The Book of Mormon vs Mormonism

Many Mormon converts are told to read the book of Mormon in order to know about the Latter-day Saints church. This is a bait-and-switch tactic. Actually, many doctrines taught within the book of Mormon have been ignored and replaced with other ones by the Mormon church.

While the book of Mormon is a false scripture, some teachings in it appear to be closer to the Bible than the ones later concocted by Joseph Smith and his successors. Hence, Mormonism is not only a departure from biblical, historical Christianity, it’s also fraught with internal inconsistencies and incoherence. Here, I’ll point out some key LDS doctrines that directly contradict and cannot be supported by their book of Mormon.

Abbreviations:
B of M = Book of Mormon
D and C = Doctrine and Covenants
PGP = Pearl of Great Price
J of D = Journal of Discourses

1. Monotheism

In the B of M we read: “And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God. Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No” (Alma 11:27-29).

“… and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged…” (Alma 11:44)

“…And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God without end. Amen” (2 Nephi 31:21).

At the time the book of Mormon was published (1830), Smith adhered to monotheism and even tried to emulate the doctrine of the Trinity. But decades later, his theology changed into polytheism:

“And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind … and the Gods saw they would obey” (PGP, Abraham 4:25)

“The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods, that is the true meaning of the words [in Genesis 1:1] … Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council” (Joseph Smith’s King Follet Discourses, 614).

“Gods exist, and we had better strive to be prepared to be one of them” (Brigham Young, The J of D 7:238)

2. Immutability of God

“For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity” (Moroni 8:18).

“For we do not read that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is a shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles” (Mormon 9:9-10).

“And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I may speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure…” (2 Nephi 29:9)

But the LDS religion adheres to what Joseph Smith taught:

“…I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see … I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form – like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as man” (King Follet’s Discourses, ed. B. H. Roberts, 1963, 5)

“We were begotten by our Father in heaven, the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father, and again. He was begotten by a still more ancient Father, and so on, from generation to generation” (Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, 1853, 132).

One supposedly inspired source says God never changes and another says God was a man who evolved into deity or was born by another God on another planet. Interestingly, Smith says elsewhere “There is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God” (D and C, 20:17).

3. God’s Omnipotence and Omniscience

“… the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men…” (Mosiah 7:2)

“For behold, God knoweth all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold he sent angels to minister unto the children of men…” (Moroni 7:22)

But Mormonism teaches that: “God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end” (Wilford Woodruff, J of D, 1857, 6:120)

“We are now, or may be, as perfect in our sphere as God and Angels are in theirs, but the greatest intelligence in existence (God) can continually ascend to greater heights of perfection” (Brigham Young, J of D, 1852, 1:93).

4. God is a Spirit

“And then Ammon said: Believeth thou that there is a Great Spirit? And he said, Yea. And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth” (Alma 18:26-28). (cf. John 4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17)

But Joseph Smith taught that: “If the vail was rent to-day, and the great God, who holds this world in its orbit, and upholds all things by his power; if you were to see him to-day, you would see him in all the person, image and very form as a man…” (Times and Seasons 1844, vol. 5: 613-14).

5. Christ’s virgin birth

“And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God” (Alma 7:10).

But this was denied by Smith’s successor: “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family … Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Brigham Young, J of D, 1:50-51).

6. Men becoming Gods

The book of Mormon presents God as one and eternal negating the idea of men becoming gods. But Joseph Smith taught that: “… you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you … to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power” (B. H. Roberts, History of the Church, 1844, VI, 306).

Mormon prophet, Lorenz Snow also declared: “As man is, God once was, As God is, man may become” (Millennial Star, vol. 54).

7. Pre-mortal existence of humans

The LDS religion officially teaches that “all men lived in a premortal estate before they were born into this world; all were born in this premortal existence as the spirit children of the Father” (What Mormons Think of Christ? Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, 1976, 25).

Nowhere in the book of Mormon is this idea of human pre-existence taught. Similarly, the Bible teaches that human souls were created at the point of physical conception (Is. 44:2, 24; 49:5). But Smith taught: “And that it might be filled with the measure of man according to his creation before the world was made” (D and C, 49:17)

“Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth … Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth was not created nor made, neither indeed can be” (93:23, 29).

8. Three levels of heaven

Smith taught that there are 3 levels of heaven: the telestial (for those who don’t believe the gospel), the terrestrial and the highest called the celestial:

“And again, we saw the glory of the terrestrial, which glory is of the latter … And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial … And those we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding” (D and C, 76:81-90).

Nowhere is this taught in the book of Mormon. Apparently, Smith adopted the 3 degrees of Masonry (which he was involved in) into his imaginary heaven. Now, if Smith was really inspired, why did he contradict the book that he presented to the world 14 years earlier as the final revelation?

9. Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood

The B of M says that “the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son… high priesthood of the holy order of God” (Alma 13:1, 6).

But in D and C (107:1), we read: “There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic including the Levitical Priesthood.”

It also says: “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and then magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of the Lord” (D and C, 84:33-34). The Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods were evidently made up later by Smith.

10. Baptism for the dead

This rite is based on Smith’s revelations: “For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead – For this ordinance belongeth to my house…” (D and C, 124:29-30)

“You may think this order of things to be particular; but let me tell you that it is only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead who should die without a knowledge of the gospel” (128:5)

But the B of M says the opposite, that there’s no hope for sinners after death:

“And, in fine, we unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins” (2 Nephi 9:38)

“Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of all guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord … which is like unquenchable fire whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever” (Mosiah 2:38)

11. The Word of Wisdom code

Smith laid down this code forbidding Mormons to take wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks (tea, coffee etc). He said:

“Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days. I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation” (D and C, 89:4-9). But nowhere is this code given in the book of Mormon.

12. Polygamy

The B of M says that “the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon his son” (Jacob 1:15).

“Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord” (Jacob 2:24). But D and C says: “David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants…and in nothing did they sin save things which they received not from me” (132:38).

It wasn’t only Smith’s doctrines that changed between 1830 and 1850, his morals also declined as well. After the book of Mormon was published, he had dozens of wives and concubines (including minors) so he needed to justify his sins with another “revelation” forgetting that his earlier one already condemns him.

13. Secret rites

Mormons who intend to become “temple workers” undergo secret rites in Mormon temples which include blood oaths, receiving secret names, learning secret passwords, endowment initiation and “sealing” marriage. But the B of M condemns these practices:

“And it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord because of secret combinations and the works of darkness” (Mormon 8:27)

“And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of these things…” (2 Nephi 26:22)

“But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more parts of the Nephites … And it came to pass that they did not have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; that they may distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant…” (Helaman 6:21-22).

Indeed, these temple rites have links with Masonry and witchcraft. Now, if the LDS religion truly believes that the B of M is “the most correct of any book on earth,” the “fulness of the everlasting gospel” which reveals “all things unto the children of men,” then it’s illogical and inconsistent for their other “sacred” books to contradict it at any point. Such contradictions must never be minimized or rationalized as “mysteries,” they are proofs of a diabolic deception.

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The Divine Exchange

The entire message of the Gospel revolves around one unique historical event: the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. With this single, sovereign act, God offers to us an all-sufficient solution to all the problems of man. A divine exchange took place at the cross and it’s imperative that we understand what it entails and live in its reality.

1. Jesus took our punishment and offers us the reward of His obedience. “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:6) The Hebrew word translated as “iniquity” is avon. It stands for our collective rebellion against God and the punishment or evil consequences attached to iniquity. In Leviticus 16:22, concerning the scape goat released on the day of Atonement, God said:

“The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land.”

The goat symbolically bore not just the inquities of the Israelites, but also all the consequences of their inquities. Similarly, Jesus wasn’t guilty of any sin, but God laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Like the scapegoat that prefigured Him, He carried them away so that they might not return again upon us. He endured in our place all the evil consequences that we deserved by divine justice and in exchange, God offers us all the good that was due to the sinless obedience of Christ.

2. Jesus dealt with both sin and sickness. Isaiah 53:4-6 says “Surely he took up our infirmities [literally, sicknesses] and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.”

Jesus received the punishment due to our sins that we might have peace with God and He also bore our sicknesses that through His wounds we might be healed. He “bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24)

3. Jesus took our sins upon Himself that we might receive His righteousness. Through the sin offerings of the Mosaic law, God showed us the necessity of the shedding of innocent blood and the giving of life to pay the price of sin. This was accomplished once-for-all by the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus. “He poured out His soul unto death” (Is. 53:12). “For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

4. Jesus died our death that we might receive His life. The final outcome of sin is death: “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezk. 18:4). Thus, as Jesus became identified with our sin it was inevitable that He should also experience the death that is the outcome of sin. “For the wages [just reward] of sin is death, but the [unearned] gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23) To all who accept His sacrifice, Jesus said: “I came so that my sheep will have life” (Jn. 10:10b).

5. Jesus became poor with our poverty that we might become rich with His riches. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9) Jesus became poor on the cross. It was there He was hungry, thirsty, naked and in need of all things. Even after His death, He was buried in a borrowed robe and tomb. These are the features of poverty ( Dt. 28:48). In exchange, God offers to all who believe, a life of abundance exemplified by Jesus: “And God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor 9:8).

6. Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance as God’s children. Spritual alienation from God came about through the Fall. But this was promised: “The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit – a wife who married young, only to be rejected.” (Is. 54:6) This is seen in the agony of Jesus at the cross when He cried out: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” and He cried again “yielded up His spirit” (Mt. 27:46, 50).

And at that instant, the veil of the temple was torn into two. Sinful man can now have direct fellowship with a holy God. Through the rejection of Christ, God adopted us as His children. “Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Himself … He [God] has made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:5-6).

7. Jesus became a curse at the cross that we might receive the blessings of Abraham by faith. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13-14). God has provided us a release from all the curses listed in Deuteronomy 28. As Christians, our response should be a deep appreciation of what Jesus did for us at the cross.