Joseph Smith’s Death Not Inherently Significant?

As part of a discussion here at Mormon Coffee about Joseph Smith’s alleged “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter” comment, one of our Mormon commenters wrote,

“Joseph Smith never claimed that his blood would atone for sins, and neither have his followers,… Joseph never claimed to be giving his life and blood in a propitiatory way as Christ; rather, he used the scripture to explain that he intended to face his likely and unlawful death in the same innocent, calm terms that Jesus did.” (6/26/10)

“Again, you’re trying to claim that Joseph’s death should be understood as inherently significant (like Christ’s). This is not, and never has been, a Mormon position. In Mormonism, Joseph Smith is Martyr, not Messiah.” (6/27/10)

If the author of these statements meant to address the sole idea of propitiation or atonement for sin, I have no basis for disagreement. Mormons do not believe Joseph’s shed blood atoned for their sins. However, if the claim is understood in a broader sense, I respectfully disagree. There is no doubt whatsoever that Mormons, individual and corporate, understand Joseph Smith’s death as “inherently significant (like Christ’s).”

Consider the following statement that appeared in the official LDS Ensign magazine in 1994:

“As suggested earlier, the life of Joseph Smith was in some degree patterned after that of his Master, Jesus Christ. That pattern holds true even when extended to its tragic conclusion. Like his Master, Joseph Smith also shed his blood in order that the final testament, the reestablishment of the new covenant, might be in full effect (see Heb. 9:16).” (Robert L. Millet, “Joseph Smith among the Prophets,” Ensign, June 1994, 19)

This article states that Joseph Smith provided for the new covenant to be “in full effect” by the shedding of his blood. To support this claim Dr. Millet referenced Hebrews 9:16 which says, “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator” (KJV).

Dr. Millet’s article went on to include a quote wherein Joseph Smith, just before his death, reportedly said,

“I have to seal my testimony to this generation with my blood. I have to do it, for this work will never progress until I am gone, for the testimony is of no force until the testator is dead.”

Joseph Smith claimed his death was necessary in order to make his testimony valid.

Consider this BYU-Idaho Devotional from 2005:

“Jesus was a lamb without spot or blemish. He was the sinless Son of God. And he chose to die at the hands of evil men so that salvation could come to all who believe and obey.

“…Joseph submitted to death at the hands of evil men so that salvation could come to all who believe and obey.” (Jack H. Goasling, “Joseph Smith’s Christlike Attributes,” June 28, 2005)

Mr. Goasling, of the First Quorum of the Seventy, said that Joseph Smith, like Jesus, died so that salvation could come.

Consider the Weber Stake Ward Teachers’ Lesson from June 1922:

“Christ sealed his testimony with his blood on Calvary. Joseph Smith sealed his testimony with his blood at Carthage, Ill. Who shall doubt the divine mission of these Saviours of mankind?”

This lesson taught that Joseph’s death had great significance “(like Christ’s).”

Consider this newspaper report from 1988:

“The Old Carthage Jail, where Mormon founder Joseph Smith was murdered in 1844, holds the same significance to his…followers as Calvary holds for Christians all over the world. That’s the comparison made by Ted Cannon, director of the Mormon Visitor Centers at Carthage and Nauvoo.” (Journal Star, Peoria, IL, Sunday, June 26, 1988, D3)

Mormon Ted Cannon suggested an understanding among Mormons that Calvary and Carthage have at least equal significance.

Consider these words from an LDS hymn:

“The Saints, the Saints, his only pride! For them he lived, for them he died…

“Unchanged in death with a Saviors love, he pleads their cause in the courts above…

“He died, he died, for those he loved. He reigns, he reigns in the realms above…” (The Seer, Joseph, The Seer, Hymns, 1975, #296)

This hymn claims that Joseph died for his followers and now intercedes for them before the judgment seat of God.

Finally, consider the writings of Rodney Turner, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Scripture (BYU):

“Jesus Christ and Joseph the Prophet came to bring life, light, and salvation to mankind. In doing so, they sealed their testimonies with their life’s blood. Both died because of who they were and what they proclaimed. For had they not lived the lives they lived and borne the witnesses they bore, they would not have died as they did. So Jesus died on the hill of Calvary; Joseph in the shadows of Carthage. Each triumphed in his own way.” (Rodney Turner, Jesus and Joseph: Parallel Lives, 169)

These statements all demonstrate that many Mormons do understand an “inherent significance (like Christ’s)” in Joseph Smith’s death. While they don’t believe Joseph died for their sins, his death was nevertheless necessary and efficacious for them in securing the full effect of the new covenant, the validity of Joseph’s testimony, and the coming of salvation.

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.
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80 Responses to Joseph Smith’s Death Not Inherently Significant?

  1. iamse7en says:

    Semantics. Clearly, Mormons believe, as does “mantis mutu,” that Joseph Smith’s death wasn’t insignificant. Mormons believe he sealed his testimony with his blood – that he was a true prophet of the Lord murdered in cold blood. The commenter’s point was to say that his death, compared to Christ’s infinite atonement and death, is insignificant. Yes it’s significant – that is, at least more significant than say, my death – but hardly significant when compared to Christ’s sacrifice and death for all his creations. Joseph’s death does not grant salvation. I can’t speak for Goasling – but Mormons do not believe Joseph’s death was necessary for any other man’s salvation – perhaps necessary to “seal his testimony” – but if there had been no “seal” in that matter, the Restored Gospel and its effect on Mormons would be exactly the same as it is now. Had he not died in such a fashion, salvation would still come to man through Christ’s grace. I say this is all semantics, because you’re trying to say Mormons somewhat equate Joseph’s death to Christ’s – but we don’t. We sure hold his death MUCH more significant than others – to us, he was a beloved prophet, much like Israelites would have deemed Moses’ death quite significant.

    While they don’t believe Joseph died for their sins, his death was nevertheless necessary and efficacious for them in securing the full effect of the new covenant.

    You’re trying to tell me that if Joseph hadn’t died like this, Mormons’ new and eternal covenant with God wouldn’t be efficacious in “full effect?” How absurd. Mormons do not believe this at all. You are conflating different quotations to come to a conclusion that no Mormon would never conclude.

  2. grindael says:

    I for one am sorry Smith died. He would have finished off his Church all by himself.

  3. jackg says:


    I was wondering if you could do me a favor. I no longer have the LDS hymn book or I would do this myself. Could you be so kind as to share the text of “Praise to the Man”; I think I am looking for the third verse. It’s the verse that makes reference to the blood of JS. If you don’t want to, perhaps someone out there will. The verse has always trouble me, because it equates the blood of JS with the blood of Jesus Christ. Don’t you find that in the least bit disturbing? I can understand your defense of JS and attempts to discredit what Sharon is saying. Would it be fair to say that modern-Mormons don’t really know what the leaders imply when they make such statements as Sharon quoted? It’s tough to dismiss the above quotes, and I will have to argue that they do represent what the Church believes. So, can an individual Mormon believe differently that what the Church apparently seems to be teaching? I think these are fair and civil questions I am asking. If you respond the way I think you might, then that would bring up the issue of post-modern thinking being alive and well in the LDS Church. What are your thoughts on this?


  4. liv4jc says:

    Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
    Jesus annointed that Prophet and Seer.
    Blessed to open the last dispensation,
    Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.

    Praise to his memory, he died as a martyr;
    Honored and blest be his ever great name!
    Long shall his blood, which was shed by assassins,
    Stain Illinois* while the earth lauds his fame.

    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.

    Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
    Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
    Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
    Millions shall know “brother Joseph” again.


    Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
    Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
    Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
    Death cannot conquer the hero again.

    and I’d call that idolotry.

  5. Olsen Jim says:

    We may esteem Joseph highly as a prophet. This is no different than people in ancient days who lived among the prophets of old.

    But EVs lift Paul above Christ. Without fail, they choose Paul’s words over the Savior’s- every time.

  6. setfree says:

    Jim Olsen,
    Are you a Gentile, or a Jew?

  7. mantis mutu says:


    Thank you for defending and explaining my words better than I could’ve myself.

    Olsen Jim,

    I think you’ve been too kind. I’d say, “choose Paul’s words (as interpreted through Augustine, Luther, and post-Calvinism) over the Savior’s–every time.”

    I’d also like to thank you for correcting me a while back in my explanation of the origin of the “mother of the Son of God” emendation from Nephi’s tree of life vision. I was away from the internet for a while after that, and couldn’t get back to acknowledge your correction. In the course of that correction, you referenced Royal Skousen as a source, and as a former pre-grad assistant of Royal, I admit a bit of shame in forgetting the basic history behind one of the more significant emendations in the text.

    A few years have gone by since college, I suppose…


  8. setfree says:

    mantis, are you a Gentile or a Jew?

  9. liv4jc says:

    What are you smoking OJ? Since Paul is an apostle taught by Jesus Christ his words affirm and expound upon what Jesus taught and do not contradict Him. Please enlighten us and tell us where we lift Paul above Jesus.

  10. rvales says:

    I’ve never sang hymns in honor of Paul. Now I’ll admit I do enjoy Paul’s no nonsense style and I’m sure anyone citing Romans or Galatians (or any other Pauline book) is already on a Mormons bad side because Paul is pretty blunt about who’s work results in our salvation (I’ll give you a hint…he says it’s Christ’s; see Ephesians 2:9, Romans 3:28, 1 Cor 1:29 and 2 Tim 1:9) Paul wasn’t telling us to do as he says to do, what he says is that he is dead and Christ lives in him, Paul expects us to follow Christ not him (or any other apostle) because their was no salvation in following the right apotsle only in being covered by the blood of Christ. So I can see why Mormons would immediately go after someone’s quoting of the Pauline epistles it flies in the face of their church doctrine and can’t be reconcilled, the problem is that it is directly in line with what Christ has said. It does not contradict the gospel, it preaches it!

  11. rvales says:

    Below are the first verses to every praise song my church sang this Sunday, you tell me who we are worshiping in song…

    “Lift up your hands, be lifted up
    Let the redeemed declare the love
    We bow down at heaven’s gate
    To kiss the feet of hope and grace”

    “All Your ways are loving, faithful
    Lord, to those who seek Your face
    You give grace to the humble hearted
    And instruct them in Your ways”

    “Here is Love, vast as the ocean.
    Lovingkindness as the flood
    When the Prince of Life, our Ransom
    Shed for us His precious blood”

    “When I survey the wondrous cross
    On which the Prince of Glory died
    My richest gain I count but loss
    And pour contempt on all my pride”

    “My God has rescued me
    Taken my life and made me clean
    Opened my eyes so I can see
    My God has rescued me”

    I encourage you to check out more of our music ( which sings praise to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Our church has put out several cds as well all of which sing praise to only God. If I sat in church on Sunday and was expected to lift my hands and voice in praise while singing a song that was describing Paul,or Peter, or even Luther and Calvin I would leave that building so fast you would have to question if I’d ever really been there. I pray that you see the folly of singing songs like ‘Praise to the Man’ before you die because I promise you at that point not only will your testimony be sealed but so will your fate. God will not stand for praise of anyone but Himself!

  12. jackg says:

    Thanks liv4jc. I think the second verse has been modified.

    Wow! That’s amazing. A hymn that puts JS right up there with Jesus Christ. Then there’s OJ ridiculing a true apostle of our LORD Jesus Christ. He chooses to follow the incongruent teachings of false prophets over the congruent teachings of an apostle Jesus called while he was on the road to Damascus to persecute Christians. How truly sad is the state of the Mormon mindset.

    Praying for the Mormons…

  13. iamse7en says:

    jackg wrote:

    Wow! That’s amazing. A hymn that puts JS right up there with Jesus Christ.

    Where in that hymn does it put Joseph Smith right up there with Jesus Christ? You might as well replace the name Joseph Smith with any other ancient prophet who was killed by evil-doers – and it would fit. We cherish our prophet just like the Israelites cherished Moses, or the early century Christians who cherished their Apostles. Earth must atone for any prophet who’s blood was shed by evil. Abraham’s priesthood is just as endless as Joseph Smith’s.

    Your assessment that that hymn puts Joseph Smith up there with Jesus Christ is so absurd. You lose all credibility with extreme statements that have no evidence.

  14. rvales says:

    Where in the Bible does God say it’s ok to worship anyone but him? How is singing songs and waxing poetic about your prophet in church and in your testimonies not constitute as worship? There is only one God and worship is ONLY to go to him….ANYTHING else is idolatry.

  15. pr_c says:

    Jesus´words vs. Paul´s words:

    It really doesn´t matter who said what as long as it agrees with LDS doctrine.

    For example, the LDS make a liar out of Jesus when they say there´s no hell fire (Matthew 5:22). In this case they say it´s just a metaphor.

    At the same time they take the words of Paul completely out of context in 1 corinthians 15:40-41 to falsely convince people that there actually are 3 degrees of heaven and Paul taught about them.

    It´s exactly how Shawn McCraney put it – it´s not Christianity, it´s Twistianity!

  16. pr_c says:

    And what about this “earth must atone for the blood of that man” and “conflict of justice”?

    Is it the “blood-atonement” that BY taught that will be required, or something else? Oh, wait, it´s in the hymnbook but it doesn´t mean it´s official doctrine, right? They just sing it without thinking or caring about it, i guess…

    Why should the earth atone for the blood of a con man, when God himself is not claiming that for Jesus or the many people who willingly gave their lives for the testimony of Jesus?

    and what is this thing about the early top mormon leaders always seeking revenge?

    Christians in the true church of God see persecution and suffering in the name of Christ as a blessing(1 Peter 3:14) and don´t seek revenge (1 Pet. 2: 23).

  17. setfree says:

    Jim said “We may esteem Joseph highly as a prophet. This is no different than people in ancient days who lived among the prophets of old.”

    First of all, the prophets of old didn’t look at all like your mormon prophets. They certainly weren’t esteemed highly.

    Check out this quote:

    “The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these made to hide themselves in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,” and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored, and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men”

    – Joseph Smith, editorial in Times and Seasons, 1842

    pretty dang ironic if you ask me

  18. jackg says:


    It’s not as absurd as you think. The hymn puts the same efficacious emphasis on JS blood as Christ’s blood. It was one of the first things I saw on my way out of Mormonism.


  19. Olsen Jim says:


    I suggest you ask a Jewish individual how he/she esteems Abraham or Moses. Or Isaiah.

    Joseph’s statement is unfortunately true. The difference is that the believers of prophets esteem them highly. The “world” in general, as Joseph explained, does not.

    Fairly straight forward my friend.

  20. setfree says:

    Is that the point Jim, how today’s Jew esteems Abraham or Moses? How about how they esteemed Jesus, is that another good thing to ask?

    In Matt 21:33-41, Jesus tells a parable about Himself and the prophets. The prophets, he says, were beaten, killed, stoned, etc. The Son (Jesus) fared no better.

    You ought to take a few clues from this parable. For one, the “Son” was the last and best ambassador that the vineyard owner had. Think about it. Does it make any sense for him to send more and more servants after the Son died? Weren’t they the lesser ambassadors of the vineyard owner? (This, of course, is the same thing Hebrews 1:1-4 is talking about)

    Two – the “Son” was of a different cloth altogether. He wasn’t a “servant” like the others. Why did Jesus distinguish Himself like that? Why wasn’t the parable about all the super-good sons of the vineyard owner, the final one being the best one of many sons? This fits right in with John 8:23

    Jim, it’s unfortunate that you have the Mormon “we are the righteous ones” blinders on.

    Besides being unnecessary, Mormon prophets don’t look at all like real prophets. The Bible prophets didn’t get stipends, apartments, cozy living. They didn’t sit on boards of major companies. They didn’t rule from their little kingdom, offering nothing by way of supernatural commentary.

    Sackcloth and ashes, hanging out alone in the desert, foretelling doom, being imprisoned – that’s what the real prophets got.

  21. iamse7en says:

    jackg wrote:

    The hymn puts the same efficacious emphasis on JS blood as Christ’s blood.

    Where in that hymn does it do that? Be specific.

  22. rvales says:

    The whole thing is a praise to JS that alone shows that he is put on a level with Jesus. Angels wouldn’t even accept praise because praise belongs to God and God ALONE!!!

    Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev 19:9,10)
    And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” (Rev. 22:8,9).

    A true servant of God would not accept any praise because they know they do not deserve it. There is nothing outside of God, so if any good comes from me (or any other saint) then we know it is God’s work not ours.

    I have a(nother) verse from a regular worship service song in my head…

    When I stand on the edges of Jordan / With the saints and the angels beside / When my body is healed, and the glory revealed / STILL I CAN BOAST ONLY CHRIST


  23. jackg says:


    Perhaps, you don’t quite grasp that the blood of Jesus is efficacious. Here’s a question: would you say that your works are efficacious??


  24. liv4jc says:

    Yes, some tried to honor the Apostles and church leaders and they were admonished for it by the Apostle himself,

    “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:1-11)

    Jesus had a problem in John 6 with the Jews saying, “Moses gave us bread from heaven.” No, Moses gave them nothing. God gave them bread from heaven. In John 8 the Jews claimed to be Abraham’s children. In verse 39 Jesus tells them that if they were Abraham’s children they would do the works of Abraham, which we know from Romans 4 and 9 that the work of Abraham was faith in the promises of God/Messiah. So you say, “I am of Joseph. I am of Brigham. I am of John Taylor. I am of Bruce. I am of Gordon. I am of Thomas Monson.” We Christians are of Christ who is the foundation of our faith and it is to His word alone that we look.

  25. Olsen Jim says:


    I appreciate your effort, but I don’t think you get my point.

    Your discussion of the rejection of Christ is but a distraction from what I am saying.

    And where did the comment about my “we are the righteous ones” come from.

    You are all over the map my friend.

    My point was a simple one- ancient Israel (when they were obedient) esteemed their prophets very highly. When they were wicked, they rejected the prophets just as many eventually rejected Christ.

    My point is that it was OK for believers to embrace the prophets with respect and honor. Doing so does not supplant Christ. He even said that those who accept His servants accept Him.

    To argue against this simple point really seems absurd.

  26. rvales says:

    How are accept and worship or praise synonyms? You worship JS in song at the very least. Where are we told that worshiping anyone other than God is ok?

  27. jackg says:


    Here’s why the discussion becomes ridiculous: Mormons embrace and honor a false prophet. That’s the bottom line. So, to discuss how prophets should be accepted has nothing to do with the notion that JS was a false prophet. Following false prophets does not lead a person into God’s presence no matter how much one honors them, but in the opposite direction. You really should think about that.


  28. falcon says:

    Very good jackg!
    You’ve hit on the heart of the matter. That is; is someone who claims he’s a prophet a true or false (one). In the case of Smith, it isn’t very difficult to categorize him. He’s a false prophet. For starters, in order to accept Smith as a prophet then Mormons have to accept a whole parcel of misinformation regarding Christian history. It’s total ignorance that drives Mormonism. But these folks want to believe it, so that’s the bottom line. If someone wants to believe something bad enough, they can find a reason. Information can be shaped and twisted to fit the preconceived narrative and feed the desire to believe.
    The bottom line is that Joseph Smith was a joke. A sad, tragic joke that has led countless followers of his to their spiritual death. The deception comes with Mormons thinking that they are receiving direct revelation from God. Without a proper standard by which to measure these revelations, they can be led to believe anything that makes them feel good. A good feeling, in Mormonism, is confirmation of a revealed truth.
    A false prophet revealed a false god and a false system of worship and packaged it all around the notion of personal revelation.
    It’s a counterfeit. The real thing is available but spiritual deception keeps Mormons locked into a false set of beliefs. Fortunately, in one way or another, most Mormons leave Mormonism either formally or informally. We can only hope and pray that their experience in Mormonism hasn’t hardened them to the point where they reject God all together.

  29. Olsen Jim says:


    Singing a song about a great person does not equal worshiping that person.

    Can you think of any uplifting or religious songs about somebody that you would not consider worship?

    Think real hard. Maybe a love interest. Maybe patriots who died for country. I can think of many more examples.

    How am I worshiping Joseph Smith by singing a song about him and his work in the restoration?

    jack and falcon- we all know your beliefs about Joseph Smith- we read your talking points on every thread. But the debate of this thread is whether it is appropriate for him to be the topic of a song.

  30. rvales says:

    You are singing about how great someone is, singing praise to them and boasting about there accomplishments in church. JS didn’t boast in Christ he boasted in himself and you are singing his praises as well. If JS was whom he said he was there would still be no praise for him, only God. And you’re right there are lots of secular songs out there about love interests and even hate interests and they are secular for a reason. So you explain to me how singing JS ‘praises’ during service is not worship.

  31. rvales says:

    Here’s the one thing that makes it ok though…You are not carrying on biblically in the rest of your service or in your hearts and minds for that matter so honestly it doesn’t matter who you sing songs too. The entirety of your religion is idolatry. So when you stand before God (not God and the council and JS) on judgement day what will you say to him as to the reason you belong in heaven?

  32. mantis mutu says:

    rvales is the latest to step up and underscore the foolish, detrimental flaw rampant in Evangelical Protestantism: the belief that holding to the right form of religion (namely, doctrine and worship) is the key to one’s standing before Christ and God at the final Judgment Seat.

    How sad.

    For all the pride that is evident in Evangelicals who shout down other Christians for believing in a “right” ecclesiastical body and a “right” ministerial priesthood, how often do they humbly ask if their “right” religious philosophy is not indeed just another dodge of the real, thoroughly genuine Savior?

    At least Mormon Christianity doesn’t proudly recognize its church and priesthood as the telltale of human worthiness before God. Quite the contrary! And for any Evangelical who thinks otherwise, you have sadly misunderstood (and likely misrepresent) essential Mormon belief.

    Good day.


  33. Jay K says:

    Amen on that first part, dear Lord.

    Though I’m unsure of what you meant by your last statement. The LDS church presents itself as the truth. In fact, only a Mormon believer can be with God and..nevermind, you know all the Mormon-specific…blessings. Did I miss what you meant by that last part?

  34. rvales says:

    It’s not a matter of your form of worship but rather the object. Mormons boast in their worthiness, you have even get a reccomend before going to the temple to receive your endowment to then proceed through the heirachy in heaven. The fact is what I have seen of mormon worship from the posters here and from other Mormons I’ve spoken with is a lot of emphasis is put on what JS did and what they are doing. I don’t sing songs to Martin Luther for his work in bringing the Bible to the masses. I praise God for His work in this world and that he sees fit to use such broken vessels to accomplish his will! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again if any good has come from any saint (Paul, Peter, me, jackg, falcon, or any other believer) it is not them that deserve the praise but Christ who works his will thru them.

    I do not believe holding to the right ‘religion’ will get you anywhere (although it seems mormons may…ie one true church, baptism by someone with ‘proper’ preisthood authority) I believe that it is holding to the right understanding of God’s holiness, human sinfulness, and Salvation thru the blood of Christ given ‘while we were yet sinners’ completely in spite of what EVERY human deserves! The beauty of God’s love is that he reached down and gives life to those who don’t even realize they are dead before he gives them that revalation. I didn’t know I needed saving until God in his infinite grace and mercy gave me that understanding. I didn’t come to a saving faith on my own, I didn’t have power to believe without God. He is responsible for my salvation from beginning to everlasting. Without God’s intervention I would still be a zombie on this earth dead in my sins with no knowledge of my dead state and the life available to me.

  35. falcon says:

    I don’t know, maybe it’s time for me to list the Christian doctrinal essentials again. There is a basic foundation that those who consider themselves Christians ascribe to. There’s a very good reason for this since it weeds out heretics and those who like to embrace new revelation and see it as a replacement for orthodoxy.
    For example, the false prophet Joseph Smith declared Christianity null and void and proposed a new religion. His new religion redefined Christian terms. He worked this out over time and marketed his new religion as an on going revelation. That way he was free to pronounce new doctrines and his followers were compelled to accept the changes. Quite a clever lad really!
    It would stand to reason that Mormons would build a pedestal for Smith to stand on and sing songs to him and get their toes right up to the line of idolatry. But in the larger scheme of things, whatever Mormons do in regard to Smith isn’t all that surprising within the context of their own religious belief system. Mormonism isn’t Christianity anyway so the only way Smith Worship would be seen as odd is if Mormonism is compared to the Christian standard. Within Mormonism it’s no big deal. Smith is standing right outside the Celestial Kingdom anyway (according to Mormons) to deem his followers worthy (or not) to enter there-in and start on the pathway to deification. And having been deified these Mormons will soon have their own spirit children take on human flesh and sing praises to them.
    It’s all just a matter of time so Mormon men could start thinking of themselves as gods right now. Perhaps they could take pen to paper and start composing some hymns of praise to themselves. Why wait? When they have their little family night gatherings, their children could learn these praise choruses to their old man. It’s just a warm-up to the actual event……….which will never take place of course, but Mormons need things to entertain themselves with and reinforce their false belief system.

  36. falcon says:

    Mormons really are caught in a bind because based on past discussions here, we learned that there’s a major disagreement among Mormons regarding the role of Jesus within their religion. We know they put the name of Jesus on the title of their church, but it would seem that that is pretty much a smoke screen. Joseph Smith couldn’t put his own name on the religion but he may as well have given the lofty perch that Mormons have put him on. Mormons aren’t really sure whether they are to pray to, venerate, praise, and worship Jesus, but it doesn’t seem that they have any difficulty defining the role of the false prophet Smith within their religion.
    He’s the main dude, the revealer of the lost gospel. If it weren’t for him Mormons wouldn’t know that they could become gods, just as the original apostles taught, right? Mormons wouldn’t know about secret Masonic rituals that the early Church practiced and as explained by the apostles, right? If it weren’t for Smith Mormons wouldn’t know that in order to reach the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom and super god status, they’d have to have multiple wives. Just like the apostles taught, right?
    So the guy had all of this secret information revealed to him so it stands to reason that Mormons would sing hymns to the guy, right?
    It takes a major amount of spiritual blindness not to see through Mormonism and its false prophet Joseph Smith. But once the crack in the foundation appears, it’s all over. Just ask the exMormons, especially those who have found new life in Jesus Christ and have jettisoned the nonsense peddled by the false prophet Smith.

  37. jackg says:


    Glad to have you back. Hope you enjoyed your time away.


    You’re describing Mormonism rather than evangelical Christianity. The one misrepresenting and minimizing Mormon teaching is actually you.

    Praying for Mormons…

  38. falcon says:

    My friend Andy Watson/Berean who occasionally posts here, tells me that every Mormon church service he’s ever been in is like a funeral. Take that for what it is, but it suggests to me that Mormon church services are dull, boring and depressing. If they’re singing hymns to Joseph Smith I can see why.
    Christian church services vary according to the traditions of the denomination. On Saturdays I occasionally look through the list of the church services in the religion section of the newspaper. It’s not unusual for the information to include the times for the “traditional” service or the “contemporary” service. Many churches have different types of “contemporary” services. The traditional services use a liturgy and hymns for worship and the contemporary services use more of a free flow and the music is led by worship bands and has a more upbeat and sometimes edgy sound to it. The more contemporary the more the music reflects modern tastes. In our area, the Catholics will occasionally have a Mass that uses religious music with a polka flavor.
    No matter what the type of music, it’s God and Christ centered. In Christian monotheism, we know who God is, what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ and how is gift of eternal life is offered to us through his love, grace, benevolence and mercy. When we worship, we give to God all the praise and thanksgiving because He is the focus of our adoration.
    Mormonism is seriously messed-up from the beginning to the end. They claim many gods and think they will become gods themselves. They honor a false prophet that neither knew God nor acknowledged Him as God. A false god and a false gospel leads to misplaced worship. Someday, like all people, Mormons will have to bow their knees and acknowledge the real Jesus as Lord. Though they have denied Him now, they won’t be able to do so on that day. Unfortunately, having placed their faith in Joseph Smith will result in their spiritual destruction.

  39. mantis mutu says:

    rvales: I do not believe holding to the right ‘religion’ will get you anywhere (although it seems mormons may…ie one true church, baptism by someone with ‘proper’ preisthood authority) I believe that it is holding to the right understanding of God’s holiness, human sinfulness, and Salvation thru the blood of Christ given ‘while we were yet sinners’ completely in spite of what EVERY human deserves!

    Sorry, but that sounds like you do believe that a religious philosophy will ultimately get you somewhere in God’s eyes. I do not believe that simply “understanding…God’s holiness, human sinfulness, and salvation [by Christ’s blood to sinners]” at all guarantees much of a person’s final standing before God. Rather, such “understanding” is the beginning of one’s renewed life in Christ. To be born of God in the name of his Son IS NOT to be accepted into the glory of the Father. That assurance will only come at the judgment seat. Paul is quite clear on that, my friend.

    rvales: The beauty of God’s love is that he reached down and gives life to those who don’t even realize they are dead before he gives them that revalation. I didn’t know I needed saving until God in his infinite grace and mercy gave me that understanding. I didn’t come to a saving faith on my own, I didn’t have power to believe without God.

    Confessions like this remind me of the commonality of my conversion experience with fellow Christians outside my faith. However, in talking with Evangelicals there is always an immediate stop when they hear that I experienced Christ’s saving, purifying grace while reading the Book of Mormon. My “realization” is almost always dismissed as emotional, rather than spiritual. But the proof of God’s Spirit (rather than one’s own emotion) is manifest in the power granted to overcome the deadening effects of sin, and to lead a new life in Christ. So I can only be left to marvel at God’s mercy to both me and people who consider me an enemy to Christ and his gospel.

  40. mantis mutu says:

    Where I differ with Evangelicals is in the significance of my original experience in realizing Christ as a real, living source of salvation from death and sin. From the Book of Mormon I learned that God’s mercy to me in awakening from my sinful life of death was in itself an assurance of the great redemption that he had planned for me and all humanity.

    Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
    Wherefore, he is the first-fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
    And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement.
    For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. (2 Nephi 2: 8-11)

  41. mantis mutu says:

    My problem with Protestant Christology is that it fails to recognize that Christ’s basic act of intercession made for humanity (that is, for each and every one of us—regardless of religious affiliation) is the (future) act of restoring us to God’s holy presence to receive a final judgment. Protestant Christology instead believes that the basic mercy of Christ is the restoration of humanity to God’s glory. The word of God in the Book of Mormon reveals that they have confused the beginning with the end; the birth with the inheritance. Just because someone experiences salvation from sin in this life—and subsequently accepts Christ as Savior—does not guarantee that they will be restored to God’s glory in the next. Rather, there is a great renewal of life in knowing that this (rather than death) is the ultimate reality of humanity. That is my understanding of Christ’s basic mercy. And it is a belief that causes me to weep when Evangelicals shout me down for not believing that Christ’s mercy alone saves me to God’s holiness. I know full well that without Christ my corpse will remain in the grave, and (for better or worst) I will never be restored to the presence my Creator.
    This woeful condition is not something I “deserve” as a sinner; rather, it’s the condition that awaits me because of the justice of God. He is holy, and he has created me unholy. Yet he has given me agency to choose holiness, and has granted me—through my faithfulness—access to his life-giving spirit to assure me of my holiness before him. But my faithfulness and holiness is a constant, day-to-day battle with the desires of the flesh and the forces of sin. If I lose my faith in the ultimate reality of Christ and God, then I will not be accepted by Christ at the last day. It’s that plain and simple. I either love Christ and live, or refuse Christ and die. I either grow in his Spirit and find my inheritance with Christ and the Father, or I follow the flesh to a lesser inheritance outside of his glory.

  42. falcon says:

    My buddy Andy Watson was telling me this morning that the only time that the Mormon church service shows any sign of life is during testimony Sunday when the faithful get up and bawl and carry on about Joseph Smith and Thomas Monson.
    When Christians get up and testify it’s about Jesus and what He has and is doing in their lives. A Christian’s testimony is about our Lord and Savior not some men and certainly not about an organization.
    Anyone want to venture a guess as to the ratio of comments regarding Jesus vs. Smith/Monson/LDS church in a Mormon testimony meeting? To a Christian, Jesus is God incarnate. The Mormon Jesus is little more than a valiant older sibling. So Joseph Smith and Monson are right up there with Jesus as far as future god status is concerned. The Mormon Jesus is just one of many gods in the Mormon pantheon of gods, just further along in the process than Smith and Monson. No wonder Mormons sing praises to Smith! He’s on the god track right now. Take their god doctrine to its natural conclusion and Smith could be worshiped as a god. Pick a god, any god Mormons. In your false system, one is as bad as another.

  43. mantis mutu says:

    So falcon, is the biblical notion of returning to the presence of God to receive a final judgment something that is conditioned upon Christ’s intercession?

    I know that Evangelicals, unlike Mormons, do not believe that our human resurrection is conditional upon Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection is instead merely seen as a sign and assurance of our final resurrection and redemption.

    While the whole biblical notion of returning to the presence of God in judgment is frustrated by the Classical Christian notion that God the Father is omnipresent, it further concerns me that Christians who follow this tradition also do not recognize the very plain and simple principle that God’s holy presence is totally conditional upon Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Without Christ, there is no resurrection, and consequently, no final judgment before the Father.

    The personal assurance of Christ’s salvation to the individual has been the obsession of Protestantism since Luther and his followers’ hell-bound excommunication from the Catholic church. However, such assurance is not a plain teaching of the New Testament. As the Book of Mormon plainly teaches, Christ’s atonement is the only only thing that will raise us to the presence of the Father. Without him, there will be no judgment. Death itself would be our final judgment, as it was to Adam.

    But through our faithfulness to Jesus, his blood grants us hope in God’s glory following the judgment. As Christians, the Holy Spirit–not doctrine–is our only, continuing assurance of a final inheritance with the Father.

    The assurance of this eternal inheritance is certainly not something we can claim and boast to our fellow humans who live outside such knowledge. I find nothing more repulsive in Evangelical belief than this all-too-common practice. It is both wrong doctrine, and wrong attitude. Such would’ve made Paul weep.


  44. falcon says:

    See there’s your problem. You quote the BoM. Anything you say based on the BoM is simply Mormonism. It’s not Christianity. You can wax eloquent all you want, but if you’re depending on the BoM and Joseph Smith for your theological stance, you’re in major league trouble.
    You’re talking about Mormonism, a false revelation from a false prophet. You’re talking about a limited god with all kinds of god relatives whizzing around the cosmos having up-line meetings with the gods who have progressed to more knowledge and truth. In-other-words, your entire presentation is based on a false religious system. You may as well be a Hindu.
    I could have this discussion with another Christian but with a Mormon it’s a waste of time because you have another god(s). Anything you say about Jesus, the final judgment, and/or the resurrection is pure Mormonism.
    I’m glad, however that you brought up the final judgment. It would do you well to meditate on the following and perhaps you might want to reconsider whether or not you want to depend on your man who became a god or the living God for your salvation. Matthew 13:40-43; Matthew 25:31-36; Matthew 25:40-43; Matthew 25:45-46.
    On that day will you sing your hymns to Joseph Smith?

  45. mantis mutu says:

    Nice of you to totally avoid the theological questions, falcon.

    Your appreciation of Mormon belief is as simplistic as your appreciation of Mormon practice. And in saying this I am hardly endorsing Mormon belief & practice as something impeccable. I believe that Mormons are fallible people who follow the word of God as it was revealed through J.Smith & Christ’s Church established through him. This hardly guarantees all their subsequent teachings & practices to be the holy stuff of God & angels. JS’s basic message cautions me against taking such a neat & convenient position.

    I can even admit that John Taylor’s famous eulogy verse written after JS’s martyrdom has probably been sung a few more times than it was ever intended. Contrary to popular opinion here, however, it in no way worships JS, & its “praise” is not directed to JS’s personal greatness. Rather, it praises him for the blessings he received for his fellow humans as a prophet of the Lord. That he had “communed with Jehovah,” & had been “anointed Prophet and Seer” by “Jesus.” “Blessed to open the last dispensation”–a dispensation that sees the salvation of humanity (not just Mormons) through Jesus Christ (not J.Smith).

    You vehemently disagree with these claims. I got that. Again & again, I got that. But let’s not skew & butcher the basic claims of JS & his followers in the process.

    Unlike Classic Christians, Mormons believe that Jesus is the literal (not figurative) Son of God. That he was resurrected to open the resurrection of all human beings. And that because he stands in the presence of the holy Father in heaven, we will all someday also stand in His presence and receive a judgment for our deeds in the flesh. And bc/ of his ultimate act of suffering & sacrifice he is uniquely qualified to be a righteous judge to us sinners–granting final passage to the Father’s eternal life.

    That, sir, is essential Mormon Christianity. If you can’t address it, as you admit, you have no contribution here.

  46. liv4jc says:

    Hey Mutu, how about the dispensation of the gospel of grace through faith to all who believe in Messiah that was foretold to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, to Isaiah in Isaiah 49:6, to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:33, to Hosea in Hosea 2:23? These passages are all used by New Testament saints to show that it has always been God’s plan to bestow salvation to all who are Abraham’s true children, children of faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 4, 9, and 11). The mystery of the gospel of grace that included the Gentiles was revealed by Jesus Christ and written about in the New Testament. Have you ever read Ephesians 3:1-7? The true gospel is still contained in the bible and the gospel Joseph Smith preached was not only not necessary, it is a false gospel of works righteousness. Also Christians do believe that Jesus is the literal Son of God, not a figurative Son. He is the eternal Son of God and not the result of an adulterous romp in the hay between your false god Heavenly Father and the fictional not-so-virginal Mary. I’ll give you the same score you gave us. Your simplistic view of Christianity is based upon the lies that your church has been spewing about Christian history since the ignorant Joseph Smith first graced us with his peepstone inspired fantasies.

  47. falcon says:

    You want to do theology with me? You want to play a game of I’m smarter and more clever than you? I’ve found that engaging TBMs in a deep theological discussion is a total waste of time. First of all why in the world would I want to have a theological discussion with someone who acknowledges a different god? My goal is to be provocative enough that the questioning Mormon will start searching for answers and make their exit from the morg.
    I’ve been at this long enough to know the traps that TBMs like to lay in order to lure Christians into endless foolish debates running around and around in circles but as I’ve said, I’ve been there before with TBMs and I’ve found such exercises a total waste of time.
    I watched Andy Watson spend several months with two different Mormons (one quite high ranking) in a one-on-one venue walking them right through the doctrinal points with in depth documentation, lengthy scholarly research and excellent written presentations. In the end, zippo. A total waste of time and energy.
    TBMs are a foil to be used in order to get information to the Mormons who are starting to get it and are on their way to freedom.
    That’s why I don’t mess around with TBMs. I write for the lurkers. Guys like you are not my market niche. You’re like the rich young ruler with too much to lose so you spend your time attempting to rescue the equity you’ve got in the Mormon system. In the end it’s not even good enough to be called fools gold.

  48. rvales says:

    I wish I had the energy to contend tonight, sadly I don’t. However, stopping on one of Mantu’s comments above about facing judgement brought the verse ‘therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus’ into my head. And the rememberance that when God looks at me on the day of judgement all He will see is Christ. Not Rvales the often times unsubmissive wife, not Rvales the headstrong or jealous or bitter or unloving as so often I tend to be, and not Rvales the lost one but Christ because I am IN Him. I no longer have a record to judge, it has been fully covered by Christ’s blood and His righteousness which has NOW (as in today and everyday since I was 11 and everyday until I die) been imputed on me! Phil 3:9, 1 Cor 1:30. Paul is also very clear that if you live by the law you will die by the law that no man can be found righteous by keeping the law. Gal 3:11, Romans 1:17, Gal 2:16. I pray that your eyes would be opened and that you would fully understand the message of the cross. 1 Cor 1:18

  49. Olsen Jim says:


    Why don’t you just come out and tell Mantu that you would rather not answer his questions- it’s just more honest.

    rvales- what a scary false doctrine- that a person doesn’t have to face judgement someday. Does that not ring of a clever teaching of somebody other than the great law-giver?

  50. rvales says:

    What’s sad is the misgiving that ANYONE can deserve something other than damnation when judged by the works of their life. How prideful and self-centered. If you want to live by the law that is fine, but then you will be judged by the (whole) law and no one can be found righteous by the law. Romans 3:23 If it’s the law then it’s no longer grace, if grace then it’s no longer the law. Romans 11:6. The purpose of the law was not to save us but to make painfully aware to us our need for a savior. Romans 3:19-20 I don’t expect you to get it….For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18.

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