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March 26, 2020 9:06 pm
Viewpoint: Mormonism examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson.
My colleague at MRM we wrap up our series regarding an article it was in the February 2020 addition of enzyme magazine. It starts on page 19 and it's titled eight truths from the first vision and naturally it's supposed to give the impression that Smith, Joseph Smith learned a lot of these things as a result of his alleged encounter with God the father and Jesus Christ in the sacred Grove back in the spring of 1820. Now we hear Mormonism research ministry certainly challenge that whole account there's a problem with the 1820 date merely because when you add all the details. It couldn't have happened in 1820, as Mormons are led to believe.
And as Joseph Smith, adding details to this alleged first vision.
It also seems to become very spurious in the fact that it appears that Smith is making up the whole account. By the way, he adds a lot of details over the years. But before we look at point number eight today. Eric you are mentioning off air about the questions for family discussions that are found on the bottom of page 21. Once you talk about your concerns the idea that you're supposed to discuss this with your family so your little children are going to be able to understand the importance of the first vision, the there are three questions that are given so that you can have this discussion and they bother me greatly. The first one is, why is it important for each of us to have our own testimony of the first vision and my immediate thought. Bill was a testimony of something that never took place, and yet this is very important.
Without the first vision, the leaders have very clearly said you don't have Mormonism and so you have to have a testimony of an event that was supposedly taking place in 1820, and we have no evidence in the first decade after that time that there was such an event that took place. You would've thought that would be talked about all the time in the first mention we ever hear of it is from Joseph Smith's Journal in 1832 I think I get what you're saying here because when a Mormon talks about their personal testimony. It's very subjective. It's based on. As a result, they would say of prayer, but they have no real evidence to support the conclusion and that testimony so it's kind of like they're telling them can be the same thing when it comes to this event. You don't have to have any evidence to show that it happened you just have to have a feeling that you think came from God telling you that's true, and as long as you think the first vision really happened. That's probably going to keep you in the Mormon church. I think it's a good point and so this event so important to Latter Day Saints.
If it's true then we all want to become Latter Day Saints. If it's not true. Nobody should join the LDS church and the third question was bothersome to me. Share your testimony of Joseph Smith and invite other family members to do the same.
This religion is centered around Joseph Smith and I know Latter Day Saints listening to me are saying why are you suggesting that he's being worshiped.
I'm not saying that at all. Latter Day Saints do not pray to Joseph Smith but at the same time to share your testimony of a man who I don't think was a moral man in many ways I think he was a false prophet and so were supposed to get this emotional feeling that isn't it wonderful that we follow this wonderful man and I would say check out Joseph Smith, closer, and if this first vision again is not true then you how to run from this church exactly and I think when you mention how Mormonism seems to be focusing on Joseph Smith. Not in the way of worship as you said, but certainly he is a very important part of it. When you have, for instance, Mormon leaders saying things to the effect that Mormonism stands or falls on the testimony of Joseph Smith does tend to tell me that it is pretty Joseph Smith centered. It all boils down to what Joseph Smith claimed an argument would be that the things he claimed contradict what God is already revealed unless you want to say God got it wrong or if you want to go with the Mormon argument that everything that we seem to know about God was all corrupted, making it necessary for Joseph Smith's ideas to supplant whatever the Christian church had known about God, you could go in that direction but is that really a safe way to go. And that brings us to point number eight point number eight. In this article says Joseph Smith became a witness for God and his son Jesus Christ.
And then it quotes Mormon apostle D. Todd Christopherson and he said Joseph Smith's testimony of Jesus is that he lives, for he saw him, even on the right hand of God, and he heard the voice bearing record that he is the only begotten of the father and that's from doctrine and covenants section 76 verse 23, he says, also see verse 22. I appeal to all who hear or read this message to seek through prayer and study of the Scriptures that same witness of the divine character.
The atonement and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that he is encouraging them to find out about this through the study of the Scriptures. Now, of course, folks, when the Mormon says the Scriptures. That's just not the Bible. That's the book of Mormon doctrine covenants and the Pearl of great price as well, but I would say that that statement is really an indictment on all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because they have in their Canon the King James Bible and it reads very similar to our Bibles today, though it uses some archaic language so you could say that every Latter Day Saints because they accept the Bible as part of their Scriptures are all guilty if they want to push it aside and except Joseph Smith's latter-day revelations, or any of their leaders, latter-day revelations and put them in love with the Bible has to say that's pretty serious charges being leveled here, but unfortunately I think all members of the LDS church sadly come under that condemnation, but one point number eight says Joseph Smith became a witness for God and his son Jesus Christ. The obvious question we must ask will. Who is this God that apparently had to be introduced by Joseph Smith. As a result of this first vision while there were a lot of things that Joseph Smith said about God that we do not find anywhere in the Bible either old or New Testament. I think one of the big things that about the Mormon God. That certainly separates him from the God of the Jews, the God of the Christians if you will would be Jews and Christians both share the belief that God is spirit. John 424 but what Joseph Smith say in the doctrine and covenants section 130 verse 22. He said the father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's that we can assume he learned that from the first vision because remember, folks, it's a vision did God appear tangibly to Joseph Smith the Joseph Smith touch him.
There's no examples of this in that account but somehow Joseph Smith came to the conclusion that God has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's will.
That is not the way God is described in the Bible are this is what Joseph Smith said and recorded and teaches that the prophet Joseph Smith, page 345 and by the way it was put into a correlated curriculum achieving a celestial marriage. Page 129 God himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man and sits enthroned in yonder heavens that is the great secret, if the veil were rent today and the great God, who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power was to make himself visible. I say if you were to see him today you would see him like a man inform like yourselves and all the person image and very form as a man for Adam was created in the very fashion image and likeness of God and received instruction from and walk talk and converse with him, as one man tocsin and communes with another bill that's as blasphemous as it gets. It's also contradictory when you look at other teachings that Joseph Smith gave about God to notice in this statement, he says in this God is the great God, who holds this world and its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power not really true. According to Joseph Smith because Smith also taught.
We have imagined. And suppose that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so that you may see will if he wasn't God from all eternity, who was running things before he became God who put all these other worlds in their orbits.
He couldn't of been the God that Joseph Smith was now introducing as this article says his experience in the sacred Grove in the first vision. There had to be a God that preceded the God that Joseph Smith was introducing at this time. That is not the God of the Bible that becomes problematic but bill. He later says that the God the father of assault welt on earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did and I will show it from the Bible. Having none of this can be shown from the Bible. I'm thinking of Psalm chapter 90, verse two, which says God is from everlasting to everlasting. The idea that God could not have changed.
Malachi 36 there's many passages to support the version of God in the I guess you would say in the former state that before there was his need for restoration, but you can go to the Bible, Joseph Smith and be able to show the God that you're talking about as being true, we have another quote and this one is by Bruce R. McConkie and this is in his book Mormon doctrine, 1966 edition, page 323 he said Christ attained godhood while yet in preexistence will think about that word McConkie getting this idea. He's basically getting it from Joseph Smith. If you look at the Lorenzo Snow couplet as man is God once was, as God is man may become well that teaches that as we are right now. That's what God used to be. Now that becomes fascinating because of Christ attained godhood while yet in preexistence. When did God the father get his godhood will according to Joseph Smith. It wasn't until after his personal mortality on an earth somewhere. It wasn't in his preexistence, according to what Joseph Smith taught and I again ask where in the Bible does it teach that.
In fact, where in the book of Mormon. Does it teach this idea.
The book of Mormon is supposed to be the most correct book on earth and a man could get near to God by abiding by its precept, than by any other book show me something that would support this idea from Scripture or is this just something that Joseph Smith has come up with to create his own religion. And it's interesting that you bring up that comparison because in the book of Mormon. Joseph Smith does seem to get it right about God in Moron I eat 18 when he speaks of God's eternal illness that he was always God, from everlasting to everlasting, which goes along with what Psalm 90 verse two is teaching us from the Bible and that's the one thing Joseph Smith apparently tendons when he comes up with this idea that we have imagined.
And suppose that God was God from all eternity. Where would we have imagined this. Well, probably from reading Moron I eat 18 in the book of Mormon and the doctrine and covenants section 76 verse four says, from eternity to eternity. He is the same in his years never fail. It seems like Joseph Smith contradicts himself based on the Scripture, that he had given to people and this is why I would say we should not accept Joseph Smith as being a witness for God. In fact, if we were living in an Old Testament situation.
If you look at Deuteronomy 13.
What was the one strong admonition, the Jews were given when it comes to false prophets.
Watch out for a false prophet because they're going to teach you a false concept of God, thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.
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