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The Mormon Founder’s Trinity of Blunders

Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The sad thing about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (formerly known as the Mormon Church) is that its founder, the “Prophet” Joseph Smith, Jr., was so miserable an interpreter of the Bible that his incredible blunders — three whopping examples of which are recorded in Mormon scriptures — should’ve been enough to discredit him, but weren’t.

WHOPPING BLUNDER #1:

In the Book of Mormon, JSJR writes:

If Adam had not transgressed…all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created…And they would have had no children.

2 Nephi 2:22-23

Which completely contradicts the Old Testament‘s account of Creation and the Fall.

In the first two chapters of Genesis, God gives Adam and Eve two commands:

You have TWO JOBS.

In saying they couldn’t have kids without eating from the tree, JSJR makes God’s commands to Adam and Eve mutually exclusive. This puts Adam and Eve in a Catch-22 situation: they must disobey God — either they eat the forbidden fruit, or they abstain from being fruitful and multiplying.

The Book of Mormon’s reinterpretation of the Fall as a Catch-22 story offers Mormons an easy excuse for sinning: You’ll never know whether God has put you in a situation where sinning is your only way out, so why bother resisting temptation? Just sin and bank on forgiveness.

The New Testament, on the other hand, flatly condemns any who would suppose to serve God through disobedience (Rom 3:8), and it encourages believers to find whatever way God has provided them to escape temptation without having to sin. (1 Cor 10:13)

WHOPPING BLUNDER #2:

In Doctrines & Covenants 7, JSJR claims that not only was the Apostle John made immortal by a special blessing of Jesus Christ that is recorded in John’s Gospel, but also that the Apostle John knew of his immortality when he wrote his Gospel — which entirely defeats the purpose for how John ends his Gospel.

The Gospel of John ends with Peter asking Jesus about John’s fate. Jesus replies, “If John were to live until I return, is that any concern of yours? You follow me!” (John 21:22)

ME. Understand? ME. Not that guy. ME.

John then mentions how some disciples who heard about these words of Jesus interpreted them to mean that Jesus had declared John immortal. So John clarifies, “Now, Jesus didn’t say I would live until He returns. He just asked Peter, ‘What if John lived until I return? What’s that to you?'” (21:23)

Notice that while John doesn’t confirm the disciples’ rumor that he’s now immortal, he doesn’t deny it either — he doesn’t say, “Of course I’m going to die, just like everybody else!”

This is clearly because John himself did not know whether Jesus’ words about him were purely hypothetical or not. Maybe Jesus did declare him immortal. But then again, maybe Jesus didn’t.

All John knew for sure is that if he definitively declared himself one way or the other — mortal or immortal — and the opposite turned out to be true, that would invalidate his Gospel. So he hedged his bets and treated the matter as one to be resolved in time.

However, Doctrines & Covenants 7 makes this designed inconclusiveness utterly pointless:

JOHN: “Lord, give me power over death.”

JESUS: “Verily, you shall live until I come in my glory.”

JOHN (narrating): This is why the Lord said to Peter, “If John were to live until I return, is that any concern of yours?”

From Doctrines & Covenants 7:2-3

If Doctrines & Covenants 7 is correct, John knew he was immortal and therefore had no cause to make the end of his Gospel inconclusive. He apparently just didn’t want Christians/Mormons to know about his immortality until 1829, for some unrevealed reason.

(Maybe he just wanted to see what creative tales early Christians would write about the last years of his life.)

WHOPPING BLUNDER #3:

In Doctrines & Covenants 132:26-27, JSJR says that polygamy mitigates punishment for all sin except murder.

Why not murder? Because, according to JSJR, the unforgivable blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is murder — specifically murder committed by a Christian or Mormon.

That’s nonsense, of course.

See the source image

In all three Synoptic Gospels Jesus alludes the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to actual spoken blasphemy, not to murder. Jesus even says, “Blaspheme me and you can still be forgiven, but blaspheme the Holy Spirit and you can forget it.” (Matt 12:32) You can’t murder the Holy Spirit.

Likewise, in all three Synoptic Gospels Jesus’ reference to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit takes place soon after the Pharisees accuse Him of using satanic powers to cast out demons. The Pharisees have essentially called the Holy Spirit the Devil, thus slandering Him.

Moreover, that Jesus accused the Pharisees of committing the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit puts the lie to JSJR’s notion that only Christians or Mormons are capable of committing it. The Pharisees were anything but disciples of Jesus. They were Jesus’ opponents, not traitors!

In blaspheming the Holy Spirit — in taking an obvious act of God and claiming instead that Satan had done it — the Pharisees had revealed that they were no longer capable of telling good from evil. And when you can’t tell good from evil, it’s impossible to know when you’ve done wrong and repent of your sins.

No repentance, of course, means no salvation. That’s what makes the blasphemy against the Spirit unforgivable: You’ve lost the ability to repent.

Murder — even murder committed by Christians or Mormons — doesn’t take away one’s ability to repent. And that’s why murder is most certainly not the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

I’m sure there are other blunders Mormonism’s founder has committed to Mormon scripture besides the three whoppers I’ve listed above, but I’ll let you go search for reference materials on that. (For a history of Mormonism, I highly recommend Richard Abanes’ One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church (ad).)

Thoroughly documented. Has about as many pages of endnotes as it has actual pages.

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Mike, Who Speaketh His Mind

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