Every Sunday Mormons attend a three hour block of meetings consisting of three separate classes/meetings. Those three hour blocks include a Relief Society or Priesthood Meeting, Sunday school and Sacrament Meeting, (their form of a worship service).
And every year the Church switches out what is being taught in the Relief Society or Priesthood meetings as well as the Sunday school classes. The Church dictates what is taught and doesn’t allow any teaching from outside resources to be used whatsoever. Teachers are mandated to only use authorized material supplied by the Church, meaning no history books, no newspapers, internet, et al.
In light of this, Melissa and I decided we’d post these teachings to provide insight about their teachings for non-Mormons as well as the Mormon who’s looking for further info from the Church on their class.
Classes for Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith (hereafter JFS) are held the second and third week of every month with the objective of enlightening members on the life and times of JFS (i.e. elevate him) as well as teaching some of the meat of Mormonism.
For the sake of brevity with the Teachings of JFS I’ve excluded the Intro, History of JFS and the Historical Summary. If you’d like to read those you can do so here.
After reading through this first lesson I found the main theme was setting the stage on making sure members understand that God was nonexistent on earth from the death of Jesus’ last apostle to the appearance of Joseph Smith. Here’s what Mr. Smith had to say about this;
“It should be remembered that the entire Christian world in 1820 had lost the true doctrine concerning God.”
As stated, this sets the stage for introducing their god and how he operates in the lives of the Mormon people through the mouths of these prophets.
This lesson is broken up into six parts with each focusing on JFS’ example of how to worship their god and having a relationship with him. We’re highlighting the main points of each section along with a biblical rebuttal for each.
1. “Beginning with Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the true knowledge of God has been restored in our day.”
This is where we need to stop and ask specifically which vision is this man referring to? Joseph Smith, Jr, the founding father of Mormonism had several versions of his first vision you can read about here. However, JFS makes the following statement about the vision;
“The [first] vision of Joseph Smith made it clear that the Father and the Son are separate personages, having bodies as tangible as the body of man. It was further revealed to him that the Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, distinct and separate from the personalities of the Father and the Son…”
Smith’s description of God is diametrically opposed to what God reveals to us in His word. If two separate personages appeared to Smith in a grove they weren’t God and they weren’t sent from God. Remember in Smith’s testimony he also said that just before these personages appeared he’d been overtaken by a dark evil force causing him to believe he’d certainly perish – Joseph Smith Testimony 1:15.
2. “…beginning with the restoration of the gospel in this dispensation, men once again would be called upon to worship and serve their Creator rather than the false concepts of Deity that prevail in the world.
In every age the Lord’s prophets have been called upon to combat false worship and proclaim the truth about God. In ancient Israel there were those who worshiped images and pagan gods, and Isaiah asked: “To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?…” (Isaiah 40:18, 28)
Which is it? Did men once again have truth through Joseph Smith in 1820 or have there always been prophets to combat the errors? JFS went on to give further details about the Mormon god, but these too contradict what Joseph Smith Jr. taught about God. Smith stuck to his guns when he said that God never had power to create the earth all on His own – Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 349.
JFS expounded his thoughts on his predecessor’s revelation by repeating that God is our Father, but at the end of this section he made it abundantly clear they believe their god begat all of humanity first spiritually in the pre-existence, giving all humans the chance to come to earth and earn salvation, aka godhood status, through good works.
We noticed the lessons in these books coincide with their weekly OT classes. This means for two hours every week Mormons will be listening to the Mormon teachings of their god having sexual relations with one of his goddess wives to beget spirit children.
Is this the God of the Bible? Certainly not! The God of the Bible emphatically declared He is the Only God (Isaiah 43:10-11) and man came into being when God breathed life into his (Adam’s) nostrils to become a living soul – Genesis 2:7. No sex, no pre-existence, no godhood status for men or women.
If I could only share a few verses with a Mormon these examples would be in my list, for on those verses hangs and dispels all of Mormon theology.
3. “We are the spirit children of God our Heavenly Father. … We are members of his family. … We dwelt with him for long ages in our premortal life. … He ordained a plan of progression and salvation which would enable us, if faithful and true in all things, to advance and progress until we become like him.
We are taught in the Scriptures that God is literally, and not in a figurative sense, our very eternal Father. The words of our Redeemer spoken to Mary near the tomb from which he had risen and gained the victory over death, are most sublime…”
Again, they’ve chosen to focus on their god who begat all humans as spirits before we came here to earth and in fact this is completely the opposite of what the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 15:47-48.
He told them they were first created as humans, not spirits.
The problems many Corinthians faced was the heresy of Gnosticism and Gnostic beliefs included the theory man is immortal. Now think about this for a moment. If man is immortal then why should he have to worry about the evils of the world? He’ll live forever, right?
The idea you’ll live forever was first introduced by none other than Satan himself in the Garden of Eden when he enticed Eve with the question in Genesis 3:4. “You shall not surely die”. Uh…yes you will! Life doesn’t last forever and neither will your soul if you don’t believe Christ is your Savior who died for you!
BTW – the word sublime is used in Masonry, not Christianity. This is a sign of a cult.
This goes back to what we saw in Genesis 2:7 when Adam became a living soul. He wasn’t already in existence.
4. “We learn from these scriptures from which I have read and from other revelations from the Lord, that man is the most important of all our Father’s creations. In the same vision given to Moses, the Father said: “And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” [Moses 1:38–39.]
From this, and other scripture, I say, we learn that the great work of the Father is to bring to pass the salvation of his children giving unto each that reward which each merits according to his works.”
The god of Mormonism is referred to as “Heavenly Father” and as you can see from their canon they believe he created untold numbers of other worlds which are inhabited.
While they fill their many pages with lots of revelations from Joseph Smith the bottom line is this – Mormons won’t get to heaven without working for salvation. They believe their god created other worlds with other redeemers and each redeemer had to earn his own way to that status.
Again, this is nonsense! There’s no biblical proof of this and in fact everything we know about God discounts this heresy. If there are other worlds with other redeemers then why did God call Jesus His Only Begotten Son?
5. Heavenly Father weeps over his children…I am satisfied that our Father in heaven would, if it were possible, save all men and give unto them celestial glory, even the fulness of exaltation. But, he has given unto man his agency and man is under the necessity of obeying the truth according to that which is revealed in order to obtain the exaltation of the righteous.”
The Mormon god has no grace to bestow upon his children or he would provide a way for them to be saved without their own righteousness. No one can live up to the standards of being perfect, yet this is what the BoM states in 2 Nephi 25:23; “…we are saved by grace after all we can do”.
This philosophy is indicative of a malcontent god. He sets the stage and tricked Adam into sinning and then tells mankind Jesus’ atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane only comes into effect after they’ve worked all their life. It sounds like a bad warranty on a VCR.
6.“There is no need for men to shut their eyes and feel that there is no light only as they may depend upon their reason, for the Lord has always been willing to lead and direct and show the way. He has sent, as I say, messengers from his presence. He has sent revelation. He has commanded that his word be written, that it be published, so that all the people might know it.”
This last section is the hallmark of the Mormon gospel. There’s a key sentence in this last section that’s imperative to understand; did you see it?
JFS said; “…for the Lord has always been willing to lead and direct and show the way. He has sent, as I say, messengers…”
Where’s Jesus? Didn’t God send Jesus for us to be saved?
If you’re LDS we’re imploring you to study these things and compare this with the Bible!
God loves you more than you’ll ever know and so does Jesus! He wouldn’t have died for you if that wasn’t true. He came here for one reason – to pay the debt for your sin! Please, please, please, as you look over these lessons remember to go to your Bible and compare it with what the Lord says!
With Love in Christ;
1 Cor 1:18