Mormonism and prophets/Revelation after Joseph Smith/Joseph F. Smith at Smoot hearings

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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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Question: At the Reed Smoot Senate hearings, did Joseph F. Smith tesify that he never received revelation?

President Smith denied presenting any revelation for sustaining vote at general conference, which was true as of that date, but he did not deny receiving other forms of revelation

To read the original documents of the Smoot hearings, see here.

Those who make this claim do not disclose that the Smoot hearings were an antagonistic proceeding in which LDS apostle Reed Smoot was being investigated to see if he should be able to take his seat in the U.S. Senate.

During this exchange, then, Joseph F. Smith was essentially being examined as a "hostile witness." President Smith was not likely to "cast pearls before swine," by discussing the revelatory process, and the legal requirements of the situation likely made him reply as little as possible to the questions posed.

Any attempt to judge Joseph F. Smith's complete beliefs and experiences about revelation from these hearings are, then, doomed to being incomplete.

Despite these limitations, the cited material make it absolutely clear that President Smith's reference to revelation was in the sense of revelation "has been submitted by you and the apostles to the body of the church in their semiannual conference, which revelation has been sustained by the conference through the upholding of hands?" (p. 483). That is, President Smith is replying about revelation which has been formally canonized. Although obviously reluctant to speak about the details of other revelation, he insists that he has it (see images of Smoot hearings on the right).

Smoot Hearings, Vol. 1, p. 483 (Entire Smoot hearings are on-line here.)
Smoot Hearings, Vol. 1, p. 484 (Entire Smoot hearings are on-line here.)

Notes