The Season for Safeguarding Joseph Smith’s Honor

by Sharon Lindbloom 19 December 2018 In approaching Christmas, Christians focus on Jesus Christ as we commemorate His birth. We celebrate God’s merciful Gift: “Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David” (Luke 2:11). As summarized at GotQuestions.org, “We celebrate Christmas because… Jesus is the Savior who delivers … Read more

Something Crucial is Missing from the Mormon Church’s Official Name

by Sharon Lindbloom 1 October 2018 In August the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints alerted the world to a revelation he received regarding the name of his church. Commonly referred to as the Mormon Church or the LDS Church, President Nelson explained that the use of these nicknames was incorrect … Read more

FIRST VISION

The following are sections out of Bill McKeever’s book In their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations. The full book of 400 pages is available at Mormonism Research Ministry or Amazon.com. Standard Works “And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger is kindled against thee also; and I destroy … Read more

Paying Allegiance to Joseph Smith

Note: The following was originally printed in the March/April 2018 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here. By Bill McKeever The dictionary defines “allegiance” as “loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.” Mormons are often quick to deny that members of The Church … Read more

The Boast of Joseph

By Eric Johnson Joseph Smith, the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made this boast a month before he was shot to death in a gun battle at the Carthage Jail: “Come on! ye prosecutors! Ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! For I will … Read more

Examining Mormonism’s Founder: The What-Did-Joseph-Smith-Lie-About Approach

By Rob Sivulka Summary A question I am often asked while holding up my “JosephLied.com” website sign [1] is, “What did Joseph lie about?” The question is like having a fish bite on the bait. When that happens, it’s time to set the hook and reel it in! While many issues may be brought up, I … Read more

The Gospel Topics Essays: The Dynamite Approach

By Eric Johnson Summary Written by LDS scholars, the “Gospel Topics Essays” are available on the official lds.org website. These articles cover a variety of topics and attempt to confront the checkered history of Mormonism while smoothing out the rough edges. However, instead of placating many questioning Mormons, these writings tend to chafe the souls of … Read more

Joseph Smith’s Remarks on Happiness

by Sharon Lindbloom 23 April 2018 The Mormon Church talks a lot about happiness. For example, the Church calls its restored gospel “The Plan of Happiness.” LDS leaders have taught that “the very purpose of our lives can be defined in terms of happiness,” and “the things of the earth were created for our happiness.” … Read more

Which painting of Joseph Smith translating the gold plates should you trust?

By Eric Johnson For many years, Latter-day Saints were led to believe that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by looking directly at the gold plates that he supposedly dug up out of the ground that had been buried by Moroni, the last living Nephite, in the fifth century AD. This same Moroni is said … Read more

Conflict in the Quorum: Orson Pratt, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith

Review of Conflict in the Quorum: Orson Pratt, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002). By Gary James Bergera Reviewed by Eric Johnson Forget the idea that general authorities in the LDS Church have always gotten along. If anything else, reading Conflict in the Quorum by Gary James Bergera will certainly take care of … Read more

The First Vision: Key to Truth? A Review of Seventy Richard J. Maynes’ June 2017 Ensign article

By Eric Johnson There are two cornerstone events in the history of the Mormon religion that are as important as the literal resurrection of Jesus is to Christianity. Remember how the apostle Paul testified to the historicity of the raising of Jesus from the dead? He claimed in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8: 3 For I delivered to you as … Read more

The Creator-Gods of Mormonism

By Sharon Lindbloom 18 April 2017 The LDS Church has recently released new scripture-themed coloring and activity books for children. One is an updated version of an older Book of Mormon coloring book, while the other is based on the Mormon scripture volume, Pearl of Great Price. Both are available to download for free. The … Read more

“Additional perspectives and insights” on Joseph Smith’s First Vision?

By Sharon Lindbloom 21 March 2017 The LDS Church released a new video of Joseph Smith’s First Vision a few weeks ago (an explanation of this Vision can be found here). “Ask of God: Joseph Smith’s First Vision” begins with the explanation that, as there are “at least nine accounts” of this visionary experience recorded … Read more

Joseph Smith’s Alleged Ignorance of the Bible

Note: The following was originally printed in the November/December 2016 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.  By Bill McKeever On the FAIR-LDS.org website, an article responds to the question, “Did Joseph know what the italics in the Bible meant?” FAIR stands for the Foundation for Apologetics and Information Research, an organization made up … Read more

An Alarming Misunderstanding of Joseph Smith’s Significance to Christianity

By Sharon Lindbloom 6 January 2017 An article appeared online this week with a title that grabbed my attention. In “The Alarming Truth Behind Anti-Mormonism,” LDS author Dustin Phelps tells his readers, “I intend to expose what anti-Mormonism is and what its objectives really are.” What follows is a lengthy argument against Atheism; it’s the … Read more

Plural Marriage and Joseph Smith: A PR Nightmare in Mormonism

By Eric Johnson This article was originally was printed in the Christian Research Journal Vol. 38 No. 5. Publicly mention the religion of Mormonism and the first thought to come to mind is “polygamy” or, as it is also called, plural marriage. This common perception linking Mormonism with the practice of one man marrying two … Read more

Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess: A Review

By Richard S. Van Wagoner Reviewed by Eric Johnson For years Sidney Rigdon was the right-hand man to Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. Much of what the Mormon religion is about is directly connected with Rigdon, a former Disciples of Christ minister. While most Mormons are probably not familiar with this man, understanding who he … Read more

“Because Joseph Smith was a prophet…”

By Sharon Lindbloom 6 October 2016 Mormonism was in the news a lot last weekend. Saturday and Sunday were the days of the LDS Church’s October General Conference. During the Church’s semiannual conferences, leaders of the Church are understood to encourage, challenge, and educate Mormons with inspired spiritual talks. Last Saturday morning the talk by … Read more

What a charred lump of a 2,000-year-old scroll can tell us about Mormonism

By Sharon Lindbloom 22 September 2016 In June of 1843 Mormonism’s founder, the Prophet Joseph Smith, told his followers, “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 … Read more

Mormonism’s “Near Deification” of Joseph Smith

By Sharon Lindbloom 6 September 2016 Mormon blogger Mette Ivie Harrison posted an intriguing article on August 23rd at Huffington Post. She titled it, “Do Mormons Worship Joseph Smith?” In the article Ms. Harrison expressed her dismay that some non-Mormons might misunderstand the way modern Mormons feel about the faith’s first prophet and wrongly conclude … Read more

Trouble in Paradise: Thomas Marsh Takes a Stand

By Sharon Lindbloom 6 July 2016 Thomas B. Marsh was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve [LDS] Apostles in 1838. Over the years, he had proven himself a loyal and faithful supporter of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Joining the Mormon Church in 1830 and called as an apostle in 1835, Marsh stood with … Read more

Mormon Leaders and Imperfections

By Sharon Lindbloom 15 June 2016 Last week a “Defending the Faith” column by Daniel Peterson appeared in the Deseret News: “Are you looking for a church with perfect leaders?” In the article, Dr. Peterson argues that Mormons should not expect perfection from their leaders because they are mortal humans who are “going through the … Read more

7 ways Mormon leaders aren’t budging on traditional LDS doctrines

By Eric Johnson There are some Christians—including those possessing Ph.D.’s—who have come to the conclusion that Mormonism has moved ever so close to Christian orthodoxy in recent years. While some folks—including a few BYU professors and LDS apologists—appear seem to delight in allowing this impression to be made to the outside world, this isn’t what I am finding when … Read more

Did God command polygamous relationships in the Old Testament?

Note: The following was originally printed in the January/February 2016 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.  By Eric Johnson Polygamy, or plural marriage, is a sticky issue for many Mormons. Some have become deeply embarrassed when they found out how their founder, Joseph Smith, married at least 34 girls and women. In fact, a … Read more

Chapter 5: Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration

During 2016, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is boldfaced is from the manual, with our … Read more

Joseph Smith is Triggering Faith Crises Among Mormons

By Sharon Lindbloom 22 February 2016 The Salt Lake Tribune recently conducted a survey, asking readers (Mormons) “if they have experienced a faith crisis, what triggered it and how they resolved it.” The newspaper received just over 1700 responses. The demographical breakdown was roughly in thirds: no longer members (538), inactive members (637), and still … Read more

The Church History Museum: A Tour through the Main Floor

By Eric Johnson Listen to a 3-part podcast that aired Mon-Wed, Oct. 19-22, 2015.  Part 1   Part 2   Part 3 Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City is the number-one tourist site for all of Utah. More tourists come here than Zion. More than Bryce. And even more than Moab. Fly into Salt Lake City’s International Airport and, with few … Read more

Do the First Vision accounts coincide?

By Eric Johnson and Bill McKeever Mormons are taught that, as a fourteen-year-old young man, Joseph Smith was visited by both God the Father and Jesus Christ during the spring of 1820. This visitation is known in Mormonism as the First Vision. According to the official LDS version, Smith was perplexed by the behavior of certain Christians in the area … Read more

List of Joseph Smith’s Wives (George A. Smith)

Mormonism’s  founder, Joseph Smith, was married to more than 30 women, meaning that Emma was not his one and only wife. Many who know about Smith’s philanderous ways may assume that these women must have been widows or “old maids” and their prophet was doing a favor to them by marrying them. However, the idea that Joseph Smith … Read more

The Virtue of Joseph Smith

The following was originally printed in the March/April 2015 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.  Speaking at the general conference in October 2014, Mormon Apostle Neil L. Andersen gave a talk simply titled “Joseph Smith.”  Toward the end of his message, Andersen said, “I give you my witness that Jesus is the Christ, … Read more

Mormonism 201 (Joseph Smith): Response to Lance Starr and Samuel Katich

Response to Lance Starr and Samuel Katich Reviewed by Mike Thomas Some of the chapters in Mormonism 101 have elicited more than one response. I suppose this is what is called a backhanded compliment. It must be an encouragement to the authors to have drawn that much attention, albeit from critics. This is one of those chapters, … Read more

Joseph’s Wives.com

Welcome to JosephsWives.com, a page that has been created to help people better understand the truth about the more than thirty wives of Joseph Smith. We invite you to look through the information we have made available here and see that what we are saying is historical fact, not anti-Mormon rhetoric. And please understand what … Read more

Did Emma Smith approve of polygamy?

By Eric Johnson Some Latter-day Saints may rationalize Smith’s behavior. After all, some might think, his wife Emma must have been a believer in this practice. Actually, Emma Smith approved of plural marriage for only a short time–maybe a few weeks–but she otherwise always despised polygamy and her husband’s involvement with this practice. In their book Mormon … Read more

Did Emma Smith ever approve of polygamy?

By Eric Johnson Some Latter-day Saints may rationalize Smith’s behavior. After all, some might think, his wife Emma must have been a believer in this practice. Actually, Emma Smith approved of plural marriage for only a short time–maybe a few weeks–but she otherwise always despised polygamy and her husband’s involvement with this practice. In their book Mormon … Read more

Which First Vision Account Should We Believe?

By Lane Thuet According to LDS scripture, when Joseph Smith was 15 years old, he was confused as to which church was true. He claimed this confusion was sparked by an 1820 religious revival in his neighborhood. His heart was powerfully impressed one night when he read James 1:5, and subsequently he went into the … Read more

Chapter 7: Joseph Smith, an Instrument in the Hands of the Lord

Chapter 7: Joseph Smith, an Instrument in the Hands of the Lord Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, (2014), 102–13 During 2015, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, … Read more

Joseph Smith and his many wives

The Mormon Church recently admitted in a Gospel Topics essay  that Joseph Smith had a total of 30-40 plural wives, meaning that Emma was not his “one and only.” In fact, the church even acknowledged that there was sexual intimacy in most of these relationships. Does this information agree with scholarship? And is it true that teenagers were also involved? 

Review of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

A book on Joseph Smith written by a Latter-day Saint that we would recommend.  Yes, the author does accept more than he should, but overall I think this is an important read for everyone interested in the topic of Mormonism. Find out why.

Gospel Topics Essay: Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham

The LDS Church has produced another essay in its series titled “Gospel Topics.” Did Joseph Smith correctly translate the Book of Abraham papyrii? The arguments offered in this recent essay provide nothing new and show that Smith was unable to translate anything from the Egyptian langauge. This topic is featured during the week of December 1 on the Viewpoint on Mormonism podcast series.

Review of In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Signature Books, 1997)

Although many Mormons know that second LDS President Brigham Young was a practicing polygamist, some may not realize that Joseph Smith had many wives as well. When this issue is broached, I have heard it said more than once that we were connocting nothing more than an anti-Mormon lie. What LDS writer Todd Compton does in this book is explain details about each of Joseph Smith’s 33 wives. Reading it may cause you to forever change your opinon about the founder of the LDS Church.

10 reasons why Joseph Smith should not be considered a true prophet of God

10 reasons why Joseph Smith should not be considered a true prophet of God

1.  He was not considered to be trustworthy by the people of his day.

2.  He taught in a version of God different from the Bible.

3.  He produced prophecies that didn’t come to pass.

American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam’s new 2014 book may be very helpful to many readers who may not know very much about Mormonism, let alone the facts surrounding the death of Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith at the hands of an angry mob at the Carthage Jail in 1844. See the review of American Crucifixion here.

Chapter 11: Honoring the Priesthood Keys Restored through Joseph Smith

Chapter 11: Honoring the Priesthood Keys Restored through Joseph Smith

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, (2013), 151–60

During 2014, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is underlined is from the manual, with our comments following.

Chapter 9: Witnesses of the Book of Mormon

Chapter 9: Witnesses of the Book of Mormon

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, (2013), 127–38

During 2014, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is underlined is from the manual, with our comments following.

First Vision Accounts: Response to the LDS.org Essay

A good Mormon will be able to explain Smith’s supposed vision of God the Father and Jesus. As part of the Gospel Topics Essay, Joseph Smith’s First Vision account is described and defended by the LDS Church. But what about the different accounts that provided contradictory details? Did Smith see angels or did he see God the Father and God the Son? This response to the church’s essay goes along with 10 Viewpoint on Mormonism radio shows (podcasts) that will air beginning June 3, 2014.  Along with  our podcasts as aired on Viewpoint on Mormonism, this article provides our response to the church’s essay. For any Paypal gift to MRM during the month of June, receive a PDF version of Wesley Walters’ booklet “The Palymra Revival & Mormon Origins.” See article for details.

The Joseph Smith Translation: An improvement over the original? Or ‘Much Ado About Nothing’?

An article published in the April 2014 Ensign (“The Atonement of Jesus Christ: Insights from The Joseph Smith Translation,” written on pages 52-57, with no attribution to its authorship) explains that “Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible enhances our understanding of the Savior’s suffering, death, and Resurrection.” To prove this point, the article covers five different events during the last two days of Jesus’ life leading to His death on Calvary. Is the Joseph Smith Translation beneficial to readers today of the Passion Week accounts?

 

Chapter 7: Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Witnesses for Christ

Chapter 7: Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Witnesses for Christ

During 2014, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is underlined is from the manual, with our comments following.

When it comes to the plates, there was no miracle

For the past several years Bill McKeever has been bringing a replica set of “gold plates” to the Mormon Miracle Pageant held annually in Manti, Utah. By encouraging Mormon visitors to lift the plates, it gives Bill an opportunity to explain the many problems he sees with the official account of how Smith allegedly retrieved the plates back in 1827. What are those problems? Check out this article to see.

Joseph Smith’s Aberrational Marriage Habits

By Sharon Lindbloom The following was originally printed in the Nov-Dec 2010 edition of Mormonism Researched. To request a free subscription, please visit here.  Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith introduced the doctrine of polygamy to his followers, and led the way by example, wedding over 30 females. According to LDS author and researcher Todd Compton, the ages … Read more

The Inspired Version: Why isn’t it officially used today?

According to Mormonism history, Joseph Smith was commanded by God to make a new translation of the Bible. Then, a few years later, these compiled changes were finished in 1833. While Mormon leaders continually cite from Smith’s work, the Joseph Smith Translation (or Inspired Version) is not officially used by the church. Instead, the King James Version continues as the official version. If Smith corrected the errors in this version, it seems strange that the Inspired Version is not “official.” Why not?

Isaiah 40:3: Does the Bible speak about Joseph Smith?

According to Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.” Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “You may apply this to John if you will, and this is true…But I will go further and maintain that Joseph Smith … Read more

Malachi 3:1: Does the Bible speak about Joseph Smith?

Malachi 3:1 states: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.” On page 23 of the January 1989 Ensign, it reads: Malachi prophesied of the … Read more

Chapter 23: The Prophet Joseph Smith

During 2013, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is underlined is from the manual, with our … Read more

Problems with the Gold Plates in the Book of Mormon

Just what exactly were the gold plates made from. In this article that first appeared in Christian Research Journal, volume 34, number 02 (2011), Bill McKeever considers the possibilites and shows why it is impossible that Joseph Smith was given plates made of real gold.

Seer Stone

Seer Stone: Described as a chocolate-colored, egg-shaped rock Joseph Smith found while digging a well near Palmyra, New York (Comprehensive History of the Church 1:129). A number of witnesses claimed Smith used the stone when translating the Book of Mormon. According to historian Richard Bushman, “Joseph Jr. never repudiated the stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture stayed with him to the end.” (Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 51). BYU Professor Daniel C.

Restoration

Restoration.  Reestablishment of true Gospel principles when Joseph Smith founded the LDS Church in 1830. Besides the Gospel, Priesthood authority was returned after it had been taken from the earth during the great Apostasy. According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “When Latter-day Saints speak of the ‘restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ’ they refer primarily … Read more

Nauvoo Expositor

Nauvoo Expositor. A newspaper published by enemies of Joseph Smith. Its only issue appeared on June 7, 1844 to reveal Joseph Smith’s abuse of authority in both ecclesiastical and civil affairs (Smith was also mayor of Nauvoo), as well as expose his plural-wife system. Three days later, on June 10, the Nauvoo city council ordered the Expositor’s printing press destroyed.

For more information, see this blog.

King Follett Discourse

King Follett Sermon. A sermon given by Joseph Smith just three months before Joseph Smith was killed in a gun battle. On April 7, 1844, Smith declared that Joseph Smith was an exalted man who lived on an earth. It should be the goal of every person, he said, to be like God. In the sermon, he also denied ex nihilo creation and explained how the council of gods in the preexistence prepared for the creation of the earth.

Joseph Smith, Jr.

Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1830). The founder of the Mormon religion. He claimed that he was visited by God and Jesus Christ in 1820, and later by the angel Moroni in 1823. In 1830, he published the Book of Mormon and founded the Mormon Church with six members. According to LDS scripture, “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3).

Gold Plates

Gold Plates. An historical record of American peoples written on plates of gold. In A.D. 421, Moroni, a Nephite warrior and son of Mormon, buried the plates in the Hill Cumorah. In 1823, as a resurrected being, Moroni revealed the whereabouts of the plates to Joseph Smith who was permitted to retrieve them in 1827. The Book of Mormon was supposedly translated from these plates. Joseph Smith claimed that after he finished translating the plates they were given back to Moroni (Joseph Smith History 1:60). Apostle Robert D.

First Vision

First Vision. Occurred in 1820 (officially) when Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was 14 years old. Confused about religion and reflecting on James 1:5, Smith retired to the woods to pray and ask God which church to join. God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. According to Joseph Smith-History 1:19, “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt.”.

Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon. One of Mormonism’s standard works. It contains the story of a group of Jews led by a man named Lehi who left Israel and sailed to the American continent around 600 B.C. with, among others, his sons Nephi and Laman. The book records the wars and ultimate demise of their followers known as Nephites and Lamanites. The narrative also includes the story of a group of people known as the Jaredites whom God spared from having their language confused at the Tower of Babel.

Book of Abraham

Book of Abraham. “A Translation of some ancient Records, that have fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt.—The writings of Abraham while he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon papyrus. See History of the Church 2:235, 236, 348-35” (Introduction to Abraham 1). According to a church manual, “The book of Abraham is an evidence of the inspired calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It came forth at a time when the study of the ancient Egyptian language and culture was just beginning.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith Chapter 4

During 2012, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith. We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is underlined is from the manual, with our comments following.

Chapter 4: The Prophet Joseph Smith, God’s Instrument in Restoring the Truth

Where are the Gold Plates Now?

By Bill McKeever

According to Mormon lore, Smith claimed to receive the “few plates” from Moroni in 1827 and from them translated the Book of Mormon. When he was finished translating the plates he gave them back to the angel who he claimed “has them in his charge” (Joseph Smith History 1:60). Many ask, “Where are the gold plates now?” “And what of the many other records that were supposedly “hid up” in the Hill Cumorah?

The Demise of the LDS Church in Kirtland

Mormonism began in 1830 in a sleepy township in upstate New York. After Mormon missionaries realized great success gaining converts in Ohio, the religion’s founder, Joseph Smith, moved his fledgling church 250 miles west to the little town of Kirtland. Within months, Joseph sent a number of Church members farther west to Missouri to begin to establish the Church there as well. Though this division of resources resulted in two centers of Mormon activity, the LDS Church headquarters remained in Ohio. With few laborers and little money in Kirtland, the Mormons completed their first temple in 1836. Just two years later the Mormons abandoned their homes and their temple and moved west to Missouri.

Emma Smith: My Story

Reviewed by Bill McKeever

When I first saw the billboards along Interstate 15 advertising Emma Smith: My Story, I wondered how much of “Emma’s story” was going to actually be told. When the trailers for the film started airing on local Salt Lake television stations and I saw that much of the film appeared to be left over footage from Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, I had no illusions that this was going to be another sanitized version of Mormon history. After viewing it, my suspicions were confirmed.

The Attempt to Sell the Book of Mormon Copyright

 Copyright SymbolText of Revelation (link)

A Revelation given to Joseph Oliver [Cowdery] Hyram [Hiram Page] Josiah [Stowell]
& Joseph Knight given at Manchester Ontario C[ounty] New York
Behold I the Lord am God I Created the Heavens & the Earth
& all things that in them is wherefore they are mine & I sway
my scepter over all the Earth & ye are in my hands to will &

Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon

A Review by Eric Johnson 

David Persuitte, a technical writer from Virginia, wrote the first edition of this book in 1985. Now, a decade and a half later, Persuitte has added many more facts in this, the 325-page second edition. This is extremely worthwhile reading for any serious student of Joseph Smith and the religion he founded in 1830.

Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration (Review)

Reviewed by Bill McKeever 

Despite the fact that Article 13 in the LDS Articles of Faith states that Mormons are to be honest, the LDS Church refuses to be completely truthful when it comes to its history, especially when the subject is Joseph Smith. As part of its celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Smith, the LDS Church commissioned a new film that would highlight his life. Titled Joseph Smith—The Prophet of the Restoration, the film begins in Nauvoo in 1844 while flashing back to past events in Smith’s life.

Is J.R.R. Tolkien Also Among the Prophets?

By Bill McKeever
J.R.R. Tolkien

Among the many “proofs” Mormons like to use to authenticate the Book of Mormon is to point out that Joseph Smith was far too young to dream up the theme found in the Book of Mormon. They also point out that this book contains many unique words and that Joseph Smith could not have possibly have made this up. For many, this is clear evidence that adds to its claim of divine inspiration.

Is It Fair to Compare Joseph Smith with the Prophet Jonah?

 By Eric Johnson

We at Mormonism Research Ministry and other like-minded groups have adamantly maintained that Joseph Smith was a false prophet based on his prophecies which did not take place as he said they would. One common LDS response which we have repeatedly hear is: “If Joseph Smith was a false prophet, then the prophet Jonah must have been a false prophet as well. He predicted the destruction of Nineveh yet the Bible tells us that city was spared.”

No Salvation Without Joseph Smith

By Bill McKeever 

In the fourteenth chapter of John, Jesus tells His disciples that He would be leaving them but that they should not be troubled. “If I go,” He said, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Jesus’ statement puzzled Thomas, who asked how it was possible to know how to get where Christ was going. To this Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

A Greater Prophet than Isaiah?

 By Bill McKeever

The June 27, 1998 edition of the LDS Church News, in commemoration of the 154th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s death, quoted from a 1933 book entitled Joseph Smith an American Prophet. This book, written by John Henry Evans, was an attempt to give a ‘scientific treatment of Joseph Smith … without smothering these facts in opinion. ” Still, he admits in his preface that he has tried to “give a picture of the Prophet as one of his contemporaries would see, who was interested, but had no axe to grind” (p. vii).

Faith Alone and the Joseph Smith Translation

By Bill McKeever 

Several LDS leaders have expressed their distain for the biblical teaching of salvation by grace through faith alone. Joseph Fielding Smith, on page 192 of The Restoration of All Things, stated, “One of the most pernicious doctrines ever advocated by man, is the doctrine of ‘justification by faith alone,’ which has entered into the hearts of millions since the days of the so-called ‘reformation.'”

Joseph Smith – "President of the Resurrection"

By Bill McKeever 

Since Jesus made it clear to Martha in John 11:25 that He was the “resurrection and the life,” there has been no question among Christians as to who is responsible for the resurrection of mankind. Apparently Brigham Young, Mormonism’s second president, would care to differ.

Does the Bible contain prophecies about Joseph Smith?

By John Divito 

For many evangelical Christians, the answer to the above question will be a swift “No!” In fact, some would think that this idea is ludicrous! However, many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) believe that Smith is foretold in the Bible. How is such a claim substantiated? There are two primary types of biblical evidence provided.

Amorous Advances by the Mormon Prophet

By Bill McKeever 

Mormon historian Richard Van Wagoner paints anything but a flattering picture of Joseph Smith in his book Sidney Rigdon, Portrait of Religious Excess. In his chapter titled “Between Friends and Family,” he notes that “perhaps the most scandalous manifestation of Smith’s lust for manly achievement was his inclination toward extra-martial romantic liaisons, which he believed were licensed by the Old Testament and countenanced by God’s modern revelation” (pp.290-291).

Examining Joseph Smith’s "Rocky Mountain Prophecy"

[Speaking in General Conference on Sunday, October 5, 2008, Mormon Apostle M. Russell Ballard stated that on August of 1842, Joseph Smith prophesied “that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains,” and that some would live to “build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.” Is this statement based on fact, or is this Mormon Apostle promoting Mormon folklore?]

How Heavy Were Those Gold Plates?

Paramount in the story of the Latter-day Saints is the account given by Joseph Smith of a visitation he received from the angel Moroni on September 21, 1823. He stated that after he retired to bed, his room became filled with light. At his bedside stood an angel who called Smith by name and told him that God had a work for the young boy to do. Smith claimed to have been told how, “there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang” (Joseph Smith –

History

1:34).

Does Scholarship Support Article Eight of the Articles of Faith?

By Bill McKeever    

The LDS Church has had a history of being very critical regarding the accuracy of the Bible. In fact, it is the only book among the LDS standard works accepted with qualification. Article eight of the LDS Articles of Faith reads, “We believe the Bible as far as it is translated correctly …”

Guess Who?

Members of the LDS Church are familiar with the charge that Mormonism isn’t a Christian faith. They hear it often enough, but they really don’t understand why people think that. "We are Christians," Mormon President Gordon B. Hinckley insisted. "We have the name of Jesus Christ right in the name of our Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We follow Christ. We worship Him. We love Him. He is the center of all we do"("Inspirational Thoughts," Liahona, June 1999, 3; 2 Nephi 25:24-29).