Over the years of this ministry, I have reviewed so many of the LDS books, magazines, documents, articles and pieces of correspondence we have gathered over the years. The material is vastly divergent but through it all is one central theme that leaps from the pages. I guess I would call it the “How could anyone in their right mind believe that??” question. This is not surprising when you understand that almost every prophecy Joseph Smith uttered failed to come to pass. Yet, over 12 million people place their eternal salvation on the line in their testimony that he was/is the one
The False Prophet, Joseph Smith
“AND IT DIDN’T COME TO PASS….”
by Ed Decker
This is not meant to be some railing complaint against the mindset of the Mormon people. Just about any time, someone in our ministry asks this kind of question, we are severely chastised for being unkind to the very people to whom we claim a ministry calling. We are called anti-Mormons, a people who could not live the gospel and now hate the Mormon people. Our critics forget that most of us are former Mormons who love ‘our people’ and want them to be set free from false doctrines that lead to spiritual death.
That kind of response has held back some serious analysis of the problems dealing with the simple absurdities of the LDS gospel. How do seemingly intelligent, well-educated, normal people end up with a complicated belief system that is more in line with Star Wars than in Biblical and historical evidence of faith?
Some time ago, I quietly slipped into an LDS Fast and Testimony Meeting. I want to just sit and listen. I was transfixed by the testimonies I heard there. They were the exact wording of so many of those I had heard and shared myself while an active Mormon years before.
“I bear you my testimony that I know the Book of Mormon is true (or the Word Of God), I know that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of God (and that Gordon B. Hinckley is the true prophet of God today) and I know that the Church is the only true church on the face of the earth today, and I know that Heavenly Father’s priesthood is on the earth today and I thank my Heavenly Father that I am a member of this church (and or priesthood) and for the Bishop and for family home evening (the temple, Relief Society, genealogy, pick one) and I am so grateful for my home teachers(visiting teachers, priesthood leaders, the Stake Presidency, pick one) because (tell quick little faith promoting story) and I say these things in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ, Amen.”
While I sat and listened, I realized that there was a subtle mind-warp taking place in that meeting. Only two testimonies were more than a few words of out sync. One woman who was obviously not a member of the IN crowd, apologized in tears for not being worthy enough, as the rest of the Ward sat nodding their heads in agreement. A little girl stood on the pew and gave a very sweet and halting rendition of the above and everyone sighed happily with her beaming, teary-eyed parents.
My mind went back to an encounter I had a few years earlier. I was asked by a local Pastor to go with him to a Mormon Bishop’s office. It seems that the Pastor had led a young neighborhood girl to the Lord. The girl had been coming to his church with a few of her friends. The girl was an inactive member of the LDS church and when she had shared the joy of her newfound faith with her family, they were frightened and immediately called in the Bishop. The Bishop demanded that the errant Pastor come to his office and get straightened out.
When we arrived, the Bishop was there with the girl and her parents, but when he recognized me, he phoned someone and left his office until two other men arrived, apparently skilled in running off infidels. The meeting was difficult at best, as they tried to bully the Christian pastor for his terrible action in sharing the grace of Christ with this girl. What made this meeting so unique was that during their declaration of Mormonism being the only true faith, one of the men tap-danced himself into a non-defendable corner from which there was no possible escape.
He then did what every single Mormon will do in a similar situation. He started to “Bear His Testimony“. Except that this time I was sitting at a desk with my face just 15 inches from his. As he began his recitation, I noticed that his eyes had dilated just as though he were hypnotized.
He was at the part where…“I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God…” and I slapped my hands together right in front of his nose and loudly asked, “What proof do you have that it is the word of God?” The man bounced back, his eyes slowly returning to normal and he sat there, confused and stuttering. He had no answer. He acted as though I had awakened him from a deep sleep.
I realized that I had broken through what I call the mind warp of the LDS testimony and he was through for the rest of the meeting. The Pastor was able to reinforce that special experience for the young girl and with love and with true spiritual authority, he brought Christ’s Words home to those in the meeting.
I learned a valuable lesson that night and have used that knowledge during literally hundreds of similar encounters since then. You see, what actually happens at every LDS Fast and Testimony meeting is a form of group hypnosis. and a key part of the answer to this mysterious question of how so many people could be so misled.
I know some will say I am being sensational, but the fact is, it is true! Every single member of the LDS church listens to those words being repeated over and over and over again with almost no variation. After years of this being done during a time of sacred fasting and the avowing of one’s reason for faith in the supposed presence of one’s god, it becomes bedrock truth!
It often seems that only when a Mormon is confronted or shocked with the real truth that we are able to get past the powerful control of their testimony and get down to the level of reason and analysis. Perhaps that is why, even after more than twenty-five years, “The God Makers” book and film/video/DVD have been so effective….and why so many active Mormons hate even the name of the book/film/authors.
Look at the words of the Mormon testimony. They testify of the church, its authority, its scripture, its true prophet leader. No one talks of a relationship with God through Christ (As Jesus himself points to in Scripture) but their connection to God (and Godhood itself) is only to and through the LDS System.
The LDS testimony will override every bit of logic, evidence, or Scriptural truth that would challenge the faith of someone who had been brought through years of the mind-warp techniques above. It is the same kind of system used on POW’s, the same kind used by the Hard cults, the same techniques used by all the New Age mind development programs. They all use it because it works effectively upon every surrendered mind it touches.
Look at the subjects of the LDS Testimony. How can anyone irrefutably know that the Book of Mormon is true when it defies every historic and anthropological kind of evidence? Not only does scientific evidence, including DNA testing, refute any kind of Book of Mormon civilization, it gives concrete evidence of a totally different civilization in its place. Yet, any faithful Mormon KNOWS it is true.
Every true Mormon will testify that Joseph Smith was/is a true Prophet of God, yet I doubt if one Mormon in a thousand can accurately recite any five of this great Prophet’s actual prophecies. Shouldn’t that raise some eyebrows?? Wouldn’t you think a church that bases its very existence on a latter-day-prophet would gladly publish an official book that lists every one of his sacred prophecies? Not the Mormons! For good reason!
If you don’t believe me, ask the next Mormon missionaries at your door to let you see a church published copy of his ‘prophecies’ so you can test them biblically. Watch for the blank stares.
This is not surprising when you understand that almost every prophecy Joseph Smith uttered failed to come to pass. Yet, over 12 million people place their eternal salvation on the line in their testimony that he was/is the one…. who reigns in courts on high…to plead their cause above…..NO! They are not singing about Jesus……but Joseph.
The following is a sizable list of Joseph’s prophecies and a look at the evidence of their failure to come to pass. It is another answer to the puzzle of how could anyone in his or her right mind believe that.
Original Source: Testing the prophecies of Joseph Smith
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