Did J. Smith express contrition for past behavior?

Earlier in the year, I read the confessions of St. Augustine. Even though he was searching for the truth, he slipped into error in his younger years (up until 30 years of age or so). Once he found the truth, St. Augustine expressed regret for his past actions, especially the maltreatment of his mother.

St. Paul does something similar when he talks about how he does not deserve the benefits he received in Christ due to his past bad actions (his persecution of the Church). I don’t recall the verse right now, but I do believe that St. Paul expresses contrition. We also know how distressed St. Peter was for having forsaken Christ during the Passion.

I would guess that Joseph Smith may have done something similar. We know that he tricked people into giving him money, for example. I would guess that he, once he had such a profound experience with God - face to face, even - would have done something very similar to those in the past that had significant conversion experiences.

In my own conversion, I also have the same sense of remorse for past bad behavior. People who know me are typically aware of at least some of these regrets.

What is the history on Joseph Smith in this regard?

Nope. He believed he had done more than even Jesus

Yeah. To me, that would point to a lack of real conversion.

there is no way to know whether or not Joseph Smith felt remorse over past behaviors. He was a serial adulterer and that may have lead him to justify polygamy. Considering that Mormonism falls outside Christianity, why are you concerning yourself over him?

I don’t think Joseph Smith’s behavior indicated that he had a true conversion or even a profound experience with God. He dabbled in the occult and folk magic so if he did have any kind of visions, I highly doubt it was God. It is not like he tested any of the spirits he supposedly saw.

When he went to jail for the last time for inciting a riot in which the mob destroyed the printing press that was used to expose Smith’s polygamy, he stated that he was like a lamb going to the slaughter. That doesn’t sound very contrite to me. However, God only knows if he repented in his heart as he shot at his attackers who stormed the jail and jumped out the window.

he did the press destruction because William Law was going to expose the fact that js had tried to get him and his wife to wife swap with js and HIS wife…


For a quick response to if he felt the need to repent Look at versus 28 - 29. He does confess he was guilty of various sins, and pleaded with God for forgiveness.

Also, when he did err he got reprimanded for it:

robwar, I would suggest you take care in your definition of what constitutes Christians since what I find for a definition contradicts what you proclaim “Mormonism” is.

Latter Day saints certainly believe and profess belief in Christ as recorded in the New Testament. It may be different from what you believe as true Christianity, but the agreed upon common definition allows for the categorization of Mormons as Christian.

The Catholic Church defines Christians as those who have had a proper Christian baptism, LDS baptism does not qualify.:shrug:

Leaves, perhaps you should listen to what modern day prophets have to say on the matter. In response to the question of whether Mormons believe in the same Jesus Christ as traditional Christians, President Gordon Hinckley stated “No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.” (LDS Church News, week ending June 20, 1998, p.7)

Not that I expect you to respond, but even your own prophet said that you do not believe in the same Jesus Christ as Christians. Mormons worship a different god that they just happen to call Jesus Christ. Just because Mormons call one of their gods Jesus Christ, that doesn’t mean they are Christians.

Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries do not delve too deeply into theology so I wouldn’t rely on them to determine whether or not Mormons worship the same God as Christians.

Thanks for this. I didn’t know it existed. That does answer the question.

Now, let’s take a look at what this says.

28 During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three—having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature;

Well, we have some problems here. First, he already HAD the vision - so I would expect that his conversion would have taken place and he’d be seeking a righteous path.

All of those underlined words - that is Joseph Smith shirking responsibility. Basically, he was a great person, but because of all these other terrible people around him, well - he sinned. But, his sin wasn’t really his - it was just Joseph Smith falling into things that affect all humans.

… which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature.

Well, this is interesting. His sins aren’t all that big of a deal, even though they were offensive in the sight of God.

But** I was guilty of levity**, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc.,

What? Guilty of levity?!!? Of LEVITY? Do I misunderstand what this is saying? Levity is adding humor to something that aught be treated more seriously. The sin of humor?

not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheery temperament.

This is not what I was looking for. Joseph Smith does not take responsibility for his sin. Not even a little bit. And, when he does issue his “confession,” there is nothing to it. Any time I read the writings of the saints in the Catholic Church, it is as if they see the true implications for their past decision to sin against God.

I live and work with a great number of LDS folks. And, the more I understand about Joseph Smith, the more I can help those in my family navigate the hostile conditions. Also, I’ll mention that an LDS priest lives with me. (In this case, an LDS priest is just an 18 year old kid from an LDS family.)


Thank you zaffiroborant for clarifying.

TexanKnight I am aware of many of the alleged controversies, both the critical side and apologetic side. I was curious of what Catholics think about matters of theology, hence my perusal of this forum. No need to reiterate the issues and expect surprise (from me at least), Catholics have plenty of their own as well. I am more interested in understanding the differences in theology at this point. The op asked a question, so I linked resources attributed to J. S. so they could decide for themselves.

iepuras, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not believe in Jesus Christ in sense of the same attributes as Catholics, but it is still the same historical figure (Individual personage one in will, versus one in substance). That is how I understand that statement, which makes sense to me at least. From my stand point it looks like worship of the same God, much like Jews worship the same God. One, the other, or even both have become corrupt/incomplete regarding knowing God, hence the disagreements.

I’ve heard the same argument against Islam, it seems more designed to discredit other social groups than address issues of false doctrine.

The first paragraph in the following article has some citations, if you don’t like the particular wording of the other sources.


“exceedingly distressed for I become convicted of my sins . . . and I felt to mourn for my own sins and for the sins of the world.” Joseph tells us that he “cried unto the Lord for mercy” and that the Lord heard his cry in the wilderness…"

Here in lies the rub.

The mormon god is not the same God that Christians, and Jews worship. We believe God to be the one and only, Alpha and Omega, beginning and end.

Mormons believe in an infinite progression of gods. Therefore, it cannot be the same god, or even the same Jesus.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.

I know of no other Lord.

Christians believe in One God who is outside time and space and the Creator of all things (including matter, space and time). God is One Being of Three Persons. God is Love Itself. Jesus is the Incarnation of the Son, the second Person of the Trinity. Through the Incarnation God became man.

Mormons believe in multiple gods (although they worship one godhead of three separate beings/gods who manage this earth) who progressed from intelligence to spirit to man to god. The Mormon god (at least his intelligence) is co-eternal with the intelligences of every man and woman as well as all matter. He didn’t really create the earth. He assembled it out of existant matter. The Mormon Jesus is the spirit son of a Heavenly Father and Mother and is the spirit brother of all of us as well as Lucifer and his followers. Heavenly Father reproduced with Mary to create the physical body of Jesus. The Mormon god is basically a more advanced state of our own species.

Do these descriptions sound like the same God to you?

Mormon beliefs of the nature of God are more aligned with pagan beliefs. Mormonism is essentially paganized Christianity. Mormons use a lot of the same terms that Christians use but have an entirely different meaning.


so then explain how the LDS Church believes in many gods?

explain how the LDS church believes that God was once a sinful man?

you post, but do not respond. Is it because you do not know the answers or because you know we are correct?

iepuras I appreciate the coherent and informative reply :slight_smile:

TexanKnight… didn’t I already cover this? I was curious about Catholic theology. I do not respond directly because I have little desire to engage in a full scale debate, my motivation is completely different…see above sentence. In your particular case I avoided responding because you are derisive, and appeal to pathos [The same fuzzy feelings, or not so fuzzy feelings you criticize against] (As far as I can determine from your other posts on this forum)

Is it because you do not know the answers or because you know we are correct?

This is a false dichotomy. I have provided you with an alternative answer above.

TexanKnight didn’t you state in another thread that you were once LDS? Shouldn’t you, don’t you, know the answers to such questions from an LDS standpoint already? Attacking the LDS position does nothing to further my understanding of yours.

All of which is kinda besides the point of me originally posting in this thread.

I think i’m going to go back to lurking without posting for the time being.


Are you new the CAF or have you broken CAF rules and circumvented being previously banned?

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