by Sharon Lindbloom
26 April 2021
In mid-April (2021) Mormonism LIVE! hosts RFM (Radio Free Mormon) and Bill Reel broadcast a program on which LDS apologist, Kwaku El, was their guest. In taking calls from the audience, Mr. El was asked how he knows that Joseph Smith was really acting under God’s direction when he engaged in polygamy, marrying multiple young girls and women. As part of his answer, Mr. El explained,
“Do I understand polygamy? No…? But I will say, if God’s the creator and inventor of marriage, He gets to do what He wants with it. And if at some point He says ‘Marry more women,’ you’re gonna do it. And what if some of them are a little bit younger? Isn’t that weird?… It’s all weird.”
Mr. El continued by presenting additional examples of weirdness within Mormonism; namely, nonsensical-sounding natural outcomes from Mormonism’s doctrines of the preexistence and the literal, universal fatherhood of God:
“When you guys [RFM and Bill Reel] were LDS you were sealed in the temple and you were sealed to your sister. And then your daughter is gonna be your sister. And then your daughter is gonna get married and have sex with her husband who is her brother. It’s all weird. I’m fine with that. I’m fine with recognizing that it’s not something that’s normal.”
Mr. El went on to add that “Native American angels glowing, flying through time and space,” and “golden plates” are further examples of things in Mormonism that are not “normal.” In fact, he said, “I’m fine with recognizing that it’s not something that’s normal. Neither…is any of it.”
Former Mormon Jonathan Streeter, aka Thinker of Thoughts, described Mr. El’s comments here as a common rhetorical strategy called “Lampshading” which he defined as “a way to deal with something that you know is ridiculous or contradictory by calling direct attention to it and then trivializing it so that it seems as though the issue has been addressed and then does not pose a threat to the overall narrative the speaker is attempting to convey.” In the case under discussion, Mr. El was attempting to convince his audience that Joseph Smith really was a prophet, and he was acting under God’s direction when he married thirty-eight females, some already legally married to other men, and some as young as 14 years old.
Additionally, as part of Joseph Smith’s polygamy, the Prophet lied to his wife, lied to his church, lied to the women he convinced to become his plural wives, and lied to the general public.
Mr. El admits that Joseph Smith’s behavior was weird, but he’s fine with it. He’s fine with it because, “if God’s the creator and inventor of marriage, He gets to do what He wants with it. And if at some point He says ‘Marry more women,’ you’re gonna do it.”
Those are some mighty big “ifs” to consider. Did God instruct Joseph Smith to disobey three of God’s ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)? Did He tell Joseph to do something that God Himself hates (see Proverbs 6:16-19)? Did He tell Joseph to go against the teachings of Jesus (Mark 10:6-9) and His apostles (Colossians 3:9-10)? Did God encourage Joseph to do the very things that would defile the Prophet (Mark 7:20-23)?
If all we had to think about was Mormonism’s so-called “weirdness,” Mr. El’s expressed lack of concern might not raise an eyebrow. But the truth is, Mormonism isn’t as “weird” as it is unbiblical. And that is a much more serious matter. Consider a few examples.
• The Bible says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2)
• Mormonism says, “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea…” (Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse)
• The Bible says, “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel…‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.’” (Isaiah 44:6)
• Mormonism says, …you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves…the same as all Gods have done before you…” (Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse)
• The Bible says, “ ‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.’” (Isaiah 43:10)
• Mormonism says, “Men are Gods in Embryo…‘Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of our earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages of aeons, of evolving into a God.’ (The First Presidency [Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund], ‘The Origin of Man,’ Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, p. 81).” (Achieving a Celestial Marriage Student Manual, 130)
Weird, right? It’s weird how these men who claim to speak for God teach the exact opposite of what the Bible, God’s Word, says. But Mormonism has that covered, too.
• The Bible says, “…since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23–25. Emphasis added.)
• Mormonism says, “The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered the loss of many plain and precious parts.” (Presidents Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas Monson, “Letter Reaffirms Use of King James Version of Bible,” Church News, 6/20/1992, 3)
Though God Himself promised to keep and preserve His Word (the Bible), Mormonism’s First Presidency essentially said, “Nope. What God said He’d do, He didn’t do.” Instead of protecting the “living and abiding word of God,” guaranteed to remain forever, Mormonism teaches the unbiblical idea that God broke His promise and allowed it to be overturned by mere men. It’s really troubling how unbiblical Mormonism is.
The LDS church’s second prophet, Brigham Young, put forth this challenge:
“Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 126)
Okay. Well, it turns out that the religion of the Latter-day Saints — the one that says it is the only true and living church on the face of the whole earth, the only church with which God is well pleased (D&C 1:30) — does not stand that test. That’s more than weird. Yet some Mormons are fine with it.
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