Thursday, May 21, 2015
Joseph Smith encounters Matthias’ false doctrine
“He [Matthias] commenced by saying, God said, let there be light, and there was light, which he dwelt upon throughout his discourse. He made some very excellent remarks, but his mind was evidently filled with darkness. . . . I resumed conversation with Matthias, and desired him to enlighten my mind more on his views respecting the resurrection. He said that he possessed the spirit of his fathers, that he was a literal descendant of Matthias, the Apostle, who was chosen in the place of Judas that fell; that his spirit was resurrected in him; and that this was the way or scheme of eternal life—this transmigration of soul or spirit from father to son. I told him that his doctrine was of the devil, that he was in reality in possession of a wicked and depraved spirit, although he professed to be the Spirit of truth itself; and he said also that he possessed the soul of Christ. . . . I told him, that my God told me, that his god was the devil, and I could not keep him any longer, and he must depart. And so I, for once, cast out the devil in bodily shape, and I believe a murderer” (Joseph Smith, HC 2:306-7).
Although we read in the scriptures of multiple spirits (“Legion”) being in one physical body, we do not read of one spirit body being in multiple physical bodies simultaneously.
Under this belief, one spirit would be in a father and a son who are alive at the same time. Things are complicated when the grandfather is still alive as well, and/or when the father has more than one son.
If the spirit moves from father to son, then if we keep going back in time, we reach Adam. So we have the situation where Adam’s spirit ultimately transmigrates to all the other men born in the world?
The doctrine is of the devil, since it leads to the conclusion that all men ultimately have Adam’s spirit, and if Adam is thought to be a saved being, then all men could be thought to be saved beings.
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham [or Adam, or anyone] to our father” (Matthew 3:8-9).
“The contention in heaven was—Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the devil said he would save them all” (Joseph Smith, HC 6:314).
Therefore, the idea that the transmigration of soul or spirit from father to son was the way or scheme of eternal life appears to be false doctrine.