Christian creeds and called them "abominations..." Did Joseph Smith make this claim?...or did the Personages he claimed he saw make this claim? Here is the direct quote from what we Latter-day Saints regard as scripture from Joseph Smith History in the Pearl of Great Price:
" 17 ... When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness 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!
18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them;..."
Now the question becomes, was he telling the truth? Did God the Father and his son Jesus Christ actually speak to him or was Joseph lying? Millions of Latter-day Saints around the world believe he was telling the truth. Many more millions of Protestants and Catholics and Atheists and others around the world believe he was lying.
He was either telling the truth or he wasn't. He was a true Prophet of God or he wasn't. The extra-biblical scriptures that Latter-day-Saints regard as scripture - The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, which, with the King James Version of the Holy Bible comprise the "Standard Works" from which we get our doctrine - are true scripture or they aren't.
The creeds of Modern Christendom - and the few thousand different sects or "flavours" of Christianity that believe in them - either are a true and correct depiction of Deity or, as the Personages that Joseph claimed he saw put it, they are "an abomination in his sight."
It seems that they very men involved in the formulation of these creeds took a long time - decades and possibly even centuries - to come up with their formulations and were seized with misgivings about the whole process:
Saint Athanasius, the most celebrated defender of the Nicene Orthodoxy, said at the time...
"What is the use of all these synods? [Synods are essentially follow up councils to the Council of Nicea.] In vain do they dash hither and yon under the pretext that synods are necessary to settle important matters of doctrine, for the Holy Scriptures are sufficient for all that. We contradict those who were before us, depart from the traditions of our fathers, and think we must hold a synod. Then we are seized by misgivings, lest if we simply come together and agree, our diligence will be wasted; so we decide that synod ought to be divided into two groups, so we can vote;... And so we render ineffective what was done at Nicea under the pretext of working for greater simplicity... All of these synods are unnecessary and they are unnecessary because we have the Scripture and if the Scripture is a subject of disagreement in the synods, then we have the writings of the Fathers. The men at Nicea were not unmindful of this... As for these other synods, they simply don't make any sense, and they never get anywhere."
Saint Hilary of Poitiers, who was involved in the synods of Arles (353 A.D.) and Milan (355 A.D.), in describing the debating process of these synods as follows:
"It is a thing equally deplorable and dangerous that there are as many creeds as opinions among men, as many doctrines as inclinations, and as many sources of blasphemy as there are faults among us; because we make creeds arbitrarily, and explain them arbitrarily... the homoousion [the idea that the three persons of the Trinity are of the same substance as opposed to homoiousion - the idea that the three persons of the Trinity are not of the same substance but of similar substance] is rejected, and received, and explained away by successive synods. Every year, nay every month, we make new creeds to describe invisible mysteries. We repent of what we have done, we defend those who change their minds, we anathematize those whom we defended. We condemn either the doctrine of others in ourselves, or our own in that of others; and reciprocally tearing one another to pieces, we have been the cause of each other's ruin. Since the whole argument is about words, and since the whole controversy has to do with the subject of innovation, and since the occasion of the discussion is the presence of certain ambiguities, and since the dispute is about authority, and since we are quarreling about technical questions, and since our problem is to reach a consensus, and since each side is beginning to be anathema to the other, it would seem that hardly anybody belongs to Christ (or is on Christ's side) anymore. We are blown about by the winds of doctrine, and as we teach we only become more upset, and the more we are taught, the more we go astray."
The problem for those involved in formulating the creeds is "...to reach a consensus." The very nature of God is to be determined by voting???
Is it any wonder that God the Father said to Joseph Smith: " ...all their creeds were an abomination in [My] sight;..." and that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, THEY TEACH FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” ?
The earth is flat or it is a sphere. Truth as it ACTUALLY is does not regard your's or my opinion about it. Something either is TRUE or it isn't. (Kinda reminds me of one of the lyrics of an old Dire Straits song: "Two men say they're Jesus / One of 'ems gotta be wrong...")
I for one dug deeply, both intellectually - read a great number of Anti-Mormon books FIRST (and found way too many instances of the breaking of the commandment of bearing false witness against one's neighbour to find them credible) - and spiritually with many hours of prayer and meditation some 21 years ago. And I know that Joseph was telling the truth, just as firmly as my Catholic/Anglican/Presbyterian/Seventh Day Aventist/Lutheran/Calvinist/Pentecostal/Evangelical/Anabaptist/Baptist/Charismatics/Methodist/Quaker/United/Congregationalist/Non-Denominational/Greek Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters believe that he wasn't. And I don't have the slightest problem with other Christians believing what they believe, nor do I have any problem with them claiming the title of "Christians," even though their understanding and theology about Jesus Christ differs from mine. In fact, it is part of the DNA of my faith:
"11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." 11th Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This concept is quite in line with the principles of liberty and libertarianism, unlike the history of Christendom, e.g. the Crusades, John Calvin's burnings at the stake of those who didn't ascribe to his theological musings and interpretations of the Scripture, etc...