WAS JOSEPH SMITH A PROPHET?- Introduction
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, claimed to be a prophet of God. Was he?
WAS JOSEPH SMITH A PROPHET?- Smith’s Vision
In determining whether Joseph Smith was a prophet of God we need first to look at Smith’s so-called “first vision,” in which God supposedly instructed the would-be prophet to start a new church — what was to become the Mormon church. The evidence shows, however that Smith’s testimony suffers from a host of internal discrepancies. For example, the earliest recorded account of Smith’s “first vision” makes mention only of Jesus Christ, whereas other accounts report the appearance of both Jesus and God the Father, or of an angel, or a group of angels. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear to see that such conflicting reports only serve to cast doubt on the veracity of Smith’s testimony. Keep in mind that several of these accounts came from the same man — Joseph Smith himself.
WAS JOSEPH SMITH A PROPHET?- Prophetic Accuracy
Turning now to prophetic accuracy, we find that Smith fares no better than he did in recounting his alleged encounter with God. According to Deuteronomy 18:22, God’s prophets have a one hundred percent rate of accuracy — that is to say, their prophetic predictions never miss the mark. Unfortunately for Smith, such standards proved too much for him. We note, for example, that Smith predicted that a Mormon temple in Missouri would be constructed before all of the people living in 1832 pass away. This did not occur.
WAS JOSEPH SMITH A PROPHET?- A Different god?
But even if Smith were flawless in all his predictions (which certainly was not the case), according to Deuteronomy 13:1-3 he would still not qualify as a prophet of God because he was speaking for a false god — a god other than the One revealed in Scripture. The facts lead us to draw only one conclusion: that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet, but a false prophet. And remember, the irony is that is was Joseph Smith who attacked Christianity by saying that all its teachers were corrupt.
On Joseph Smith and the question “Was Joseph Smith a Prophet?”, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.