Joseph Smith’s Pretended Visions from God
Elias is Elijah!
As one studies the Holy Bible it becomes apparent that God can communicate with men through various means. Numerous people throughout the scriptures are recorded as having seen visions and had dreams from God. The Prophet Joel spoke of the last days as a time when old men shall dream dreams and young men shall see visions.108 It is evident that God has never been limited from using them to speak to men, nor will he be limited in the future. God can use dreams and visions as he chooses, but not every person who claims to have had a vision from God is telling the truth. This is evidenced even in Jeremiah’s time by the following verses from Jeremiah 23:16-32:
Notice above in verses twenty-eight and twenty-nine that God compares dreams to chaff and his Word to wheat. Chaff is the husk from the grains of wheat that peel off during harvest. It is discarded as useless trash while the wheat is gathered for use. The wheat has value; the chaff is waste. God’s words have value; dreams are likened to useless garbage. God’s words are also compared to fire that would burn the chaff and to a hammer that can break rocks in pieces. God’s comparison elevates his words above dreams and visions because his words will be the judge of all visions, and he is against people who prophesy false dreams and visions.
Joseph Smith was a man who prophesied false dreams and visions much like the false prophets of Jeremiah’s day. How can one tell? Ignorance is a human trait! Joseph Smith proved his visions were imagined by the ignorance evident within them. God does not give visions laced with ignorance.
No man upon the earth today or ever before other than Jesus can claim to understand the whole of God’s Word, but God can! He existed when the Bible was written, knew every word written, and understood every word within its pages. The Bible is his message to men. To this day he knows and understands everything about and within the Bible. He has never forgotten the smallest item within its pages. When seeking understanding about his Holy Word, it must be to God we go in prayer. God alone can reveal the deepest secrets hidden within the pages of the Bible, and he does not have to spend time researching to find the answers. Ignorant men may imagine ignorant visions, but God does not give visions without understanding what he is giving. Any vision laced with ignorance cannot be from the true God.
The 110th Doctrine and Covenant records visions Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery allegedly received in the Kirtland, Ohio, temple on April 3rd, 1836. The two of them supposedly saw the Lord, and then Moses, then the Prophet Elias followed by the Elijah the prophet. The record of the visions as recorded by Joseph Smith reads in part:
To the five-minute a day Bible reader these visions may appear trustworthy. Many so-called Christians who do not concern themselves with studying the Holy Scriptures might find these visions possible. Millions of Mormons see these visions as plausible, yet to the Bible Scholar who pays attention to the details of the very words of Jesus and digs deep into the truths of God’s Holy Word, it is evident that Joseph Smith pretended these visions. Joseph Smith did not know that Elias is the Prophet Elijah’s name rendered through the Greek language. God would not have made this mistake! He did not give these visions to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
Consider the following words of Jesus where he mentioned Elias during a time when everybody used the Greek language. Then step back into the Old Testament and see the story from the Hebrew record. Compare the two following verse sections taken from the Bible and discover that Elias was Elijah the prophet! The two names refer to the same person:
By a comparison of the two verse sections it becomes apparent that Elias and Elijah were the same person. The reader may also have noticed how the Greek language of Jesus’ day affected the spelling of the city named Zarephath/Sarepta. Jesus also spoke of the Prophet Elisha immediately following his mention of Elias. Through the Greek language Elisha’s Old Testament name was rendered Eliseus in the New Testament as the following Bible verses will illustrate:
Nowhere in the Bible do we find prophets named Elias and Eliseus who are different persons than Elijah and Elisha. Elias is mentioned thirty times in the New Testament and refers to the Old Testament Prophet Elijah.
Joseph Smith’s record of the vision in the 110th Doctrine and Covenants tells us that Elias appeared and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham. After that vision had closed Elijah stood before them and spoke. If Joseph Smith truly saw and recognized Elijah as the fourth person appearing before them, why did he not recognize him as Elijah when he appeared as Elias, the third person in the vision? Why did Smith not record that the same person appeared again for the fourth vision? The record might have read that Elijah appeared as the third person, gave Smith and Cowdery two things and then vanished, had Joseph Smith truly seen a vision.
It is evident to this writer that Joseph Smith thought Elias was a different prophet than Elijah. He did not realize that Elias is the Greek rendition for the name Elijah. It makes no sense for Joseph Smith to have recorded the vision as if the two were different people unless he thought they were. The truth of the matter is that Joseph Smith’s ignorance of the Bible is plain to see for all who will open their eyes to see it. God isn’t ignorant and did not give this vision to the two men.
Another clue is present within the recorded visions that proves God did not give them to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. When Elias allegedly appeared and committed unto them the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham, he is recorded to have said:
A Bible scholar should recognize this as a similar reading of the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 28:14 in the Bible:
There is little doubt that Joseph Smith had this verse on his mind when he claimed to have been given the â€˜dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham’. It is evident that he thought the words â€˜thy seed’ referred to the children of Abraham, which led him to apply the idea to his own children. â€˜Thy seed’, when spoken to Abraham, did not refer to all of his children. In Genesis 28:14 the phrase â€˜thy seed’ is a direct mention of Jesus himself rather than the multitude of Abraham’s children. The following passage from the Bible found in Galatians 3:16 will reveal â€˜thy seed’ to be Jesus alone:
There was only one seed of Abraham mentioned as the one seed through which the blessing would come upon the whole earth. That seed was Jesus the Christ through whom every repentant sinner may find forgiveness of sins. He bore the penalty for all men’s sins upon the cross of Calvary nearly two thousand years ago and opened the door for humans to find mercy from the wrath of God’s judgment to come. The whole world has been blessed even if some in this world reject that blessing.
Had the promise of Genesis 28:14 applied to Abraham’s children, then the word at the end of the verse probably should have been â€˜cursed’, (i.e.) â€˜and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be cursed’. Many of the Arab people are the children of Abraham’s son Ishmael through Sarah’s handmaiden Hagar.115 The Jewish people are the children of Abraham’s promised son Isaac.116 Can we honestly call the ugly inhumane battles in the Middle East between the Arabs and the Jews a blessing to the whole earth? Any honest person would have to admit that Abraham has cursed the world through his descendant’s childish temper tantrums still happening thousands of years after Abraham’s passing. The verse was not referring to all of Abraham’s descendants; it spoke of Jesus alone.
Due to Joseph Smith’s ignorance, he attempted to apply a verse that strictly refers to Jesus himself as the seed through whom the whole world would be blessed. Thinking that it referred to Abraham’s children, he took the liberty to apply the idea to his and Oliver Cowdery’s children. Joseph Smith cannot claim to have produced a child of equal import as Jesus. Beside that, he said “our seed”, obviously referring to himself and Oliver Cowdery. One can in no way apply our seed to mean one person! Joseph Smith meant their children. God meant one person, Jesus, not all of Abraham’s children. Joseph Smith’s ignorance is evident in the way he misapplied Genesis 28:14.
An interesting note follows the discussion of this recorded vision in The Restored Church, a Mormon publication. There we read:
Imagine their surprise when millions of people stand before God having accepted Smith’s vision as scripture only to discover that all of their temple work was based upon a false vision. They are without excuse as well! The evidence that reveals Joseph Smith’s deception is readily available at any time they should open their eyes and see it. Many carry the Bible around, which could free them from the error they have been swallowed up in, but refuse to consider what God has to say in the Bible. God’s Word truly is the wheat, and Joseph Smith’s story is nothing more than chaff.
Wise people should wonder about a god who gives visions to a man who intentionally deceived other people. The true God in heaven knew who had truly written the BkM. He would not have been a part in lieing to the world. It is the Devil who is the father of lies according to Jesus:
Either Smith made up his visions or the Devil gave them to him. They were nothing more than lies. This author will be gracious enough to allow the possibility that Smith devised his declared visions from his own imagination. The Devil would have known that Elias and Elijah are the same person. He may be the father of lies, but he is not stupid.
Is this the only evidence available to show that Joseph Smith invented his visions? Let’s look at his proposed new Zion in the Americas and consider how God disagrees with Smith’s idea.
#108 Joel 2:28-29, KJV Bible
#109 Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, (Three books in one), 110th Doctrine and Covenants, verse 2, 11, 12, & 13, (The Mormon Church, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1947) p. 203-204
#110 Luke 4:24-26, KJV Bible
#111 1 Kings 17:1-16, KJV Bible
#112 Luke 4:27, KJV Bible
#113 2 Kings 5:1-11, KJV Bible
#114 Doctrines a nd Covenants (see footnote #107 above) verse 12, p. 204
#115 Genesis 16, KJV Bible
#116 Genesis 21:1-3, KJV bible
#117 The Restored Church, William E. Berrett, Twelfth Edition, (Deseret Book Company, Deseret News Press, Salt Lake City, 1965), p. 128
#118 John 8:44, KJV Bible