The Instigator
apologia101
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points
The Contender
jaydee
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

Joseph Smith was a prophet of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
jaydee
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,550 times Debate No: 14667
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (6)

 

apologia101

Con

LDS claims that their founder, Joseph Smith, was a prophet called by God to restore a church that had fallen during the 1st century. It is a claim that I challenge today in this debate as I believe that He was not a prophet. Any challenger?
jaydee

Pro

Yes I will challenge you. Not for the fact that I believe in Joseph Smith, for that is irrelevant. Now give me evidence that you have gathered that proves he is not a prophet.
Debate Round No. 1
apologia101

Con

I would love to thank my opponent for accepting this challenge, I hope we can come out enlightened, eve a little, about prophets.

First, we must state the standards of a prophet. Deuteronomy 18:22-24 (King James Version)

22When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Second, we shall see if Joseph Smith met the standards of a true prophet when we asses his prophecies:

1. Smith claim that God had told him whence Jesus shall return again, that is, within 56 years: "President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion--our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for the coming of the Lord, which was nigh--even fifty-six years should wind up the scene." (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 189).
- It's now 2011, Jesus has not returned to the earth again, his second coming has not happened.

2. Joseph Smith also said that a temple would be built in Missiouri, US within his lifetime-or his generation. "Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion,i which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. 3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. 4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. 5 For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house... 31 Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed." (Doctrines and Covenants 84:2-5,31.)
- LDS were kicked out of Missouri in 1833. This building of a temple did not happen in his generation.

3. All nations and American civil war: "Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; 2 And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. 3 For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations," (Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3).
- A study of American history reveals that in the Civil war, which was between the North and the South, all nations were not involved. There is not evidence that Great Britain was consulted by the South as states do not have power to involve other nations. Other nations were not involved.

4. That earth will tremble and the sun hidden from his face. "For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree," (Doctrine and Covenants 88:87).
- Key phrase: In not many days.
- It's been about 173 years since was written, that's many days and the Earth has not trembled as drunken man; the sun has not hidden his face.

Those are a few of the prophecies that I think never came true in time that is specified. If they did, then show me, and you win this debate.
jaydee

Pro

And I would Like To Thank my opponent for being intellectual about this.

I will number my responses to my opponent's statements, corresponding with the number he has given them.

1)Smith claim that God had told him whence Jesus shall return again, that is, within 56 years: "President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion--our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for the coming of the Lord, which was nigh--even fifty-six years should wind up the scene." (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 189).

-It very well may have been possible that He may have been a reincarnated Jesus, since he died when his prophecy was revealed. Possibly, when he said God told him Jesus shall return, he may have meant return to heaven.

2)"Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house" (D&C 84:1-5).

-It is possible It is all a metaphor. As The city of new Jerusalem is the mormon community, since essentially a city is a community. The Temple could mean the spreading of Joseph Smith's word. For that is what a place of worship initial goal is. If you look at it that way then this prophecy did come true.

3) "Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations," (Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3).

- The nation did go into civil war and it did start in South Carolina. The Civil War caused 700,000 deaths in its four year. Other foreign nations, including Great Britain, were called for by the Confederacy, which at the time was an independent country.

4) That earth will tremble and the sun hidden from his face. "For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig-tree," (Doctrine and Covenants 88:87).

-Not many days does not have to be our conception of many days. If god had said it he could have meant the next 10,100, or even 1000 years. For God is eternal, so his conception of time would vary greatly from our own.
Debate Round No. 2
apologia101

Con

Let me thank my opponent for his concise response

I will also respond to the numbered statements. I will quote my opponent's responses.

1. "It very well may have been possible that He may have been a reincarnated Jesus, since he died when his prophecy was revealed. Possibly, when he said God told him Jesus shall return, he may have meant return to heaven"

-My opponent relied on possibilities as though the prophecy isn't clear. Such words as may, possible, may (again), have been a reincarnated Jesus do not hold water in this prophecy. If you review the prophecy, you will see that Smith talks about the 'coming of the Lord'--this is clearly a reference to Jesus' second coming, not some reincarnation or invisible visit to one person, Joseph Smith was clearly talking about Jesus' coming again to the earth. Also, even if my opponent is right and it was, in fact, a reincarnated Jesus, Joseph Smith died before 1891--the year that the coming of the Lord was to take place. And what does 'reincarnated Jesus' visit really looks like anyway?

2. "It is possible It is all a metaphor. As The city of new Jerusalem is the mormon community, since essentially a city is a community. The Temple could mean the spreading of Joseph Smith's word. For that is what a place of worship initial goal is. If you look at it that way then this prophecy did come true."

-My opponent has decided to say that it is possible that the prophecy about gathering of the LDS people in a new Jerusalem is a metaphor. That this new Jerusalem could be the Mormon community itself. I do not this satisfies as an explanation. A new Jerusalem suggests that there is an 'old' Jerusalem--this old jerusalem is a place (Jerusalem, Israel), not a community. Therefore, the new Jerusalem is also a place because it corresponds to the old Jerusalem which is a place. It is also clear from LDS writings that the new Jerusalem that Joseph Smith was talking about is, in fact, Independence, Missouri, US. It is a place, not some metaphor for LDS community as a body of believers.

3. "The nation did go into civil war and it did start in South Carolina. The Civil War caused 700,000 deaths in its four year. Other foreign nations, including Great Britain, were called for by the Confederacy, which at the time was an independent country."

-American history shows that only one nation was involved in the Civil war. That is the fragmented United States. Smith says: "and they (the South) shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations," (Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3). The problem here is that the Civil War was between the South and North in the US, never do we hear of Britain being called to defend any Southern states---this idea is ridiculous because States cannot make treaties with other nations, I find it not possible that some southern State would request the help of other nations. It cannot be shown in history either.

This prophecy also makes it seem like the Civil war in the US caused a serious of world wars, where they evolve after being started by the Northern and Southern states. This is not the case in history.

4. For the prophecy about "not many days", my opponent responded that these could be in the eyes of the Lord days, but for us long years. Let's agree to disagree here. Although, usually to understand meanings pertaining to what God has said, theologians resort to the Hebrew language. So in the Bible, we could know what 'not many days' meant. Hebrew would help decide if its talking about eternity etc. I could see that my opponent has decided that these 'many days' could be a long time based on the fact that its been 173 years since they were uttered. If you lived in Joseph's time, I don't think you would interpret it that way, would you? And what reasons would someone give for interpreting them the way you do now during that lifetime?

I await a better response from my opponent.
jaydee

Pro

Let Me thank my opponent for keeping the order in this argument, and keeping the separate arguments in order of how they were presented.

So I will keep the same numbering order as they where presented in previous arguments.

1)"My opponent relied on possibilities as though the prophecy isn't clear. Such words as may, possible, may (again), have been a reincarnated Jesus do not hold water in this prophecy. If you review the prophecy, you will see that Smith talks about the 'coming of the Lord'--this is clearly a reference to Jesus' second coming, not some reincarnation or invisible visit to one person, Joseph Smith was clearly talking about Jesus' coming again to the earth. Also, even if my opponent is right and it was, in fact, a reincarnated Jesus, Joseph Smith died before 1891--the year that the coming of the Lord was to take place. And what does 'reincarnated Jesus' visit really looks like anyway?"

-There is endless possibilities of what he meant by the 'coming of the lord'. Possibly Jesus never died, possibly he came in 1891, but has not yet showed himself yet. Maybe the lord showed himself to someone.

-Let me correct my opponent, Joseph Smith died in 1891, not before, and even if he did it would irrelevant, because his death would have nothing with the 'coming of the lord'.

-What 'reincarnated Jesus' looks like, would be irrelevant.

2)My opponent has decided to say that it is possible that the prophecy about gathering of the LDS people in a new Jerusalem is a metaphor. That this new Jerusalem could be the Mormon community itself. I do not this satisfies as an explanation. A new Jerusalem suggests that there is an 'old' Jerusalem--this old Jerusalem is a place (Jerusalem, Israel), not a community. Therefore, the new Jerusalem is also a place because it corresponds to the old Jerusalem which is a place. It is also clear from LDS writings that the new Jerusalem that Joseph Smith was talking about is, in fact, Independence, Missouri, US. It is a place, not some metaphor for LDS community as a body of believers.

-Yes my opponent is correct, in the fact, that A New Jerusalem suggest an 'Old' Jerusalem, and yes there is a place name Jerusalem in Israel, but lets say this is still a metaphor. 'Old' Jerusalem could have been old Christianity, which the Mormon religion came from, since Jerusalem is a Christian center of the world, along with other religions with Judaic roots.

-Not once does he ever say Independence,Missouri in this prophecy. It could have meant in the USA, or somewhere else in Missouri. And even if he did mean Independence, Missouri, it could very well mean that the Mormon religion religious' base would start in Independence,Missouri.

3)American history shows that only one nation was involved in the Civil war. That is the fragmented United States. Smith says: "and they (the South) shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations," (Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-3). The problem here is that the Civil War was between the South and North in the US, never do we hear of Britain being called to defend any Southern states---this idea is ridiculous because States cannot make treaties with other nations, I find it not possible that some southern State would request the help of other nations. It cannot be shown in history either.

-First of all, if you look at American history there were two countries fighting in the American Civil War. The Union(North) and The Confederacy (South). So it would be possible that The Confederacy could make treaties with other nations, since it was no longer apart of the Union, and no longer listening to the United States Constitution, because it considered itself an independent nation.

-Second of all, the confederacy asked for help from Great Britain. They did not receive it, true, but they did ask for help, which was part of the prophecy.

-Third of all, the civil war in ways, indirectly influenced The first world war, in being the breeding ground of new technology in weaponry.

From muzzle-loading rifles to repeating breech-loader which meant it had

*Faster Firing rate (It started the concept of 'clips'.)

*Longer Range

*Better Accuracy

In addition to the rise of armored iron-hulled ships(The first armored &metal vehicle in warfare.), and also various ways to make low-to-mid grade explosives.

If it wasn't for the advancements in weaponry that the civil war, then there would be no World War.
For how could any country imagine warfare on such a massive scale with the inferior technology they had before the civil war.

4)For the prophecy about "not many days", my opponent responded that these could be in the eyes of the Lord days, but for us long years. Let's agree to disagree here. Although, usually to understand meanings pertaining to what God has said, theologians resort to the Hebrew language. So in the Bible, we could know what 'not many days' meant. Hebrew would help decide if its talking about eternity etc. I could see that my opponent has decided that these 'many days' could be a long time based on the fact that its been 173 years since they were uttered. If you lived in Joseph's time, I don't think you would interpret it that way, would you? And what reasons would someone give for interpreting them the way you do now during that lifetime?

-No one here was in Joseph's time, so we would have no idea how someone then would interpret it.

-My reasons for someone interpreting it the way I did, would be that we can not assume god's plan.
*We do not if god meant in a few days in our time, or a few days in his time.

*There could be multiple meanings in Joseph's words.
Debate Round No. 3
apologia101

Con

I commend my opponent for suggesting his attempt to show that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

However I am frustrating, my opponent has not offered any arguments for his side to show the legitimacy of Joseph Smith as a prophet. He has only spend all his rounds relying on the fact that the world is a world of possibilities. While it is true that almost anything is possible in the universe, my opponent needs to realize that these 'failed' prophecies of Joseph Smith should been seen to have come true. No one can testify to that. We have read of prophecies of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel etc in Old Testament, we can see that their prophecies came true. For example, for Isaiah it was the birth of Jesus. My opponent has to show that Joseph's prophecies came true.

Moving on:

I don't need to say a lot from now on. My opponent has only told us of how Joseph Smith prophecies could be possible. That's it. We have not seen anything to show the Joseph was a prophet. I rest my case that he wasn't as evidenced by these failed prophecies.

A few things--

-New Jerusalem is not LDS community, it is a place. It is Independence, Jackson County, MO. We have agreed that New Jerusalem suggests an Old Jerusalem. Well, Old Jerusalem is not 'old' Christianity. My opponent has claimed falsities. Old Jerusalem is Jerusalem, Israel (a place). Therefore, new Jerusalem must also be a place. Reading LDS literature would reveal that this place is Independence, Mo. LDS never got to do what the prophecy told. They were kicked out of Missouri in 1833. False prophecy.

I need my opponent to give us some arguments that his claim can actually rest on.

I await an even better response from my opponent.
jaydee

Pro

I have the highest respects for my opponent for this debate on the legitimacy of Joseph Smith being a prophet.

I would first like to state that these are not failed prophecies, but prophecies that may have not fulfilled their meanings.
It would be the same as the book of Revelations, the prophecies depict the end of the world and hasn't been fulfilled either. Does this make the book of revolvelations untruth?

The bible is full of metaphors. So why can't New Jerusalem and Old Jerusalem be metaphors also?

And also, prophets are human,which makes them imperfect.

*Noah got drunk and revealed himself naked to his son,Ham. (Genesis 9:21-27)

*Moses killed a man(Exodus 2:11-12), and disobeyed god (Numbers 20:2�€"12)

*Judas sold out Jesus for gold.(Luke 21:37 - 22:6)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________
My objective is to show that Joseph Smith's has prophecies that have happened already.

The last item written by Joseph Smith in his journal is an entry from Saturday, June 22, 1844

"I told Stephen Markham that if I and Hyrum were ever taken again we should be massacred, or I was not a prophet of God."

Doctrine and Covenants 5:22, written fifth teen years earlier

"and if you do this, behold I grant unto you eternal life, even if you should be slain."

Shortly after Joseph and Hyrum were put into Carthage Jail, they were murdered by a mob. They had others with them, but the only two that died, were Joseph and Hyrum, as predicted

-Escape of Stephen Markham

History of the Church Volume 3, p. 316
"During this night the visions of the future were opened to my understanding; when I saw the ways and means and near approach of my escape from imprisonment, and the danger that my beloved Brother Markham was in. I awoke Brother Markham, and told him if he would rise very early and not wait for the judge and lawyers, as he had contemplated doing, but rise briskly, he would get safe home, almost before he was aware of it; and if he did not the mob would shoot him on the way; and I told him to tell the brethren to be of good cheer, but lose no time in removing from the country."

The next morning Brother Markham escaped as prophesied. A Mob pursued him, but were not able to capture or harm him. And Joseph, was we have already discussed, was later freed, as prophesied.

-Prediction of Stakes in Boston and New York

"In the great cities, as Boston, New York, etc., there shall be stakes"
(History of the Church, Vol.6, p. 319)

On Dec. 9, 1934, the New York Stake was organized.

On May 20, 1962, the Boston Stake was organized.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

The conclusion is that he does have fulfilled prophecies, and no prophecies that can be proved ultimately false.
So since he does have prophecies that have came true, and no concrete evidence that he has false prophecies, he must be a prophet.
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by apologia101 6 years ago
apologia101
You didn't make any arguments for your case at all. Good debate anyway.
Posted by jaydee 6 years ago
jaydee
Good debate man. :)
Posted by apologia101 6 years ago
apologia101
there is no way pro is winning this debate. haha. I can't believe my mindd!
Posted by apologia101 6 years ago
apologia101
@tyler90az
I am sorry bro, I am a christian, and we are allowed here to vote based on whose arguments we agree more with.
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
"The burden of the affirmative is pretty hard, considering that their criteria involves a contradiction, they must be both Mormon AND know their church history, but most Mormons who know their history usually leave."

That is not true at all. A spiritual testimony is stronger then an intellectual one. Although most LDS have both a spiritual and a intellectual testimony.
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
Apologia challenge me to the same debate. God bless!
Posted by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
Apologia went to everyone of my debates and voted all seven points against. You aren't a Christian....
Posted by Sotiras 6 years ago
Sotiras
It's funny how the Biblical God doesn't exist, isn't it?
Posted by jaydee 6 years ago
jaydee
No I am not an inactive morman. I will be posting an argument shortly.
Posted by apologia101 6 years ago
apologia101
Jaydee you have embarrassed the mormon. You have shown by not posting any argument to support the LDS claim that Joseph SMith was a prophet that the whole thing is weak.

1 LDS faith get doesn't really get pushed around, people just ask legitimate questions and it looks like harassment to them.
2 I don't judge them, nor does anyone have any reasons to. Saying there is possibilities behind all beliefs is just empty.

jaydee are you an inactive mormon?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by apologia101 6 years ago
apologia101
apologia101jaydeeTied
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Vote Placed by jaydee 6 years ago
jaydee
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Reasons for voting decision: I hate to vote all for myself, but I had to even the odds with apologia, so truely, the people reading the arguments, are who decide the winner.
Vote Placed by tyler90az 6 years ago
tyler90az
apologia101jaydeeTied
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Vote Placed by Cobo 6 years ago
Cobo
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Vote Placed by Dakota-Hiltzman 6 years ago
Dakota-Hiltzman
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Reasons for voting decision: The con had stronger arguments and warrants. the Pro offered no evidence to support their claims and, had no warrants to attacks. most where just observations.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
apologia101jaydeeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Close, however Pro did refute the arguments and presented his own -in the last round though .