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Criticism of Mormonism/Video/The God Makers/Cartoon
YouTube cartoon that was "banned by the Mormon Church"
A FairMormon Analysis of: The God Makers, a work by author: Ed Decker
Response to The God Makers cartoon segment
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- Question: Is there a YouTube cartoon which was "banned by the Mormon church"?
- Response to claim: "trillions of planets" are "ruled by countless gods who were once human like us"
- Response to claim: God the Father was born on a distant planet to an “unidentified god and one of his goddess wives"
- Response to claim: God the Father is claimed to live with his "many goddess wives on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob"
- Response to claim: “endless celestial sex” producing “billions of spirit children"
- Response to claim: "Lucifer and his brother Jesus"
- Response to claim: Lucifer's plan was to "force everyone to become gods"
- Response to claim: The “Mormon Jesus"
- Response to claim: Those who were neutral in the war in heaven were "cursed to be born with black skin"
- Response to claim: Those who "fought most valiantly" in the war in heaven were "born into Mormon families"
- Response to claim: God the Father and "one of his goddess wives came to earth as Adam and Eve"
- Response to claim: God the Father came from “Starbase Kolob” to visit the Virgin Mary in order to "have sex with the virgin Mary, in order to provide Jesus with a physical body"
- Response to claim: Orson Pratt taught that Jesus "took at least three wives"
- Response to claim: In 421 AD, that the "dark skinned Indian Israelites" had destroyed "all of the white Nephites"
- Response to claim: "a young treasure seeker named Joseph Smith, who was known for his tall tales"
- Response to claim: Joseph is claimed to have organized the "Mormon Church, because all Christian creeds were an abomination"
- Response to claim: Latter-day Saints "hope to prove their worthiness and thus become gods"
- Response to claim: Joseph Smith is depicted as sitting in judgment between the Father and the “Mormon Jesus"
- Response to claim: Latter-day Saints are claimed to "expect to become polygamous gods in the Celestial kingdom, rule over other planets, and spawn new families throughout all eternity"
- Response to claim: Joseph Smith claimed that he did more for us than any other man, including Jesus Christ
Question: Is there a YouTube cartoon which was "banned by the Mormon church"?
The cartoon is an excerpt from the 1982 anti-Mormon film The God Makers
Some have seen a video circulating on the Internet that claims to be a cartoon which was banned by the Mormon church. Does this cartoon accurately represent the beliefs of the church?
The cartoon is an excerpt from the 1982 anti-Mormon film The God Makers. The cartoon takes elements of certain LDS beliefs and distorts them in an attempt to make them appear ridiculous. In some cases, the cartoon takes statements made by early church leaders and attempts to portray them as official church doctrine. For every point made, the cartoon attempts to convey its points using crude, offensive and mocking terms in order to shock the viewer.
"The film does not - in our opinion - fairly portray the Mormon Church, Mormon history, or Mormon belief"
The non-denomination National Council of Christians and Jews wrote:
The film does not - in our opinion - fairly portray the Mormon Church, Mormon history, or Mormon belief. It makes extensive use of "half-truth," faulty generalizations, erroneous interpretations, and sensationalism. It is not reflective of the genuine spirit of the Mormon faith.
We find particularly offensive the emphasis in the film that Mormonism is some sort of subversive plot - a danger to the community, a threat to the institution of marriage, and is destructive to the mental health of teenagers. All of our experience with our Mormon neighbors provides eloquent refutation of these charges.
We are of the opinion that The Godmakers relies heavily on appeals to fear, prejudice and other less worthy human emotions. We believe that continued use of this film poses genuine danger to the climate of good will and harmony which currently exists between…neighbors of differing faiths. It appears to us to be a basically unfair and untruthful presentation of what Mormons really believe and practice.
- — The National Council of Christians and Jews (see fulltext).
Response to claim: "trillions of planets" are "ruled by countless gods who were once human like us"
The film claims that the Church teaches that "trillions of planets" are "ruled by countless gods who were once human like us."
Fact checking results: This claim is falseNo such thing is taught in Mormonism
Response to claim: God the Father was born on a distant planet to an “unidentified god and one of his goddess wives"
Mormons believe that God the Father was born on a distant planet to an “unidentified god and one of his goddess wives," and that He was "later born to human parents" and "through obedience to Mormon teaching" that he was eventually "elevated to godhood."
This claim is designed to shock the viewer through the mention of plural wives in association with the Father. Many Latter-day Saints infer that because we, as children of God, now live as mortals in this world and have the potential to become gods through the atonement of Christ, that God the Father must have gone through a similar process to be where He is. Early leaders (including Joseph Smith) taught something to this effect. But... it's something about which we know very little, since nothing formal has been revealed to the Church and very little was explained by early leaders. Could it be so? Logically, yes, but we simply don't know very much about it. As far as we are concerned, God the Father has always been our God and always will be, and we leave it at that. Anything else is really just theological speculation—interesting, but not terribly important.
Response to claim: God the Father is claimed to live with his "many goddess wives on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob"
God the Father is claimed to live with his "many goddess wives on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob."
No such thing is taught in Mormonism
Response to claim: “endless celestial sex” producing “billions of spirit children"
”Goddess wives” are again mentioned with a reference to “endless celestial sex” producing “billions of spirit children.”
This is again intended to shock the viewer by associating crude terminology with an alleged Mormon belief regarding the Father and the manner in which Jesus Christ was conceived.
Question: Do Latter-day Saints believe in a practice called "celestial sex," and that this is the manner in which "spirit children" are formed?
It is the critics of the Church that invented and use the offensive term "celestial sex"
This is not a term used by Latter-day Saints. It has, in fact, never been used by Latter-day Saints. The use of the term "celestial sex" by critics is intended to be demeaning and shocking to Latter-day Saints or interested readers. The use of such tactics may say much about the mainstream culture's preoccupation with sexual behavior. However, it says nothing about the actual beliefs of Church members.
Critics of the Church twist LDS beliefs into a form that makes them look ridiculous. Quotes made by early LDS leaders are often used to support the claim that Latter-day Saints believe in “Celestial sex.” It should be noted, however, that LDS leaders have never used the term "Celestial sex." This phrase was coined by critics of the Church, likely for its “shock value” in portraying the following concepts in LDS belief:
- The belief that God the Father has a physical body.
- The belief that there exists a Heavenly Mother who also possesses a physical body.
- The belief that our Heavenly Father and Mother together are capable of creating “spirit children.”
Critics take these ideas and combine them, leading to a declaration that Latter-day Saints therefore believe in “Celestial sex.” Various anti-Mormon works then use this idea to mock LDS beliefs or shock their readers—though this claim does not describe LDS beliefs, but the critics' caricature of them.
One of the earliest uses of the term "celestial sex" was in the anti-Mormon film The God Makers
For example, the 1982 anti-Mormon film The God Makers makes reference to “engaging in celestial sex with their goddess wives." One woman in the film, who is claimed to have once been a Latter-day Saint, expresses the idea that the primary goal of women in the Church is to "become a goddess in heaven" in order to "multiply an earth" and be "eternally pregnant." The claim that Latter-day Saints expect to have "endless Celestial sex" in order to populate their own planet is very popular among critics of the Church, though members themselves would not explain their beliefs in that way.
The critics' assumptions simply take what we know about our physical world and naively apply it to the afterlife. When one examines the critics’ point further, a key question ought to be raised: How does the union of two immortal beings in a physical manner produce spirit offspring? Latter-day Saint belief is that “spirit children” only receive a physical body upon being born on earth.
This question, of course, cannot be answered. It is pointless to speculate on the exact manner in which “spirit children” are produced, and to assume that this occurs through “Celestial sex” and being "eternally pregnant" is to apply a worldly mindset to a spiritual process. The bottom line: Latter-day Saints do not know the mechanism by which “spirit children” are produced, and no LDS doctrine claims that "celestial sex" and being "eternally pregnant" are the means.
Question: Do Mormons believe that Mary was still a virgin when Jesus was born?
Latter-day Saints believe in the virgin birth
It is claimed that Latter-day Saints believe Jesus was conceived through sexual intercourse between God the Father and Mary, and that Mary therefore was not a virgin when Jesus was born. It is also claimed that Latter-day Saints reject the "Evangelical belief" that "Christ was born of the virgin Mary, who, when the Holy Ghost came upon her, miraculously conceived the promised messiah."
Often used as evidence are a handful statements from early LDS leaders, such as Brigham Young, that directly or indirectly support this idea. However, such statements do not represent the official doctrine of the Church. The key, official doctrine of the Church is that Jesus is literally the son of God (i.e., this is not a symbolic or figurative expression), and Mary was a virgin before and after Christ's conception.
At the annunciation, Mary questioned the angel about how she could bear a child: "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:34; the expression "know" in the Greek text is a euphemism for sexual relations). Nephi likewise described Mary as a virgin (1 Nephi 11:13-20), as did Alma1 (Alma 7:10).
Latter-day Saints believe Jesus was the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh
[T]he testimonies of appointed witnesses leave no question as to the paternity of Jesus Christ. God was the Father of His fleshly tabernacle, and Mary, a mortal woman, was His mother. He is therefore the only person born who rightfully deserves the title “the Only Begotten Son of God.”
What the Church has not taken a position on is how the conception took place, despite speculations by various early Church leaders
The canonized scriptures are silent on how the conception took place—even Nephi's detailed vision of then-future Messiah is veiled during the part where Mary conceives (1 Nephi 11:19).
Some early leaders of the Church felt free to express their beliefs on the literal nature of God's Fatherhood of Jesus' physical body
For example, Brigham Young said the following in a discourse given 8 July 1860:
"...[T]here is no act, no principle, no power belonging to the Deity that is not purely philosophical. The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers." 
But are these types of statements official Church doctrine, required for all believing Latter-day Saints to accept? No—they were never submitted to the Church for ratification or canonization. (See General authorities' statements as scripture.)
Critics have noted that this statement, and others like it, can be read to indicate there was sexual intercourse involved in the conception of Jesus. Regardless of this speculation--which goes beyond the textual data--Brigham Young's view may be seen by some contemporary Latter-day Saints as correct in that Jesus was literally physically the Son of God, just as much as any children are "of our fathers." Modern science has discovered alternative methods of conceiving children--e.g., in vitro "test tube" babies--that don't involve sexual intercourse. Thus, though processes such as artificial insemination were unknown to Brigham and thus likely not referenced by his statements, it does not necessarily follow from a modern perspective that the conception had to come about as the result of a literal sexual union. It is certainly not outside of God's power to conceive Christ by other means, while remaining his literal father. (Put another way, Jesus shared God's genetic inheritance, if you will, without necessarily requiring a sexual act to combine that inheritance with Mary's mortal contribution).
Ezra Taft Benson taught:
He was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh—the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth. (See 1 Nephi 11:20.) 
Benson's emphasis is on both the literalness of Jesus' divine birth, and the fact that Mary's virginal status persisted even immediately after conceiving and bearing Jesus.
Church leaders' statements on the literal paternity of Christ were often a reaction to various ideas which are false
- they disagreed with the tendency of conventional Christianity to deny the corporeality of God. They thus insisted that God the Father had a "natural," physical form. There was no need, in LDS theology, for a non-physical, wholly spirit God to resort to a mysterious process to conceive a Son.
- they disagreed with efforts to "allegorize" or "spiritualize" the virgin birth; they wished it understood that Christ is the literal Son of God in a physical, "natural" sense of sharing both human and divine traits in His makeup. This can be seen to be a reaction against more "liberal" strains in Christianity that saw Jesus as the literal son of Mary and Joseph, but someone endowed with God's power at some point in His life.
- they did not accept that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were of one "essence," but rather believed that they are distinct Personages. Thus, it is key to LDS theology that Jesus is the Son of the Father, not the Holy Ghost. To a creedal, trinitarian Christian, this might be a distinction without a difference; for an LDS Christian it is crucial.
Bruce R. McConkie said this about the birth of Christ:
God the Father is a perfected, glorified, holy Man, an immortal Personage. And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says. 
In the same volume, Elder McConkie explained his reason for his emphasis:
"Our Lord is the only mortal person ever born to a virgin, because he is the only person who ever had an immortal Father. Mary, his mother, "was carried away in the Spirit" (1 Ne. 11:13-21), was "overshadowed" by the Holy Ghost, and the conception which took place "by the power of the Holy Ghost" resulted in the bringing forth of the literal and personal Son of God the Father. (Alma 7:10; 2 Ne. 17:14; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.) Christ is not the Son of the Holy Ghost, but of the Father. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 18-20.) Modernistic teachings denying the virgin birth are utterly and completely apostate and false. 
Note that McConkie emphasized the literal nature of Christ's divinity, his direct descent from the Father, and the fact that the Holy Ghost was a tool, but not the source of Jesus' divine Parenthood.
Harold B. Lee was clear that the method of Jesus' conception had not been revealed, and discouraged speculation on the matter
Harold B. Lee said,
We are very much concerned that some of our Church teachers seem to be obsessed of the idea of teaching doctrine which cannot be substantiated and making comments beyond what the Lord has actually said.
You asked about the birth of the Savior. Never have I talked about sexual intercourse between Deity and the mother of the Savior. If teachers were wise in speaking of this matter about which the Lord has said but very little, they would rest their discussion on this subject with merely the words which are recorded on this subject in Luke 1:34-35: "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Remember that the being who was brought about by [Mary's] conception was a divine personage. We need not question His method to accomplish His purposes. Perhaps we would do well to remember the words of Isaiah 55:8-9: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Let the Lord rest His case with this declaration and wait until He sees fit to tell us more. 
Response to claim: "Lucifer and his brother Jesus"
The film refers to "Lucifer and his brother Jesus."
Question: Do Latter-day Saints ("Mormons") consider Jesus to be the brother of Satan?
We believe Jesus is the divine Son of God and that Satan is a fallen angel, but that God is the Father of all
Some Christians claim that since Latter-day Saints consider Jesus and Satan to be "brothers" in the sense that they have the same Father, that this lowers the stature of Christ, or elevates that of Satan. Some go so far as to imply that the LDS "really" worship or revere Satan, and are thus not true "Christians."
Jesus, Satan, and all humanity share God the Father as their spiritual sire. However, moral agency led Jesus to obey God the Father perfectly and share fully in the Father's divine nature and power. The same agency led Satan to renounce God, fight Jesus, and doom himself to eternal damnation. The remainder of God's children—all of us—have the choice to follow the route chosen by Satan, or the path to which Christ invites us and shows the way.
Divine parenthood gives all children of God potential; Christ maximized that potential, and Satan squandered it.
To choose the gospel of Jesus Christ and the grace that attends it will lead us home again. If we choose to follow Satan's example, and refuse to accept the gift of God's Only Begotten Son, our spiritual parentage cannot help us, just as it cannot help dignify or ennoble Satan.
In December 2007 the Church issued the following press release on this issue:
- Like other Christians, we believe Jesus is the divine Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel.
- As the Apostle Paul wrote, God is the Father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are His spirit children. Christ, however, was the only begotten in the flesh, and we worship Him as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. 
Latter-day Saints do not believe the extra-biblical doctrines which surround many Christians' ideas about God, such as expressed by the Nicene Creed
LDS doctrine does not subscribe to traditional creedal trinitarianism. That is, the LDS do not believe the extra-biblical doctrines which surround many Christians' ideas about God, such as expressed by the Nicene Creed. Specifically, the LDS do not accept the proposition that Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are "of one substance (homoousios) with the Father," as the Nicene Creed declares.
Rather, LDS doctrine teaches that God the Father is physically and personally distinct from Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son. The Father is understood to be the literal father of His spirit children.
LDS believe that Jesus Christ's role is central to our Heavenly Father's plan. Christ is unique in several respects from all other spirit children of God:
- Jesus was and is perfect
- Jesus is God (See John 1:1-2, Hebrews 1:6, 1 Nephi 11:16–26, D&C 76:13).
- Jesus is the Creator (See John 1:3, Hebrews 1:1–6, Mosiah 3:3, Helaman 14:12, Moses 2:1).
- Jesus obeyed the Father in all things (See 3 Nephi 11:11).
- Jesus was chosen and foreordained to be the Redeemer (See Isaiah 43:11, Mosiah 13:28–34, 3 Nephi 9:15, Moses 4:2).
- Jesus is the Mediator between God and humanity (See John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 8:5, 2 Nephi 2:28, D&C 76:69).
- Jesus was "the Only Begotten"—only He, of all God's children, had a physical inheritance in His body from God the Father. All other mortals have two mortal parents, and Satan and his followers never receive physical bodies at all. (See John 1:14, John 3:16, John 14:3, Jacob 4:11, Alma 12:33–34).
It is technically true to say that Jesus and Satan are "brothers," in the sense that both have the same spiritual parent, God the Father
God the Father also had many other spirit children, created in His image and that of His Only Begotten. These children include all humans born on the earth. Some of God's children rebelled against Him, and contested the choice of Jesus as Savior. (See D&C 76:25–27). The leader of these children was Lucifer, or Satan. Those spirit children of God who followed Satan in his rebellion against Christ are sometimes referred to as "demons," or "devils." (See Moses 4:1–4, Abraham 3:24–28).
Thus, it is technically true to say that Jesus and Satan are "brothers," in the sense that both have the same spiritual parent, God the Father.
Cain and Abel were also brothers, and yet no Bible reader believes that they are spiritual equals or equally admirable
However, critics do not provide the context for the idea that Christ and Lucifer were brothers. Cain and Abel were also brothers, and yet no Bible reader believes that they are spiritual equals or equally admirable. In a similar way, Latter-day Saints do not believe that Jesus and Satan are equals. The scriptures clearly teach the superiority of Jesus over the devil and that Michael (or Adam) and Lucifer (Satan) and their followers fought against each other (See Revelation 12:7-8) to uphold the plan of the Father and the Son.
Finally, while it is true that all mortals share a spiritual parent with Jesus (and Satan, and every other spiritual child of God), we now have a different, more important relationship with Jesus. All of God's children, save Jesus, have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In sinning, they abandon and betray their divine heritage and inheritance. Only through Jesus can any mortal return home to God the Father. This return becomes possible when a sinner is born again, and adopted by Christ, who becomes the spiritual father to those whom He redeems. (See Romans 8:14–39.)
Cautionary Note to Members
Elder M. Russell Ballard cautioned members of the Church:
- We occasionally hear some members refer to Jesus as our Elder Brother, which is a true concept based on our understanding of the premortal life with our Father in Heaven. But like many points of gospel doctrine, that simple truth doesn't go far enough in terms of describing the Savior's role in our present lives and His great position as a member of the Godhead. Thus, some non-LDS Christians are uncomfortable with what they perceive as a secondary role for Christ in our theology. They feel that we view Jesus as a spiritual peer. They believe that we view Christ as an implementor for God, if you will, but that we don't view Him as God to us and to all mankind, which, of course, is counter to biblical testimony about Christ's divinity…
- Now we can understand why some Latter-day Saints have tended to focus on Christ's Sonship as opposed to His Godhood. As members of earthly families, we can relate to Him as a child, as a Son, and as a Brother because we know how that feels. We can personalize that relationship because we ourselves are children, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. For some it may be more difficult to relate to Him as a God. And so in an attempt to draw closer to Christ and to cultivate warm and personal feelings toward Him, some tend to humanize Him, sometimes at the expense of acknowledging His Divinity. So let us be very clear on this point: it is true that Jesus was our Elder Brother in the premortal life, but we believe that in this life it is crucial that we become "born again" as His sons and daughters in the gospel covenant. 
Early Christian Evidence
The early Ante-Nicene Church father Lactantius wrote:
- Since God was possessed of the greatest foresight for planning, and of the greatest skill for carrying out in action, before He commenced this business of the world,--inasmuch as there was in Him, and always is, the fountain of full and most complete goodness,--in order that goodness might spring as a stream from Him, and might flow forth afar, He produced a Spirit like to Himself, who might be endowed with the perfections of God the Father... Then He made another being, in whom the disposition of the divine origin did not remain. Therefore he was infected with his own envy as with poison, and passed from good to evil; and at his own will, which had been given to him by God unfettered, he acquired for himself a contrary name. From which it appears that the source of all evils is envy. For he envied his predecessor, who through his steadfastness is acceptable and dear to God the Father. This being, who from good became evil by his own act, is called by the Greeks diabolus: we call him accuser, because he reports to God the faults to which he himself entices us. God, therefore, when He began the fabric of the world, set over the whole work that first and greatest Son, and used Him at the same time as a counselor and artificer, in planning, arranging, and accomplishing, since He is complete both in knowledge, and judgment, and power... 
Many things he here taught are not considered "orthodox" by today's standards. However, Lactantius was definitely orthodox during his lifetime. Amazingly, many things here correspond to LDS doctrine precisely in those areas that are "unorthodox." For example,
1. "He produced a Spirit like to Himself," namely Christ. Christ, in this sense, is not the "co-equal," "eternally begotten," "same substance" "persona" of the later creeds.
2. "Then he made another being, in whom the disposition of the divine origin did not remain." God made another spirit who rebelled and who fell from his exalted status. He is the diabolus.
3. Christ is the "first and greatest Son." Not the "only" son.
4. Lastly, since the diabolus and Christ are both spirit sons of God, they are spirit brothers.
Response to claim: Lucifer's plan was to "force everyone to become gods"
The film claims that Lucifer's plan was to "force everyone to become gods."
Fact checking results: This claim is falseNo, Lucifer's plan was to force everyone to obey God's commandments, without allowing them a choice.
Response to claim: The “Mormon Jesus"
Jesus Christ is always referred to as the “Mormon Jesus."
This is done in order to drive home the idea that Mormons worship a different Jesus than the rest of Christianity.
Question: Do Mormons worship a "different Jesus"?
LDS Christians and other Christians agree on the vast majority of points on Jesus' nature, mission, and indispensable role in salvation
Some Christians claim that despite the Saints' witness of Christ, they worship "a different Jesus" and so are not entitled to consider themselves "Christians." Rather than illuminating LDS Christians' or non-LDS Christians' beliefs about Jesus, this accusation is simply an attempt to spread discord and confusion.
LDS Christians and other Christians agree on the vast majority of points on Jesus' nature, mission, and indispensable role in salvation.
The LDS differ from other Christians only in that they tend to believe additional things about Jesus
The LDS differ from other Christians only in that they tend to believe additional things about Jesus, since they have other scriptures (such as the Book of Mormon) which provide them with further information. This information complements the Biblical beliefs which they share with the whole Christian world.
The most important recent document to discuss the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding our Lord and Savior is found in "The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles." 
Latter-day Saints believe the following:
- Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah
- Jesus of Nazareth is the Only Begotten Son of the Father
- Jesus was born of a virgin birth to Mary
- Jesus is perfect, without sin
- Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father, but by Him
- Jesus performed miracles. He:
- healed the sick
- opened eyes of the blind
- opened ears of the deaf
- forgave sins
- cast out demons and evil spirits
- changed water into wine
- multiplied loaves and fishes
- raised the dead
- Jesus was foreshadowed by, and fulfilled, the law of Moses
- Jesus suffered and died for the sins of all humanity
- Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died, was buried, and rose again
- Jesus appeared in resurrected form to Mary, Thomas, the apostles, five hundred brethren at once
- Jesus ascended to the Father to sit down on the right hand of His power
- Jesus converted Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus
- Jesus will come again to reign in glory with all the faithful
To be sure, there are doctrinal differences between some Christians and the Latter-day Saints. But, this is true of virtually all Christians:
Christians have argued, often passionately, over every conceivable point of Christian doctrine from the filioque to the immaculate conception. There is scarcely an issue of worship, theology, ethics, and politics over which some Christians have not disagreed among themselves. 
Latter-day Saints have no quarrel with the idea that some of their beliefs about Jesus may differ from those of other Christians
Latter-day Saints have no quarrel with the idea that some of their beliefs about Jesus may differ from those of other Christians. If there were no differences in belief at all, it would make little sense to have the hundreds of Christian denominations which exist.
But, it is insulting and unfair to insist that the LDS do not worship the "same" Jesus as other Christians. By analogy, a Protestant might consider Martin Luther an inspired instrument in the hands of God to reform the wayward Christian Church. A Catholic might rather consider Luther to be a wayward priest who was gravely mistaken. Clearly, the opinions about Luther may differ, but it would be absurd to insist that Catholics and Lutherans are each talking about a different Luther.
Question: Do Latter-day Saints believe in a "different" Jesus than "mainstream" Christians?
"Mormon Beliefs About Jesus" versus "Christian Beliefs About Jesus": Mormons worship the Jesus Christ of the Bible
It would be enlightening for any Latter-day Saint to read this description of the "Mormon Jesus" in the left column and see just how much of this is recognizable as church doctrine. The list is taken from page One Nation Under Gods, p. 378 (PB). This claim is repeated in the author's later work Becoming Gods—The "Mormon Jesus" versus the "Traditional Jesus".
|The "mainstream Christian" author's misrepresentation of "Mormon Beliefs About Jesus"||Jesus Christ, as He is actually viewed by Latter-day Saints||For more information...|
|A literal son (spirit-child) of a god (Elohim) and his wife.||
|The elder brother of all spirits born in the pre-existence to Heavenly Father.||
|A polygamous Jewish male.|
|One of three gods overseeing this planet.|
|Atoned only for Adam's transgression by sweating blood in Gethsemane.||
|The literal spirit brother of Lucifer.||
|Jesus' sacrificial death is not able to cleanse some people of all their sins.||
|There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God.||
Question: Did Mormons only recently claim to be Christian?
Claims that the Church has only recently been asserting its Christian status are easily proven to be false
Latter-day Saints have claimed to be Christians from the very beginning of the restoration. Some observers claim, however, that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not "Christian," and that they have only recently claimed to be so. A related claim is that the Church has only recently begun to portray itself as "Christian" in order to gain adherents.
This claim is absurd. Claims that the Church has only recently been asserting its Christian status are false, as attested by LDS scripture, practice, doctrine, and public statements of its leadership and its early critics.
Critics of the Church depend upon their audience not knowing much about Latter-day Saint history. Enemies and members of the Church have long known that Church members consider themselves "Christian" (italics added in all cases):
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in the 1830s
- “They call themselves the church of Christ, and the only church of Christ. All professing Christians who do not adhere to their system, they consider as formalists; ‘having the form of Godliness, but denying the power’”. 
- “Old Joe . . . and several others . . . admitted [that the new faith] was an improvement in Christianity”. 
- The Mormonites “say the Millennium is soon to commence and that Christ is to come personally and take up His residence with them. . . . In its general principles this sect entirely coincide with others which have from time to time sprung up in Christendom”. 
- There is “a civil war between the Mormonites and their brother Christians”. 
- "Brother Joseph . . . went on to show the brethren how wicked and unchristianlike such conduct [among them] appeared before the eyes of truth and justice”. 
- April 1834
- The only name given under heaven, whereby man can be saved, is Jesus Christ. Men in days of old heard the glad tidings, that the Son of Man would come in the fulness of his own time, to make intercession for the children of men, and suffer, the just, for the unjust, and rise from the dead, that the bands of the temporal death might be broken, that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that they might stand in the presence of God to be judged according to their works.—These glad tidings were communicated from heaven to earth, by the ministering of holy angels and by the voice of the living God. Thousands have looked forward with an eye of faith, and a confidence unshaken in the promises of God, to the time when the great and last sacrifice should be made for fallen man. Many have rejoiced to see the day of the Son of Man, have seen it, and were glad; and have fallen asleep after obtaining the promise, that they should see God in the flesh and should reign with him on the earth a thousand years....The news that the gospel brought in days of old, was, that Jesus Christ would come into the world; that he would suffer according to the flesh; that he would rise from the dead, and thereby redeem his people from the power of the grave. 
- “the doctrine promulgated by the ‘latter day Christians’ in the newly discovered Bible”. 
- “This morning a minister from Conne[c]ticut by the name of John W. Olived called at my house . . . . [He] asked me wherein we differ from other Christian denomination[s]”. 
- “they have the appearance of being devout Christians. . . . They call themselves ‘Latter-day Saints,’ and profess to be the only true church, to have the only gospel order, consisting of apostles, elders, bishops, etc., etc., which several orders of the Christian hierarchy have been distinctly brought to light in the Book of Mormon”. 
- “a large society of Christians who style themselves ‘Latter-day Saints’ or Mormons.” (Painesville Republican, vol. 1, no. 31, 15 June 1837).
- "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it". 
- "This sect took its rise, A. D. 1830, in the county of Ontario, and State of New York. In April of that year, the society was organized as a Christian Church". 
- The Mormons “were singing a hymn as other good Christians are wont to do . . . . [One of them offered] a very good Christian prayer . . . . [which petitioned that the Mormons might have] Christian fortitude.” (Peoria Register and North-Western Gazetteer, vol. 3, no. 17, 27 July 1839)
- 1839: Benjamin Dobson to the editor, June 16, 1839, “The Mormons,” Peoria Register and North-Western Gazetteer (Peoria, Illinois) 3, no. 13 (27 July 1839). off-site
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in the 1840s
- “We want no religion but pure Christianity”. 
- The heaven-born doctrines of christianity are so opposite to the vain, grovelling, and selfish sentiments of corrupt human nature, and the self-denying practices of genuine believers are so repugnant to the feelings of those whose nature is “earthly, sensual, and devilish,” that it is utterly unreasonable to suppose that anything like amity, concord or peace, can possibly exist between the church and the world. [John Taylor, Calumny Refuted and the Truth Defended (Liverpool: J. Tompkins, 1840), 1–12. Full title]
- The citizens of Nauvoo are “a people, professing to be Christians.” (Quincy Whig, vol. 3, no. 13, 25 July 1840).
- The Mormons retain “many truths which are held in common by different denominations of Christians.” (The Alton Telegraph, vol. 5, no. 46, 14 November 1840).
- "We want no religion but pure Christianity." [Parley P. Pratt, Plain Facts (Manchester: W. R. Thomas, 1840), 5. off-site Full title]
- "If every friend to the cause of apostolic christianity, would subscribe and pay in advance for the above mentioned books [Book of Mormon, hymn books]...." [Anon., "Books!!!," Times and Seasons 1 no. 9 (July 1840), 139–40. off-site GospeLink (requires subscrip.) off-site
- “I understood from [the Mormons] as follows, . . . that they did not discard the Bible as used by other Christian sects”. 
- "why it is, that so many professing Christianity, and so many professing to reverence the sacred principles of our Constitution (which gives free religious toleration to all), have slandered, and persecuted this sect of Christians." 
- "The object of our visit to your city is not to subvert any moral or truly Christian principle, or to promulgate any doctrine other than that which was advocated by Patriarchs, Prophets, Christ and the Apostles; which doctrine or gospel, we believe is the same invariable plan of salvation that it ever was, and that it ought to be taught, administered and obeyed in the present age, precisely as it was in the primitive or golden period of Christianity." [E. Snow and Benjamin Winchester, "An Address to the Citizens of Salem (Mass.) And Vicinity," Times and Seasons 2 no. 24 (1 October 1841), 574-76. off-site GospeLink (requires subscrip.) off-site]
- "Many of them have given up home and friends in obedience to what they consider the call of Christ, their Master.... The Mormons not only claim to be Christians, but the only Christians." [“The Mormons,” Auburn Journal and Advertiser (22 December 1841). off-site]
- “the great Christian city of Nauvoo”. 
- [Mormons teach that] "no man can be a Christian, or be admitted into the kingdom of God, unless he is baptized by immersion by an authorized person." [R.T.M., “The Mormons,” Religious Monitor and Evangelical Repository (18 January 1842): 345–46. off-site]
- Hyrum Smith is "one of the most pious and devout christians in the world." (New York Herald (19 February 1842); cited in Veritas, "The Mormon Prophets," Millennial Star 3 (May 1842): 8.)
- Mormons “are Christians in the fullest sense of the term, believing in the Old and New Testaments.” (The New York Herald, vol. 7, no. 419, 16 May 1842).
- Mormons are described as – “A Christian sect in Illinois.” (Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review, vol. 7, no. 25, 18 June 1842; emphasis in original).
- "All these letters and documents [about the Mormons] disclose a most extraordinary movement in human affairs. What they mean we can hardly tell, but is it not time for some great religious revolution, as radical as Luther's, to take place in the Christian world?...Unlike all other Christian sects, they adopt at once all the modern improvements of society, in art and literature; and from their singular religious faith give the highest enthusiasm to the movement at large. There is nothing odd, or singular, or absurd about them.” ("Wonderful Progress of Joe Smith, the Modern Mahomet.—Spread of the Mormon Faith, and a New Religious Revolution at Hand," N.Y. Herald (17 June 1842); emphasis added). 
- "Mr. Whitney then asked if we acknowledged any to be Christians except those who embraced our doctrines and joined our church." (Orson Hyde letter, Times and Seasons, vol. 3, no. 18, 15 July 1842, 849).
- A Baptist complained that a Church preacher "declined making an honest confession of those peculiarities which separate them as widely from the Baptists, as from every other denomination of the christian church." 
- Wrote the Daily Sun of Cincinnati:
- Whatever this new doctrine may be, it is extremely pleasing to the world, and death to the constituted church creeds of every name but that of Mormon. It is destined to spread, for every man that takes it upon him to speak in its favor, is fully competent to make out his case. One is very much surprised to see with what facility they prove their doctrine from the holy scriptures. Mr. Adams remarked, that he did not care whether a man believed the Book of Mormon or not, so that he came forward with a broken heart, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and in baptism for the remission of sins—let him come forth, and if God did not reveal to him the truths of the Book of Mormon, he need not believe it. [Anon., "Mormonism [Reprinted from the Daily Sun, Cincinnati]," Times and Seasons 4 no. 2 (1 December 1842), 28–29. off-site GospeLink (requires subscrip.) off-site
- "The Mormons were Christians in belief, and looked for the second Advent of Christ—when he shall come, surrounded by the angels of Heaven to dwell in person upon the earth....We confess that Mr. Winchester has changed our opinion of the sect; for we held them in contempt if not in abhorrence, from the representations we had read of them, whereas, if what Mr. Winchester states be true (and we have no reason to doubt him,) we can recognize them as professing Christians, tinged with peculiarities on particular points." [Anon., "Mormons, or Latter Day Saints," Times and Seasons 4 no. 2 (1 December 1842), 27–28. off-site GospeLink (requires subscrip.) Reprinted from the Baltimore Clipper. off-site]
- "So far we are agreed with other Christian denominations. They all preach faith and repentance. The gospel requires baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, which is the meaning of the word in the original language—namely, to bury or immerse". 
- Joseph Smith, in a public discourse, compared the Mormons to other denominations of Christians. (New York Spectator, vol. 46, no. 46, 23 August 1843).
- The Mormons are “calling themselves Christians . . . . Christians, as they claim to be.” (The Warsaw Signal, NS no. 4, no. 121, 6 March 1844).
- “The [Saturday] Courier should for the sake of truth and consistency, strike its flag of neutrality in RELIGION, while it wages a war of extermination against the Mormons; the only sect in Christendom, who in this nineteenth century can exhibit the irresistible evidence of martyrdom, in support of its cause”. 
- "On Sunday I was invited to give, in a public discourse, the points of difference between faith of the Latter-day Saints and other professors of [p.417] the Christian religion." 
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in the 1850s
- Now, we ARE believers in the Bible, and in consequence of our unshaken faith in its precepts, doctrine, and prophecy, may be, attributed "the strangeness of our course," and the unwarrantable conduct of many towards this people. Come, my brother Presbyterian; come, my brother professors of every persuasion of long standing and popular distinction in the world, who are dubbed with the word "ORTHODOX;" come, we are all good Christians; I find no fault with you—why should you find fault with me? 
- “Mormonites . . . . call themselves Christians, it is true” (The Daily Globe, vol. 6, no. 261, 5 October 1854).
- "Their religious teachers of Mormonism, preach to them, as they call it, "Christianity in its purity." (S[olomon] N. Carvalho, Incidents of Travel and Adventure in the Far West; with Col. Fremont's Last Expedition, chapter 22. off-site
- We, as Christians, are divided and subdivided into many systems varying in doctrinal points. This one says, "I am right;" and that one says, "I am right;" another rises up and varies, more or less, from the doctrines of the Church he has left, and says he is right. 
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in the 1860s
- "…who is there that was not startled when he heard that a sect, affecting to be Christian beyond all other sects, which had sprung up in broad day from amidst the civilization of the United States…" 
- Should you ask why we differ from other Christians...Are all this people, in the Scriptural sense, Christians? They should be. Do they all serve God with an undivided heart? They should. Many of them do, seeking daily to do his will. 
- The Latter-day Saints differ from their Christian brethren. 
- Now, we as Christians desire to be saved in the kingdom of God. 
- President B. Young preached a very interesting and instructive discourse, in which he showed that professing Christians believe all that the Jews believe, which appertains to life and salvation, and have accepted principles in advance of the Jews, including faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and that the Latter-day Saints receive all believed in by other professing Christians, appertaining to life and salvation, accepting, as a part of their religious faith, principles in advance of them which are taught in the Scriptures. He touched upon the history of the Jewish people, showing the penalties which they had incurred by disobedience to the commandments of God, and pointing to the promises made to the patriarchal fathers concerning them. And deduced that if the condition of professing Christians is to-day better than that of the Jews, for believing more of the revelations of God, so the condition of the Saints is preferable to that of the other inhabitants of Christendom, in accepting all the revelations which the Lord has been pleased to give. 
- "On one occasion one of the native brethren who had been persecuted, claimed his rights as a Swiss citizen, and the question was brought up in the Swiss Congress, Are the 'Mormons' Christians? After some discussion, the conclusion was arrived at that they were, and must accordingly be protected." 
- Thomas J. Turner (a critic):"...Mormonism is a form of religion 'grant it, a false religion' nevertheless, it claims to be the true Christian religion...."
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in the 1870s
- Have you embraced truth, Latter-day Saints? Have you anything different from other Christians? 
- If you should have visits here from those professing to be Christians, and they intimate a desire to preach to you, by all means invite them to do so. Accord to every reputable person who may visit you, and who may wish to occupy the stands of your meeting houses to preach to you, the privilege of doing so, no matter whether he be a Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Baptist, Free-will Baptist, Methodist, or whatever he may be; and if he wishes to speak to your children let him do so. Of course you have the power to correct whatever false teachings or impressions, if any, your children may hear or receive. I say to parents, place your children, as far as you [p.196] have an opportunity to do so, in a position or situation to learn everything in the world that is worth learning. You will probably have what is called a Christian Church here; they will not admit that we are Christians, but they cannot think us further from the plan of salvation as revealed from heaven than we know them to be, so we are even on that ground, as far as it goes. 
- We are preaching to the people far and near; our Elders are traveling through the earth; strangers are coming here, and we are declaring to them that the Gospel of the Son of God is true. Whether they believe or not, it is no matter. That book (the Bible)contains the words of the Almighty…. I know of the bright promises which he gave to his disciples anciently. I live in the possession of them, and glory in them and in the cross of Christ, and in the beauty and holiness that he has revealed for the salvation and exaltation of the children of men. I do wish we would live to them, and may the Lord help us. 
- We, as Christians, believe in God, in Christ and in his atonement, in repentance and obedience, and in receiving the Spirit. 
- "we take the liberty to believe the Bible, which our fellow Christians, generally throughout the world, profess to believe in…” 
- “We are looking for him [i.e. Second coming of Christ]. The Christians of all denominations expect that he will appear in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. The Latter-day Saints expect this in common with all other Christians.” 
- These are only a few reflections, when we take into consideration our Christian religion. 
- Brother Cannon speaks of Christians. We are Christians professedly, according to our religion. 
- “How shall we, as Christians, reconcile these words of our Savior with the reception everywhere given by the world to Messrs. Moody and Sankey? They are, professedly, Christian ministers, yet they are largely entertained by the world, extolled by the world, and apparently loved by the world….” 
- “But Joseph Smith reiterates the Savior’s promises. He has no fear of being proved a false teacher. He professes to be a Christian minister called and sent of God….” 
- “Immediate revelation was the life of primitive Christianity, and when that ceased to be given to men, Christianity waxed feeble, waned and died. With the restored Gospel came immediate revelation, and Christianity was born again upon the earth.” 
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in the 1880s
- We are a Christian community; we believe in God and in Jesus Christ... 
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in the 1890s
- "What a singular sort of ‘Christian community’ that must be that will not tolerate an unorthodox Christian society in its midst!” 
- “The insinuation in this [written attack on the LDS by a Protestant minister in SLC] is to the effect that a ‘Mormon’ is not a Christian, and the ‘Mormon’ religion is not a Christian religion, and further that the Supreme Court of the United States has virtually so decided…. But if a ‘Mormon’ is not a Christian then there are no Christians in America…. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at least as fairly entitled to the appellation of a Christian as a member of the Presbyterian Church” 
- “[with reverence to Revelation 1. 12] We accept—as all Christians do—that God inspired the words ‘to see the voice.’” 
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made in 1900-1950
- If it be true Christianity to accept Jesus Christ in person and his mission as divine; to revere him as the Son of God, the crucified and risen Lord, through whom alone mankind can attain salvation; to accept his teachings as a guide, to adopt as a standard and observe as a law the ethical code he promulgated; to comply with the requirements prescribed by him as essential to membership in his Church, namely, faith, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost,—if this be Christianity, then are we Christians, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian church. 
- [W]e are a Christian people, we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we feel that it is our duty to acknowledge him as our Savior and Redeemer. 
Statements that Mormons are Christians that were made after 1950
- We are not Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish, and yet this disclaimer should not be taken to mean we are not Christian. You who heard the powerful address of President Clark this morning will know that we are Christians, for central to everything we believe and teach is our faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. We are grateful for our Judeo-Christian heritage, for the Holy Bible which we accept without reservation as the word of God, except as to some errors that have crept in through translations. 
- Jacob Neusner, one of the great Judaism scholars of the twentieth century: "Christianity encompasses a remarkably diverse set of religious systems that have some qualities in common—belief in Jesus Christ—but also differ deeply, especially about matters on which they seem at first glance to concur. For example, who, exactly was, and is, Jesus Christ? No one imagines that by describing a single common denominator Christianity tells us about one unitary religion. Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox, Methodist, Mormon, and Lutheran—each is comprised by clearly delineated groups of Christians, all of them with their respective systems of belief and behaviour...as the world knows Christianities, but no single Christianity, so the world has known, and today recognizes, diverse Judaisms, no single Judaism." 
- Bart Ehrman, a leading expert on the text of the New Testament: "...just as Christianity today is incredibly diverse (compare the Roman Catholics with the Mormons with the Pentecostals with the Seventh Day Adventists with the Eastern Orthodox… and so on!), it was even more diverse in the early centuries..." ("A Few Questions for Bart Ehrman," Oxford University Press Blog (OUPblog) (9 October 2006). off-site
Clearly, the Church has "claimed" to be Christian for a long time, and even hostile critics realized it. To insist that this is a new, public relations move is false. Neutral observers have also seen the Church as Christian. Only a recent, intolerant fringe of fundamentalist Christianity has tried to exclude the Church from Christianity by self-serving definitions.
Response to claim: Those who were neutral in the war in heaven were "cursed to be born with black skin"
The film claims that those who were neutral in the war in heaven were "cursed to be born with black skin." The cartoon illustrates this change in appearance.
Fact checking results: This claim is falseChurch leaders have stated explicitly that there were no “neutrals” in the war in heaven – if we received a body, we made the correct choice.
Jump to Subtopic:
- Gospel Topics: "Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else"
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "We know of no scripture, ancient or modern, that declares that at the time of the rebellion in heaven that one-third of the hosts of heaven remained neutral"
- Question: Was the idea that Blacks were neutral in the "war in heaven" ever official doctrine?
- Question: Did Church leaders ever teach that Blacks were neutral in the "war in heaven?"
- Question: Did the Church repudiate the idea of neutrality in the "war in heaven?"
Response to claim: Those who "fought most valiantly" in the war in heaven were "born into Mormon families"
The film claims that those who "fought most valiantly" in the war in heaven were "born into Mormon families" and that they would be "lighter skinned people" or "white and delightsome."
This claim is utter nonsense.
Response to claim: God the Father and "one of his goddess wives came to earth as Adam and Eve"
The film claims that "early Mormon prophets" taught that God the Father and "one of his goddess wives came to earth as Adam and Eve."
Question: What is the history of Brigham Young's Adam-God Theory and why was it rejected by the Church?
Brigham Young gave over 1,500 sermons that were recorded by transcribers. Many of these were published in the Journal of Discourses, the Deseret Evening News, and other Church publications. In about 20 of these he brought up the subject of God the Father's relationship to Adam. Many of his comments fit easily into current LDS doctrine, while some have engendered controversy.
He made the best known, and probably earliest, controversial statement in a sermon given on 9 April 1852:
Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later. They came here, organized the raw material, and arranged in their order the herbs of the field, the trees, the apple, the peach, the plum, the pear, and every other fruit that is desirable and good for man; the seed was brought from another sphere, and planted in this earth. The thistle, the thorn, the brier, and the obnoxious weed did not appear until after the earth was cursed. When Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, their bodies became mortal from its effects, and therefore their offspring were mortal.
Based on these remarks, and others he made in public and in private, it is apparent that Brigham Young believed that:
- Adam was the father of the spirits of mankind, as well as being the first parent of our physical bodies.
- Adam and Eve came to this earth as resurrected, exalted personages.
- Adam and Eve fell and became mortal in order to create physical bodies for their spirit children.
- Adam was the spiritual and physical father of Jesus Christ.
Brigham claimed to have received these beliefs by revelation, and, on at least three occasions, claimed that he learned it from Joseph Smith. While this doctrine was never canonized, Brigham expected other contemporary Church leaders to accept it, or at least not preach against it. (Orson Pratt did not believe it, and he and Brigham had a number of heated conversations on the subject.)
The historical record indicates that some contemporary Latter-day Saints took Brigham's teachings at face value and attempted to incorporate the doctrine into mainstream LDS teachings. This response was far from universal, however, and lost steam after the turn of the 20th century.
Adam-God was eventually incorporated into the teaching of some 20th century polygamous break-off sects, who consider it a doctrine whose absence in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is proof that the Church is in apostasy.
Rejection of Adam-God by the LDS Church
As far as can be determined, none of Brigham Young's successors in the presidency of the Church continued this teaching in public, and by the presidency of Joseph F. Smith (1901–18) there were active moves to censure small groups that taught Adam-God.
One of the earliest statements from the Church rejecting Adam-God teachings was made by Charles W. Penrose in 1902:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has never formulated or adopted any theory concerning the subject treated upon by President Young as to Adam.
In October 1976 general conference, Spencer W. Kimball declared the Church's official position on Adam-God:
We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the Scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine.
Response to claim: God the Father came from “Starbase Kolob” to visit the Virgin Mary in order to "have sex with the virgin Mary, in order to provide Jesus with a physical body"
The film again tries to crudely promote the idea that God the Father came from “Starbase Kolob” to visit the Virgin Mary in order to "have sex with the virgin Mary, in order to provide Jesus with a physical body." The cartoon shows God the Father walking through the streets and knocking on Mary's door.
This is not a doctrine of the LDS church. It is believed that Jesus is the literal Son of God, but there is no official stance on the process by which he was conceived.
Some members and leaders have made and do make this assumption, but this is not a doctrine of the Church—such speculation was more common before assisted reproductive techniques (e.g., IVF, "test tube babies," etc.) made it clear that one can be a literal parent without sexual intercourse. The key has always been to defend the idea of God's literal Fatherhood of Jesus; the Church and its leaders always resisted efforts to allegorize or spiritualize this vital doctrine.
Response to claim: Orson Pratt taught that Jesus "took at least three wives"
The film notes that Orson Pratt taught that Jesus "took at least three wives: Mary, Martha and Mary Magdeline."
Jump to Subtopic:
- Question: Do Mormons believe Jesus Christ was a polygamist?
- Charles Penrose (1912): "We do not know anything about Jesus Christ being married"
- Question: Did early Mormon leaders believe that Jesus Christ was a polygamist?
Response to claim: In 421 AD, that the "dark skinned Indian Israelites" had destroyed "all of the white Nephites"
The film claims that in 421 AD, that the "dark skinned Indian Israelites" had destroyed "all of the white Nephites."
Question: What was the Lamanite curse?
The Book of Mormon talks of a curse being placed upon the Lamanites
And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. 2 Nephi 5:21
It is claimed by some that the Church believed that Lamanites who accepted the Gospel would become light-skinned, and that "Mormon folklore" claims that Native Americans and Polynesians carry a curse based upon "misdeeds on the part of their ancestors."
One critic asks, "According to the Book of Mormon a dark skin is a curse imposed by God on the unrighteous and their descendants as a punishment for sin. Do you agree with that doctrine? (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12:22-23, Alma 3:6, 2 Nephi 5:21-22, Jacob 3:8, 3 Nephi 2:15-16, Mormon 5:15; references to the "Lamanites" are taken to be referring to Native American "Indians".)" 
Although the curse of the Lamanites is often associated directly with their skin color, it may be that this was intended in a far more symbolic sense than modern American members traditionally assumed
The curse itself came upon them as a result of their rejection of the Gospel. It was possible to be subject to the curse, and to be given a mark, without it being associated with a change in skin color, as demonstrated in the case of the Amlicites. The curse is apparently a separation from the Lord. A close reading of the Book of Mormon text makes it untenable to consider that literal skin color was ever the "curse." At most, the skin color was seen as a mark, and it may well have been that these labels were far more symbolic and cultural than they were literal.
Response to claim: "a young treasure seeker named Joseph Smith, who was known for his tall tales"
The film states that "a young treasure seeker named Joseph Smith, who was known for his tall tales" claimed to have found the gold plates.
Question: Was Joseph Smith's participation in "money digging" as a youth a blot on his character?
Money digging was a popular, common and accepted practice in their frontier culture
Joseph Smith and some members of his family participated in "money digging" or looking for buried treasure as a youth. This was a common and accepted practice in their frontier culture, though the Smiths do not seem to have been involved to the extent claimed by some of the exaggerated attacks upon them by former neighbors.
In the young Joseph Smith's time and place, "money digging" was a popular, and sometimes respected activity. When Joseph was 16, the Palmyra Herald printed such remarks.
The local newspapers reported on "money digging" activities
- "digging for money hid in the earth is a very common thing and in this state it is even considered as honorable and profitable employment"
- "One gentleman...digging...ten to twelve years, found a sufficient quantity of money to build him a commodious house.
- "another...dug up...fifty thousand dollars!" 
And, in 1825 the Wayne Sentinel in Palmyra reported that buried treasure had been found "by the help of a mineral stone, (which becomes transparent when placed in a hat and the light excluded by the face of him who looks into it)." 
The Smith's attitude toward treasure digging was similar to a modern attitudes toward gambling, or buying a lottery ticket
Given the financial difficulties under which the Smith family labored, it would hardly be surprising that they might hope for such a reversal in their fortunes. Richard Bushman has compared the Smith's attitude toward treasure digging with a modern attitudes toward gambling, or buying a lottery ticket. Bushman points out that looking for treasure had little stigma attached to it among all classes in the 17th century, and continued to be respectable among the lower classes into the 18th and 19th. 
Despite the claims of critics, it is not clear that Joseph and his family saw their activities as "magical."
Three Concerns to Address about Joseph's digging
There are generally only a few questions that need to be addressed regarding Joseph's money-digging: his motives, his success, and the extent of his involvement. The first question is a question of what Joseph was doing while treasure seeking. Was he simply seeking to con people out of money in an easy way? The second question seems to be one of his abilities. How could he produce the Book of Mormon with something that didn't provide him any miraculous experience?
With regards to his success, it is, at the very least, plausible that he could see things in the stone that were invisible to the naked eye--just not treasure. There is, in fact, no recorded instance indicating that Joseph could see and locate treasure in the stones. There is, however, evidence that he could use the stone for more righteous purposes. A few pieces of historical testimony indicate this.
- Josiah Stowell. In the spring of 1825 Josiah Stowell visited with Joseph Smith, according to Joseph's mother Lucy, “on account of having heard that he possessed certain keys, by which he could discern things invisible to the natural eye.” There was a Spanish gold mine that Josiah believed Joseph might be able to help locate. When Joseph was brought to court in Bainbridge, Chenango County, New York on trial for charges of being a "disorderly person", Josiah testified in Joseph's defense that he could see things in the stone. There are two records of Josiah's testimony: that of a WD Purple and a Miss Pearsall. The Purple account is quoted first and the Pearsall, second:
The next witness called was Deacon Isaiah Stowell. He confirmed all that is said above in relation to himself, and delineated many other circumstances not necessary to record. He swore that the prisoner possessed all the power he claimed, and declared he could see things fifty feet below the surface of the earth, as plain as the witness could see what was on the Justices’ table, and described very many circumstances to confirm his words. Justice Neeley soberly looked at the witness, and in a solemn, dignified voice said: “Deacon Stowell, do I understand you as swearing before God, under the solemn oath you have taken, that you believe the prisoner can see by the aid of the stone fifty feet below the surface of the earth; as plainly as you can see what is on my table?” “Do I believe it?” says Deacon Stowell; “do I believe it? No, it is not a matter of belief: I positively know it to be true.”
Josiah Stowel [sic] sworn. Says that prisoner had been at his house something like five months. Had been employed by him to work on farm part of time; that he pretended to have skill of telling where hidden treasures in the earth were, by means of looking through a certain stone; that prisoner had looked for him sometimes, – once to tell him about money buried on Bend Mountain in Pennsylvania, once for gold on Monument Hill, and once for a salt-spring, – and that he positively knew that the prisoner could tell, and professed the art of seeing those valuable treasures through the medium of said stone: that he found the digging part at Bend and Monument Hill as prisoner represented it; that prisoner had looked through said stone for Deacon Attelon, for a mine – did not exactly find it, but got a piece of ore, which resembled gold, he thinks; that prisoner had told by means of this stone where a Mr. Bacon had buried money; that he and prisoner had been in search of it; that prisoner said that it was in a certain root of a stump five feet from surface of the earth, and with it would be found a tail-feather; that said Stowel and prisoner thereupon commenced digging, found a tail-feather, but money was gone; that he supposed that money moved down; that prisoner did not offer his services; that he never deceived him; that prisoner looked through stone, and described Josiah Stowel’s house and out-houses while at Palmyra, at Simpson Stowel’s, correctly; that he had told about a painted tree with a man’s hand painted upon it, by means of said stone; that he had been in company with prisoner digging for gold, and had the most implicit faith in prisoner’s skill.
There are a few other historical evidence that can be read to demonstrate Joseph's ability to see things in the stone.
- Martin Harris reminisced in an interview in 1859:
“I…was picking my teeth with a pin while sitting on the bars. The pin caught in my teeth and dropped from my fingers into shavings and straw… We could not find it. I then took Joseph on surprise, and said to him–I said, ‘Take your stone.’ … He took it and placed it in his hat–the old white hat–and place his face in his hat. I watched him closely to see that he did not look to one side; he reached out his hand beyond me on the right, and moved a little stick and there I saw the pin, which he picked up and gave to me. I know he did not look out of the hat until after he had picked up the pin.
In the same interview, Martin testified to Joseph's finding of the plates by the power of the seer stone:
In this stone he could see many things to my certain knowledge. It was by means of this stone he first discovered these plates.
- Henry Harris
“He [Joseph Smith] said he had a revelation from God that told him they [the Book of Mormon plates] were hid in a certain hill and he looked in his stone and saw them in the place of deposit.
- A Mr. Wanderhoof reported that Joseph used his seer stone to find a stolen mare for his grandfather.
- Willard Chase and Sally Chase. As Richard Bushman has noted:
Willard Chase, one of the Smith's neighbors and a friend of Joseph's, found one of the tones. Chase let Joseph take the stone home, but as soon as it became known "what wonders he could discover by looking in it," Chase wanted it back. As late as 1830, Chase was still trying to get his hands on the stone. His younger brother Abel later told an interviewer that their sister Sally had a stone too. A nearby physician, John Stafford, reported that "the neighbors used to claim Sally Chase could look at a stone she had, and see money. Willard Chase used to dig when she found where the money was." After Joseph obtained the plates, Willard Chase led the group that searched the Smith's house, guided by Sally Chase and a "green glass, through which she could see many very wonderful things.
What may be said about Joseph's abilities to see is that he could see things that allowed him to do good. He could not see that which he was not meant to see.
Motives and Extent of Involvement
It is currently in debate what Joseph's motives were and how much he was involved.
Richard Bushman has written:
At present, a question remains about how involved Joseph Smith was in folk magic. Was he enthusiastically pursuing treausre seeking as a business in the 1820s, or was he a somewhat reluctnat participant, egged on by his father? Was his woldview fundamentally shaped by folk traditions? I think there is substantial evidence of his reluctance, and, in my opinion, the evidence for extensive involvement is tenuous. But this is a matter of degree. No one denies that magic was there, especially iun the mid 1820s. Smith never repudiated folk traditions; he continued to use the seer stone until late in life and used it in the translation process. It certainly had an influence on his outlook, but it was peripheral--not central. Biblical Christianity was the overwhelming influence in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. Folk magic was in the mix but was not the basic ingredient.
What we do know is that after the Angel Moroni's appearance in 1823, Joseph began to turn away from treasure seeking. Again from Richard Bushman:
Joseph Jr. never repudiated the seer stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture stayed with him to the end. But after 1823, he began to orient himself away from treasure and toward translation. Martin Harris, another early supporter, remembered Joseph saying that "the angel told him he must quite the company of the money-diggers. That there were wicked men among them. He must have no more to do with them. He must not lie, nor swear, nor seal." After 1823, he continued to be involved in treasure expeditions but not as the instigator or leader; perhaps he resisted by dragging his feet. William Stafford depicts Joseph Sr. hunting for gold and going back to the house to seek further instructions from Joseph Jr., as if the son was trying to stay out of the picture while the father pushed on. In 1825, when the family needed money, Joseph Jr. agreed to help Stowell find the Spanish gold, but with misgivings. Lucy said of Stowell's operation that "Joseph endeavored to divert him from his vain pursuit." Alva hale, a son in the household where the Smiths stayed in Harmony while digging for Stowell, said Joseph Jr. told him that the "gift in seeing with a stone" was "a gift from God" but that " 'peeping' was all d—d nonsense"; he had been deceived in his treasure-seeking, but he did not intend to deceive anyone else. By this time, Joseph apparently felt that "seeing" with a sone was the work of a "seer," a religious term, while "peeping" or "glass-looking" was fraudulent.
So, in summary, we may say that:
- Joseph found a seer stone in 1822 and may have used it to look for treasure.
- Many people believed that he could see things in the stone. There are testimonials that suggest that he could see things in the stone yet no record that he could find any treasure.
- His motives, cosmological influences, and extent of involvement for early treasure seeking (1822-25) are still in debate. His motives for his later treasure seeking (1825-26) are to help with finances of his family.
- Beginning in 1823, after the claimed appearance of the angel Moroni, Joseph oriented himself away from treasure seeking.
- His scriptural and revelatory productions were largely based in Biblical Christianity. Folk magic was a peripheral ingredient to his work (and there is even explicit condemnation of magic in those scriptural productions [Alma 1:32; 3 Nephi 21:16; Mormon 1:19; 2:10; Doctrine and Covenants 63:17; Doctrine and Covenants 76:103)
For a detailed response, see: Joseph Smith/Occultism and magic
Question: Was the young Joseph Smith a teller of "tall tales"?
The Prophet's mother's account of her son telling "amusing recitals" about the ancient inhabitants of the American continent occurred during the years that Joseph was being prepared to receive the plates
Lucy's 1853 autobiography, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for many Generations was considered inaccurate by Brigham Young and was ordered to be rewritten. The reasons for this had nothing to do with Lucy's account of her son Joseph's "amusing recitals." The 1853 autobiography and the 1845 manuscript upon which it was based still exist, and both confirm that the "amusing recitals" mentioned by Lucy were done during the period during which Joseph was being instructed by the angel as he waited to retrieve the gold plates. Lucy Mack Smith said the following in her 1853 autobiography:
During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of travelings, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, as if he had spent his whole life among them.
The quote from Lucy Mack Smith is used by critics of the Church to show how Joseph Smith told "yarns" about Native Americans "long before any golden plates had been found." The chronology found in Lucy Mack Smith's history, however, tells just the opposite story, and puts this quotation in its proper context. Lucy says that the angel Moroni told her son (during his first appearance) about the existence of the plates and informed him where they were buried (see Lavina F. Anderson, ed., Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir [Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2001], 335-36). Lucy then states that Joseph (the evening after he had seen the Nephite record in their place of deposit) told his family all about "the plates" (ibid., 343).
Lucy Mack Smith: "From this time forth Joseph continued to receive instructions from time to time and every evening we gathered our children"
Lucy Mack Smith's account of her son telling "amusing recitals" about the ancient inhabitants of the American continent occurred during the years that Joseph was being prepared to receive the plates. The stories that he was telling related to information that he was receiving from the angel Moroni: These were not "tall tales" that he fabricated for his family's amusement.
From Lucy's 1845 manuscript, we read:
Now said he[,] Father and Mother the angel of the Lord says that we must be careful not to proclaim these things or to mention them abroad For we do not any of us know the wickedness of the world which is so sinful that when we get the plates they will want to kill us for the sake of the gold if they know we
had<have> them...by sunset [we] were ready to be seated and give our attenundivided attention to Josephs recitals...From this time forth Joseph continued to receive instructions from time to time and every evening we gathered our children togather [together]...In the course of our evening conversations Joseph would give us some of the most ammusing [amusing] recitals which could be immagined [imagined]. he would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent their dress their man[n]er of traveling the animals which they rode The cities that were built by them the structure of their buildings with every particular of their mode of warfare their religious worship as particularly as though he had spent his life with them... The angel informed him at one time that he might make an effort to obtain the plates<on> the <22nd of the> ensueing september....
Clearly, Joseph Smith told his stories after he learned about, and saw, the golden plates. Indeed, it is known that Moroni showed Joseph visions and gave him information regarding the people whose stories were found on the Nephite record (see Times and Seasons, vol. 3, no. 9, 1 March 1842, 707-708), so the young man undoubtedly had quite a few stories to tell. Lucy Mack Smith simply said in her autobiography that her son told the family about information connected with the angel and the Book of Mormon plates. Lucy told the same information to Wandle Mace about seven years prior to producing her 1845 autobiography and clarified that this information was connected with the Book of Mormon "Nephites" and was shown to her son by vision.
In Joseph Smith's own official history he confirmed that he learned this information through the power of visions and Oliver Cowdery made note of the same thing. Thus, the origin of the stories mentioned by Joseph's mother in her autobiography was a heavenly one—she was not even remotely implying that her son was a teller of tall tales.
Response to claim: Joseph is claimed to have organized the "Mormon Church, because all Christian creeds were an abomination"
Joseph is claimed to have organized the "Mormon Church, because all Christian creeds were an abomination."
Gospel Topics: "Latter-day Saints Do Not Accept the Creeds of Post–New Testament Christianity"
"Are Mormons Christian?," Gospel Topics on LDS.org:
Latter-day Saints Do Not Accept the Creeds of Post–New Testament Christianity.
Scholars have long acknowledged that the view of God held by the earliest Christians changed dramatically over the course of centuries. Early Christian views of God were more personal, more anthropomorphic, and less abstract than those that emerged later from the creeds written over the next several hundred years. The key ideological shift that began in the second century A.D., after the loss of apostolic authority, resulted from a conceptual merger of Christian doctrine with Greek philosophy.
Response to claim: Latter-day Saints "hope to prove their worthiness and thus become gods"
Through "financial and moral requirements" and temple rituals, Latter-day Saints "hope to prove their worthiness and thus become gods."
Response to claim: Joseph Smith is depicted as sitting in judgment between the Father and the “Mormon Jesus"
Joseph Smith is depicted as sitting in judgment between the Father and the “Mormon Jesus," contrary to Latter-day Saint belief that Jesus Christ will be our final judge.
The portrayal in the cartoon appears to be based upon statements made by early LDS leaders that have been removed from their context in order to falsely make it appear that a belief in Joseph Smith rather than Jesus Christ is the key to salvation.
Question: Do Mormons believe that Joseph Smith must approve whether or not they get into heaven?
The Book of Mormon confirms that no mortal's role in the judgment supersedes the role given to Jesus Christ
Critics charge that Joseph claimed, or it was claimed in his behalf, the right to "approve whether or not someone gets into heaven," and that this gives to a mortal a right properly reserved for God and Jesus Christ. Some critics have even charged that "Mormons worship Joseph Smith."
No mortal's role in the judgment supersedes the role given to Jesus, as the Book of Mormon bears witness:
...the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.(2 Nephi 9:41.)
Joseph's participation in the judgment is no more or less than the role assigned to the Lord's apostles at the Last Supper
Joseph's participation in the judgment (at the command and sufferance of Jesus) is no more or less than the role assigned to the Lord's apostles at the Last Supper. Those who condemn Joseph on these grounds must also condemn Peter and the rest of the Twelve.
Members of the Church reserve their worship for God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost. They do not worship Joseph Smith or any other mortal, save Jesus only. Joseph Smith's position in LDS thought is analogous to the role which Peter or Paul plays in traditional creedal Christianity.
Response to claim: Latter-day Saints are claimed to "expect to become polygamous gods in the Celestial kingdom, rule over other planets, and spawn new families throughout all eternity"
Latter-day Saints are claimed to "expect to become polygamous gods in the Celestial kingdom, rule over other planets, and spawn new families throughout all eternity."
No such thing is taught in Mormonism
Response to claim: Joseph Smith claimed that he did more for us than any other man, including Jesus Christ
The film states that Joseph Smith claimed that he did more for us than any other man, including Jesus Christ, and that Joseph Smith shed his blood for us in order for us to become gods.
Fact checking results: This claim is falseThis claim is nonsense. The implication is that Mormons worship Joseph Smith as their savior rather than Jesus Christ.
Jump to Subtopic:
- Question: Is the quote of Joseph Smith's "boasting" of keeping the Church intact accurate?
- Question: Was Joseph Smith prone to boasting?
- Question: Did Joseph Smith believe that he was better than Jesus Christ?
- Question: Did Joseph Smith say that he would be a "second Muhammad," threatening to spread his beliefs with the sword?
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ," From a fireside address given at the University of Utah Special Events Center on 9 December 1979.
- Brigham Young, "Character of God and Christ, etc.," (8 July 1860) Journal of Discourses 8:115. (See also Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:238.; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:218.; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:268..
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Joy in Christ," Ensign (March 1986), 3–4. (emphasis added) off-site
- Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 742. GL direct link
- Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 822. GL direct link
- Harold B. Lee, Teachings of Harold B. Lee (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996), 14.
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Answering Media Questions About Jesus and Satan," Press release (12 December 2007). off-site
- M. Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding," Ensign (June 1998), 62. off-site
- Lactantius, Divine Institutes 2.9. in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 10 vols. (1885; reprint, Peabody: Hendrickson, 2004), 7:52–53.
- Twelve Apostles, "The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Ensign (December 2004), 4. off-site
- David Steinmetz, "Christian Unity: A Sermon by David Steinmetz," News and Notes 5/6 (April 1990); cited by Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christians? (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1993),36–37. off-site FairMormon link
- Rev. John Sherer to Absalom Peters, 18 November 1830, reproduced in Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 4:93.
- “Mormon Religion—Clerical Ambition—Western New York—The Mormonites Gone to Ohio,” Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer (New York City, New York) 7, no. 1331 (1 September 1831). off-site
- The Farmer’s Herald, vol. 4, no. 49, 6 June 1832 [Johnsbury, Vermont]
- Liberal Advocate, vol. 3, no. 6, 30 December 1833 [Rochester, New York]
- Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 2:83. Volume 2 link
- "The Gospel," The Evening and The Morning Star 1:81-83 (April 1833) .
- Painesville Telegraph, vol. 1, no. 35, 4 September 1835 [Painesville, Ohio]
- Dean C. Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, revised edition, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2002), 144.
- James H. Eells to Joshua Leavitt, 1 April 1836, New York Evangelist (New York) 7, no. 15 (9 April 1836): 59. off-site (letter written on 1 April 1836 by James H. Eells who lived in Elyra, Ohio)
- Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 121. off-site
- Francis G. Bishop, Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints (Blum and Son, Salem, Massachusetts 1839), 2.
- Parley P. Pratt, Plain Facts (Manchester: W. R. Thomas, 1840), 6. off-site Full title
- Upper Mississippian, "Nauvoo Mormon Religion," (15 February 1841) Times and Seasons 2:324.; reprint of an article from the Upper Mississippian
- Extract from a Letter in the Juliet Courier, dated from Monmouth, Illinois (June 1841); cited in Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 4:381. Volume 4 link
- Chicago Democrat, May 1842; editorial by John Wentworth
- Cited by Helen Mar Whitney, Woman's Exponent 10 no. 13 (1 December 1881), 97–99. Available in Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, eds., A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History (Provo: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 1997), 149.
- "A Baptist," letter to the editor published in the North Staffordshire Mercury, "Difference Between the Baptists & Latter-day Saints," (1 October 1843) Times and Seasons 3:931-932. (italics added)
- Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 314. off-site
- Philadelphia Sun reprint, "Magna est veritas, et praevalebit’ (Not sure of translationvol=5," Times and Seasons no. 15 (15 August 1844), 621. off-site GospeLink (requires subscrip.)
- D.S. Hollister to Joseph Smith, 9 May 1844; cited in Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 6:416–417. Volume 6 link
- Brigham Young, "Effects and Privileges of the Gospel," (24 July 1853) Journal of Discourses 1:237-237.
- Brigham Young, "Government of God," (22 May 1859) Journal of Discourses 7:148.; Brigham Young, "Government of God," Deseret News 9 no. 13 (1 June 1859), 104.
- Juley Remy, Journey to Great Salt Lake City (1861), 2:82–83; cited by B. Carmon Hardy, Doing the Works of Abraham, 195..
- Brigham Young, "Advice To California Emigrants. — The Principles Of The Gospel, etc.," (8 July 1863) Journal of Discourses 10:230-231.
- Brigham Young, "Difference Of Ideas Entertained Respecting God, etc.," (31 July 1863) Journal of Discourses 10:318-319.
- Brigham Young, "Remarks by President Brigham Young," (19 August 1866) Journal of Discourses 11:268-268.
- Brigham Young, Deseret News Weekly 15/109 (4 March 1866): page?.; cited in Eldon Watson (editor), Brigham Young Addresses (1982), 5:32.
- William W. Riter, "Minutes of a General Council; Birmingham,England; January 5, 1866," Millennial Star 28 no. 12 (24 March 1866), 179.
- M. Scott Bradshaw, "Defining Adultery under Illinois and Nauvoo Law," in Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith's Legal Encounters, edited by Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey N. Walker, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, 2014), 401–426 (p. 416n45, citing Debates and Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Illinois, Convened at the City of Springfield, Tuesday December 3, 1869 (Springfield, April 29-30, 1870), 1561).
- Brigham Young, "The Saints Are A Strange People Because They Practise What They Profess," (20 February 1870) Journal of Discourses 13:237-238.
- Brigham Young, "Discourse by President Brigham Young," (3 June 1871) Journal of Discourses 14:195-196.; Brigham Young, "Discourse by President Brigham Young," Millennial Star 33 no. 27 (4 July 1871), 418–420.; DNW 20:235.
- Brigham Young, "Remarks by President Brigham Young," (27 August 1871) Journal of Discourses 14:227.; Discourse by President Brigham Young, Deseret News 20 no. 31 (6 September 1871), 357–358.
- Brigham Young, "Riches — Hurry — Fashion — Helping The Poor — Mysteries," (26 May 1872) Journal of Discourses 15:42-42.
- John Taylor, "Discourse by Elder John Taylor," (3 March 1872) Journal of Discourses 14:338. Discourse by Elder John Taylor, Deseret News 21 no. 36 (13 March 1872), 65, second column.
- Orson Pratt, "Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt," (10 March 10 1872) Journal of Discourses 14:348.; Orson Pratt, "Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt," Deseret News 21 (20 March 1872), 77, fourth column.
- Brigham Young, "Discourse By President Brigham Young," (15 August 1876) Journal of Discourses 18:217-217.
- Brigham Young, "Discourse By President Brigham Young," (17 September 1876) Journal of Discourses 18:231-231.
- Editorial (Elder David McKenzie), "Christianity and Revivalism," Millennial Star 38 no. 10 (6 March 1876), 152.
- Editorial (Elder David McKenzie), "Gifts of the Holy Ghost," Millennial Star 38 no. 13 (27 March 1876), 200–201.
- Editorial (Elder David McKenzie), "Evidences of the Truth," Millennial Star 38 no. 14 (3 April 1876), 217.
- Francis M. Lyman, "General Conference (5 April 1881)," Millennial Star 43 no. 19 (9 May 1881), 292.
- Editorial on citizens of Beaver Dam, Virginia removing Mormon Elders by force to another part of the state, Deseret News Weekly 45/13 (17 September 1892): 396.
- "Intolerant Discrimination", Deseret News Weekly 45/14 (24 September 1892): 441.
- "The Book of Mormon", Deseret News Weekly 45/25 (10 December 1892): 780.
- First Presidency, "Address to the World," Improvement Era 10 (May 1907), 481–495.
- Joseph F. Smith, General Conference address (April 6, 1917)
- Hugh B. Brown, "Discourse," Improvement Era 10 (December 1956), 949–949.
- Jacob Neusner, The Way Of Torah, 6th edition, (Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1997), 15. ISBN 0534516033.
- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:50-51. (Emphasis in the original.)
- David John Buerger, "The Adam-God Doctrine," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 15 no. 1 (Spring 1982), 45. off-site
- See, for example, Deseret News, 18 June 1873, p. 308 off-site: "How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me—namely that Adam is our Father and God—I do not know, I do not inquire, I care nothing about it. Our Father Adam helped to make this earth, it was created expressly for him, and after it was made he and his companions came here. He brought one of his wives with him, and she was called Eve, because she was the first woman upon the earth. Our Father Adam is the man who stands at the gate and holds the keys of everlasting life and salvation to all his children who have or who ever will come upon the earth. I have been found fault with by the ministers of religion because I have said that they were ignorant. But I could not find any man on the earth who could tell me this, although it is one of the simplest things in the world, until I met and talked with Joseph Smith."
- Gary James Bergera, "The Orson Pratt-Brigham Young Controversies: Conflict within the Quorums, 1853 to 1868," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 13 no. 2 (Summer 1980), 7–49. off-site
- Charles W. Penrose, "Our Father Adam," Improvement Era (September 1902), 873. reprinted in Charles W. Penrose, "Our Father Adam," Millennial Star 64 no. 50 (11 December 1902), 785–790. (this paragraph from p. 789).
- Spencer W. Kimball, "Our Own Liahona," Ensign (November 1976), 77. off-site
- Richard Abanes, Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism (Harvest House Publishers: 2005). 73, 367 n.138. ( Index of claims ); Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945), 43. ( Index of claims );Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults (Revised) (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1997), 193, 235. ( Index of claims );Richard Packham, "Questions for Mitt Romney," 2008.;Simon Southerton, Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 2004) 40, 184. ( Index of claims )
- Palmyra Herald (24 July 1822); cited in Russell Anderson, "The 1826 Trial of Joseph Smith," (2002 FAIR Conference presentation.) FairMormon link
- "Wonderful Discovery," Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, New York] (27 December 1825), page 2, col. 4. Reprinted from the Orleans Advocate of Orleans, New York; cited by Mark Ashurst-McGee, "A Pathway to Prophethood: Joseph Smith Junior as Rodsman, Village Seer, and Judeo-Christian Prophet," (Master's Thesis, University of Utah, Logan, Utah, 2000), 170–171.
- Richard L. Bushman, "Joseph Smith Miscellany," (Mesa, Arizona: FAIR, 2005 FAIR Conference) FairMormon link
- Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his Progenitors for Many Generations (Lamoni, Iowa, 1912; republished by Herald Publishing House, 1969), 103.
- Tiffany’s Monthly, June 1859, 163.
- Kirkham, A New Witness For Christ in America, 133.
- Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, 39.
- Willard Chase, Affidavit (1833), and Peter Ingersoll, Affidavit (1833), in MoU 238-9; Tucker, Origin, 19; Abel Chase Interview (1881), and John Stafford, Interview (1881), in EMD, 2:85, 106, 121; Caroline Rockwell Smith, Statement (1885), in EMD, 2:199; BioS, 102, 109. For another Palmyra seer stone, see Wayne Sentinel, Dec. 27, 1825
- Line written 17 June 2019
- Dan Vogel, "The Locations of Joseph Smith's Early Treasure Quests," Dialogue 27, no. 2 (Spring 1990): 91-108
- Susan Staker, "Secret Things, Hidden Things: The Seer Story in the Imaginative Economy of Joseph Smith," in American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon, ed. Dan Vogel and Brent Lee Metcalfe (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002), 235-74
- Mark Ashurst-McGee, "Moroni: Angel or Treasure Guardian?, Mormon Historical Studies 2, no. 2 (Fall 2001): 39-75
- Richard L. Bushman, "Joseph Smith and Money Digging" in A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS Doctrine and Church History ed. Laura Harris Hales (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2016) 4
- Richard L. Bushman "Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling" (New York City, NY: Alfred Knopf Publishing, 2005) 51
- Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 1:296. citing Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and His Progenitors for Many Generations (Liverpool, S.W. Richards, 1853), 36-173.
- Dan Vogel (editor), Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1996–2003), 5 vols, 1:294–296. citing the 1845 manuscript of Lucy Mack Smith's autobiography.
- Lucy Smith, Lucy's Book: Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, edited by Lavina Fielding Anderson and Irene M. Bates, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2001), 346. ISBN 1560851376.
- Times and Seasons 3 no. 9 (1 March 1842), 707. off-site GospeLink (requires subscrip.)
- Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate 1 no. 7 (April 1835), 112.
- "Are Mormons Christian?," Gospel Topics on LDS.org
- Brigham Young, "Intelligence, Etc.," (Oct. 9, 1859) Journal of Discourses 7:289-289. Brigham clearly states that Joseph Smith is responsible for this dispensation only: "Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days...no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are...He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation..." (emphasis added)