Joseph Smith/Alleged false prophecies/The prophetic test in Deuteronomy 18/Further Reading

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Further reading

Further reading

FairMormon Answers articles

Joseph Smith: Alleged false prophecies

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Mormonism and prophets

Joseph Smith as a prophet

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Revelation after Joseph Smith

Summary: If every President of the Church is a prophet, seer, and revelator, why have so few revelations after Joseph Smith been added to the Doctrine and Covenants? Revelations used to be printed in Church periodicals such as the Times and Seasons and the Evening and Morning Star. Why are revelations no longer published on an ongoing basis?

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Do modern prophets prophesy, or are they simply "men of their time?"

Summary: Is they anything special about prophets that set them apart from others, or are they simply "men of their time?" Do modern day prophets actually prophesy of anything?

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Apostles as personal witnesses of Christ

Summary: It is claimed that Brigham Young and his successors lacked the ability to bear witness of Christ as a true apostle because they had not had divine manifestations.

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Divine manifestations since the time of Joseph Smith

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Prophecy fulfillment

Summary: The fulfillment of prophecy does not end with death--blessings, promises, and fulfillment extend into the Millennial years of the Lord.

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Blessings given by Oliver Cowdery

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Brigham Young ordination blessing

Summary: FairMormon has found no criticism about the blessing given to Brigham Young upon his ordination as an apostle. His blessing is referenced by at least one other blessing, however, and so is included here for reference.

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President Monson bearing witness of foundational doctrines of Mormonism

Summary: It has been claimed that President Thomas S. Monson does not bear testimony of such foundational concepts as the truth of the Book of Mormon, the reality of Joseph Smith's First Vision, and so forth. Some have wondered if this means that he intends to downplay such doctrines, or if he does not believe strongly in them.

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Joseph F. Smith at the Reed Smoot hearings

Summary: It is claimed that at the Smoot hearings, Joseph F. Smith said that he never received revelation.

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The Proclamation on the Family

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Criticisms related to 19th-century prophets

Brigham Young's sermons are scripture?

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John Taylor 1886 revelation

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Missouri myths?

Summary: Will members "walk back to Jackson County" before the second coming of Christ? Will the whole Church return to Jackson county before the second coming?

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Wilford Woodruff's 1889 revelation

Summary: Did Wilford Woodruff receive a revelation on November 24, 1889 the said that the Church would prevail against the Government effort to seize the Church's assets?


Criticisms related to modern day prophets

LDS prophets don't prophesy?

Summary: Some critics say that Latter-day Saint prophets aren't really "prophets" because they don't prophesy by foretelling unknown events. They commonly issue challenges such as, "If Gordon B. Hinckley is a prophet, tell me one event that he's prophesied." Do LDS prophets "prophesy"?

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Prophetic inerrancy?

Summary: Critics sometimes impose absolutist assumptions on the Church by holding inerrantist beliefs about scriptures or prophets, and assuming that the LDS have similar views. Critics therefore insist, based upon these assumptions, that any statement by any LDS Church leader represents LDS doctrine and is thus something that is secretly believed, or that should be believed, by Latter-day Saints.

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David O. McKay liked to be lionized?

Summary: Some authors distort a biography of President McKay to claim that he liked to be "lionized."

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Do Latter-day Saint prophets not address current issues?

Summary: It is claimed that General Authorities are very silent about some issues, and that academic or volunteer organizations take their place

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Church Public affairs does not represent the Church?

Summary: Some people do not agree with statements issued by the Church's public affairs department. They claim that the public affairs department does not always reflect the beliefs or statements of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This claim is both absurd and false.

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False revelation or private matters

Summary: Statements by leaders of the Church on the propriety of Church members teaching new doctrines, or publicizing personal revelations, dreams, visions, etc.

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No paid ministry

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Mormonism and doctrine

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Official or "core" Mormon doctrine

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"Official" Mormon doctrine

Summary: What constitutes official or "core" doctrine of the Church? Joseph Smith defined our fundamental core doctrine: "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." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121.)

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Establishing new Mormon doctrine

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Procedures to establish or modify Mormon doctrine

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Church publications as doctrine

Summary: Are Church publications considered doctrine? It is claimed that anything that is, or ever was, officially published by the Church at any time ought to represent doctrine, thus define what Latter-day Saints really believe. However, just as Brigham Young taught principles that applied to the 19th-century saints, modern prophets teach us what we need for our particular time.

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Mormon doctrine of the past

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Statements made by past prophets as "scripture"

Summary: Are statements of past prophets considered doctrine? It is claimed that anything that is, or ever was, officially published by the Church ought to represent doctrine.

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The Law of Adoption: The sealing of men and women as children to prominent Latter-day Saint leaders

Summary: Critics point to the early practice of sealing men and women as children to prominent LDS leaders as an example of changes in LDS belief.

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Repudiated concepts

Summary: Some teachings previously considered doctrinal have since been repudiated by the Church.

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Why would a current prophet repudiate the teachings of an earlier prophet?

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"Blood atonement"

Summary: It is claimed that during the administration of Brigham Young apostates were secretly put to death. They claim this is in line with the teachings of LDS leaders at the time that apostasy was the unforgivable sin, and that the only thing an apostate could do to redeem himself was to give his own life, willingly or unwillingly.

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Mormonism and the concept that some were "neutral" in the "war in heaven"

Summary: It is true that LDS scripture states that those with lighter skin color "are favored because of what they did as spirits in a pre-earth life?" Is it true that some Church leaders taught that people who were born with dark skin were "neutral" in the pre-existence?

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Mormonism and the "curse of Cain"

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Brigham Young's Adam-God theory

Summary: Brigham Young taught that Adam, the first man, was God the Father. Since this teaching runs counter to the story told in Genesis and commonly accepted by Christians, critics accuse Brigham of being a false prophet. Also, because modern Latter-day Saints do not believe Brigham's "Adam-God" teachings, critics accuse Mormons of either changing their teachings or rejecting teachings of prophets they find uncomfortable or unsupportable.

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Mormon views of various beliefs

Rapture and LDS theology

Summary: What is the "Rapture"? Do Latter-day Saints believe in this or a similar doctrine?

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The Law of Adoption: The sealing of men and women as children to prominent Latter-day Saint leaders

Summary: Critics point to the early practice of sealing men and women as children to prominent LDS leaders as an example of changes in LDS belief.

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FairMormon web site

Prophecy FairMormon articles on-line

External links

Prophecy on-line articles
  • "Approaching Mormon Doctrine", news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4 May 2007. off-site
  • Alma Allred, "Coin of the Realm: Beware of Specious Specie (Review of: "Scripture," In The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism)," FARMS Review of Books 12/1 (2000): 137–174. off-site
  • Shirley D. Christensen, "The Clarion Call of Prophets," Ensign (November 2003), 32. off-site
  • Jeffrey R. Holland, "Prophets in the Land Again," Ensign (November 2006), 104–107. off-site
  • Malin L. Jacobs, "The Alleged Fifty-Six-Year Second-Coming Prophecy of Joseph Smith: An Analysis," (City Unknown: SHIELDS, 13-Jul-97) off-site
  • Bruce R. McConkie, "Are the General Authorities Human?", address at the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah, 28 October 1966. PDF link
  • Robert L. Millet, "What Is Our Doctrine?" The Religious Educator 4/3 (2003): 15–33. PDF link
  • Boyd K. Packer, "On Zion's Hill," Ensign (November 2005), 23. off-site
  • Daniel C. Peterson, "Review of Decker's Complete Handbook on Mormonism by Ed Decker," FARMS Review of Books 7/2 (1995): 38–105. off-site
  • W. John Walsh, Joseph Fielding McConkie, and Jeff Lindsay, "Are Prophets Infallible?" off-site

Printed material

Prophecy printed materials