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Question 57


The year 2005 is the 200th anniversary of the LDS Prophet Joseph Smith's birth. Latter-day Saints are using this anniversary year to honor their Prophet in special ways; but, according to the Chicago Tribune, this admiration is being "downplayed for fear that outsiders would mistake their reverence for the prophet as if they were worshipping him as a God."

In practical terms, how does LDS reverence for the Prophet Joseph Smith differ from LDS worship of Jesus Christ?


When do they ever worship Jesus? It is ALL about Joseph Smith, "I know the church is true, I am thankful for Joseph Smith restoring the church and the gospel, I believe in a present day prophet,...and I bear you my testimony in the name of..." oh well, they do use the name Jesus, but it is Jesus Mormon, not Jesus the Christ, not Jesus of Nazareth, not Jesus BarJoseph, the Mormon Jesus...their brother, not their heavenly Father. So, Jospeh Smith is more esteemed than Jesus, their songs are more about Smith than Jesus, their talks always involve Smith, not Jesus, and when they do talk about Jesus, it is someone I don't know because their Jesus is not the same Jesus as in my Bible. -BC (non-LDS)

It seems to me that though they use the name Jesus, this religion has nothing to do with Jesus. It is all about the church and Joseph Smith. When asked who they admire the most, Mormon will answer Joseph Smith rather than Jesus. Christians will answer Jesus. A little test that says it all! They are more devoted to the church and Joseph than Jesus Christ who should be, if they were really Christians, at the top of their list. We must love the Lord our God before all as stated in the 10 comandments. Not our church, not a leader, not a pastor, etc...

So yes, they kind of worship Joseph Smith and it is not surprising since he is the real one that lets them into heaven. Jesus's sacrifice is not enough. So why bother with their Jesus? His name is rarely mentioned in their meetings. While for us Christians, Jesus is the one we exalt! There is the big difference! -M (non-LDS)

I went to 2 different LDS church teachings. The first was the Sacrament meeting. They had 4 songs. Three of them were about Joseph Smith. The 2nd time I went, it was to hear the General Conference. I came in just as Elder Richard G Scott was ending his talk. Then the Choir sang The Seer, talking about Joseph Smith. After Gordon B Hinckley finished his talk, they closed with the song Praise to the Man. Our praise should never go to any man, only Jesus. They sing and speak more about Joseph Smith than they do Jesus.

I have been a believer since '92, and I never sang one song about Moses, Peter, Paul, Mary, etc. Not to say others have not or never have. But this should prove who the LDS God really is -- either Satan or Joseph, but not Jesus. Please write me at [email protected] for further talks. -RB (non-LDS)

It is truly amazing how misinformed many of the people are who write in on this site. The LDS church does worship christ. If you look at the real name of the lds church "the church of jesus christ of latter day saints" a church would not bear a name of someone whom they don't believe in. The reverence for joseph is because he was the one chosen to be the instrument through which Christ's church was restored to the earth. He being the first prophet in the latter-days envokes reverence from people who believe he is a prophet. Thus said joseph smith doesn't even compare to what Christ has done for mankind. To suffer for ones sins and to be the son of God is something that no mortal man can do for us. Christ is the center of the mormon church. For someone to say we don't worship him is ludicrous and to say we have more hymns about joseph is just plain wrong, open the hymn book and count them. Christ is of the utmost importance...

For those who have the belief that christ, god and the holy ghost are one person. I would say to you, that is confusing and God is not the author of confusion. Is Christ a ventrilaquist? Those who believe god and christ are the same person also believe christ is a ventrilaquist in my opinion. In the Bible it says when christ is baptised that their was a voice from heaven that said this is my beloved son in whom i am well pleased. Why would Christ Project is voice to be coming from heaven? Isn't that confusing? The answer is that he didn't that was his heavenly father talking to him and that they are separate beings. I would like to hear a rational explanation to the concept of three beings being one person. Read this scripture as you try to make that explanation also. (corinthians 14:33) -CSM (LDS)

They really do tend to worship Smith and not Jesus Christ. I remember asking questions about this and that in the Mormon church. I never once got an answer like "Jesus says". I ALWAYS got answered "well, Joseph Smith says". It seems all I ever heard was "Joseph Smith this and Joseph Smith that". Don't let them fool you into thinking that they have a relationship with Jesus- they DON'T. I even pointed out a passage in the Bible that ALL are sinners from birth. The answer I got was "Joseph Smith said..." -AF (non-LDS)

Having been a Mormon from birth (but now am gracefully through Jesus, my Lord and Savior!), having been married in the LDS Temple and having participated in the temple ceremonies, I will testify to the truth that Joseph Smith is worshipped... not Jesus. At best, Jesus is viewed on the same level as Joseph. In the temple ceremony, one of the oaths that is taken out is "that you will never dennounce Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ!" ... and the sign and symbol that you make at the time the oath is taken is a movement with your thumb running from your left ear, across your throat to your right ear, signifying your spiritual/eternal death, if you dennounce either. Yikes! What is that, if it is not worshipping Joseph Smith? It is a blind faith. Have you ever heard a Mormon refer to Jesus as their Lord and Savior? If you have had the chance to attend a Sacrement Meeting on a Fast and Testimony Sunday, you will see children three and four years of age, taking the microphone (when they are barely able to speak, let alone think for themselves) and say... "I know that the church is true and that Joseph Smith is a true Profit." Jesus is never mentioned. The common theme running through people that have stepped away from Mormonism is that there was an emptiness, a feeling of failure and that God always seems to be mad and looking down on them. No wonder... they don't know Jesus and have no concept of grace through faith. Please e-mail me with questions.... [email protected] -DD (non-LDS)

You can't be serious. In the question you pose you already have your answer. We revere the Prophet Joseph Smith as a man of God. He was a Prophet of God. Just as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Malachi, etc. We, along with the rest of the Christian world, revere these men, who through perilous times, kept God's word and led his people (even when they didn't really want to be led). We WORSHIP Christ as the Son of God, the Redeemer of all mankind, our Saviour, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is through Christ that we can be saved. Joseph Smith cannot save me. I worship Christ! I revere the Prophet Joseph Smith. -DM (LDS)

The article stated it plainly. We reverence Joseph Smith and we worship Jesus Christ. The difference is in the terminology.

rev-er-ence ( P ) Pronunciation Key (rvr-ns)
1. A feeling of profound awe and respect and often love; veneration. See Synonyms at honor.
2. Reverence Used as a form of address for certain members of the Christian clergy: Your Reverence
wor-ship ( P ) Pronunciation Key (wurshp)
1. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
2. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.

We honor Joseph Smith and his accomplishments no different that those who reverence Moses in his day, but we worship Jesus Christ as our deity. Immense difference!

As for those who want to speak of temple ceremonies! Remember, thou shall not bear false witness. That is not a sign or a token in the LDS temple rituals. As for those who say we worship Joseph Smith. I go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and as such I am the top authority on what I believe. We are a Christ centered religion. There are many who say we are not Christian based on "We believe in a different Jesus" but I say to you that this is a weak argument. Arguments made concerning the LDS not being a Christian religion can be categorized in six areas; Exclusion by Definition, Misrepresentation, Name-calling, Historical or Traditional, Canonical or Biblical, Doctrinal (example Trinity). This just denotes that you believe your religious denomination is the correct above all others. The Book of Mormon along with the Bible gives two testimonies of who Jesus Christ is and what he accomplished for us. To say we are not a "Christian" denomination is unreasonable. -ER (LDS)