In Deuteronomy 18 we read the incredible prophecy about Jesus Christ. What most people don’t realize is that there is another prophecy two verses ahead that is speaking of the prophet Joseph Smith.
15 ¶The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
The Book of Mormon says the exact same thing in Nephi 22:
20 And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.
21 And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this prophet of whom Moses spake was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore, he shall execute judgment in righteousness.
This is the Holy One of Israel, Jesus Christ, that Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18:15. He is RAISED UP in the midst of Israel, though he himself is not one of the brethren of mankind.
A couple verses later, Moses strangely reiterates what he’s just said, except with some significant changes in wording:
18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Why did Moses seem to repeat himself? And why did he repeat himself with distinct changes in wording?
Because he is not speaking of Jesus Christ anymore; he is speaking of Joseph Smith.
Here is the difference between the Christ and, “that prophet”:
–is among the brethren (human)
–words put in his mouth (receives revelation)
The Christ in verse 15 does not have God’s words put into his mouth. We are told to simply hearken to EVERYTHING that Christ says. It is “that prophet” who is given words from God to say.
If you’re not convinced, let’s continue to learn more about “that prophet” who is among the Jews…
19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Joseph Smith was a prophet who spoke the words of God—the words PUT into his mouth—but he stopped receiving revelation post-1841 as documented in the D&C.
Quickly thereafter, Joseph began to speak presumptuously, speaking after other gods who were instructing things that the true God does not represent. When this happened, this fulfilled the saying that, “that prophet shall die.”
Joseph Smith was going to fall from his position as prophet and president of the church. This was known from the very start of the restored church.
“For I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead.” (D&C 28:7)
Combine that scripture with D&C 43:
3 And this ye shall know assuredly—that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.
4 But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.
But didn’t Section 28 say that God was eventually going to appoint the revelations to someone in place of Joseph? And didn’t Section 43 say the only reason for this would be because Joseph stopped abiding in the Lord?
God, therefore, knew this would be the case.
The D&C cryptically proves that Joseph was foreknown by God to fall from his calling. It was part of God’s plan. God knew it was going to happen, even going so far in telling him this very fact: “If thou art not aware, thou wilt fall.” (D&C 3:9)
Some people have been indoctrinated to think prophets can not lead people astray. To these individuals, I recommend they take note of Section 3:
4 For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.
Combine that with the prophecy spoken of by Nathan the prophet in 2 Samuel 7:
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son […] [when] he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.
This prophecy surely has reference to Joseph Smith, because no other can even begin to fulfill it. It is not a prophecy of Jesus Christ, because Christ cannot commit iniquity.
When Joseph Smith was chastened by God it was through the stripes of the children of men. These stripes connect us to Isaiah 53 as learn that the stripes he received are connected to our potential standing before God.
Joseph Smith did not literally atone for our sins, but his stripes of atonement allowed us an opportunity to receive the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are eternally sanctified through the sacrifice which is, “infinite and eternal.” (Alma 34:14)
The atonement of Jesus Christ is more than a temporal atonement provided by high priests and prophets of God. It is that sacrifice which is not, “a sacrifice of man, neither of beast.” (Alma 34:10)
“He was born not of blood.” (JST-John 1:13) The Savior was not, “a human sacrifice.” (Alma 34:10)
When the Lord came to the earth in the New Testament, he said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mathew 15:24)
Christ ministered unto the Jews which would reject him; Joseph Smith ministered to the Gentiles who would reject him.
Christ lived a perfect life; Joseph Smith lived a sinner’s life.
Joseph was the inversion of Christ, the Lord.
All of this is part of the glorious plan of salvation to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man—
After Christ ascended to heaven the gospel went to the Gentiles.
Joseph Smith, on the other hand, descended as the gospel veered towards the Jews.
The LDS church movement slowly brought together the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah. This leads to the New and Everlasting Covenant being established for both the Gentiles AND the Jews.
As Christ performed an atonement, so did Joseph Smith.
A literal reading of Isaiah proves that the “marred” servant is the same as the suffering servant.
Christ said so himself that all things spoken of by Isaiah, “have been, and shall be.” (3 Nephi 23:3) In other words, Isaiah would be re-fulfilled.
If you believe in the Book of Mormon that Joseph is the marred servant who declares the fulness of the gospel to the world, then you also must believe that is the suffering servant who performed an atonement. Because the marred servant is the suffering servant. (3 Nephi 20-21)
This atonement was an inversion of the atonement of Christ.
Joseph Smith was prophesied in 2 Nephi 3 to be one like unto Moses. A parallel to draw between the two of them is to realize that Moses gave up his life in order for the Jews to not be rejected as a people!
“Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them. […] It went ill with Moses for their sakes: Because they provoked his spirit.” (Psalms 106:23,32-33)
Moses and Joseph both stood in the breach on behalf of their people.
When the church fell into apostasy in 1834, Joseph provided an intercession, soon taking the wrath of God upon himself.
When Christ rejected the LDS church in 1841 from ever receiving the fulness, it was the atonement of Joseph Smith that prevented the people from being wiped off the earth. He provided a way for the Saints to live on, exactly as Moses did for the Jews.
So I believe that Joseph Smith offered himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the people.
Not to atone for these sins, but to delay God’s cursings and judgments. I do not believe this is blasphemous to suggest this.
Jesus Christ’s atonement is entirely different: it’s been redeeming man since the beginning of time, worlds without end. The Book of Mormon teaches this truth. It records that multiple prophets were preaching and ministering the gospel long before Christ even came to the earth. They were being sanctified BEFORE Christ died on the cross.
Literal chronology has nothing to do with salvation.
That’s why Joseph Smith could perform an atonement in the latter-days. He was doing exactly what the high priests did in Leviticus.
When the Mormons rejected the blood of Jesus Christ, choosing to live abominably before God, Joseph had to offer his own blood.
An atonement will always be necessary.
The Jews could have accepted the fulness of the gospel. Moses offered it to them, but they rejected it.
JST Exodus 34:
1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.
Here we read that Moses was originally offering “the holy order” which is the order of the sanctified. Sanctification occurs through the, “ordinances thereof,” which is baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost to have the baptism of fire. These ordinances would have been had in Moses’ Israel had they received the true God instead of worshiping idols.
They could have been getting sanctified during the centuries preceding the meridian of time, just like the individuals documented throughout the Book of Mormon had.
But keep in mind: sanctification is only possible through the blood of Jesus.
This proves that chronology doesn’t matter.
Moses performed an atonement for Israel. He acted out the sins of the people, taking those sins upon him.
He then had to die as part of this atonement.
His blood was necessary.
Just as it is necessary to spill the blood of goats and rams, it becomes necessary for God’s servants to spill their blood when that servant is offering himself as an atonement for the disobedience of the people he was called to minister to.
Blood will always be necessary. As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord had to make coats of skins for their nakedness. (Genesis 3:21) This required the blood of animals.
If the people do not receive the fulness of the gospel through accepting the very blood of God—who is Jesus Christ—they must be destroyed or be preserved through blood of another sort: either the blood of beasts or the blood of an intercessory man.
It is either this or they must pay with their own blood in being destroyed.
Yet the blood of animals or men can only redeem humans to a lesser glory, to an estate that provides an opportunity to be made clean at a later time. A good portion of these souls will be those who are redeemed at the second trump, after receiving their part in the prepared prison. (D&C 88:99)
These souls are sanctified, “after their pain.” (D&C 133:35)
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I.” (D&C 19:17)
The celestial souls are made holy through the blood of Jesus Christ. We are to rely wholly upon HIS merits.
If anyone is offended by any of these notions, they likely believe themselves to already be living the fulness of Christ’s gospel. They also likely believe that God forgives sins on a weekly basis and that he turns a blind-eye as we live worldly lives and remain steeped in our iniquities.
This article will have made zero sense unless you believe that those who are legitimately born of God will no longer commit sin. (1 John 3:9) Unless you are perfect, something that is possible in mortality, (D&C 107:43) you have not yet embraced the fulness.
The point of God calling Joseph Smith to be a prophet was not to create a church that could co-exist with Babylon; it was to sanctify the people and establish a perfect society where children grow up without sin.
This is not a daydream; it will happen.
Those that cannot fathom God’s design for Zion are likely those who are being preserved through the atonement of Joseph Smith—to be sanctified after the wrath of God comes pouring down in judgment.