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JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH
Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th Mormon Prophet, prophesied that man would never walk on the moon.
| Among Mormon fundamentalists, the position with regard to evolution is unchanging. The Theory of Evolution is false and destructive to faith. End of story. Joseph Fielding Smith, like the Mormon fundamentalists, held that prior to the "fall of Adam", death was unknown to the earth. Nothing died before Adam's fall. This made any talk of dinosaurs very difficult to reconcile, which was an issue with me as a child. I find it interesting that JFS was so conservative in his views that he more closely resembles fundamentalists now than modern LDS. With all of his contempt for the Adam-God doctrine, it's interesting that his own position put him in such close quarters with his rivals in ideology. The belief that nothing died prior to "Adam's fall" is quite dear to the fundamentalists, and they fit it in nicely with their Adam-God doctrine.
I'm taking a course in philosophy of science at the University of Utah this semester, and the position of JFS came up in our discussion of Evolutionary theory, or, more accurately, I brought it up. There are quite a few philosophy majors who are Mormon. Almost all of them are pre-law students. I was delighted to point out that their own prophet, who died when I was a young boy, took a position against evolution that contradicted what more recent leaders have said about the theory. Current policy with regard to this theory cannot be made compatible with what JFS proclaimed so vociferously. An older gentleman in the class quietly reminded me that the living prophet has the final word and that the thinking has been done, and we shared a moment's amusement.
The professor was dismayed that the discussion had digressed to Mormon theology, but I hadn't finished making my points. The tension was in the air. It was like a car crash. They didn't like what they were experiencing, but they couldn't look away, and I had the floor by virtue of their speechlessness. They rejected the position of JFS without hesitation, and delivered him into the hands of Mormon fundamentalism. At this point, time was up and we had to break it up.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this discussion. This class is fairly advanced, and a familiarity with deductive reasoning is absolutely essential. Some of the students are really adept in this method, until their religious beliefs are challenged. This is precisely where their scientific and philosophical progress comes to a halt. Mormonism takes a higher priority at this point.
After thinking about this, here's my conclusion:
Joseph Fielding Smith is a transitory fossil. He is a missing link between two branches in the evolution of Mormonism.
| I decided to look for the works of Joseph Fielding Smith on Amazon. I thought it would be interesting to see how his books are doing. After all, the man was a "Prophet of God," and spoke for God to the benighted muckers living on the planet earth. Surely someone who had such an important calling would not be forgotten.
His books are not doing too well. There are some listings for "Essentials in Church History," which was around when I was a missionary. Even the other missionaries made fun of his book then--and he was Church President at the time. Truth be told, it was an awful book, a godawful book, and anyone could see what a sham it was.
Smith wrote some pretty awful tomes during his reign of terror. "Man, His Origin and Destiny," "Essentials in Church History," " The Pathway to Perfection," and " Answers to Gospel Questions" all come to mind.
Where are all of these books now? "Essentials in Church History" has a one star rating, and one review on Amazon. The review is anything but flattering. Where is "Man, His Origin and Destiny?" That was a keeper.
If these people are so damned important, why are they forgotten as soon as they die? Joseph Fielding Smith was a very small person. He was mean, unloved, and unlovable. No-one felt much in the way of remorse when he went to his eternal reward. His books were awful, his pronouncements were awful, and he left no lasting influence on the church. Neither did Bruce McConkie, his weird and unhinged son-in-law.
Funny how rapidly these terribly important people slip into obscurity. Mormonism has rapidly passing fashions in people. Now you see them, now you don't . Its not long until they end up in the Salt Lake Cemetary, forgotten and ignored.
| May 14, 1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu:
"We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it."
Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds:
"The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen."
In May 1962, he privately instructs that this view be taught to "the boys and girls in the Seminary System."
On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon. Six months later Joseph Fielding Smith becomes church president.
| Mooned By The Facts: LDS "Prophet, Seer And Revelator" Joseph Fielding Smith On No Lunar Landings |
Monday, Jul 20, 2009, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| "Great Morments in LDS Mormon Church History . . .
"May 14,1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu: 'We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it.' Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds: 'The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.' In May 1962, he privately instructs that this view be taught to 'the boys and girls in the Seminary System.' On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon. Six months later Joseph Fielding Smith becomes church president."
[For Joseph Fielding Smith's non-prophetically published moonwalk denial, see Joseph Fielding Smith, "Doctrines of Salvation," Bruce R. McConkie, comp., vol. 3 (Salt Lake Cit, Utah: Bookcraft, 1954–56), p. 203]
"Mormons: Was Joseph Fielding Smith's prophecy that man would never walk on the moon Divinely Inspired?
"May 14, 1961 - Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu:
"'We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it."
"Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds:
"'The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.' . . .
"The funny part is that after Apollo 15's journey to the moon, the astronaut team brought JFS a Utah State Flag that they had taken with them to the moon. They gave him the flag in 1971 as a token of his 'failed prophecy.'"
"As an example of Apostle Smith's rejection of science, he instructed a stake conference in 1961: 'We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it. The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.' (See E, 848, entry for 14 May 1961, with commentary a few days later in George S. Tanner diary, JWML [J.Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah]). Smith wanted this view to be taught to 'the boys and girls in the Seminary System.' However, U.S. astronauts walked on the moon six months before he became president of the church in January 1970."
As one understandably skeptical observer noted of Smith's looney-moony "prophesy":
"I've heard, as an excuse for President Smith's stupidity on this point, that he was merely 'speaking as a man' and that this opinion in no way should be taken as a reflection of official doctrine. Too bad he was actually standing at a pulpit when he said it, eh?"
| While the statement has been made by some writers that the Propher JS used a seerstone part of the time in his translating of the record, and information points to the fact that he did have in his possession such a stone, yet there is no authentic statement in the history of the church which states that the use of such a stone was made in that translation. The information is all hearsay, and personally, I do not believe that the stone was used for this purpose.
It hardly seems reasonable to suppose that the prophet would substitute something evidently inferior [to the UandT] under these circumstances. It may have been so, but it is so easy for a story of this kind to be circulated due to the fact that the prophet did possess a seerstone, which he may have used for some other purposes.
Doctrines of Salvation vol.3 pg 225-226
JFS' statement was the standard by which I judged this dreadful antimormon lie about seerstones for most of my life, and those words were repeated often from my leaders.
| Okay, you can find many quotes online from the LDS books that cause us to lose our testimony of the church. But, people like top claim that those quotes are taken out of context, or fakes. After all, the web is crawling with antimormons.
So, I started buying a few. I bought the Doctrines of Salvation, all three volumes. And I read through them. They seem not too bad, there are the three or four famous Blacks quotes, the heavy insistance on obedience, etc.
Then I ordered a copy of The Way to Perfection.
It relies heavily on the infamous Journal of Discourses quotes about the curse of Cain, the lack of integrity in the pre-existence, demands for absolute obedience to Priesthood authority. Joseph Feilding Smith wrote this book, and his idol was Brigham Young.
My first impressions were ones of revulsion. This man, and the theology of the church in those days was not a thing of light. I testify to you that I have rarely ever felt the presence of darkness as strongly as I did while reading this book. Abook written by an Apostle of the church.
The old fears of my youth returned in full force. It also reminded me of the near panic I felt in the (post 1990) temple on my first time. These are exactly the kinds of things that make it okay to imitate being cut apart in the temple. These are the teachings that could easily lead to fanatical acts.
I also picked up a book called Mormonism and the Negro which relies heavily on the Book of Abraham to justify the policies and Doctrines. Today the church claims that the Priesthood ban was only a policy, or folklore, or merely a practice, but this book includes the First Presidence Statement from 1951 deckaring under no uncertain terms that the restriction of Negroes was DOCTRINAL and a COMMANDMENT from God, to which we are all bound.
In all three of these books, there is scarecly a word of Christs great love for us. Only the mercdy and justice that he has for his obedient and faithful servants.
So why buy this crap? Mainly so that the next time somebody calls me a liar, or misguided by the evil internet, I'll have proof.
| Joseph Fielding Smith (10th president of the
Mormon church, cited in his book, The Doctrines of
Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188):
“Mormonism stands or falls on the story of Joseph
Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called,
correctly commissioned and selected, or he was one of
the biggest frauds in history. There are no other
options. If Joseph Smith was a deceiver… then we
should expose him; his declarations should be
denounced, and his doctrines should be shown to be
I agree with his second premise anyway. :-)
I think it really is black and white. The truth of the matter is that the facts are stacked up against Joseph Smith.
1) The Book of Abraham is a proven fraud with Joseph's interpretation of the Egyptian facsimiles completely proven to be false... with no basis in reality.
2) The Book of Mormon has numerous King James Bible plagiarisms in it including King James Bible translation errors in it.
In 2 Nephi 23:21, the Book of Mormon quotes Isaiah 13:21, mentioning a creature called a satyr. A satyr is a mythical creature that is not known to have ever existed, although the King James Bible translates Isaiah 34:14 thusly: "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there."... The Book of Mormon says the following: "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there."
The Isaiah found in the Book of Mormon does mimic the Isaiah of the King James bible in exact verbatim.
But what is a satyr?
In Greek and Roman mythology, Satyr was a half-man/half-beast god and frequent companion of Bacchus, the Graeco-Roman religion’s god of fruitfulness and vegetation (known more popularly as the god of wine and ecstasy). In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word sa‘ir occurs some fifty-two times. It is related to the term se‘ar (hair), and generally means “a hairy one.” It is used, for example, to speak of the male goat that was employed as the Israelites’ solemn, collective sin offering on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16).
In two cases, however, the King James Version renders sa‘ir as “satyr” (Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14). But the specific context of both passages makes it quite clear that the term is being used to refer to the wild goats that frequently inhabited the ruins of both ancient Babylon and Edom.
This is another fatal mistake that Joseph Smith and friends made in putting together the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon would have said "wild goats" as most versions of the Bible do then I would give the Book of Mormon a great deal of credit, but instead the Book of Mormon keeps the King James errors.
3) There are several First Vision stories that differ from each other in important key points... was Joseph 14, or 17 years old, did Joseph see angels, see Jesus only, or see God the Father and Jesus Christ, ect.
Granted there are many other issues that shoot many holes into the claims of the Mormon Church, but those are the most damaging in my opinion and shoot powerful bullets right through the heart of Mormonism.
The biggest reason that I think Mormonism sinks quick and is easier to disprove is because the Mormon Church is built upon the foundation of Joseph Smith Jr. Thats a weak foundation to be built upon!
“How are you going to get your resurrection? You will get it by the President of resurrection, and that is Joseph Smith, Jun. Hear it all ye ends of the earth; if you ever enter into the kingdom of God it is because Joseph Smith let you go there. This will apply to Jews and Gentiles, to the bond, and the free; to friends and foes; no man or woman in this generation will get a resurrection and be crowned without Joseph Smith saying so. The man who was martyred in Carthage Jail, State of Illinois, holds the keys of life and death to this dispensation…” (Quoted from “The Essential Brigham Young,” Eugene E. Campbell, p. 99, emphasis added).
Speaking in Paris, France on June 4th, Frankfurt, Germany on June 5th, and in Geneva, Switzerland June 6th, 1998, LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of the Jesus of Mormonism;
“In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside of the Church who say that Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He, together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages‘” (The Church News, June 20th, 1998, p. 7)
| Yesterday during priesthood and Relief Society meetings the new class manual for the year, comprised of teachings by LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith, was handed out. I perused it briefly, and it looked very similar to past manuals containing the teachings of previous LDS presidents. |
One thing did catch my eye, however. On page 192 of the manual there is a photograph of a handsome black couple (in Chapter 15 entitled "Eternal Marriage"). Usually I wouldn't think anything of this because there are currently so many black and interracial married couples among the LDS membership. But still I found it odd appearing in a manual about Joseph Fielding Smith, who died almost exactly 6 years BEFORE the priesthood ban was ended in 1978. So, obviously, during the lifetime of Pres. Smith blacks were not entitled to eternal marriage in the temple, as portrayed in the picture on p. 192.
Like LDS presidents before and after him, Joseph Fielding Smith didn't have any problem with the priesthood ban. For example, Joseph Fielding Smith in 1963 represented the "not valiant in the preexistence" explanation for the priesthood ban as doctrine:
Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
Nevertheless, it is only fair that I should give you some information from our view why the Negro is denied the Priesthood although he has the privilege of baptism, confirmation and membership in the church. According to the doctrines of the Church, the Negro, because of some conditions of unfaithfulness in the spirit - or pre-existence, was not valiant and hence was not denied the mortal probation, but was denied the blessing of the Priesthood.
President Smith also relied on the "curse of Cain" as a doctrinal basis for the ban:
(Source: Letter dated 4/10/63 on "Council of the Twelve" letterhead from Joseph Fielding Smith to Joseph H. Henderson) (emphasis added)).
Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.. We will also hope that blessings may eventually be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren - children of God - notwithstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness.
And, of course, it was Joseph Fielding Smith who once referred to blacks as "Darkies." (See "Editor's Note," Look Magazine, at 74-78 (Oct. 22, 1963)).
Source: Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pp. 101-02 (Deseret Book 1950) (emphasis added)).
These were the reasons I found it odd that such a picture would appear in a manual about Joseph Fielding Smith's teachings.
But, then, something struck me with even greater force. On the page adjoining the picture of the black couple (i.e., p. 193), my eye caught a quote by one John J. Stewart, who is described as Pres. Smith's "biographer." Sure enough, you'll see footnotes throughout the manual that reference the following book co-authored by Pres. Smith and John J. Stewart: The Life of Joseph Fielding Smith (1972).
The quote by John J. Stewart on p. 193of the manual describes the kind and loving way that Joseph Fielding Smith treated his wife, Jessie, shortly before her death. A very nice quote showing a wonderful side of Pres. Smith.
But it was the name of John J. Stewart that gave me pause. I did a little research and discovered what I already suspected: the John J. Stewart quoted on p. 193 of the new manual (and co-author of Joseph Fielding Smith's bio cited throughout the new manual) was the VERY SAME John J. Stewart who in 1960 authored the infamous racist tome entitled Mormonism and the Negro. An online PDF copy of this pamphlet can be accessed here:
http://sainesburyproject.com/mormonstuf ... 0Negro.pdf
The pamphlet by John J. Stewart, quite deservedly, has earned a place in infamy as one of the most racist pieces ever published by an LDS member (and the one on which BYU professor Randy Bott heavily relied when he was quoted in a Washington Post interview last year, which led to his firing). It was also the pamphlet endorsed by Apostle Delbert L. Stapley in his over-the-top racist letter to Michigan Gov. George Romney, an online PDF copy of which can be accessed here:
In mentioning John J. Stewart's Mormonism and the Negro, Apostle Stapley wrote:
I am enclosing a little booklet entitled Mormonism and the Negro, which you may already have. If not, it is an enlightening exposition and quite well reflects the Church position in regard to these people.
I'm quite surprised that the LDS Curriculum Committee (or whichever committee put this manual together) granted John J. Stewart such a prominent role in the manual. I guess it would be hard to avoid because Stewart was Pres. Smith's biographer, but Stewart's well-known role in promoting the LDS Church's racism in connection with the priesthood ban, and then (probably by accident) quoting the same man just one inch away from a picture of a black couple in the chapter about eternal marriage, just hit me as a bit too coincidental. Perhaps I'm just being too sensitive, but the timing of this new manual and Pres. Newsroom's recent essay on race and the priesthood (which I have already wrote about, particularly statements therein that I believe are dishonest and misleading) just couldn't have been an accident, imo.
(Source: Letter dated 1/23/64 on "Council of the Twelve" letterhead from Delbert L. Stapley to Governor George Romney) (emphasis added)).
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