John 3:19-20; “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 203; “Ignorance of the Nature of Spirits

“Try the spirits,” but what by? Are we to try them by the creeds of men? What preposterous folly—what sheer ignorance—what madness! Try the motions and actions of an eternal being (for I contend that all spirits are such) by a thing that was conceived in ignorance, and brought forth in folly—a cobweb of yesterday! Angels would hide their faces, and devils would be ashamed and insulted, and would say, “Paul we know, and Jesus we know, but who are ye?” Let each man of society make a creed and try evil spirits by it, and the devil would shake his sides; it is all that he would ask—all that he would desire. Yet many of them do this, and hence “many spirits are abroad in the world.” – Joseph Smith, April 1, 1842,  HC 4:571

1 John 4:1; “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

The title of our article today has gone through a half dozen, or so, revisions. After trying to come up with a better title, I reverted back to the original name I gave it. All this to say, there’s no ‘soft’ way to expose ugly truths.

Instead of trying to soften the blow of Joe Smith’s odious behavior, there are times when we have to let the evidence speak for itself. ‘It is what it is’, as they say, and no amount of wishing it away will make it so.

Without a doubt, Joe Smith hated the word of God. I’m convinced he hated it because his name wasn’t specifically mentioned. He also didn’t like the idea that someone other than himself made the rules, yet his obedience was expected.

In light of that, one of the absolute best sermons I’ve ever read in my life was by Oswald Chambers, ‘The Collision of God and Sin’. Be sure you take the 5 minutes it takes to check it out!

Another favorite sermon, again by Mr. Chambers is ‘The Nature of Degeneration’. In this sermon he said something about sin and the nature of man I never heard as a Mormon, and it provides great insight for what the Lord thinks of Smith’s rejection of His word.

“…Sin is something I am born with and cannot touch— only God touches sin through redemption. It is through the Cross of Christ that God redeemed the entire human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin.

God nowhere holds a person responsible for having the heredity of sin, and does not condemn anyone because of it. Condemnation comes when I realize that Jesus Christ came to deliver me from this heredity of sin, and yet I refuse to let Him do so. From that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation.”

That attitude, the same one Smith held so tightly to, is the same attitude I held onto as a Mormon. The attitude came from having the wrong understanding of who I am as a human being.

I remember all too well the time my friend invited me to her church on Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. The congregation knelt to audibly pray in unison an oft repeated sinner’s prayer, and I stood up, indignant at their accusation I, of all people, was a sinner.

I held tightly to the false ideology that I wasn’t such a bad person, and although I had a reverence for the Bible, Christians were the true enemy. It was a confusing, dismal existence…

As Mr. Chambers so eloquently stated, from the time I reject God’s redemption, I ‘begin to get the seal of damnation’.

Pray for those who would concur with Joseph Smith! As I always say – if God could save me, ‘of all people’, He can, and will, save anyone!

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor 1:18