The Visitation of the Father and the Son
On an early morning in 1820, Joseph Smith claims he was visited by the Father and the Son to give the restoration of the true gospel since the truth had been distorted due to the apostasy of the church.
Joseph's personal account of that morning has become one of the major pillars of the LDS church. In this account, he tells the listener how he earnestly yearned to know God and his purpose in his life and how he was greeted by a "pillar of light, the brightness of the sun", how he saw "two personages" and how he was "led in his heart" to tell of the vision.
Can this be true?
God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), infinite, immutable (non-changing), self-sufficient, omnipresent, to name a few. These are some characteristics that describe God's ability and his being. These are things we can all agree on. Yes, it could be true. It's not impossible for God. He is well within his rights to do as he sees fit.
as the Psalmist writes, "his understanding is beyond measure” Psalm 147:5
But there is a problem with this account by J. Smith, it is inconsistent with the Bible.
Remember God's attributes above, is he not also powerful enough to protect the word as he said? Remember that the Bible is translated directly from Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew from Christ's era and before. (2000 + years old, not 200 + years old)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" - 2 Timothy 3:16
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" - Matthew 24:35
J. Smith has testified that the Church had gone astray, a restoration was needed, the Bible had become corrupted, and God gave him the true account of his will.
But, what does the bible have to say?
"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." - Matthew 24:23,24, (Also Mark 13:21)
"No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" John 1:18
"Who is the image of the invisible God..." Colossians 1:15
"whom no man hath seen, nor can see" 1 Tim 6:16
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." Exodus 33:20
Here are 5 verses that state that clearly state that either God is invisible or if he were to make himself visible that "no man can live". How does J. Smith reconcile this? God was talking to Moses in the book of Exodus, if he wouldn't even show himself to Moses, how did Joseph survive? Even with the apostles when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus, they only heard the Father's voice, they did not see him.
So truly, there can only be 2 options regarding Joseph Smith's story. Because a direct visitation from God is inconsistent with his Word.
- Joseph is a liar
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" - Jerimaiah 17:9
2. He was visited by someone else.
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." - 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
I'm not sure which is worse.