The Teachings of Joseph Smith and His Apostles

The following illustration is found in the Instructor’s Guide for the current Mormon Institute manual, “The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, (Rel 211-12)” [The posted scan is from the print edition, page 110]. Found in a section of the manual that is discussing 2 Peter and “Partaking of the Divine Nature of God” (2 Peter 1:4), it clearly illustrates classic Mormonism.


Under a section titled “Study Sources,” the instructor’s manual suggests that teachers consult Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (pages 345-348) in order to answer the question, “What must we do to partake of God’s divine nature and become like him?” Found on these pages of Teachings is part of Joseph Smith’s King Follett Discourse. Here are some excerpts from the cited pages:

 “God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!”

“…it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God.”

”…he was once a man like us, yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did…”

“Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.”

“…although the earthly tabernacle is laid down and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die anymore; but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory, and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God, and ascend the throne of eternal power. What did Jesus do? Why; I do the things I saw my Father do when the worlds came rolling into existence. My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and so I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself. So that Jesus treads in the tracks of his Father, and inherits what God did before; and God is thus glorified and exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all his children.”

Joseph Smith has done a pretty thorough job of explaining what the manual illustration seeks to depict. Indeed, about his teaching Joseph said, “It is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the Gospel, about which so much has been said” (Teachings, 348).

Just for fun and for the sake of discussion, how would you explain the doctrines of Mormonism that are taught via the illustration found in this teaching manual? In addition to what it teaches about man’s potential, what is it saying about Christ?

For a Christian perspective on 2 Peter 1:1-4 and Peter’s teaching on becoming “partakers of the divine nature,” check out John Piper’s sermon, “Liberating Promises” at

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 God the Father, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, LDS Church, Nature of God, Nature of Man and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to The Teachings of Joseph Smith and His Apostles

  1. Brewed says:

    I don’t understand the diagram at all. Grace to grace? Grace from grace?
    And how does 2 Peter 1:8 affirm any of this?

    Mormons, mucking up the truth since 1830.

  2. Brewed says:


  3. Rick B says:

    One thing I noticed in that photo was this, They Mention the Journal of Discourses. I just love how when we use it or quote from it, we are told we cannot and it is not doctrine or scripture. Yet again when it suits the needs of LDS they use it and it is as good as scripture.

    I would love to have an LDS explain how this works and why.

  4. falcon says:

    The link that I’m going to provide here is a video that goes for about an hour and sixteen minutes but for those who are really interested in Christian apologetics it provides some valuable insights. Like every other teacher I watch/listen to, I question everything that’s being said. That said, I still think it’s good to get some back ground knowledge of how heresy and false doctrine/teachings creep into a church, denomination or religious movement.
    Mormonism is addressed in a larger context of the discussion.

    With Joseph Smith there was no “creeping” with some of what he taught. It was more like a sledge hammer coming down or a car speeding along the Interstate and the driver suddenly jerking the wheel to the left causing the car to bolt through the median, flipping over several times and finally resting on its roof. To Mormons this is good driving because there’s a part of it that is exhilarating.

    What the diagram is suppose to be depicting is that Jesus became a god through a series of works and obedience to eternal principles that are embedded in the LDS church. It’s here where Smith really zoomed off the path. When he started out he had a fairly conventional view of God. But one characteristic of Smith was his continual “adjustment” of his belief system. It became known in Mormonism as continuous revelation and has left the LDS church with a huge mess.
    Not only have they created a new god, Jesus and Holy Spirit, they’ve created a whole new plan of salvation whereby men can become gods. Becoming a god is not granted by grace, but rather it is earned.
    In a way it’s kind of fun to explain Mormonism to people who don’t know anything about it. It’s kind of a delight to watch their eyes continue to widen as what Mormonism teaches and what Mormons believe is revealed to them. They generally end up shaking their heads in disbelief that folks could get that far off kilter. But that’s what false religious cults are. I must repeat, the more convoluted and bizarre an idea, the more those in cults embrace it.

  5. falcon says:

    The question that always pops into my mind when I read an article like the one above is, “Where did Joseph Smith get this stuff?”
    I know the faithful Mormon will say that it was “revealed” to Smith by God. Please excuse me, faithful Mormon, if that’s not sufficient for me. You see I know of all sorts of prophets over the past 2,000 years who have claimed all sorts of extra-Biblical revelation.
    How do Mormons know that what Joseph Smith claimed was revealed to him by God was from God? It’s that simple. Why do these Mormons place such faith in Smith? I wouldn’t; not in Smith or anyone else claiming to have a revelation especially when it contradicts the Biblical (revelation). Joseph Smith didn’t get this from the Bible.
    But remember, these are people who believe that they “know” the BoM is true because they got a positive feeling about it which is taken as revelation from God that it’s true. Based on this sort of approach, Smith and now the LDS church, have a license to steal.
    If a Mormon really wants to know who God is and what His plan of salvation entails, I’d tell them to go and read the Bible. Don’t go to a flawed church established by a flawed man.

  6. Kate says:

    “How do Mormons know that what Joseph Smith claimed was revealed to him by God was from God? It’s that simple. Why do these Mormons place such faith in Smith?”

    I can’t speak for converts, those of us that were born into Mormonism were conditioned to believe this. Our parents were conditioned just as their parents were. I used to tell my Mom that she would be a devout Catholic if that would have been the religion of her ancestors. Go to any fast and testimony meeting and you will see little children as young as 3 saying the mantra, “I know this church is true, I know Joseph Smith ( or current prophet) is a prophet of god, I love my mom and dad…. ” This conditioning starts at birth. In our case, we NEVER questioned because to do so was to put our salvation in jeopardy. Fear. Plain and simple. We didn’t trust the Bible, didn’t read or look at anything not church approved and listened to the prophet because when he has spoken the thinking has been done. It all sounds so crazy to me now that I’m on the outside. While you’re living it, it just seems normal.

  7. falcon says:

    Without trying to, you just described a cult!
    I know, we’ve discussed that calling Mormonism a cult turns off Mormons and possibly closes a door to minister to them. But that’s what you have described in spades.

    Here’s a definition:
    “There are two ways to define a cult. The first way to describe a cult is popular in the secular media. From this perspective, a cult is a religious or semi-religious sect whose members are controlled almost entirely by a single individual or by an organization.”

    “This kind of cult is usually manipulative, demanding total commitment and loyalty from its followers. Converts are usually cut off from all former associations, including their own families. The Hare Krishnas, the Family of Love led by Moses David Berg, and Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church are some examples of this kind of a cult.”

    “The second way to define a cult is popular in evangelical Christian circles. From this perspective, a cult is any group that deviates from the orthodox teachings of the historic Christian faith being derived from the Bible and confirmed through the ancient ecumenical creeds.”

    “These groups deny or distort fundamental Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and salvation by grace through faith alone. Some cults that would fall into this category are the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Way International, and the Unity School of Christianity.”

    “Most of these cults claim to be Christian, and even consider the Bible to be authoritative. But they manipulate the Scriptures to fit their own beliefs. Although they may claim to serve Jesus Christ, and may even use the same terminology orthodox Christians use, their definitions are vastly different.”

    If Mormons would take the time to examine Smith’s religious evolution, it’s possible to find the source of his “revelations”. This take courage and the willingness to beat back fear.

  8. Mike R says:

    If Mormons are going to follow their prophets and accept their doctrines about God , that is one
    thing but Mormon Missionaries should tell investigators plainly how the Mormon gospel “plan”
    is ladder of works that enables sinful man to climb up to become an Almighty God and
    then can with his wives go and populate planets/worlds with their vast offspring who will
    then homage their father like Mormons today do to their heavenly Father .
    Once people see exactly what Mormonism teaches then they can know what they’re getting into.
    Instead of being upfront about this in public interviews Mormon leaders play word games
    and downplay or deny this teaching .
    Thankfully, there are christian ministries who can inform the public of the doctrines of
    Mormonism , and how far Mormon leaders have drifted from the truths about God that
    Jesus’ apostles taught .

  9. grindael says:

    Calling and Election. Wow. What is interesting is how Jo twisted this scripture into something it is not (2 Peter):

    3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Peter tells us some interesting things. He says that God’s “divine power” has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED for a godly life, through our knowledge of Jesus. This means that we need nothing else. This is important. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus we have “very great and precious promises”, so we might participate “in the divine nature”. Paul teaches about this in Romans 8:

    Paul: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.(Verse 1&2) Peter: His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life (verse 3) Paul: The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. (verses 6-8) Peter: having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith … (all good things) (verses 4-5) Paul: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (verses 28-30)

    Peter: For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. (verses 8-9) Paul: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (verses 26-27)

    How does one “confirm” their “calling and election”? Paul tells us in Romans 7: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (verse 28)

    14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    Then we come right back to Romans 8 and 2 Peter which tell us how to live by the Spirit. It is simply living by love. Peter: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

    How do we do these things? Paul: “the Spirit helps us in our weakness”. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, [the divine nature] that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

    According to Marion G. Romney (per Jo Smith) one must “hear a voice” and God must TELL YOU HIMSELF that your “calling and election” has been made sure:

    Speaking on Sunday, the 14th of May, 1843, the Prophet Joseph Smith took this statement of Peter for his text. From the Prophet’s sermon I quote:

    “Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue knowledge, temperance, etc., yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy. . . . Now wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, This is my beloved Son, etc.” Answering his own question, the Prophet continued “Though they might hear the voice of God and know that Jesus was the Son of God, this would be no evidence that their election and calling was made sure, that they had part with Christ, and were joint heirs with Him. They then would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God. Then, having this promise sealed unto them, it was an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast. Though the thunders might roll and lightnings flash, and earthquakes bellow, and war gather thick around, yet this hope and knowledge would support the soul in every hour of trial, trouble and tribulation.”

    Then speaking directly to his listeners, the Prophet continued:

    “. . . I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, . . .” (DHC, 5, 388- 389.)

    A week later, May 21, 1843, the Prophet preached another sermon on the same text, from which I quote:

    “We have no claim in our eternal compact, in relation to eternal things, unless our actions and contracts and all things tend to this end. But after all this, you have got to make your calling and election sure. If this injunction would lie largely on those to whom it was spoken,” he said, “how much more those of the present generation!” And then in conclusion, “It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, etc., etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom.” (Ibid., 5, 403.)

    These two sermons were given by the Prophet just thirteen months before his martyrdom. Four years earlier, however, he had thus instructed the Twelve: “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John in the 14th chapter, . . .” (Ibid., 3, 380.)

    In the 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenants is recorded a revelation in which the Lord, addressing some of the early Saints in Ohio, said: “. . . I now send upon you another Comforter even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.

    The Promise of Eternal Life

    “This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;” (D&C 88:3-4.)

    I should think that every faithful Latter-day Saint “. . . would want that more sure word of prophecy, that they were sealed in the heavens and had the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God.” (DHC, 5, 388.)(Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, October 1965, p.21 – p.22)

    Jo takes Peter completely out of context to get his “calling and election” doctrine. Notice that he says,

    “Notwithstanding the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue knowledge, temperance, etc., yet he exhorts them to make their calling and election sure. And though they had heard an audible voice from heaven bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet he says we have a more sure word of prophecy. . . . Now wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy than to hear the voice of God saying, This is my beloved Son, etc.”

    But this is NOT what Peter says. Not at all. Jo is quoting from verse 6, then skips down to verse 19! What was Peter talking about in verse 19? Something entirely different, though related to calling and election. Peter said,

    10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    Verse 19 is not “a more sure word of prophecy” that would be given to individuals who make their calling and election sure by living by the Spirit of God, it is the prophetic message of the scriptures, that is “a light shining in a dark place” to give us assurances until “the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts”. This has nothing to do with an “audible voice” telling us that you are the chosen of God and your election is made sure. WE ALREADY HAVE THAT WHEN WE TAKE ON THE NAME OF JESUS AND CONFORM TO THE DIVINE NATURE. No one then, can take us away from Jesus, because he said so:

    27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” (John 10)

    Funny how Jo tells us that to confirm your calling and election you MUST hear an audible voice. Romney then gives an example of someone who had his C&E made sure, Heber C. Kimball. Notice though, what is MISSING from this account:

    In this dispensation many have received like assurances. In the spring of 1839, while the Prophet Joseph and his associates were languishing in Liberty Jail, Heber C. Kimball labored against great odds caring for the Saints and striving to free the brethren. On the 6th of April he wrote:

    “My family having been gone about two months, during which time I heard nothing from them; our brethren being in prison; death and destruction following us everywhere we went; I felt very sorrowful and lonely. The following words came to my mind, and the Spirit said unto me, ‘write,’ which I did by taking a piece of paper and writing on my knee as follows: . . .”

    This is what he wrote as dictated by the Lord:

    “Verily I say unto my servant Heber, thou art my son, in whom I am well pleased; for thou art careful to hearken to my words, and not transgress my law, nor rebel against my servant Joseph Smith, for thou hast a respect to the words of mine anointed, even from the least to the greatest of them; therefore thy name is written in heaven, no more to be blotted out for ever. . . .” (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 1888 ed., p. 253. Italics added.)

    To the Prophet Joseph Smith the Lord said: “. . . I am the Lord thy God and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father with Abraham your father.” (D&C 132:49. Italics added.)

    Now in conclusion, I give you my own witness. I know that God our Father lives, that we are as Paul said his offspring. I know that we dwelt in his presence in pre-earth life and that we shall continue to live beyond the grave. I know that we may return into his presence, if we meet his terms. I know that while we are here in mortality there is a means of communication between him and us. I know it is possible for men to so live that they may hear his voice and know his words and that to receive “the Holy Spirit of promise” while here in mortality is possible. And so, in the words of the Prophet Joseph, “. . . I . . . exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until [by the more sure word of prophecy] you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, . . .” (DHC, 5, 389.)

    First, Jo got his “revelations” by a stone, or “by the spirit”. He did not hear voices. Second, Heber C. Kimball does not say he “heard a voice”. This directly contradicts what Jo said had to happen, not just getting a “revelation” by the Spirit. Third, Jo and Oliver Cowdery told the 12 originally that they were not true Apostles until they got their calling and election. (Saw Jesus and spoke to him and Jesus told them they were sealed up to eternal life). Jo actually said,

    Howard and Martha Coray Notebook

    …we were eye witnesses of his Majesty we have also a more sure word of Prophecy. Now brethren who can explain this no man be [but] he that has obtained these things in the same way that Peter did. Yet it is so plain & so simple & easy to be understood that when I have shown you the interpretation thereof you will think you have always Known it yourselves—These are but hints of those things that were revealed to Peter, and verily brethren there are things in the bosom of the Father, that have been hid from the foundation of the world, that are not Known neither can be except by direct Revelation The Apostle says, unto them who have obtained like precious faith with us the apostles through the righteousness of God & our Savior Jesus Christ, through the [207] knowledge of him that has called us to glory & virtue add faith virtue &c. &c. to godliness brotherly kindness—Charity—ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful in the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. He that lacketh these things is blind—wherefore the rather brethren after all this give diligence to make your calling & Election Sure Knowledge is necessary to life and Godliness.
    …Oh Peter if they who were of like precious faith with thee were injoined to make their Calling & Election sure, how much [208] more all we There are two Keys, one key knowledge. the other make you Calling & election sure, for if you do these things you shall never fall for so an entrance shall be administered unto you abundently into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. We made known unto you the power & coming of our Lord & S. J. Christ were Eye witnesses of his Majesty when he received from God the Father honor & glory when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with him in the holy Mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy whereunto give heed until the day Star arise in your hearts this is It is one thing to receive knowledge by the voice of God, (this is my beloved Son &c.) & another to Know that you yourself will be saved, to have a positive promise of your own Salvation is making your Calling and Election sure. viz (in other words) the voice of Jesus saying my beloved thou shalt have eternal life. Brethren never cease struggling until you get this evidence. Take heed both before and after obtaining this more sure word of Prophecy.[pp. 206–208]

    So Marion Romney who gives us the standard “I know God lives” mantra, does not say a word about this, and neither do any of the current “apostles and prophets”. Romney just says “it is possible” and gives an example from over a hundred years earlier that doesn’t even qualify as an example. He does not give his own example of having his calling and election made sure. That, is telling.

  10. falcon says:

    I don’t know how many people will take the time to visit the link I provided but when you see the clips of the modern “Word of Faith” or “Health & Wealth” preachers, I can imagine Joseph Smith. These men and women are slick speakers and have a way of drawing in people by appealing to the concept of obtaining power. They also have a good way of separating people from their money.
    But here’s the thing, they also preach a form of Mormonism. They tell people that they are “little gods” and they use the verse from Genesis that talks about us being made in the “image” of God. Quite frankly, when one of them talks about Adam, you’d think you were hearing Brigham Young.
    My point is that these abominable heresies keep being resurrected but often with a small twist to suit the times. We even see it in the secular New Age form with Oprah promoting “The Secret”. Same stuff, different audience.
    Many of the Word of Faith preachers talk all about visions and visitations and even of traveling to heaven. It’s Smith all over again with one tall tale trumping another.
    I read the book “Another Gospel” by Dan McConnell some years ago. Here’s an excerpt from a review:
    “Of primary concern for the reader is the author’s claim that Faith theology is grounded in New Thought Metaphysics and not the Bible. This “cultic” connection began, according to McConnell, in the teachings of the late E.W. Kenyon. There is ample evidence provided that Kenyon used the principles of Metaphysics to create a “Christian Science” of his own. What was this science? It was a radical new way to view the world, a way in which you can harness the power of the spiritual “laws.” E.W. Kenyon and the Faith movement have, according to McConnell, accepted a worldview that is rooted in metaphysics and Gnosticism.”

    Again, it’s incumbent as believers to be able to discern the truth from that which is false. People raised in Mormonism don’t know any better and they have no motivation to question what they’ve been taught. Those who get sucked into Mormonism do so without knowing what the LDS church actually teaches.
    I’m with Mike R. When are these Mormon missionaries going to start being straight with people?

  11. grindael says:

    I am always amazed that Mormon “prophets” today will say over and over again that they won’t reveal their personal “experiences” because they are “too sacred” but will quote the personal experiences of others over and over again. Could it be that they have no “personal experiences” that qualify? I rather think so, because the hypocrisy here is massive. Like I mentioned above, Jo and Oliver when they gave their original “charge” to the 12 Apostles told them that their calling was not complete until they had their calling and election made sure. How many Mormon “apostles” today have had this experience that Cowdery says they MUST HAVE:

    He then read the revelation, 10 and said: Have you desired this ministry with all our hearts? If you have desired it you are called of God, not of man, to go into the world.

    He then read again, from the revelation, what the Lord said unto the Twelve. Brethren, you have had your duty presented in this revelation. You have been ordained to this holy Priesthood, you have received it from those who have the power and authority from an angel; you are to preach the Gospel to every nation. Should you in the least degree come short of your duty, great will be your condemnation; for the greater the calling the greater the transgression. I therefore warn you to cultivate great humility; for I know the pride of the human heart. Beware, lest the flatterers of the world lift you up; beware, lest your affections be captivated by worldly objects. Let your ministry be first. Remember, the souls of men are committed to your charge; and if you mind your calling, you shall always prosper.

    You have been indebted to other men, in the first instance, for evidence; on that you have acted; but it is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven.

    Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off you doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days?

    Where is the “testimony” from any Mormon ‘apostle’ today that yes, “I HAVE SEEN GOD FACE TO FACE”? Nowhere to be found.

  12. Mike R says:

    I think that the most important thing a person can do today in order to be safe from being
    misled by false prophets/apostles is to compare their teachings with Jesus’ apostles —those men
    who He established His church through and sent them out to preach salvation ( Col 1:23 ) .
    Jesus warned everyone to be on guard for counterfeit prophets who would come in the latter
    days ( Matt 24:11) . These men will use the Bible in an attempt to convince their audience that
    they are the modern day counterparts to Peter, John , and Paul etc. personally supervised by
    Jesus to also preach salvation . Mormon apostles are such men , they make the same
    authoritive claims as Jesus’ original apostles , and as result people are fooled into accepting
    their “restored ” gospel . A good counterfeit appears close to the original , that’s why
    unfortunately it’s successful at deceiving sincere people .

    People need to compare apostles : the apostles of Jesus Christ and what they taught compared
    to what the apostles of Joseph Smith taught 1700 years later .
    Mormons claim that because of a universal apostasy from the doctrine taught by Jesus’ apostles
    and of the church He established through them occurred shortly after their deaths .
    Christianity died off , and the true gospel was not available on earth again until 1830 when
    it was restored through Joseph Smith . Thus Mormon leaders claimed to have the one true
    church of Jesus Christ in exactly the same form as it existed when Jesus established it
    1700 years earlier together with the very same gospel that Paul preached –Rom 1:16 .
    This type of claim by Joseph Smith’s apostles has fooled many people for a long time now .
    People who were cautious in N.T. times implemented the necessary testing of those who come
    making claims to be apostles —Rev 2:2 . This testing starts with comparing the teachings ( and
    behavior ) of those claiming to be sent by Jesus to teach new truths , or supposedly “restored”
    truths . This was good counsel in John’s day ( 1 Jn 4:1 ) and still is today —-the latter days .

    Mormon apostles fail the test . They’ve mixed in their own ideas to what Paul taught and
    proceeded to package them as the ” restored ” gospel of salvation . Paul warned this
    would happen —Gal 1:8 ; 2 Cor 11: 4, 13-15

  13. Tom says:

    To the question: “what is it saying about Christ?”

    “Yeah, yeah, God is great
    Yeah, yeah, God is good

    What if God was one of us
    Just a slob like one of us”
    Joan Osborne

    What if he were? Well, if humans are of the same species as God, then, working the other direction, He, indeed, is one of us and was a slob like one of us.

  14. falcon says:

    Remember that the spiritual experiences, visions etc.; that these folk magic prone early leaders of Mormonism were really big time into second sight vision. They saw things through the “eyes of faith”.
    Grant Palmer points out that Smith’s earliest followers came from his friends and family. These folks were into the magic arts big time. So the reason that these current Mormon leaders don’t get the visions is because they don’t know how to practice second sight vision and the other occult techniques that these early Mormons favored.

    Mormons need to take a closer look at Joseph Smith and the sources of his “revelations”.

  15. grindael says:


    In 1830 Diedrich Willers wrote about the “witnesses” to the Book of Mormon gold plates,

    “I am acquainted with the Whitmers. During the past nine years, they were followers of the Methodists, Reformers, Presbyterians, Mennonites, and Baptists, and are unstable, spineless men; moreover, they are gullible to the highest degree and even believe in witches. Hiram Page is likewise full of superstition, and the Smiths are probably the close relations of Joseph Smith, Jr., author of the Book of Mormon.”(D. Michael Quinn, trans. and ed., “The First Months of Mormonism: A Contemporary View by Rev. Diedrich Willers,” New York History 54 (July 1973):317-33.)

    That about sums it up.

  16. falcon says:

    That diagram is about the closest thing I’ve seen that depicts how Jesus became a god and how your average Mormon can also do so. I’m not quite certain what the term “from grace to grace” means. What is that? You move up the ladder and then there’s more “grace” at the next level? So what sort of things does a Mormon have to do? They need to come up with an annual 10% tithe to get into the temple. Sort of like getting a membership at a big box store like Costco or Sam’s Club. So then you get your club membership by paying 10% of your income and walking the straight and narrow. That allows the Mormon to put on a costume and do rituals in the temple. How this is suppose to get a Mormon into the god club escapes me. What? Do the rituals make a Mormon more righteous? I don’t get the tie-in between temple rituals and moving up the Mormon ladder of success.

    I have a better way. Recognize Jesus as God incarnate. Come to acknowledge that He died for your sins. Repent and receive the gift of eternal life that God is offering. Live like a person who is born again by the Spirit of God.

  17. Mike R says:

    Sharon asks how we would explain the doctrines of Mormonism that are taught via the
    Illustration found in this teaching manual . What is it saying about man’s potential and
    about Jesus Christ ?

    What I see in the manual’s illustration shows Jesus climbing up steps ( i.e. the myriad of laws,
    and rules which Mormons call their ” gospel ladder” ) , and attaining the Divine Nature of God.
    Mormons can follow His example and thus also have a chance to attain Godhood . Other
    supporting Mormon publications , in addition to the ones referenced with the Illustration ,
    further explain about Jesus’ path to attainment , starting in heaven . Some of these teachings
    by Mormon leaders are : a man from another planet lived morally enough to be able to learn
    how to become a God , He eventually took His wives and came to be God over our planet . While
    in heaven over this planet He procreated children with His wives , the first one was a son .
    This son developed and was reared to maturity in a heavenly home , along the way He was
    schooled and grew to be intellectually superior to others . Finally after being tested periodically
    by His Father , he was deemed worthy to earn the title of Jehovah and become a God . He was
    finally wise enough and strong enough to sit in a three God council and rule over His Father’s
    affairs on this earth . When time came for someone to come down to earth and be a Savior , he
    received a majority vote by his brothers and sisters in heaven . So he came down and was called
    Jesus Christ . For those men who follow his righteous lifestyle and believe in him as the long
    awaited Savior they too become worthy to attain to what their spirit brother and Heavenly
    Father are . That’s a quick sketch of the Jesus introduced by men who’ve come in these latter
    days claiming to be personally commissioned and personally supervised by Him to teach
    His true identity and about His laws because this valuable information had been altered by
    misguided religious men for 1700 years .

    This has been a great example of why Jesus pre-warned us about men who would come and
    claim to be officers in His church , but who would succumb , like other men have , to ” looking
    beyond the mark ” [ Jacob 4:14 ] and thus much of what they have fed their flock concerning
    who Jesus is are only their own false ideas , not spiritual truth . Of such men we are to reject as
    teaching authorities in our lives . Safety from these misguided men is available by sticking
    with those original apostles Jesus’ sent out , the men these latter days false teachers attempt
    to mimic . 2 Tim 4:3-4 ; 2 Jn 7 .

  18. falcon says:

    Thanks for that synopsis of how Mormons believe Jesus became a god. What I find interesting is that this Mormon Jesus became a god without becoming a man first. So the only thing I can surmise is that in the twisted mind of these Mormon “prophets” there is a special species of gods who get their status by another means. In-other-words, there’s a gifted and talented group that get to be in a special “school” for gods.
    So where do we put Brigham Young’s Adam-god doctrine into this diagram? And BTW where does the god that Joseph Smith depicted in the BoA fit into all of this? This is the Egyptian fertility god Min sitting on a throne exposing himself.
    Now really Mormons. Are these guys whose “revelations” you want to follow?

  19. falcon says:

    Mormons on this blog will often challenge me by asking, “How can you say the BoM isn’t true if you haven’t read it?”
    I think Mike’s explanation of how Mormons believe Jesus became “a god” is a great variation on the answer I give. My response normally is, “Tell me who your god is and I’ll tell you if your ‘scripture’ is true or not.” I want to know by what spirit was the writer of your scripture inspired? That’s all I really need to know.
    What we see in Mike’s description is Jesus as one of many gods but a favored one. If a religion can’t get Jesus right than nothing else about it is going to be right. In a larger sense, if they can’t get God right, than everything else about the religion is false.
    It’s refreshing to read what our former Mormons write here regarding who they saw Jesus as being when they were in Mormonism and who they now see Him as.
    The Lord Jesus Christ isn’t just one of many gods who is the off-spring of one of millions and billions of God, this particular heavenly father, living on or near the planet Kolob. Kolob? Really? That ought to be enough to make any Mormon run for the hills.

  20. Mike R says:


    Sometimes when we remind LDS that they follow prophets who have introduced
    another Jesus [ 2 Cor 11:4 ] it helps to show them just how far the Mormon Jesus
    is from the true in the Bible . He is unique, He is Jehovah the Lord God Almighty,
    He is not one of multitudes of Gods some with more dominion and glory than He , some
    who have been ruling as Gods longer than He . In heaven He was’nt taught how to become
    Jehovah by a Divine female Deity and Her husband .
    Only the true Jesus has the ability to save from sin , imitations cannot .
    This is such a “given ” that even Mormon authorities recognize this fact , i.e. there is no
    salvation in a false God /Jesus . Calling Jesus by the right name , following Him as a moral
    example , will not get someone salvation if they follow prophets who have introduced false
    doctrine and are wrong about His true identity .
    This is what Paul warned about .

    The Mormon people need to dismiss their prophets /apostles . The danger is that great .
    Isa 9:16 ; 2Tim 4:23-4 .

    God loves the Mormon people and so do we , He can direct them out of Mormonism .

  21. falcon says:

    Here’s a trivia question for you. Is it Jehovah? Is that the correct name for God?

    In Judaism God has several names. The most important name of God is the Tetragrammaton, YHVH. Because Jews considered it sinful to pronounce, the correct pronunciation of this name was forgotten — the original Hebrew texts only included consonants. Some conjecture that it was pronounced “Yahweh”. The Hebrew letters are named Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh.

    Jews also call God Adonai, or “my Lord.” Since pronouncing YHVH is considered sinful, Jews would use Adonai instead in prayers. When the Masoretes added vowel pointings to the text of the Tanach in the first century CE they gave the word YHVH the vowels of Adonai, to remind the reader to say Adonai instead. Many Christian bible translators misinterpreted this to mean that God’s name was Jehovah, which is the result of combining Adonai’s vowels with YHVH’s consonants, written using Latin orthography in which “J” is prnounced as the English “Y.”

    All denominations of Judaism teach that the four letter name of God, YHVH, is forbidden to be uttered except by the High Priest, in the Temple. Since the Temple in Jerusalem is no longer extant, this name is never pronounced in religious rituals by Jews. Orthodox Jews never pronounce it for any reason. Some non-Orthodox Jews are willing to pronounce it, but for educational purposes only, and never in causal conversation or in prayer. Instead of pronouncing YHVH during prayer, Jews say “Adonai”. Note that, in Israel, observant Jews would also often use the word “shmo” (“shem shelo”, His name, literally the name that is of Him) during conversations for similar purpose.

  22. Mike R says:


    ” Jehovah ” may not be the exact precise spelling , perhaps ” Yahweh ” is closer . Mormons
    use Jehovah , and so do I . There’s some great songs praising Jehovah which I really enjoy .
    When I worship and praise the Son I directly call Him Jesus . When I address the Father ,
    I call Him Father . I do use “Jehovah ” but not as much . What’s important is that the name
    Jesus/Jehovah fits the description about Him that the Bible reveals , and the Bible reveals
    the uniqueness of the Lord God Almighty . He does’nt have Creators above Him , He does’nt
    have cousin Gods , uncle Gods , or Auntie Goddesses . He has always been the Lord God .
    More and more Mormons are finding out that their leaders have drifted from the truth
    about God /Jesus . All the good deeds done in church activities can not make up for following
    prophets who introduce false doctrines about God . Salvation is at stake .

  23. MJP says:

    I tend to see the diagram as limiting Christ, and making him at best a middle man for the attainment of Godhood. The grace to grace/grace for grace is not entirely clear, but the placement of Jesus on the lines shows him progressing, and thus, one must assume, provides an example for us. It is also a possibility that through his own efforts, Jesus gained the ability to impart grace upon us on behalf of the father.

    Either way, I believe it demonstrates a weakened and diminished Jesus Christ, who is not all powerful and all knowing, who is subject to restrictions.

  24. falcon says:

    I thought that would be fun 🙂
    What’s the name of the Mormon god? Well we know that. It’s Min. Joseph Smith was a great borrower and in this case he borrowed an Egyptian fertility god for his BoA.

    …….and the progression just keeps going and that’s the problem with the diagram. It appears to stop. The Mormon god just keeps progressing. He is not eternal, all knowing and is limited and thus not omnipresent. You’re absolutely right. The Mormon Jesus is not only diminished but he and the Mormon heavenly father are also limited due to their progression.

  25. Mike R says:


    I kinda thought you were up to something so I did’nt bite 🙂
    Seriously though , I am quite familiar with the 4 Hebrew letters ( Tetragrammaton ) and
    I just choose to say ” Jehovah ” . Jesus is Jehovah —Jn 8:58 with Ex. 3:14 .
    Concerning Min : It appears that Mormon prophets got some of their ideas about God from
    Egypt then dressed it up and sold as part of their “restored” gospel . One thing is for sure :
    they did’nt get this from the God that the true apostles worshiped —-1 Tim 1:17 .

  26. johnnyboy says:


    The apostles never use the term “face to face”. When I was in the MTC back in 96, Richard G Scott came to visit and used the term “without faith”. He said he knew Christ lived with knowledge and not faith. This is the standard phraseology.

    He also said even if we as missionaries didn’t have a testimony of Jesus that we could proclaim his testimony and the spirit would testify of it.

    He also had an open question and answer period where nobody asked any real questions. One brave missionary did ask if there was progression from lower to upper kingdoms post resurrection. Scott said that wasn’t important for us to know. He basically just blew it off. If I had known half of what I know now I totally would have asked some whoppers for him.

    Anyhoo, just thought I would throw that info out there for ya.

  27. wilburson says:

    It’s not my call of course, but I wonder what kind of “everlasting burnings” JS is dwelling in.

  28. falcon says:

    Once the Mormon prophets lose their aura with a faithful follower, that follower gains freedom. That freedom leads to the follower either simply walking away from Mormonism or a period of questioning whether or not what these prophets are saying is indeed true.
    Within the structure of Christianity, there is no place for Mormonism. The benefit of questioning is an opportunity to examine the claims of orthodox Christianity and see if what is there might be true. Both things, orthodox Biblical Christianity and Mormonism, can’t be true.
    Joseph Smith’s play was that the original Christian gospel had been lost and now he was chosen to reestablish it. Is his premise true? A person doesn’t find that out so much through their emotions but more properly by an in-depth study of Christian doctrine and the history of the early Church. This would include examining the claims of the heretics. The heretics were very important to the first century Church because they caused the Church to define and defend orthodoxy.
    Were there prophets present in the first four hundred years of the Church? Did those who studied at the feet of the apostles do an adequate job of transmitting what was taught to those who came afterwards?
    If they did then the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it appears in the NT, was not lost. If it was not lost than Joseph Smith was a false prophet who didn’t have anything new to share, but instead recycled old heresies and the thoughts of others, many articulated by his contemporaries.
    Was Jesus God incarnate or just one of the pantheon of gods all-be-it one of the more gifted and talented ones?
    Who is Jesus? Did He come to be a god or was He God, eternally. What was the significance of His death on the cross? Was it to redeem mankind or was it to assist human beings to become gods themselves?
    Mormons need to confront who Jesus is and in coming to know Him, obtain eternal life.

  29. grindael says:

    The apostles never use the term “face to face”. When I was in the MTC back in 96, Richard G Scott came to visit and used the term “without faith”. He said he knew Christ lived with knowledge and not faith. This is the standard phraseology.

    “Knowledge” by way of “Holy Ghost” or “feelings”. Nothing new. These men are not real apostles according to Jo and Oliver. They might as well put Primary Kids in charge of the church. They can repeat the same lines just as well. (“I know the church is true, I know that Jo was a prophet, I know Jesus lives, etc.)

    As for the dodge on the Kingdoms of “not necessary to know”, well, that just tells you that they don’t know and never did. The arrogance and ignorance of Mormon “apostles” and “prophets” never ceases to amaze me. At least Jo gave them answers. He made them up, but at least he gave some. These men are too cagey to do that, because they know that they can’t back any of it up and if they start giving answers they will then be required to and they will then look absolutely foolish as Jeffrey Holland did in his 2012 interview.

    If a man is “saved” only as fast as he gets knowledge… (as Jo taught) the Mormons are in deep muck with this bunch at the helm who don’t know anything about anything except how to make money for the Corporation.

  30. falcon says:

    It takes confidence that only a pathological liar can pull-off to just say stuff, off-the-cuff, be creative, inventive and to believe your own lies.
    That’s what is different about a really good liar. He/she believes what they’re saying. It’s pathological of course but it works.

    I’ve posted things on Paul Dunn before but this guy was perfect for Mormonism. He told one whooper after another and the faithful Mormons just ate it up. I knew a guy one time that I knew was just making up stories and embellishing the truth to the point that was mind-blowing. In a strange way he was entertaining to listen to even though I knew he wasn’t being truthful. It’s a real art to be able to do that. He was harmless. He wasn’t taking anyone’s money or positioning himself in a leadership role.

    From one blog:
    “I was just reading some old posts and thought I’d pass along this personal experience with GBH.
    The Saturday after the Paul H. Dunn fiasco was made public GBH was attending business in our area and we had a regional PH leadership meeting with him. It was an odd sort of PH leadership meeting that was all Q&A. At the time ETB was still prophet I think. Anyway, the first question thrown out was “What do you think of the Paul H. Dunn story?”. He had a copy of the AZ Republic at the podium and he picked it up to show the Dunn story to the audience and said he had not been aware of the situation or the story until he read it that morning in the paper. He then went on to say that Elder Dunn was very sick and near death and that he had last visited him at home or in the hospital xx months ago.
    Honest. I was there. Sitting on the front row less than six feet from him. Heard it with my own ears. Saw him say it with my own eyes.
    Looking back on it I have a supremely difficult time believing that the FP and COB was unaware of Dunn disaster about to unfold.”

    My impression is that the LDS folks just sort of double down on lies, skirt the truth or make the person asking the question feel like an idiot for asking.

  31. Mike R says:


    You mentioned a foundational claim of Mormonism , namely, that the gospel of salvation
    that Jesus’ apostles preached ( Rom 1:16) was lost , then 1700 years later it was restored by
    Joseph Smith .

    What Mormon leaders claim happened was that soon after the deaths of Jesus apostles there
    were evil men who began to alter the gospel , change /modify important truths which then
    produced a false gospel , and therefore ineffective to save those who embraced it . These men
    taught their own ideas to be gospel truth and as a result the damage resulted in a universal
    apostasy from the doctrine taught by Jesus and His apostles as well as the extinction of His
    church , Christianity died off , and salvation was not available again to man until 1830 .
    This is why Mormon leaders could say that their church alone is the Jesus’ church restored
    to earth in exactly the same form as it existed when Jesus established it 1700 years earlier .

    When we examine Mormon history we find that rather than having restored the very same
    gospel as Paul preached , and the very same church that Jesus established , Mormon leaders
    have not restored the gospel of salvation , they have revised it .
    Sadly , but this is indeed something we would expect to happen in the latter days –2Tim 4:3-4 .
    Jesus said to be on the watch for men who do this .

    The Mormon people deserve to hear the truth . There is safety from counterfeit apostles and
    their gospels available .

  32. falcon says:

    My one question to a Mormon promoting this theory is “prove it!”.
    Prove to me by historical record, what you say is true. I’m really not interested in the opinion or revelation of someone claiming to be a prophet. The burden of proof is on Mormons to provide some evidence that what they claim is true. I’m not really interested in their feelings or inner witness. I’m not going to accept the word of someone who claims to be a prophet especially if they’re promoting a god different from the God revealed in the Bible.
    Is it possible for someone to read the BoM and get a good feeling about it? Absolutely. False teachers, prophets and mystics have been providing these “inner witnesses” for people for centuries.

  33. Mike R says:

    I think the title of this thread is important to note , it reads :
    ” The teachings of Joseph Smith’s and his apostles .”

    It is very wise in our day , given all the prophets vying for our attention and allegiance ,
    that those non-LDS investigating the claims of Mormon leaders , or those LDS wanting to make
    sure they have not been cleverly detoured by those men who Jesus fore warned would come
    in the latter days imitating His original apostles ( Mk 13:22-23 ) , make time to compare
    apostles . Compare the teachings of Jesus’ original apostles with the teachings of Joseph Smith
    apostles ( Brigham Young claimed to be one ) .
    Those men who were sent out by Jesus to teach about Him, God , and salvation , compared to
    the teachings of those men who knew Joseph Smith and as leaders went out after his death
    to teach an understanding of the ” restored gospel ” .

    This is crucial . So start testing today —1 Jn 4:1

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