Why We Cannot Believe in Joseph Smith
We Cannot Believe Joseph Smith is a True Prophet of God because:
- Joseph’s personal life consisted of deception and immorality
- Joseph’s deception and immorality related to marriage and family
- Joseph’s self-serving changes to his own alleged revelations
- Joseph’s hypocrisy about the Word of Wisdom
- Joseph’s slander of his closest associates
- Joseph’s plagiarism of the LDS temple ceremony from Masonry
- Joseph’s false claim to supernatural ability to translate repeatedly exposed
- Joseph meets the criteria given by God for identifying a false prophet
- Joseph meets the criteria given by Jesus and the apostles for false teachers and prophets
Joseph’s personal life consisted of deception and immorality
- Joseph secretly married over 30 women (In Sacred Loneliness, T Compton)
- 7 of them were ages 14-17 years old (Joseph was 37-38 years old) ISL, pp. 4-7
- 10 were already married to other men (ISL, pp. 4-7)
- Chart of Joseph’s plural marriages as documented by Compton and others here.
- Additional polygamy chart (less detailed printable PDF) here
- Journal and diary accounts make it clear some were consummated sexually (ISL, pp. 12-15)
- He did this behind his wife’s back or hid the sexual aspect from her
Todd Compton’s book, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, is a calmly crafted work designed to bring truth and understanding to this segment of Latter-day Saint history which too often has been characterized by either deliberate obfuscation or shameless sensationalism. Compton (Ph.D., classics, University of California, Los Angeles), himself a Latter-day Saint, has produced a thorough, well-documented work. Read review here.
- Joseph lied publicly about his teaching and practice of polygamy while practicing it privately.
- Joseph used religious coercion and manipulation to get women to consent to plural marriage
- Joseph went back and revised or added information to revelations he claimed were from God to bolster his prophetic standing and abilities
- Appearance of John the Baptist to give Aaronic priesthood
- Appearance of Peter, James and John to give Melchizedek priesthood
- He altered a revelation to allow him to produce additional revelations
- Joseph claimed the Word of Wisdom was a revelation from God then repeatedly violated it.
- Joseph slandered the character of his closest associates when they exposed his immoral behavior
- Joseph lied about the origins of the Mormon Temple ceremony. He joined a Masonic order, learned their secret rituals and then incorporated these into a Mormon temple ceremony claiming his source was revelation from God.
- Joseph lied about his ability to translate ancient records, and was caught in the lie by people in a nearby community who created some fake etched metal plates, “discovered” them and took them to Joseph to translate, which he claimed to do.