Ken Ham vs Joseph Smith

On Feb 4, 2014, Ken Ham, Young Earth Creationist and president of Answers in Genesis, famously debated Bill Nye on live TV (well, YouTube, at least). At the time, I had no idea who Ken Ham was, but I grew up watching Bill Nye the Science Guy, so I was intrigued and tuned in for some of the debate. And I’m glad I did, actually, because it marked a turning point in my opinion of creation and science. In fact, I guess you could say it was an important stepping stone in the path to my current understanding of how I reconcile science and religion for myself. As a Latter-day Saint, I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if Ken Ham debated Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and a man who claimed he was a prophet sent by God.

And so I’ve collected a few quotes from these two religious men about several topics that might come up in a debate. Obviously, since Joseph died in 1844, we can’t have a live debate, but we can use their words to guess what kinds of things they might have said were they to participate in one. Of course, this isn’t perfect, and I took some liberties to make it work in a setting outside of context; but all quotations are unaltered and from the original speaker, according to my sources. My intent is not to offend anyone, but to show the similarities and differences between these two influential leaders.

I have taken the Ken Ham quotes mostly from writings on his website (AnswersinGenesis.org) that are attributed to him, and from his personal Facebook account. I have also tried to find reliable Joseph Smith quotes from good sources, which, to my knowledge, all legitimately came from him. Although Latter-day Saints believe that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price are texts given to Joseph Smith through divine revelation, I use passages from these works as if they were the voice of Joseph Smith himself.

The words in bold are the questions of the moderator, and the statements of Mr. Ham and Mr. Smith are labelled accordingly. Also, for some reason, Ken Ham always answers our questions first. Alright? Let’s do this!

Now, I won’t be offering any commentary on these statements, so it’s up to you to decide: Which man gets closer to the truth–Ken Ham or Joseph Smith?

Ken Ham and Joseph Smith, the participants in tonight’s debate.

Tell us about Jesus.

Ken Ham: The good news of Christ’s death and resurrection is the hope we all need… Our true and living hope is in the person of Jesus Christ and his promise to someday “wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). (1)

Joseph Smith (8 May 1838): The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it. (2)

What are your thoughts on religious freedom?

Ken Ham (Nov 2014): Right now, because of pressure from atheists and some very liberal newspapers in Kentucky on state government officials, our freedom of speech and freedom of religion with this outreach are now under attack… the state seeks to discriminate against us because of our Christian message. The letter from a state official, with statements that criticize us for having an evangelistic purpose and possibly hiring Ark staff who agree with our Christian faith, is remarkable… But as is clear settled law, churches and other religious organizations are allowed to hire employees who agree with their religious viewpoint! Who would have ever thought that such governmental interference would come to America! (3)

Joseph Smith: If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a “Mormon,” I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul — civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race. (4)

What about #flatearth?

Ken Ham (2 Aug 2019): In the past, I would hear atheists argue that the Bible supposedly teaches a flat earth, and therefore we can’t trust anything it says about science. But now it’s not just atheists arguing the Bible teaches a flat earth—it’s some Christians, too, who’ve sadly fallen for flat-earth arguments and now believe that’s what the Bible teaches. But does it? No, it doesn’t. (5)

Joseph Smith (8 Apr 1843): Deacon Homespun said the earth was flat as a pan cake, but science has proved to the contrary. The world is full of technicalities and misrepresentation, but I calculate to overthrow the technicalities of the world and speak of things as they actually exist. (6)

Talk about original sin.

Ken Ham: We don’t have a “dark, evil side” because we inherited it from some ape-like ancestors; we are sinful because we are descendants of Adam. You see, Adam, the first man, rebelled against God and brought sin and death into creation (1 Corinthians 15:22). The Bible tells us we all sin because we sinned in Adam and continue to sin (Romans 5:12). (7)

Joseph Smith (1842): We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. (Article of Faith 1:2)

What is your policy on accepting scientific discoveries?

Ken Ham: No apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. (8)

Joseph Smith (9 July 1843): One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may. (9)

Is the Bible inerrant?

Ken Ham (7 Dec 2012): The Bible: Is it Perfect? This is Ken Ham on a mission to call the church back to God’s word. You know, Calling a book perfect, well, that’s a big deal. Perfect means having no mistakes or contradictions. But you know, that’s exactly what christians are called to believe about the bible. You see, we can be confident that the bible is perfect because it isn’t like any other book. It’s the only book God wrote.  He inspired human writers to perfectly capture what he intended to say. And God did that for our benefit so that we’d know him. So why else does it matter? Well, our view of scripture impacts our eyes. If we accept the Bible came from God, we put our trust in what it says. In that way, God’s word becomes our foundation for our whole worldview. (10)

Joseph Smith (15 Oct 1843): I believe the bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers; ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. (11)

How does one get the authority to preach?

Ken Ham (5 May 2015): But as I’ve testified to over the years, when it comes to the ministry the Lord has called us to, I have a “fire in my bones” that I can’t explain. I can’t help but get excited. I know the Lord has called my wife and me to this creation/gospel ministry—and He has confirmed that calling over and over again. (12)

Joseph Smith (1842): We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. (Articles of Faith 1:5, Pearl of Great Price)

What do you think about preaching for money

Ken Ham (18 Mar 2020): We would be very grateful and blessed with any contribution to help sustain the core AIG [Answers in Genesis] ministry during the coronavirus situation. https://answersingenesis.org/donate  Use MATHEW6 code to save 20% store wide at http://answersbookstore.com. (13)

Joseph Smith (1830): He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion. (2 Nephi 26:29, Book of Mormon)

Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, opened in 2016.

Is there life on other planets?

Ken Ham (20 Jul 2014): I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life… Of course, secularists are desperate to find life in outer space, as they believe that would provide evidence that life can evolve in different locations and given the supposed right conditions!  The search for extraterrestrial life is really driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution! … Recent technologies have developed new space telescopes that will be used to study exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) with the hope of discovering habitable, earth-like worlds that might contain life—at least that is what they hope for! You see, according to the secular, evolutionary worldview there must be other habited worlds out there… Secularists cannot allow earth to be special or unique—that’s a biblical idea (Isaiah 45:18). If life evolved here, it simply must have evolved elsewhere they believe. The Bible, in sharp contrast to the secular worldview, teaches that earth was specially created, that it is unique and the focus of God’s attention (Isaiah 66:1 and Psalm 115:16). Life did not evolve but was specially created by God, as Genesis clearly teaches. Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe. Now the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space.  I certainly suspect not. The Earth was created for human life. And the sun and moon were created for signs and our seasons—and to declare the glory of God. (14)

Joseph Smith (8 Apr 1843, commenting on Revelation 5:11-13): John saw curious looking beasts in heaven, he saw every creature that was in heaven, all the beasts, fowls, & fish in heaven, actually there, giving glory to God. I suppose John saw beings there, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this, strange beasts of which we have no conception all might be seen in heaven. John learned that God glorified himself by saving all that his hands had made whether beasts, fowl fishes or man. Any man who would tell you that this could not be, would tell you that the revelations are not true. John heard the words of the beasts giving glory to God and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them; The beasts were intelligent beings and were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God. (15)

Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?

Ken Ham (20 Jul 2014): And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin—the Savior of mankind. Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon” or the “GodMartian”!  Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior… To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong. An understanding of the gospel makes it clear that salvation through Christ is only for the Adamic race—human beings who are all descendants of Adam. (16)

Joseph Smith (1832): And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God. (D&C 76:22-24)

What came first: the chicken or the egg?

Ken Ham: “Well the Bible teaches us that God made the flying creatures on day five of creation, and God told the animals to be fruitful and multiply.  So obviously the chicken (a bird) came first, and then they laid eggs.” So the kids would learn it this way, “The chicken came first because God made the birds on day five of the creation week!” Of course there is also the design issue…  All the parts/chemicals etc. have to be there for the egg-laying system to work in the first place—it certainly couldn’t evolve. (17)

Joseph Smith (16 Jun 1844): Where was there ever a son without a father? and where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And every thing comes in this way. (18)

Was Earth the first thing created? 

Ken Ham: When we look carefully at Genesis 1, in Hebrew or even in English, it is clear that God created everything in six literal (24-hour) days. First, we are told that He created the earth in darkness and then created light. (19)

Joseph Smith (1842): And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it; And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest… Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God. First in government, the last pertaining to the measurement of time. (Abraham 3:2-3 & Facsimile 2, Figure 1, Pearl of Great Price)

Did natural processes create the universe?

Ken Ham (August 20, 2015): Sadly, many Christians openly embrace big bang cosmology (that the universe essentially created itself) but argue that God is the one who started the process. But this means that God really didn’t do much and was distant from His creation, which is not the way the God of the Bible says He created (this idea also has many other problems as mentioned earlier). (20)

Joseph Smith (1842): And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth… And the Gods ordered the expanse, so that it divided the waters … and it was so, even as they ordered… and the Gods saw that they were obeyed… And the Gods said: Let us prepare the earth to bring forth grass; the herb yielding seed; the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, whose seed in itself yieldeth its own likeness upon the earth; and it was so, even as they ordered… and the Gods saw that they were obeyed… And the Gods organized the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; with the lesser light they set the stars also; … And the Gods watched those things which they had ordered until they obeyed… And the Gods prepared the waters that they might bring forth great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters were to bring forth abundantly after their kind; and every winged fowl after their kind. And the Gods saw that they would be obeyed, and that their plan was good… And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind; and the Gods saw they would obey… And the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient. (Abraham 4:1-31, Pearl of Great Price; compare with Genesis 1:1-31)

Do you think there could be more of God’s word out there in addition to the Bible?

Ken Ham: When you start with God’s Word, there’s no escaping the truth that there’s only one God. And that salvation is found in none other than in his Son, Jesus. Sadly, though, 20 percent of twentysomethings in the church think that other holy books are inspired by God. They don’t view God’s Word as the authority, thus many believe there are other ways to heaven. But the Bible claims to be the only true Word of God. When evaluating other religions, ask what they think of God’s Word. Many have added to it with other books that contradict the Bible. But we’re told not to add to God’s Word, and if something contradicts Scripture, it can’t be from God! We need to stand on Scripture alone. (21)

Joseph Smith (1830): Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. (2 Nephi 29:6-11, Book of Mormon)

Will atheists burn in hell forever?

Ken Ham (21 Oct 2015): [Richard] Dawkins has spent most of his life rejecting the writings of Moses, particularly Genesis, and trying to get as many people as he can to follow his rebellious lifestyle that leads directly to hell. Yes, we do need to pray much for him. (22)

Joseph Smith (7 Apr 1844): I have a declaration to make in relation to the provisions which God made for every creature from before the foundation of the world to suit the conditions of man. What has Jesus said? All sins and all blasphemies—every transgression that man may be guilty of—shall be forgiven in this world or the world to come, except one—the sin against the Holy Ghost. There is a provision for salvation for him, either in this world or in the world of spirits which is to come. Hence, God has made a provision that the spirits of our friends and every spirit in that eternal world can be ferreted out and saved, unless he has committed that unpardonable sin which can’t be remitted to him, whether in this world or in the world of spirits. God has wrought out salvation for all men, unless they have committed a certain sin… A man cannot commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body. He cannot be damned through all eternity; there is a way possible for his escape in a little time, so he is not particularly damned. If a man has knowledge he can be saved, for knowledge saves a man… If he has been guilty of great sins, he is punished for them. So long as a man will not give consent and heed to the commandments, he must abide without salvation. When he consents to obey the Gospel, whether alive or dead, he is saved. A sinner has his own mind and his own mind damns him. He is damned by mortification and is his own condemner and tormenter… I have no fear of hell fire, that doesn’t exist, but the torment and disappointment of the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone—so is the torment of man. (23)

Will non-Christians go to hell forever?

Ken Ham (2016): I explained that whether a person was a Baptist, Presbyterian, Hindu, Muslim, or so on, if a person was not born again, then that person will not be with the Lord but separated from Him in a place the Bible calls Hell. (24)

Joseph Smith (12 May 1844): In my Fathers house are many mansions &c it should be In my Father’s Kingdom are many Kingdoms—in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint heirs with me—I do not believe the methodist doctrine of sending honest men, and noble minded men to hell, along with the murderer and adulterer—they may hurl all their hell and fiery billows upon me, for they will roll off me as fast as they come on—but I have an order of things to save the poor fellows at any rate, and get them saved for I will send men to preach to them in prison and save them if I can. There are many mansions for those who obey a celestial law—&  there are other mansions for those who come short of that law—every man in his own order[.] (25)

Joseph Smith’s Kirtland Temple, dedicated in 1836.

How old is the universe?

Ken Ham: Sometimes Christians are reluctant to discuss the age of the universe. The Bible states that God created in six days, and its genealogies clearly indicate that this took place only a few thousand years ago. But some people reason, “Hasn’t science demonstrated that it would take billions of years for the light from the farthest galaxies to reach the earth? Doesn’t this disprove the Genesis account or force us to interpret the words differently?” Not at all. (26)

Joseph Smith (1842): And the Gods concluded upon the seventh time, because that on the seventh time they would rest from all their works which they (the Gods) counseled among themselves to form; and sanctified it… And the Gods took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it. And the Gods commanded the man, saying: Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning. (Abraham 5:3,11-13)

Were there non-avian dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?

Ken Ham: God clearly claims that He created the land animals on Day Six along with man. In light of who God is and His eyewitness testimony, we should not be ashamed to build our understanding of dinosaurs upon His Word, even if some people disagree… The Bible states that two of every kind of land animal and seven of some went onto the Ark. It doesn’t say two of every species went onto the Ark but “kinds.” There are thousands of species of dinosaurs, but there are only about fifty families of dinosaurs. And since the biblical kind is thought to correspond to the family level in most cases, there would have been only about one hundred dinosaurs on the Ark—not thousands… The Lord may have selected younger (and therefore smaller) representatives of some of the larger kinds, so there was plenty of room for all of the dinosaur kinds aboard the Ark. If dinosaurs sailed on the Ark, where are they today? Different animal species become extinct every day for various reasons… Interestingly, it appears that some of the dinosaur kinds that did survive a long time after the Flood became known as dragons. Dragon legends abound all over the world. We can confidently build our understanding of dinosaurs—like everything else in life—on the truth of God’s Word. (27)

Joseph Smith (1830): Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark. (2 Nephi 28:9)

Do animals have spirits? 

Ken Ham (10 Oct 2019, while sharing an article titled “We Just Got More Evidence That Great Apes Possess ‘Theory of Mind’”): There’s no doubt God has given animals phenomenal abilities coded into their DNA. But regardless, only humans are made in the image of God—apes and other creatures are not. Because of the religion of evolution, evolutionists continue to look for anything that might be able to be used to continue to brainwash gullible people into believing that humans and apes are related! Scientists need to build their worldview on God’s Word and look at animals from a perspective of the creation account in Genesis—that would help advance science. (28)

Joseph Smith (March 1832): What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in [Revelation 4:6]?… They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created… What are we to understand by the eyes and wings, which the beasts had?… Their eyes are a representation of light and knowledge, that is, they are full of knowledge; and their wings are a representation of power, to move, to act, etc. (D&C 77:2,4)

Did God create the universe “ex nihilo”?

Ken Ham (22 Sep 2012): We as biblical creationists point out that God created the universe and all that’s in it ex nihilo—“from nothing.” (29)

Joseph (7 Apr 1844): Now, I ask all who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God, and have not the gift of the Holy Ghost; they account it blasphemy in any one to contradict their idea. If you tell them that God made the world out of something, they will call you a fool. But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and he is within me, and comprehends more than all the world; and I will associate myself with him. You ask them why, and they say, “Doesn’t the Bible say He created the world?” And they infer that it must be out of nothing. The word create came from the word BARA, but it doesn’t mean so. What does BARA mean? It means to organize; the same as a man would organize and use things to build a ship. Hence, we infer that God Himself had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter—which is element and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time He had. (30)

How long was each day of creation? Were they literal 24-hour days?

Ken Ham (Dec 1995): The majority of Christians in churches probably aren’t sure whether God really created everything in six literal days. Many believe it doesn’t matter whether it took six days or six million years. However, it is vital to believe in six literal days for many reasons. Foremost is that allowing these days to be long periods of time undermines the foundations of the message of the Cross. (31)

Joseph Smith (1842): And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth… And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night… and this was the second time that they called night and day… and it was the third time… and it was the fourth time… and it was the fifth time… And the Gods said: We will do everything that we have said, and organize them; and behold, they shall be very obedient. And it came to pass that it was from evening until morning they called night; and it came to pass that it was from morning until evening that they called day; and they numbered the sixth time. (Abraham 4:1-31, Pearl of Great Price; compare with Genesis 1:1-31)

How did the earth and/or the other planets form?

Ken Ham: The nebular hypothesis is simply a story to describe what may have happened in the “prehistoric” solar system. There are no observations to support the claims that natural processes over millions of years could form a solar system… Over and over again in astronomy, cosmic collisions are invoked as a sort of magic wand to rescue evolutionary theories from the facts. The planet Uranus is tilted over, therefore, something hit it. Venus’s rotation contradicts evolutionary predictions—therefore, something hit it. Mercury is too dense for evolution—therefore, something hit it. (32)

Joseph Smith (5 Jan 1841): This earth was organized or formed out of other planets which were broke up and remodelled and made into the one on which we live. (33)

Does God have a body?

Ken Ham: Now, obviously, God is spirit (John 4:24), so he’s not male or female in the physical sense like we are. But when he stepped into history as the God-man, Jesus Christ, he stepped into history as the God-man. He reveals himself to us as the Son and as the Father—that’s masculine. (34)

Joseph Smith (11 June 1843): Their is much said concerning God the Godhead &c. The scripture says their is Gods many & Lords many. The teachers of the day say that the father is God the Son is God & the Holy Ghost is God & that they are all in one body & one God. Jesus says or prays that those that the father had given him out of the world might be made one in us as we are one. But if they were to be stuffed into one person they would make a great God. If I were to testify that the world was wrong on this point it would be true. Peter says that Jesus Christ sat on the right hand of God. Any person that has seen the heavens opened knows that their is three personages in the heavens holding the keys of power. As the father hath power in himself so the Son hath power in himself. Then the father has some day laid down his body & taken it again. So he has a bo[d]y of his own. So has his Son a body of his own. So each one will be in their own body. (35)

Where did God come from?

Ken Ham: If God used evolution, God came from an ape. (36)

Joseph Smith (7 Apr 1844): What kind of a being was God in the beginning, before the world was? I will go back to the beginning to show you. I will tell you, so open your ears and eyes, all ye ends of the earth, and hear, for I am going to prove it to you with the Bible. I am going to tell you the designs of God for the human race, the relation the human family sustains with God, and why He interferes with the affairs of man. First, God Himself who sits enthroned in yonder heavens is a Man like unto one of yourselves—that is the great secret! If the veil were rent today and the great God that holds this world in its sphere and the planets in their orbit and who upholds all things by His power—if you were to see Him today, you would see Him in all the person, image, fashion, and very form of a man, like yourselves. For Adam was a man formed in His likeness and created in the very fashion and image of God… For I am going to tell you how God came to be God and what sort of a being He is. For we have imagined that God was God from the beginning of all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so you may see. Truth is the touchstone. These things are incomprehensible to some, but they are simple. The first principle of truth and of the Gospel is to know for a certainty the character of God, and that we may converse with Him the same as one man with another, and that He once was a man like one of us and that God Himself, the Father of us all, once dwelled on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did in the flesh and like us. (37)

The Earth was created 4.5 billion years ago.

Ken Ham (15 Jul 2011): Were you there? (38)

Joseph Smith (9 Oct 1843): Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam, on the relation of man to God and angels in a future state, we should know very little about it. Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject. (39)

Please share your final statement.

Ken Ham (4 Feb 2010): We need to attack the false foundation of autonomous human reasoning that leads to evolution and millions of years, and proclaim that God’s revealed Word is authoritative and its history of the world is foundational to Christian morality and the gospel of Jesus Christ. (40)

Joseph Smith (15 Oct 1843): I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things, but the creeds set up stakes, and say hitherto shalt thou come, and no further; which I cannot subscribe to. (41)


Sources and Notes

  1. https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2018/09/11/jesus-hope-we-all-need/ 
  2. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 121 (8 May 1838)
  3. https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2014/11/27/ken-ham-says-atheists-are-attacking-his-religious-freedom-but-fails-to-mention-his-illegal-hiring-practices/ 
  4. http://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-statement-religious-freedom-pluralism
  5. https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2019/08/02/does-the-bible-teach-flat-earth/
  6. http://signaturebookslibrary.org/essential-joseph-smith-37/
  7. https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/did-we-inherit-our-dark-evil-side-chimps/?utm_source=facebook-kh&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=blog20180319
  8. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/08/1/l_081_04.html; https://answersingenesis.org/about/faith/
  9. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-e-1-1-july-1843-30-april-1844/36#full-transcript
  10. https://answersingenesis.org/media/audio/answers-with-ken-ham/volume-106/is-the-bible-perfect/
  11. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-e-1-1-july-1843-30-april-1844/127#full-transcript
  12. https://answersingenesis.org/religious-freedom/intolerant-pastors-unite-with-secularists-against-ark-encounter/
  13. Comment made by Ken Ham on a post shared by Ken Ham’s Facebook account on 18 Mar 2020.
  14. https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2014/07/20/well-find-a-new-earth-within-20-years/
  15. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-8-april-1843-as-reported-by-william-clayton-b/7
  16. https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2014/07/20/well-find-a-new-earth-within-20-years/
  17. https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2010/07/15/secular-scientists-get-an-origins-issue-right-for-a-change/
  18. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-f-1-1-may-1844-8-august-1844/109.
  19. https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/answers-in-genesis/read/articles/six-literal-days-16279.html
  20. https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2015/08/20/universe-dying-and-its-because-sin/
  21. https://answersingenesis.org/media/audio/answers-with-ken-ham/volume-130/more-than-one-word-of-god/ 
  22. https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2015/10/21/dawkins-mind-is-closed/
  23. http://signaturebookslibrary.org/essential-joseph-smith-48/
  24. https://www.christianpost.com/amp/ken-ham-responds-to-muslim-reporter-who-asks-if-hes-going-to-hell.html
  25. http://signaturebookslibrary.org/essential-joseph-smith-49/
  26. https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/answers-in-genesis/read/articles/distant-starlight-16283.html
  27. https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/answers-in-genesis/read/articles/dinosaurs-on-the-ark-16285.html
  28. https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham/posts/2736903856339953?__xts__[0]=68.ARD71aUo6KGWbMDFqa9puDwSzpeFXtFPV4Sz-HiIg3z1wphzIM6VPMYo3_mQa8_6XnTfZwHyBUiiXZg3j-wje3D9Dv-gHKJSiJFnGn3iWxz59E8MxHHZQzZVKABHShRvzDy7aJBH-HnWS3dq4B8RceM0MiF7LXZ8EUhNywa7JwEiy70rN-AMWvOzp88nlNqc_HE5xiOtJ2oe6_UZ7HLFsgcXcxMoSZXcDpleeF11mvBnAXvqeafaq4AiQWq_J8y_buCIaBfKq3ht8Cbhu3leiKDCsk6rA6qefyi8EUoAHMStrMjGXvIxtcd-wzx14N5l29ntFnOjSY6ytBY8TW5Fjs03Fg&__tn__=-R
  29. https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham/posts/284651578302163?__xts__[0]=68.ARAYxtNIXxjcFhbcS12TLmlaqaXItqck8ZZm8dpcwYUGq2pL3oTq1yekny7Fd2lDEXGnraC8uUehKS3f0VKeSa1NWDvhJsxr1iVF7NoIgyGD_NTzFrch2V3mG7hsTHcc3Ch5y02b9SVNMweoKA_Vh6YJ_WHJNVMM_IWf_2ud-oobmgNnlFzVxLyYpdi6tQ0QERFKBqhvkA_qWdiQDQsG9wKhUc3CZ1wUcIFusflhftNIic8f6VDagbWosgff8pUEdBkT-sjRaloIq2WdL-JeExWDxJ6Rgy579gHJBdoCjT-tl6lYZl-PvtmYwaDh0FPUEtxjQnc_yvzSxzErqUp-Nr0&__tn__=-R
  30. http://signaturebookslibrary.org/essential-joseph-smith-48/
  31. https://creation.com/the-necessity-for-believing-in-six-literal-days. Church president Brigham Young also used the “6 days or 6 million years” comparison, but took it in different direction: “As for the Bible account of the creation we may say that the Lord gave it to Moses, or rather Moses obtained the history and traditions of the fathers, and from these picked out what he considered necessary, and that account has been handed down from age to age, and we have got it, no matter whether it is correct or not, and whether the Lord found the earth empty and void, whether he made it out of nothing or out of the rude elements; or whether he made it in six days or in as many millions of years, is and will remain a matter of speculation in the minds of men unless he give revelation on the subject. If we understood the process of creation there would be no mystery about it, it would be all reasonable and plain, for there is no mystery except to the ignorant.” (JD 14:116) 
  32. https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/solar-system/ 
  33. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/account-of-meeting-and-discourse-5-january-1841-as-reported-by-william-clayton/5#full-transcript
  34. https://answersingenesis.org/god/she-spoken-through-prophets-the-holy-spirit-she/
  35. http://signaturebookslibrary.org/essential-joseph-smith-39/
  36. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2016/04/public-schools-are-visiting-ken-hams-creation-museum.html
  37. http://signaturebookslibrary.org/essential-joseph-smith-48/
  38. https://answersingenesis.org/the-word-of-god/were-you-there/; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLeQkuTGSOs
  39. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-e-1-1-july-1843-30-april-1844/126#full-transcript
  40. https://answersingenesis.org/creation-vs-evolution/the-evolutionizing-of-a-culture/
  41. https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-e-1-1-july-1843-30-april-1844/126

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