Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

The following quotes come from the book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, edited by Joseph Fielding Smith. This was an employee gift by the First Presidency in 1991. To visit the site with all of the books and quotes from these, go here.

Adam

“Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch and Methuselah, who were High Priests, with the residue of his posterity, who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 38).

Ancient of Days

“Daniel in his seventh chapter speaks of the Ancient of days; he means the oldest man, our Father Adam, Michael, he will call his children together and hold a council with them to prepare them for the coming of the Son of Man” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157).

Apostasy, the Great

“What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 270).

Authority

“I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity. That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is on the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 156-57).

“I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 21;. Also cited by Apostle L. Tom Perry in conference, “We Believe All that God has Revealed,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2003, p. 86).

“When did I ever teach anything wrong from this stand? When was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel before I depart hence and am no more seen. I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 368. Also cited by Apostle Neal A. Maxwell, “The Wondrous Restoration,” in Ensign, April 2003, p. 36).

Baptism for the Dead

“This doctrine presents in a clear light the wisdom and mercy of God in preparing an ordinance for the salvation of the dead, being baptized by proxy, their names recorded in heaven and they judged according to the deeds done in the body. This doctrine was the burden of the scriptures. Those Saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 193. See also Ensign, “The Doctrine of Temple Work,” p. 60).

“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. Those saints who neglect it in behalf of their deceased relatives, do it at the peril of their own salvation.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 193).

Bible

“The Prophet Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible is one of the greatest tangible evidences of his spiritual insight and divine calling” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Footnote 6, p. 11).

“There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 310. See also History of the Church 5:425).

“I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 327).

Born Again

“Being born again, comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 162).

Book of Mormon

“The Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers of our western tribes of Indians; having been found through the ministration of an holy angel, and translated into our own language by the gift and power of God, after having been hid up in the earth for the last fourteen hundred years, containing the word of God which was delivered unto them. By it we learn that our western tribes of Indians are descendants from that Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and that the land of America is a promised land unto them, and unto it all the tribes of Israel will come, with as many of the Gentiles as shall comply with the requisitions of the new covenant” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 17).

“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 4:461. See also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 194).

Commandments

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received. That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 255-256).

“We cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 256).

Constitution

“The Constitution of our country formed by the Fathers of liberty. Peace and good order in society. Love to God, and good will to man. All good and wholesome laws, virtue and truth above all things, and aristarchy, live forever! But woe to tyrants, mobs, aristocracy, anarchy, and toryism, and all those who invent or seek out unrighteous and vexatious law suits, under the pretext and color of law, or office, either religious or political. Exalt the standard of Democracy! Down with that of priestcraft, and let all the people say Amen! that the blood of our fathers may not cry from the ground against us. Sacred is the memory of that blood which bought for us our liberty” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 117).

Eternal Increase

“Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the holy priesthood, they shall cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 300-301)

God

“If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also?” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373.)

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

“I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the elders for fifteen years” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370).

“I will go back to the beginning before the world was, to show what kind of being God is. What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth, for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and to tell you the designs of God in relation to the human race, and why He interferes with the affairs of man. God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret, if the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345. Italics in original. See also Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129).

Godhood

“Here, then, is eternal life-to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 346-347).

Gospel

“Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they mean, and mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on and prove from the Bible that the gospel has always been the same, and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 264).

Grand Council

“In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 349).

Hell

“I see no faults in the Church, and therefore let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether I ascend to heaven or descend to hell, or go to any other place. And if we go to hell, we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven of it” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 316).

Jesus

“There are two Comforters spoken of. One is the Holy Ghost, the same as given on the day of Pentecost, and that all Saints receive after faith, repentance, and baptism. This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence…Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and the Church of the Firstborn” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 149,150. Ellipsis mine. See also LDS Beliefs, pp. 568-569).

Joseph Smith

“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, priest-craft, lawyer-craft, doctor-craft, lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives, backed by mobs, blasphemers, licentious and corrupt men and women—all hell knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty, who will give me dominion over all and every one of them, when their refuge of lies shall fail, and their hiding place shall be destroyed, while these smooth-polished stones with which I come in contact become marred” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 304).

“God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 363).

“My enemies say that I have been a true prophet. Why, I had rather be a fallen true prophet than a false prophet. When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet. False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 365. Italics in original).

Justification

“To be justified before God we must love one another: we must overcome evil; we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 76. See also Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual: Religion 231 and 232, p. 50).

Murder

“A murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have forgiveness. David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears for the murder of Uriah, but he could only get it through hell: he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 339).

Priesthood

“The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed, as in Genesis 1:26, 27, 28. He had dominion given him over every living creature. He is Michael the Archangel, spoken of in the Scriptures” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157).

Repentance

“Repentance is a thing that cannot be trifled with every day. Daily transgression and daily repentance is not that which is pleasing in the sight of God” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 3:379. See also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 148).

Sons of Perdition

“All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 358. See also Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Doctrine and Covenants 2:200).

Trinity, The

“Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God! I say that is a strange God anyhow—three in one, and one in three! It is a curious organization. All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism. It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God —he would be a giant or a monster” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 372.)

Truth

“We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true Mormons” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 316).

Word of Wisdom

“No official member in this Church is worthy to hold an office after having the Word of Wisdom properly taught him; and he, the official member, neglecting to comply with and obey it” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 117).