Do Mormons worship Joseph Smith? This is a question many Mormons would find laughable and is only something that would be asked by someone with a very limited knowledge of Mormonism surely? This is the response to this question that can be found on some Mormon Websites
In addition to reverencing prophets and apostles, Mormons believe, like all Christians, that “there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Therefore, Mormons truly and sincerely worship God, the Eternal Father, in the name of the Jesus Christ-God’s unique Son. They worship no other man or women no matter who they are or what they have done. (http://www.mormonchurch.com/90/do-mormons-worship-joseph-smith)
President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the following statement in 2005 about Joseph Smith:
“We do not worship [Joseph Smith] the Prophet. We worship God our Eternal Father and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. But we acknowledge the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood through which the authority of God is exercised in the affairs of His Church and for the blessing of His people” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Joseph Smith Jr.—Prophet of God, Mighty Servant,” Ensign, Dec 2005, 2–6). (http://www.mormon.org/faq/#Joseph+Smith)
So what does the word “Worship” Mean?
Dictionary.com says it is reverent honor and homage paid to god or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
At a recent visit to a Mormon baptism the final hymn sung was the LDS classic Praise to the man, a song honoring the Founding Prophet Joseph Smith.
Here is the Full Lyrics of the song, as you read this I would ask you to imagine that the name Joseph was not used in this hymn, who would you imagine this hymn was singing about?
Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus annointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.
Praise to his mem’ry, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assasins,
Plead unto heav’n while the earth lauds his fame.
Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know ‘Brother Joseph’ again.
This is a hymn sung today I would imagine regularly in LDS Wards (or Mormon Churches) all around the world, what I want to do in this post is just try and get an idea of just how far this devotion to Joseph Smith goes looking at things said by Joseph Smith Himself and other authorities since and see if this is the only case of Joseph Smith being given a place that sounds to me like it belongs to Christ. And then look at the bibles response to this.
So firstly we see in Mormon Scripture Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 this
There seems to be a real sense of honour towards Joseph for what He did with regards to translating the book of Mormon and starting the Mormon church itself, this was not lost on Joseph Himself as can be seen here from an official LDS book.
God is in the still small voice. In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil–all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet . . . ” (History of the Church, vol.6, p. 408-409)
In teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Page 363 he says:
God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it you must lump it.
So according to Joseph not even Jesus could do such a work as Him and he was god to his people, Brigham Young the second Prophet of the Mormon Church was only too happy to carry on this thinking.
“…and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).
“…no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289).
This teaching is not just something taught in the past by Joseph Smith, in the Article Joseph Smith among the Prophets in the official Mormon magazine “the Ensign” June 1994, Robert Millet a professor at Brigham Young University reemphasizes this teaching saying again that “No man can enter the Celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.” (Celestial Kingdom being the highest level of heaven for Mormons)
So what we have so far is a man claiming to be more succesful at holding a church together than Jesus Christ, this man was a god to his people and without his consent even today Mormons cannot enter heaven, the response to this is singing praise to the man, Joseph Smith. Lets look at some of the lyrics in this hymn and compare it to statements the bible makes about Jesus.
1, Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
Dictionary.com says that Extol means to praise highly, just think about this statement and ask yourself should this be said about anyone other than God Himself?
Psalm 106:48 says
Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the LORD.
Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
Will the nations praise and bow before Joseph or God?
2, Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
This strikes me as a play on the words of the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 7:22-23 says
22By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
In the Old Testament people were High Priests until death and then they were replaced, these verse’s and much of the content in Hebrews shows that because Jesus lives forever He never needs to be replaced, hence He is the only High Priest forever, Joseph’s priesthood is non-existent. For my previous article focusing more on this issue please go to
3, Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
This is the most troubling of probably anything I have said in this article or anything I have ever said in this blog. This says that the sacrifice of Joseph brings forth the blessings of heaven, to make this statement about anyone other than Jesus Christ, God in the flesh the eternal living sacrifice is completely heretical and will lead you to nowhere other than hell.
The cry of my heart to any Mormon, or anyone who sings a song like this hymn is to come to know Christ, by His wounds you are healed (1 Peter 2:24) and by His sacrifice and love for you, you can be saved (John 3:16). Joseph Smith is a man worthy of no worship, who committed no sacrifice for you as he was a sinner like the rest of us, come to Christ and be changed by Him.
I have never done this before but I want to end this by giving you the opportunity to come to Christ now, its simple and its all of His grace, just pray this prayer without reservation and give yourself to Him, I am not even saying leave the Mormon church, thats your decision but give yourself to Christ He will change you and take you where He wants you to be, and no longer trust in the sacrifice of a sinful man, but that of a perfect God.
Lord Jesus Christ.
I am a sinful lost person, seperate from you by my own wrongdoing,
I trust that on the cross you took the punishment for all of my sin, past present and future, and that through Your resurrection you defeated it all so that I could have life and no longer death.
I now turn away from my sin and wrongdoing and give my entire self to You, i hold nothing back and will follow you wherever you lead.
Thank you for this grace I now accept it and accept you as my Lord and Saviour, Amen.
If you have truly prayed that and given yourself to Christ then you will be saved, through His works and no longer yours, if you want any help give me an email or comment.
And as ever please comment and tell me your thoughts.