Part 4 Joseph Smith was an occultist and gave multiple first vision accounts

1. UNDERSTANDING THE FOUNDER OF MORMONISM: JOSEPH SMITH

  • We do know he had many leadership qualities
  • We also know he was a deceiver
  • He was an occultist

Joseph Smith practiced occultism at a very young age.  He and his father used to dig for buried treasure and used a seer stones to search for the money.  Historical record gives us an account of Joseph Smith’s arrest in 1826 for hiring himself out to another person for the purpose of money-digging.  He admitted in court using a special stone for seeing hidden treasure.

Smith practiced multiple occult activities throughout his lifetime.  Some of those included:

–       Magick: What we might call black magic of the occult and not what magicians do.

–       Divination: This is special knowledge through the supernatural.  Bible directly speaks against this practice.

–       Astrology: The studying the positions of the stars and how they affect humans.

–       Soothsaying: Making predicting of the future, which he continued even after the founding of the Mormon Church in 1830.[1]

Joseph Smith also was said to be carrying a Jupiter’s Talisman in his pocket.  I found people selling a Joseph Smith Jupiter Talisman online.  People carry these around for wealth and good fortune.  Some Mormons have either tried to deny Joseph Smith carried a Jupiter Talisman or his practice in the occult was trivial and didn’t detract from his being a prophet of God.  We have good historical grounds for believing he carried one and demonstrated repeatedly, he practiced occultism.  Smith being an occultist, over and against the condemnation of the Bible, demonstrates clearly Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God.

  • False First Vision

The Mormon Church makes a big deal out of the first vision of Joseph Smith.  The truth is Smith’s “first vision” has undergone multiple revisions over the years.  His first vision was very simple and has been expanded and changed to what we have today.  Charts are available that demonstrate how changes were made over the years.  However, the Mormon Church today says they have the true vision of Smith in spite of the multiple contradictions in early publications.

In the official “first vision” Joseph Smith says at age 14 as he walked into the forest and the Father and the Son appeared to him.  He had been bothered for years about which church to attend, so he asked them which church was the correct one.  They said all the Christian Churches were corrupt and that none of them were true. Soon afterwards, God allegedly commissioned Joseph Smith to start a new church.  This became known as the Mormon Church or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

A good chart of the multiple “first visions” is available in the book “Becoming Gods,” by Richard Abanes pages 32 and 33.  A first vision with revisions is a false vision.  Do not be fooled when Mormons share the “first vision” of Joseph Smith.

We have seen clearly Joseph Smith was a leader, a deceiver, an occultist, and his first vision was altered and expanded over the years.  Next I’d like to begin to explore some of the weaknesses of the Book of Mormon.

Go to part 5 here


[1] Abanes, Richard, “Becoming Gods,” Harvest House Publishers, 2004 p. 45

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Ned Merewether August 14, 2011, 3:14 am

    I believe that while what you have said may be true, you are being unnecessarily cruel. Why does Mormonism bother you enough that you have to write about how it is wrong. I will assume for the sake of argument that you are a devout Christian, likely a Creationist or a Catholic.(Assumed because of the absolutely stubborn views you have). If all of what you say is true, then why did people join the group in the first place? If what you say is true, wouldn’t they realise that YOUR religion is true and should be followed rather than Mormonism? I’ll answer that one for you. They did so because they have faith. They have faith that the choice they have made is right. AND FAITH SHOULD NOT BE TAMPERED WITH. As a person writing about religion you should understand this already. If you don’t then you are deluding yourself. I know personally from arguments with religious friends that there will never be an answer. There are no answers to these sorts of questions. So instead of pointing out why someone else is wrong, either shut up or examine your motivations a little deeper. You might just find that you are not trying to help them, you are just trying to make yourself feel superior. And that is primitive. That is abhorrent. That feeling of I am better than you should not even come into the equation when writing about religion.

    P.S. Agnostic. I know you will want to know)

  • Steve August 15, 2011, 6:00 am

    Ned,
    Interesting how you are telling me it is wrong to tell Mormons they are wrong. Does that mean you are wrong for telling me that I am wrong? You call me cruel for saying they are wrong. Are you cruel for saying I am wrong? As you can see your entire letter is self-refuting.

    However, in spite of your fatal flaws in reasoning I will address some of your points. You should have stopped at calling me a devout Christian. You didn’t have to add calling me a creationist or a Catholic because of my perceived stubborn views. Anyone who takes truth seriously will take a strong stand on their beliefs. Do you take truth seriously? If yes, does that make you stubborn? In case you wondered I am not a young earth creationist or Catholic. I am a follower of Jesus Christ.

    Next you said, “If all of what you say is true, then why did people join the group in the first place? If what you say is true, wouldn’t they realize that YOUR religion is true and should be followed rather than Mormonism?”

    Jesus went from city to city teaching the truth and he was rejected time and time again. In fact his message of truth got him crucified. If people heard and saw the truth from Jesus and rejected it, then why do you think I would fare better? God doesn’t force true belief; he just offers people an opportunity to believe. The other problem is Satan has blinded the eyes of unbelievers. The Apostle Paul writes about this in: 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Mormons have been blinded by the “god of this world” (Satan). The veil of unbelief keeps them from believing the truth.

    Then you give me your answer for why they don’t believe in the historical Christian faith; “I’ll answer that one for you. They did so because they have faith. They have faith that the choice they have made is right. AND FAITH SHOULD NOT BE TAMPERED WITH. As a person writing about religion you should understand this already. If you don’t then you are deluding yourself.”

    I understand Biblical faith. What you write about is blind faith. Biblical faith is a word that is deeply misunderstood. Some people define “faith” as believing the impossible. People of “faith” believe that which is contrary to evidence. People of “faith” ignore reality. I had one friend tell me that with all the scientific discoveries it takes all the faith he can muster to believe Genesis chapter 1. Some individuals say faith is not the kind of thing that has anything to do with facts. If we have evidence to prove what we believe, then that takes away from real faith.

    What we’ve done is made a virtue out of believing against the evidence. I’ve been told that my search for evidence to support my faith destroys the beauty of faith. This type of thinking goes against what the Bible teaches. Think about it for a moment. Talbot philosophy professor, J.P. Moreland has suggested that if this is really the Christian view of faith, the best thing that could happen to Christianity is for the bones of Jesus to be discovered. Finding His bones would prove He didn’t rise from the dead. When Christians continue to believe that He did, then, they would be demonstrating the strongest of all faith, believing something that all the evidence proved was false; they would be “Believing the unbelievable.”

    This is silly. We have faith in the resurrection because we have evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. If we’re encouraged to believe because of the evidence for the resurrection, then that proves this other view of faith is false. It may be the view Christians hold in many cases, but it is not the view of the Bible; it is not the view of Christianity.

    You make a statement “I know personally from arguments with religious friends that there will never be an answer. There are no answers to these sorts of questions.” Essentially, you are saying there is no religious truth. Is that your religious truth? If so then again it is self-refuting. You are making a religious claim, “there are no answers” and that in itself is a religious answer. So you are saying there is one religious answer, yours!

    Ned when you say there are no answers to religious belief you are pointing towards what is called “blind faith.” My faith is not blind. Biblical faith doesn’t believe against the evidence; instead, faith is a kind of knowing that results in action. That’s why the Christian faith cares about the evidence; for the Biblical Christian, the facts matter.

    What I am doing is not primitive or abhorrent or giving me feelings of superiority. I care about Mormons because if I am right, they are headed for hell. If someone was headed for eternal separation from God, wouldn’t the loving thing to do is warn them?

    Steve

  • A Faithful Mormon October 21, 2012, 10:47 pm

    Ahem, the “hidden treasure” was the golden plates of scripture (“treasure” as “knowledge”) he found along with the “stones” being the Urim and Thumim which allowed him to translate them through the power of God.

  • Steve October 22, 2012, 7:20 am

    Dear Faithful Mormon,
    Thanks for writing. You have a major problem with your facts. Joseph Smith was arrested in Bainbridge, New York for being a disorderly person and an imposter. He had broken the law by hiring himself out as a money-digger to a Josiah Stowell. Consequently, he was brought to court as a glass-looker – “one who, by peering through a glass stone, could see things not discernible by the natural eye.” During the court examination, Joseph Smith admitted to having “a certain stone” that he used to find buried treasure (Becoming Gods by Richard Abanas pgs. 38,39).

    On September 22, 1827, the LDS Church states the angel Moroni let Joseph Smith get the golden plates and was given two stones set in silver bows. He was told these stones were “Urim and Thummim.”

    Do you see the problem? The date he was arrested for using a glass stone was 1826. In September of 1827 Moroni not only let Smith get the plates, he provided two new stones. Therefore, the hidden treasure Smith was seeking was not the golden plates; he was looking for buried treasure. He admitted to this crime in court. This is all part of public record. And the glass stone he utilized to find this treasure was not “Urim and Thummim.” Those stones were provided by Moroni a year later.

    Are you ready to admit to the facts that Joseph Smith was a money-digger?

    Steve

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Do Objective Morals Exist?
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Counting the Cost
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What Ever Happened to Hell?
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Accused of Partnering in Wickedness
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