From darkness to light, this is my story...

Who is Joseph Smith?

Why did Joseph Smith need to restore the gospel?

Is the Book of Mormon true ?

Was Joseph Smith a true prophet?

Is the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints true?

Growing up as a member of the LDS church I was taught and understood that Joseph Smith had the First Vision when he was 14 years old and eventually translated the Golden Plates into the Book of Mormon. He was the first Prophet called by God in these latter days. He reorganized the Gospel to Earth. So, "who is Joseph Smith?" When Moses sought to see God’s face God told him No because only a dead man could see the face of God. God then showed Moses His hand. No living person has seen the actual face of God. Why would God appear to Joseph Smith showing him his entire body when he would only show Moses his hand and backside? Why would He show anyone his face. On LDS.ORG or in any approved Mormon literature you do not find that Joseph Smith actually recounted several different versions of the First Vision. Which one really happened? Or, was he just telling stories like his mother said that he loved to do. In her book she said “Joseph gave the most amazing recitals… he would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, their mode of traveling, and the animas upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare, and also their religious worship. This He would do with much ease, seemingly, as if he has spent his whole life among them.” At church it was never discussed that years after the First Vision Joseph Smith prayed and sought out religion “if some Supreme Being existed”. I would think that if I saw God the Father and Jesus Christ with my own two eyes I would not question their existence. I never learned that Joseph Smith was very involved with Free Masonry which in my opinion is a cult. I was not told that he joined other religions. All of these things occurred after his First Vision and him beginning to translate the Book of Mormon. I feel like as a member of the LDS Church I was taught the things about Joseph Smith that seemed right and good. Not anything that would make one wonder if maybe Joseph Smith just a had a great imagination, or was “wishy-washy” with the things he taught. Maybe this is because Mormons don’t what people to question the truthfulness of who Joseph Smith really was. As a matter of fact I would guess that very few Mormons know these surprising facts about the founder of their religion, their first Prophet, someone who they believe in, yet know so little about.

I had always been taught that Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the Gospel to the Earth. My next question was, Why did Joseph Smith need to restore the gospel?“ The problem I found when doing my research was that the Gospel never left the earth. There was never a “Great Apostasy” Joseph Smith “reorganizing” the church was not necessary. In Matt. 28:20 Jesus makes a promise to His followers that as they go spread His Word with nations he will “be with them until the end of the age”. He would be a liar if He left them. This shows me that there was never a time with out the Gospel on the Earth. In Matt. 16:18 Jesus also reassures us that the “gates of Hell will never prevail against His church“. That would be void if the church was ever destroyed for any amount of time. When Jesus spoke to a person or a group of people in the Bible, He was not just speaking to them. He was declaring His word for all of us, and for all time. He, or His word do not change. Finally in 1Tim 4:1 it does say that “some will depart from the faith”. In my opinion some departing means that others will not. For some reason I just have faith in the Bible. I do not question it’s authenticity. The verses that I turned to for my question “Why did Joseph Smith need to restore the gospel?” easily answers my question. He didn’t.

Like I stated earlier I just have faith that the Bible is true. I do not question it in any way. Somehow I stand on the promises in it. I also believe that it is the truest of all books. Any answer to any question can be found in it. There is no need for another book. However Joseph Smith and all Mormons believe that the Book of Mormon is the most correct of all books, even more so than the Bible. That personal belief doesn’t necessarily mean that the Book of Mormon is or isn’t true. "Is the Book of Mormon true?" It’s authenticity has been questioned by many. A letter was written to Apostle James E. Talmage in 1921 with 5 questions challenging the Book of Mormon. The letter was written by William Ritter and because James E. Talmage was busy with other things he passed the 5 questions to one of the Church’s General Authorities who at the time was the Church’s greatest historian and Book or Mormon apologist, Brigham H. Roberts. He is the author of Comprehensive History of the Church which is still considered one of the most respected Mormon History documents. As Brigham H. Roberts was trying to answer the five questions he was unable to. He called President Heber J. Grant and asked for an emergency meeting with the 1st Presidency of the Church to discuss his findings. This resulted in an intense 2 day conference. He was very disappointed with the conference because instead of trying to find the answers to the questions… everyone began to bare testimony based on personal revelation. No one wanted to find answers to the questions and no one was willing to help Roberts get the answers. The five questions that to this day still have not been answered are the following:
1. Linguistics:- if the American Indians were all descendants of Lehi why was there such diversity in the language of the American Indians and why was there no identification of Hebrew in any of the Indian language?
2. The Book of Mormon says that Lehi found horses when he arrived in America. The horse described in the Book of Mormon (as well as many other domestic animals) did not exists in the New World before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.
3. Nephi is stated to have had a “bow of steal” Jews did not know steel at that time. Plus there was no iron on this Continent until after the Spaniard conquest.
4. The Book of Mormon frequently mentions “awards and scimeters (scimitars) (or swards) .” Scimitars are unknown until the rise of the Moslem faith (after600A.D.).
5. The Book of Mormon says the Nephites possessed silk. Silk did not exist in America in pre-Columbian times.

Roberts left the church because he realized that the Book of Mormon is a made up story. It is not real. The things never happened. Joseph Smith however, did have quite an imagination… like his mother wrote in her book.

Joseph Smith claimed to be the first prophet called by God in these latter days. So, Is Joseph Smith a true Prophet of God?“ The Bible teaches that God provided people a way to “test” prophets to see if they were true. Even then there were false prophets. In Deut.13:1-3 It says that if a man comes saying to follow another God… he is not a prophet. Then in Deut. 18:20-22 it says that if a prophet incorrectly foretells the future, or one of his prophecies do not come to pass, he too is a false prophet. There are numerous prophecies given by Joseph Smith that never came to pass. I do believe that Jesus, God, and the Word of God are the same Yesterday, Today and Forever. The tests that could prove a prophet’s truthfulness in the olden days are the same test we can use now and forever. Due to numerous false prophecies given by Joseph Smith, it shows me that Joseph Smith is not a true prophet of God and is therefore a false prophet.

"Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a true church?" According to Joseph Fielding Smith, the Missionary and Bishop (whom I will not name), anything that is true or untrue about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not matter unless you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who reorganized the true church on the earth in these latter days. Well, I do not believe that He was a true prophet, or that there was any need for him to restore the gospel. I know that the gospel never left the earth and there were always disciples to preach the word of God.

When I came to the realization that Joseph Smith was not a true Prophet, I realized that the Mormon Religion and it’s beliefs are also not true. That is why I left the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints… To say it simply, I don’t believe in it’s teachings. I do not believe in Eternal Marriage, or continued polygamy in the after life. I do not believe in doing Temple rituals for the living or the dead. I do not believe that my works will save me. I do not believe that there are 3 kingdoms of heaven. I do not believe that I have to be worthy to participate in church. I do not believe that repentance of sins need to be discussed with man, and certainly not punished by man. The list goes on…

While doing my research I also came across deeper doctrine that then caused more questions. Some things I had kind of heard of, and others I knew nothing about. I think that the reason that deeper doctrine is not discussed is because there are so many things that would scare people away. I think as a person raised in the LDS Church I was trained not to question many things yet to defend them. As I began to ask questions I was told one of a few things. For example, I was told that I was not ready to hear the answer and when I was worthy I would receive answers to questions. I was told that things are sacred… (not secret) and could only be discussed in the temple. A common response to questions was people baring testimony of the truthfulness, based on a feeling that they have had, not on truth that they have found. As well as people being defensive and accusing me of finding all my questions in anti-Mormon lititchure, there for not being able to answer my question. I also found that few people know much about the deeper doctrine. Therefore believing and defending something they know little about. However, it is still beliefs of the church. If not currently, they were at some time… and as I said before I personally believe that God is the same yesterday today and forever…not changing with time and different people. Are Jesus and Satan brothers? Did God come from a planet Kolob? Can good Mormons become gods? Does God’s word really change with the times… like Why couldn’t blacks hold the priesthood until the late 70’s? It is o.k. to change quotes from previous LDS prophets to sound more tactful? Why are the temple rituals so secret? Why does the Book of Mormon contradict the Bible so much? Does God have a physical body of Flesh and bones? In the afterlife do you have to be Mormon to see God?

Confused, brainwashed, bound, complete and utter darkenss... Thank God I have been set free, thank God I now walk in light!