Post-Mortal Appearances of Joseph Smith

JT Hillman wrote a letter to the editor of Louisiana’s towntalk.com. In an effort to point people to Christ, JT wrote (in part),

“I read in The Town Talk, some dear person was thanking St. Jude. St. Jude cannot help you. Mary, St. Paul, St. Peter, my deceased mother, they are dead. Only Jesus can help you.

“Buddha founded Buddhism. He died in 483 B.C. Muhammad founded Islam. He died in 632 A.D. Joseph Smith Jr. founded Mormonism. He died in 1844. Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Church. She died in 1910.

“All these well-known people lived and died never to be seen from or heard from again.”

It may be because few people have left comments responding to JT’s letter, or it may be that people are unaware, but I was a bit surprised that no Mormons have challenged JTs assertions.

This painting hangs in the Winter Quarters LDS Visitors Center. Note the image of (post-mortal) Joseph Smith directing the Saints' move west.

It is a fact that Joseph Smith, the founding Prophet of Mormonism, died in 1844, and his bones remain in the grave. But some Latter-day Saints have claimed that they have seen and heard from the Prophet again.

The February 1998 issue of Ensign magazine included a lengthy article about Brigham Young and how he lived his life as a “Student of the Prophet.” In this article several post-mortal “appearances” of Joseph Smith are related. For example, a report of a vision of the Prophet received by Brigham Young:

“In an 1869 sermon, President George A. Smith, First Counselor in the First Presidency, recalled that when ‘every trouble and calamity’ seemed to beset the Saints in Nauvoo, President Young fasted and prayed frequently for guidance. Thereafter he experienced ‘a vision of Joseph Smith, who showed him the mountain that we now call Ensign Peak, immediately north of Salt Lake City, and there was an ensign fell upon that peak, and Joseph said “Build under the point where the colors fall and you will prosper and have peace.”‘ President Young knew he was to settle in the Salt Lake Valley.” (Ronald W. Walker, “Brigham Young: Student of the Prophet,” Ensign, 2/98, pp. 55-57)

The Ensign article continued on to tell of a “vivid dream” in which the Prophet Joseph taught Brigham Young about the “organization of God’s family under the priesthood’s sealing ordinances.”

Another time, “after a good deal of praying,” Brigham Young experienced a “significant dream” in which Joseph delivered a “message” that “became an important guide in [Young's] conduct of Church affairs.”

At General Conference in November 1998 an LDS apostle told of “an experience of President Wilford Woodruff when he told of a visitation he received from the Prophet Joseph Smith some time after the Prophet was martyred. According to President Woodruff’s own account: ‘[Joseph Smith] came to me and spoke to me.'” During this “visitation,” Joseph reportedly delivered “new doctrine” to President Woodruff (M. Russell Ballard, “Are We Keeping Pace?” Ensign, 11/98, p. 6).

All of these alleged post-mortal appearances of Joseph Smith took place over 100 years ago but, according to Mormonism, that should not make us think we’ve seen the last of the Prophet. During the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the death of Joseph Smith, by way of consolation, LDS Church News said, “Lift up your heads and rejoice; for behold! it is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum. My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed” (Church News, week ending July 9, 1994, p. 5; quoting early LDS apostle Parley P. Pratt).

So, according to the LDS Church, Joseph Smith has given direction to subsequent leaders of the Mormon Church from beyond the grave, and he is coming again to “preside over Zion” (D&C 93:32 as interpreted by Rodney Turner, emeritus Professor of Ancient Scripture (BYU), Jesus & Joseph: Parallel Lives, p. 194).

And Mormons wonder why Christians are concerned about LDS teachings.

—–

(For a Biblical perspective on the living communing with the dead see Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Afterlife, Joseph Smith and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Post-Mortal Appearances of Joseph Smith

  1. falcon says:

    I think that next to discussions regarding the nature of God, I like those dealing with spiritual phenomenon the best. Actually certain sects of Christianity get into this sort of thing also. I'll give a prize (I'm guessing it will go to Ralph if he shows up here) to the first Mormon that points to the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain with Moses and Elijah as proof that Joseph Smith can materialize as a spirit also. One thing I've noticed about Mormons, they practice zero discernment when it comes to differentiating between spirits. They'll buy it all whether its some spook that shows up during the dunking for the dead ceremony or Smith's accounts of an angel with a sword appearing to him indicating Smith's going under the knife if he doesn't marry more women, Mormons buy it all. I have a book here that chronicles the appearance of spirit beings to these old time "saints" in and outside of the temple. It seems Mormons never met a spirit they didn't like.
    It's interesting that many of these manifestations come in the form of dreams and visions. Smith and his cronies where really into second sight vision, that technique where by a person peeks into the spirit world. That's how the witnesses to the BoM saw the plates. Smith was a master manipulator and knew how to implant ideas into peoples' minds making them believe they were seeing things that weren't there. He also had use of his magic rock by which he could conjure up all sorts of "sights" including treasure buried in the ground.
    Someone I know well, told me recently about some Christians who saw a vision of some people dancing (I think it was) in the sky and these were the "great crowd of witnesses" talked about in the Book of Hebrews. I don't think so! Religions of all sorts have mystics and seers and conjurers of every stripe. I advise folks to be very, very skeptical. The apostle Paul talks about people who try to impress others regarding visions they claim to have seen. Don't be manipulated by those who want to promote themselves as being super spiritual because they are willing to accept these things without question. In the case of Mormons, these things simply reinforce a false belief system that they accept without question. It makes for good entertainment down at the words but can be filed under the heading of Mormon folk lore. There's a website dedicated to this topic BTW.

  2. wyomingwilly says:

    falcon you said, " I advise folks to be very, very skeptical." Good advise. People are on very
    precarious ground with this behavior of wanting or needing to have visitations from those who
    have died. Visions and dreams can also be all to satisfying emotionally, yet seducing. The truth
    about God and the gospel has been hand delivered by Jesus and his apostles.

    ww

  3. f_melo says:

    " and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh"

    I wonder – he´s going to come back to life like Lazarus, or is he going to come back as a resurrected being? Well, i´ve learned in the church that during the supposed millennium, Christ would reign but he wouldn´t live on earth because a resurrected being apparently can´t stay with lower beings… so, i guess Joseph is going to come back to life only to die again after he is finally done.

    That´s so ridiculous – why didn´t God just keet him from being murdered until all was finished, like He did with Jesus? If you read the gospels, you´ll see that Christ was in control and even though the Jewish leaders tried many times to stone Him, or get rid of Him, but they could not succeed because His time had not come at those moments – He only delivered Himself to be crucified when it was the time appointed by God, and Jesus knew it all along.

    How can mormons compare their god with the Biblical God at all? The mormon god seems to not get it right the first time a lot!!!

  4. f_melo says:

    to back that up, from Gospel principles, the Millennium:

    "During the Millennium, Jesus will "reign personally upon the earth" (Articles of Faith 1:10). Joseph Smith explained that Jesus and the resurrected Saints will probably not live on the earth all the time but will visit whenever they please or when necessary to help in the governing of the earth (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 268)."

  5. enki says:

    I have seen "phenomona" around a photo of my great grandmother. Basically beautiful rays of light coming from off her face. Whats interesting was that she wasn't mormon, and she wasn't even christian, as far as I know. She had the old protective tattos on her face.

    I still have memories of that, but It must have been my imagination, right? Shouldn't I be skeptical of the supernatural in general? Just on the basis that it is supernatural. It does give me a sense of peace thinking about it.

  6. enki says:

    Just a question, do any active LDS members post here at all?

  7. enki says:

    Does anyone here ever watched "Open Forum"? Its on cable in various portions of the U.S. Anyways, anyone can call in and this old christian guy will try and answer any biblical question. There was one question about the appearance of angels. Someone was starting to describe that she saw an angel. I wanted to hear the story, but he wouldn't let her tell it. He quickly explained no one ever sees real angels, there was some phrase he used which I assume is somewhere from the Bible, but I don't recall him giving a reference. Something to do with you will never see or hear him in action or something like that, that an angel doesn't break silence. Of course he went on with the classic "if anyone or an angel preach another gospel" and that god is finished with visible manifestations. I don't know, are these actual biblical views?

  8. enki says:

    Just curious because anyone can say anything. What about the hand that drew a message on the wall? Isn't Urim and thumin a type of casting dice to see the future? A white stone a crystal? Trumpets? seeing through a glass darkly? The O.T. seems to be full of strange phenoma, and a few, but less so in the N.T. Out of curiousity I did attend a few services of the Aquarian foundation, a spiritist church based in Seattle, WA. Interesting, but a little too far out for me. I wasn't convinced that anyone had actual spiritual contact with anything, angel or demon. It seemed like smoke and mirrors. Its still around after the death of the founder, but it seems struggling, and hasn't quite caught on like Rev. Reinhart had hoped.

  9. Violet says:

    See Comments, Last Activity, The Changing God of Mormonism, jackcv.

  10. f_melo says:

    " Shouldn't I be skeptical of the supernatural in general?"

    My opinion – you shouldn´t be skeptical of the supernatural at all, but, as a Christian now i am more careful about it, to not let it take my eyes off Jesus and i have always to check if the message being presented doesn´t contradict scripture.

    Sometimes mormons will take those experiences and attribute them to the "truthfulness" of the church… which they don´t really know that´s the case, but they interpret it that way.

    As long as your grandmother doesn´t become the person you put your trust on instead of Jesus, cherish those experiences and look forward with the hope of Eternal life with God!

  11. f_melo says:

    yes, but their showing up depends on the topic…

    one just showed up on the last topic, just recently, in typical mormon fashion, offending orthodox Christian beliefs – you know, calling the doctrine of the trinity blasphemy made up by men seeking power and money – just the usual.

  12. falcon says:

    Well there's been a real sea change regarding that. Three years ago it was really intense here, but it seems all of the LDS TBM types have gotten worn out or something. When they come here they actually run into people who know something about Mormonism, the history, doctrine and practices. They don't like being called on the carpet. It's not like down at the wards where they can entertain each other and not have to really know something. But when they encounter Christians who can march them right back into first century Christianity with documentation that authentic Christianity was never lost, well that just kind of blows the whole basis for Mormonism out of the water. Pat Mormon slogans aren't going to cut it in light of challenging questions. To be perfectly honest, to me engaging the hardcore TBMs in a discussion is really a waste of time. I'm looking for those Mormons who are starting to figure out that there's something not quite right with the Mormon program and are willing to ask questions in an honest search for the truth.

  13. falcon says:

    In an article titled "Testing the Prophets: In the Montanist controversy, did the church reject heresy or the Holy Spirit" (Christian History Issue 51) the author James D. Smith III provides some interesting information regarding spiritual manifestations/movements in the early Church. He says that Montanism on the surface resembles modern Pentecostalism. The early Church struggled with this movement.
    "Sometime around the year 157, in the Roman province of Asia Minor known as Phrygia, a professing Christian named Montanus began to prophesy ecstatically. Claiming the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he was soon joined by two prophetesses, Maximilla and Priscilla (Prisca). They paid special attention to the biblical teachings about the Paraclete, and they claimed to be the last in a succession of prophets that included the daughters of Philip (Acts 21:8-9). They said they were called to summon all believers to righteous preparation for the heavenly descent of the new Jerusalem……Montanist prophets claimed direct revelations from God, and their utterances (oracles) were treasured and preserved as authoritative teaching by the faithful. Here was fresh truth, Spirit-given, for these last days!….Moreover, such revelations, springing as they did from a trance-like ecstasy, were electric experiences for prophet and congregation alike…..Finally, there was a renewed, rigorous emphasis on practical holiness,with prophetic teachings on issues like fasting, marriage, asceticism, and spiritual healing."
    Now notice there's nothing in this that has dead people appearing to the prophets. Anytime people are having the spirits of dead people showing up to visit them whether in a vision, dream or conjured real time has all the markings of demonic manifestations. This is little more than a seance. The worst aspect of this conjuring and manifestations of spirits is the confusion that results. This is the whole purpose and are done to draw people away from the living God and into fellowship with demons. Mormons will argue purity and religiosity here and thus the seduction.

  14. falcon says:

    Tertullian was a Montanist convert and wrote about it in his treatise "On the Soul". His writing reveals the attraction of this movement.
    "We have now amongst us a sister whose lot it has been to be favored with gifts of revelation, which she experiences in the Spirit by ecstatic vision amidst the sacred rites of the Lord's Day in the Church. She converses with angels and sometimes even with the Lord. She both sees and hears mysterious communications. Some men's hearts she discerns, and she obtains directions for healing for such as need them. Whether it be in the reading of the Scriptures or in the chanting of psalms or in the preaching of sermons or in the offering up of prayers-in all these religious services, matter and opportunity are afforded her of seeing visions….."
    There is a line in the article that's interesting; "Still, the way Montanists practiced the faith made most Christians wary". I think that's a pretty good approach, being wary.
    We need to compare the Montanists with Mormons. Notice that the Montanists didn't come up with a new god and proclaim that men could become gods. They didn't teach that through the taking of multiple wives a man could reach the highest level of a new heaven called the Celestial Kingdom. And to repeat, they weren't conjuring up the spirits of dead people who would visit them and plead to have rituals performed that they might also enter into the circle of deity. Mormonism needs to be exposed for what it is. An occult based religion that leads people to think that they are serving the living God by applying His name to their false god(s).

  15. f_melo says:

    I´m a new Christian – but so far as i understand it, angels can appear when sent by God… the Bible in any way forbids it or says anything like that guy said…
    When Paul said that, he was warning the Church to not accept a different Gospel regardless of the source, wether it was an angel or even he himself…

    I don´t see any problem with angels showing up, if they are sent by God with a purpose.

  16. Enki, First let me say, you really need to set up an account, you do not need to list any info about yourself if you choose not to, but by setting up an account I and others will be notified when you reply to us, It makes it easier to reply to you.

    Now to answer your questions. The hand that wrote on the wall, That was God who wrote on the wall, the Bible tells us that. I will get back to you on the Urim and Thumin, Not sure what your getting at about the white stone, give me more verses to work with. The trumpets, I need more info, whats your exact question about them? Seeing through a glass darkly is a reference. Everything in the OT is found in the NT reveled, everything found in the NT is in the OT concealed.

    The Prophets in the OT did not know what was coming, they foretold of it but were never given the exact details. I strongly suggest reading the NT, Start with the Gospel of John, and pray. you can ask questions and I myself will do my best to answer them.

    As far as your question about angels, We see angels in the OT speaking with people and people feeding them and talking back with them. No where in the Bible does it teach we cannot speak with them or they cannot speak with us. God does not send angels to speak with people now adays like He did in the OT. The NT teaches that God now speaks through His son, Jesus, And the Bible is His word, so if we read His word, He speaks to us. But we also read in the NT that we can entertain angels and not even be aware we are doing it. About the passage in Gal 1:8-9 about if any person or angel teaches another Gospel. We have Gods word, we know exactly what God said, so if someone, JS or and angel or even Me, comes along and say, God really said, or what God Really meant, they we/me or the angel are liars, and are teaching another gospel. But the best way to know is to read the word for yourself. Acts 17:11 says search the scriptures to know if these things are true.

  17. Enki, I looked into what the Urim and the Thummin, The Bible does not give clear details as to what it is. So we will never know. Now some people speculate that it was a wite stone and a black stone. But since the Bible does not say, and we can only guess, then their is no point in talking about it, and since man can only guess, I will assume they might be wrong. So I'm sorry if thats not much help, but I believe where the Bible is silent we should be also.

  18. falcon says:

    I know someone who had a dream about her father some time after he had died. In the dream this friend's father told her it was getting harder to come back. Now, did this person's deceased father "appear" to her in a dream with a message? No! She had a dream about him, period. I have another friend whose 13 year old son died tragically in an accident. After the funeral my friend went for a walk and "had it out with the Lord". The friend told me that as he was expressing his displeasure to God he saw "in his mind's eye" his son walking away from him with Jesus. Jesus had his arm around the boy and looked back at my friend and said, "Would you call him back?" My friend said, "No" knowing, as painful as it was, his son was better off with the Lord.
    OK so what are we to make of these things. I know what Mormons make of these things, especially that of dead people like Joseph Smith appearing to them in dreams. They think they are having a real supernatural experience and it tends to reinforce their belief in Mormonism. Psychics get into this whole realm of the dead scene and exploit hurting and desperate people. TV shows like the "Ghost Whisperer" and "Crossing Over" have an appeal to certain segments of the population.
    It's a dangerous and unwise path to go down interpreting certain pseudo spiritual experiences as the real thing. It's a wise person who builds their foundation on the Word of God and not supernatural appearing happenings. One more. I was watching a show on a network station about the supernatural and miracles. It told the story of a man who couldn't walk and one day while looking at a picture of Pope John Paul II the man had the urge to get up and walk which he did. In order to be declared a "saint" in the Catholic church, a miracle, that is verified must take place in the prospective saint's name.
    Mormons must ask themselves some very difficult questions regarding the veracity of supernatural happenings associated with their religion. The number one question is, who's the source? What spiritual entity causes dead people like Joseph Smith to appear to them?

  19. LDS Anarchist says:

    Yep.

  20. LDS Anarchist says:

    “All of these alleged post-mortal appearances of Joseph Smith took place over 100 years ago but, according to Mormonism, that should not make us think we’ve seen the last of the Prophet.”

    Well, if he is going to show up again, you might as well know what he looks like. ;)

  21. f_melo and Enki,

    I second f_melo's advice generally.

    The thing is, all sorts of people have reported all sorts of supernatural visitations. I believe you even had one, which you thought was very negative.

    I don't think we can argue about whether the report of a particular visitation was authentic or not. Usually, the person reporting the visitation believes that it was "real". Sometimes you get fraudsters who invent stories to give themselves a measure of authenticity (we discuss one such famous case here regularly, but I'm sure you've noticed).

    So, in the case of a person who genuinely believes he or she has had an authentic visitation, how should we react? The Bible does give us some pointers, for example;

    * Real visitations by angels are terrifying – this isn't some long lost aunt popping in for a cup of tea. See John's reaction to the angel in Revelation 22:8 – you'd think he would have known better following the previous 21 Chapters of his Revelations.

    * Real angels are humble. See the angel's reaction in Revelation 22:8. (PS Satan is a "real" angel, but he's not humble)

    * Real angels are not important. They facilitate the story, but they are not the focus of it.

    * People who meet real angels get filled with a sense of hopeless unworthiness. See Isaiah 6:5. People who use their visitations to affirm their own sense of importance probably need to question what kind of visitation they had.

    * Real angels are messengers of God, but the content of the message is usually quite mundane. I'm thinking here of the angelic messages given to Daniel and Joseph (Jesus' earthly father). These messages comprise "Go over there" or "God has heard you". They don't seem to comprise "Doctrine" or the "secrets of the universe".

    Theologically, I think this is significant. Though the angels attend to God's "housekeeping" and they run His errands, it's up to us as God's (metaphorical) sons (I include females in "sons") to know and understand God and His creation.

    In particular, see Psalm 8:4-6 and the significance that the NT author sees in it in Hebrews 2:5-9

    “What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    a son of man that you care for him?
    You made them a little lower than the angels;
    you crowned them with glory and honor
    and put everything under their feet.”

    So, f_melo is right. Real angels do God's work. That work is to point us not to themselves or ourselves, but to God. His focus is fixed not on His angels, but on the creatures He has made in His own image – you and me.

    It's a reflected glory thing. We are valuable because God thinks we are valuable.

  22. f_melo says:

    From what i remember about the Urim and Thummin, it was kind of a divination device that gave a "yes" or "no" answer… i read an article on that a while back, i´ll try to find it… but no, it was never used to see the future.
    A white stone, i think you´re referring to the white stone in the book of Revelation – but that has nothing to do with seeing the future either, it´s just a stone…

    Like Rick said, seeing through a glass darkly is the metaphor used by Paul to illustrate how at this moment we only have a vague notion of how things will be in the future, in eternity with God.

    The Old Testament does have strange phenomena, and pretty much every culture records some sort of stuff like that – you have to read it in context(small, and wider context, considering the Bible as a whole). The fact that it contains those phenomena doesn´t mean each one comes necessarily from God.
    For example, Saul consults a necromancer to speak to Samuel after he died, and a spirit actually shows up pretending to be Samuel and he does talk… that wasn´t from God because many scriptures tell us that God hates that kind of stuff…
    So, read it in context is the best advice i can give… and remember witchcraft and mysticism are condemned and rejected in the Bible. You don´t see any apostles actually looking through a glass to receive revelation, or using any other occult means.

    Peter, when he had the vision where God told him to preach the gospel to the gentiles, got in a trance, but God induced it, not incense or any psychedelic mushrooms…

  23. enki says:

    F Melo,
    Thank you for the reply. I wondered about that. It didn't seem quite right. But this guy also has a date set for the rapture. I forget the exact day, but he predicts that it will occur sometime this spring.

  24. enki says:

    F Melo,
    I wondered about that for years, and I don't know if there is any particular meaning to it. I have had other experiences which are unusual. I found however that paranormal experiences seem to lack the punch that physical evidence does. I have told somethings to people, and usually the reaction is skepticism, like they never happened. Then again no amount of experience can convince a skeptic, as in not even willing to examine.

    Physical stuff, and documents, those are more likely to be examined, and usually one can make a better case.

  25. falcon says:

    In the first couple of chapters of Matthew and Luke we see several instances of God communicating via dreams and angelic visitations. For example in Matthew 1:20 we read, "But when he had considered this, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying….." We see again in 2:12, "And having been warned by God in a dream….." and 2:19 "But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream……" and 2:22 "……And being warned by God in a dream…..". In Luke 1:11 "And an angel of the Lord appeared to him…..", and 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God……" and 2:9 "And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them….." In-other-words, the Bible is replete with examples of God speaking to his chosen ones through dreams, visions and visitations of angelic beings.
    In Acts 2:16-21 Peter quotes the OT prophet Joel when he says:
    "…..this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days, ' God says, 'That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Even upon My Bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy. And I will grant wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be, that every one who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
    What's going on with Mormons with their manifestations of Joseph Smith and the appearance of the spirits of the dead in their temples, is not what the prophet Joel was talking about. Some of these appearances with Mormons I would chalk up to over active imaginations and others to manifestations as a result of the occult foundation and practices of the Mormon religion. A religion based on a "prophet" who used methodology to conjure visions in direct violation of Biblical admonitions, is a false religion akin to spiritism.
    I've always said that Mormonism isn't a perfect counterfeit but it is an effective counterfeit. Mormons need to examine exactly what they are calling spiritual experiences. These need to be rejected and Mormons need to repent of their dabbling in practices and rituals that are not of God. Having repented of these things, Mormons then need to reject the god of Mormonism and his false prophets and come humbly and sincerely to God who alone can save them.

  26. wyomingwilly says:

    It became very fashionable a few years ago to embrace anything and everything about angels.
    Even Time Magazine pictured on it's cover an angel with the words " the new age of Angels….
    what in Heaven is going on?" [ 12-27-1993 ]. I even remember at one time there was a group
    that offered to help you find the personal name of your guardian angel ! Yet it seems that this was
    nothing new in America, although not as wide spread the atmosphere where Joseph Smith grew
    up was a buzz with talk from those who were experiencing visions/visitations from Heavenly
    beings either angels or even of the Lord Himself. A " restorationist " movement where those who
    claimed such visitations could look unique from those who mearly relied on the Bible. In similar
    manner young Joseph Smith claimed that around 14 years of age " ….I received the first visitation
    of angels….." He even learned the personal name of one—Moroni. [ in my 1974 addition of the D&C
    in the intro it says "in September 1823...Joseph Smith received visitations from Moroni, an angel of
    light...." ] .

  27. wyomingwilly says:

    cont
    Those persons/groups who claimed such spiritual visitations from angels or God ,usually it follows
    that they then claim an exclusive anointing from God—God's prophet. Or the only authorized
    channel of communication from God to mankind. The church that Joseph Smith started
    claims, " But the Spirit is giving direct and daily revelation to the presiding Brethren in the
    administration of the affairs of the Church ". [ Mormon Doctrine page 650 ] Further more it is
    claimed that Mormon leaders have the gift of discerning of spirits, " lest any come among the
    saints an practice deception ." [ ibid p 197]. In the mid 1980's Mark Hoffman out this claim
    of revelation and discernment in the Church to the acid test.

  28. F_Melo,
    Go back and read the story about the spirit that Saul Summoned, it was really Samuel.
    For what ever reason God allowed it that one time, But for the most part, spirits do show up, just not the spirits of people we know, they are demons who deceive us.

  29. wyomingwilly says:

    cont
    Mark Hoffman a disgruntled Mormon and master forger sold numerous bogus historical
    documents related to early LDS history to the highest officials of the Church. At the time when
    revelation was really needed Church leaders seemed to be completely oblivious to what
    was going on. After five years of this deception he was finally found out —but not by
    Church leaders. The inability of Mormon leaders to detect this deceit, spiritual conterfeit
    in their midst also will raise questions on their ability to discern what is the correct
    interpretation of the scriptures that they give to the saints, which interpretations are perceived
    as reliable spritiual guidance by sincere LDS who are taught to " follow the prophet " for he "will
    never lead you astray".

    ww

  30. wyomingwilly says:

    That was an interesting picture. As for any prophet showing up , I'm looking for only one :
    see Titus 2:13

    ww

  31. The Bible does not tell us the day or the time of the Rapture.
    But I can say with 100 percent accuracy, I know Jesus will return to take his people home.

    He will return when He wants to, Hows that for an answer. LOL.

  32. I have no problems engaging the TBM for few reasons. 1. It is not my place to say they will never see the light, Only God knows, and since He called me to share the gospel with LDS, I cannot pick and choose who I tell.

    2. Since were talking in a public forum, I reply back to them even if they choose not to listen or reply because I know others who are LDS that are not TBM read the replies, and seekers looking into Mormonism might see the truth.

    3. I am hard and in your face, but God has put a great love in my heart for those Lost to the LDS faith. So I will seek out answers and talk with any LDS any where any time.

  33. falcon says:

    WW
    I have a book here copyright 1975 with a reprint in 1986 titled "Angels: God's Secret Agents" it's revised and expanded. The author? Well it's Billy Graham! Billy has always been known as a straight shooter and not one given to wild and wooly religious extremism. Here's the table of contents:
    1. Are Angels God's Secret Agents?
    2. Angels are for Real.
    3. Angels Visible or Invisible?
    4.Angels-How they Differ from Man.
    5. Angelic Organization.
    6. Lucifer and the Angelic Rebellion.
    7. Angels As Messengers of God.
    8. Angels Protect and Deliver Us.
    9. Angels-God's Agents in Judgment.
    10. Angels and the Gospel.
    11. Angel Ministries in the Life of Jesus.
    12. Angels in Prophecy.
    13. The Angels and Death.
    14. Angel Spectators.
    15. Angels in Our Lives Today.
    He writes in the preface:
    "Angels have a much more important place in the Bible than the devil and his demons. Therefore, I undertook a biblical study of the subject of angels. Not only has it been one of the most fascinating studies of my life, but I believe the subject is more relevant today than perhaps at any time in history. The Bible teaches that angels intervene in the affairs of nations. God often uses them to execute judgment on nations. They guide, comfort and provide for the people of God in the midst of suffering and persecution. martin Luther once said in Table Talk, 'An angel is a spiritual creature without a body created by God for the service of Christendom and the church.'"
    Where Mormons make their mistake is in believing and accepting without question, the claims of the occultist Joseph Smith. His claims of visitations from Jesus, God the Father, various apostles and yes angels, was his way of trying to garner for himself credibility. Smith was a false prophet and has led many to their spiritual destruction.

  34. f_melo says:

    One of those guys… i have a lot of fun listening to them.
    You´re going to enjoy this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5PLf-2FYIM

    As for the rapture thing, i would recommend you read what Dee Dee Warren has explained about it, it will clear up some misconceptions. I´m not going to post her website, i don´t know if the moderators would have a problem with it… just google her name, or send me an e-mail and i´ll send you some of her stuff.

    I think to resolve those doubts is important because of the deception that might set up Christians that don´t know their Bible to fall for a false Messiah that´s being advertised for sometime now by a New Age guru. He will take advantage of false end-time-like events. One time i was listening to the false prophet promoting that guy and i felt that same feeling of peace i felt in the mormon church… that definitely took away any doubts i could possibly have about it.

  35. f_melo says:

    I read that, but if you take that to be of God, then you might as well try again with another necromancer… you see what i am saying? If that time worked, why couldn´t it work again?…

  36. f_melo says:

    Joseph Zombie Smith… hehehehehe just kidding…
    I thought that was interesting – because all one can see at church are those hollywood actor-style paintings. As far as we know they could pick up any guy with a long nose and say that was Joseph that had come back from the dead – most mormons don´t really know the real Joseph anyways…

  37. f_melo says:

    and if he made any anachronistic comment, they would just tell FARMS to spin it… actually that Joseph could be trained by FARMS before going public. That would be a cool twilight zone episode.

    (btw, i know farms isn´t farms anymore, it´s easier to write)

  38. f_melo says:

    Falcon, like Martin said, some experiences are real to some people, but to others that´s just a tool to manipulate. Many people saw angels in the Old and New Testaments… Jacob even wrestled with one(and actually won) – i think i read that passage in Genesis right.

    Enki, i too have had some spiritual experiences, and i dated a girl who had one experience somewhat similar to what you shared. I don´t have a problem accepting that, and i´m not skeptic about it, but as i said before, now i have a basis to judge them, the Word of God.

    I´ve had some of those experiences on my mission. My companion didn´t know what happened to me because he wasn´t affected by it and had no idea what was going on… so, it´s up to people to believe you or not, but you know exactly what you saw and what you felt. Those things are very personal, so don´t be upset if someone doesn´t believe you.

    I even had an experience where i felt extreme anguish while teaching an investigator. I felt a power come over me that bound my tongue and i was struggling to talk. As soon as i changed the topic, that power left me and i was at peace again. Later i thought that must have been exactly what happened to Joseph while he prayed – but today due to what i´ve discovered(that the whole thing was made up) i consider that to have actually been God instead of Satan, keeping me from saying something that could harm that person´s life. Or maybe it was neither… who knows, i just know it was real.

    I had other experiences like that, some scary, some good. So, i believe you, just don´t take you eyes off Jesus, otherwise you might set yourself up to be deceived, like many people joining the mormon church do, because every false organization will want to "interpret" that for you in a way that validates their teachings…

  39. f_melo says:

    Falcon, i´m not questioning you, i just want to honestly understand something.

    When Peter had that vision when the Lord revealed to him he had to open the Gospel to the gentiles – based on what should his companions believe that vision? The Holy Ghost confirmed it later, but wasn´t that all subjective?
    How should i approach that revelation?

    I know that was fulfilling of prophecy and God didn´t come up with it last minute. God sent an angel to tell Cornelius to go see Peter, and different things happened that confirmed that revelation such as the calling of Paul, who saw the Lord Himself and was received by the Apostles later. The scriptures also make no mention of the Apostles correcting Paul on the Gospel, confirming that Christ Himself taught Him.

    So, the way i see it, i shouldn´t accept any spiritual experience as God´s intervention unless it is in agreement with scripture as a fulfillment of prophecy… what do you think?

  40. f_melo says:

    "their ability to discern what is the correct interpretation of the scriptures that they give to the saints"

    Their attempts to discern scripture is comical – that reminded me of Packer´s talk where he said Ezekiel´s prophecy was fulfilled while holding the Book of Mormon and the Bible in one hand(talking about the stick of Judah and stick of Joseph).

    but even the fair lds site explains that is bogus:

    "In context, this portion of Ezekiel's record is a prophecy of the restoration and reunification of the divided house of Israel. Ezekiel sees a vision of a valley of dry bones that are miraculously reassembled with flesh, and the breath of life returns to them (37:1–10). The Lord promises Ezekiel that he will raise the people of Israel from the dead and give them rest in their own land (11–14). The Lord then gives the prophecy of the sticks (15–20). He explains the sticks represent the restoration of Israel to their homeland and reunification of the formerly separated nations of Judah and Israel (Ephraim) (21–22). They will live God's law, be purified from unrighteousness, and be ruled over by the heir of house of David (23–28)."

    source http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Stick_of_

    I laughed so hard that after all that long explanation on how the BoM relates to that passage in Ezekiel they simply said "in context" it means something TOTALLY different…huauhauhahuauhauhauhuha

    Look at how they justify it:

    "For Latter-day Saints this is an example of "likening the scriptures unto ourselves," as Nephi suggested (1 Nephi 19:23)."

    hilarious, their discernment powers are usually out of context….

  41. F_Melo,
    It was from God, God allowed Samuel to go and speak to Saul, but Just because God allows something does not make it the norm. Take this for example, The Bible says it is appointed for man to die once, then the judgment. Well we know Lazarus died and was dead 4 days, Not just a few minutes or a day, but 4 days, Then Jesus called Him back. So their are times where their are exceptions to the rule, but God allows those to be. If God allows an exception to the rule, who are we to say He cannot. Now dont take this as me saying, Lets contact the dead, or practice the black arts or something thinking that God will make exceptions to all of this. You gotta remember as far as Saul went, He stopped listing to the Lord and so he was cut off. If were really following the Lord and listening to his voice, we need not worry about being cut off from Him.

  42. falcon says:

    Here's the deal, Peter had street cred. In-other-words his life exemplified a dedication to Christ and consistency in supporting the Word of God. This vision was a big deal because it outlined the mission of the Church. That is, that God is no respecter of persons and all should hear the Good News and be saved. It would have been inconsistent with Peter's character to report on something that wasn't true. The other thing is that these apostles were operating on a plane where by the gift of discernment of spirits was sharp as a razor.
    As far as accepting spiritual experiences, go and read First Corinthians 12 and 14. Most of the spiritual experiences I've encountered don't really run contrary to the Word of God. But often times they are a "word of knowledge" about someone or a situation whereby you can't look it up in the Bible. It's personal. So at that point is where the gift of discernment is so important. There's a phrase that says, "it doesn't ring true in my spirit". I have become a real skeptic over the years about these things. Often times I'm like, "no harm no foul". A person reports something and it really isn't going to have an affect on anything. It's often just a word of encouragement. If people start getting into matters that mean the commitment of resources or direction for an individual or group, then I really bear down.
    Hope this helps!

  43. f_melo says:

    The problem i have with your argumentation Rick is that God can´t contradict Himself.
    I don´t think Lazarus counts because God only allowed him to die so that Jesus could show His power in bringing him back. Lazarus was allowed to die on purpose, but he wasn´t supposed to die at that moment.

    Another problem i have is that God could have actually sent an angel to talk to Saul, or He could have just talked to him from Heaven – but as far i remember he never sent any prophets back to instruct new ones… you know, that starts sounding like New Age stuff… correct me if i´m wrong.

  44. f_melo says:

    It really helps! Thank you!

  45. F_melo,
    I like Pastor Chuck Smith, In the Calvary Chapel church he is what we would call the founder. I attend a Calvary chapel he where I live. We are a non-denominational church and we go through the bible verse by verse chapter by chapter.

    Any way this is Chuck Smiths thoughts on the issue of Saul and I agree with his thoughts.

    Now did Samuel really come back? Did this witch actually bring back a spirit from the dead? I would like to say I see no reason at all for not believing the story just as it is written. I always feel that the obvious interpretation is the correct interpretation. If you try to force another interpretation into the text, that actually the very fact that you're trying to force something, means that it doesn't fit. I do not understand this whole issue. But I am convinced that even as it is written, so it happened, and that somehow Samuel did come back. That it was indeed Samuel that talked with Saul. The spirit of Samuel was brought back, and that it was a genuine experience of dealing with spirits that have departed and are in the other world.

    It would seem that the witch herself was shocked because of what happened. She screamed when she saw Samuel. It could be that she had been using, as these spirit mediums all, often do, just a particular demon spirit that gives them information.

    Hope this helps.

  46. When you mention Jacob wrestling and angel, He was not wrestling an angel, It was really Jesus that he wrestled with. Jesus appeared many times in the OT, It's just people did not know Him as Jesus, And Jacob lost, I know it seems like he won, God/Jesus put his Hip out of place and it was a problem for him the rest of his life. Now about Angles and Visions. I have many friends who witness to Muslims like I and you witness to Mormons.

    I have heard many stories of Muslims leaving their faith and turning to Jesus and being saved because they had dreams/visions of Jesus testifying that He is the true God and Allah is a false god.

  47. falcon says:

    As Christians we are under no obligation to believe or support any ones' extra Biblical reports of spiritual manifestations. We can reject them as we wish. Mormons on the other hand are stuck having to believe and find some form of support for every claim and action their self proclaimed prophet made and did. In fact, testifying to Joseph Smith's veracity is point number one of the Mormons' five point testimony. We have Mormons torturing the scriptures to try to present an argument of equivalency. That is, they try to find something from the Bible and draw a line between Smith's claims and something that occurred in the Bible. Given that approach anyone could make such claims of supernatural happenings and say that it's just like in the Bible. That's why Mormons sound so irrational when trying to bolster and support Joseph Smith as a prophet.
    I've had Mormons challenge me and say I need to read the BoM, pray about it, and get an inner witness as to its truthfulness. I tell them, "Why would I do that when I already know it's a bogus book?" They contend that a person can't know it's bogus unless it's read and prayed about. I close by telling them, "If I know that the god of Mormonism is false and I know that Joseph Smith was an occultist, why in the world would I read his book and pray about it?" The point is, I can exercise common sense and spiritual discernment and accept or reject things as I wish. Mormons don't have that option. They've bought the program, now they're stuck with it!

  48. LDS Anarchist

    Hello and welcome.

    Care to expand on your argument?

    If you've got something to say, please say it. You never know; we might actually benefit from it.

  49. Query,

    In a quick scan over the NT, I see several different authors address the issue of angels. Of course, the Gospels include angels and demons in their respective narratives, but we see a fair amount of theologising by the Hebrews and Jude in particular. These two latter texts seem to be particularly concerned that the primitive Christian Church should not get preoccupied with angels, angelic visitations and what may or may not be happening in the "heavenly realms". Hebrews and Jude seem to be written, in part at least, as a reaction against a fascination with the angelic.

    What's curious is the way Hebrews and Jude tackle the subject. They don't say "angelic visitations outside our in-group must be bogus". What they do say is that the angelic experience is part of the human religious experience (and not necessarily the "right" religion), but it's not what's important.

    If I read these authors correctly, it seems that angels facilitate the story, but they are not the focus of the story. The real focus is Jesus, and our relationship with him, hence the quote from Psalm 8:4-6 and the anecdote in Jude 9.

    This got me thinking; why would Hebrews and Jude devote so much precious text in correcting an imbalance in the primitive Church?

    Could it be because the Temple-Building Movement (the Jews who were opposed to Jesus' esoteric and metaphorical interpretation of OT expectations) were full of their own (alleged) angelic connections? In other words, they were saying "we have the Temple and we get our legitimacy from our plentiful angelic visitations – this proves we are right". The Christian's response was not "we've got better angelic visitations", but "we understand what the angelic realm is pointing to, which is the Christ of God".

    For example. the whole thrust of John's Revelations is not which angel does what and when, but that the whole thing is directed by the LORD of Hosts to bring His Son into intimate, exclusive union with His Church (the imagery of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, see Rev 22:17 and the following concluding verses). In case there's any doubt, note that John opens with the words "The revelation of Jesus Christ…" (Rev 1:1).

    My query is that I can construct such an environment from what we know of the NT perspective, but is there anything outside the NT that might support it? What can we learn from the writings of Gamaliel, Josephus or anti-Christian Jewish apologists (the Essenes, perhaps?)? In other words, is this a straw man invented by the early Christians, or is it a legitimate criticism of the opposing religion of the Jews?

    Why this is relevant to the Ev/Mormon debate is that I see a direct comparison between Mormonism and the Temple-building movement that opposed Jesus and His followers (at least until the Temple-Building movement got annihilated in AD70, leaving the Christian movement with a clear field to promote its own agenda).

  50. falcon says:

    So if someone comes to you and says an angel appeared to them in a dream and revealed thus and such or that they had a manifestation of a heavenly being, what do we do with such a report? In the article above Mormons are reporting a spirit visitor named Joseph Smith. Mormons are tied into this by nature of the fact that they have to accept everything Smith. If they at any point along the way say, "I'm not buying it!" , their testimony has fallen a part. With Mormonism it's a steady chipping away of the testimony that finally collapses the belief system of many Mormons. Without fantastic explanations and blind acceptance of the five points of Mormonism (repeated endlessly) a Mormon's testimony hasn't a real chance. Combine that with the emotional hook and you have a group of people on the religious equivalent of very thin ice.

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