Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Today there are approximately 10 million members worldwide. Their primary method of converting people is intensive, worldwide, house-to-house evangelism. But what are the evangelists telling people?
These missionaries are telling people, in part, that Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was a true prophet of God. Let's examine this statement closely. If he was, then the world had better listen to what he had to say, and then Mormonism had better be preached around the world, because in that case it would be the only truth which could save mankind; but if he was not, then over 10 million people today, which are following what he said, did and wrote, are bound for HELL.
The Bible itself provides such a test: In Deuteronomy 18:22, it is declared that if a prophet should declare anything in the name of the Lord, if that thing did not occur, then that prophet is a false prophet, and we are not to fear him or listen to him. "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him." In other words, every prophet of God MUST be 100 % accurate on ALL his prophecies; if he is not, then we know that he is not a prophet of God. Thus even one prophecy that was incorrect marks thatman as a false prophet. Here we shall examine four sample prophecies of his, taken from the Mormon "scripture", the Doctrine and Covenants, and from other prophecies of Smith's. We shall examine prophecies regarding the Second Coming of Christ, the doctrine of plural marriage, himself being made ruler and strengthened, and the end of all nations.
Joseph Smith had much to say regarding the second coming of Christ. In History of the Church, vol. 5, page 336, he writes: "Were I going to prophesy, I would say the end would not come in 1844, 5 or 6, or in forty years. There are those of the rising generation who will not taste death till Christ comes. I was once praying earnestly on this subject, and a voice said unto me, My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.' I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this, and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He would make His appearance. But I do not say whether He will make His appearance or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written--the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old (48 years hence or about 1890)". (All emphases added)
It's rather bold of Joseph Smith to arbitrtarily declare God's timeline to us, when Christ Himself did not know it in Acts 1:7: "And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasonss, which the Father hath put in his own power.'" The same sort of assertion is made in Matthew 24:36. Thus Joseph Smith's information contradicts Christ's. Who then are we to believe? Let God be true, though every man be a liar.
In addition to that, the LDS church regarded this as a prophecy that Christ would indeed return in 1890 or 1891. It did not happen, nor has it happened since. The members of the rising generation died without seeing Christ come. Thus Joseph Smith's prophecy is proven false.
The doctrine of plural marriage is the doctrine which states that a man can, in fact, MUST (according to Joseph Smith) take more than one wife at a time. This doctrine is defined in Doctrine & Covenants 132:1-66. (The listing is too lengthy to repeat here.) In verse 4, "the Lord" states (through Joseph Smith, of course) that anyone who refuses to abide in this covenant is "damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory". In that same verse, the doctrine is called a "new and everlasting covenant".
Several problems arise. First of all, if it is so NEW, then how is it that according to verse 1 that Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob practiced it? Apparently, "the Lord" forgot about them while telling this to Smith.
Secondly, if it was so "everlasting", why is it that it was abolished in 1898 by the Church? Granted, the Church leadership was acting under pressure from the US government, but since when was the church of God allowed to abandon crucial doctrines whenever a godless (as Joseph Smith regarded the US) government pressured them to do so? All of the apostles, and many more witnesses both before and after them, died being punished by governments of the lands they went into and witnessed to, because they chose to obey God rather than man.
Finally, if indeed everyone who defies this covenant will be "damned", then millions of Mormons living today will be "damned". This doctrine is not practiced by the vast majority of Mormons living today, except for those in a few Mormon fundamentalist groups.
Then Joseph Smith's second prophecy is proven to be false. How can anyone trust the rest of his prophecies?
Again, we refer to Doctrine & Covenants 132, specifically verse 53:
"For I am the Lord your God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over all things; for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him."
This prophecy was written July 12, 1843. Less than a year later, he was dead. What more needs to be said here? This prophecy is also proven false.
This is often called the Civil War Prophecy, made Dec. 25, 1832, recorded in Doctrine & Covenants 87. Mormon missionaries often proclaim this as a prophecy which proves Joseph Smith's prophetic power. However, notice it says that "war shall be poured out upon all nations". This did not happen until World War 2, which was 74 years after the Civil War and had no possible relationship to it. Also notice that it says that at this time the Lord would make "a full end of all nations". This has not yet happened.
Also, this prophecy was made during a time when South Carolina was already rebelling against the Union. For a complete treatment of this period of time, follow this link.
According to the Biblical test, it only takes one false prophecy to make a person a false prophet. We have seen here four. The only conclusion we can come to is that Joseph Smith was in fact a false prophet.
So what then are we to do? If Joseph Smith is false, does that mean that God is false? Not at all! God is true, and He says to you, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20). So please, don't follow Joseph Smith--follow instead Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.