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Joseph Smith And The Devil


LifeOnaPlate

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According to D&C 128, a section which was originally an epistle to the church at Nauvoo in 1842 dealing with temple work, Joseph mentions an encounter he had with the adversary, where the devil appeared as an angel of light and Michael dismissed him.

What got me thinking about it was a discourse by Jedediah Grant where he says:

When Joseph Smith bore testimony, he told the people that an angel from high heaven had spoken to him, that he had been ordained by authority from Jesus Christ, and sent forth to preach the Gospel. Did you ever hear the Methodists bear such a testimony?... Joseph also said that he had seen the dark regions of Hades; (Journal of Discourses 2:279)

First, it can be admitted, then, that Joseph did see the devil as an angel of light, just not at the time our critics say he did.

Second, this meeting with the devil reminds me of several things. For example: Adam had an encounter, Moses had an encounter, Jesus had an encounter, perhaps Paul ddid as well, since he mentions the possibility in 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Can anyone think of other encounters of prophets with the adversary, apocryphal or otherwise??

I am looking for more examples to add to today's blog post (see sig).

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There have also been ministering angels in the Church which were of Satan appearing as an angel of light. A sister in the state of New York had a vision, who said it was told her that if she would go to a certain place in the woods, and angel would appear to her. She went at the appointed time, and saw a glorious personage descending, arrayed in white, with sandy colored hair; he commenced and told her to fear God, and said that her husband was called to do great things, but that he must not go more than one hundred miles from home, or he would not return; whereas God had called him to go to the ends of the earth, and he has since been more than one thousand miles from home, and is yet alive. Many true things were spoken by this personage, and many things that were false. How, it may be asked, was this known to be a bad angel? By the color of his hair; that is one of the signs that he can be known by, and by his contradicting a former revelation. (TPJS p. 214)
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Indeed, a strange key.

I am also looking for experiences related, perhaps, to assension texts, and prophets, specifically, etc.

There are a tremendous number of popular religious figures who were part of ascension scenarios. I would begin with Jacob, Joseph, Paul, etc. The list is almost endless. The greater question perhaps would be, what is the significance of ascension scenarios in the life of these prophets?

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According to D&C 128, a section which was originally an epistle to the church at Nauvoo in 1842 dealing with temple work, Joseph mentions an encounter he had with the adversary, where the devil appeared as an angel of light and Michael dismissed him.

What got me thinking about it was a discourse by Jedediah Grant where he says:

First, it can be admitted, then, that Joseph did see the devil as an angel of light, just not at the time our critics say he did.

Second, this meeting with the devil reminds me of several things. For example: Adam had an encounter, Moses had an encounter, Jesus had an encounter, perhaps Paul ddid as well, since he mentions the possibility in 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Can anyone think of other encounters of prophets with the adversary, apocryphal or otherwise??

I am looking for more examples to add to today's blog post (see sig).

I have encounters with satan on a daily basis, does that count?

:P

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We have apocryphal accounts with Enoch facing the devil.

In Genesis 15:12 we have a snippet that has similarities with other encounters that might be a hint of an encounter by Abraham. Part of the text might have been cut since the transition to verse 13 doesn't really fit. I believe I also once read an apocryphal encounter but where it was escapes me.

We have the Destroyer on the waters in the D&C.

We also have the attack on the first Missionaries to the British Isles.

I'm sure there are more but that's all I've got off the top of my head.

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We have apocryphal accounts with Enoch facing the devil.

In Genesis 15:12 we have a snippet that has similarities with other encounters that might be a hint of an encounter by Abraham. Part of the text might have been cut since the transition to verse 13 doesn't really fit. I believe I also once read an apocryphal encounter but where it was escapes me.

We have the Destroyer on the waters in the D&C.

We also have the attack on the first Missionaries to the British Isles.

I'm sure there are more but that's all I've got off the top of my head.

Thanks, my good man.

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I saw the devil once, in a dream where he was with Lord Voldermort. Then they was the nun dream...

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One problem with this scenario is that the ancient Hebrews didn't see satan as a person, rather they perceived "him"/"it" as a title of one of God's angels or divine council. It was only after the diaspora and the Babylonian influences that this changed. Any real satanic epiphanies began in the Christian era. There are, however, many accounts of biblical figures dealing with demons and the like. Adam and Lilith, Jacob and the deity at Penuel, etc.

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Wilford Woodruff said that though Satan may appear as an angel of light, the one thing he can't replicate is the Spirit of God:

Now, I have had all these testimonies, and they are true. But with all these, I have never had any testimony since I have been in the flesh, that has been greater than the testimony of the Holy Ghost. That is the strongest testimony that can be given to me or to any man in the flesh. Now, every man has a right to that, and when he obtains it, it is a living witness to him. It deceives no man, and never has. Lucifer may appear to man in the capacity of an angel of light; but there is no deception with the Holy Ghost. We do not particularly need the administration of angels unless we are in a condition similar to that in which Brother Kimball, Brother Smith and myself were placed, when we could not save our lives without them.

... The Priesthood is here. The keys of the Kingdom of God are here. They will remain here. It makes no difference whether Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, or anybody else, remains; while these keys are here we have a right to know the mind and will of God; and when we do our duty, when we live our religion, we shall have these principles manifested to us. I know what awaits this nation. I know what awaits the Latter-day Saints. Many things have been shown to me by vision and by revelation. I know that the Latter-day Saints have need to repent of all their darkness, all their unbelief and all their disunion that they have in Zion. Our power, our salvation, our exaltation, our redemption, our glory and our preparation for the coming of the Son on Man, depend entirely upon our own acts. As was said today, if we are not united, we shall be chastised by the power of God. But the Lord said: "Fear not, little flock, the kingdom is yours until I come." No matter if earth and hell combine against us, we are in His hands, and He has said that He will guide and direct the affairs of the Kingdom. The Lord is no different today from what He was in the days of Adam, of Enoch, of Christ, of Joseph, of Brigham. (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols., 1:)

I don't believe it to be a coincidence that the one gift scorned by enemies of the church is the only manifestation that the Devil can't replicateâ??the gift of the Holy Spirit. Critics believe the "burning of the bosom," which confirmed the identity of Christ in the early church, is in the latter days simply a "feeling"â??nothing to be concerned about, or to trust. One site ridicules the "burning" by saying:

Mormonism teaches that if a person prays about the Book of Mormon "with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it (the Book of Mormon) unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." (Moroni 10:4) If this is done, "your bosom shall burn within you" to show that it is true (Doctrine and Covenants, 9:8)

When a Mormon says that, he will generally pat his chest and say he received a burning of the bosom to know that it is true. It would be agreed that the bosom contains the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" In other words, we are not to rely on feelings because they are notoriously unreliable. Feelings change about as often as the direction of the winds.

So we pat our chests, huh? Hmmmm. I've never noticed. Did the apostles pat their chests when they declared: ''Did not our hearts burn within us, while [the Lord] talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?'' (Luke 24:32) But wait, isn't the heart deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked? Could it be that they wanted to see the Lord so much that they merely thought they saw and conversed with Him? In other words, were they deceived and is all Christianity a sham based on an imagined feeling?

But notice the order: 1) The scriptures were opened up, and 2) their hearts burned within them. Moroni doesn't just tell people to pray about the Book of Mormon. He tells us to 1) read about it, 2) ponder it in our hearts, then 3) pray about it. There's only one scripture that tells us to pray for wisdom, and that's James 1:5. It tells us to ask in faith, nothing wavering, and it would be revealed.

Another point, when Peter told Jesus that He (Jesus) was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, was that based on just a feeling, too? I think what President Woodruff said was true: "The Latter-day Saints should seek for the Spirit of God. We have great power and great blessings given unto us." It's the one thing that Satan can't mimic.

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