False Prophecies of Joseph Smith – Temple in Independence, MO.

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Ava

Chris, we have already discussed a couple of prophecies given by Joseph Smith that failed.  How many more of these prophecies are there?

Chris

There are quite a few, actually.   But all prophecies can be put into certain categories. 

There are 4 categories of prophecies:

  1. There are open-dated prophecies:  These are easy because they are given without a specific time frame for their fulfillment.
  2. There are self-fulfilling prophecies:  These can be fulfilled on one’s own and require no outside action or event.
  3. There are conditional prophecies:  These only come true if a certain condition exists.  If a situation changes, the prophesy may also change.
  4. There are close-dated and unconditional prophesies:  These are specific and must come true within a particular time frame – without any mitigating conditions. 

Source: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/can-we-trust-the-prophecies-of-joseph-smith/

J. Warner


Ava

What about the prophesy of the Temple that was supposed to be built in Independence, Missouri? 

Chris

That one fits perfectly into the last category of prophecies – which are close-dated and unconditional prophesies:  These are specific and must come true within a particular time frame – without any mitigating conditions. 

Ava

The temple revelation was given on September 22nd and 23rd in the year 1832.  Joseph Smith foretold of an LDS temple that was to be built in Independence Missouri.  That prophesy can be found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 84, verses 2-5, 31.  I’ll read it: “Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem.  Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.  Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city of New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared IN THIS GENERATION.  For verily THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT ALL PASS AWAY until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.  …which house shall be built unto the Lord IN THIS GENERATION, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.”  

That’s definitely an example of a close-dated, unconditional prophesy.   

Chris

Over 185 years later, there is still no temple on the “temple lot” specified in this prophecy.  Yet, early Mormon leaders made it quite clear the word “generation” meant those who were alive when the revelation was given in 1832. 

President Heber C. Kimball
“They are holy places, and they will be held sacred even as Jackson County..” “and I shall yet see the day that I will go back there, with brother Brigham and with thousands and millions of others, and we will go precisely according to the dedication of the Prophet of the living God.”
Elder George A. Smith
“And let me remind you that it is predicted that this generation shall pass away till a temple shall be built, and the glory of the Lord rest upon it, according to the promises.”
Elder Orson Hyde
“We believe in these promises as much as we believe in any promise ever uttered by the mouth of Jehovah. The Latter-day Saints just as much expect to receive a fulfillment of that promise during the generation that was in existence in 1832 as they expect that the sun will rise and set tomorrow. Why? Because God cannot lie. He will fulfill all His promises. He has spoken, it must come to pass. This is our faith.”
Joseph Fielding Smith
“I firmly believe that there will be some of that generation who were living when this revelation was given who shall be living when this temple is reared. And I do not believe that the Lord has bound himself to accomplish the matter within 100 years from 1832.”
1857
1861
1870
1935

 

Finally, after 140 years the Mormon church itself admitted this was a false prophesy.  Joseph Fielding Smith admitted there was no expectation this prophesy would ever come to pass.

Ava

The facts are:  History records that the area of Independence Missouri was built up, but not by the Mormons.  And, the Mormon church no longer owns the lot.  The Church of Christ-Temple Lot (another Mormon sect) owns it and plans to build their own temple on it. 

Chris

Unfortunately for the LDS, Joseph Smith fails to measure up to his status as a prophet of God. 

Ava

Thankfully, God gave us a fool-proof test to know if someone is a true prophet of God.  It says in Deuteronomy 18:22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen, or come to pass, that is the things which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him” 

Joseph Smith has a big problem, because even one failed prophesy disqualified a Biblical prophet. 

Chris

Latter-day Saints have to remember the promise of the Lord as recorded in their own scripture.  Written on November 1, 1831 as an introduction to the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 1 verse 37 says: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the PROPHECIES and promises which are in them (Section 84 included) shall all be fulfilled.” 

 

Well guess what?  This is one of many prophecies that were not fulfilled.  Joseph Smith’s status as a prophet of God must be removed and with it, the foundation of Mormonism.  

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Galatians 4-6 – Part 2

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Who are the true children of God?  Are we born into this world as children of God?  How do we become the seed of Abraham?  What does it mean to receive the adoption of sons and daughters of God?  These are important doctrinal concepts to understand and Paul attempts to clarify them for us in Galatians.  

We left off in our study of Galatians with Paul saying in 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”  He means, only those who put their faith in Jesus Christ are God’s – true spiritual children.  Verse 27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  Now, this verse could be speaking of water baptism.  But Paul is most likely speaking of those who have been baptized into Christ spiritually or – by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  And have put on Christ or – taken upon us His righteousness.  Verse 28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  All are saved in the same way – all are entitled to the same privileges.  There is no favoritism.  All who place their faith on Christ to save them – will be saved by the merits of the Savior and – all are given the same privileges as children of God – justified by faith.  Note that when Paul says, “there is neither male nor female,” that it was intended to abolish the distinction of the sexes relative to God.  There is no male or female in Christ.  Circumcision is now of the heart.  Paul adds “for ye are ALL ONE in Christ Jesus.”  And, Paul ends with Verse 29 “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  The promise made to Abraham related to the Messiah.  It was a promise that in Jesus all should be blessed.  And if you are a believer – a Christian – then you are Abraham’s seed, “and heirs according to the promise.”  Again, not by the Law – but by faith – according to the promise made to Abraham by God. 

The first two verses in Chapter 4 describe a person who has come to faith but remains a babe or a child in Christ.  1:1-2 “Now I say, That the heir, as long as he (or she) is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he (or she) be lord of all (the one who will someday inherit the whole estate);  But is under (is subject to) tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.”  The Father – God – decides when this happens.  Until the child matures into a son or daughter of God – a child lacks understanding of spiritual things and initially are still carnal in nature.  Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, and ye not carnal, and walk as men?”  Like the Prodigal Son who was immature in the faith and irresponsible with the inheritance.  He put himself in bondage to a Gentile citizen.  Back to Galatians 4:3 “Even so we, when we were children (still immature in spiritual things), were in bondage under the elements of the world.”  Paul is speaking of the Law, which kept the Nation of Israel in bondage as children to the elemental things relative to God.  Throughout the New Testament, the word “bondage” is often tied to the law.  Paul taught in Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”  And for our LDS friends, Colossians 2:20-22 “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste no; handle not;  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?”  Back to Galatians 4:4 “But when the fulness of the time was come (when the time was right), God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law (while the Law of Moses was still in effect).”  This is when – as it says in John 1:14 “the Word was made flesh” – when the Word became the Son.  What came forth from God to earth – was not a Son.  God’s son – as it says in this verse – was made of a woman and was made under the Law.  What came forth from God was God’s logos – His mind, will, emotion, words – and entering, into humanity became God’s Son…made of a woman, made under the Law.  Why?  Galatians 4:5 “To redeem them that were under the law (who were the Jews, the Children of Israel), that we (those who put their faith in Christ) might receive the adoption of sons (and daughters).”   The only way unregenerate people can become God’s children is – by spiritual adoption (see Romans 8:15, 23; Ephesians 1:5).  Now, Galatians 4:6 “And because ye are sons (heirs with Christ), God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”  Abba is translated as “Papa or Daddy” and is the same term the Savior used in the Garden of Gethsemane (see Mark 14:36).  A person cannot have a personal relationship with laws and ordinances.  But believers can have an intimate relationship with God. 

Paul continues to counsel the Galatian saints to resist the efforts of others to get them to revert, back to the Law of Moses.  He urges them to hold tightly to the freedoms which come with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”  Paul isn’t talking about the mere freedom to say or do anything, anytime without a care.  That is not the liberty wherein Christ has made us free, is it?  Paul is telling the Galatians to stand in the liberty where Christ has made them free – which would be a liberty to die to self, to live by the Spirit and, by the laws written on our hearts by God.  Christ gave us – the removal of laws and bondage and, therefore the liberty to authentically love.  God, himself is consummately free – for He is love and true love can only exist in freedom.  We are created in His image and as such He seems to seek for all of us to be as free as He is in order to love as He loves. 

 

If we insist on keeping laws and ordinances, Paul says in Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”  Scripture makes justification plain and clear – it is either by works or it is by grace – but it cannot be both.  Paul taught in Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.  But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”  And Paul also said in Romans 4:4-5 “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”  Any amalgamation of Grace and works will render His grace ineffectual.  I want to make it clear here, that Paul is not giving us – a two-roads to heaven choice here.  He is no way saying that the Law and/or Grace by faith in Christ – are the two ways.  There is only one way and it is by faith in Jesus Christ.   Galatians 5:5 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”  And then, Galatians 5:6 “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision (being a Jew) availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision (nor being a Gentile); but faith which worketh by love.”  It is all about love.  

Verse 13-14 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty (created for them and us by faith on the cross and nothing more); only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh (to justify sin), but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  The whole gospel, including all the commandments could be summed up in loving others as ourselves.  This is faith which worketh by Love.  Verse 16 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  How do we seek the will and Spirit of the Lord?  We petition Him in prayer, and we seek Him in Scripture.  Talk to God – ask Him to help you grow and understand and overcome yourself.  Then accept the influence of the Holy Spirit in your life when it is presented.  As maturing Christian’s, we learn to submit our flesh and will – to that of the Father’s will, by the Spirit and by the Word.  And to walk in the Spirit is not to feed the flesh.  Again, this is a choice.  As Paul says in Romans 7, there is a war between the Flesh and the Spirit with each seeking to dominate the other.  By choosing the Spirit we will not – by virtue of, the fact that the Spirit is in control – fulfill the lust of the flesh – no matter how powerful it may seem or be.  Remember – we have our identity in Christ – not in our flesh.  We see ourselves as new Creatures in Christ, and don’t identify any longer with the former man or woman of the flesh.

Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (you can’t just do whatever you want to).”  That last line hearkens back to Paul who said openly in Romans 7:15-16 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then, I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.”  Ever find yourself in that situation as a Christian?  You want to serve God with all, of your heart and soul and might, but you fail miserably.  That’s because our flesh is at war with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:18 “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”  Bottom line, if we submit to the teachings and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are free from the demands of the law.  True liberty prevails as the Spirit calls us to love others as ourselves.  2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”    

It is with this understanding that Paul now says in Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness (meaning lustful thoughts, sexual immorality, including pornography),  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (disharmony), emulations (jealousy), wrath (anger), strife, seditions (stirring up discontent), heresies (false doctrines), Envyings, murders, drunkedness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  All, of those things Paul mentions are representative of the carnal nature of man.  These were the sins that were prominent in the Gentile or heathen world.  But then, Paul presents us with the fruit of the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness (gentleness), temperance (self-control): against such there is no law (there are no commandments of God against such personal character traits).”  These are the Godly attributes that characterize the lives of those who belong to God by faith in Christ and possess the Holy Spirit.  No external law is needed in the life of a believer.  Then Paul states Verse 24 “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”  Those who belong to Christ have been crucified with Christ, and all the affections of their flesh have died.  This is not an immediate event, but we have, to choose to die daily, to take up our cross, and walk in perfection from that point forward.  Then Paul concludes, Verse 25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  In other words, let our actions be in harmony with our faith and beliefs. 

As Paul concludes his letter to the believers in Galatia, he gives clear advice for righteous daily living: “Bear ye one another’s burdens.”  “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  “Let us not be weary in well doing.”  “God forbid that I should glory (brag), save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” 

And this concludes our study of Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.  Don’t forget, we are on YouTube, iTunes podcast, Spotify podcast.

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Until next time, God Bless!

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Galatians 1-3⚠️

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Paul warned the Galatian saints about those who would corrupt or change the gospel of Jesus Christ by preaching another kind of gospel which included faith PLUS works to be justified before God.  Can you think of any religious organization that teaches that today?

Galatia was in what is now central Turkey.  Paul had many converts in Galatia during his first missionary journey and wrote this letter to them somewhere around AD 50.  When Paul left the Galatian Christians, they were extremely devoted.  But over a short time, they began to adopt false notions.  They attempted to revise the gospel by including pagan observances and Mosaic rituals like circumcision.  Like it was to the believers at Corinth – Paul and his authority as an apostle was under attack in Galatia.  So, his first objective is to prove he had received his commission as an apostle directly from God.  Galatians 1:1-5 “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)  And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:  Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,  Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:  To whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.”  Paul was a qualified witness of the Lord’s resurrection.  An apostle called directly by the Lord. 

Now, Paul presents the general purpose of his letter.  Verse 6 “I marvel (I am shocked) that ye are so soon removed from him (God) that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”  Verse 7 “Which is not another (actually, there is no such thing as ‘another gospel’); but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert (corrupt or change) the gospel of Christ.”  There is only One Gospel – One Good News.  What was happening was that some group of individuals was pushing elements of the law on them as an approach to destroy the grace of Christ.  This message will be overly clear as we get into Chapters 2-5.  Remember, the Good News is the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to restore people’s relationship with God.  But as people frequently do even today – the Good News is just not enough for them.  They want more – they need more.  And as result we have the birth of religion.  The Good News can be summarized in one Word – Jesus.  Receive Him by faith in total and you have received the Good News.  We also note that the Gospel does not, include: anything about water baptism; nothing about church membership; nothing about temples; nothing about tithing; nothing about dietary laws; nothing about priesthoods.  The Good News is simply Jesus – who He is, and what He did, and trusting that it was accomplished.  Done – Over!  The believers had moved from the simplicity of the Gospel and embraced a different system – one which taught an entirely different method of justification before God – other than faith in Jesus.  It taught faith  PLUS.  This is the object of religions and especially religious cults.  There are also those groups who assume that because Jesus has finished the work and had the victory – there is no need for Jesus, no need for faith in Him, no need to even seek knowing Him.  After all, if He has accomplished it all, what’s the point?  They believe, somehow, that as long as they live good lives, they will be fine with God.  Both extremes miss the point of God giving the world His only human Son.  Both extremes miss the mark of being children of God, of being Christians, and of allowing Christ, by His Spirit, to live through us in this earthly state. 

The LDS missionaries will often cite this next verse in their attempt to prove that the early church fell into a complete apostasy – thus the need for a restoration.  But I want to make clear that the text does not say that.  It does not even remotely hint that there would be a total apostasy of the entire church.  Mormons are reading something into the text that is not there.  The nature of this false gospel the Galatians had bought into – was a gospel of legalism, which added works to faith.  This is not the same gospel Paul had preached and by which the Galatians had been saved.  Measuring the “gospel” of Mormonism against that expressed here in Galatians and the rest of the New Testament (a gospel of grace not, works), it becomes abundantly clear that the LDS works-based gospel is in fact “another” gospel that must be accursed by God. 

 

Let’s read, Verse 8 “But though we (the apostles and those traveling with them), or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (the word is Anathema – let him be doomed to destruction).”  I’m not sure that an angel from heaven would ever preach another gospel.  Certainly, an angel from hell could.   But when Paul says from heaven, I think his appealing to exaggeration to make a point.  This passage is huge for apologists to use against the founder of Mormonism – Joseph Smith, Jr. and his claim of having had an angel of light visit him on numerous occasions and revealing to him a false gospel.  So important was Paul’s message that he repeats it saying, Verse 9 “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”   The “restored gospel” of Mormonism is a different gospel that the “gospel of Jesus Christ” that Paul taught.  We need to understand that Paul is saying a false gospel is a horrible thing and you want no part of it.  If we are embracing a perverted gospel, we are accursed.  That’s not a good thing!  Right?

At this point, Paul steps into a segment where he establishes himself as a true apostle.  Verses 10-12 “For do I now persuade men, or God (do you think I am trying to win the approval of men, or of God)?  or do I seek to please men?  for if I yet pleased men (if my goal were to gain the approval of men), I should not (could not) be the servant of Christ.  But I certify (assure) you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man (does not come from the philosophies of men).  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by (through) the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Paul had received communications at various times directly from the Lord Jesus with regard to the gospel message and his responsibility.  His knowledge of the gospel was derived entirely from the Savior.  Paul was called to preach to the Gentiles.  In, essence Christ through Paul, was creating a model by which all the earthly teachings Jesus gave to His own Jewish people and His works for the salvation of the world – would have application to the non-Jewish world in the New Testament.  This Chapter goes on to tell us that Paul – after his conversion on the road to Damascus – didn’t go to Jerusalem to meet the apostles – but instead went into the Arabia desert for three years to commune with God.  After that – he returned to Jerusalem where he stayed with Peter for fifteen days, before going to the Gentile cities. 

Moving on to Galatians 2, I want to cover the last half of the chapter beginning with Verse 16 and Paul saying, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”  Justification is a word that is applied in a legal sense as in the courts of Justice.  To be justified in a spiritual sense refers to God declaring a sinner not guilty and fully righteous before God by imputing to the guilty man or woman the divine righteousness of Christ – and imputing – or crediting – the person’s sin to the sinless Savior for punishment.  Three times in Verse 16, Paul declares that salvation is only through Faith in Christ and not by the law – or by our works.   All people are sinners who are made right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  This is the doctrine of Justification.  God justifies people despite their guilt, pardons them, and then makes them His children and heirs.  The reality is, no one will ever be saved by obeying the law.  Then, Verse 20 “I am crucified with Christ (I crucified my old self with my sins, through Christ’s Atonement): nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (Christ is alive in me): and the life which I now live in the flesh (in mortality) I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  Paul says in his life – the world was put to death and his former man was put to death in terms of the world.  He told the believers in Romans 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”  They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh.  In and through our looking to Him and His life, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection – we each are provided with a template for the way we will choose to live our Christian life.  And it is all focused and made possible by and through Him.  Paul adds the final verse in Galatians 1, which says it all, Verse 21 “I do not frustrate (make ineffective) the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law (if we can be saved by keeping the law), then Christ is dead in vain (Christ died for nothing).”  You see, God has provided a plan of Grace – defined as unmerited favor – by and through faith on His Son.  The biblical view is that God’s daughters and sons are children of faith – and his sons and daughters place their faith on His Son.  Did you catch that last phrase of Verse 21 “for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”  This is exactly what the Galatians had done, having once received Christ and His work on the cross for them.  Then, somehow believing that religious laws ought to be incorporated back into what Jesus accomplished on the cross. 

So, Paul begins Chapter 3 by saying to anyone who think that they can, in some way, justify themselves before God by the law, by their works, 3:1 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched (or deceived) you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes, Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you.”   Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”  In other words, by His dying in our place for our sins, Christ removed the wrath of God that we all justly deserve and imputes the Savior’s perfect righteousness on us.  Paul says in Galatians 3:6-7 “Even as Abraham (who did not have the law of Moses) believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (God considered him to be righteous).  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith (who have faith in Christ), the same are the children of Abraham (will have the same reward of righteousness as Abraham).” 

For the sake of time, I’m just going to read some key verses from the rest of this chapter.  Verse 10 “For as many as are of the works of the law  (those who try to gain salvation through keeping all the laws and commandments) are under the curse (failure to keep the laws perfectly are damned): for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”  James said in James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”  Galatians 3:11 “But that no man is justified by the law (no one is saved by the law) in the sight of God, it is evident (is obvious): for, The just (those made righteous) shall live by faith.”  Verse 13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law (Christ has freed us from the bondage of the law), being made a curse for us: for it is written (in Deuteronomy 21:22-23), Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (In other words, Christ subjected Himself to the curse of being hung on a tree – the cross):”  Verse 14 “That (so that) the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”  Verse 21 “Is the law then against the promises of God (does the law and commandments work against God’s promises)?  God forbid (absolutely not): for if there had been a law given which could have given life (if it had been possible to have eternal life by keeping the laws), verily righteousness should have been by the law.”  But no one could keep the laws and commandments perfectly.  Verses 22-23 “But the scripture had concluded all under sin (the scriptures verify that all are guilty of sinning), that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  But before faith came (before the Gospel of Grace came to us), we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed (which was to be taught at a later date).”  This next verse sums up everything Paul has been teaching in this chapter.  Verse 24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster (our teacher) to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified (saved) by faith (in Christ).”  Verse 25 “But after that faith is come (faith in Christ and what He did for us), we are no longer under a schoolmaster (we don’t need the law).”  Verse 26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”  Verse 27 “For as many of you as have been baptized (by the Holy Spirit) into Christ have put on Christ.”  Verse 28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (we are all the same in Christ’s kingdom).”  Finally, Verse 29 “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (given to him).”

And this concludes our study of the first half of Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.  Don’t forget, we are on YouTube, iTunes podcast, Spotify podcast.

 

 

Until next time, God Bless!

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Kinderhook Plates – Part 2

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Following the discovery of the six Kinderhook plates in 1843 that supposedly had ancient writing on them, what ever became of those plates?

During the Civil War the plates were thought to be lost.  However, some time in the 1960’s, Wilford Poulson a professor at Brigham Young University, found one of the original plates #5 in the Chicago Historical Society Museum.  After examining the plate, Professor Poulson believed it to be a forgery. 

 

Welby Ricks, who was President of the BYU Archaeological Society, welcomed the discovery as a vindication of Joseph Smith’s work.  He wrote, “A recent rediscovery of one of the Kinderhook plates, which was examined by Joseph Smith, Jun., reaffirms his prophetic calling and reveals the false statements made by one of the finders.  The plates are now back in their original category of genuine.  Joseph Smith, Jun., stands as a true prophet and translator of ancient records by divine means and all the world is invited to investigate the truth which has sprung out of the earth not only of the Kinderhook plates, but of the Book of Mormon as well.” 

In 1980, LDS scholar Stanley P. Kimball was permitted to perform destructive tests on the #5 plate.  He described the results of the tests in the LDS Church publication, The Ensign, August 1981, pp. 66-70.  The article says, “A recent electronic and chemical analysis of a metal plate brought in 1843 to the prophet Joseph Smith appears to solve a previously unanswered question in Church history, helping to further evidence that the plate is what its producers later said it was – a nineteenth-century attempt to lure Joseph Smith into making a translation of ancient-looking characters that had been etched into the plates.  As a result of these tests, we conclude that the plate is not of ancient origin.  We conclude that the plate was made from a true brass alloy (copper and zinc) typical of the mid-nineteenth century; whereas the ‘brass’ of ancient times was actually bronze, and alloy of copper and tin.”

If Joseph Smith had not been shot and killed in June 1844, it is very possible he might have published a finished translation of all six of the counterfeit plates.  Wouldn’t that have been interesting?

What is the Church’s position on the Kinderhook plates, today?

The Church defended the authenticity of the plates and Joseph’s translations of them since their discovery in 1843 up to 1980 – 137 years!  Following the destructive testing, the Church backed off its claim that the plates were real.  Now the Church claims it was all a hoax.    

Smith made the claim that he could translate the ancient writings on the plates.  And in fact, did translate some of them.

It should be obvious that Smith’s work on these fraudulent plates casts serious doubt upon his credibility as a translator of other ancient records like, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham.  We already know from the Church’s Gospel Topica Essay found on lds.org titled: “Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham” that the Book of Abraham isn’t a true translation of ancient Egyptian papyri.  The Church now admits that. 

After disproving the Kinderhook plates and the Book of Abraham translation, am I now supposed to trust Joseph Smith when he claims to have translated the Book of Mormon written in an unknown language in Reformed Egyptian from a – rock in a hat? 

 

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Kinderhook Plates – Part 1

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The Kinderhook Plates are a very important part of LDS church history.

In 1843 six brass plates – bell shaped – were found in a dug-up mound in Kinderhook, Illinois witnessed by nine individuals.

That could support the evidence for the Brass Plates of the Book of Mormon.

That is what those men thought when they saw the plates.   The plates had an ancient appearance with writing on them that looked like hieroglyphics. 

In fact, when the plates were taken and shown to Joseph Smith, he remarked that the figures or writing on them was similar to what was on the Book of Mormon brass plates. 

Smith claimed, that by the help of revelation he would be able to translate those plates.

The story of finding the Kinderhook Plates and drawings of the six plates was published in the Times and Seasons, which was the Church’s official newspaper.  Joseph was an editor and surely would not have allowed the story to be printed if it wasn’t true.

In time, Joseph Smith claimed that he actually did translated a portion of the plates.

How do we know for a fact that he translated the plates?

It comes from William Clayton’s diary, who was Joseph Smith’s private secretary. 

In the LDS History of the Church, vol. 5, page 372, Joseph Smith is documented as saying, “I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook.  I have translated a portion of them and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found.  He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth.”

Thirteen years later, on April 25, 1856, W. P. Harris, who was one of the nine witnesses to the discovery of the plates, wrote a letter in which he admits the plates were forgeries.  He states that “I was present with a number at or near Kinderhook and helped to dig at the time the plates were found.  I made an honest affidavit to the same.  Since that time, Bridge Whitten said to me that he cut and prepared the plates and he and R. Wiley engraved them themselves.  Wilbourn Fugate appeared to be the chief, with R. Wiley and B. Whitten (The Book of Mormon? by James D. Bales, pp. 95-96).

How do we know that W. P. Harris who wrote that letter was telling the truth about the plates being a forgery?

Because on June 30, 1879, Wilbourne Fugate, who was mentioned as chief of the nine witnesses, wrote a letter in which he admitted his part in the hoax.  That letter can be found in the LDS September 1962 Improvement Era magazine entitled, “Letter of W. Fugate, as cited in The Kinderhook Plates” by Welby W. Ricks. 

Mr. Fugate states, “I received your letter in regard to those plates and will say in answer that they are a humbug, gotten up by Robert Wiley, Bridge Whitten and myself.  We read in Pratt’s prophecy that ‘Truth is yet to spring out of the earth.’  We concluded to prove the prophecy by way of a joke.”

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