Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

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SamBee
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by SamBee » 07 May 2019, 03:52

NB - RLDS became the Community of Christ.

Didn't Rigdon think this?

I see JS as a man with flaws. I like a lot of what he did, but sometimes he made mistakes. I prefer his earlier teachings, but he did have some great ideas about the afterlife.

Regarding polygamy, I think JS' polygamy was very different from BY's. JS was quite secretive about it while BY turned it into an institution, which led to the federal government being involved.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
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greenapples
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by greenapples » 07 Jul 2019, 01:51

I had my moments of believing that all Prophets at their moments of being a man of God and they had their moments of being a man of the flesh.

through personal studies I feel that Joseph Smith was never truly a prophet to begin with. He and his friends helped create a religion.
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Roy
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by Roy » 07 Jul 2019, 11:33

What is a prophet? Who qualifies? Once an individual meets the prophet requirements - how do they fall? What does it mean to fall? If a prophet were to fall and no longer be a prophet, would he or she know it?

On a more personal note, if my priesthood power were no longer valid (due to some combination of personal wickedness and apostacy) would I know it? Would I feel a difference? Would anyone else feel a difference?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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SilentDawning
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by SilentDawning » 07 Jul 2019, 12:46

Roy wrote:
07 Jul 2019, 11:33
What is a prophet? Who qualifies? Once an individual meets the prophet requirements - how do they fall? What does it mean to fall? If a prophet were to fall and no longer be a prophet, would he or she know it?

On a more personal note, if my priesthood power were no longer valid (due to some combination of personal wickedness and apostacy) would I know it? Would I feel a difference? Would anyone else feel a difference?
What is a prophet?

A prophet is someone who speaks for God. People who qualify are given the office through a vision or visitation and receive the priesthood and the office by the laying on of hands. In the modern the church, it's through succession in the Presidency.

Who qualifies?
Throoughout history, whoever God picks. His requirements aren't clear, but they are not often the obvious choice.

How do they fall?
They commit some infraction that causes God to limit their powers, including taking away their office. I believe they can redeem themselves again, however.

If a prophet were to fall and no longer be a prophet, would s/he know it?

I would assume so. Would God want someone who had fallen out of favor continuing to speak on His behalf?

On a more personal note, if I lost the priesthood, would I know it?

If through excommunication, you'd have a letter. If it was through some divine intervention, or a temporay withdrawing of the heaven's, you might feel less spiritual than usual, and your blessings would not seem to work. However, this happens for righteous people too. So, I don't think you would know it unless it was part of excommunication.

Would Anyone else know the difference?

I doubt it. You can sense the righteousness of a person by the spirit you feel when they talk. But sometimes you don't feel the spirit due to your own failings or lack of attentiveness to spiritual matters. So I don't think a person would know.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

nibbler
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by nibbler » 07 Jul 2019, 15:43

I hope you don't mind if I pick on you a little SD. It's just that your answers create more questions for me. :smile:
SilentDawning wrote:
07 Jul 2019, 12:46
What is a prophet?

A prophet is someone who speaks for God. People who qualify are given the office through a vision or visitation and receive the priesthood and the office by the laying on of hands. In the modern the church, it's through succession in the Presidency.
That seems very LDS church specific. A critical view would point out how this definition is a prophet defining what it means to be a prophet. A conflict of interests.
SilentDawning wrote:
07 Jul 2019, 12:46
Who qualifies?
Throoughout history, whoever God picks. His requirements aren't clear, but they are not often the obvious choice.

How do they fall?
They commit some infraction that causes God to limit their powers, including taking away their office. I believe they can redeem themselves again, however.
Two parter. What powers does a prophet have? and Who really gives them that power, a prophet's followers or god? Does a prophet have power or authority that extends out beyond the faith of the people that believe them to be a prophet? Put a different way, who chooses a prophet, the people or god?
SilentDawning wrote:
07 Jul 2019, 12:46
If a prophet were to fall and no longer be a prophet, would s/he know it?

I would assume so. Would God want someone who had fallen out of favor continuing to speak on His behalf?
What might god do to prevent a fallen prophet from saying they are speaking on god's behalf?

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 07 Jul 2019, 21:00

This is an interesting topic. I've come to the conclusion that true or false prophets isn't always so black-and-white. All prophets were and are probably just a mixture of true and false. Who was to say he was fallen? Because he believed, taught, and did some thing are wrong? David and Solomon definitely fell, but the Lord still used them. I don't know. I thought I was starting to get the answers to my spiritual questions when a young woman, probably in her 30s or 40s and who is an admin from an LDS Facebook group that is made up of people that claimed to or want to seek the Second Comforter, private messaged me and said, "you didn't experience that, but you did experience this which is still wonderful, and we have to be careful with our feelings because we could be led astray." So I told wrote her, "but the Savior's voice you claim to hear may not be His voice either." So maybe prophets are meant to be like that, just like many people. Even the Bible said anyone filled with the spirit of revelation is a prophet. Revelation is just revealing God's message whatever it is. I just wish, though, there were ancient scriptures that were written by people that claimed they never saw God but just felt His spirit. I don't know any stories in the standard works that are like that. If anyone knows of any, let me know.

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SilentDawning
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by SilentDawning » 08 Jul 2019, 04:38

Speaking personally, I think the distinction between a fallen prophet and a prophet who made a mistake is blurry. I think history has shown that Brigham Young made a lot of mistakes. The priesthood ban, blood atonement and other statements. Even bad policy can be lain at the feet of the current prophet. It's a continuum I guess -- but if it's really bad, I think God could simply kill off the prophet due to natural causes, incapacitate him, or otherwise silence him. The problem is, these things happen in the couse of our bodies deteriorating anway, so who knows if God is silencing the prophet or the prophet is simply aging?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by Roy » 08 Jul 2019, 09:43

Suppose that God does not exist or that He does exist but does not intervene in human affairs (deist view), Can we still have prophets?

How would we know them? By their fruits? Are MLK, RBG, Cesar Chavez, Thomas Jefferson, Gandhi and/or Harvey Milk prophets of a sort?

Some of these individuals (along with a number of OT prophets) did some pretty awful things before and during their time of greatest accomplishment and impact. The idea of fallen prophet does not seem to fit when we are talking about this broader definition of prophets.

Also the idea of the prophet as the presiding member of the organization seems to not line up with most prophets from the bible. The two roles almost seem at odds with each other (an eccentric preaching repentance and doomsday vs. an administrative bureaucrat making sure the trains run on time).
SilentDawning wrote:
07 Jul 2019, 12:46
Who qualifies?
Throoughout history, whoever God picks. His requirements aren't clear, but they are not often the obvious choice.
We LDS have systematized the process for becoming a prophet to the point that we exclude the possibility of any prophets forthcoming except when thay are advanced to the Q15 of the organization. We also have made "prophet" into and administrative title. I strongly suspect that there have been some LDS presidents/prophets that have spent their entire administration without receiving any clear revelatory experience from God. I believe that most of the time, they pray fervently over decisions and then make them using the best information available, just like SP's, Bishops, and the rest of us. Are those then prophets in the "God speaks through them" sense? Does God have nothing to say?

Because we have made "prophet" into an administrative title but we believe that God selects the prophet, is it possible for God to no longer support a particular LDS president/prophet and for that person to continue in office? Like God rejecting the biblical king Saul but Saul continued as king for a fairly extended time period after? The traditional LDS answer is that no, this is not possible. If an LDS prophet/president were rejected by God for any reason then that man would of necesity need to stop breathing in order for the next prophet to step into the position. IOW, the LDS prophet/president remains the prophet as long as he is breathing.

To be clear, I do not want for the church president to start making more divine pronouncements. Nor am I at all interested in FLDS or Temple Lot Church or Denver Snuffer like thoughts on parallel or alternative prophets. The church president is the president is the president. As long as I am a member of the COJCOLDS then I will acknowledge his leadership and grant him respect and deference due to his position. I just feel the titles of "prophets, seers, and revelators" to be a fairly poor fit for these administrative roles.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Joseph Smith: Fallen prophet?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 09 Jul 2019, 17:20

I could be wrong about this, but for awhile I believed prophets couldn't be true prophets unless God directly called them or eventually appeared to them. Now I don't believe that anymore. I believe people have different strengths and weaknesses and God gives different people different spiritual gifts. A prophet is someone who is meant to give God's message. A seer is someone who can see into the past. A revelator is just someone who reveals, or uncovers, the things of God. Prophets, seers, and revelators are still human beings, even with their divine callings. Even though the scriptures were often written from the perspectives of prophets that have had these big spiritual experiences, maybe their were others that didn't have the big spiritual experiences. Although unbelief might have affected some of that, while other times it's just according to the Lord's will, like I think it's with all of us. I believe they're blessed with what spiritual gifts they needed. Their wants didn't always match their needs. Sometimes I wonder if Joseph Smith, Nephi, and other ancient prophets missed the mark when they taught in order to find spiritual peace they needed to similar big experience when in reality a sincere, deep relationship with the divine matters in the long run.

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