[quote name='aloha_spirit]A warning against false prophets doesn't exclude the possibility of legit prophets' date=' does it?[/quote']
First, prove he was legit. Second, if he was legit Christ would have mentioned him somewhere along the way, He didn't. BUT He did warn of false prophets that would come. I personally think that Smith ate too many mushrooms and had a hell of trip. Third, God sent his only Son, no mortal man could possibly follow THAT act as there was no need.[/quote]
When confronted by the Jewish leaders, Jesus told them to live what he taught THEN they would know if it was true doctrine. In the warning against false prophets, Jesus told the disciples that "by their fruits ye shall know them."
What are the fruits of Joseph Smith Jr?
The most visible is the Book of Mormon: Another Testiment of Jesus Christ
. There are 50000 missionaries world wide introducing people to this companion book of Scripture. Missionaries do not try to convince investigators of its divinity. Instead, the people are asked to read from the book then follow Moroni's promise that "ye may the truthfulness of it by the power of the Holy Ghost." Thousands each year an answer and choose to be baptized. I, too, invite you to read the Book of Mormon
. I'm not asking you to get baptized or anything, but you should know just what you are attacking.
Joseph Smith Jr founded a Church with the same structure as the one organized by Jesus roughly 2000 years ago. In 1830, no other denominations had a leader with the title of Prophet and a Quorum of Twelve Apostles. I still don't know of a sect (other than those in the Restoration Movement) that has a Quorum of the Seventy.
You seem to focus on the fact that he brought back polygamy (which was practiced in Bible times, I might add).
As far as the Restoration being mentioned beforehand, it was. I'll turn to the words of James E. Talmage, author of The Great Apostasy
(excellent book, by the way). Only the first chapter and part of the second have thus far been converted to HTML.
The whole second chapter is dedicated to Scriptural predictions of the Great Apostasy or falling away.
[quote name='II Timothy 3:1-7]This know also' date=' in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.[/quote']
Isaiah lamented: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant" (Isaiah 24:1-6).
Amos prophecied: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord; And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and not find it" (Amos 8:11-12).
[quote name='I Timothy 4:1-3]Now the Spirit speaketh expressly' date=' that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be rerceived with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.[/quote']
[quote name='II Thess 2:3-4]Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the day of Christ) shall not come' date=' except there come a falling away (apostasy) first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of Perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that which is worshipped; so that he as God sittith in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.[/quote']
[quote name='hawkerdriver][quote=aloha_spirit]Last I checked' date=' Christianity itself hasn't united under a single faith AND less than half the world's population is even Christian.[/quote']
And it WON'T happen with religions such as yours that take on such an elitist attitude. "We don't acknowleged the Baptism of other religions." Catholicism does. May I remind you that it wasn't until the '60's that your faith actually allowed Blacks? Yeah, that's unity for ya.[/quote]
We do not claim to have a monopoly on righteousness. We just assert that "a house divided cannot stand" and that "God is not a God of confusion." There can only be one truth per question. There are so many sects because if people don't agree on an interpretation of the Bible, they either join another Church or start one. Likewise, at most one Church can hold the Priesthood. Without the Priesthood, baptism is merely an expression of faith. Only with the Priesthood does baptism wash away prior sins.
Since you brought up Blacks, I might as well correct your misconceptions. Blacks have always (since 1830) been free to join the Church of Jesus Christ. In the dark age of slavery, slaves needed permision from their owners (much how minors need parental permission today). What you've no doubt heard of was that Blacks were generally denied the Priesthood until 1978. We know of a few exceptions (Joseph Smith Jr ordained a Black to the office of Elder back in the 1830s).
Prophets and Apostles are needed today to prevent the spread of false doctrine. Didn't Paul express surprise at how quickly apostasy set in?
Catholicism does NOT
recognize LdS baptism. To recognize baptisms of another sect would be acknowledge their Priesthood authority.
If a general apostasy did not occur, then Catholicism is the one and only true Church. If an apostasy happened, then the Priesthood was lost from the earth and an angel (aka heavenly messenger) would need to restore it.
What were they restoring? The faith? Or the Politics of the Church?[/quote]
They restored the Priesthood, first of all. Only with the Priesthood would they have authority to restore the Church.
[quote=hawkerdriver]Mormonism DID splinter from a prostestant sect but it escapes me at the moment which one. (He was raised a certain faith in New York. )[/quote]
WRONG! Before the religious fervor of 1820, the Smiths were non-denominational Christians. They believed in the Bible, but weren't baptized. During this revival, four Smiths (Lucy, Hyrum, Samuel, and Sophronia) joined the Presbyterians. Joseph attended meetings with several sects but didn't join any. See Joseph Smith History 1:5-9.
[quote name='hawkerdriver] In Ohio' date=' I can't remember which one it was that he was thinking about joining.[/quote']
Actually, this ferver was in Palmyra, New York. The Church was officially organized in Fayette, New York. In 1831 the believers migrated to Ohio for some reprive from the New York persecutions.
[quote=hawkerdriver]Why did they splinter primarily? Cuz' the men in your faith wanted to have multiple wives.[/quote]
The Church was organized 6 April 1830. The revelation on plural marriage wasn't received until 12 July 1843.
[quote name='hawkerdriver]While we're at it' date=' what about restoration? You've got sects in Utah who are tying to restore your church. They're living as the early Mormons did with plural wives.[/quote']
At any given time, less than 5% of the LdS population was in a polygamous relationship.
The splinter groups in Utah believe that Wilford Woodruff was a fallen prophet when he announced that the Lord no longer required polygamy of the Saints.
[quote name='hawkerdriver][quote=aloha_spirit]Out of all the Christian denominations and sects out there' date=' only Catholicism and Mormonism have possible claims to the Priesthood given Peter by the Lord.[/quote']
Nope. Mormonism wasn't thought of for another 1,850 years.[/quote]
Joseph Smith Jr's First Vision occurred in the Spring of 1820 with the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ 10 years later.
[quote=hawkerdriver][quote=aloha_spirit]Joseph recorded that the Father and Son came down in a pillar of light and told him that through him (Joseph) the fulness of the gospel would be restored[/quote]
That's not what his diaries said. There's a great amount of conflict coming from Smith himself about this. Seems he can't get his story straight. [/quote]
Joseph Smith Jr delivered 7 accounts of the First Vision. There is some natural variation in them as he was addressing different groups of people under different circumstances. It should also be noted that very little of Joseph's diary was written by his own hand. As was the custom back then, his secretary would fill in the gaps.
[quote=hawkerdriver][quote=aloha_spirit]All the Protestant Churches declared that Catholicism was corrupt[/quote]
If you're referring to Martin Luther, go read his stuff. He was interested in exposing the corruption but not dividing the church. We know the next to leave Rome was England, and Henry wanted to divorce his wife and his Archbishop thought it would be really groovy to be the Pope for the Church of England. Talk about corruption.[/quote]
I'm lumping all Reformers and Protestants together. If they felt the Catholic Church was not corrupt, why did they break off?
I am aware that it was Martin Luther's followers who founded the Lutheran Church after his death.
[quote name='hawkerdriver][quote=aloha_spirit]So' date=' Mormonism was a restoration, not a reformation. Iit did not splinter off any other existing group[/quote']
Pahlease! So, it sounds to me like the Mormons like to think of themselves as the ones who founded CHRISTIANITY. It didn't exist before you guys showed up, right? Booshiat![/quote]
Go read the Book of Mormon, check out http://www.mormon.org
then come back with what we really
believe. We are not sex addicts. We don't put Joseph Smith Jr above the Saviour.