While doing some research for a video project I am helping someone with . . . I called up on YouTube a film "Joseph Smith: The Prophet Of The Restoration" created and released by the LDS Church in 2005. Randomly, I clicked somewhere in the early part of the film at 14:40mins. and watched a scene where young Joesph is at the grave of his recently passed elder brother Alvin.
A church man (A Presbyterian minister/reverend it turns out) walks up to him and says, "Perhaps God is trying to warn you Joseph. . . . Alvin is lost. . . . But there is still hope for you. . . ." Young Joseph is looking away, distraught--.
"Forget these foolish notions," says the minister, dressed in black, holding his Bible , crouching down by Joe. . . .
Joe keeps looking down and away and the minister finally gets back up and leaves. Then woman narrator then comes on and says, "But it was Alvin's words that were in Joseph's mind: 'I can't believe God would want to to save just a few of us.'"
. . . .And, well, isn't that something. Is this not where false teaching usually starts, as I happened to have just recently written?: "I can't believe God would _______"
Here is the perfect example of "leaning to your own understanding"--a practice directly contrary to Biblical, Godly teaching.
Furthermore, the issue of whether God "wants" to "save just a few" . . . or save everybody. . . . Is this not also one of the major sticking points that sends self-reliant thinkers off to "discover"/concoct more pleasant, "ear-tickling" doctrines?
Yet, here again, why is it so hard to see that this sentiment--as Alvin Smith purportedly exhibited--DIRECTLY contradicts God's Word?! For Jesus Himself taught, "many are called, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN." -Matt. 22:14
The only way to get around such plain teaching is to claim, as Smith did, that the Bible is correct, "ONLY so far as it is translated correctly"--which "incorrectly" translated parts are become quite useful when they go against Joseph's concocted teachings. . . .
Anyway, to put a capper on this issue I looked at Wikipedia regarding Alvin and Joe and read this: Alvin's funeral was held at the Presbyterian church. According to an 1893 account by his brother William,
"Rev. Stockton had preached my brother's funeral sermon and intimated
very strongly that he had gone to hell, for Alvin was not a church
member". William cites this as a reason that Joseph Sr. would not join the Presbyterians.
It was the doctrine of predestination that seems to have initially distressed Smith to the point that he decided to create a new religion where "free agency" reigns supreme (man chooses God, not God chooses man) and where virtually all people attain one or the other Heavenly estate.
Indeed, it seems to me that these issues are most often at the root of all cultish and errant false doctrines. Folks just can't tolerate the God of the Bible--they contend against Him and what He "would want" and prefer to live and love a fiction . . . rather than live and love the Truth.