God’s big mic drop: Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith?

Modern Mormonism is, by its own early standards, boring.

It no longer fits early Mormonism’s hyper-pentecostal restorationist criteria for genuine retrieval of the vibrant and identifiable practice of charismatic gifts.

Gone are the early LDS days of angelic visitors, Kirtland Temple visions, speaking in tongues, dramatic healings, bold prophecy, “thus saith the Lord” revelations, theocratic kingdom building, bursts of new scripture, and polygamy.

Now it’s back to the “boring” functional cessationism that it earlier claimed was a mark of apostasy.

It’s as though dramatic charismata was for the generation or two after Joseph Smith. Enough time for the foundation to be laid and for a less earth-shaking era to follow.

Loose analogy, but Mormons think of Joseph Smith like many Christians think of Jesus Christ:

  • Joseph Smith is their final dispensation head.
  • He enacted a new covenant.
  • He definitively unveiled the most important mysteries.
  • He secured a permanent kingdom that won’t be shaken — assuring no more Great Apostasy.
  • He boasts of gathering sheep in an effective way that the earlier covenant didn’t accomplish.
  • He announces, “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter.”
  • His blood was shed, and now his life and sacrifice are remembered.
  • He mingles with the heavenly beings.
  • He intercedes for his brothers from heaven.
  • He is praised in song in the gathered church worship.

It’s no wonder that they are content with Joseph Smith being God’s big mic drop, and with a sharp decline in the degree of charismata since his message has been substantially established. He was the agent of their own Hebrews 1:1 paradigm shift.