What’s This Mormon Thing?

Hostile Anti-Mormon posts subject to editing or deletion

The Case Against Joseph Smith

Posted by JLFuller on July 23, 2008

I posted this on Dr. Bill Poole’s blog, http://hottubreligion.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/are-mormons-christians/#comment-1572 this morning but I think the subject matter is sufficently intersting that I would like to post it here too.

Bill

I have read many of your comments. I notice you tend to demonize Mormons rather than discuss theological differences. Demonizing I think plays into Satan’s hand. It drives us apart. I suggest there is a better way. We can discuss doctrine and history without the name calling and still accomplish Christ’s goals of bringing people together. Doing so raises the level of discourse and I think allows us to invite the presence of the Holy Ghost to enhance the experience.

 

The thing you seem to focus on is Joseph Smith. As a life long Mormon and I think somewhat well read, I don’t know enough about Joseph to make the leaps you and others do. Much of the information available is tainted therefore unreliable although many diaries and journals seem straightforward enough when taken en masse. There are as many people speaking on Joseph’s behalf as there are those attacking him. So as I read the record, I don’t yet clearly understand what happened let alone believe I am able to come to an honest conclusion. I acknowledge my bias, but I am not blinded by it. I can be corrected. But I have heard all the arguments pro and con and am not convinced. I doubt you can add anything I haven’t already heard or read.  Even so, given the dark side of Christianity is the base, I wonder if an individual’s personal behavior is sufficient foundation on which to postulate a theory. In other words, does it really matter?

 

When we look back on Catholicism, for example, do the excesses of the Spanish Inquisition bear on today’s Church? Does the Baptist and Presbyterian support of slavery and genocide mean we can’t look to the modern Church for leadership? Does the behavior of current pastors who support the Ku Klux Klan mean Evangelicals have no voice worth listening to? I think if we kick everybody out who has sinned or made a mess of his personal life there would be no one left. I believe in holding leadership to a higher standard of course but the evidence has to be unimpeachable too. The case against Joseph Smith does not rise to that level. When acknowledged scholars on all sides come to a mutual agreement over time I will consider the case sufficiently resolved for me too. Anything short of that is just propaganda. 

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19 Responses to “The Case Against Joseph Smith”

  1. I make no excuses, as a Christian I read the Bible, and I try to follow it, the teachings and the valid patterns in it.

    I like to recommend the Bible’s answers too.. (John 7:16 KJV) Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
    17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    You want to know more truths, be doers of the God and not man’s word firstly, serve God alone..

    Jer 17:5 Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in {and} relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind {and} heart turn aside from the Lord.
    Jer 17:6 For he shall be like a shrub {or} a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
    Jer 17:7 [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, {and} relies on the Lord, and whose hope {and} confidence the Lord is.
    Jer 17:8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see {and} fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious {and} full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.

    (Prov 29:25 KJV) The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

    (Prov 29:26 KJV) Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the LORD.

    (Prov 29:27 KJV) An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

    (John 14:23 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we ( note the plural term) will come unto him, and make our ( plural again) abode with him.

    (John 14:24 KJV) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    >>but if you can answer the questions as to where the “Trinity” and the two are one came from except from man //

    I cannot understand why people are having problem with the trinity for to me they are obviously listening to other men and not to God or his word the Bible.. if you have problem with the trinity tome you have many other major problems, such as you are not really being led by the Holy Spirit still too, and who is Jesus really now too? and you are not reading the Bible itself, alone.

    I have no hidden agenda, I am working for no denomination, or building any church empires too. I do not have to defend my church’s doctrines or their leaders now too.. I am an anointed Christian who follows solely Christ himself.

    I have also been gifted that God speaks to me, that Jesus speaks to me and that the Holy spirit speaks to me, because I am sold out to them.. I live for them alone.. anyone who is trying to serve God, self, the world, the devil they thus will always be in confusion and will not not know even God well firstly. I had made a full commitment to serve Jesus Christ and alone too for no man can serve two masters. I have been called to be Pastor directly by God, this was not my own first choice of a profession now too.

    (Mat 16:24 KJV) Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    (Mat 16:25 KJV) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

    http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/trinity/
    http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/god%e2%80%99s-triune-nature/

    There is no way in the world Jehowah Wittness, or Mormons can even be considered Christians for sure too.

  2. JLFuller said

    Thenonconformer, you said: “There is no way in the world Jehovah Witness, or Mormons can even be considered Christians for sure too.” It is an opinion but you offer nothing support your contention. Just saying so doesn’t make it true. This is just more unsubstantiated propaganda.

    You offered biblical passages but none of them substantiated your claim about the Holy Trinity. The NT says nothing about such a thing. In fact it is quite clear that Christ, God the Father and the Holy Ghost are distinct and separate beings. John 14:9 indicates Christ and The Father are separate and distinct. He not only prayed to the Father (for example, John 11:41-42; 17) but he said, “my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), and indicated that the Father loved him and gave him commandments (John 10:17-18), stating also that the Father had knowledge that he did not possess (Mark 13:32). That the Father and the Son are separate individuals is also indicated by the fact that Jesus had to “ascend” after his resurrection to be with his Father (John 20:17). http://farms.byu.edu/faq.php?id=11&table=questions.

    All of these indicate The Savior is not the same personage as The Father and disproves the Trinitarians’ notions.

  3. I talk directly to jesus often, jesus said also my sheep hear my voice, and God speaks to us as well outseide of the Bible.. and he doe snto consider these other persons true christians.. cause they lied and distort the Bible too..

  4. I am sure you are sincere, but you haven’t told us anything. Anybody can make stuff up and a great many do – especially about Mormons, JW and a lot of others. Readers expect that people have diifferent view points but please respect our intelligence. We try to participate with the Holy Ghost in these conversations and I think most readers can tell non-sense from legitimate well researched and understood contributions. The best way to put gobbledygook in its place is to bring multiple, scholarly, well respected sources with you to the conversation. I think the standard has to be whether one learns anything from the encocunter.

  5. One reason I suggest reading recognized scholarly sources is because few of us have the time, talent or inclination to do the work these folks do. We take from a variety of recognized sources to get a broader view of the subject matter. Even among scholars there are disagreements. If we take the time to do our homework we can ask the Holy Ghost to assist us in separating the wheat from the chaff.

  6. (Rev 12:11 KJV) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

    The Bible and the personal testimony are the best effective tools in converting others.

    Books tend to cause intellectual converts, persons whose sinful hearts have no been touched, and explains why so many educated people in seminaries, elsewhere too are so far away from God..

    (Mat 7:26 KJV) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

    (Rom 1:21 KJV) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    (1 Cor 1:20 KJV) Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    (1 Cor 1:27 KJV) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

    (Gal 3:1 KJV) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

    (Gal 3:3 KJV) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

  7. here I also what I find really strange, I tend to post the identical same response on at least 3 or 4 sites, since the same topics tend to be popular discussion on other professing Christian sites now too.. and yet I tend to even get totally opposite response to the same messages, some positive, approving, supportive, other condemning, critical, yes to the same post. As I see it next the Reponses tend to be more indelicate of the spiritual nature of the responders

    (Mark 8:38 KJV) Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

    (Rom 1:16 KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    (2 Tim 1:8 KJV) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

    http://thefocusonthefamily.wordpress.com/

  8. JLFuller said

    “The Bible and the personal testimony are the best effective tools in converting others.”

    “Books tend to cause intellectual converts, persons whose sinful hearts have no been touched, and explains why so many educated people in seminaries, elsewhere too are so far away from God..”

    I don’t disagree with your representation of the Holy Spirit and conversion stories. However, discussion of those topics is not what we do here. We are not out to convert anyone. We are here to discuss the misinformation surrounding the theology and history of the LDS Church. Along the way we may become better informed of the thinking of others who have studied more than the rest of us. Making broad based unsupported comments about something you apparently have little real knowledge of and then claiming special dispensation from God to do so does not contribute to the conversation. Any of us can claim to be prompted by God to say what ever we want. Such claims are meaningless and participants devolve into “My religious experience is better than your religious experience” as we see on too many other sites. In the end more heat is generated than light. So, in the future, please respond as I have asked. I will not allow propaganda or denigration of my Church or others. Speak respectfully and with proper supporting citations or post elsewhere. That is not too much to ask.

    You do bring up one important thing though. Many people get too intellectual and forget the spiritual. That problem exists in the LDS Church too.

    Jack.

  9. JLFuller said

    Nonconformer
    You bring up an important issue that I think I see represented in your posts. How does one discern the legitimate promptings of God from the misrepresentations of the Deceiver and our ill-informed brethren? It may be at the heart of the reason we study scripture and historical texts. I suggest context is critical to a fuller understanding of the intent and meaning of what was said. Otherwise, intent can be missed. Deuteronomy is an example. Why would the overreaching behaviors spoken of there be important to today? I suggest the lesson is that unbridled religious fervor can lead to the loss of spirituality. In Salt Lake City, demonstrators have become militant and out of control at some LDS functions. We saw even worse things in Atlanta where evil took over a man’s heart and resulted in the deaths of innocent people. Jim Jones’ Jonestown was even worse with the suicide and murders of 900 people.

  10. JLFuller said

    The point of my comment is that we have to stop irrational behaviors at some point before they become dangerous. Thorough study and understanding of scripture is the place to begin. We can’t do this properly by ourselves. We must have the Holy Ghost with us to have the complete story and message. So the foundation upon which we study must be to first know what Christ and the apostles said about the subject of learning to learn. I think is a large enough issue to make it a seperate post subject.

  11. I do rely on my daily reading the Bible, on prayer, on the daily Guidance of the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus Christ but I am always ready also to give a personal account for the reason of my Faith.. and you do not have to buy a book to get this, nor be a scholar now to do this too..

    Now my next door neigbour is a typical lost Mormon, and his relgion is so confusing that not even a computer can keep it all simple. Water exists in three states- solid, liquid and gas, so does God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit too now..

    and my relationship with Jesus Christ, God, the Holy Spirt, all three of them is in contrast very simple and has clear benefits now as well. Cause it is undeniably real.

    Gen 31:7 But your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me.

    (Rom 8:28 KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    In my life I have faced serious illnesses more than once….

    Baiscially initially when my children were born and they were facing serious sickness.. My wife, and I and our church prayed seriuoulsy for them..

    and when I was next myself becamse serioulsy ill too.. and I can assure you that in desperation I prayed seriuoulsy as well..

    AND I HAVE OFTEN PRAYED FOR OTHER SICK PERSONS NOW TOO.

    What initially ALSO appeared as the most tragic demonic events in my own life next, they had turned out to be the most blessed event, even prolonging my life.

    Imagine that I as an adult in Calgary Alberta was firstly fired from my job because I had refused to cheat, lie, steal on behalf of my firm. Next my sadly unfaithful wife filed for divorce, and she ven stole my personal belongings and my 3 children too, even our house next went into foreclosure and was taken over by the bank, so what can happen worse than that?

    Well next the pastor of the local church tried to kick me out of the local church cause I could not longer give to him, and he for sure falsely was not willing to give in return.. What next?

    Well for 2 years the lying, pretending local bad doctors, hospital could find anything wrong with me too.. even though I knew for sure there was something wrong with me..

    So I next moved back to my home town, Montreal to another province, Quebec.

    Shortly the doctors there confirmed the fact that I need quintuplet heart by pass surgery, and they also next installed a pacer, and a defliberator as well.. thus prolonging my life much longer than had I strayed in Calgary Alberta.

    You see I was working and living in Calgary Alberta in 1982 and for 2 years I had gone to various doctors, I had undergone various medical tests and the doctors said they could find nothing wrong with me specifically, rather it appears they must have known the truth but refused to do anything, for the Alberta government has a policy that they give medical services priority mainly to people born in Alberta. Had my wife not filed for divorce for sure I would have had been dead next there, and when she filed for divorce, we lost our home as the lawyers had seized it for their future payments, so next I had no choice but to eventually go back to Montreal to firstly get medical help cause I was in continually stomach pains. By the blood pressure alone the doctor should have know how seriously I was sick, 165/145.. my wife being a nurse she knew right away.. God even told me I was seriously ill.. and he had refused to allow me to work hard.

    When I got to Montréal and visited the McGill Hospital, the doctors here said I was ok originally, amused me and put me into a bed for 4 weeks and conducted no medical tests at all.. next finally they decided to discharge me, but someone had to sign off on me and they decided to do one test, the echo gram, the technician doing the test next she start to cry, and I asked her why she was crying, she replied that I was too young to have such a serious heart problem, 1/3 of my heart was dead. The next day the doctor said the McGill Hospital came and told me that there was nothing they could do for me, I would have to go home and get ready to die. But right then at the same time I heard Jesus say “do not worry Paul, it will all turn out all right”.. so next day the 2 doctors came back and and said they will give me a heart surgery tomorrow, a quintuplet heart by pass. After the heart surgery I was totally normal for 2 weeks but then it seemed to have been inadequate.. the surgery was only partially successful. I was able to walk but I had difficulties in any serious exercise, physical activity. God told me next he took my wife away cause it was her bad cooking that was killing me, something the dieticians confirmed next too. He God had now freed me to work on the internet, I have been on the internet actually since computers had first started in the 80’s both as a political lobbyist on behalf of all Canadians, as a Christian pastor promoting God’s truth.

    I had now also wanted to return to Alberta, because I loved the weather and scenery there,so as I prayed as to why I could not go back there. God told me I he had provided everything I needed in the city of LaSalle Montreal where I was I was even for my medical care. I shortly had a vision. It was a view of Montreal from above, but on the south side of the Montréal, across the river instead was a huge European looking city. I was told I could not cross the south river, and I saw from the air above the Montreal General Hospital and I was told I would have to go there next. That week my main doctor called and said I would have to go to the hospital to have a defliberator installed for I have a tendency to die in my sleep. So they implanted the medical device and next it significantly improved my breathing.

    I was now also basically limited to biking, since walking any long distance was too difficult for me but eventually next even Biking that was too hard for me, I could not make it up the hill. So in desperation I prayed and told God that. Just after I had prayed the phone rang and a fellow said he had acquired an electric bike he would like to sell me. I bought it, and it really solved my biking need. I loved it. I could travel at 30 mph and do about 60 miles before I recharge it, bout 2 a week.

    Meanwhile I continue on the net daily for hours, generally my mornings at least, writing my messages, replying to letters. I have been happy, fulfilled with God the last 15 years too. I have been very visibly active on the net as a Christian, even daily writing Bible devotionals to many pastors, college students too. Gladly here doing the work of the Lord. Although I liked being a pastor of a home church better in Calgary, I loved the daily home , hospital and political visitations too. So as you see there are no complaints here. God let me serve him more next instead of having me die. God had said to me also he had let me live cause I had served him..

    Is 61:1 THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed {and} qualified me to preach the Gospel {of} good tidings to the meek, the poor, {and} afflicted; He has sent me to bind up {and} heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison {and} of the eyes to those who are bound, Is 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, Is 61:3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, {and} failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Is 61:4 And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

    Is 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Is 61:11 For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness {and} justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word].

    Is 62:11 Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to the Daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes [in the person of the Lord]; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work {and} recompense before Him. Is 62:12 And they shall call them the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you shall be called Sought Out, a City Not Forsaken.

    God through Jesus Christ has promised to deliver us from all of sickness, sadness, sorrows, troubles even today, and we can stand on many such promises in his Word, the Bible. There is no pit that you fall into that is so deep that Jesus now next cannot still help you out off.

    Many professing Christian persons still do have concerns such as “Teach me how to pray for healing?” or ” I Prayed for healing but nothing happened yet?”

    It is firstly important to remember that the right of praying for healing in Jesus name by faith in God’s word, his written promise to us is the Children’s bread only, meaning this right belongs to all real genuine Christians, not to secular or still ungodly persons basically. Secondly if you prayed for healing, and nothing happen first give it some time, secondly pray again till you do next get the healing, even pray to find out why the healing has not happened..

    Now I know very specifically that I with 2 other church elders had prayed in a specific period for 28 people to be healed, and yet next only half were undeniably healing, but God there at the same time had revealed simultaneously to all three of us the same reasons, obstacles as to why the other persons were still not healed, including their unconfessed major sins, personal inadequacies that had to be dealt with, and in some of those cases next we prayed again for the same persons and they were healed or delivered from their bondage, sicknesses.

    If you are a false teacher, a false prophet, and there are much too many of them in the Christian, secular environment, do not basically expect God firstly and rightfully to hear your prayers.. even for healing. You rather need first to get right with God yourself.

    Phil 4:4 KJV) Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

    More Wine does not prevent Cancers, nor does being a drunk, or smoking, doing bad drugs prolong ones health too.. Only Jesus does..

    I can honestly say that the worse things that had happened to me in my own life next had turned out to be the best thing for me.. they caused me to grow spiritually and to grow closer to the Lord too, and we know that all things work for the good for those who love God..

    (2 Cor 1:3 KJV) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

    (2 Cor 1:4 KJV) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

    (2 Cor 1:5 KJV) For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

    (2 Cor 1:6 KJV) And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

    (2 Cor 1:7 KJV) And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

    http://pbulow.tripod.com/
    http://anyonecare.wordpress.com/2008/05/26/how-to-pray-for-healing/

  12. JLFuller said

    Conformist
    I deleted your other post. It was clearly a proselytizing attempt.
    Jack

  13. JLFuller said

    Conformist
    Thanks for the personal testimonies. They can be insightful but they don’t address the issue I object to and that was the unsubstantiated anti-Mormon comments. Of course people have their own opinions but when opinions become hateful they loose their value and become divisive. That is why I don’t allow them here. Your comment such as the one about the confusing LDS theology is not hateful just uninformed. I can help make our theology a little less confusing for people who really are interested. That is why this blog exists. I and others hope to be clearer about what we believe and don’t believe. I am not out to convert anyone. That is the Holy Ghost’s job.

    Please remember that I will not allow you or others to proselytize. If that is the clear intent of the piece I will not allow that piece to be posted. So if you get all wiggly inside over The God Makers, and want to spread the anti-Mormon message you won’t find an outlet for your opinions here. If you want to know what we believe I will tell you and provide my sources. If you prefer the fabricated versions go to the places where they make it up as they go. But if you want to take some element of LDS theology or history, comment about it and provide sources that helped you come to your view, I am anxious to read it.

  14. JLFuller said

    One other thing. Long rambling posts don’t get read very often. I suggest that you break it up a bit. Keep each piece to one or two points and get to your concusion quickly. I have written thousands of reports professionally and the axiom most writers live by is to keep it short and to the point. Less than one page works best. On a blog, ten or twenty lines serves the same end. Each point deserves its own paragraph with your conclusion at the end. It isn’t a hard and fast rule but following it makes your piece more readable.

  15. I simpl;y have posted my posting on my 5 Christian sites, so all persons still can read them freely.. and no one will tell me what I can or cannot write.

  16. JLFuller said

    You can say what ever you want. You just can’t say it here. As I see it you are part of the problem and little of the solution.

  17. JLFuller said

    I would like to point out again that I do not allow proselytizing nor do I condone or support attacks on anyone’s religious beliefs. Discussing theology by including legitimate sources is the proper way to converse. Ad hominem arguments serve no legitimate purpose and drive away the Spirit we seek to invite. People who feel the need to make sweeping generalizations about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will not find this blog to be a comforting venue.

  18. grego said

    Nice post. Thanks for reminding everyone once more of the double standard most critics apply to Joseph Smith and the LDS Church. Perhaps one day they’ll catch on…

  19. JLFuller said

    Grego
    You err in referring these folks as critics. A critic is one who looks at his subject matter in an objective way. Folks who don’t and then publish thier views have an anti-Mormon slant and can only be called propagandists. http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/propaganda?view=uk

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