him: “Why is it we cannot be together as we used to be? You have been from us a long time; we want your society and do not like to be separated from you.” Joseph rose from his chair, and looked at him with his usual earnest, expressive and pleasing countenance, and said: “It is all right.” President Young repeated that he did not like to be away from him. Joseph said: “It is all right. We cannot be together yet; we shall be by and by, but you will have to do without me for a while; then we shall be together again.” President Young discovered there was a hand-rail between Joseph and himself. Joseph stood by a window, and at the southwest of him it was very light but President Young was in the twilight, and to the north of him it was very dark. President Young said: “The brethren you know well, better than I do; you raised them up and brought the priesthood to us. They have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption or the sealing principle, and if you have a word of counsel for me I shall be glad to receive it.” Joseph stepped towards him, looked very earnestly yet pleasantly, and said: “Tell the brethren to be humble and faithful and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and it will lead them aright. Be careful and not turn away the small, still voice; it will teach them what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits – it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts, and their whole desire will be to do good. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord, they will go right. Be sure to tell the brethren to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in heaven before they came into the world. Our Father in heaven organized the human family, but they are all disorganized and in great confusion.” Joseph then showed President Young the pattern how the human family were in the beginning. He saw where the priesthood had been taken from the earth, and how it had to be joined together so that there would be a perfect chain from Father Adam to his latest posterity. Joseph again said to him: “Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it and it will lead them just right.””
Eliza Snow Visits Deceased Husband Joseph Smith
Andrew Jensen, Latter-day Saints Biographical Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 695; “After the martyrdom of her husband, June 27, 1844, Sister Eliza was prostrated with grief, and besought the Lord with all the fervency of her soul to permit her to follow the Prophet at once, and not leave her in so dark and wicked a world. And so set was her mind on thc matter, that she did not and could not cease that prayer of her heart until the Prophet came to her and told her that she must not continue to supplicate the Lord in that way, for her petition was not in accordance with his design concerning her. Joseph told her that his work upon earth was completed as far as the mortal tabernacle was concerned, but her work was not; the Lord desired her, and so did her husband, to live many years, and assist in carrying on the great Latter-day work which Joseph had been chosen to establish. That she must be of good courage and help to cheer, and lighten the burdens of others. And that she must turn her thoughts away fr6m her own loneliness, and seek to console her people in their bereavement and sorrow.”
John Taylor Visits Deceased Joseph Smith
Janis Hutchinson Blogspot; “According to Lorin, on September 26, 1886 a group of church men arrived at the house of John W. Woolley (Lorin’s father) in Centerville where President Taylor was in hiding. They showed him the proposed Manifesto that the church was being pressured to issue by the Federal government that would forbid any more plural marriages. If not signed, the government would eventually confiscate all church property in excess of $50,000 and dissolve the Church as a corporate entity. Further, it would allow wives to testify against their polygamous husbands and disinherit any children resulting from plural marriages. They asked Taylor to pray about it. He said he would and that he would make his decision the following day.
Lorin states that during the night before the meeting, he acted as bodyguard for Pres. Taylor and noticed a bright light coming from beneath President Taylor’s door and heard three men’s voices inside—two, besides Pres. Taylor’s. (His earlier, 1912 account states only one extra voice, identified as Joseph Smith). He recounts that he was upset because it was his duty to keep anyone from entering. He checked the door leading to Pres. Taylor’s room and it was bolted. He checked outside of the house and all the window screens were intact. He resumed his position inside the house, listened to the voices until about midnight, and asked Charles Birrell to sit with him. By the sound of the voices, he could tell that one of the men in Taylor’s room had left. The other stayed. He said:
“I returned to my post and continued to hear the voices in that room. They were so audible that although I did not see the parties, I could place their positions in the room from the sound of their voices.” (This will prove significant later)
The next morning Pres. Taylor came out of his room. Lorin said that, “we could scarcely look at him on account of the brightness of his personage.” Lorin asked who the voices belonged to, and Pres. Taylor said “I had a very pleasant conversation all night with the Prophet Joseph.” When asked who the “other” man was, Pres. Taylor said, “Brother Lorin, that was your Lord.”(2)”