Discerning True Christians

Are Mormons Christians?

Part II

Part I of "Are Mormon's Christians" included a history of Joseph Smith's visions and the creation of the Book of Mormon presenting some understanding of what and how this book was plagiarized. Since writing the first part I came across a website that lists some of the King James version Bible verses in comparison to Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon, especially examples from the Book of Isaiah.

For example, 2 Nephi 19:1, in the Book of Mormon, is practically verbatim, to Isaiah 9:1:

Nevertheless, the dimness not such as in her vexation, when at first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards did more grievously afflict the way of the Red Sea beyond Jordan in Galilee of the nations. (2 Nephi 19:1)

There are many more amazing examples on this website proving without a doubt that plagiarism was involved.

I published an update on the origins of the Coronavirus and set aside this part II. I knew I needed to return and finish it, but there was some reticence on my part to get back into it. There is a tremendous amount of information and history to research besides the main doctrines of the Book of Mormon and D&C. Many important topics that Joseph Smith taught has changed over the years. The Mormon Church has made thousands of changes to its scriptures. LDS leaders have not only added and deleted words, thus tampering with previously published revelations, but they have falsely attributed the new material to an earlier date as if it were the original words of the prophet.

This LDS website is the main site that will appear on search engines. Therefore, it is the main site that Christians will find when exploring LDS doctrine and history. Its language is written with a lot of traditional Christian terms but may have different meanings for Mormons. Such as in this description of God:

God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe, whom we worship, and to whom we pray. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” (Doctrine and Covenants (D&C)130:22).

As presented further down under the "Almighty God" section, the Mormon God is not the Supreme Being of Christianity but a supreme being of this world only! God is not the ultimate creator. LDS teaches that God organizes, not creates. Everything always was from the beginning and all gods create their worlds and beings to inhabit it out of existing materials. God, was not always god, he was a man who rose to a God being and became powerful. And their God increases in knowledge, thus he does not know all things. This is just one example from the main website with how Christians may be tricked into believing their teachings are Biblical.

Distilling this information to the most important and factual parts with as few words as possible was and is difficult because of the many contradictory doctrines and the misleading text in Mormons writings that use Biblical words with different meanings than Christians. But in general, a lot of the authorized LDS teachings are not consistent with each other or have been edited from earlier versions to make them consistent with other scripture released.1 One prophet states something and a later one impinges it. Even Joseph Smith taught teachings on God and creation in later years that disagreed with his earlier teachings and the official LDS doctrine of today. I will give examples below under the appropriate topics.

Recently, I came across a YouTube video sent to my feed on a man who had a near-death experience (NDE) where he went to hell. For some reason I was compelled to listen to his story even though I did not want to hear about a terrifying death experience—yet I watched it until the end. It turned out that the place he was taken to in hell was the place where false leaders or prophets who have a huge following go after their deaths. These are leaders who have taken many away from the salvation of Jesus Christ.

At the very end of the video, the NDEer explains that when he told his story to his father-in-law, a while later his father-in-law showed him a few pictures on his laptop and asked him, “was this the house you saw during your experience? Was this the man that you saw? He said yes to both. He did not know who the man was. His father-in-law told him It was Joseph Smith.

I knew then the Holy Spirit was prompting me to get back to writing this second part by guiding me to that video. In part one, I mention eight million adherents to the Mormon faith. The LDS church actually claims seventeen million, but they are not accurate. Regardless, for either figures, that is a large following especially if the prophet and teachings are false. There is a need to know the truth, share the truth, and pray for the truth to reach souls who may be trapped in false teachings in order to help them make the right choices, remain strong in their faith, and trust in God and to listen to the voice within or the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Many individuals raised in the Mormon faith have awakened to the lies and left. But leaving for any Mormon is extremely painful for family reasons, as well as the programming that members have received about not getting to the celestial kingdom where your family will be if you leave. The programming is so pervasive that fear of what will become of yourself in the afterlife if you leave the church is too prohibitive to freely and wisely make a change and dare to be wrong.

At the end of this article, I will share more about this NDE and its link. In this second part, I will begin with Christian vs. the LDS God, and cover the same for Jesus, salvation, hell, and more.

Almighty God
The Mormon view of God differs radically from the understanding of God one finds in the Bible and traditional Christian theology. Christians understanding of God according to Scripture:

  • The God of biblical Christianity is first and foremost one God. There is no other. Thus Christians are monotheistic, i.e. there is only one God.
  • God is Spirit. (John 4:24)
  • God is One. (Mark 12:32, Isaiah 43:10, Deuteronomy 4:35, 39, Deuteronomy 32:39)
  • God brought everything into existence by the power of His Word. All matter, time, space, energy, spirit, and anything else in existence comes from God alone. (Nehemiah 9:6, John 1:3)
  • God brought the universe into existence from nothing, “ex nihilo” Latin for "from nothing." (Isaiah 45:18)
  • God Is Immutable – which means unchanging. God is immutably loving, wise, faithful, merciful, good, just and gracious. (Malachi 3:6)
  • God is almighty/omnipotent (having all power), omnipresent (present everywhere), omniscient (knows everything), eternally and immutably so. ((1 Kings 8:27, 1 John 3:20)
  • God is eternal. God has no beginning and no end. God is the first and the last and everything in between. (Psalm 90:2)
  • The divine Godhead consists of three parts: the Father (God himself), the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

Mormonism doctrine on God:
The Mormon god is called Heavenly Father (father of this planet/universe only) or Elohim (not the Elohim of the Old Testament). God is three separate persons. God was once a man who worked his way up to being a god with his own planet.

Joseph Smith states in his later teachings:

“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man.... for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea.... He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg 345).

This is not what was taught in the Book of Mormon, the Journal of Discourses, and Lectures on Faith. The last two were considered a source of divine revelation and doctrine in the early Mormon days. These sources are generally not viewed as authoritative by Mormons today. Remember this as you see quotes below referencing the Journal of Discourses, which most quotes are from the second President, Brigham Young. Some of his teachings have been repudiated publicly by later presidents even though he supposedly had the mantle of prophet for the church.

This disregard of early publishings is understandable, since in many cases, these works contradict what is taught today. Early LDS leaders recognized the truth that God does not change in His character and they therefore rightly realized that the principles of the true gospel also do not change. However, in the church they did--many, many times. Change has been the order of the day. D&C 20:12 states: "God the same yesterday today and forever." As stated elsewhere, their "God the Father" gains in knowledge, is not omniscient, and thus could not be the same as yesterday or forever.

The doctrine that God progresses in both knowledge and power was widely taught by church leaders beginning with Brigham Young and continuing until at least the turn of the twentieth century. That doctrine has now been repudiated by church leaders today. The nature of God is difficult to fathom with conflicting views and confusing dialogue and when presenting Mormonism to Christian denominations LDS doctrines appear to conform to traditional Christian understanding on God, whereby the absolutist view is presented as the only view Mormons have on God, which is a lie.

Through good works “earth’s god” perfected himself by following moral rules that were provided by his heavenly god (i.e. multiple gods with each god having a god before him guiding him.) and thereby reached godhood. Somewhere around 1838 Joseph had begun to teach a plurality of God. By 1844 Joseph, in the King Follett Sermon4, began teaching that God was the son of a Father suggesting that there were Gods above God the Father in a cycle of gods that continues for eternity. From this understanding, most would consider that Mormons were polytheists i.e. the belief in more than one God. Yet Mormons consider themselves to be monotheists because they focus their worship exclusively on the Godhead of this earth!

Joseph Smith wrote,

“In the beginning, the head of the gods called a council of the gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and (the) people in it.” Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pdf5, pg 349.

President Brigham Young stated,

“How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods...”
Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses 7:333)

This teaching is either ignored or refuted by some. For example, former President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910 – 2008) stated in an interview with Time magazine on whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a man, he [Hinckley] sounded uncertain:

“I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it, and I don’t know that others know a lot about it." 2

Mormonism teaches the eternal existence of matter, or Creation Ex Materia (out of pre-existent, eternal matter), not ex nihilo. In the King Follett discourse delivered by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844, he said that God made the world from preexisting "chaotic matter." By contrast, the Bible declares that all things exist by God’s will (Rev. 4:11). God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate divine beings (Mormonism is anti-Trinitarian). However, in the Book of Mormon, God the Father and God the Son were one.

For example some passages were later changed in the Book of Mormon, (1 Nephi 11:21, 32, 40) where Christ was referred to as the "Eternal Father" they now say Christ is the "Son of the Eternal Father" because the doctrine changed from Father and Son as one to Father and Son as separate beings.

Early editions also said Mary was the "mother of God" (1 Nephi 11:18), which later changed to Mary the "mother of the Son of God". God and the Son being one was obliterated from 1830 or so forward.

These teachings by Joseph Smith that God the Father had a physical body or that the human body was created after the image of God doesn't explicitly appear in LDS teachings until 1841:

“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit.” 1843 D&C 130:22

"I will prove that the world is wrong, by showing what God is...God himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.345)

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.” History of the Church, 6:474

Omniscience, according to Mormon theology, is one of the attributes one attains when reaching godhood. Mormon tradition that is predominant teaches that God increases in knowledge. Consequently, God does not have absolute and total knowledge or omniscience.

Isaiah 43:10 there is only one God and there is none before or after Him. He is I AM. The Bible portrays God as the uncreated Creator of all things (Isaiah 40:17-23, 28). Mormonism doesn’t even have a Creator; rather, it has an organizer. No god for any world created all worlds, nor did any god create intelligence, matter, or the metaphysical laws governing them. Such beings are merely co-eternal with other things in existence (D & C 131:7–8, Abraham 3:18–28).

From 1852 until 1976 the official doctrine for Father God was that he was Adam. Supposedly, Joseph hinted at the idea in his King Follett Sermon in 1844. In 1852 Brigham Young publicly began to teach the concept.

"Adam came into the garden of Eden with a celestial body and one of his many wives, he is our Father and God. The Father, not the Holy Spirit, conceived Jesus with the Virgin Mary." Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 50

Spencer Kimball (12th president of the LDS church) in 1976 denounced that teaching saying:

"We denounce that theory [Adam-God] and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine." Conference Report, p. 115 (October 1-3, 1976)

Premortal Existence
The Bible tells us in the beginning after God formed the world and spoke into existence all other forms of life, that God created man. And God said, “Let us make man in our image.” (Gen. 1:6) God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. (Gen. 2:7)

Christians generally do not believe that the soul was created before birth as there is no reference in the Bible to that understanding. However, According to Josephus, (c. AD 37 - c. 100) a Roman-Jewish historian and military leader, the Essenes affirmed the preexistence of souls. Apocryphal literature such as in Enoch references souls before creation, “All souls,” he said, “are prepared to eternity, before the formation of the world”. (2 Enoch 23:5)

Christian scholar Origen (c.185 – c. 253) believed in the premortal existence of the soul but his teachings were dropped from Christianity after Emperor Justinian I condemned him as a heretic. Then in AD 553 an edict against Origen known as the Anathemas was instituted during the Second Council of Constantinople. However, it is generally accepted from several Bible passages that Jesus pre-existed before His birth. "Before Abraham was, I am," John 8:58 (John 1:1-3). And, it is also generally accepted in Christianity that angels did exist in heaven before creation. “Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation … and all the angels shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4,7).

Mormons do not accept that the life of a human being begins with their earthly birth but rather begins in the Spirit World preceding their mortal existence on earth. All spirits born of God the Father of this earth had to choose between the salvation plans offered by Jesus and Lucifer. Those who sided with Jesus were allowed to be born on the earth with physical bodies, which birth is necessary to achieve the highest exaltation in the celestial kingdom. (More on that below.) Those who chose Lucifer were cast out of heaven and were prohibited from obtaining physical bodies.

The premise that there are untold gods being created after each being reaches exaltation and creates his own world and spirit beings begs the question: How many Luciferian angelic rebellions are there since there is only one recorded in Revelation? The war was fought in heaven so how many heavens are there? One for each of the god’s abode and kingdoms? When Mormons say that human beings are made in the “image and likeness of God”, they mean this to be taken literally and physically, not just morally and spiritually.

Mormons reason, from their teachings, that if human beings are in God’s image and likeness, this implies that God is an anthropomorphic being—that is, a being with a physical body like ours and temporal. While God in the Bible may appear to have hands, arms, and a face in Bible passages, it is not making Him human. Many of these references are used in the Bible to help readers understand a concept God was attempting to convey to humans with limited vision and understanding of God, heaven, and creation.

LDS doctrine agrees with Genesis that man was created from the dust of the ground (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7) and that Adam was not procreated as God’s direct offspring, even though God the Father is supposedly a physical being himself. We were already procreated as spirits in the celestial kingdom and were not recreated.

If we were created in his “image” and “likeness”, confirming to Mormons that humans are basically the same kind of being as God, this also begs the question: If the Heavenly Father and our heavenly mother, were “exalted” in the celestial kingdom with physical bodies of flesh and bones, then wouldn’t their heavenly offspring have been created as similar beings of flesh and bones?

Jesus Christ
Simply naming your church organization after Jesus Christ does not make you a Christian. Paul reveals in 2 Corinthians 11:4, "there are some who preach a different Jesus." This is the quandary for Mormons who believe and claim that their Jesus is the same Jesus Christ of Christianity.

Former LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910 – 2008) stated as published in LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p. 7; “The traditional Christ of whom they [evangelical Christians] speak is not the Christ of whom I speak."

So let us see how true this statement is.

  • According to the Bible Jesus has always existed as God (John 1:1). Mormons see Jesus as someone who worked His way up to godhood.
  • The Bible declares that the Father and the Son are also one in essence (Phil. 2:6) — that they are both equally God and members of the Holy Trinity. To Mormons, Jesus is merely one in purpose with God the Father.
  • The Book of John begins with the first words of Genesis in the origins of all things by the expression “In the beginning…” (John 1:1–3). He says that the Word was with God, was God, and that all things were made through Him. All things came to be other than the Creator. The Word was made flesh (i.e., Jesus in v. 14). All things were made through Him, they came into being by Him and for Him.

Paul tells us that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things,” in that God is the source, sustainer, and the goal of all reality outside of Himself (Rom. 11:36). God always was. In revealing His name and nature to Moses, God said, “I am that I am” (Exod. 3:14), the uniquely self-existent one. Jesus takes on this divine name I AM stating, "Before Abraham was, I am," alluding to the preexistence of the Messiah. (John 8:58).

Birth of Jesus
Christians believe that Jesus was conceived with the Virgin Mary through the Holy Ghost and will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:34-35) Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, but not in the sense of Christian understanding.

Since God the Father has a body of flesh and bones (D. & C.130:22) Jesus is a creation who was begotten in heaven as one of God’s spirit children, the firstborn spirit-child of the heavenly Father and a heavenly Mother. Jesus then progressed to deity in the spirit world. He was later physically conceived in the Virgin Mary’s womb, as the literal “only begotten” Son of God through God the Father-- with a flesh body --having physical relations with Mary. Thus, to most Mormons, He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost as Christians believe. (Matthew 1:18)

Since every being on Earth existed in spirit before being born, it is understood by Mormons the same with Jesus. He was created as a spirit. Thus, there was a time when Jesus was not God since He was created as a spirit child of God the Father and the Heavenly Mother (mother being a concept accepted by church members but there is no official doctrine). Thus, He became perfect sometime before His birth while He was in the preexistence, as described in the previous point.

Prayers to Jesus
Since Mormons believe Jesus is a separate being from God the Father they are not to pray to Jesus but only to God. LDS official teachings state “He (God) wants us to communicate with Him through prayer. We should pray to Him and no one else. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded, “Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name” (3 Nephi 18:19).

In 1982 Bruce McConkie, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said:

"Another peril is that those so involved begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed. In this connection a current and unwise book (i.e. the Bible), which advocates gaining a special relationship with Jesus contains this sentence: 'Because the Savior is our mediator, our prayer goes through Christ to the Father and the Father answers our prayers through His Son.' This is plain sectarian nonsense. Our prayers are addressed to the Father, and to Him only. They do not go through Christ ..." Church News, p. 5 (March 20, 1982)

The Bible states otherwise. There are many examples where prayers were sent to Jesus. The apostle Paul prayed to Jesus to be relieved of the burden of a thorn in his flesh three times. Jesus answered that it was better to keep his burden “for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

Atonement and Salvation

The Bible teaches that Christ’s death was substitutionary in nature. Under the Old Testament law, animals were sacrificed as substitutes for atoning for the sins of people. Jesus fulfilled this aspect of the sacrifice by dying as a substitute for Christians (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom.5:8), the church (Eph. 5:25), and every person (Heb. 2:9). When applied to the death of Christ, the word “atonement” has a much broader meaning and describes that which was accomplished by His death.

The reason Jesus came and why He died, was to become the ultimate and final sacrifice, the perfect (without blemish) sacrifice for our sins (Colossians 1:22; 1 Peter 1:19). Through Him, the promise of life eternal with God becomes effective through faith to those who believe in Jesus. “So that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe” (Galatians 3:22). Jesus atoned for our sins through His death and resurrection.

The word propitiation is used in several Bible verses to explain what Jesus accomplished through His death on the cross. Propitiation involves appeasing the wrath of an offended person and being reconciled to him. Propitiation in the Bible refers to Christ’s death which was a sacrificial offering that appeased or satisfied God (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 4:10) who is the One ultimately offended by sin (1 John 2:2). and it satisfied the demands of the law which is violated when we sin (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14).

Thus, this is the reason Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus, our Propitiator, absorbed the Father’s wrath against our sin and satisfied it in full, so that “whoever believes in him should not perish” but instead enjoy the Father’s favor forever (John 3:16 ).

Salvation is a free gift from God available to anyone who asks for it. It is the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Thus, faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior is the only “step” to salvation. Salvation is not about certain steps we must follow to earn salvation. While good Christians are baptized, publicly confess Christ as Savior, turn from sin, and commit their lives to obeying God these are not steps to salvation. They are the results of salvation. Because of our sins, we cannot earn salvation.

Mormon understanding of atonement & salvation
The official LDS teachings do not view the atonement of Christ in the biblical and historical Christian manner. Instead of the atonement occurring on the cross, Mormonism teaches that the atonement occurred primarily in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus sweat drops of blood.

The belief in earning salvation is one of the most common misconceptions among Christians, as well as Mormons. All you have to do to get to heaven is just be a good person. The irony of that mistaken belief is that it completely eliminates the necessity for Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone." (Luke 18:19)

Mormonism states that forgiveness of sins is not by faith alone we must be good and follow the laws and ordinances of the Mormon church in order to obtain forgiveness. (2 Nephi 25:23; Moroni 10:32; D&C 82:7), whereas the Bible teaches it is by faith alone (Rom. 3:28; Rom. 4:5; Gal. 2:21). For Mormons, there is a list of requirements to achieve salvation:

• Baptism by Immersion in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - The Mormon Church claims to be the only true Church thus all other Churches and their practices and forms of baptism are false.
• Laying on of Hands by a Member of the Melchizedek Priesthood in Order to Receive the Holy Ghost
• Ordination as a Melchizedek Priest
• Receiving the Temple Endowments
• Celestial Marriage - the gate to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world.
• Observing the Word of Wisdom
• Sustain the Prophet – The President of the Church is believed to be the sole revelator and prophet
• Tithing – One-tenth of the interest or increase of each member of the Church is payable as tithing funds of the Church each year.
• Regular Sacrament Meetings
• Obedience to the Church, its teachings, and the prophet

These above actions do not save you, but baptism and observing the wisdom of the Word are the kinds of changes that take place in the life of a person who is saved in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." God's grace freely offers salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ. You don't need to make your life better before believing in Jesus. You believe in Jesus and He will help make your life better.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Jesus is pointing out that those who combine their faith with their works in order to be saved are not in Jesus. Salvation always results in works and good deeds, not the other way around. If you doubt that, see also Luke 18:9-14 where Jesus teaches the same thing again.

If you are a true Christian you not only believe in Jesus you walk His walk. You follow Him and everything He taught. You follow His Words He taught in the Bible.

Hell and Afterlife
Mormons do not believe that you immediately go to the highest level of heaven after the resurrection. Rather, there are levels or kingdoms with the lowest place which is one part of hell, reserved for Satan and his followers, called "outer darkness" for whomever is not saved after the Judgment. The other level of hell is called "Spirit Prison" which is rather a state of pain, guilt, and anguish where the spirits of the wicked will be after they die but before the final judgment. It is for people who did not follow Jesus while on earth.

For the majority of people in hell, it will not last forever. After the final judgment, most people will receive some degree of glory. Souls go there temporarily who had no knowledge of truth, where they have the opportunity to repent of their sins and eventually accept the Gospel. Ordinances by Mormons in their earthly temples will be performed for them to save them. Smith taught that after the Judgment, souls who are in spirit prison will go to the lowest kingdom for eternity. The remainder will go to outer darkness who are not redeemed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ and who have known Christ truly and still have denied Him, such as Satan and his angels.

The three kingdoms souls go to after the resurrection are: celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms.

  • Telestial kingdom is the lowest - for "murderers and the wicked, liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie" who suffer until they eventually receive Jesus as their Savior. They are then transferred from "spirit prison" or hell, to this kingdom.
  • Terrestrial Kingdom - The terrestrial kingdom is where Jesus will be. This kingdom is for those who were not valiant enough to earn the first kingdom. But they are still people who were faithful in service to Christ. It is filled with "honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men". (D&C 76:75)
  • Celestial kingdom - This is the third and highest kingdom. God the Father will be there. This kingdom is for the most faithful and is filled with "just men made perfect through Jesus" (D&C 76:69) It is where the most exalted people in this kingdom can become a god and own their own planet. Other requirements are that you are baptized in the LDS church, repent (lifelong), support the LDS prophets, receive the LDS ordinances (baptism for the dead and marriage in the temple where couples have been “sealed” in a Mormon temple for a life of “eternal marriage, and live faithfully according to God’s commands.

Dark Skin a Sign of God’s Curse
In the Book of Mormon, dark skin is a sign of God’s curse, while white skin is a sign of his blessing. When the Lamanites displeased God, “because of their iniquity….the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them” (2 Nephi 5:21). Later, when the Lamanites become Christians, “their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites” (3 Nephi 2:15).

Passages in the LDS scripture have since been changed by Mormon authorities—e.g., 2 Nephi 30:6, which originally referred to conversion to Christianity bringing about a “white and delightsome people,” now reads, as of 1981, "pure and delightsome people.” Joseph Smith taught that black people are cursed as “sons of Cain.”

Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith, stated:

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10).

Since blacks were a stigmatized race in Mormonism, black men were denied ordination to the priesthood in the LDS Church. While the LDS Church, under pressure, finally granted black men the priesthood in 1978, the racism in their Scriptures remains in the Book of Mormon and cannot be undone because it is an integral part of the whole book. However, the doctrine that black skin is a punishment was renounced by the Church hierarchy in December 2013.

Temple Endowments

Christians learn that Solomon's Temple was built around 966 BC. Sacrifice was the predominant mode of divine service there and it housed the ark of the covenant. The opening ceremony is described in 1 Kings 8.

There were no secret ordinances connected with this temple. The biblical temple (i.e. “dwelling place” or “tent”) was for offering blood and burnt sacrifices to God as temporary atonement for sin. It pointed to Christ as the full, final, and sufficient sacrifice. Everything we learn about that was in the tabernacle was a shadow and picture of the One to come.

Jesus is the great fulfillment of these Old Testament symbols. Everything in the tabernacle is fulfilled in Him. Christ “tabernacled” with us. He came and temporarily lived with us, dwelled with us. Just like the Tabernacle, his time on earth was temporary. "[Christ] himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the whole world" (1 John 2:1-2).

Mormons have built temples and practiced temple rituals since these rituals were introduced by Joseph Smith in May 1842. What they ended up with was a strange mix of occult rituals and beliefs foreign to biblical Christianity, and equally foreign to Old Testament temple practices.

Mormon temple endowment rituals include:

  • Washings and anointings
  • A new name and garment
  • Vows of non-disclosure
  • Presentation through drama
  • Swearing an oath of chastity
  • Participants who are designated prophets, priests, and kings
  • Emphasis on attaining godhood
  • A heavenly ascent past various guards to whom departed spirits must give magical passwords

These rituals — known as “ordinances” — are vital to Mormons because they are regarded as the only means to salvation and, of course, exaltation to godhood in the celestial kingdom.

Joseph Smith and many of the most prominent early members of the Mormon Church were also members of the Masonic Lodge in Nauvoo. Joseph was initiated as an entered apprentice Mason on March 15, 1842, and the next day received the fellow craft and master degrees.

The church recently revealed that Joseph was introduced to Masonry while living in Palmyra, New York. His brother Hyrum joined a Masonic lodge in New York, and his father, Joseph Smith, Sr., was a Master Mason with a lodge in Canandaigua, New York, as early as 1818. Joseph introduced the full Mormon endowment ceremony which included the secret signs, tokens, passwords, and penalties, just seven weeks after joining Masonry. (see History of the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 1-2). Most Mormons never learned about this connection of Masonry to their temple endowment rituals until recent years.

Essentially, the stance is that the Masons originally had the true temple ordinances from the original true church that existed in Old Testament times. These rituals are believed to have been practiced by the members of God's true church in Solomon's Temple. Thus, this was a restoration of the true Hebraic endowment.

The knowledgeable current members of Masonry are very convinced that Masonry has its origins much more recently and they are certain that the Mason ceremonies do not date back to Solomon's time (around 1000 B.C.) but emerged around the thirteenth century. However, it may have been widely believed in the 1800s that they actually descended from Solomon's temple.

Mormons believe that the likes of Moses, and even Jesus, performed these same LDS ordinances during Biblical times in the Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple, Herod's Temple, etc. However, Jesus said at the end of his earthly ministry when brought before the High Priest, that neither he nor His disciples ever spoke anything in secret. Jesus said, "I spake openly to the world, I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort, and in secret have I said nothing," (John 18:20).

Jesus never participated in secret rituals and all His teachings including those "in the temple" were spoken "openly."

It may be hard to understand how a religious group following the teachings of Christ would introduce the practice of polygamy and justify it but it was so within Mormonism. Tragically, what most Mormons never knew was that Joseph Smith and other church leaders publicly lied about practicing polygamy for almost a decade while secretly practicing it. The evidence is overwhelming. I share some of this evidence in this section.

The Mormon official doctrine on marriage has always been monogamy, as indicated in the Book of Mormon. Jacob 2:23–28 and 3:5–8 denounce the practice of polygamy as an abomination before God. Likewise, the D&C (a supposed revelation given to Joseph Smith) stated clearly that marriage should be one man for one woman (D&C 42:22). Later writings of Smith allow for unlimited plural marriage to virgins (D&C 132:51–66) and directly contradict what had been written earlier.

The official doctrine on the practice of polygamy explains Smith’s polygamist behavior as the result of a literal revelation from God which came about in 1831 while reading the Old Testament. Questioning God why they had multiple wives Joseph later said that God revealed to him that he commanded them to do so and that he (Joseph) was to do likewise. Then, in order to cover up the practice while preaching monogamy, Joseph revealed to his close associates and future wives that the appearance of an angel came three times over many years urging him to get on with having many wives. In the last such appearance, the angel brandished a sword and threatened Joseph with destruction "if he didn’t obey”.

However, the LDS church today says it doesn’t “understand” why Joseph instituted polygamy claiming, “Latter-day Saints do not understand all of God’s purposes in instituting, through His prophets, the practice of plural marriage.”

By 1850 most Mormons were taught and believed that you had to practice polygamy in order to get to heaven. Smith taught that a righteous man could help numerous women and children go to heaven by being “sealed” in plural marriage. Large families supposedly multiplied a man’s glory in the afterlife. This teaching was established as doctrine in 1843.

Smith’s successor, Brigham Young, even went as far as claiming Jesus Christ was a polygamist who had been married to Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, as well as to Mary Magdalene. Apostle Orson Pratt also taught Jesus was a polygamist and that God the Father had a plurality of wives.

Some of the supposed reasons the prophet was given the order to institute plural marriages that have been debunked from historical data are 1) There were more women than men in the 1800s and polygamy provided a way for women to have the benefits of a husband. 2) Polygamy was an acceptable way to rapidly increase Church membership through childbearing. However, statistics show the opposite. In 1840, where the majority of the Mormons resided, there were 5,169 males and 4,762 females in Hancock County, Illinois (Nauvoo being the primary population center). Population statistics for Utah in the years they publicly endorsed polygamy show that there were always more men than women.

Studies on childbirth during the years of open polygamist practices, and marriages, have shown that monogamous women bore more children per wife than did polygamous wives except the first.

Since Joseph Smith and church apostles openly denied having multiple wives for a decade, and means of aborting unwanted pregnancies were given as an option, this supposed purpose for increasing membership is false.

When Mormons moved to the U.S. they were having trouble with the government because they were not following the laws of the land. So they got a “new revelation” that polygamy was no longer acceptable and in 1890 they publicly renounced the practice of polygamy (although the church has never renounced polygamy as doctrine, continuing to permit men to be married in Mormon temples “for the eternities” to more than one wife.

According to official church doctrine, “little is known” or “evidence is fragmentary” about Joseph’s wives or whether he consummated their marriages. However, there is much history which includes many diary entries and letters from his wives, private secretaries, and church apostles.

It is believed that Joseph had 30 to 40 wives, the youngest was 14, and the oldest was 56. He also married 12 to 14 women who were already married. The following information on the polygamist behavior of Joseph and his early members is written in books, essays on the web, and church official documentation. Some of the information was obtained many years after Smith was killed and can't be proven true or false even if written in letters or revealed in conversations. Everyone has to judge for themselves and try to look objectively as to the possibility that these early relationships occurred before polygamy was officially instituted in the church.

Joseph Smith's History with Women During 1830-44

1830-31 - Joseph appears to have started the “marrying” around 1836, but there are claims by girls that Joseph approached them with the concept as early as 1831. In 1830 there had been given a revelation to the first missionaries to the Lamanites telling them it was okay to take Indian “wives” while they were on their missions out west. This commandment was pretty much openly published at the time, no feathers seem to have been ruffled over it, so either no one took Indian miscegenation seriously, or it was deemed a necessary expediency in order to permit the white-eyes to reside on Indian land. In any event, the Lamanite missionaries themselves seem to have been less than enthusiastic about the order, because none of them followed up on it.

1832 - Due to rumors that Joseph Smith had had inappropriate behavior with 16-year-old Nancy Marinda Johnson, two of her relatives and dozens more of their cohorts descended upon Joseph Smith in the middle of the night and tar and feathered him and Sidney Rigdon. The attack was probably for other objections they had in connection with them as well. Some Mormons do not believe this incident was connected with sexual impropriety with a minor. However, Joseph did later have accusations against him for another 16-year-old youth who was living with him. Marinda also became one of his wives in the 1840s. One of the 50 or so men who were part of the mob that night was a doctor who was ready to castrate Joseph but could not bring himself to it. Why would the men want him castrated if not for some sexual deviant behavior he had previously done?

1833 - In Kirtland, Ohio, sometime around 1833, Joseph Smith’s first adulterous affair was caught by Smith’s wife, Emma, with Fanny Alger. Fanny had moved into the Smith household providing domestic help replacing Mary Johnson. Mary was assisting the household but died in 1833 at the age of 14. There is some uncertainty as to Fanny's arrival date into the household and when their intimate relationship began, due of course to the secretiveness of the relationship. However, some historians believe It began in late 1832 or early 1833 when Fannie was 16 years old.

1837 - The Seventies3 adopted a resolution which stated, “We will have no fellowship whatever with any Elder belonging to the quorums of the Seventies who is guilty of polygamy.” Messenger and Advocate, Vol. 3, No. 8, p. 511

Why were there rumors of polygamist behavior in the community that this message had to be stated in 1837? In the following year's notes, "there is mention of 'rumors' that Joseph Smith was involved in polygamist behavior."

1838 - In an 1872 letter by William McLellin to Joseph Smith III he describes what Emma told him about Fannie and her husband in 1838:

"One night she [Emma] missed Joseph and Fanny Alger. She went to the barn and saw him and Fanny in the barn together alone. She looked through a crack and saw the transaction!!!"

Confirmation that this happened was that Emma reacted badly to the affair. She became like a mad woman and acted so violently that Oliver Cowdery and some of the elders were called in to minister to her and ‘cast the devil out of sister Emma'. Emma sometime soon afterward cast Fanny out of the house. She went to live with another family until she could join her parents in another state. A few months later she married Solomon Custer, a non-Mormon.

Cowdery had sided with Emma and a few years later he spoke out and was excommunicated for doing so.  Rumors of the matter had troubled the Mormons in Kirtland and Far West for about a year and came to a head in April 1838, when the Far West High Council excommunicated Cowdery on various charges including denigrating Joseph Smith’s character “by falsely insinuating that he was guilty of adultery.”

A few months after that excommunication Joseph is asked, "Do the Mormons believe in having more wives than one." Joseph replies, "No, not at the same time." (Elders’ Journal, Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 43)

Again, In December, Joseph again denies a “community of wives”, calling it “an abomination in the sight of God.” History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 230, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 127

The official church doctrine declares Fanny Alger later became a wife of Joseph Smith, but there is no proof that she ever was other than the two were involved in a sexual affair right in the same household with Smith's wife Emma. Regardless, of whether Joseph ever claimed that his relationship with Fanny Alger was a plural marriage, he certainly had no sealing authority to form such a marriage.  LDS understanding is that Joseph was given such authority in April 1836, when he claimed that he and Oliver Cowdery had a vision in which Elijah appeared to them and gave them “the keys of this dispensation” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:1-3). 

1838 - Joseph Smith marries Mrs Lucinda (Pendleton) Harris (married to George Harris) while staying in the Harris' home for a few months.

1840 - The Prophet slowly introduced plural marriage to select members beginning in late 1840.

1841 - Joseph Smith’s first polygamous marriage in Nauvoo occurred in April 1841 to 27-year-old Louisa Beaman. The ceremony was practiced in secret. Louisa's brother-in-law officiated and signed an affidavit of such marriage and confirmed the couple slept together on their wedding night.

1842 - In March 1842 Joseph penned the 12th Article of Faith whereby it was stated: “Polygamy was a violation of law.” Meanwhile, he married seven more wives over the next months.

That same month the church publishes “that one man should have one wife, and one woman, but one husband.”

The Millennial Star, a Church periodical published in England, not knowing the private teachings in Nauvoo, wrote:

“But, for the information of those who may be assailed by those foolish tales about two wives, we would say that no such principle ever existed...and never will.” "Apostasy," Millennial Star 3 (Aug. 1842):73-74, Liverpool, England.

Times and Seasons, the official church periodical published:

"Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife". Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 21, p. 909, Sept. 1842

Dr. John Bennett joined the church in 1840. Bennett was excommunicated in 1842. He had been mayor of Nauvoo, and later charged with performing abortions, or "embryo infanticide," a charge that was likely true. Hyrum Smith alleged Bennett seduced women with the promise "that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant after seducing them to sleep with him. He was secretly already married but practicing "spiritual wifery" amongst the town. Smith heard about his doings but did nothing for months.

After Bennett was excommunicated he became a bitter antagonist of Joseph Smith and the church. He wrote a scathing exposé  of Smith entitled "The History of the Saints" accusing the church and Smith of many crimes including adultery and murder.

By the end of August 1842, Joseph Smith discontinued plural marriages for a period of five months, undoubtedly due to the influences of dissenter John Bennett. The Prophet resumed marrying polygamously in February of 1843. He was sealed to more than a dozen plural spouses during the next ten months—bringing the total to more than thirty.

A few other men and women were also invited to participate in the practice, although he never openly taught the principle.

1843 - Finally, in July 1843, Joseph Smith gives a revelation requiring the practice of polygamy in order to attain exaltation—becoming gods. Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 v.1-6, 20-2

Joseph had already been “obeying” this order and secretly marrying many women. He had 13 wives when that was published. Some of his wives were older, many were younger, and even orphaned teens in his charge for some years. He also married some others who were married to other men at the time, some of them whose member husbands knew about it, and some whose non-member husbands didn’t.

In this same section 132, the church today states, “Although the revelation was recorded in 1843, evidence indicates that some of the principles involved in this revelation were known by the Prophet as early as 1831.”

1844 - Eventually, Smith's extramarital polygamous affairs caught up with him in court. William Law filed suit against Smith on 23 March 1844, for living “in an open state of adultery” with Smith's foster daughter, Maria Lawrence, and plural wife. Maria Lawrence was a teenage orphan who was living in the Smith household. In fact, Smith had secretly married both Maria, age 19, and her sister Sarah, age 17 on 11 May 1843 and was serving as executor of their $8,000 estate.

William Law apparently hoped that disclosing Smith's relationship with the young girls might lead him to abandon polygamy, but Smith immediately excommunicated Law, had himself appointed the girls' legal guardian and rejected the charge in front of a church congregation the following Sunday, denying that he had more than one wife.”

“Another indictment has been got up against me...What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives when I can only find one.”  Joseph Smith, “History of the Church", vol. 6, p. 403.

By this time, Joseph had married at least thirty-four women.

In 1844 when an exposé was published in a local paper, Smith became enraged and had the paper illegally destroyed. This led to his arrest and he was killed in prison awaiting trial.

There are almost a hundred break-off sects of Mormonism and some of those sects still practice polygamy because it is supposedly an eternal doctrine and cannot be changed. They also believe they are the true Mormons and those who do not practice polygamy are fakes.

Joseph Smith’s death
Sidney Rigdon, another prominent church leader—who was excommunicated the month before—had gone public, admitting that church authorities were secretly practicing polygamy.

"It is a fact, so well known, that the Twelve and their adherents have endeavored to carry this spiritual wife business in secret, that I hardly need mention it here, and have gone to the most shameful and desperate lengths, to keep it from the public.... I could bring facts which can be established in any court of justice, in relation to these vile abominations practiced under the garb of religion that would make humanity blush."

The Nauvoo Expositor the church says was published by dissenters and recently excommunicated apostates. Who were these men one might ask? Nine men published the newspaper, the most prominent was Joseph’s respected confidant, his Second Counselor in the First Presidency, William Law.

Trouble began between the two men when Law came to believe that Smith had made several proposals to Law's wife under the premise that she would enter a polygamous marriage with Smith. Law claimed that when he confronted his wife, she told him that Smith had "asked her to give him half her love; she was at liberty to keep the other half for her husband."

Thus Law became disaffected with Smith and left the church. The Nauvoo Expositor was exposing Smith's polygamy which he had kept secret. The criticism of Smith was focused on three main points: 1) The opinion that Smith had once been a true prophet, but had become a fallen prophet in the last few years because of his introduction of plural marriage, exaltation and other controversial doctrines; 2) the opinion that as church president and Nauvoo mayor, Smith held too much power; and 3) the belief that Smith was corrupting young women by forcing, coercing or introducing them to the practice of plural marriage.

The Expositor only published one issue on June 7, 1944, before it was destroyed. The practice of excommunicating anyone who spoke out and disagreed with plural marriage was common. Consequently, Joseph was irate that this newspaper exposed his practice of plural marriage which he had been aptly concealing for years from not only the world but most of the community of Mormons. Another reason for the destruction of the Expositor was a most dangerous revelation released in the first issue. They told how Joseph Smith had set up a secret council to help him rule the forthcoming Kingdom of God on earth with himself as King. The Expositor promised more details on this monarchical organization in its second issue.

Since Joseph was the mayor of Nauvoo he could order the printing press destroyed and he ordered the destruction of any copies of the newspaper that could be found. That same day the Expositor was immediately shut down and never resumed publication.

William Law complained to the governor of Illinois about what the mayor (Smith) had done. The governor agreed that Smith exceeded his authority and violated the law in destroying the Expositor's printing press. Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested under the charges of treason and conspiracy.

What followed was a mob later stormed the jail and killed Joseph and his brother Hyrum on June 27, 1844.

Two comments from church leaders:

Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth president of the LDS Church (1970-72) stated:

“If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188).

Orson Pratt, elder and member of the original Quorum of the LDS Church said:

“The Book of Mormon…must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man…If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions” (Introduction, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, 1850).

Joseph Smith in Spirit Prison?
As mentioned above, briefly, I will share some highlights of Cody's NDE6.

Cody dies from an overdose of drugs and alcohol. He describes the horridness of the creatures that he saw after one entered his room as he was dying and grabbed him and he descended into this long tunnel where people were chained to the sides of the tunnel. He is taken to a castle, a beautiful-looking castle. The doors open and inside are all these people who were once great leaders who believed they were great. Each had a room where they relived their experience like on earth—endlessly. They were tormented in individual ways according to their life and sins, which appeared to be first and foremost pride, that they were gods who adored the adulation given them.

Cody was led to one particular room to look in and saw a man dressed in 1800s clothing sitting on some grass. He arose to go into this house which appeared to be his. Cody knew every thought of everyone he saw in his experience, past and present. Just as many other NDEs explain as they experience their sojourn in the heavenly realms. This man was appeared to sense something was wrong as he walked up the stairs to enter the house. He was hesitant because he was reliving this experience of what was to come again and again.

Because of his hesitancy to enter, a powerful being of hell appears and Cody watches him transform himself into this beautiful golden angel which then talks sweetly to the man, enfolds him, sweeps aside the vision of the house, and makes a scene of an endless sea of people appear. Then it walks the man up to the crowd of people and guides him to start preaching the message he had already given him. The golden angel reaches up his arms and from them comes floating about six hieroglyphics.

The man starts preaching and he feels good about himself, liking preaching, liking being on the pedestal, liking every part of the attention. Meanwhile, the hieroglyphics start lighting up as he speaks. But instead of moving from left to right, the words appear to move right to left and then to the next hieroglyphic to the left. (Hieroglyphics can be read from the left or right.) The tablets (my word to describe them) flip from back to front and just continue over and over. Meanwhile, the golden angel starts turning into a drooling vile-looking creature with a big smile of pleasure.

Then the man starts hearing foul language and shouting from the crowd at him, first a few then all of them. They are swearing and demanding him come down to them as he is the reason they are in hell and they want to tear him up. They began shouting, "You think we are going to believe the same lie you told us on earth?" The man stops preaching and his demeanor changes because he realizes that he is not back on earth. Then this plate drops out of the sky. The scene changes as the house collapses around them. And the man's daughter appears out of the crowd and says to him, "Daddy, why did you lie to us?" At that point this ton of bricks of hopelessness and regret hit him as he realizes that his family is in hell and so is he and there is nothing he can do about it. Then the scene changes and he is back on the grass starting the scene all over again.

While Cody did not know of Smith or any Mormon history, the golden angel, the hieroglyphics, the plate, the house, and the crowd, are all telling. Cody returns to his body as when he was dying he pleaded to Jesus to forgive him for his sins. His assignment for living again was to share his story.

Joseph Smith 1844:

"God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me to be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don't like it, you must lump it." History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 319-320

"I have more to boast about than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation." History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 408-409 (1844)

Brigham Young 1869:

"No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. ... 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." Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289


1The authorized scripture in the LDS church are: the Bible, the Book of Mormon/Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), Pearl of Great Price which contains the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith-Matthew, Joseph Smith-History, and the Articles of Faith. There is also seven volumes called the "History of the Church" and the "Journal of Discourses" which consists of 26 volumes which is a collection of public sermons by early leaders of the church. Neither of them are official text.

2“Kingdom Come,” an interview with Gordon B. Hinckley by Don Van Biema, Time magazine, August 4, 1997.

3General Authority Seventies are Church leaders called by the First Presidency to be "special witnesses" and to assist the Twelve in "building up the church and regulating all the affairs" and "preaching and administering the gospel" throughout the world ( Doctrine and Covenants 107:25, 34, 38 ).

4King Follett Discourse/Sermon, was an address delivered in Nauvoo, Illinois, by Joseph Smith, on April 7, 1844, less than three months before he was killed. The sermon was given  in response to a request from the family and friends of King Follett, a Church member who had recently died. 

5Teachings of Joseph Smith. A collection of religious doctrines as well as political and scientific ideas and theories, many of which he said were revealed to him by God.

6Near-death experience of a man named Cody who went to hell after a drug and alcohol overdose around 2010. He is only starting to share his story now because he first had to break free of the use of drugs that began when he was a young boy. The first time he tried to share his story publically he was verybally and physically assaulted by individuals he witnesses to, and he also endured attacks from dark entities. Both physically and spiritually he has been attacked in their trying to stop him. He has not written any book and has rarely shared his testimony.