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    Understanding the True
    Origins of Mormonism

    The Incredible Story of a Race of Celestial Beings
    that once Came to the Earth...

    by Clare Gregory

    Chapter 6
    The True Keystone of Mormonism

    The LDS Church stands on the priesthood. Take away the priesthood, and the LDS Church crumbles in a heap of rubble with or without the Book of Mormon! The Church clearly teaches that all we need is a modern prophet and God’s authority for our salvation. That is the core theology of Mormonism. Knowing this is the theological foundation in Mormonism, an investigator ought skip right past the Book of Mormon and go directly to the modern prophets from Joseph Smith through the current prophet and investigate the priesthood authority and modern doctrine they taught. If any Mormon disagrees let me ask a question: What is more important? What president Hinkley teaches us in general conference or what Peter taught? If we believe in Joseph Smith, then we must answer that what president Hinkley teaches is more important, because it applies directly to us today. That is the teaching of the founder of Mormonism. The entire premise of Mormonism and “good news” message is that we have modern prophets that tell us what God wants us to know right now. With this logic, then, we will must also conclude that our living prophets since Joseph Smith and their teachings have more validity than Peter’s and Alma’s. Of course, being modern prophets are human beings, we would expect a few errors here and there. But on the entirety, the official doctrine taught ought to be consistent with each other and coincide with the scriptures and the word of God. We should have no problem studying the history and lives of modern prophets, right?

    Too bad it’s not true. By studying the lives and history of the modern prophets, the truth that the LDS Church is false becomes glaring. For example, the rights to priesthood succession after the death of Joseph Smith can arguably belong to his son, Joseph Smith III. He blessed him to rise to that position and prophesied to his followers that his son would take his place. Even Brigham Young acknowledged the belief in Joseph’s promises and waited patiently for Joseph Smith III to see the light and move to Utah to lead the Church. But it never happened. Joseph Smith III was repulsed by the doctrine of plural marriage his father believed in and wanted nothing to do with the Utah-based faction. In addition, years after the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young assumed the role of President of the Church, forming a First Presidency without being ordained to the office. He said he received that authority when he was originally ordained as an apostle and held all the priesthood keys already. Indeed, all of the prophets in the LDS Church from Brigham Young to Heber J. Grant were never ordained as President of the LDS Church. But things have changed. Today, the LDS prophet is ordained to his position as President of the LDS Church. And these holy men are supposed to be in communion with God? I could write much more. But I only offer you a morsel to encourage you search and look. Do your own research. I’ve not even touched upon the false prophesies penned by these men, such as the treasures Joseph Smith was sent to find in Salem Massachusetts but never obtained (D&C 111:4.), or the strange doctrines taught such as the Adam God theory, or the changing temple ceremony and garments, or finally, the controversial doctrine and application of plural marriage.

    History reeks with facts that prove the LDS Church can not be what it claims to be. But the Church trains its members to stay away from these facts, and instead, to turn to the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony. But this training is specifically CONTRARY TO THE CHURCH’S OWN THEOLOGY. According to the LDS priesthood doctrine, our salvation is in the modern prophet and the priesthood keys given by angels. Therefore, the Book of Mormon is secondary to the prophets who lived closest to our times, which includes: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and all the other modern prophets that have lived after them. Unfortunately, studying the conflicting and massive changes and cover-ups behind the ministry of these men causes one to wonder what kind of God leads the LDS Church. The contradictions and confusions are so mind-boggling, it is no wonder the Church instructs all of its members to just study what’s coming from Salt Lake TODAY, and forget the past. “What a waste of time,” we are told. “Everyone has skeletons in the closet. Why dredge up the past? Just put your trust in the current living prophet and we can’t go wrong. Read the Book of Mormon. The Church is true!” My God! What kind of logic is this? If they were truly prophets of God, would it not be profitable to learn from their skeletons? Look at what we learn from David and Solomon! Should we not pull up the writings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and be taught the circumstances that brought forth their strange and sometimes bizarre teachings and learn from them? They were prophets, right? If Adam is God as Brigham Young taught, then should we not also be taught that doctrine today? And if Adam is not God, should we not be taught from the living Prophets what the error is, so we can LEARN from our mistakes? And studying our prophets doesn’t mean we pick a few uncontroversial facts that are milky and say we’ve studied the lives of the prophets. There are some serious contradictions that need to be addressed specifically—such as the Adam God doctrine.

    Now I know some innocent Mormon is going to be reading this and saying, “Well, you are just taking that out of context. Brigham Young never taught that Adam is God.” But I suggest you do the research. Go get the Journal of Discourses and read the sermons of Brigham Young. Go to the Internet and start browsing the “other side” of the LDS fence. Don’t just assume that Brigham Young never taught the Adam-God doctrine because you never heard of it before. I know of one gentlemen who had the visitations of three angels visit him and teach Him the exact doctrine of Brigham Young, declaring that Adam was God the Father. He also taught that men lived on the moon. See the appendix for references to research. You’ll be amazed at what is available. For example, I’ve read a letter written by Bruce R. McConkie that confirmed that Brigham Young taught the Adam God doctrine but that he made a mistake. We are to follow the living prophets was his counsel, not the prophets of the past. We need to keep these types of things to ourselves, McConkie advised, and follow the Holy Spirit. This letter was written privately to an individual and of course was not a public proclamation. Bruce R. McConkie understood the LDS priesthood doctrine, so he believed and followed the living prophet and not the dead BrighamYoung. The LDS Church truly does not believe in the Adam-God doctrine today, but it did at one time.

    The point I’m making is the Book of Mormon is not the keystone of the LDS religion. The LDS priesthood keys and “modern prophets” are the theological foundation. For the LDS Church to push the Book of Mormon in gaining a testimony of the LDS Church is simply an illogical and absurd notion. What if the Book of Mormon was delivered through false angels? If so, will reading and praying about the book prove the Church is true? Even if God tells us it is true? No! All members should understand this clearly so they do not err and waste their time. Indeed, it wasn’t until I questioned whether President Hinkley was a prophet today did I seriously take a second look at the LDS Church and start on my exit out. As long as I stayed in the Book of Mormon feeding on the truths it contains, I would not leave the Church.

    The Holy Priesthood

    Personal revelation and testimony is the starting point for members of the church, but it is not the foundation of Mormonism. Surprisingly, most members are not well read in the original doctrine of Joseph Smith to understand that the holy priesthood is an awesome saving principle in the LDS religion. It is through “obedience to the laws and the ordinances of the gospel” that one obtains salvation. The saving ordinances are performed by one holding priesthood authority, or they are not binding in Heaven.

    But this logic works only if a person values his membership in the LDS Church more than the truth. To have our feelings disagree with an authority in the Church, or for us to express what we really think, means potentially being excommunicated if we are not careful. This was the environment in which the Church was born. It is the foundation that Joseph built on, and with that foundation, came also the viewpoint that being one-sided to truth was necessary and expedient to combat the “evil one”. Otherwise, too many were souls were lost.

    This is why LDS history is filled with an extreme and almost polarized viewpoint between believers and non-believers. You followed Joseph Smith and believed he was the man of God, or you did not. And if you adamantly opposed the man, you opposed God himself. Indeed, the authority that he received was from angels, put him in a position to represent God He, becoming equal with God. Not that his followers ever believed he was more than a man, but the PRIESTHOOD OFFICE he held, gave him power and authority that demanded complete allegiance to all of his words.

    And to a believer in Mormonism, this is logical. Indeed, if Joseph Smith did receive priesthood authority from angels of the Most High, then I agree 100% that I too would of necessity must obey Joseph’s word and counsel to me no matter what that was. If true, he would have held priesthood keys from God, and I must obey, or else I will become severed from the saving priesthood and be damned forever.

    That is extremely logical.

    The priesthood is the root and foundation of Mormonism, not the Book of Mormon, and not Joseph Smith. It is the powerful logic that holds the LDS Kingdom together. But if the LDS priesthood is proven to be only sand, then LDS church crumbles into a heap of rubble. Whereas most others have taught and believed the Book of Mormon is the foundation, I claim that it is not. It is why many have attempted many time to effect a greater majority of very faithful members to stop Mormonism by attacking the Book of Mormon but have failed. LDS members don’t believe the Book of Mormon saves them. They don’t believe Joseph Smith saves them.


    They believe Jesus and his Holy Priesthood saves them. Proving the Book of Mormon has errors does nothing to the LDS priesthood. Attacking the character of Joseph Smith is a waste of time. So, I’ll repeat myself because it is critically important. If the priesthood is proven to be a sandy foundation, then the LDS church crumbles immediately. For the LDS priesthood is the logic the Church stands on. This book will clearly and explicitly show that the concept of a LDS priesthood to save human beings is neither logical, nor biblical.

    All the critics of Mormonism have always approached the LDS Church from the wrong angle. They have attacked the character of Joseph Smith, the errors in the Book of Mormon, the changing revelations, and so forth. But by so doing, the root is NEVER identified correctly and addressed. The root and blood pumping heart of Mormonism is the priesthood. Satan understands this perfectly and has had control of the LDS debate for too long. It’s now time to expose Satan’s control the LDS debate. It’s time to expose the lie.

    The LDS church can go on without the Book of Mormon, the Bible, or the Doctrine and Covenants, but not the living prophet. In the mind of a faithful member of the church, the living prophet holds the priesthood keys, and if the priesthood is on the earth, then so is the kingdom of God. It is why a Latter-day saint can be exposed to a thousand contradictions, false prophesies, and lies from leaders and still hang on comfortably and faithfully because the root and foundation they are standing on has never been shaken or marred. First they stand on a spiritual testimony the Church is true, which Church foundation is the priesthood. The holy priesthood of God saves us, not the man who holds it. The LDS kingdom of God can not exist without the holy priesthood. This is clearly what Joseph Smith taught and believed. It’s what all faithful members believe.

    I do not doubt that angels appeared to Joseph and laid their hands on his head, and that he believed in the powers bestowed upon him. However, those who believe that divine angels restored the priesthood also assume the following:

      1) The angels were from God, therefore, the LDS priesthood is from God.
      2) Only angels from God can materialize as tangible, resurrected beings.
      3) Only angels from God can produce tangible gold plates.
      4) Satan is a spirit and can not materialize in tangible form.

    Most critics of Mormonism start with the wrong assumption. They claim Joseph Smith fabricated the story about the angels, and therefore, he was a brilliant scam artist. This position can not be true. The three witnesses that saw the gold plates and angel prove it otherwise. They had no reason to lie. They never denied it. Even on the day he died Martin Harris was testifying about the angels and gold plates. The evidence is overwhelming that something occurred and is not refutable. The following testimonies are written in the introduction every Book of Mormon that has ever been published:

    Testimony of Three Witnesses

    “Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God that Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgement seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.”

      Oliver Cowdrey
      David Whitmer
      Martin Harris

    Testimony of Eight Witnesses

    “Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the World to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.”

      Christian Whitmer Hiram Page
      Jacob Whitmer Joseph Smith, Sen.
      Peter Whitmer Jun. Hyrum Smith
      John Whitmer Samuel H. Smith

    Can Not Be Rationalized Away

    The testimony of the eight witnesses can NOT be rationalized away as being “visionary” or “psychotic”. The eight witnesses handled tangible plates of gold without any supernatural manifestation. This rules out hallucinations, fantasies, or tricks by Joseph Smith himself. David Whitmer testifies that he saw the plate and angles as if he were seeing something in plain daylight. The evidence strongly suggests that angels surely did visit the prophet and the witnesses. They touched real gold plates. They heard the voice of God. They saw the glory of an angel.

    But this is the wrong fact to dispute. The correct approach in investigating Mormonism, especially for one new to the Church, is to ensure and validate whether the angels that appeared and brought the priesthood keys and gold plates were true or false angels. The ministry of angels is a hallmark of Mormonism. At the dedication of the Kirtland temple in 1836, Jesus, Elijah, Moses, Abraham, and Elias each appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and gave him sacred priesthood keys: (D&C 110)

    “The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit…Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north. After the, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our see all generations after us should be blessed.. After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, wo was taken to have without tasting death, stood before us and said: Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the would earth be smitten with a curse—Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into oiru hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” (D&C 110:1-2,11-16.)

    But what is not commonly understood is that these angels appeared while the brethren where drunk in the temple, which I will explain in more detail later.

    Also, during his ministry, Joseph Smith was threatened by an angel at the point of a sword to implement plural marriage in the Church or die. But again, what is generally is not considered is true source of this messenger to Joseph Smith. Mormons presume that the angel was from God, justifying Joseph’s actions. On the other hand, Anti-Mormons presume Joseph Smith was a liar and fraud. I assert both assumptions are false.

    Because Anti-Mormons have ignored the truthfulness of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, they have caused the message about Mormonism and Joseph Smith to miss the mark of truth, thus giving the devil an advantage in the LDS debate. They have ignored Joseph’s original First Vision Story of 1832, which claims nothing that would contradict nor offend Biblical Christianity. Mormons, on the other hand, have ignore the possibility that the angels that manifested themselves years later could have been from Satan, thus giving the devil advantage in the LDS debate. They have ignored the fact that Joseph Smith’s First Vision story changed significantly, causing the 1838 final version to be blatantly at odds with Christianity. Clearly, if we start with an incorrect assumption, it will lead our end conclusions in the wrong direction, and no one will understand the truth about Mormonism.

    So, let’s start with correct and reasonable assumptions, then our minds will see through the right lenses and we will judge as Jesus would judge, according to the truth. Let us use our intellect to examine the facts that do exist, laying aside our pre-conceived notions about Mormonism, and venture into uncharted lands that have been hidden and obscured by false assumptions handed down for almost two centuries.

    Let us see the truth as it really is.

    This page was first created on 23 January 1999
    Last Updated on 16 April 1999
    Created and Maintained by The New Covenant Assemblies of Yahweh
    Not all the views expressed in this book are necessarily those of NCAY