Having lived in Utah for a spell, [where the men are men and the sheep run scared] I can tell you that this faith is very much the cult.
It is self evident that Pastor Robert Jeffress is correct in referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more colloquially known as the Mormons, as “a cult.” There do seem to be one or two points of similarity; The Mormons have a supreme leader, known as the prophet or the president, whose word is allegedly supreme. They can be ordered to turn upon and shun any members who show any signs of backsliding. They have distinctive little practices, such as the famous underwear, to mark them off from other mortals, and they are said to be highly disciplined and continent when it comes to sex, booze, nicotine, and coffee. It is well known that the church can be harder to leave than it was to join. Hefty donations and tithes are apparently appreciated from the membership.
According to claims made by Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, Jesus Christ, the Bible and America are the basis of the new religion he founded more than a hundred years ago in the United States. However, no Christian denomination has ever recognized the religion that Smith created as a Christian faith or an extension of Christianity. Instead, it is seen as a unique new religion with a theology of its own. The Mormons, as Smith's followers would later be commonly called, see themselves as the new Israel, God's chosen people, who wandered through America until they came to the promised land, now known as Utah.
Smith said he had received a revelation, which would ultimately lead to the restoration of the true church and its priesthood, that had been lost. He believed this priesthood and authority had been lost for centuries, until he had his revelation during the 1820s near Palmyra, New York. Smith said, no other church on the face of the earth held equal authority and he became Mormonism's first modern-day prophet.
Within the composite belief system that Smith subsequently devised, humanity is described as essentially "gods in embryo." Smith believed that God himself had once been a human being and had become a God through a process. And that his followers could become gods too, if they would follow his new religion.
The supposed restoration of the lost priesthood and truth took place when Smith's divine revelation occurred. At that time Smith was a 14-year-old boy. Never-the-less he claimed that divine beings had told him not to join any existing church or religion, but instead to begin his own, which would become the one true and anointed church authorized by God.
A similar story is told by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder and leader of the Unification Church. Cult leaders such as David Koresh, Shoko Asahara of Japan and Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple all seemed to feel that God had given them an exclusive mission and somehow exalted their group above all others.
In 1823, Smith said a heavenly being or angel named "Moroni," who he claimed was the son of Mormon, a man that died about 400 A.D., appeared to Smith. Maroni, told Smith that there hidden written records on "golden plates" of a lost people who once had a great civilization in America. These plates were conveniently burried just outside the town where Smith lived. But they were written in an unknown language Smith called "Reformed Egyptian." Maroni instructed Smith to use two special peep stones to look through, which would enable his to translate the plates. Smith said he uncovered the golden plates, translated them with these stones and the end result is now known as the "Book of Mormon." And Maroni is now commemorated as the golden figure perched atop Mormon Temples.
Smith was and is largely regarded as a con man and a fraud. His golden plates disappeared, transported to heaven, or so he said. The civilizations recorded within the Book of Mormon have never been substantiated by any historical evidence through either archaeology or corroborated by any credible scholar or historian. Instead, as originally perceived by Smith's contemporaries, they appear to be little more than a collection of fictional stories put together by Smith, based largely upon other writings and his own creative imagination.
Smith eventually became a virtual dictator of his own city called Nauvoo in Illinois, which was populated by his followers. He also led a large private army as its General. His rule was often tyrannical and he became a feared figure within Illinois. In 1844 after Smith destroyed a Nauvoo newspaper that dared to openly criticize him as he was jailed in Carthage. An angry mob broke into the jail and Smith was killed. At the time of his death, his ardent apostles were promoting him as a candidate for president of the United States.
The story of Smith's city and his "persecution" is very reminiscent of Jim Jones who founded Jonestown, and David Koresh of Waco Texas fame, but unlike these small groups that have been called "cults," Smith's small cult has evolved into a major delusional cult wearing special undies with members of the devine lunacy running for POTUS.
Was Joseph Smith mentally ill?
Here are some quotes from good old Joe himself:
Joseph Smith boasted that he did more than Jesus. "God is in the still small voice. In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil--all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet . . . " (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408-409).
Joseph Smith said our greatest responsibility is to seek after our dead. "The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead" (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, page 7).
Joseph Smith said that there are men living on the moon who dress like Quakers and live to be nearly 1000 years old. Since he was wrong about the moon, is it safe to trust him regarding the way to Heaven? (The Young Woman's Journal, Vol. 3, pages 263-264. See reprint in Mormonism -- Shadow or Reality? by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, page 4.)
Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon was more correct than the Bible."I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461)
Joseph Smith said mothers have babies in eternity and some are on thrones."A question may be asked, 'Will mothers have their children in eternity?' Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, page 10). "Eternity is full of thrones, upon which dwell thousands of children reigning on thrones of glory, with not one cubit added to their stature." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 10).
Joseph Smith said there are many Gods."Hence, the doctrine of a plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine. It is all over the face of the Bible . . . Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many . . . but to us there is but one God--that is pertaining to us; and he is in all and through all" (History of the Church, Vol. 6, page 474). "In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 5).
Here are some questions. If Mormons say they are Christians, how come they follow more than one God? (In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it." Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 5.)
Smith thought he did more than Jesus. Sounds like a mental health issue, possible narcissism, borderline psychopath? How about pathological liar? So let's see, if he was mentally ill, how did he manage to get so many people to follow him?
Mental illness or con artist, you choose, but the point of the day is…do we really want a guy whom adheres to and follows this crap to be the leader of the most powerful country in the land? Absolutely and unequivocally; HELL NO!