Hang on a Minute (HOAM) Moment 99
God and His Father.
Revelation 1:6 is a curious verse. “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Does that not state that God has a father? Well, yes, it does, but – is it a correct translation of the intended message?
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) confirms the KJV contains a translation error. It should read “and did make us kings and priests to his God and Father, to him [is] the glory and the power to the ages of the ages! Amen.” That’s more like it. Christians generally accept God as eternal – and certainly not in need of a father. The American Standard Version, the New English Bible, and several other versions of the Bible also follow the YLT correctly interpreted wording.
Hang on and consider this. Sometimes, a particular sect will jump on an obscure verse, and without any knowledge or understanding of the underlying facts, invent their own take on things. Jehovah’s Witness leaders have managed it; completely misunderstanding (or perhaps deliberately misconstruing?) the simplest of two dimensional geometric concepts, ‘circle’, making themselves look very foolish indeed. (See HOAM 53 and Appendix C for details).
This is another such instance and the charlatan who pounced on the idea of God having a dad was none other than the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. Unfortunately for him, and subsequently for the Mormon Church today, Smith left a very telling and irrefutable trail of truth relating to his inconsistent use (or complete misuse) of Revelation 1:6 that unequivocally confirms him to have been a complete and utter fraud.
In Smith’s infamous King Follett sermon (at the funeral of a man of that name who was killed by a bucket of bricks falling on his head during a well construction) Smith starts on about plural Gods for the very first time in public. It was on 7 April 1844, a couple of months or so before Smith’s death. Several thousand people were there and following the disclosures in Smith’s talk, many Mormons left the fold as they considered it to be heresy. Considering what he came out with, that is perfectly understandable. Smith’s sermon was faithfully recorded in the Mormon ‘History of the Church’, Volume VI, Chapter 14.
Taking as his text Revelation 1:6, Smith starts off with a statement that shocked many of his followers: “God… is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. …He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth… and I will show it from the Bible.”
A recent Mormon prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, at least twice, publicly declared that he did not know they taught that and he didn’t know much about it. (See: San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Apr 1997:3/Z1 Don Lattin, religion editor; also Time Magazine, 4 Aug 1997).
Yet Hinckley knew Smith had declared “It is plain beyond disputation…” Smith quoted Revelation 1:6 directly from the KJV: “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Regarding the phrase, “God and His Father” Smith then declared “It is altogether correct in the translation.” This was because he wanted to propound his new concept that God had a father and there are many Gods, supporting his teaching that human men can also become Gods; something the Mormon Church is somewhat quieter about these days. However, when I was a member (1960-2003) that is exactly what we were taught. Even today, whatever the Church may claim, it is a fundamental doctrine still taught in Mormon temples.
However, Smith either forgot, or more likely he simply ignored, the fact that between eleven and fourteen years earlier he had produced an ‘Inspired Revision’ of the Bible, at which time he still held a singularly monotheistic view. When he had been ‘inspired’ to correct the Bible, he altered that very verse in order to clarify the tradition that God of course does not have a father. Yet here, in 1844, he completely ignored his own earlier ‘Inspired Revision’ and claimed the KJV was ‘altogether correct’ – just to suit his newly developed theology.
In Joseph Smith’s ‘Inspired Revision’ of the Bible, Revelation 1:6 reads “…and hath made us kings and priests unto God his Father. To him be glory and dominion, forever and ever. Amen.” This is broadly in line with Young’s Literal Translation and probably the only thing Smith actually ever got right – and that was a fluke!
If Smith’s claim that the KJV is “altogether correct in the translation” is accepted by the Church in order to justify their plural Gods theology; then they must also accept that he lied in his Inspired Revision, proving that it was not inspired after all. If his Inspired Revision was inspired, then he lied about plural Gods in 1844. Either way, he is caught in his duplicity and his lies – and that is the true mark of a false prophet. It is also something the Mormon Church can neither deny, nor remotely ever explain. So much for religion – and supposed ‘prophets’ who make things up as they go along.