LDS’ God (“Elohim” & “Jehovah”)
There is a well-known saying: “Ignorance of the Law is no excuse.” And, sure enough, many individuals who have broken a law in ignorance and have found themselves before the judge have heard those words spoken as the judge passed sentence upon them.
It is the responsibility of the individual to be aware of the laws of the land. It does not matter that he firmly, sincerely believes that he is in the right. He must know the law!
Similarly, ignorance is no excuse when the Supreme Judge holds court. To find eternal life means knowing the truth in certain essential areas. It is not enough to firmly believe you have the truth.
The LDS Church teaches this also: “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” - Doctrines and Covenants 131:6.
Those who truly believe the Bible, therefore, realize the extreme importance of John 17:3. A publication by the LDS Church emphasizes this scripture:
“Why should we try to know God? - Knowing God is so important that the Savior said: ‘This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent’ (John 17:3) [as found in both the KJV and Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version  ].” - p. 6, Gospel Principles, 1979 ed. [emphasis added]
The number one truth, listed in the LDS’ A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, revealed “through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith” is “The true personality of God.” - p. 407, 1979 ed.
Or, as Joseph Smith himself wrote in his Lectures on Faith, p. 36,
“three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, the idea that he actually exists. Secondly, a CORRECT [Smith’s emphasis] idea of his character, perfection and attributes.”
So you see, a person must know who the God is whom we must worship in truth (Jn 4:24) and what he expects of you, or you may not receive eternal life! (See 2 Thess. 1:8, 9 - KJV and Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version.) Ignorance will not be an excuse in the last day. How could anyone refuse to expend every effort in discovering all that can be known about the True God? (Prov. 2:4, 5.)
Certainly it may well mean our very lives to know if Joseph Smith was truly an inspired prophet of God as he claimedwhen he taught that the God of the Old Testament, Jehovah, was really Jesus! Or if the current teaching of the LDS Church prophets (for the last 70 years, at least) that Jesus’ Father’s personal name is “Elohim” (and not “Jehovah”) is really true!
Here are some of the LDS’ teachings concerning the knowledge of God:
“The name ‘Elohim’ is of frequent occurrence in the Hebrew texts of the Old Testament, though it is not found in our English versions [including any of Joseph Smith’s inspired revelations or translations]. In form the word is a Hebrew plural noun; but it connotes the plurality of excellence or intensity, rather than distinctively of number. It is expressive of Supreme or absolute exaltation and power. ‘Elohim,’ as understood and used in the restored Church of Jesus Christ, is the name-title of God the Eternal Father, whose firstborn Son in the spirit is ‘Jehovah’ - the Only Begotten in the flesh, Jesus Christ.” - p. 38. “Jesus Christ, the God of Israel. - ‘That Jesus Christ was the same Being who called Abraham from his native country, who led Israel out of the land of Egypt ... whose glory filled Solomon’s temple, is evident from all the inspired writings, and in none more so than in the Bible.’” - p. 41, Jesus The Christ, Talmage, published by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981 ed. (Also see p. 66, The Keys of the Kingdom, Sill, Bookcraft, Inc., 1972.)
“God is a glorified and perfected man, a personage of flesh and bones. Inside his tangible body is an eternal Spirit (see D&C 130:22).” - p. 6, Gospel Principles, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979 ed.
“The exact nature of the Holy Ghost - how He can be a personage of spirit dwelling in a spirit body - is not fully comprehended by mortal men. But we can understand that the Father and the Son are glorified men in whose image Adam was made. We can understand that they are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, and, by considering certain statements found in the Bible, we can understand that both God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have glorified resurrected bodies of flesh and bones. We read in Holy Writ: ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ (John 17:3).” - p. 92, Why I Believe, G. E. Clark, 1952, Foreword by Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe.
Yes, the current understanding is that there are three “personages” in the “Godhead”: two persons with “flesh” (The Father, named ”Elohim,” and the Son, named ”Jehovah”) and one with a “spirit” body (the Holy Spirit).
However, Joseph Smith taught that, although there are three things in the “Godhead,” only two are actually persons! One, the Father, is “a personage of spirit.” The second, the Son (“Jehovah”), is a personage of flesh. The third, the Holy Spirit, is not a person, but a thing.
The Lectures on Faith by Joseph Smith was “used in the School of the Prophets held in the Kirtland Temple and was published in 1835 at Kirtland, Ohio.” On pp. 52, 53 Joseph Smith tells us:
“We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things .... They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit .... The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle [i.e. flesh, cf. 2 Cor. 5:1, 4] .... possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one [cf. spurious 1 John 5:7 in KJV and Inspired Version], or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things.”
Notice here how Joseph Smith has unknowingly used a provably spurious verse (1 John 5:7 in KJV - see 1JN5-7 study paper) and not only improperly accepted it as scripture (he included it in his Inspired Version) but has used it to develop his “knowledge” of God!
And the question and answer summary section of this work (Lectures on Faith pp. 55-58) states:
“Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead?
A. Two: the Father and the Son.” And,
“Q. Do the Father, Son and Holy Spirit constitute the Godhead?
A. They do.” And,
“Q. Does the foregoing account of the Godhead lay a sure foundation for the
exercise of faith in him unto life and salvation?
A. It does.”
If this is the true knowledge of God (or if the current LDS teaching is the true knowledge of God), we must know it and act accordingly. It means our eternal lives.
A personal name (“Karen,” “Robin,” “Randy,” “Isaiah,” “Jesus,” etc.) refers to one certain individual person. A title, conversely, may refer to a single individual (“The President”) or many different individuals (“a president” of a bank, corporation, etc.).
Although the personal name “Jesus” was used by different individuals as their very own individual name, we know exactly which individual is meant in the Bible by the way the name is used (context).
“Jehovah” (or “Yahweh” or "Yehowah" in its probable Hebrew pronunciation) is the only personal name of the God of the Old Testament. No other person has had this individualized personal name!Ps. 83:18 (in the KJV and in Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version says: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.”
Personal names were extremely important to the Biblical Hebrews. No person who was of extreme importance to Bible truth and teaching was left without his personal name being revealed. The more important the person, the more frequent the use of his personal name.
Think how terrible it would be if our Bibles had been translated in such a way as to leave out the personal name of the Messiah, “Jesus,” and always substitute, instead, titles such as “The Lamb,” “our Lord,” “The Son of Man,” etc. To the ancient Bible writers the loss of one’s personal name was tantamount to a dishonorable death!
The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House Publishers, 1980, talks of the importance of a personal name to the Bible writers:
“A study of the word ‘name’ in the O.T. reveals how much it means in Hebrew. The name is no mere label, but is significant of the real personality of him to whom it belongs. .... When a person puts his ‘name’ upon a thing or another person the latter comes under his influence and protection.”
Then concerning God’s personal name, it says:
“Yahweh [or ‘Jehovah’ in its English form], therefore, in contrast with Elohim, is a proper noun, the name of a Person, though that Person is divine. As such, it has its own ideological setting; it presents God [‘Elohim’] as a Person [‘Jehovah’], and so brings him into relationship with other, human, personalities....”
So we see that “Jehovah” is God’s only personal name (Ps. 83:18) and “elohim” (translated into English thousands of times as “God” in all Bible translations, including the Dead Sea Scrolls of 100 B.C.) is merely one of his titles (as are “Father,” “Rock,” Most High,” etc.)
“I will lift him beyond danger, for he knows me by my name” - Ps. 91:14 (NEB) - means that not only has the person learned that God’s personal name is Jehovah (which certainly is of essential importance), but he has also come to know God in an accurate, personal way, and lives in harmony with that knowledge.
Joseph Smith used the name “Jehovah” more frequently than most members of “traditional” Christendom today. It would appear, then, that he recognized the importance of that personal name. And, although he often publicly acknowledged the personal name “Jehovah” (e.g. D&C 109:34, 42, 56, 68), I don’t believe he ever mentioned the “name” of “elohim.” If he ever did, it must have been a very rare event indeed. It certainly wasn’t used in its many corresponding places in his BOM translation or in his Inspired Version of the Bible! He, instead, properly translated that Hebrew word or title (but not personal name) as “God” or “god”!
IF, as present day Prophets of the LDS Church teach, “elohim” really is the personal name of God, the Father, then Joseph Smith’s virtually ignoring it would have been a terrible error!
IF “elohim” is truly the Father’s personal name, and IF “Jehovah” (also “Jesus” since he came to earth and received another personal name as a man) is truly the Son’s personal name, then the Father of the Messiah certainly should never be called “Jehovah”! And the Messiah, the Son of the Father, should never be called “Elohim”!
Most English Bible translations have purposely mistranslated the personal name of God (“Jehovah” in English form, “Yahweh” or “Yehowah” in probable Hebrew form). See Young’s or Strong’s Bible concordances for a listing of the thousands of places where the name is actually found in the original Bible manuscripts. See an interlinear Bible (The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament is an excellent choice - be sure to read its Introduction, also) to actually see the 6900 places the name Jehovah was actually used by the original Bible writers.
The King James Version (KJV), for some reason, translated the name properly in 4 places (Ex. 6:3; Ps. 83:18; Is. 12:2; Is. 26:4)! But it did not translate it honestly in the other 6900 places it occurs in the original manuscripts. Interestingly, Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version uses the name properly in only those same 4 places as found in the KJV! The RSV and NIV didn’t translate it properly at all! The NEB did in just a very few places (including Ex. 3:15). The Living Bible has “Jehovah” properly translated in about 100 places.
But the ASV, Jerusalem Bible, NWT, The King James II Version, Green's Literal Translation, and the translations by Byington, Rotherham, Darby, and Young all translate the personal name of God properly as either “Jehovah” (proper English form) or “Yahweh” (possible Hebrew pronunciation - see PRONOUNCE study) in all the nearly 7000 places it occurs in the original Hebrew manuscripts. (For a link to the ASV, Young's Literal Translation, and Green's Literal Translation, try this: http://www.studylight.org/ also, for ASV, Young's, Darby, MKJV (Green), and LITV (Green), try: http://olivetree.com/cgi-bin/EnglishBible.htm )
As the LDS publication Jesus the Christ tells us:
“‘Jehovah’ is the Anglicized rendering of the Hebrew.... This name is generally rendered in our English version [KJV] of the Old Testament as LORD, printed in capitals.” - p. 36, 1981 ed.
Yes, the KJV (and those Bibles which follow its tradition) purposely mistranslates the personal name of God, “Jehovah,” (which literally means something like “He Will Prove To Be”) as “LORD ” and only indicates its mistranslation by using small capital letters (“ORD”) after the beginning larger capital (“L”). Joseph Smith, however, didn’t even give this indication of mistranslation since he changed the capitalization of each instance of “LORD” in the KJV to “Lord” (without capitals) in his Inspired Version and in the BOM!
So, instead of correcting the known mistranslations of the KJV concerning God’s name, Jehovah (as one would certainly expect in a “perfect” translation), Joseph Smith kept all those errors and even compounded them by changing “LORD” to “Lord.” - See BOM 2-3.
Now go to Young’s or Strong’s concordances to find the meaning of “elohim” and see all the thousands of places it is found in the original OT manuscripts.
Notice (Young’s preface also states this) that “elohim” may be used for men (e.g. Ex. 7:1, Ps. 82:6 and John 10:34), angels (e.g. Ps. 8:5 and Heb. 2:7), and pagan gods (e.g. 1 Ki. 11:33). Check with concordances and Hebrew texts in interlinear Bibles to be certain.
Now, see whom this title (“elohim”) is used for 99% of the time - - - JEHOVAH!! Yes, Jehovah is the “elohim” of the Old Testament. Put a finger down anywhere at random in the Concordances’ listings of “elohim” (it’s easier to use Young’s for this) - - - Who is it? (Jeremiah 10:10 and John 17:3 in the KJV make it very clear.)
“Elohim” is a title or description given to anyone considered a “mighty person.” But, of course, in the highest sense Jehovah is the only true God (“elohim”). - Jn 17:1, 3 and Jer. 10:10 (KJV); Is. 45:21; 46:9 - Gen. 14:22; Ps. 9:2; Ps. 92:1; Ps. 97:9.
Who is Jehovah “Elohim”?
Exactly who is Jehovah in the OT? Is it really Jesus as Joseph Smith and the LDS Church teach? You will never find Jehovah being called “The Son” (either “the Son of God” OR “the Son of Man”) nor “the servant of God,” nor “the Messiah,” “Branch,” etc.
Whenever a title like these for the Messiah occurs, it is clear that it is for a person separate from Jehovah and that Jehovah is hisGod! (Ask your student to locate as many references to the Messiah in the OT as he possibly can: Is. 53; Ps. 2; Ps. 22; etc. and see the Messiah’s relationship to Jehovah. Or, possibly, compare Is. 42:1-5 with Matt. 12:14-21; or Is. 61 with Luke 4:18-21; or Deut. 18:17-19 with Zech. 13:7; or Zech. 3:8 with Jer. 23:5, etc.)
Acts 4:24-27 shows that Ps. 2:1-2 is speaking of Christ (“anointed”), but Ps. 2:2 shows Jehovah and his Christ (“anointed”).
Hebrews 5:1-5 shows that Ps. 2:7 concerns God speaking to Jesus, His Son. But Ps. 2:7-8 shows Jehovah talking to Jesus and calling him Son. [You might also see D&C Commentary, 1957 ed., which says (p. xiv) when referring to Ps. 2:7, 8: “The Father covenanted with his Son, when He said, ‘Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee’... (Ps 2:7, 8).”]
Acts 2:32-36 shows that Ps. 110:1 refers to the Messiah, but Ps. 110:1 shows Jehovah speaking to the Messiah. (God’s right hand, Jehovah’s right hand, the Father’s right hand - Col. 3:1; Ps. 110:1; Eph. 1:17, 20; D&C 76:20, 23; D&C 20:21, 24.)
Micah 5:2-4 has always been applied to Jesus by Christians (see Matt. 2:6): “And he [“Christ”] shall stand, and shall feed his flock in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah his God” - Micah 5:4 ASV. So who is Christ’s God? - - Jehovah!
The faithful Israelites always had only one person they worshiped as God (“elohim”) and he had the personal name Jehovah (also known as the Father - Is. 63:16; 64:8). He was frequently called “The God (“elohim”) of Abraham, Isaac, [etc.]”. Exodus 3:15 says that Jehovah the God (“elohim”) of Abraham, Isaac, etc. is his name forever and for all generations!
What does Acts 3:13 say about the Father? “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers hath glorified His Son Jesus....” - KJV (and Inspired Version). So we see, again, that Jesus’ Father is the God of the Hebrews and the God of Abraham, etc. Jehovah, then, is Jesus’ Father.
Even the Book of Mormon (BOM) says that Jesus says his Father made the covenant with Abraham (3 Nephi 20:25, 27) and refers that statement (in a footnote) to Gen. 22:18 and Acts 3:25. But Genesis 22:16-18 shows Jehovah making the covenant with Abraham. (Also see Pearl of Great Price, Abr. 1:16; 2:7, 8 [modern editions] and pp. 20, 22 [1851 ed.]; and A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, 1975 ed., p. 222.)
Obviously there can be only one “Most High God (“elohim”). Also, as we have seen, Jesus’ Father and God is superior to him (1 Cor. 11:3; Jn. 20:17; Jn. 17:1, 3)! The Most High God, then, must be the Father of Jesus. Jesus is shown to be the Son of the Most High (Mark 5:7 [Mark 5:5 in Inspired Version]; Luke 1:32; Luke 8:28 - also 1 Nephi 11:6). So, who is the Most High? - Ps. 83:18, “thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.” - Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version (and the KJV). Also see Gen. 14:22; and Psalm 9:1, 2 which also positively identify the Most High God as Jehovah. Yes, Jehovah, the Most High God, is Jesus’ Father (not Jesus himself as the LDS Church teaches concerning this essential knowledge of God).
Almighty God: Like “Most High,” “Almighty” must refer to Jesus’ Father (since we know Jesus is not equal to his Father - Matt. 20:23; Jn. 5:19; Jn. 14:28; 1 Cor. 8:6). If both were ALmighty, one could not be mightier than the other. So, in the Bible, we would expect only one of them (the Father, of course, who alone is named Jehovah) to be called Almighty. Does the Bible ever clearly call the Son Almighty? (Look through all uses of “Almighty” in Strong’s or Young’s concordances.)
Yes, like “Most High,” the title “Almighty” is given only to Jehovah in the Old Testament - - - e.g., Gen. 17:1; Exodus 6:3. The title “Almighty” clearly applied only to the Father in the New Testament. Notice who God Almighty is at Rev. 21:22 (God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple). The same situation occurs from Rev. 4:8 through Rev. 5:7 where Jesus (the Lamb) comes forward and takes the scroll from God Almighty (4:8) who is the God seated on the throne.
The very same Greek word for Almighty (pantokrator - as at Rev. 4:8 and 21:22) is used at Rev. 19:6 (although the KJV renders it “omnipotent,” most other translations say “Almighty” - see ASV and others) and is used again to describe the God seated upon the throne. And what word is used to praise this Almighty God seated on the throne? - “Alleluia.” This word, when properly translated into English (“Hallelouia” is the actual New Testament Greek form of the word, and “Hallelujah” is its Hebrew form), is “Praise ye Jehovah” (see “alleluia” in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, or, better yet, see the authority on American English: Webster’s Third New International Dictionary).
Since we have seen, in Revelation, God Almighty seated on the throne and praised as Jehovah and a different person often in his presence who is called “the Lamb,” “the Lion of Judah,” and the “Root of David,” isn’t it clear that Jehovah is not Jesus? Jehovah is Most High and ALmighty and Jesus is under his authority.
Only Jehovah has the title “The True God” in the Old Testament - Jer. 10:10 (KJV); 2 Chron. 15:3, 4. Only the Father of Jesus has that title in the NT - Jn. 17:1, 3 and 1 Thess. 1:9, 10 (you might also compare D&C 132:24). John 17:1-3 makes it very clear: Jesus is praying to his Father in heaven: “Father .... this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.” - ASV.
Therefore the Father of Jesus is the only True God, and Jehovah is the True God. Jesus’ Father alone is therefore Jehovah God.
Joseph Smith’s works have always reflected a great confusion (in spite of many changes made over the years in an attempt to correct it) concerning the essential “Knowledge of God.” In spite of the LDS’ teaching that Jehovah is Jesus, notice these statements by them and compare the appropriate Bible text: 3 Nephi 20:25, 27 (Gen. 26:2, 4) - - 3 Nephi 21:12-21 (esp. note :14 and :20) quotes Micah 5:8-15. - - 3 Nephi 21:29 quotes Is. 52:12 (see BOM f.n. 2s, p.444) - - 3 Nephi 24:1 quotes Malachi 3 (see BOM heading for ch. 24) - - Pearl of Great Price (POGP), pp. 4, 5 (2:1, 5). Who spake or commanded that creation be done? - Ps. 33:6, 8, 9; Ps. 148:5; Heb. 1:1-2. - - POGP, p. 8 compared to Gen. 2:18.
Typical of the above-cited contradictions are those found in the POGP at Moses 2:26 (“And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten ... ‘Let us make man in our image’”) and 4:28 (“And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten: ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil’”). If we compare these with Gen. 3:22, we see that Jehovah is speaking!
It also seems clear that when he offered his prayer to God (given to him by revelation he claimed) at the dedication of the temple in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1836 (Doctrine & Covenants 109), Joseph Smith was praying to the Father of Jesus (D&C 109:4). This Holy Father (109:10, 14, 22, 24, 29, 47) he addresses by name asJehovah (D&C 109:34, 42, 56, 68)! More than one Mormon missionary has assured me (from 1984-1994) that the members of the LDS Church have always prayed only to the Father alone. Their prayers are always directed to the Father alone, through Jesus Christ. They show that it is through Jesus, not by ever addressing him, but by, very often, saying at the end of their prayers, “in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
So, when Joseph Smith offered this most famous of his public (and “inspired”) prayers, and prayed to Jehovah, he was clearly teaching that Jehovah is the Father! He may have later changed this teaching, but he claimed that this prayer was given to him in a revelation from God! And the LDS Church has included it in their inspired Scriptures (Doctrine and Covenants)! - see the “Hallowed Be Thy Name” study.
A thorough study of the Bible makes it obvious that Jehovah is Jesus’ Father. “Jehovah” (the only personal name of God) is also called “Elohim” (as are many others from time to time) which is a title or description for “God” (or “gods”), and he, alone, is the only true God! This elementary knowledge of God, clear as it is, has been rejected by most of Christendom since the 4th century A. D. when the Roman Church developed its Trinity doctrine and forced it upon the world. (See the HIST, ISRAEL, and CREEDS study papers.)
This is a tragic situation since knowledge of the True God means everlasting life (Jn 17:3), and, conversely, a lack of this essential knowledge means death (2 Thess. 1:8, 9). However, it emphatically and clearly points out (for those willing to actively seek the truth) where to go to find the gate to the narrow road that leads to eternal life (Matt. 7:13, 14).
1.Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version.
“At the command of the Lord and while acting under the spirit of revelation, the Prophet corrected, revised, altered, added to, and deleted from the King James Version of the Bible to form what is now commonly referred to as the Inspired Version of the Bible.... the marvelous flood of light and knowledge revealed through the Inspired Version of the Bible is one of the great evidences of the divine mission of Joseph Smith.” - Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958, pp. 351-352.
On Feb. 9, 1831, Joseph Smith received the commandment (D&C 42:56-58) to “not teach” the scriptures “until ye have received them in full.” And “then ye shall teach them unto all men.” D&C Commentary, 1957 ed., p. 234, tells us this refers to the Inspired Version.
D&C 73:4 told Joseph Smith on January 10, 1832, to “continue the work of translation until it be finished.” D&C Commentary, 1957 ed., p. 431, tells us this meant that the “Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon” were “to resume the Bible Revision [‘until it be finished’] and to preach whenever convenient.”
Joseph Smith wrote: “I completed the translation and review of the New Testament, on the second of February, 1833” - History of the Church, Vol. 1, p. 324. Five months later he claimed to have completed the rest of the Bible translation: “We this day (dated July 2, 1833) finished the translation of the Scriptures” - History of the Church, Vol. 1, p. 368.
Mormon writer Arch S. Reynolds tells us: “The Scriptures at that time were considered finished. This is proved by revelation from the Lord commanding the printing and publishing the same ... the Lord felt that the Bible contained his word and also was given in fulness” - ‘A Study of Joseph Smith’s Bible Revision’, p. 17.
D&C 42:15 tells us that the Bible and the BOM have the “fulness of the Gospel.” D&C Commentary, p. 221, says “Bible” here means Smith’s Inspired Version of the Bible.
D&C 124:89 dated Jan. 19, 1841, is a commandment to “publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth [‘unto all men’].” D&C Commentary tells us (p. 785) that this is a command “to publish the new BIBLE TRANSLATION.”
Since his Inspired Version was completed in 1833 in its “fulness,” Smith taught from it from that time on. For example, in his Lectures on Faith, published in 1835, we find scriptures quoted from the Inspired Version. For example on p. 13: “We copy from the new translation: ‘And the Lord God said unto the Only Begotten, who was with him from the beginning...’”
“[Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version] manuscript exists in the original and in copies, and has been published by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” - Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe, Joseph Smith - Seeker After Truth, p. 251.
“the recent 1944 New Corrected Edition [of the Inspired Version] of the Reorganized Church, which book many interested Latter-day Saints have acquired, is faithful to the original manuscript....this edition is worthy of trust” - Dr. T. G. Madsen, BYU, Improvement Era, March 1970, p. 70.
2. Joseph Smith the 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.” - p. 188.
“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, ... I maintain that Joseph Smith was all that he claimed to be.” - p. 189.
“There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth .... No man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” - Doctrines of Salvation, 1959, by Joseph Fielding Smith, LDS Apostle, Prophet, and 10th President of the LDS Church.
* * * * * *
“Was Joseph Smith truly called of God? Was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormon”) established under the direction of Jesus Christ or was it and its prophet false? If false, the Church blasphemes God and merits no further consideration. If true, it is, because of its divine authority to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, of greater import to Christian men and women than any other subject pertaining to their eternal progression.” - p. xiii.
“Therefore, in searching for the true church of christ, ... one should first prayerfully inquire to know whether Joseph Smith is the great prophet he is claimed to be. For if he is proven to be a true prophet of God, it follows that all the doctrines he taught and the Church he established are also true.
“There are people who say, ‘I could easily accept your church and its doctrines if you would just leave out Joseph Smith.’ But Alas! To leave out the prophet is to leave out the foundation of the Church. .... the prophet is an essential part of the foundation....
“I bear testimony to the world that Joseph Smith was not only a prophet of God but the greatest prophet, excepting Christ, since the creation.” - p. xv, Why I Believe, G. E. Clark, 1952.