It’s All Because of Joseph
Please forgive my sarcasm in the title of this article. It comes from a video I watched on YouTube of a BYU professor who talks about, amongst other things, her testimony of Joseph Smith. Take a look at the video, and I’ll see you back here in a few minutes:
As I watched this video of her testimony she said some things that were very heartbreaking to me. One was this idea that the Book of Mormon is a stronger witness of Jesus Christ than the Bible. The other is the exalted position she gave Joseph Smith in her life.
After the video ended I was left with two questions:
Where is her testimony of Jesus Christ?
Where is her testimony of the Cross?
All I heard was what Joseph did for her; because of Joseph her husband can give her blessings, because of Joseph she has the priesthood in her home. There is no mention in her testimony of her relationship with God, no mention of her walk with Him, and what she has learned about him.
She mentioned how she wanted to learn all she could about Joseph Smith. What about learning all you can about Jesus Christ? Our time on earth is so short, would you not what to learn more about the man that you will be standing in front of when you die? In John 15:4-7 we find a wonderful promise from Jesus, himself. In it he tells us that if we “abide” in him, meaning look to and think of him in all we do, he in turn will “abide” in us. He will be with us, and in our journey through this life he walks with us every step of the way. In verse 7 Jesus says for him to abide in us we must know his words, in knowing his words we know him:
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you.”
Would you not want to develop a relationship with him? In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, we learn how we will be judged by Jesus Christ and that He is the foundation we will be judged upon. If we are unsaved we will judged by our sin, if we are saved we will be judged on our works. Here is what verses 13, to 15 of that passage say:
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of
what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall
receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he
himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire”
The saved will be judged on their works because of the change of heart Jesus has given them. When you are saved God leaves you here on earth to bring others to know Jesus Christ, to make disciples unto Him. These works will be judged by the motive behind them. Whether we did them to “show off”, to glorify ourselves, or we did them to glorify God will be revealed. This is why as saved, followers of Jesus we must check our “heart attitudes”. We need to make sure that we are doing discipleship, ministry, or evangelistic work to show the world who Jesus Christ is, not to receive praise or approval from others.
Do you want Jesus to say “I know you not” when you stand before him? That is what will happen to those who focus on a relationship with a religion, or in this case another person, and not Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us in John 14:6 that He is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Her testimony is very telling, and unfortunately very typical of a Mormon, as it glorifies Joseph Smith. As I’ve said in my other articles; Jesus in Mormonism is nothing more than an “after thought”. A verse I have used in pervious articles I feel describes the testimony of a Mormon is found in Luke 6:45:
”A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good;
and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil:
for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh”
To listen to any Mormon’s testimony you would think the “abundance” of their heart is Joseph Smith and Mormonism. This is very heartbreaking for me. I know the LDS people want to follow Jesus; they don’t speak much of him in their testimonies. I would love to be able to walk into a random LDS fast and testimony meeting and hear someone praising Jesus for what he did for them that week. Jesus is everything to us; I wish the LDS could truly understand that. I wish they could know that Jesus did it all, he “paid it all”, and there is absolutely nothing that we have to do to earn our salvation. Instead they are taught what Jesus did isn’t enough.
At the beginning of her testimony Ms. Black mentions how the name of Christ appears an average of once every 2.1 verses in the New Testament, and an average of once every 1.7 verses in the Book of Mormon. She called the Book of Mormon the “greater witness” of Jesus Christ because of the times she says Jesus’ name appears in the New Testament. Upon hearing her say this I have to wonder if she or the LDS community for that matter really knows who Jesus is or even the Word of God.
There is no physical evidence that events of the Book of Mormon ever occurred and she is saying that this book is a “greater” witness of Jesus Christ? All she has is the word of Joseph Smith.
I pray she and other members of the LDS Church to pick up a little book called “Names of Christ” by T.C Horton & Charles E. Hurlburt. I don’t consider myself a bible scholar by any stretch of the imagination. I can however tell you that I know it to be God’s Word. I know the Bible is only true source that testifies of Jesus Christ. He is referred to countless times in the Old Testament. In many cases he is not only referred to by Jesus or Christ, but also by other names as well. These other names define who he is to us personally and how important he is to our salvation. To give you an example of what I am talking about I’ve listed a few of my favorite names of Jesus and the Bible passages that go along with them.
Psalms 18:2 –“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
The True God
1 John 5:20-“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life”.
Ephesians 2:14 – “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us:”
Bread of Life
John 6:35- And Jesus said unto them,”‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst”
Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The might God, The everlasting Father, The Princes of Peace.
Next month look for an article where I will be explaining why these are a few of my favorite verses that talk about Jesus Christ. I want to help the LDS be able to remove Joseph Smith from this exalted position they have put him in, and in turn put Jesus in the position that he rightfully deserves in their lives. I want them all to know who Jesus is, and all he can be to them, all they have to do is ask. All they have to do is ask him to come into their hearts, once they do that they will no longer revere Joseph Smith as a true prophet. God will open their eyes and they will see Smith for whom and what he truly was, a deceiver, and false prophet.
I did a little research myself as to how many times Jesus’ name appears it the New Testament. In the KJV Jesus, Jesus Christ, and Christ appear for the first time in Matthew 1:1 – The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham
My findings are as follows, from www.bible.com;
Jesus – 942
Jesus Christ – 182
Christ – 537
In the Old Testament the prophecies and promises all pointed to Jesus Christ. The people had to live by the Law first, before Jesus could come. The Law and the tabernacle where the Israelites worshipped were all about Jesus. In Galatians 3:24 it says:
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,
that we might be justified by faith.”
In Exodus 12:3-6 God gives Moses instruction for the Passover. A lamb that was perfect, “without blemish”. It had to be sacrificed; its blood had to be spilled for their sins to be washed clean. This lamb represented the sacrifice Jesus made for us. In John 1:29 it says:
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith Behold the
Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
One of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns is called “All because of Jesus”. This is what the testimony of someone who calls themselves a Christian, a “follower of Christ” should sound like:
“It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
It’s all because the blood of Jesus Christ
That covers me and raised this dead man’s life
It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive
I’m alive, I’m alive”
A Christian’s testimony glorifies God, not a mortal man or religion. We praise Jesus for all he has done for us, for all he is doing in our lives now. We glorify Him, because we know that without Him, without the sacrifice he made for us on the Cross we would not have everlasting life. We thank God for the soul saving knowledge the Bible contains, and we pray they many will be saved through its witness of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the one who should be in that exalted position, not a religion, and definitely not a mortal man. We owe Jesus everything, if it wasn’t for him we would be bound for hell because of our sin. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 explains that Jesus is the “mediator” between us and God, meaning he intercedes on our behalf. The verse says:
“For there is one God, one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;”
“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”
I was reading in Romans today, in chapter 1 verse 18 to 25. It amazed me how these passages spoke of what Smith did, and how the LDS people have traded truth for a lie. Joseph Smith held the truth away from the early LDS, putting his spin on God’s Word rather than letting His Word speak for him. The LDS today as they did then “profess themselves to be wise”. They are taught that only members of the LDS church can correctly explain, understand and decipher the Bible. They believe that they are the teachers and there is nothing of worth a non-LDS can teach them about it. In doing all of this the LDS have made themselves “fools”. They change the truth of God and turn it in to a lie; they have given into their flesh and their “itching ears”. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables.”
The LDS doctrines are full of things that may sound good, and logical to the unsaved person. To the saved individual, they know these ideas are wrong and do not line up the biblical teaching. They see religions like Mormonism for what they are, the false gospels Jesus, and Paul warns us about. As we find in Galatians 1:8-9.
As always my prayer is that the LDS people will come to know who their Savior truly is, be saved, and have everlasting life. It’s not all because of Joseph; it’s all because of Jesus.