“And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.”

I had someone contact me and ask if I could succinctly document how and why the modern church has embraced the false doctrine that it teaches about the Godhead. (namely that “the Father has a body of flesh and bones“]

I will try to condense the issue and the important “take away” that we should get from it. (thanks again to “Josh” who brought this to my attention years ago.)

Point #1 Section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants was added in 1876 by Orson Pratt under the direct of Brigham Young. Prior to this, Lectures on Faith was probably the most high profile teaching about the characteristics of the Father and the Son.

Point #2 The preface of Section 130 erroneously refers to the content as “Items of Instruction given by Joseph Smith the Prophet”. The truth is that some of the content in Section 130 came from a series of talks that Orson Hyde had given in the presences of Joseph Smith in 1842. It is Orson Hyde, not Joseph Smith, who taught that “the Father has a body of flesh and blood, the Son also”

Point #3 Following Orson Hyde’s address, Joseph Smith offered some private correction. According to Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Volume 2 page 324, on April 2, 1842, Joseph recorded that he said to Elder Hyde: “Elder Hyde I am going to offer some corrections to you.” To which Elder Hyde replied, “they shall be thankfully received.”.

Joseph Smith then said “When he (Christ) shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he (Christ) is a man like ourselves.” – (Parenthesis added). On page 326 Joseph Smith documented the corrections that he made to the false teachings of Orson Hyde. Joseph Smith said: “There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven. Before the foundation of the world upon which all blessings are predicted and when we obtain a blessing it is by obedience to the law upon which that blessing is predicated. Again reverted to Elder Hyde’s mistake. &c the Father has a body of flesh & bones as tangible as mans the son also, but the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit…”

In other words, Joseph Smith was clarifying that Orson Hyde”s teaching that the Father has a body of flesh and bone was a false doctrine. Orson Hyde had been correct about the Son having a physical body but was wrong about the Father having a physical body. Joseph was also clarifying that Orson’s teaching about the Holy Ghost being a personage of spirit was also false.

By making those two corrections, Joseph Smith was bringing Orson Hyde’s declarations into conformity with what had already been taught in Lections on Faith, namely, that God the Father is a personage of spirit who differs from the Son in that the Son has a tangle body. Also taught in Lectures on Faith is that the Holy Spirit is not personage of spirit, rather, the Holy Spirit is a spiritual essence and is the mind of God.

It is astounding and quite remarkable that after being corrected on these two doctrinal issues, Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde and their brethren who became the  leaders of the Utah church would eventually canonized the false doctrines and claim that Joseph Smith had taught them.

Interestingly, the false doctrine in Section 130:22 that was canonized in 1876, would eventually be used as doctrinal evidence to bring into question the credibility of teaching about the Godhead contained in Lectures on Faith.

It became instrumental in helping the committee that decided to remove the Lectures on Faith from the D&C in 1921 (without a vote) to justify their actions. They felt that the teachings in Lectures on faith were not congruent with the teachings in Section 130 and that Section 130 trumped the teachings in Lectures on Father.

Hence a teaching about the Godhead that had been originally canonized by Joseph Smith, was removed from the scriptures and replaced by a heresy taught by Orson Hyde.

We have been warned that we inherit lies from the “tradition of our fathers” but we seldom evaluate how the traditions of our fathers get integrated into a religious system that started out with doctrinal integrity.

Well, know you know.

The Lord warns us in scripture that once his people reject a higher truth, God takes away from us the truths that we have been previously taught. This is just one of many examples of how this takes place.

When the saints of the restoration rejected the fulness of the Gospel, God began taking away all of the truths that had previously been revealed.

This is why virtually every true doctrine of the restoration has now been discarded or corrupted.



4 Responses to “And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.”

  1. Mike says:

    Another false teaching about God is that he was once a man. It shows up in both Lorenzo Snow’s couplet (from 1840 – though not shared publicly until much later) and the King Follett Sermon in 1844. It seems both false doctrines complement each other in creating a false narrative of God. Instead of being eternal and unchangeable, God is a resurrected, glorified man with a resurrected physical body.

    It boggles my mind how the Lectures on Faith and other scriptures are so clear on God’s nature, yet this new doctrine was accepted by so many. It is testimony to how we lose the truth that we once had and are left with the traditions of our fathers.

    Interestingly, Joseph seems to have left us a bread crumb to follow to get to the truth in the King Follett Sermon. Clearly, the Seer’s eyes have been covered and strong delusion is taking hold of many of the Saints. Yet perhaps Joseph had some sense of what was happening. Here’s the interesting passage from the sermon:

    “I will prove that the world is wrong, by showing what God is. I am going to inquire after God; for I want you all to know Him, and to be familiar with Him; and if I am bringing you to a knowledge of Him, all persecutions against me ought to cease. You will then know that I am His servant; for I speak as one having authority.”

    Perhaps some would prefer to consider this a rhetorical flourish, however it seems an important clue to discern the truth about this doctrine he is introducing. If, as some believe, he had greater revelatory insights at this time, than he did when he was receiving the bulk of the revelations, then this promise should have been fulfilled.

    Joseph Smith gives us a conditional statement: if these new doctrines and teachings are bringing us to a better knowledge of God, then persecutions against him ought to cease. If this comes to pass, then we can KNOW that Joseph is God’s servant and is speaking with authority. Surely, the converse should be true as well: if the promised end of persecutions does NOT come to pass, then these teachings are NOT bringing us to a knowledge of God and Joseph is NOT acting as His servant or speaking with authority at this time.

    And what happened after Joseph taught this doctrine? The persecutions certainly didn’t cease, but appear to have gotten worse. William Law came out publicly against this doctrine. And just a few short months after preaching this, Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob. Did anyone put this statement to the test?

    No, instead the false doctrine was latched onto and the church became attached to a false understanding of God. Clearly, the light that was once had was taken away and replaced with this strong delusion. And yet, throughout all this time the clear, unmistakable truth was sitting in the Doctrine and Covenants within the Lectures on Faith.

    D&C 84:
    54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
    55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

    This revelation from 1832 seems even more relevant in 1844.

    • Brilliant observation.. thanks for sharing!

    • Andy says:

      WOW! Thanks for pointing out the conditional statement! Totally missed that.
      KF Discourse is interesting in that he uses the nonsense of Jacob vs. James to show error in the bible. James is a derivation of Jacob like Joshua vs. Jesus. That’s not a smoking gun.

      His analysis of Bereshit was also wrong in saying that adding the be- was the only addition. The whole sentience would have had to be reworked in order to make his claim correct. I’m not saying this didn’t happen, just that it’s more complex than saying that “just a be- was added”.

      What is interesting is his concept that “old Jew without any authority” added it as Gen 1 is from the Priestly Source (P) and Jeremiah was highly critical of what the Priests were writing which seemed to match things found in P.

    • JN says:

      Mike, thanks for pointing out that little conditional piece. Glossed that over for sure.

      When I read the KF discourse I actually picture a totally wasted and drunk Joseph giving it, haha, slurred speech, stumbling, speaking crazy crap, etc. :). Of course we understand that his intoxication was the result of the sins of Israel that had been placed upon him. Poor Joseph, we just kept pouring him shot after shot, “have another Joseph!”

      Thanks Watcher for pointing out the atonement statute, it really clarifies a lot!

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