South Park Mormon: Joseph Smith and the First Vision
1. Mormons believe Joseph Smith is the “most important person in the world” – FALSE
At the beginning of the Joseph Smith section, Stan curiously asks, “Who’s Joseph Smith?” to which the oldest son responds, “Only the most important person in the world.” This is not an accurate view of what Mormons believe. Without a doubt, Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is “the most important person in the world.” Without His life and His sacrifice, we would have nothing. Click here to learn more about what Mormons believe about Jesus Christ.
However, Mormons do believe that Joseph Smith is one of his anointed prophets, just like Moses and Abraham from the Old Testament. Because of that position and his role in bringing forth the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith is very important in the Mormon faith.
2. Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ – TRUE
In the South Park episode, Joseph Smith says that he was praying to know whether he “should be a Protestant or a Catholic or what and suddenly God and Jesus appeared before me.” Click here to read the full story of Joseph Smith. The short version of the story is relatively close to the brief South Park explanation. There was a great religious revival in the area where Joseph Smith lived when he was a teenager. When reading the Bible one day, Joseph records:
“While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
As a result, Joseph Smtih decided to pray and ask for God’s direction as to which religion he should join. As he knelt down to pray in a secluded area in the woods, Joseph records:
“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brighness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”
3. Joseph Smith was told not to join any of the churches – TRUE
Joseph Smith was answered that he should not join any of the churches, because the fullness of truth was not on the earth any longer. These truths and proper authority would in time be revealed and restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
CONCLUSION: This short part of the South Park episode is relatively accurate, though of course a lot of substantial details and clarifications are omitted. Read the links above to learn more about what Mormons believe about Jesus Christ and His prophet Joseph Smith.