Removing the “doctrine” out of the Doctrine and Covenants

In the “Explanatory Introduction” to the Doctrine and Covenants, the book is described as

“a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind, and contain an invitation to all people everywhere to hear the voice of Jesus Christ, speaking to them for their temporal well-being and their everlasting salvation.”

The introduction goes on to say that the Doctrine and Covenants, or D&C,

“is unique because it is not a translation of an ancient document, but is of modern origin and was given of God through his chosen prophets for the restoration of his holy work and the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth in these days.”

BOC1833The pre-curser to the D&C is the Book of Commandments. This compilation of alleged revelations to Joseph Smith contained sixty-five chapters and was published in 1833. According to an essay on,

“To again correct errors, clarify wording, and recognize developments in Church doctrine and organization, Joseph Smith oversaw the editing of the text of some revelations to prepare them for publication in 1835 as the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

This new edition included 103 sections.

The 1835 D&C was originally broken down into two sections. The preface states that

“the first part of the book will be found to contain a series of Lectures as delivered before a Theological class in this place, and in consequences of their  embracing the important doctrine of salvation, we have arranged them into the following work.”

It goes on to say that

“the second part contains items or principles for the regulation of the church, as taken from the revelations which have been given since its organization, as well as from former ones.”

The introduction to current editions of the D&C notes,

“Beginning with the 1835 edition a series of seven theological lessons was also included; these were titled the Lectures on Faith. These had been prepared for use in the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1834-1835. Although profitable for doctrine and instruction, these lectures have been omitted from the Doctrine and Covenants since the 1921 edition because they were not given or presented as revelations to the whole Church.”

This explanation to “decanonize” a portion of scripture doesn’t seem to agree with the description given in History of the Church 2:243ff. Page 243 states that on September 24, 1834, a committee was formed “for the purpose of arranging the items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ for the government of the Church.” The committee included Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery, and Frederick G. Williams.  When they finished the “book according to the instructions given them,” a “general assembly of the Church of Latter-day Saints was held at Kirtland” on August 17, 1835.

During this meeting, Oliver Cowdery “arose and introduced the ‘Book of Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter-day Saints,’ in behalf of the committee. He was followed by President Rigdon, who explained the manner by which they intended to obtain the voice of the assembly for or against said book.” According to this account, W. W. Phelps “bore record that the book presented to the assembly was true.” Afterwards, President John Whitmer, also “testified that it was true. It also reports that “Elder John Smith, taking the lead of the High Council in Kirtland, bore record that the revelations in said book were true, and that the lectures were judiciously arranged and compiled, and were profitable for doctrine.”

As a result, “the High Council of Kirtland accepted and acknowledged them as the doctrine and covenants of their faith by a unanimous vote.”

History of the Church 2:245-46 also includes the “Testimony of the Twelve Apostles to the Truth of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants” as well as testimony from several other leaders in the church who “bore record of the truth of the book.” The fact that they bore witness to the book’s truthfulness is important since one of the arguments used to justify decanonizing the Lectures is that they were not “revelations.” These testimonies tend to prove that there was no distinction when it came to their approval.

Larry E. Dahl, professor emeritus of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University, wrote an essay titled “Authorship and History of the Lectures on Faith.” It gives reasons to believe that the explanation in the current editions of the D&C is not complete.

“Church leaders have acknowledged that the decision to omit the Lectures on Faith in the 1921 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants was based not only on the fact that they are not revelations, but it also had to do with some of the teachings about the Godhead in Lecture 5.”

Lecture 5, or Lecture Fifth as it is now known, is certainly controversial for it states:

“There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things… They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man.”

Speaking of Jesus, Lecture Fifth goes on to say,

“And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father — possessing the same mind with the Father, which is the Holy Spirit.”

In the Question and Answer section of Lecture Fifth, it asks,

“How many personages are there in the Godhead? Two: the Father and the Son.”

Later comes this question,

“Do the Father and Son possess the same mind? They do. What is this mind? The Holy Spirit.”

Near the end of the Q&A section it asks,

“Does the foregoing account of the Godhead lay a sure foundation for the exercise of faith in him unto life and salvation? It does.”

It is easy to see why this would cause concern for the leaders of the LDS Church. Joseph Smith’s understanding of God had evolved quite considerably over the nine years since the D&C was first published. By the time he died in June 1844, Smith had moved far away from the modalistic dogma of the Book of Mormon. He had abandoned belief in a godhead of two personages while trading a God of spirit for a God of flesh and bones. Mormons today are led to believe that God is only one in purpose and that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Spirit) are three separate deities.

Mormons are taught that their living prophets cannot lead the membership astray. Would this not demonstrate that such a tenet is questionable? What would happen today to a member who insisted vocally that only two personages were in the Godhead and that God was a God of spirit?

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24 Responses to Removing the “doctrine” out of the Doctrine and Covenants

  1. falcon says:

    Very good article Bill.
    Something that Mormons are probably not aware of because it calls into question the foundation upon which Mormonism is built, their prophets. These guys just keep switching things up and are able to pull it off because the Mormon people won’t question their actions. I call that “out-sourcing” since the Mormon people believe so strongly in the veracity of the leadership. Think of the cognitive dissonance that is in operation within the faithful believers. They are told to “Follow the leaders they will never lead you astray” and “When the leaders speak, the thinking has been done.”
    You mentioned briefly the “Book of Commandments” that preceded the D&C. Smith lost members when he made the switch because their were people in the sect that believed he had gone beyond his authority and was making a power grab.

    This is what the remnant of the break-away group today known as the Church of Christ says:
    “…… there were ideas and doctrines introduced which were not a part of the Gospel of Christ. Some of these ideas and doctrines caused the Church a great deal of difficulty and divisions. Some members of the Church were confused because they knew the truth of the Gospel; but confused by the new doctrines introduced by ministers they trusted, that were not found in the Bible or Book of Mormon. These doctrines included the consolidation of power into the hands of one man as “Prophet” (not unlike the Pope) the offices of a High Priest and a First Presidency, the practice of baptism for the dead, the belief in a changeable God and the mysticism of Free Masonry. The name of the Church had even been changed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    My point is that the average LDS member just goes along thinking that the leadership which promotes doctrines have a steady hand on the tiller of the organization they believe is the “one true church”. Fact of the matter is that from the beginning, Smith was given to change. This is the legacy of the LDS church.

  2. Rick B says:

    This is what J.F.Smith says about the D and C

    Doctrines of Salvation vol 3, pg 198-199 J.F.S. teaches,

    In my judgment their is no book on earth yet come to man as important as the book known as the Doctrine and Covenants, with all due respect to the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, and the pearl of great price, which we say are our standards in Doctrine. The book of Doctrine and Covenants to us stands in a peculiar position above them all.

    I am going to tell you why. When I say that, do not for a moment think I do not value the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price, just as much as any man that lives; I think I do. I do not know of anybody who has read them more, and I appreciate them; they are wonderful; they contain doctrine and revelation and commandments that we should heed; but the Bible is a history containing the doctrine and commandments given to the people anciently. that applies also to the Book of Mormon. It is the doctrine and history and commandments of the people who dwelt upon this continent anciently.

    But this Doctrine and Covenants contains the word of God to those who dwell here now. It is our book. It belongs to the Latter Day Saints.

    i guess the prophets cannot agree, and they either dont know things were changed and that makes them ignorant, and JS taught a man cannot be saved in ignorance, or they are aware of the changes and somehow forget to mention them, but still feel the D and C is truthful and accurate. Truly sad.

  3. MJP says:

    “What would happen today to a member who insisted vocally that only two personages were in the Godhead and that God was a God of spirit?”

    I guess it depends on who that member is. If its a prez, that becomes the prevailing thought in the church. If its someone else, they are allowed their opinion until they make a stink about it.

  4. RikkiJ says:

    @bill Great article.

    @MJP – Joseph Smith’s lectures clearly delineate only 2 persons in the Godhood, and the Spirit being the mind of God. I could see (playing devil’s advocate), how an LDS could say a God of Spirit could also refer to a spirit-body, as I have encountered in my discussions with LDS.

  5. RikkiJ says:

    @MJP – I should clarify, this was his early doctrine, which was changed later.

  6. Mike R says:

    falcon : in your first post above , that paragraph ( third paragraph ) where it mentions how some LDS were seeing Joseph Smith introducing doctrines that were troubling them . That paragraph is a good example of how Mormon leaders after Smith would claim a main reason why other churches were apostate ! i.e it was similar behavior by certain men soon after the deaths of Jesus apostles which commenced the great apostasy , they began to drift away from the true gospel teachings by altering the gospel of Christ , especially by mixing in their own man made doctrines onto what Jesus’ apostles had preached far and wide . Yet Joseph Smith and subsequent Mormon leaders also went wandering down ” strange roads ” ( 1Nephi 8: 32 ) and unfortunately taught aberrant doctrines about God , thus deceiving their flock . They never repented and got back on track and so they rightly deserve to be called false prophets . Mormons today need to take note of how serious this is for them to be in a false prophet led organization .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

    Some years after the Lectures on Faith’s authorized doctrinal presentation about God Joseph Smith drifted into error and came up with a new view of God — God the Father was a human male from another planet/world who was now exalted — a physical body of flesh just like Jesus’ resurrected human body . Lecture number 5 does’nt teach this about the Father , it compares the Son a personage of tabernacle ( of flesh) with the Father who was a personage of spirit . Years later this type of comparsion was absent as it described them both the same way , but it describes the Holy Ghost with the same phrase as Lecture 5 did to the Father — see Lecture 5 compared with D&C 130:22

    In 1835 it was ok to confess the Godhead contained only two divine persons , one’s salvation was in believing this ” gospel truth ” . Later on , and today , a person must believe that the Father is a exalted man and one of three Gods in the Godhead/Trinity . A person’s salvation is in jeopardy if this is denied . This kind of doctrinal flip flop is a red flag . Since Mormon leaders claim to be Jesus’ apostles ( Paul, John , Peter etc ) modern day counterparts , which they do, and being confused about God like they have ( and this thread is only one example ) then it behooves LDS to walk away from their counterfeit apostles (compare 2 Cor 11:13 ) and return to anchoring their beliefs about God in what the Bible reveals about our Creator . That’s safe ground in these latter days considering the many prophets who have appeared on the scene . They must be tested — 1 Jn 4:1 . The reason : Matt 24:11 .

  7. falcon says:

    I’ve come to call this the “slow roll out” of the restored gospel. Smith claimed he had the restored gospel from the beginning but as we see, this restoration kept mutating, it didn’t “evolve”.
    You’d think, wouldn’t you, that if God was going to bless Smith with this restoration, He would have given Smith the whole thing right away. And here’s the thing, it wasn’t God giving Smith portions of the restored gospel over time, Smith got a whole different gospel and an entirely different god.
    It’s pretty clear why break-off groups say that Smith was a fallen prophet. They still buy into the BoM and some form of restoration, but they weren’t and aren’t jumping on Smith’s perversion.

    Unfortunately, these changes that have taken place in basic Mormon doctrine over the years, aren’t questioned by faithful Mormons. In fact they groove on it and see it as an essential feature of their religion, continuous revelation.
    To us this doesn’t make any sense but to Mormons it’s just one big emotional buzz. You’d think that the ambiguity and inconsistency in doctrine would make them question the veracity of the prophets they embrace.

  8. MJP says:

    Rikki, I know, and I think it is interesting to think how LDS would react if things were to move back towards the earlier versions.

  9. falcon says:

    This is a really good topic but I wonder how far into the weeds it is for the average run-of-the-mill “chapel” Mormon?

    (Mormon)”……..apologists have collectively (and perhaps inadvertently) redefined what most Mormons have been taught regarding the role and importance of prophets. Unfortunately, and perhaps most importantly, the prophets themselves have never defined their own role the way the apologists have. Therefore, a dichotomy has been created: Mormonism as interpreted by the apologists, and Mormonism as interpreted by the average member and by the prophets themselves.”

    “These two different schools of thought are typically encountered in separate venues. Since Mormonism’s controversial issues are widely and freely discussed on the Internet, many apologists likewise seek to make their own views and interpretations known via the Internet. By the same token, Mormonism’s chapels are settings for religious instruction and ordinances–as opposed to places for debate or argument–so only official teachings are shared therein. Therefore, the adherents of these separate schools of thought can be termed “Internet Mormons” and “Chapel Mormons”–not because of the only places they inhabit, of course, but because of the places one is most likely to encounter them. Lest anyone be confused, I also acknowledge that Internet Mormonism–at least in its embryonic form–has been around much longer than the Internet itself has. Again, the name “Internet Mormonism” merely calls attention to the place at which one is most likely to encounter this brand of Mormon thought. It also pays tribute to the fact that the Internet was the catalyst for the recent explosion of this particular brand of Mormonism.”

    This is an important distinction, I think, regarding the types of Mormonism out there in Mormon-land. So what if a “chapel Mormon” runs across this article? How will they respond? We’ve had the recent (last several months) of a sort of in and out of Mormonism tagged cattyjane join our discussion. At first, by her own description, she thought all of us here were really out in left field and didn’t know what we were talking about regarding Mormonism. Then, as her interest was piqued, she began to investigate what was being said here. Guess what? She found out that the information being presented was accurate and that Mormonism sic. LDS church, was phoney as a three dollar bill.
    So chapel Mormons, where are you going to go with the information presented in the article presented here?

  10. falcon says:

    Under the heading of:
    I Wish I’d Thought of That
    I present the following:

    *When discussing the words of the prophets, Chapel Mormons almost never say “it was only his opinion,” believing that a prophet’s words and God’s words are essentially one and the same. Internet Mormons, on the other hand, very often say “it was only his opinion.”
    *When the apologists contradict the prophets, Chapel Mormons almost always go with the prophets, while Internet Mormons almost always go with the apologists.
    *Chapel Mormons tend to take a prophet’s words at face value. Internet Mormons often “filter” a prophet’s words through both his local cultural influences and his limited sphere of knowledge.
    *Chapel Mormons believe that the living prophets supersede the scriptures. Internet Mormons believe that the scriptures supersede the living prophets.
    *Chapel Mormons tend to believe that a prophet’s words apply to everyone he’s addressing. Internet Mormons believe that a prophet’s words may not apply to at least some of the people he’s addressing.
    *Chapel Mormons believe that a prophet is a foreordained man of the highest moral caliber. Internet Mormons believe that a prophet is not necessarily any better than his societal average.
    *Chapel Mormons believe that real and binding doctrine is that which is accepted and believed by the majority of the Saints (in practice, this means that they accept the overwhelming majority of what they learn in church and in the church’s official publications in addition to the four Standard Works). Internet Mormons believe that the only real and binding doctrine in Mormonism is that found between the covers of the four Standard Works–all else is mere conjecture.
    *Chapel Mormons will typically try and bend science to fit the prophets. Internet Mormons typically try to bend the prophets to fit science.
    *Chapel Mormons believe that Joseph Smith was correct and that the Hill Cumorah was located in Western New York and was the same hill from which he retrieved the Golden Plates. Internet Mormons believe that FARMS is correct and that the Hill Cumorah was located somewhere in Southern Mexico.

  11. falcon says:

    In processing the points I posted above and these below, we see that the reaction to Bill’s article will depend on the type of Mormon who reads it. I’ve also discussed in past posts some other Mormon types. There are the “arrogant true believer” and the “naive true believer” for example. At any rate, here are some more characteristics of the chapel Mormon and the internet Mormon.

    Most if not all Chapel Mormons believe that the prophet is always right about church doctrine when he declares it in General Conference–otherwise what’s the point? Internet Mormons believe that the prophet can be mistaken about church doctrine just as often in General Conference as anywhere else.
    When discussing the words of the prophets, Chapel Mormons almost never say “that’s not necessary to my salvation.” Internet Mormons, on the other hand, quite often say “that’s not necessary to my salvation.”

    Many Chapel Mormons believe that spirit children in the pre-existence are created through sexual intercourse, just like in mortality. Internet Mormons never take a stance on this teaching either way, other than perhaps to declare it non-doctrinal.
    Many or most Chapel Mormons believe that Jesus was conceived through actual sex between God and Mary. As before, Internet Mormons rarely take a stance on this teaching either way, other than perhaps to declare it non-doctrinal.

    Many or most Chapel Mormons believe that Jesus was conceived through actual sex between God and Mary. As before, Internet Mormons rarely take a stance on this teaching either way, other than perhaps to declare it non-doctrinal.
    Most Chapel Mormons believe that God has a wife–“Heavenly Mother”–having been sealed to Her during His own mortal probation. Internet Mormons are notably less likely to commit to this belief.
    As a sub-set of the above, many Chapel Mormons believe that God has more than one wife. Internet Mormons rarely admit to this belief one way or the other.
    The vast majority of Chapel Mormons believe that God was once a man. Far fewer Internet Mormons share this belief; many of them will either declare it to be non-doctrinal or will refuse to commit either way.
    Most Chapel Mormons believe that God had a “father God.” Internet Mormons are rarely willing to discuss this.
    Many Chapel Mormons believe that black Africans and those of black African descent were less valiant in the pre-existence (although this belief fortunately appears to be dwindling). Internet Mormons usually deny that this was ever a Mormon belief.
    Most Chapel Mormons believe that God lives near a star called Kolob. Internet Mormons are much less likely to admit having this belief.

  12. falcon says:

    Over the years I’ve replied to several Mormon posters asking them, “What type of Mormonism are you practicing?” I wasn’t really aware of the designation of an “internet” vs. a “chapel” Mormon. But that’s exactly what was going on.
    I’ve found that the internet Mormon is in a total free-flow mode doing nothing more but interpreting all of the Mormon history and doctrine (and it’s changes) through a lens of personal comfort. They want to believe and stick with Mormonism and they need to find a way to resolve all of the wackiness and inconsistencies. So they make up their own version of Mormonism.
    Now the FLDS are a totally different bunch. They are 100% chapel Mormons and they aren’t a bit embarrassed by it. The internet Mormons, on-the-other-hand, I believe are embarrassed by hardcore Mormonism.
    Debating with an internet Mormon is an interesting proposition since they are doing what they accuse us of. That is, not understanding Mormonism. It’s ironic isn’t it. These internet Mormons make-up their own form of Mormonism and then accuse others of not understanding because we won’t hold to their obvious deviation from what their own church teaches.

  13. Mike R says:

    falcon, you called it ” a slow roll out ” of the restored gospel . Slow is one thing , but unstable , wishy washy , inconsistent teachings is quite another thing — because that suggests confusion on the part of the preacher , in this case Joseph Smith ( and those he mentored like Brigham Young etc . ) .

    You said , ” And here’s the thing , it was’nt God giving Smith portions of the restored gospel over time, Smith got whole different gospel and an entirely different god.”

    That’s one way to put it . What’s the picture that emerges when people examine the teaching track record of Mormon leaders ever since they arrived on the scene in 1830 ? Answer : there’s a certain pattern that these latter days prophets have exhibited – ( Eph 4:14 . )

    The title of this thread : Bill brings up some food for thought which LDS should ponder .

  14. MJP says:

    Mike R: perhaps you are familiar with the words of wisdom that suggest the more you lie the harder it is to keep your story straight.

  15. RikkiJ says:

    @MJP, Falcon, Mike R, Rick B

    If you ever had a chance to a sitdown with the prophet or a GA from LDS, what single question would you ask them or put them? (Choose your best question or topic)

    Just curious about a hypothetical situation.

  16. falcon says:

    Simple. I’d ask, “Mr. Monson is what the LDS church believes, teaches and practices today, the same thing that the first century Church believed, taught and practiced?”
    Now how do you think he’d dodge that question?

    For a follow-up I ask if he ever sneaks down to the vault, grabs Joseph Smith’s magic rock, and puts it in a hat to see what he could see when he shoved his face into (the hat).

  17. Mike R says:

    The confusion that Mormon leaders absorbed from Joseph Smith relative to some of his teachings about God did’nt disappear easily . George Q.Cannon , a member of the First Presidency and general Superintendent of the Sunday school , preached in Nov. 0f 1898 :

    ” The Lord has said through His prophet that there are two personages in the Godhead . That ought to be sufficient for us at the present time…. ” [ “Proceeding of the First Sunday School Convention
    Salt Lake City : Deseret Sunday School Union 1899 , p. 87 ].

    When we take time to do what the apostle John recommended ( 1 Jn 4:1 ) as a safeguard against following for the appealing advertisements by some of the many prophets around today who claim to represent Jesus Christ but who are only well meaning individuals not sent by Him , we can greatly inoculate ourselves from being fooled and not end up following a false prophet / messenger .
    Those sincere people who followed Joseph Smith , the Brigham Young were fooled by these latter days prophets . Some recognized the doctrinal vacillating for what it was — confusion , a consistent pattern of teachings which signaled the man made origin of them , and got out of the organization
    but sadly most did not . Submitting to false prophets is never an easy thing to simply walk away from . Our hearts go out to those who continue to stay in a false prophet led organization . All the good deeds done in religious organizations like Mormonism can not make up for following false prophets — that is something which LDS should take notice of because it’s nothing new — Isa 9:16 ; Matt 7:15 .

    The Mormon people have not been the problem , Mormon leaders are the problem .
    May the Mormon people do the right thing and walk away from these men . Rev 2: 2

  18. Mike R says:

    Mormon leaders have not taught some lies , they’re just truth challenged 🙂

    Rikkij, since Monson is so old and set in his ways , I think I would simply read to him out of God’s word the gospel message of salvation : Rom 3:23 ; 5:8,10 ; 6:23 ; 10:9-13 and hope he finally let’s the Holy Ghost minister to him about Jesus . Seems simple yet without the convicting power of God it will only fall on deaf ears . I’d make sure to thank him for giving me the time to share with him , and then leave the rest to God .

  19. falcon says:

    I was wondering what type of Mormon could more easily be “flipped”, a chapel Mormon or an internet Mormon?
    In his article, Bill makes a good case for the inconsistency of Mormon prophets and apostles and how easily they dismiss what was previously accepted by the faithful. I don’t think a chapel Mormon would be effected much by information like that presented in the article. They pretty much march in lock step. An internet Mormon however, is on a slippery slope of faith in the “one true church”.
    I remember we had a Mormon who used to show-up here and post. He eventually left “the church”. I asked him why he finally left. He said, “I just got tired of trying to defend Mormonism.” He was one of those “shelf Mormons” I guess. We all know what that is. All of the troubling information they learn about Mormonism is put on the shelf, to be dealt with sometime in the future. Pretty soon the shelf collapses under the weight of evidence.

    Here’s a good video that Aaron posted on You Tube. It’s Lee B. Baker, former Mormon bishop.

  20. Rick B says:

    I would ask, why he and other prophets down through the years lie, contradict each other and mislead the people and how they feel that’s ok. Then I would give examples if he denies it, which I know he would.

  21. falcon says:

    I think the emphasis in Mormonism on “feeling the spirit” is what blinds many Mormons from examining the claims and practices of their religion. If an idea is “confirmed” by a strong emotional response, it becomes embedded deep within the psyche of that person.
    Now add to this the indoctrination by participation in temple rituals with secret signs, tokens, garments and passwords, and you have an individual who is stuck in spiritual cement. It’s very difficult to move someone away from what they consider a deeply spiritual experience. They will make all sorts of excuses and provide alibis to protect their emotional equilibrium.
    What happens is that these folks simply trust the leadership way too much. If the leadership says it, it has to be true even if it’s inconsistent and changes frequently. And the real mind-blowing thing for me is that these people think that what they are practicing and believing is what was happening in the first century Christian Church.
    It wouldn’t take a whole lot of curiosity to find information that first century Christians did not go to temples and participate in the temple rituals that the LDS members do today. Nor would it be that challenging to find out that the early Church did not practice polygamy, especially marrying other men’s wives as Joseph Smith did.
    With a tad bit of investigation, an LDS could read what the early Church believed about the nature of God, specifically the nature of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is no premise/basis for Mormonism in the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers or the traditions of the Christian Church. As I’ve said countless times before, there isn’t even Mormonism in the writings of the heretics.
    I would find it very disturbing, if I were LDS, that Joseph Smith changed his mind about his first vision at least eight times and this resulted in a totally different view of the nature of God. The one thing you look for in a “prophet” is consistency. This is not a trademark of the Mormon brand. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

  22. MJP says:

    Rikki– I would ask: do you really, truly believe everything you say and everything your past leaders have said.

    All too often it seems like they just make things up.

  23. Mike R says:

    One interesting item about Joseph Smith’s doctrinal confusion which he fed his flock is that he was familiar with the creeds which the churches in his neighborhood used ( Nicean, Athanasian) from time to time in their preaching . But then after a series of visitations from angels of light and later on visitations from Biblical figures like John the Baptist , Peter , John etc was well on his way to leading his new church and preaching the real truth about God . Having decried the creeds as unacceptable for doctrinal education he introduced in 1835 the real truth about the Godhead , it was comprised of two Divine persons , two Gods , not three as the creeds declared ! This new light about God was embraced by church officers and was a vital part of Smith’s “restored ” gospel . Yet some years later the Mormon prophet changed to declaring that in fact there were three divine persons in the Godhead/Trinity — just like those creeds he and his family ( Presbyterian ) had been familiar with while he was growing up in upstate N.Y.

    Joseph Smith was a gospel preacher who could not be trusted as a reliable teacher . He and Mormon leaders after him created new doctrines out of whole cloth and fed them to their flock as wholesome spiritual food . The Bible says that consuming such impure food is dangerous and can eventually lead to spiritual death . No matter how sincere a person is , following preachers who introduce false doctrines , especially about God , is not safe . Mormon prophets are such preachers , their ” restored ” gospel is but another latter day imitation gospel around today . Paul was right and his counsel is appropriate for today — Gal 1:8 .

    Mormon leaders claim that they are trustworthy guides , they speak / preach with “no uncertain sound ” , they are the one source of “pure doctrine” in these latter days . and like Brigham Young once reassured LDS in his day , their duty is to protect their flock from doctrines that are not sound — they will never teach/condone false teachings . Those are the claims , direct from Mormon publications . However , the facts present a different picture , to the extent that all persons who take Jesus’ warning in Matt 24 :11 seriously will waste no time in testing the prophets of Mormonism to
    see what they have been up to . There’s a lot of information available from MRM , UTLM , and other ministries to aid in this .
    May the Mormon people make time to test their prophets .

  24. RikkiJ says:

    Thanks for the feedback!

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