The second LDS Prophet Brigham Young stated in 1859:
“…No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are–I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation–the keys to rule in the spirit-world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh… In the spirit world… He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim– ‘Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!’ But it is true.” (Brigham Young, October 9, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:289. See also Search These Commandments, 1984, p. 133)
Bill McKeever of Mormonism Research Ministry noted that “When Jesus said, ‘For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,’ He expressed a simple truth that man generally expresses with words what he believes to be true. So what have Mormons generally believed to be true when it comes to their faith? The answer to this question is not always easy to discern.” (back cover of McKeever, In Their Own Words)
This is a good question. What have Mormons generally believed throughout the years? A Mormon can say, “Well, to quote Journal of Discourses is not fair because it is not ‘official’ Mormon doctrine. Those were just those prophets opinions and he wasn’t speaking as a prophet.” Well, this sermon was officially given in the Mormon Tabernacle to Latter-day Saints as instruction for the Church!
The Introduction to the Journal of Discourses says that what is contained within its pages are,
“…the words of the Apostles and Prophets, as they were spoken in the assemblies of the Saints in Zion, the value of which cannot be estimated by man, not so much for any great display of worldly learning and eloquence, as for the purity of doctrine, simplicity of style, and extensive amount of theological truth which they develop. …These sermons will prove a source of light, information, and joy… All authorized ministers of God will hail their publication with gladness, for such an embodiment of doctrine will greatly accelerate the grand object they have in view–the salvation of souls, the instruction of Saints, and the building up of Zion in these last days… These sermons will be most valuable, as a gauge of doctrine, a rule rectitude, and a square to life.”
Sounds to me like the Prophets and Apostles in the 19th century said they were speaking from God and that Latter-day Saints are to listen up to what they have to say, as the words are said to be “a source of light, information, and joy.”
As Christians, we believe that no man or woman can enter into heaven without the consent of Jesus Christ, not Joseph Smith. Jesus Himself says in Revelation 1:18 (NLT), “I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”
The Book of Acts 4:12 wonderfully states: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” And what name is this? Acts 4:10-11 (KJV) puts it this way, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.” (emphasis added)
Jesus Christ is the only name whom we have anything to do with, not Joseph Smith.
In an LDS book called Gospel Doctrine, it says on page 479 that “God lives, and Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God–living, not dead; for his name will never perish.” (emphasis added) God’s name should be the only name that doesn’t perish. Adding on eternal attributes to Joseph Smith’s name and contributions is blasphemous. Doctrine and Covenants 112:15 teaches that Joseph Smith holds the keys until Christ’s return! It says,
“Exalt not yourselves; rebel not against my servant Joseph; for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to youward, shall not be taken from him till I come.”
Joseph Smith is even considered to be from the root of Jesse (Doctrine and Covenants 113:1-6) and that Joseph Smith helped save the world. Jesus Christ is the root of Jesse! (Isaiah 11:10 and Romans 15:12) In the book Doctrines and Covenants Speaks, it says that “One of Joseph Smith’s contributions to the salvation of men in this world was the bringing forth of… the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God…” (2:456) No one has brought salvation to anyone in this world except for God Himself! Mormons believe that salvation itself is available because of the name of Joseph Smith. Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie said in his book, Mormon Doctrine, (p. 396),
“Since the keys of salvation were restored to the Prophet, it is in and through and because of his latter-day mission that the full redemptive power of the Lord has again become available to men. It is because the Lord called Joseph Smith that salvation is again available to mortal men.”
No, salvation will always be only through the name of Jesus Christ. Mormons will compare Joseph Smith to Peter, or James, or John, yet the esteem they hold for Joseph’s name goes beyond all veneration and reverence they have for any prophet or patriarch in the Bible.
Brigham Young’s words about Joseph Smith in the Journal of Discourses are not “a source of light, information, and joy.” The name of Jesus Christ should be the only name anyone looks up to.