Joseph Smith - True or False Prophet?

Was Joseph Smith a True Prophet From God?

Eportrait of Joseph Smith

A portrait of Joseph Smith

This site is dedicated to a candid, objective, yet personal analysis of a crucial question for anyone interested in knowing more about the LDS people and their beliefs and history: was Joseph Smith a true prophet from God or not.

Let me first clarify a few things, so there is no confusion:

Is This Another LDS Site?

No. I was raised Protestant, but through a set of circumstances I spent two years living and working in Provo, Utah. For those who are not familiar with the area, Provo is home to Brigham Young University, which is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Provo is also home to the largest Missionary Training Center for the LDS church.

During those two years I had the opportunity to get acquainted with a number of very nice Mormon people. I found them to be very pleasant, God-fearing, ready to help persons. They made me want to know more about their beliefs and, ultimately, about the founder of their religion, Joseph Smith. We spent a lot of time discussing religious issues, and at the end of the day, I have to say it was a very enlightening experience. I also felt the need to share this experience and what I learned from it.

While there was a multitude of issues that I felt were worth sharing in a place like this, one seemed to me to take precedence over all other: whether or not Joseph Smith can be recognized as a true prophet from God. Or, in the words of Joseph Fielding Smith, another LDS apostle considered prophet,

"Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground. If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who wilfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of an impostor cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth. If his claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would appear many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures." - Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1954, vol. 1, p. 188

Is This Another Anti-LDS Site?

No. While I am not personally LDS, I have a number of LDS friends that I respect, and if for nothing else, I would not have the heart to put out a site attacking their beliefs just for the sake of it... On the other hand, I wanted this site to reflect my honest opinions after researching the claims to prophecy that Joseph Smith and his followers assert.

So here it is, with the hope you will find these articles inspiring, intriguing or at least thought provoking. Feel free to use the comments section below to post your reactions, comments or suggestions.