- Since Mormons and Christadelphians have the common ground of the Bible as an accepted
authority, the Bible can be used as a criterion to test the validity of the Book of
- The Apostle John instructs, "believe not every spirit, but try the spirits..."
(1 John 4:1), and Paul admonishes, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is
good." (1 Thess. 5:21). This is the test to be applied to Joseph Smith's, Book of
Contradictions between other Mormon writing and the Bible:
Book of Mormon 1
|Man is an immortal soul tabernacling
in a fleshly body
- "his immortal soul" (Mosiah 2:38, p. 139)
- "the soul could never die" (Alma 42:9, p. 299)
- "their immortal souls" (Helaman 3:30, p. 365)
|Man is mortal, does not have an
- Word "soul" is used in different ways, but never in the sense of immortality.
- "utterly destroyed . . . the souls" (Josh. 10:28)
- "the soul that sinneth, it shall surely die" (Ezek. 18:4,20)
|The Book of Mormon
|Heaven promised to the righteous
- "those that keep the commandments of God . . . if they hold out faithful to the end
they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of
never-ending happiness." (Mosiah 2:41, p. 139)
|Earth, not heaven promised
- "The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the
children of men." (Psa. 115:16).
- "...the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the . . .
saints" (Dan. 7.27)
- "we shall reign on the earth" (Rev. 5:10)
|The Book of Mormon
|Eternal hell-fire torment
- "which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment" (Jacob 6:10, p. 122-2)
- "his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment" (Mosiah 2:39, p. 139).
|Annihilation of wicked
- "This is the second death." (Rev. 20:14).
- "The wicked . . . shall be destroyed [not destroying] for ever."
|The Book of Mormon
|The devil is a fallen angel
- " . . . an angel of God . . . had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil
. . . " (2 Nephi 2:17, p. 54)
- " . . . that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became
the devil" (2 Nephi 9:8, p. 67)
|Devil--a term used to describe man's
wickedness (or sin in the flesh)
- It is never used to describe a fallen divine angel.
- "wives be grave, not slanderers" (devils) (1 Tim. 3:11)
- "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (Jn. 6:70).
|The Book of Mormon
|Pre-human existence of Christ
- "Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? . . . Yea, he is the very Eternal
Father of heaven and of earth . . . " (Alma 11:38,39, p. 223)
|Christ did not have a literal
- His life began when born in the days of Herod. "thou shalt conceive",
"shall be born", indicate beginning of life. (Luke 1:31,35).
These contradictions between the Bible and the Book of Mormon leave only three
|God, a progressive being
- "What sort of being was God in the beginning? God himself was once as we are now,
and is an exalted man and sits enthroned in yonder heavens." (Joseph Smith) 2
- "As man is, God was. As God is, man may become." (Lorenzo Snow) 3
- "Remember that God our heavenly Father was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we
are, and rose step by step in the scale of progress in the school of advancement has moved
forward and overcome until he has arrived at the point where he now is." (Orson Hyde)
|God, unchanging in nature
- "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17).
- "For I am the LORD, I change not" (Mal. 3:6).
|Revival of the Aaronic Priesthood
- "Upon you, [Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery] my fellow servants, in the name of
Messiah, I [John the Baptist] confer the Priesthood of Aaron . . . and this shall never be
taken again from the earth . . . " (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 13. pp.
|Priesthood of all believers
- "Ye also . . . are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices . . . " (1 Pet. 2:5).
- In this dispensation the revival of the Aaronic priesthood is contrary to the teaching
of Heb. 7:18,19; 10:1.
|Sabbath Observance mandatory
- "And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it
holy." (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 68:29, p. 112).
|Sabbath observance not binding
- "Let no man therefore judge you . . . of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of
things to come . . . " (Col. 2:16,17).
- See also Rom. 14:5,6; Gal. 4:10,11.
|Restrictions on meats and drinks
- " . . . flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air . . . should not be used,
only in times of winter, or of cold, or of famine." (Doctrine and Covenants,
Section 89:12,13, p. 155).
- "That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not
good, neither meet in the sight of your Father . . . hot drinks are not for the body or
belly." (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89:5,9, p. 154).6
| Liberty is
- "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received
with thanksgiving." (1 Tim. 4:4,5).
- "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in
the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 14:17)
- See also Rom. 14:1-4, 14; Col. 2:16,17, 20-22; Mark 7:19 R.S.V.
|Site of Zion to be Independence,
- " . . . this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion . . .
Behold the place which is now called Independence, is the centre place." (Doctrine
and Covenants, Section 57:2,3, p. 89).
|Site of Zion to be Jerusalem in
- " . . . Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King." (Matt. 5:35).
- " . . . the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from
Jerusalem." (Micah 4:2).
- Zech. 14:4,5,9,14-17 indicate that Matthew and Micah refer to Palestine.
|Resurrection of the non-responsible
- "And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall
have part in the first resurrection . . . " (Doctrine and Covenants, Section
|Resurrection is only for the
- "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law." (Rom.
- "others which have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13).
- "having no hope, and without God in the world." (Eph. 2:12).
- "They shall not rise." (Isa. 26:14).
|Will resort to force
- "It has always been a well understood doctrine of the Church that it was right and
praiseworthy to kill every person who spoke evil of the Prophet. This doctrine had been
strictly lived up to in Utah, until the Gentiles arrived in such great numbers that it
became unsafe to follow the practice, but the doctrine is still believed, and no year
passes without one or more of those who have spoken evil of Brigham Young being killed in
secret manner." (John Lee) 7
- In The Mountain Meadows Massacre (1857) an entire group of non-Mormon immigrants on
their way to California (during the gold rush) was murdered in Utah. The Government of the
U.S.A. executed the Mormon, John D. Lee, in 1877, for his part in the massacre. (Juanita
Brooks ) 8
|In this dispensation the use of force
by believers is condemned.
- " . . . resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to
him the other also." (Matt. 5:39).
- "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44).
- The Bible is the Word of God.
- The Book of Mormon is the Word of God.
- Neither is the Word of God.
There is no possibility that both the Bible and the Book of
Mormon are the word of God. As Scripture asserts, "God is not the author of
confusion." (1 Cor. 14:33 ). The Mormon claim that the Book of Mormon is
inspired by God as is the Bible ("insofar as it is translated accurately") 9 is a completely untenable position.
Joseph Smith claimed that he received instruction from a divine
messenger who said that the churches had creeds which were an "abomination in His
sight". 10 Since Joseph
Smith continued to teach the immortality of the soul, heaven the home for the righteous,
eternal hell-fire torment of the wicked, a fallen-angel devil (all of these doctrines
Roman Catholicism shares with her Protestant offspring) then either Joseph Smith was a
disobedient student or else he never received instruction from a divine messenger.
The King James translation was published in 1611, 200 years earlier than Joseph Smith's,
Book of Mormon (1830 ). The King James translators did not claim divine inspiration
for their translation, yet Joseph Smith copied this version word for word in many places.
He claimed there were no errors in the Book of Mormon because he translated under
the direct supervision of God. Notice the way the following sections have been copied from
the King James Version:
In passage after passage, the Book of Mormon reproduces the inaccuracies and
peculiarities of the King James Version. For example:
- 2 Nephi 12-24 from Isaiah 2-14
- Mosiah 13:12-24 from Exodus 20:4-17
- 3 Nephi 24, 25 from Malachi 3, 4
- 3 Nephi 12-14 (with slight variation) from the "Sermon on the Mount" (Matt.
- 2 Nephi 13:17-26 (except for the omission of the italicized words) is identical with
Isa. 3:17-26. More recent Hebrew scholarship, however, has shown that the K.J.V. rendering
of this section is defective and the R.S.V. makes considerable alteration in its
- Isa. 6:13 (a very difficult Hebrew text to translate) contains no significant alteration
in the Book of Mormon. (2 Nephi 16:13; cf. changes in R.S.V.)
- The K.J.V. renders Isaiah 5:25 incorrectly as "and their carcases were torn in the
midst of the streets." The Hebrew word "suchah" means "refuse"
not "torn".11 The
R.S.V. reads, "and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets."
The Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 15:25 perpetuates the King James error.
Joseph Smith, working with a supposedly independent record in another language, dating
from the 6th century B.C., and "inspired" to translate, succeeds in reproducing
the errors of the K.J.V. Just when one would expect illumination from an inspired
independent translation, the Book of Mormon contains only the faulty rendering of
Joseph Smith (1841) insisted that "the Book of Mormon is the most correct of
any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by
abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."13 But there have been more
than 2,000 textual changes in the Book of Mormon since the original 1830 edition.
Not all of these changes have been grammatical. Consider the following:
- "Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God." (1830 edition,
p.25). "Behold, the virgin whom thou seest, is the mother of the Son of God,
after the manner of the flesh." (1 Nephi 11:18, p. 18, 1950 edition).
- "And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal
Father!" (1830 edition, p. 25). "And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of
God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father . . . " (1 Nephi 11:21, p. 19,
- " . . . that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father . . . " (1830 edition p.
32). " . . . that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father . . . " (1
Nephi 13:40, p. 25, 1950 edition).
- " . . . king Benjamin had a gift from God." (1830 edition, p. 200). " . .
. king Mosiah had a gift from God." (Mosiah 21:28, p. 176, 1950 edition).
- "Yea, decreeth unto them that decrees which are unalterable . . . " (1830
edition, p. 303). Completely deleted in current edition. (See Alma 29:4, p. 267).
Joseph Smith, The King Follett Discourse, ed. B. H.
Roberts, (Salt Lake City, 193?). Return
- Unless otherwise stated, all quotations are taken from the Book of Mormon: An
Account Written By The Hand of Mormon Upon Plates taken from the Plates of Nephi,
translated by Joseph Smith, Jun., (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints, 1964). Return
Lorenzo Snow, quoted in Milton R. Hunter, Gospel Through the
Ages, (Salt Lake City: Steven and Wallis Pub. Co.), p. 105-6. Return
Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourse, Vol. 1, p. 123. Quoted
in Gordon Fraser, Is Mormonism Christian?, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), p. 43. Return
Drunkenness is condemned in Gal. 5:21, and respect for the
prejudice of one's brethren is required in 1 Cor. 8:9-13. Return
The Mormon theologian, Talmage, indicates the importance given by Mormons to dietary
laws: "Through partaking of food unsuited to their condition [Adam and Eve] and
against which they had been specially forewarned, the man and wife became subject to
physical degeneracy." James E. Talmage, The Vitality of Mormonism, (Boston:
Richard G. Badger, publisher, 1919), p. 52 Return
John D. Lee, Mormonism Unveiled, (Omaha, Nebraska: 1891), p. 284. Lee was a
Mormon who was executed by the U.S. Government for his part in the Mountain Meadows
Massacre, and although he considered he was "sacrificed" in a "dastardly
manner" by the Mormon church, he never relinquished his faith in Joseph Smith. Return
Juanita Brooks, The Mountain Meadows Massacre, (Palo Alto: Stanford University
Press, 1950). In 1838 the Mormons set up a secret police movement to support the
Presidency of the church. This group became known as the Danites", or Sons of Dan,
Destroying or Avenging Angels, and Brothers of Gideon, as well as, somewhat
inappropriately, Daughters of Zion. Shortly afterward the Danite bands were extended into
the Armies of Israel or Host of Israel, which were organized into groups of tens, fifties,
and hundreds, each with its captain. This was, in fact, a defensive army . . . " [In
1838 the Mormons engaged a hostile group of Missourians who tried to prevent the Mormons
from voting. The result was] "Mormon leaders encouraged resistance and aggression,
which they unquestionably saw, not without justification, as counteraggression. Danite
bands raided and looted . . . " Thomas O'Dea, The Mormons, (Chicago: Univ. of
Chicago Press, 1957), pp. 46-47. Return
The official position of the Mormon Church is given as follows:
"We believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, we
also believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God". Article 8,
"Articles of Faith", Doctrine and Covenants. Return
"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 . .
. " Joseph Smith Tells His Own Story, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News
Press), p. 4. Return
Robert Young defines "suchah" as "filth,
sweepings, scrapings". Analytical Concordance to the Holy Bible, (London:
Lutterworth Press, 1965). Return
Discrepancies also occur like "Son of Righteousness" rather than
"Sun of Righteousness" when the Bible is quoted. See Malachi 4:2 K.J.V. and
compare with the Mormon quotation in 3 Nephi 25:2, p. 447. Return
Quoted in William J. Whalen, The Latter-day Saints in the Modern World, (Notre
Dame, Indiana: Un. of Notre Dame Press, 1967), p.49. Return