We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet
- We thank thee, O God, for a prophetTo guide us in these latter days.We thank thee for sending the gospelTo lighten our minds with its rays.We thank thee for every blessingBestowed by thy bounteous hand.We feel it a pleasure to serve theeAnd love to obey thy command.
- When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er usAnd threaten our peace to destroy,There is hope smiling brightly before us,And we know that deliv'rance is nigh.We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.We've proved him in days that are past.The wicked who fight against ZionWill surely be smitten at last.
- We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.We'll praise him by day and by night,Rejoice in his glorious gospel,And bask in its life-giving light.Thus on to eternal perfectionThe honest and faithful will go,While they who reject this glad messageShall never such happiness know.
Yesterday I was watching the 185th General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). This was one of the songs they sang, a praise to Mormonism’s prophet Joseph Smith. But is he a prophet that was sent from God? From the beginning of Scripture to the end of Scripture we find there are many prophets, and many more to come. But we read that there are prophets who are sent from God, and there are prophets that are not sent by God (false prophets). And we are told by Jesus and His disciples that in the last days there would be many false prophets:
Matthew 7:15, “"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
Matthew 24:11, “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”
2 Peter 2:1-3, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”
So we find in the Scriptures that destruction is waiting for false prophets. What is waiting for those who follow them?
Jeremiah 14:14-16, Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”
Those who follow the teachings of false prophets are not safe from the wrath of God. Nor are their families. So innocently following a false prophet, though with good intentions, will not deliver a person or their family from the wrath of God that is coming.
I know that Mormons are taught to follow the Mormon church, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith by receiving a “burning in their bosom.” But that is not the criteria God gave us to test whether a prophet is sent by God or not. He has given us two ways to test a prophet, and He expects us to use them. To not use them and to follow a person blindly can lead to a person’s certain destruction.
I remember a number of years ago, when I was a teenager, I was hitchhiking on L Street in Omaha, Nebraska. A police officer pulled over and was giving me a ticket for this. I said there were no signs saying I couldn’t hitchhike. He pointed out a bank on the street corner. He said, “Do you see a sign saying not to rob me?” I said no. He said ignorance of the law is no excuse.
As we see in Jeremiah above, following a false prophet in ignorance is no excuse. Destruction will still come.
So, let’s start with the first test God gave to us to determine whether or not Joseph Smith is a prophet sent by God:
Deuteronomy 18:22, “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
Joseph Smith gave prophecies. Did they come true? Go to the following link and read Joseph Smith’s false prophecies:
And what about Joseph Smith’s revelation to go and sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon in Canada?
Brother Hyrum said it had been suggested to him that some of the brethren might go to Toronto, Canada, and sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon for considerable money: and he persuaded Joseph to inquire of the Lord about it. Joseph concluded to do so. He had not yet given up the stone. Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they would sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon. Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money. Joseph was at my father's house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada. Well, we were all in great trouble; and we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: 'Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of men: and some revelations are of the devil.' So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man. When a man enquires of the Lord concerning a matter, if he is deceived by his own carnal desires, and is in error, he will receive an answer according to his erring heart, but it will not be a revelation from the Lord. This was a lesson for our benefit and we should have profited by it in future more than we did (An Address to All Believers in Christ, 31).
And what about the Kirtland Bank failure?
Warren Parrish, who had been an officer in the bank and had apostatized from the Church, made this statement: "I have listened to him [i.e. Smith] with feelings of no ordinary kind, when he declared that the AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD, INSTRUCTED HIM TO ESTABLISH A BANKING-ANTI BANKING INSTITUTION, who like Aaron's rod SHALL SWALLOW UP ALL OTHER BANKS (the Bank of Monroe excepted,) and grow and flourish and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins." (Painesville Republican, February 22, 1838, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 297)
Wilford Woodruff, who remained true to the Church and became the fourth President, confirmed the fact that Joseph Smith claimed to have a revelation concerning the bank. Under the date of January 6, 1837, he recorded the following in his journal: "I also herd [sic] President Joseph Smith, jr., declare in the presence of F. Williams, D. Whitmer, S. Smith, W. Parrish, and others in the Deposit office that HE HAD RECEIVED THAT MORNING THE WORD OF THE LORD UPON THE SUBJECT OF THE KIRTLAND SAFETY SOCIETY. He was alone in a room by himself and he had not only [heard] the voice of the Spirit upon the Subject but even an AUDIBLE VOICE. He did not tell us at that time what the Lord said upon the subject but remarked that if we would give heed to the commandments the Lord had given this morning all would be well." ("Wilford Woodruff's Journal," January 6, 1837, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 296)
The Kirtland Bank was created in the State of Ohio by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Joseph was the Cashier and Sidney was the President. Unable to obtain a Banking Charter, Joseph and Sidney created an "Anti-Bank" Bank. Depositors were lured in because Joseph Smith told his followers that as a Prophet of God, the Bank would never fail.
Joseph Smith's delusions left them empty-handed and the bank declared bankruptcy. Many faithful Mormons lost their life savings and investments - and their faith. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon fled Kirtland under the cover of darkness in January of 1838 to escape bank depositors who were given worthless bank notes in exchange for gold and silver deposits.
So Joseph Smith has failed the first test God has given us to give to a person claiming to be a prophet sent by God.
What about the second test?
Deuteronomy 13:1-5, “If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery, to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.”
The second test is if a prophet prophecies something that comes to pass, does that prophet lead people away from the truth to follow other gods? Read the following link to see how Mormon teachings and doctrine are contrary to the truth of God’s Word:
Joseph Smith was a prophet, but a false prophet. The tests God has given us to use prove this. And God expects you to use these tests and is holding you accountable for this. Remember the verse in Jeremiah: “And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”
Joseph Smith preached a gospel other than the one Paul the Apostle preached. Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned.” Unless Joseph Smith repented from what he preached, he is eternally condemned. If the modern prophets of Mormonism don’t repent of preaching this different gospel, they will be eternally condemned. Unless those who follow Mormonism’s different gospel repent, they will be eternally condemned. God says He will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.
What is this calamity? Death. The second death. Revelation 20:13-15, “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Most people misunderstand what death means. The death of a marriage means two people split. They move on, but their marriage is dead. When a person dies they don’t cease to exist. Their body is laid in the ground, and they move on into eternity. The second death mentioned in Revelation doesn’t mean a person is annihilated. It means a person exists in eternity apart from the life of God, an object of God’s wrath, under eternal condemnation and punishment.
How does a person escape this? Through the real Gospel, the Good News. The bad news is that we are sinners and the wages of sin is death. Seperated from the life of God for all of eternity. The Good News is that Jesus paid the penalty on the cross for our sins. The penalty that a holy and just God demands. Jesus took them out of the way so they would no longer be counted against us. “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Jesus, the perfect Son of God, then offers to credit to our account His righteousness, “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” So Jesus went to the cross and took out of the way what separated you from your God and offers to credit His righteousness to your account and reconcile you to God, none of this your own doing, none of this depending on your works. It’s grace. “And if by grace then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
So stop following and singing praises to a false prophet, ask Jesus to apply what He did at the cross to you…and He will, “For everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”
And you will have a sure hope and a future.
But if you continue to follow false prophets: “And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”