Monday, February 4, 2008

Did A Prophet Just Die?

Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Mormon church, died last week. From what I gathered on the news, he was greatly admired among Mormons for his leadership skills and pleasant demeanor. But Hinckley was more than a president to the followers of his religion; he was a prophet.

In Mormonism, the president of the church is the only man empowered to receive revelation and to change or clarify doctrine. Mormonism teaches, "We can always trust the living prophets" and that one's "greatest safety lies in strictly following the word of the Lord given through His prophets, particularly the current President of the Church." Notice the emphasis on the 'living prophets' and the 'current Presidnet.' The guy in charge today trumps any of his predecessors, which explains why polygamy was once accepted but is now banned, and why blacks were once excluded but are now included. The 'word of the Lord' can apparently change from year to year... depending on which prophet you ask!

Gordon B. Hinckley was not a prophet of God. Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God. No Mormon will ever be a prophet of God. Let me give you 3 reasons why:

1) Biblical prophets never contradicted each other. True prophets of God like Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah never had to correct or clarify one another even though there were hundreds of years between them. Mormon 'prophets,' though, are constantly having to change or clarify what previous 'prophets' said.

2) Biblical prophets were always correct. Deuteronomy 18:22 says, "When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken." All prophecies of true biblical prophets have been fulfilled (aside from those to be fulfilled at the end of time). Mormon 'prophets,' though have consistently been wrong. In 1835, Joseph Smith said the Lord would come again in 56 years. He also said that Mormons would take control of Salem, Massachusetts. Needless to say, neither of those ever happened, making Smith a false prophet.

3) Biblical prophets have ceased today. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom he created the world." God does not use prophets to speak anymore. God's Word is fully revealed to us in the Old and New Testaments, and I would argue that any other belief denies the sufficiency of Scripture and opens the door to cults like Mormonism. The Bible has everything we need to know about God and His will for our lives. There is no need for a modern-day prophet. The New Testament of Jesus Christ is God's final word to us.

A prophet did die last week... a false prophet. As I watched the story of Gordon Hinckley, my heart sank because this was a good man, a kind man, but a lost man. It is so sad that so many good, moral people are blinded by the works-based salvation offered by this deceitful man-made religion. Pray for Mormons everywhere to recognize that the work is finished, the debt is paid, and that God has spoken fully and finally through His Son, Jesus Christ.

5 comments:

Glen T. Hale said...

I stumbled upon your blog. I noticed there were no comments. So I thought I would offer a few thoughts:

1. The President of the Church is not the only man empowered to receive revelation and to change or clarify doctrine. The truth is that all men, including you, have the power to receive revelation for that which he/she is responsible for.

2. Contradictions - Jesus taught in Matthew 5:32: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall aput away his bwife, saving for the cause of cfornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Moses taught in Deuteronomy 24:1: When a man hath taken a awife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some buncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of cdivorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. Does this make Moses a false prophet?

3. First a prophet must speak in the name of the Lord. Second, where is your source regarding the alleged 56 year prophecy. I urge you to post your source and the exact quote. If you can find it I'll respond. Again, where is your source regarding the Salem, Mass. prophecy. D&C 111:1-11 is the source and nowhere does it say that Mormons will take control of the city. It does say the following: "And it shall come to pass in due time that I will give this city into your hands, that you shall have power over it, insomuch that they shall not discover your secret parts; and its wealth pertaining to gold and silver shall be yours."

4. Finally, you quote Hebrews; however, no where does Hebrews conclude as you do that God no longer uses prophets to speak. In fact, if that were true, then what about the writings of John the Revelator, Peter and Paul who wrote after Jesus Christ was crucified.

5. I'm sorry that you believe Gordon B. Hinckley is a false prophet. I do not think you have read enough of what he has taught or believes to reach such a conclusion. Furthermore, since I do not believe God is an author of confusion, I would challenge your belief that we no longer need a prophet because there are too many Christian "pastors" who teach so much contradictory doctrine. Who is right? Who is wrong. Seems to me we need a prophet to tell us.

Josh Culbertson said...

Glen,
I am so glad you stumbled upon my blog. Thank you for this discussion! I can see that you are well-trained in defending your faith.
1. This first point contradicts your last point. Here you say all men & women can receive revelation or change doctrine. Yet in point 5, you argue for a prophet by saying that there are too many people contradicting each other.

2. Matt. 5:32 & Deut. 24:1 do not contradict each other. In fact, your argument is the very same one used by the Pharisees (Matt. 19:7), attempting to set Jesus against Moses. Jesus explained that Deut. 24 was given due to Israel's 'hardness of heart' and to protect the wife.

3. My sources - History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182 & D&C 111. As far as the Salem prophecy, the control issue isn't the only thing you need to address. He also prophesied that they would be given the city's wealth. That never happened either.

4. Hebrews 1:1-4 speaks of the Gospel of Jesus, which is His life, death, & resurrection. The remainder of the NT is written by men who were witnesses to Christ's life, death, & resurrection (even Paul, remember the Resurrected Christ appeared to him in Acts 9) and who were specifically commissioned by Christ to teach his Gospel. So the entire NT, written by Christ-ordained eye witnesses, is about the Son of God, the final & full message from God.
I suppose you might argue that Joseph Smith had a similar experience to that of Paul's. But Paul's experience & message were directly confirmed by the men Jesus commissioned (Acts 9:30, Galatians 1:18-19, 2:7-9). Smith's experience & message was obviously not confirmed by these men or by their writings.

Now, Glen, one last question for you. If Mormonism is true... if the true church really ceased to exist... if the Lord really sent a new prophet, why didn't God fortell any of this? Why wasn't any of this prophesied by Jesus or Moses or Peter? If it were true, Jesus would have foretold it. It would be clearly taught in the Old or New Testaments. But it isn't.

Glen, I really do appreciate your questions. My goal here is not to offend, but to speak the truth. I hope that has come across in my writing.

Glen T. Hale said...

Hi Josh,

I live in Hawaii. My ancestors traveled across the plains with the Mormon pioneers. I grew up in Utah, served a mission and am a life time member of our church. Probably brain washed, eh? How about you.

Here are a few thoughts in response:

1. What I actually said is that "all men...can receive revelation for that WHICH HE/SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR." For example, Moses said "would God that all the LORD’s people were prophets" (Numbers 11:29) I can receive revelation for my family....or for my life...or, if I am asked to lead a congregation, I can receive revelation for the congregation. The main point is that the right to revelation only extends to that for which we have been given responsibility. That is why the prophet (here, the definition is important: the prophet is the one God has chosen to be his spokesman to ALL the people. That means it could be you, I or some other person as long as God calls him. That is the key.) is the only one who can change doctrine because doctrine affects all men and women in the world.

2. Your original post says: "True prophets of God like Moses.... never had to correct or clarify one another even though there were hundreds of years between them." Seems to me that Jesus needed to clarify what Moses had said because the Pharisees had misinterpreted Moses' teaching.

3. The Salem prophecy: I don't think this is a good example because the beginning of the prophecy says: "in due time." that means, in the end, all I need to say is that there is much time left for the prophecy to be fulfilled.

4. I guess your point is that only men who saw Jesus are qualified to write scripture. I did not realize seeing Jesus was a requirement to write scripture or to be a prophet. Your original point is that "God does not use prophets to speak anymore." Paul seemed to teach otherwise saying that prophets, apostles and pastors were given for the perfecting of the saint until there is a unity of the faith. Ephesians 4:19 We are far from such unity; therefore, prophets are still needed.

5. I like your last question. It is the doctrinal point that is the easiest for me to believe. Here are a few Old and New Testament prophecies:

a. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2 Thessalonians 2:3

b. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Amos 8:11 (I agree, the timing of the fulfilling of this verse is debatable).

c. Jesus explained: "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." Mathew 17:11.

d. Peter taught: Acts 3:20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

There are many, many more of such prophecies. Some are not as clear as those I cited above.

I look forward to your reply.

Josh Culbertson said...

Glen,
I'm in South Carolina... born and raised here. I started following Christ in Jr. High/High School. In those years, it became clear to me that Christianity wasn't about keeping the rules, it was about loving, following, & obeying the Savior. Christ completely changed my life, which is why I now serve His church as a pastor.

Just to wrap up a few of our previous discussions...

My main point (and the point of my post) is that we have no need for new revelation. Jesus Christ, our Prophet, Priest, & King has come! Thus, the Old & New Testaments are complete, giving us all we need for faith and practice. Any "new revelation" is unwarranted and forbidden (Revelation 22:18).

Joseph Smith's prophecies are, thus, unwarranted. (By the way, you didn't respond to the failed 1835 prophecy.) But Smith's teachings go one step further... they deny the Gospel taught in Scripture. Here are examples:

1. GOD: Mormonism teaches that God was once a man. "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's." (D&C 130:22)
Scripture teaches that God has eternally existed as a Spirit. "God is Spirit." (John 4:24)
"God is not a man that he should lie or the son of man that he should change his mind." (Numbers 23:19)

2. HUMANITY: Mormonism teaches that Humans can become gods. "They are gods, even the sons of God-Wherefore all things are theirs." (D&C 76:58-59) Former LDS Prophet Lorenzo Snow said, "As man is, God once was; As God is, man may become."
Scripture teaches that man is God's creation and never even suggests that we can become gods.

3. SALVATION: Mormonism teaches that all people have eternal life, but only the most faithful Mormons may be exalted to godhood. Salvation comes in strict obedience to the prophets and by works.
Scripture teaches that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, not the result of any good works (Ephesian 2:8-9). Only those who follow Christ will be saved (John 14:6).

Mormonism's Gospel is CONTRARY to the Biblical Gospel. Thus, Galatians 1:8 says, "Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed."

Now let me quickly respond to the Scriptures you claim foretell Josepth Smith's coming.
a) I'm not clear how 2 Thess. 2:3 foretells Smith's coming unless you take the Christian position and view Smith as a "man of sin."
b) You admit Amos 8:11 isn't a good example.
c) Matt. 17:11... read verse 12, "But I tell you that Elijah has ALREADY COME, and they did not recognize him..." Did Smith come before Christ? No. John the Baptist was the Elijah spoken of here.
d) Acts 3:20-24... This passage is clearly speaking of Jesus. Peter is preaching that Jesus (not Smith) was foretold by the prophets of old.

None of the examples you gave give even a hint of support that Smith's coming & teachings were prophesied. Do you recognize this? And do you recognize that the Mormon Gospel is not the Biblical Gospel?

Friend, Joseph Smith didn't revive the true church. I submit to you that he started an untrue church. Again, I don't mean that to be offensive. I pray you don't take it that way. It just seems very clear to me that Mormonism goes against Scripture. And, if it does, it must be rejected as false.

I hope to hear from you soon, Glen. I am so thankful for this discussion.

11 Smiths for Huckabee said...
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