The Latter Days Saints are very devoted to their founder, Joseph Smith. They’d frequently say: “I testify that Jesus is the Christ and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.” But was he really God’s prophet?
1. His first vision was dubious.
The “official” account of this vision – which forms the bedrock of Mormonism – written by Smith himself has been suppressed by the Latter Day Saints’ church for over 130 years because it contradicts their commonly believed version that Jesus/God appeared to him to start the Mormon church.
One said that he was visited “an angel” (Journal of Discourses 20 :107). Another says “by the ministration of angels” (J of D13:334). Another says “God did not come down himself and call [Smith], but he sent Peter to do so … he sent Moroni” (J of D 6:29). If this vision was true, why are there conflicting accounts?
A Mormon work, Answers to Gospel Questions (5:85), declares that: “The divine law has always been that there should be at least two witnesses to every manifestation of vital importance.” Based on this standard, Smith’s first vision should be rejected since there were no eye witnesses to attest to it. If he actually saw a vision, then it wasn’t from God because his teachings contradict the Bible (Gal. 1:8).
2. He had a low view of the Bible
“From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken away from the Bible or lost before it was completed” (Doctrines and Covenants, 70.)
Joseph Smith, like all false prophets downgraded the Bible – “the perfect law that gives freedom,” that is able to make us wise “for salvation through faith in Christ” and “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (James. 1:25; 2 Tim. 3:15, 17)
3. He gave false prophecies.
For example, in 1835 he predicted that Jesus would return within 56 years and many living at the time “will not taste of death till Christ comes” (History of the Church 2:182:336). This claim was contradicts what Jesus said in Matthew 24:36.
He also prophesied that: “Verily this is the word of the Lord … the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of saints … [the] temple shall be reared in this generation” (D and C 84: 4).
This was supposed to be a temple to be built in Missouri in his time, but it never came to past as the Mormons were later driven away from Missouri.
4. He was an adulterer
Mormon historians recorded that Joseph Smith was a polygamist who had between 28-54 wives. About seven of his wives were girls under the age of 18 and about two were 14 years old! This disqualifies him from being true Christian leader who should be “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim. 3:2).
5. He claims to be the successor of Jesus
He claimed that Jesus conferred on him the Melchizedek priesthood which is to be passed down to others. But this directly contradicts Hebrews 7:24 which says that Christ has a nontransferable Priesthood.
6. He taught heresies and blasphemies:
“Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet” (History of The Church, B. H. Roberts edition, originally 1902, 6:408-9)
7. He was involved in Masonry
A reference work says that: “Smith who became a Mason in 1842 borrowed Masonic rituals for Mormon ceremonies …” (Encyclopedia Britannica 12:443). This is why Masonic symbols are also found in Mormon undergarments and temple walls. Masonry is a form of witchcraft and a true prophet of God shouldn’t indulge in it (Deut. 18:10-12).
8. He was an occultist.
On March 1826, Smith was arrested and charged to court for the occult practice of “glass looking” for a fee. He would with “a certain stone … determine where hidden treasure in the bowels of earth were…[and he could] tell in this manner where gold mines were at a distance underground…” (Frazer Magazine February 1873, 229)
This art is a form of divination, similar to crystal ball gazing. He later used these magic stones to “translate” the book of Mormon, and changed their names to Urim and Thummim.
After Smith was killed, a small item was recovered from his pocket and identified as one of his prized possessions. In 1974, Dr Reed Durham of the Mormon Historical Association noted that this item was a Jupiter talisman (charm) which is invoked to bring its owner “riches, favor, and power, and love and peace” (Mormon Miscellaneous 1:1:15).
Understandably, talismanic magic was very popular in 19th century upstate New York Smith where he grew up but why would a true prophet called by God to restore the everlasting Gospel rely on occult powers? Joseph Smith was obviously led by a counterfeit spirit. He wasn’t a prophet of God as Mormons believe.