Mormon & Community of Christ - Joel Smith ( discourse ) - 45 Para

The...["Community of Christ" (RLDS) and the "Mormon" (LDS ) Churches] have their origins in the visions of Joseph Smith. Beginning in 1820, Joseph Smith experienced a series of heavenly visions in which he was informed that all existing churches were in error and that the true gospel had been lost. Joseph Smith was also informed that he was to herald the return of Christ (1:1)

The fascinating thing about the prophecies given to the world by Joseph Smith is that they explicitly foretell the coming of two Messianic personages who will appear in rapid succession -- one right after the other (1:2)

The first Messianic figure is referred to as "One Mighty and Strong" and is identified in official Mormon commentaries as an Elijah figure -- a forerunner, like John the Baptist. The second of the two Messianic figures whose coming was foretold in Mormon prophecies is Baha'u'llah -- the "Son of Man" (1:3)

The Mormon book "Doctrine and Covenants" is a collection of the revelations received by Joseph Smith. In the very first revelation recorded in this book we find this statement of faith: "Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled." (D&C, Section 1:37 -- dated November 1, 1831) (1:4)

The meaning of this passage is self evident. Joseph Smith's prophecies are accurate, they will all be fulfilled and they are provided as a guide for those people who recognize and accept Joseph Smith's authority and the veracity of his revelations (1:5)

Joseph Smith was told in a vision that he was to herald the return of Christ. Explicit statements recorded in the "Doctrine and Covenants" unmistakably state that the Promised One, whose coming Joseph Smith had come to herald, was already alive on the earth at the time that he was having these visions. In 1831 Joseph Smith was told: "I am in your midst and ye cannot see me; But the day soon cometh that ye shall see me, and know that I am; for the veil of darkness shall soon be rent." (D&C, section 38:7 -- dated Jan 2, 1831) (1:6)

"I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildest upon this rock shall never fail. And the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am." (D&C, section 50:44 -- dated May 1831) (1:7)

"I am in your midst and ye cannot see me..." "I am in your midst... And the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am." Both of these prophecies were received in 1831. Can you see what they are saying? The Messiah was alive on earth at the very same time that these revelations were being received by Joseph Smith! (1:8)

Have you noticed the similarities between 1831 and two thousand years ago? Two thousand years ago, another people were also anxiously awaiting the coming of their Messiah. Little did the Jews of that day realize, but their Messiah was alive on the earth too. He was right in their midst and they couldn't see him. Jesus Christ (the Messiah) appeared unto a people who, despite the fact that they were earnestly waiting for him to come... still.. rejected Him as an impostor and they eventually conspired to kill Him. (1:9)

At the beginning of the Gospel of John, referring to the inability of the Jewish people to recognize the fact that their Messiah had already come, there is a passage which reads: "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not..." (John 1:5) (1:10)

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we can read that Joseph Smith similarly warned that, like the Jews of 2000 years ago, his followers too were in great danger of repeating these same mistakes of the past. Joseph Smith predicted that the Messiah's followers, this time in our day, again will not "see" His coming. Joseph Smith wrote: "When the time of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel..." (D&C, section 45:29) (1:11)

Briefly, the "time of the Gentiles" prophecies from the Bible repeately pinpoint the year 1844 AD. In other words, according to this authoritative Mormon prophecy "a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness" in the year 1844. What happened in 1844?. (Note: A more complete commentary on the "Time of the Gentiles" may be found under the Return of Christ Section, Prophecies of Christ's Return (Christ's 3 Proofs)' -Ed) (1:12)

The answer to this question, again, can be found in Section 85 of Joseph Smith's book "Doctrine and Covenants". "And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send "One Mighty and Strong", holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God... While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning..." (D&C, section 85:7&8) (1:13)

Let's take a closer look at the various elements of this passage. The "man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God... was Joseph Smith." As prophesied, Joseph Smith actually did "fall by the shaft of death" "as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning..." Joseph Smith was shot and killed on June 27, 1844 (1:14)

1844 is the exact same year foretold in the "Times of the Gentiles" prophecies from the Bible. In other words, according to these Mormon prophecies, "a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness" and "One Mighty and Strong" will appear in the year 1844... the same year that Joseph Smith was shot. The official commentaries of the Mormon Church identify the "One Mighty and Strong", as an Elijah figure.... as a forerunner like John the Baptist (1:15)

Joseph Smith said that his prophecies "are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled." (D&C, Section 1) (1:16)

Joseph Smith's "One Mighty and Strong" prophecy was amazingly accurate. The Elijah figure DID arise in the East in the same year that Joseph Smith was shot... in 1844 (1:17)

The "One Mighty and Strong" assumed the title of the Bab... a name which when translated into English means the "Gate". The Bab stated that he was the forerunner of the great "Son of Man"... the world uniting Messiah whom, he said, was soon to appear (1:18)

The Bab wrote: "I am one of the sustaining Pillars of the Primal Word of God. Whosoever hath recognized Me... hath attained all that is good and seemly." (1:19)

"Well is it with him who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of (Baha'u'llah) (the Son of Man), and rendereth thanks unto his Lord. For he will assuredly be made manifest. God hath indeed irrevocably ordained it..." (the Bab- Tablet to the Shah, GPB p.25) (1:20)

Joseph Smith foretold the coming of the Bab... the Forerunner of the Baha'i Faith with amazing accuracy. He also foretold the coming of Baha'u'llah, the Baha'i Founder, with equal precision (1:21)

In Section 130 of Joseph Smith's book the "Doctrine and Covenants" he predicted: "When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is (i.e. He will not be an invisible, intangible spirit)... And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, thereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word. I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina. It may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832. I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter... 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...." (D&C 130) (1:22)

As we begin to examine this section, notice that Joseph Smith clearly makes a distinction between "flesh" and "spirit". The "Son of Man" who is to appear is not a "spirit", he will have "a body of flesh and bones as tangible as (any other) man's..." In other words, the Messiah will not come as an invisible, intangible spirit. Instead, he will appear in the same manner that all of God's other chosen Spokesmen have appeared throughout history. He will be "a man like ourselves" and that he will have "a body of flesh and bones...." (1:23)

Joseph Smith continues in this passage by also promising that the Messiah will come with a "new name". He wrote: "And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, thereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word" (1:24)

In other words, the Messiah's name will not be Jesus. This "new name" prophecy is repeated several times in the Bible (1:25)

For example, the great Hebrew Prophet Isaiah wrote: "thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name." (Isaiah 62) (1:26)

And again Isaiah warned: "ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee and call his servants by another name." (Isaiah 65) (1:27)

Many Christians have concluded that the redeemer's new name is Jesus. This very well might have been possible if it weren't for the fact that Jesus did not appear in the "last days" at a time when the Jews began to return to Israel, as foretold by Isaiah, and also if for the fact that Jesus also promised that he too will return with a new name (1:28)

Jesus promised: "Him that overcometh... I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. " (Revelation 3:12) (1:29)

Jesus repeats this same promise of a "new name" two other times in this same book. For example Revelation 19:11 reads: "I saw Heaven being opened. And, behold! A white horse, and He sitting on it having been called Faithful and True. And He judges and wars in righteousness. And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head many diadems, having a name that had been written, which no one knows except Himself; and having been clothed in a garment which had been dipped in blood. And His name is called The Word of God." (1:30)

According to this passage, the Son of Man will come with a new name "which no one knows except Himself" and he will come wearing a red robe. The red robe prophecy is repeated by Joseph Smith in section 133: "Who is this man that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments... And the Lord shall be red in His apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in a wine vat...?" (1:31)

The third of Jesus' "new name" prophecies is from Revelation 2:17: "The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one overcoming, I will give him to eat from the hidden manna. And I will give to him a white stone, and on the stone a new name having been written, which no one knows except the one receiving it." (1:32)

If you compare this last passage from Revelation 2:17 with Joseph Smith's prophecy: "And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, thereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word", you will notice that they are almost identical. The Messiah is going to appear with a new name. (1:33)

The next part of Joseph Smith's prophecy from Section 130 is the most fascinating. Here Joseph Smith wrote: "I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina. It may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832." (1:34)

On December 25th, 1832, Joseph Smith first prophesied with amazing accuracy that the American civil war, which was fought over the slave issue will begin in "South Carolina" and that "it may probably arise through the slave question." The civil war began in South Carolina in the year 1860. The "slave question" was crystallized in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the 'Emancipation Proclamation' freeing the slaves. Notice that Joseph Smith foretold these events over thirty years before they happened. And this is not even the most important part of this prophecy. Joseph Smith was just setting the stage for what would be one of the most significant events in human history. Joseph Smith predicted that the "coming of the Son of Man" would become a reality shortly after the beginning of the civil war. Once again, Joseph Smith was right (1:35)

The "Son of Man" did come in the year 1863... the same year that Abraham Lincoln signed the 'Emancipation Proclamation' freeing the slaves and crystallizing the "slave question". It was on April 21, 1863 that Baha'u'llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha'i Faith, first publicly announced to the world that he was the Promised One whose coming had been foretold in the prophecies of the world's great religions (1:36)

Baha'u'llah wrote: "The time fore-ordained unto the people and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled..." (1:37)

"The Revelation which, from time immemorial hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold how, notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its path and shut out itself from its glory..." (1:38)

"Verily I say, this is the day in which mankind can behold the Face and hear the Voice of the Promised One. The call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behooveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His Glory." (Baha'u'llah- Baha'i World Faith p.9-11) (1:39)

The prophecies given to Mormons by Joseph Smith explicitly foretell the coming of two Messianic figures who will appear in rapid succession. The first Messianic figure is referred to in the 'Doctrine and Covenants' as "One Mighty and Strong" and is identified in official Mormon commentaries as an Elijah figure -- a forerunner, like John the Baptist. The second of the two Messianic figures whose coming was foretold in Mormon prophecies is Baha'u'llah -- the "Son of Man" (1:40)

The "One Mighty and Strong", the forerunner, like John the Baptist, appeared in 1844... the same year that Joseph Smith was shot. He assumed the title of the Bab (Gate) and announced that he was the Gate through which the Promised One would appear. The Bab heralded the coming of Baha'u'llah (1:41)

Baha'u'llah, the "Son of Man"... first publicly announced his mission to humanity in 1863. He was a man just like all of God's other "Manifestations". And he frequently wore a red robe. Each and every one of these events were explicitly foretold in Mormon prophecy by Joseph Smith (1:42)

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Mormon & Community of Christ - Joel Smith ( discourse )