With luck, TMD Volume 5 should be available later this month. It will contain new and interesting detail concerning Joseph Smith and his concoctions – many of which we just do not notice as members. For example, we are informed in Section 115 that the Lord revealed the name of his Church. We accept the information without question. Yet when you dig a little deeper, information comes to light that brings the whole idea of deity being involved into serious question…
D&C Section 115. 26 April 1838. Far West, Missouri. Added to the D&C in 1876.
After eight years and at least one-hundred-and-fifteen ‘revelations’ plus several claimed visions since the Lord supposedly re-established his true Church – he finally makes up his mind what to call it. “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (v.4). Mormons are taught to believe that the Church should be named after Christ – or else it is not his church. This is one sign of it truly being the Lord’s Church.
The truth is that Joseph Smith didn’t seem able to decide what he wanted to call his new Church and his God certainly didn’t tell him what to name it when it was first inaugurated in 1830 – or at any time during the following eight years. The organisation was informally known as the ‘Church of Christ’ during 1829, compatible with the name of the church in the Book of Mormon, which Smith had just written.
The new Church was legally instituted with that name on 6 April 1830. It became the ‘Church of the Latter Day Saints’ in 1834, so it no longer contained the all important name of Christ. Later, it was to change to the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ and next to the ‘Church of God’ – once again losing ‘Christ’ from the title. Now. God finally gets round to saying it should be called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (See TMD Vol. 4:120-1).
Why did God not reveal that in 1830 and get things right from the start? If God had been in control of Smith’s marvellous restoration, surely one of the very first things He would have attended to would be to reveal the name that He wanted for His Church? Yet God waited eight years and gave Smith well over one-hundred revelations before revealing the correct name. Smith was human and making things up as he went along, but if this was truly a restored Church, among all the early ‘revelations’ would God not have given this name in time for the legal institution of his Church in April of 1830? Of course he would, and the fact he not only didn’t, but that it had five different names over an eight year period gives a very clear picture of what was really going on.
To suggest the Lord would not have given his chosen name to the restored Church from day one is simply absurd. Far from the ultimate name now being an evidence of its truth, the history behind the name provides evidence of the hoax and it condemns Smith – and his church as fraudulent, right form the start.