Today marks the 210th birthday of Joseph Smith, if he was still alive. Born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, died at the young age of 38.
Jesus, our Lord and Savior, outlined how we can tell if someone is a false prophet. Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV) states:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.“
Notice how Jesus does not say, “You will know them by their miracles,” (because even false teachers and the Anti-Christ will perform false signs and miracles), 2 Thessalonians 2:9. Notice again how Jesus does not say, “You will know them by their confession,” (because there will be people who claim that their are a Christian just by saying, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a Christian,’ but as Christ says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21, NIV) It is vitally important that we DO have a confession of our faith however, because as the Bible teaches, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Notice again how Jesus does not say, “You will know them by their spiritual gifts.” There will obviously be people who come around and claim to get prophecies from Jesus and claim to see Him. The Bible is very clear when it says that we are to test all prophecies AND to hold onto those which are good! (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
We must judge righteously, and we know that we can see the fruit of people’s lives. And if we can tell what fruit a person has, we can tell what kind of roots the tree has. And if we can tell what kind of roots the tree has (if they are rotten or not), then we can tell what kind of tree it is. The fruit of a person’s life is shown forth with the manifestations of love, a life of humbleness and forgiveness, as well as a meekness that transcends the most difficult situations.
Mormonism is a tree with good and bad fruit, hence, it is essentially a tree of bad fruit. Why? No tree can produce both good and bad fruit. What Mormonism does is it has a positive view of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Mormonism teaches that Adam and Eve are to be honored for transgressing and selecting the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The late LDS prophet Joseph Fielding Smith stated that “The fall of man came as a blessing in disguise, and was the means of furthering the purposes of the Lord in the progress of man, rather than a means of hindering them.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:114)
Think about this: If the fall of Adam and Eve came as a means of furthering the purposes of mankind, as Joseph Fielding Smith stated, then that means that God created Adam and Eve without all the essentials they needed to live perfect lives in an already-perfect paradise if they needed to transgress God’s law in order to gain something beyond God’s giving of something. In other words, they needed something of Satan. Think about this as well: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only denomination (whether Christian or non-Christian) that employs Satan in its ritual (for example, video-dramas during temple initiation have Satan as a character talking with Adam and Eve, Satan even talks with the Apostle Peter in the Garden in the drama). Here is a link by an undercover Mormon whose YouTube name is NewNameNoah, and he filmed the temple ceremony with the video so you can see it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pepeORsXAc
That tree was named “Tree of Knowledge of good AND evil” because it was a tree of mixed fruit. Eve could have had knowledge of both categories, and she picked that because it looked good on the outside. The shadowing irony is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that tree, and it has that view of Adam and Eve’s fall. What the Mormon Church essentially does is it takes upon itself both good and evil, which in essence, is evil. You cannot mix evil with good; if you try, they will polarize like trying to mix oil and water. They cannot mix.
The fruit of Joseph Smith is his life of lies, lust, deceit, pride, and misleading ‘scriptures.’ When Joseph Smith stands before the Throne of God at the White Throne Judgment, he will have to give an account for his deeds, which are still affecting and infecting millions of people today. The fruit from his life is rotten at the core because of so many reasons.
The Bible teaches us that teachers will receive a stricter judgment. James 3:1 (NIV) says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
I admire Joseph Smith for several reasons, such as his youthful personality. He had great energy, persuasion, and talents. Had Joseph Smith asked for forgiveness for his adultery, deceiving people with the Book of Mormon and the dozens of failed prophecies in the Doctrine and Covenants, he could have been another Jonathan Edwards. Joseph Smith could have been a great evangelical Christian preacher in the 19th century. Had he truly known what a born-again experience looked like and had preached the true gospel, not a different gospel preached by a fallen angel (Galatians 1:8-9), he would have been ranked in the hall of great Christian leaders. He loved children and family, yet his sins were grievous, and his lifestyle was not that of a true prophet. There is no way I could revere a man as a prophet in these last days, except that man be Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul makes it very clear in Hebrews 1:1-2 that God’s final word to mankind is His Son, Jesus Christ. In these passages, it states, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” In the past, God spoke through the prophets, but now, Jesus Christ is our modern-day prophet, High Priest, and King. Obviously God still speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, His Word, the Son, and His Word, the spoken word of revelation to our human spirits.
I am not willing to have my eternity hand in the balance of following a different gospel, a different name other than the name of Jesus Christ. For Mormonism teaches that Joseph Smith is the linchpin between life on earth and life in heaven. LDS Prophet Brigham Young taught on July 13, 1862, “…he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fulness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti-christ” (Journal of Discourses, 9:312).
When we read the Bible, we learn that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, NIV) We must trust in Jesus Christ, and trust that He and His name is enough for our salvation. If Jesus and His wholeness and holiness makes us whole and holy, how could there be room for any other name?
On this day, we must disregard the name of Joseph Smith and revere the Prophet and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, and who is guiding us in these latter days! Amen.