|Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile|
Monday, March 1, 2010
Part V: Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith
LDS Doctrine fall short of Torah
by Maggid ben Yoseif / credentials
© 2010 Jerusalem Torah Voice
Until the plates are produced and Joseph Smith's "divination" can be validated, the entire credibility of the Book of Mormon rests on Smith's personal credibility, which has been harmed by his bogus translation of the Book of Abraham.
Millions of LDS and others who believe in the veracity of the Book of Mormon have placed their faith largely in the testimony of one man and his doctrine. This would never occur in Native American circles. We are told until we come to know a stranger, to not listen to his words at all, but listen to his heart. Out of the abundance of his heart, he will speak and a careful ear will learn if he has idols or has his eye on our money or something we have. We are told not to believe in testimonies without a witness coming to us from within. Not spine-tingles or hair standing on end, which can be counterfeited, but from within. And if we are not certain, we look in all directions for Creator and offer piki (sacred tobacco which is the incense that carries our prayers to the Eagle who brings them to Creator), and wait to see if the spirit man within our bellies will smile or cry when the Great Spirit bears witness. And even though many elders and grandmothers of M'nashe have lived up to their name and "forgotten" much Torah, we inherently know -- from within -- when a teaching agrees with the Great Spirit.
How can those not of Joseph and not possessed of this indwelling Spirit as was our father Joseph in Egypt, otherwise know the truth about Joseph Smith and his Book of Mormon? Fortunately, Smith is a religious figure, even a declared prophet! And for declared prophets, we have a very old, very reliable, standard and test: The Torah of Moses. Fortunately, the vast majority of the LDS Community has been given patriarchal blessings as children of Ephraim or M'nashe, sons of Joseph. Fortunately the same Torah that is the test for legitimate prophets is the same Torah that is "binding on all of the children of Israel throughout their generations" -- even and especially those who would call themselves First-born Ephraim and appropriate the priesthood of Aaron.
A priesthood out of context
Also, the Doctrine and Covenants, which grew out of the Book of Commandments of the LDS Church, claims that Smith and Oliver Cowdery, were ordained to this priesthood by John the Baptist, who they knew to be Elijah at his second coming. Certainly the success of the Mormon Church in preserving family values would appear to point to the heart of the fathers being turned to the children and the children to the fathers ... although the Great Spirit has interpreted this prophecy differently as explained elsewhere in this website. But if this Elijah did come as John the Baptist a second time, he forgot a few things, most notably to tell Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the context of that priesthood was to Remember the Torah of my servant, Moses. Since the same prophecy is printed in its entirety in the Restored Covenant Edition of the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 11:4-27), Smith and no LDS leader for that matter, can claim ignorance.
If this was a legitimate smichah (ordination), it would be difficult to contest Smith's authority, which would be on a par with the Pope of Rome. Students of political science would ask, "What should be the object of this authority?" especially since Smith had political ambitions. Representing himself with authority rivaling that of the Pope, his anointing by John the Baptist becomes pivotal in determining whether he is a true prophet (who just made a human mistake with his Book of Abraham hoax) or one with a false smichah (false anointing).
Being the family of a prophet who remained covenanted with Grandfather, the Torah, Torah feasts -- especially the feast instituted by Joseph in Egypt -- and the teachings of Moses to distinguish between "clean and unclean", "holy and profane," certainly would be part of the observant Nephite life. These are the major points on which rests the credibility of the Book of Mormon when compared to Torah, another test of Joseph Smith's credibility. To some extent the same should be reflected in LDS doctrine and beliefs.
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