March 29, 2009


I feel that an important question one must ask is, "If Joseph Smith, Jr. were a false prophet, how would I know that?"

We are not given a whole lot of information by Christ except for a few warnings in the Bible that there would be many false prophets (see Matt. 24:11, 24; Matt. 7:15; Mark 13:22; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1).

So how can we discern a true prophet from these many false ones who are so convincing that they may deceive even the elect?

I believe in God. Because I believe in God, I believe that He created me. He, therefore, must have created me for a purpose. May I suggest to all of you, then, that it is my greatest responsibility in life to do all within my power to discover that purpose? If that means discovering that Jihad is His will, I must be willing to accept that. If that means researching whether Joseph Smith, Jr. was what my parents believe, I must be willing to accept what I find and feel in regards to him. I owe this to my creator. I do believe in God, and I feel that I owe it to Him to learn everything I can about Joseph Smith, Jr. and his claims. I was born with a brain, and I feel that He wants me to use it just as much as my heart.

Some of you may ask, "Where is your faith?"

I feel that the role of faith is to get me from the facts and my conscience to God. The role of faith should not be to overlook the facts and betray conscience for the sake of comfort. I learned the facts, followed conscience, and now I rely on my faith in God.

We all were born with intelligence, and I believe God expects us to use all of our resources, not just those we're fed, to discover what we can about Him.


Cr@ig said...

Dear Elli,

Having stumbled onto your blog, I must say, I've found both your posts and the reader’s comments to be quite enlightening.

Being a former Mormon myself, having served in leadership positions from YM Pres to Bishopric and High Council, I find it so very interesting that the reactions you have received from those still involved and believing in the church are the same sort of reactions that I encountered when I was struggling with trying to maintain belief despite overwhelming evidence suggesting that I had based my faith and devotion on false premises.

Those who maintain belief seem not to want to even consider that their church could be anything other than what it claims to be, even to the point of not being willing to even consider facts, science and the unvarnished histories, that when viewed with an open mind suggest that the church we all grew up in, loved and devoted ourselves too, is not what it claims to be. There is just too much evidence to be denied. Christ’s true church would not need to lie, whitewash or teach a “faith-promoting” yet untrue enhanced version of it's history in order to maintain the belief of its members…so why does the LDS church feel the need to do so?

Believing Mormon’s can witness and testify all they want, but sadly their testimonies seem baseless and shallow when tested against reality. Do they even understand how silly they appear? A 'Truth' can only be claimed as such only after it has been subjected to and passed the most strictest of tests...sadly most Mormons are unwilling to subject the church they based their testimonies on to any kind of examination or scrutiny? What do they fear? Could it be that they fear, in some small remote protected corner of their mind, that you may be right and that their lives are being dedicated to a fraud?

Those who claim “to KNOW’ something yet having never tested those claims against the world of reality…are living in a make believe fantasy world….where promises are made…but in reality are never fulfilled or delivered.

Richard Packham said...

There is even more scriptural guidance for identifying a false prophet.

"And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously..." Deut 18:21-22

The test Jesus gave at Matthew 7:15-20 is by their "fruits." Although this passage is often quoted for somewhat different purposes, the words were specifically meant to identify false prophets. That is, do their prophecies come to pass?

In applying that test to Joseph Smith's prophecies (many of which are quite unknown to most Mormons), it is clear that in prophesying future events he was not very successful. And even those prophecies which Mormons like to cite as having been fulfilled (the Civil War prophecy, the Rocky Mountain prophecy, for example) turn out, on close inspection, not to be very impressive.

For a listing of Joseph Smith's failed prophecies (and the very few that were fulfilled) see

And you are quite right not to let "faith" trump facts. Even the Apostle Paul said,"Test everything" 1 Thess 5:21 [my translation].

Cr@ig said...

Dear Eli,

A few more thoughts regarding faith and facts...

Thomas Edison Said:

"For faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction - faith in fiction is a damnable false hope."

"IF" Mormonism's claims are built on fiction, then having faith in these fictional claims is a false hope. Isn't it paramount on every seeker of the truth to research information both pro and con and test their validity? Certainly if Mormonism is all that it claims to be…it can stand up to this kind of test. Of course on the other hand if it is fiction, an honest search into conflicting information will bear this out.

Members of the church are counseled to ignore or refrain from investigating information that conflicts with official church teachings. Why would this be? If this conflicting information has no bases or credibility wouldn’t the church encourage its members to investigate this information so that it can be discredited and removed as an obstacle to faith? But the church takes the complete opposite tack…instead instructing its membership to avoid all contact with any information or knowledge that conflicts with official church explanations.

It makes one wonder what the church is afraid of…...dare I say..."the Truth?"

Anonymous said...

> It makes one wonder what the church is afraid of…...dare I say..."the Truth?"

As Boyd k. Packer said "Some things that are True are not very useful."

When reading your own church histories is damning to testimonies and the character of the 'prophets' it says it all.

Anonymous said...

They frequently find the truth who do not seek it, they who do, frequently lose it.
--FANNY KEMBLE, Further Records, Feb. 8, 1875

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
--ALBERT EINSTEIN, Ideas and Opinions: Based on Mein Weltbild

I am better off than he is, for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him.

Eli said...

Response to Anonymous: Interesting. And while I don't claim to know the one truth, the Church members do.