“It is the voice of a god, not of a man”

How early Mormon leader Joseph Fielding and other Mormons responded to the King Follett discourse (April 7, 1844):

“I never felt more delighted with his discourse than at this time. They said at his oration, it is the voice of a god not of a man.” (Journal of Joseph Fielding, quoted in “The King Follett Discourse: Joseph Smith’s Greatest Sermon in Historical Perspective”)

How the people of Tyre and Sidon responded to the oration of Herod:

“On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, ‘The voice of a god, and not of a man!’ Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.” (Acts 12:21-23)

Joseph Smith died 81 days later, June 27, 1844.

Idolatry never wins in the end. “But the word of God increased and multiplied.” (Acts 12:24)

Note: The LDS manual “Church History In The Fulness Of Times Student Manual”¬†awkwardly makes favorable use of Acts 12:20-23 to describe how the saints were “profoundly moved” by the King Follett discourse.

George Q. Cannon also spoke of Smith at the KFD:

“The Prophet seemed to rise above the world. It was as if the light of heaven already encircled his physical being… Those who hear the sermon may never forget its power. Those who read it today think it was an exhibition of superhuman power and eloquence.” (quoted here, also see here)

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17 Responses to “It is the voice of a god, not of a man”

  1. falcon says:

    How much responsibility does anyone have before God for receiving the words of a false prophet as if he were a god or God?
    Can there be anything worse than embracing a false prophet or worse a false god? Mormons will probably claim that these people just got “caught up in the moment”. Maybe so but there was a surrender of their powers of discernment long before they made these statements. The moment they decided to run head long into Joseph Smith’s deceit the stage was set for this inexcusable idolatry.
    Mormons have the same choice today. Fortunately many are finding Smith’s claims and the doctrine he promoted, especially the doctrine of the nature of God, to be an abominable and they leave the LDS church. We can only hope they can find in Christ the Savior that they so desperately need.

  2. falcon says:

    This is just one more example of the Mormon’s quoted, feeling good about something and going off with the most outlandish conclusion which is without a doubt, total blasphemy.
    The absolute worst test of truth is the “how does it make me feel” approach. I can just see these guys on an emotional buzz running head long into their own destruction. Once a Mormon figures out that the equation, “feelings confirm truth”, is a very poor test they are faced with actually having to apply some logic, common sense and cognitive processing.

  3. Mike R says:

    The King Follett Discourse was the capstone of Joseph Smith’s slow drift away from the gospel
    doctrines that Mormons were first sent to preach correcting the false views of all the other
    churches declaring God had appointed them to teach the pure truth about Him — salvation was
    at stake . The King Follett Discourse exhibited the apostasy that Joseph Smith succumbed to .
    Brigham Young would carry on his apostasy and introduce even more ” new light ” about God .

    By following these prophets people were detoured from the truth and into exactly what
    Paul warned would happen , and his words in Gal 1:8 are fitting to describe the plight of
    people who follow latter days prophets not appointed by God — Mormon leaders are such
    prophets .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

  4. falcon says:

    So how would a faithful LDS member respond to information like this? Some might agree and think it’s just wonderful that the prophet was assigned such a lofty perch. Others might say that these guys really didn’t mean it and actually it meant something else. Some might say that it was a long time ago so who cares? And yet others would say that this is all just folklore and besides it was just their opinion.
    For a faithful member of the LDS church, who has been conditioned to believe that the prophet is always right and that the LDS church is perfect in every way, something like this wouldn’t even garner much attention. It would pass right across their radar screen without even making a blip. There isn’t even any shock value.
    That’s because having been conditioned by the LDS church to believe that the church is perfect but the people aren’t, it’s business as usual. Nothing to see here. Just keep moving along folks!

  5. MJP says:

    Mormonism is not the answer. Despite Smith’s foibles, responses such as these listed above demonstrate the problems within Mormonism. They are willing to give credit to the man, not to God. I can’t help but compare the times when I hear a great sermon or a great speaker. Yes, there are differences in quality of the speaker, but even when a good speaker delivers a fine sermon, it is God speaking through him. This difference is important.

    No man, not even Smith, or Charles Stanley, or Dwight Moody, or Martin Luther, or Paul or Peter, is as big as God.

  6. falcon says:

    Oh but you forget the Mormon mindset!
    You see there are millions if not billions of gods in the Mormon pantheon of gods. These Mormon men are going through the system that will result in them becoming gods. So do you get it? It’s no big deal in the Mormon paradigm to jump the gun a little and assign god like qualities to a man. So that’s basically the scenario, when you think about it.
    “God”, in Mormonism, is a father in the human sense of the role. There are a lot of “fathers”. Even the god of this world had a god-father, as did his way back as far as it goes.
    So, to a Mormon, this wouldn’t be all that shocking. Joseph Smith was projecting the eventuality of his godhood as seen by these witnesses. Remember also. There are Mormon men and their wives who go through the super secret ceremony where by the LDS church deems them as having done enough to obtain deity status. They don’t even need the equivalent of Mormon “grace” that the LDS god provides to close the performance gap.

  7. MJP says:


    All of what you said is exactly why their reaction is problematic…

  8. falcon says:

    OK MJP……………
    Now think of what your mindset, and that of Christians is about God. The God we acknowledge and worship, is God. He introduced Himself to Abraham and Moses and the other prophets as the One, the Only deity. Not just “the god of this world” but as the singular, no other-but-Him, God. Now because we see Him as God and ourselves as His subjects who will worship Him into eternity, our orientation is different from the LDS folks who think they are going to become gods.
    And where does this LDS “revelation” come from? It doesn’t come from God’s Word as spoken by His prophets. It comes from a man and the men who followed him who saw fit to invent a god.
    How do people get seduced into this form of thinking? We have plenty of former Mormons who post here and who each have their own story to tell. I would say, to a person, they ask themselves the same question. That is, “How in the world did I get taken in by this scam?”
    The devil is very cunning and spiritual warfare is real. The battle is fought and won in the heavenlies through prayer.

  9. falcon says:

    The number one question that every Mormon needs to ask is, “Who is God?”

    It’s not whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet, if the BoM is a true actual history, if the LDS church is the “one true church” or if their current “prophet” is really a prophet.
    Reading the BoM with the result that it made someone feel good doesn’t really get at finding the truth about who God is, who Jesus is and what God’s plan of salvation for mankind entails.
    The Bible is very clear regarding who God is. There is no additional revelation needed for something that was revealed once and for all 2,000 years ago. God hasn’t changed. The Bible tells us God is the same person he was yesterday, today and will be the same tomorrow. His nature is unchangeable.
    In the LDS sect we see a god promoted who does change. In fact the Mormon god still isn’t fully formed. This Mormon god has limits. So where did these notions that resulted in a sub-par god come from? Well they came from some sub-par prophets who promoted a different scripture and plan of salvation along with their different God.
    Answering correctly the question, “Who is God?”, is primary and the first step in being recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

  10. Mike R says:

    This sermon , near the end of Joseph Smith’s life , shows how far he had drifted from the
    Bible’s teaching about God and his own testimony about God which he first sent with
    missionaries declaring the truth about our Creator .

    Joseph Smith desired power . Along the way he got an idea he could become a God , but to
    make it more easy to rationalize this he simply reduced God into a rank and file human male
    from another planet who had to work hard keeping rules , laws in order to eventually become
    who He now was — Almighty God , creator of heaven and earth .
    To also become an Almighty God Joseph realized that his goal of gaining ultimate power
    and leadership would be attained . Thus we see in the King Follett sermon his attempt to justify
    all this .

    Sadly, the Mormon people followed this false prophet and embraced his teachings .
    Incredibly , those leaders after Smith even introduced more egregious teachings about
    God , further drifting from the ” gospel truth ” they once taught as missionaries themselves .
    Brigham Young a good example of this .

    What about those who simply may live good lives but follow and support false prophets ?
    Are such people responsible for following such prophets ?

    ” For the leaders of this people cause them to err , and they that are led of them are destroyed.”
    [ Isa 9:16 KJV ]

    ” …..they are blind leaders of the blind And if the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the
    ditch .” [ Matt 15:14 KJV ] .

    The Mormon people need to examine ( test ) their prophets teachings with what the prophets
    of God taught —1 Jn 4: 1 . Living a good moral lifestyle can not make for following latter days
    prophets who have taught false doctrine especially concerning God and Jesus etc. 2 Cor 11: 4 .

    May God help those Mormons to make time for a serious test of their prophets .
    That’s my prayer .

  11. falcon says:

    So that’s really it, right?
    “Who is God?”
    Joseph Smith started out with his revelation and restoration with one God and ended up with another god. This idea that he received “more light” or “continuous revelation” is a farce. If someone wants to buy into the more light/continuous revelation paradigm you’d think that the new stuff would support the old stuff. But it doesn’t. So who did Smith get his restoration message from.? Did he get it from the God he started with or the god he finished with? That in-and-of-itself ought to tip off Mormons that something isn’t quite right.
    BTW, do all of the various Mormon sects have the same view of the nature of God? Absolutely not! That ought to be a tip-off that the “restoration” is a totally confused mess.

  12. MJP says:

    I would be surprised if where Smith ended up would be a total surprise to him. By that, I mean he never expected a little joke at home to end up making him a king. I remember a quote where someone states that Smith came home told his family about finding some important gold plates somewhere and they believed him and he continued with the story. I imagine as he did so, his story spread and he was able to keep people fooled by some clever tricks. Eventually, his story became the proverbial fish story.

    But as to Smith, personally, he may or may not have been cognizant of the lie the entire time, but he certainly grew in his ambitions as a prophet. From his little ‘prank’ to comparing himself with Jesus to being declared king, etc, he continually grew in his stature, at least as seen by those he dooped.

    As Aaron points out in this post: the wording and situation in which Smith found his demise and how Herod found his is striking. An easy takeaway is that Smith simply grew too big and blasphemous, and as we know, God has little tolerance for such things.

  13. MJP says:

    Falcon– Yup, it is my, our, point of view concerning God. However, I am willing to stand up for that truth and won’t run concerning it, no matter the cost. I’ve found Mormons will weasel their way out in one way or another. Their story will change; they will leave; they will accuse us of being “@nt*” Mormon or any other slur; or a vast number of alternate ways to simply never address or fully defend their faith.

    How do otherwise normal people buy into the Mormon system? I can’t answer with accuracy. I can only assume it is some uplifting experience that provides specific missions in life. Their goal of becoming a god is tangible and appealing. The tasks they must perform are tangible and specific, and they are lauded when they are completed. The group is tight and supportive of each other. I believe all of this, and more, probably contributes to the choice to become or remain a Mormon.

    They probably get dooped by this attraction, and by the convenient line of “milk before meat”.

  14. falcon says:

    What is the LDS/Mormon proof that there was a great apostasy after the death of the apostles? In-other-words, the gospel disappeared from the earth they say. I often point out that we have all sorts of written records, most authoritatively the Bible, regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We also have records of the heretics. No Mormonism any where in the written records or the tradition of the Church or the heretics. Not a whiff of Mormonism.
    Mormons ought to take some time and just read a little of the writings of the Church Fathers regarding the nature of God. Then read the Mormon leadership past and present. What the Mormon movers and shakers write is truly embarrassing.
    It would be funny accept that the end game is just too serious.

  15. Mike R says:

    Joseph Smith succumbed to something that is not new behavior , and we get a clue about this in
    Rom 1: 23 where God’s majestic unique glory as the one and only creator of all was something
    that some people could not accept so they exchanged it for something more to their liking , they
    reduced Him to be a mere creature .

    Joseph Smith chose to do much the same thing with God . The Almighty unique Creator was
    really only a creature from another world who managed to learn how to be become our Creator
    supposedly the same God we meet in the Bible , and though Joseph Smith had begun this
    doctrinal downward slide , it was from those who followed after him as leaders that more
    information about this God came to be taught to the Mormon people . Thus we learn from
    these men that their ” heavenly Father ” was a creature who was born as the result of the union
    between a male God and a Goddess wife and who was soon joined by a n myriad of more
    fellow spirit creatures in their heavenly home . It was there where he began his learning in
    how to become a God , and supposedly did become the very Almighty Creator God we meet
    in the Bible .

    Christianity knows no such Creator . The huge gulf between creature and Creator remains
    fixed and unlike Joseph Smith and his fellow Mormon leaders who changed God into a mere
    creature from another planet , Christians won’t dispense that type of terrible teaching .
    God has always been God , a truth that Joseph Smith chose to exchange in order to make
    his new desire for Godhood more palatable to his followers .

    The Mormon people deserve better .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

  16. falcon says:

    What I get a kick out of, maybe wrong choice of words, what astounds me is that there are Mormons who insist that it’s all the same god. That is they think if you hang a label on a “deity” there is qualitatively no difference. We’ve had Mormons posting on this site who assume the God acknowledged by Christians is the same as that for folks in the LDS Mormon sect. Gordon B. Hinckley, one of their former super prophets although lying on national TV about the Mormon belief that they will become gods, did acknowledge in another venue that the Jesus of traditional Christianity is not the LDS Jesus.
    “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'” (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7).

    Here’s the really sad thing, people join the LDS church not knowing any of this. They don’t know that Mormonism has a different god, a different Jesus, a different Holy Ghost and a totally different plan of salvation.
    The latest ploy by Mormon apologists is to say they don’t hide any of this information from their members. Well why then, don’t the people know it?
    The apostle Paul says that men are without excuse. Who will be judged more harshly? The leaders who have perpetrated this fraud or those who blindly went along with it?

  17. RikkiJ says:


    “The apostle Paul says that men are without excuse. Who will be judged more harshly? The leaders who have perpetrated this fraud or those who blindly went along with it?”

    Reasons for being without excuse:

    1. (Romans 1:20, ESV)

    “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

    If the glory of God is exchanged for the image of a mortal man, then the worship of God is exchanged for the worship of a mortal. It seems like the LDS church worships a God who was originally a man/mortal.

    2. (Romans 2:1, ESV)

    Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”

    If the LDS church teaches that we should not lie and we should not cheat, we should obey the law of chastity, how do they not apply this to their founder? Is he without excuse? It seems like that is the case.

    3. (Romans 2:15-17, ESV)

    “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

    If an LDS Saint knows the truth about JS, Jr. and or the church and does not investigate, or look further into his or her faith, oh trouble awaits.

    “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21, ESV)

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