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Is Joseph Smith the mediator of yet another, even better covenant?

There is Another, Newer Covenant

After reading Hebrews, I was struck with the impression that Joseph Smith might be the mediator of yet another, even better covenant. (The concept of another mediator fits well with the meridian of time description for Christ). Moses was the mediator of the old covenant which was broken by the people. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant (Hebrews 12:24) which the LDS believe was again broken through apostasy. Joseph Smith in these latter days, has therefore brought us the new covenant (D&C 84:57) which is another new covenant within the new and everlasting covenant, which was from the beginning (D&C 22:1), one with "better promises" (Hebrews 8:6) than either of the previous covenants brought by Moses and Jesus. Joseph Smith therefore shares in the mediator role that both Moses and Jesus have in their own dispensations.

Joseph Smith is compared with Moses in D&C 28:2:
"But, behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses."

Something else that leads one to believe that Joseph Smith is the mediator of newer covenant is the cover of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It's new 1982 subtitle tells the world that it is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" a modern phrase made popular by Ezra Taft Benson and Bruce R. McConkie.

The word testament comes from the Latin translation [testamentum] for the Greek word used for covenant [diatheke], e.g., the New Testament and the Old Testament are collections of books telling about the New Covenant and the Old Covenant. The original meaning of testament (and still #1 in Webster's New World Dictionary) is "a covenant especially a covenant between God and man".

The Book of Mormon is therefore the book of Another Covenant of Jesus Christ, one that is different from the New Covenant found in the New Testament. I think the subtitle should have been Another Witness for Jesus Christ, not Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It seems the LDS were trying too hard in 1982 to tie the book in with the Bible; they should have consulted a dictionary first.

The D&C comes right out and tells us that the Book of Mormon is the new covenant!

"And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written-" (D&C 84:57)

Ed Decker totally missed the point of the new subtitle in 1982 focusing his attention on the word "Another" when he should have been looking into the word "Testament". D&C 84:57 is decisive in showing that Decker was barking up the wrong tree. FARMS finds fault with Decker, but it doesn't matter since he picked the wrong word:

FARMS, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7, Number 2, p. 72:
[Recent printings of the Book of Mormon have carried on their covers the explanatory subtitle "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." Ed Decker claims to think that, in this, he has finally caught the fiendishly clever Mormons with their masks off. "The word another on the Book of Mormon cover implies an additional testament," he says. "The dictionary defines another as 'different' or 'changed'" (p. 248). Well, yes, it does. But is that the word's only meaning? If I finish one glass of water and ask for another, am I really asking for something "different" or something "changed"? For root beer, perhaps, or for motor oil? Clearly not. The first entry under "another" in my Oxford American Dictionary is simply "additional, one more." Decker wants readers to swallow his allegations that the Book of Mormon is foreign to the Bible, and that the Jesus of the Nephites is alien to the Jesus of Palestine, but he clearly cannot rely on ordinary English usage to make his case.]

FARMS tries to show here that the Book of Mormon is not really something new, just another glass of the same. He should have used 'Testament/Covenant" and then quoted D&C 84:57 to show that the Book of Mormon IS something new, it is the new covenant.

This brings me to my multi-layered keystone analogy. The keystone of the LDS faith is the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith which is supported by the Catholic (some would rather read Christian) keystone of the New Testament and Jesus Christ which in turn is supported by the Jewish keystone of the Old Testament and Moses which is then supported by the Abrahamic keystone of the God of Abraham. (This last keystone also supports the keystone of Islam which is the Qur'an and Mohammed). If any keystone is found to be defective then all the churches and faiths relying on that keystone and up will fall. For example, if we found out the Jesus Christ was not our Lord and Savior and was just a great teacher then all of Christianity would fall and with its fall would also go Mormonism but Judaism and Islam would remain supported. If the Book of Mormon is not what it claims to be then all the denominations depending on this keystone will fall, including the LDS which is Mormonism's largest denomination.

It is perhaps in thinking of Joseph Smith as the mediator of a new and better covenant that the question of "Christianity" arises, just as Christians are no longer Jews (who are the followers of the old covenant), perhaps it is seen that Mormons are no longer Christians due to following another new covenant, better than the new covenant brought by Christ. My multi-layered keystone analogy could also provide support for calling Mormons something other than Christian since they exist at a keystone level above traditional Christianity in a similar manner that Christianity exists at a keystone level above Judaism.

Do we really need a new covenant (which the D&C describes as the Book of Mormon in D&C 84:57) when we already have Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant who is Himself the everlasting covenant? (Hebrews 8:8,13; 12:24; 13:20)

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