Mormon Dilemma 40
Angels & Handshakes
History of the Church 5:267; “When a messenger comes, saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand, and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect, he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear. Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message. If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him. These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.”
James 4:7-8; “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
Smith should’ve memorized James 4. Resist the devil indeed!
So, where’s the dilemma. What Joseph Smith said is in no way contradictory to what James said.
I agree with shematwater… the doctrines in these two scriptures are so completely off topic from each other that they in no way contradict…they’re not comparable (they’re not discussing the same doctrinal topic). The passage in James is talking about being clean from the sins of the world and basically removing yourself from “Bablyon” by drawing closer to God. The History of the Church passage is talking about discerning between messengers from heaven and demonic messengers. Believe whatever you want about visitations from the other side and/or whether or not the heavens are open, but if you’re going to try and use scriptures like this to debate the belief then your case will be fairly weak to say the least.