Mormon Scriptures Compared

Mormon Scriptures Compared

Mormon Scriptures Compared

 

In what area of the world did Adam live?

He lived in the Near East.

. . . the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden … and became into four heads.… The second … that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.… Hiddekel; that which goeth toward the east of Assyria … and the fourth river was the Euphrates. And I, the Lord God, took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it. (Moses 3:10, 13, 15)

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden.… And a river went out of Eden … and became into four heads.… And the name of the third river is Hiddekel … which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. (Genesis 2:8, 10, 14)

He lived in the New World, near Independence, Missouri.

Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman.… 1 (May 1838, D&C 116:1. From the heading of 116 we learn that Spring Hill is in Missouri, Daviess County, which is near Independence.)

Adam-ondi-Ahman is named as the place where Adam dwelt. (March 1835, D&C 107:53 and July 1838, D&C 117:8)

Let my servant Newel K. Whitney [a bishop in Kirtland, Ohio, 1831–?, D&C 72:8] … come up to the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and be a bishop unto my people.… (July 1838, D&C 117:11)

 

When is a man baptized?

He is baptized after he has the priesthood.

And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it. (Moroni 6:1)

He is baptized before he has the priesthood.

… [candidates] shall be received by baptism into his church.… The duty of the members after they are received by baptism.… (April 1830, D&C 20:37, 68. This is similar to Moroni 6:34, which also contradicts Moroni 6:1.)

Baptism is the ordinance for obtaining membership in the present-day Mormon Church. Men must be baptized well before they receive the priesthood and an office in it.

 

What words are used in a baptism?

Having been commissioned …

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (April 1830, D&C 20:73)

These are the words now used by the Mormon Church, and they must be said word perfect or the complete ceremony is repeated until it is done and said perfectly.

Having authority …

Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (3 Nephi 11:25)

 

How do we receive the remission of our sins?

We receive it by having the Spirit of Christ.

And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism.… take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church. (April 1830, D&C 20:37)

We receive it by baptism.

… baptism is unto repentance … unto the remission of sins.… And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins. (Moroni 8:11, 25)

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. (May 1829, D&C 13:1)

Yea, repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water.… (October 1830, D&C 33:11)

… they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized … and shall receive a remission of their sins. (3 Nephi 12:2)

 

Has Jesus Christ always been God?

No, he had a beginning.

And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace; And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness. And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.… I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn.… (May 1833, D&C 93:12–14, 21)

… and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all. (Moses 1:6)

This reference is saying that “mine Only Begotten” is the Savior but is not God. This is not taught by the Mormon Church, yet this verse in their scripture clearly says this.

The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ (see D&C 93:21). (Gospel Principles, p. 9)

Yes, Jesus—that is, Jehovah in the Old Testament—has always been God.

By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them.… Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen. (April 1830, D&C 20:17, 28)

For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, 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, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.… And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. (Mosiah 3:5, 8)

Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the Great I Am, even Jesus Christ. (January 1831, D&C 39:1)

For behold, I am God.… I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.… I, the Lord your God, have created all men.… I am the same yesterday, today, and forever.… (2 Nephi 27:23; 29:7, 9)

In the KJV … and the name [Jehovah] is generally denoted by Lord or God, printed in small capitals. Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ.… (Bible Dictionary of the Mormon edition of the King James Bible, pp. 710–11)

For I am the Lord thy God.… My name is Jehovah.… (Abraham 2:7–8)

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Psalm 90:2)

Who formed the earth and the world? A footnote on Psalm 90:2 in the Mormon edition of the Bible refers to D&C 38:1, which refers to Jesus Christ.

 

Can men become Gods just like God the Father did?

God has not always been God; man can become a God like he did.

Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting.… then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. (July 1843, D&C 132:20)

We can become Gods like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation.… They [people] will become gods … and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father. They will be an eternal family.… They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have, all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge. (Gospel Principles, 1986 edition or older, p. 290)

As shown in this chapter, our Father in heaven was once a man as we are now, capable of physical death.… he progressed from one stage of life to another until he attained the state that we call exaltation or godhood. (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, 1976, 1992, p. 132)

President Joseph Fielding Smith said “Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father.” (Search These Commandments, Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide, 2 1984, p. 152)

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. (Joseph Smith, at the April 1844 conference of the Church, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 345)

God the Father has always been God; there are no other Gods.

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; also see 7:22)

For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? (Mormon 9:9; also see 9:19)

… 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 3:5)

By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them.… Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. (April 1830, D&C 20:17, 28)

… I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years; and is not this endless? (Moses 1:3)

… even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Psalm 90:2)

Ye are my witness, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. (Isaiah 43:10)

Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.… fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.… Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.… (Isaiah 44:6, 8, 24)

On page 353 of Gospel Principles we find the following definitions:

ETERNAL: Everlasting, without beginning or end …

EVERLASTING: Lasting or enduring forever …

FOREVER: Always, no end, eternal.

The above definitions and Mormon scriptures clearly say that God the Father has always been God and that there never was a time when he was not God, so when was he a man like us, capable of physical death? In Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8, 24 the Lord, who would not lie to us and knows everything, does not know anything about any God before him or after him, or about his alleged father or grandfather or great-grandfather, etc. He tells us he is all by himself!

 

Does God the Father have a body of flesh and bones?

Yes, he does.

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also. … (April 1843, D&C 130:22) 3

No, he does not; he is spirit.

Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever. (Alma 31:15; 4 Alma 18:2–5, 26–28; 22:8–11 are similar)

They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle [a body].… (1835 D&C, “Lecture Fifth of Faith” 5:2, p. 53. The “Lectures on Faith” were in the D&C from 1835 to 1920, when they were quietly removed.)

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24 in the Bible. The Joseph Smith Translation 5 changes this to read, “For unto such hath God promised his Spirit. And they who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth.” [John 4:26 jst. The numbering in the jst does not match the kjv.])

… The Father and Son … are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God.… (Mosiah 15:1–5)

Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth.… (May 1833, D&C 93:21)

 

How many Gods are there?

There is more than one God.

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. (April 1843, D&C 130:22)

… that is the Gods organized and formed the heavens and the earth.… and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters. (Abraham 4:1–2; also see vv. 3–31)

I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years. I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural; and who can contradict it? (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by [Apostle] Joseph Fielding Smith, 1976, p. 370. While this is not a Mormon scripture it provides an explanation by Joseph Smith of the two scriptures above.)

There is one God.

And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. 6 Amen. (Introduction of the Book of Mormon, the last sentence of the paragraph on the three witnesses)

… be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God.… (Alma 11:44)

… unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God.… (Mormon 7:7)

And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. (3 Nephi 11:27)

… God himself shall come down.… because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God … being the Father and the Son-The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son-And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God.… (Mosiah 15:1–5)

 

Can the Father and/or the Son dwell in your heart?

No, they cannot.

… the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false. (April 1843, D&C 130:3. 7 Verse 22 of this same reference gives the reason why: they both have bodies of flesh and bones.)

Yes, they can.

And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell.… (Alma 34:36)

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

… That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.… (Ephesians 3:17)

Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5. The JST did not change this verse.)

 

Are vicarious ordinances for the dead effective?

Yes, they are.

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? (1 Corinthians 15:29) 8

The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God.… I saw … the Father and the Son.… I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin [he died in 1823, before the Mormon Church was organized], that has long since slept; Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God.… (January 1836, D&C 137:1–5)

These passages, along with others, are the reasons the Mormon Church teaches that vicarious sacred ordinances for the dead must be done on earth in Mormon temples for those who have died, so they may have the choice to accept the benefits of such work in the spirit world.

No, they are not.

And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God [for judgment?], and behold his face, and remain in their sins. (2 Nephi 9:38)

… he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him.… if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation. (Mosiah 16:5, 11)

… for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation.… for behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God.… this life is the day for men to perform their labors.… then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.… for the same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his.… (Alma 34:31–35)

 

What is the doctrine of Jesus Christ?

It is more than faith, repentance, and baptism.

Most of the items listed above and the items in “A Brief Summary of the Doctrine Taught by the Mormon Church” in chapter 1 demonstrate the detailed, unique doctrine taught by the Mormon Church. Obviously it is more than faith, repentance, and baptism.

It is only faith, repentance, and baptism.

Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.… Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them. (3 Nephi 11:31–33, 39–40)

Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed. (April 1829, D&C 6:9)

Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. (1828, D&C 10:67–68)

 

Has God let his scriptures be tampered with?

Yes, he has.

They have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious.… there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book [the Bible] which is the book of the Lamb of God. (1 Nephi 13:26, 28)

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.… (Articles of Faith #8, in Pearl of Great Price)

The most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern day revelation. (An open letter from the First Presidency [Presidents Benson, Hinckley, and Monson] dated May 22, 1992, to all members of the church, in Church News, June 20, 1992, p. 3)

No, he has not.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. (John 17:20)

If Mormonism is correct, then this prayer of Jesus Christ was of no effect for about 1800 years. Incredible! Jesus prayed for those who would believe in him through the word of his disciples. It is not logical that he (Jesus) would let his disciples’ word be lost and diluted.

… by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.… But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:23–25)

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

Would the apostle Paul tell us to take up a defective sword, a defective Word of God? We don’t think so.

The Book of Mormon … contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel. (Introduction of the Book of Mormon, first paragraph)

The fulness of the everlasting gospel (according to Mormon teachings) is that information from God that, if we accept it and live by it, will lead us to exaltation (becoming a God) in the celestial kingdom of God. 9 So, considering this, even by this Mormon standard there cannot be too much wrong with the Bible. Then why do we need anything besides the Bible?

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away.… (November 1831, D&C 1:38)

 

Is polygamy acceptable to God?

It is acceptable to God.

Laws governing the plurality of wives are set forth. (D&C 132, heading summary for verses 58–66)

David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me. David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me.… And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (July 1843, D&C 132:38–39, 61–62)

It is not acceptable to God.

Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.… Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father [“fathers” in 1977 edition]—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none.… (Jacob 2:24, 27; 3:5)

… he [King Noah] did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. (Mosiah 11:2)

… Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines.… (Ether 10:5)

In as much as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband.… (1835 D&C 101:4, p. 251)

This was in the D&C from 1835 to 1876, yet polygamy was practiced from about 1832 to 1890, when it was ostensibly ended.

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife.… Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife.… (1 Timothy 3:2, 12)

 

Who created light?

God did.

And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light. (Moses 2:3)

See also the rest of chapter 2 and 3 in Moses; God, with his Only Begotten (2:1, 26), did the creation. But see the next topic below for the answer to: Who Is the Only Begotten of the Father?

The Gods did.

And they [the Gods] said: Let there be light; and there was light. (Abraham 4:3)

And the Gods called the light day.… (Abraham 4:5)

Also see the rest of chapter 4 and 5 in Abraham: “the Gods” did the creation.

 

Who is the Only Begotten of the Father?

The Holy Ghost is.

And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten 10 of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will. (1830–1831, Moses 5:9)

In this reference the Holy Ghost says: “I am the Only Begotten.” According to Mormon teachings, Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten.

The Savior Jesus Christ is.

All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. (October 1918, D&C 138:14)

And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us. (May 1833, D&C 93:11)

And I have a work for thee, Moses my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all. (1830–1831, Moses 1:6)

 

Is murder and/or killing forgivable?

No, it is not.

And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.… And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die.… And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness; and it shall be proved according to the laws of the land. (February 1831, D&C 42:18–19, 79)

… and in none of these things did he [King David] sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord. (July 1843, D&C 132:39)

… able to find forgiveness, except in the murder of Uriah.… David is still unforgiven, but he received a promise that the Lord would not leave his soul in hell. He will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium. (Bible Dictionary, p. 654, found in the King James edition of the Bible published by the Mormon Church)

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath not put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2 Samuel 12:13 jst)

In other words, King David has not been forgiven for murdering Uriah and taking his wife. He will not become a God in the celestial kingdom.

Yes, it is.

And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed.… (Alma 24:10)

Yea, I would tell you these things if ye were capable of hearkening unto them; yea, I would tell you concerning that awful hell that awaits to receive such murderers as thou and thy brother have been, except ye repent.… (Alma 54:7)

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings … and of your murders … and come unto me, and be baptized in my name … that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 30:2)

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. (2 Samuel 12:13)

 

What did Joseph Smith think before he went to pray?

He wondered whether all the churches could be wrong.

In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it? (Joseph Smith—History 1:10)

He never thought they could all be wrong.

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. (Joseph Smith—History 1:18)

 

Was Joseph Smith to be killed?

He was to be protected.

And as for the perils which I [Joseph Smith] am called to pass through.… I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it. (September 1842, D&C 127:2)

Behold, that seer [Joseph Smith according to the section heading] will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded.… (2 Nephi 3:14, supposedly written about 580 b.c.)

Joseph Smith was killed.

To seal the testimony of this book and the Book of Mormon, we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet.… They were shot [dead] in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844. 11 (June 1844, D&C 135:1)

 

Is intelligence (our spirit) eternal or was it created when we were? 12

Intelligence (spirit) is eternal.

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 or made, neither indeed can be. (May 1833, D&C 93:23, 29)

… if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, they are gnolaum, or eternal.… (Abraham 3:18–19)

Intelligence (spirit) was created.

For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created.… (Jacob 4:9)

… Adam your father, whom I created. (September 1830, D&C 29:34)

Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought? (Mormon 9:17)

… the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. (Zechariah 12:1)

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

 

How many levels are there in heaven?

There are three levels.

These are they whose bodies are celestial.… even the glory of God.… these are they who are of the terrestrial.… These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father. Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun.… we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser.… These are they who are thrust down to hell.… (February 1832, D&C 76:70–107)

This scripture describes four levels in the Mormon afterlife; they are hell, telestial, terrestrial, and celestial. Only those in the celestial kingdom will be in the presence of the Father for eternity. Those in the terrestrial level will be visited by the Son but not the Father (D&C 76:77–78).

There is one level.

And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken, and the devil is the preparator 13 of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God [the celestial kingdom], or to be cast out because of that justice of which I have spoken. Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that tree of life, whose fruit is most precious and most desirable above all other fruits; yea, and it is the greatest of all the gifts of God.… (1 Nephi 15:35–36)

And I would that all men might be saved. But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, yea, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord; Yea, who shall be consigned to a state of endless misery, fulfilling the words which say: They that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation. And thus it is.… (Helaman 12:25–26)

And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. (3 Nephi 11:33–34)

The following are very similar: Mormon 9:23; Ether 4:18; Helaman 14:18–19; Alma 3:26; 40:26; 41:4; Mosiah 16:11; 2 Nephi 2:28–29; 9:16; 28:21–22; 3 Nephi 27:11, 17. The Book of Mormon describes an afterlife of only two levels, spending eternity in the presence of God or with the Devil.

 

What are the proper ingredients for the sacrament?

Wine and bread are to be used.

Matthew 26:26–29 and Luke 22:17–19 clearly show that Jesus used bread and wine.

… bless and sanctify this wine.… (Moroni 4:3, 5:2)

… bless and sanctify this wine.… (April 1830, D&C 20:77, 79; February 1833, D&C 89:5–6 and 3 Nephi 18:1–8 support this also.)

Water and bread are to be used.

… it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament.… you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies.… (August 1830, D&C 27:2–4)

The present-day Mormon Church uses water instead of wine in its sacrament service. One has to wonder why the Church continues to use water, if wine was acceptable to the Book of Mormon people with all their disruptions from wars, and if Jesus in the Bible said we should use wine, and if the Mormon community is no longer engulfed in problems with its neighbors as it was in its early years. And why would God, four months after telling the Mormons to use wine, change his command?

 

Should the Church pay its workers?

No, they should not be paid. 14

But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish. (2 Nephi 26:31)

Yea, and all their priests and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support, in all cases save it were in sickness, or in much want; and doing these things, they did abound in the grace of God. (Mosiah 27:5)

Yes, they should be paid.

D&C 24:18–19; 42:70–73; 51:13–14; 75:24–25; 84:78–79, 86–89; and 119:1–2 all show that it is okay for Mormon members and leaders to be paid or supported by their church for church activity.

In 1 Corinthians 9:1–14 the Apostle Paul says it is okay to be supported for gospel work.

I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.… for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied.… (2 Corinthians 11:8–9; also see Numbers 18:21; 3 John 6–8; Matthew 10:9–10)

 

Should you curse your enemy?

Yes, you should.

… ye have brought before me [God] against them, ye [Joseph Smith] shall curse them; And whomsoever ye curse, I will curse, and ye shall avenge me of mine enemies. (February 1834, D&C 103:24–25) 15

But if he trespass against thee [Church members] the fourth time thou shalt not forgive him, but shalt bring these testimonies before the Lord; and they shall not be blotted out until he repent and reward thee four-fold in all things wherewith he has trespassed against thee. (August 1833, D&C 98:44)

No, you should not. You must forgive him.

And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy; But behold I say unto you [Christ’s Church in the New World], love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.… (3 Nephi 12:43–44)

Wherefore, I say unto you [elders of the Church], that ye ought to forgive one another.… I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. (September 1831, D&C 64:9–10)

 

Are the three Nephites still alive on earth now?

Yes, they are.

What is it that ye desire of me, after that I am gone to the Father? And when he had spoken unto them, he turned himself unto the three, and said unto them: What will ye that I should do unto you, when I am gone unto the Father? And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me. Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven. And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father. (3 Nephi 28:1, 4, 6–8)

Note that it is Jesus Christ speaking here and that it is not a contingent statement or promise. It is a clear promise, without any “strings attached.” The three Nephites are promised they will be on the earth until Jesus comes in his glory.

No, they are not.

The three Nephites are taken away (heading of Mormon chapter 1).

But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease.… (Book of Mormon, Mormon 1:13)

 

How Might Mormons Respond?

Some Mormons might respond: “The same thing you’ve done here with the unique Mormon scriptures (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) could also be done with the Bible.” We would agree that you can make the Bible appear to say anything you want by pulling verses out of context. 16 But we have not done this with the Mormon scriptures. We have not misrepresented verses by ignoring context.

The reader must also understand where most Mormons are coming from, what is their point of reference. To most Mormons the Bible is an incomplete document, and that is why their other scriptures are needed. To them it ranks below these other scriptures in reliability and completeness. Some Mormons may not want to admit at first that they hold this view of the Bible, but if you demonstrate your knowledge of the subject, some will soon confess that this is their view. The LDS position on the Bible is illustrated in the following references.

The most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations. (An open letter from the First Presidency [Presidents Benson, Hinckley, and Monson] dated May 22, 1992, to all members of the Church, in Church News, June 20, 1992, p. 3)

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.… (Articles of Faith #8, in the Pearl of Great Price)

And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of a great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.… because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.… because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb.… (1 Nephi 13:26, 32, 34)

Mormons who hold the Bible in lower esteem can more easily conceive of its having contradictions than their own unique scriptures.

In addition to proper consideration for context, the Mormon scripture comparisons must also be evaluated in light of statements by top Mormon leaders and Mormon scriptures. As quoted in detail in the preface and in chapter 2, these statements are as follows:

If Joseph Smith was a deceiver … then he should be exposed.… there would appear many errors and contradictions. (Doctrines of Salvation, [Apostle] Joseph Fielding Smith, 1954, 1:188)

… there is no error in the revelations.… (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 368)

Why do not my enemies strike a blow at the doctrine? They cannot do it: it is truth, and I defy all men to upset it. (Joseph Smith, March 1844, History of the Church, 6:273)

Search these commandments for they are true and faithful. (November 1831, D&C 1:37)

… my Scriptures … shall be preserved in safety. (February 1831, D&C 42:56)

The decrees of God are unalterable. (Alma 41:8)

… God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing. (Mormon 9:9)

The Doctrine and Covenants are from Jesus Christ. (November 1831, D&C 1:6)

The Prophet Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon was “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.” (History of the Church 4:461)

The title page of the Book of Mormon says it was translated “by the gift and power of God.”

D&C 17:6 has God saying the Book of Mormon “is true.”

These last three statements are quoted and reinforced in the April 1993 Ensign, page 74, in a letter from the First Presidency.

If indeed Mormonism is what it claims to be, then it must be measured by its own standards as summarized here. These should be applied in evaluating the scripture comparisons. It is reasonable to expect that imperfections of man will show up in anything he does. But these should be relatively few and should have little or no impact on Mormon doctrine, assuming God is in charge, as claimed by the Mormon Church. It seems reasonable to expect that the contradictions outlined above would not be there if the real God were truly the founder of the Mormon Church and the author of its unique scriptures (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price).

The unique Mormon scriptures attest to this. Statements summarized above to the effect that the decrees of God are unalterable, that there is no variableness neither shadow of changing, that we should search these commandments for they are true and faithful argue against the thought that such a large number of conflicting scriptures would come from the real God. He is not the author of confusion, as he says in the Bible: “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33). Even a Mormon verse echoes this teaching: “Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion” (D&C 132:8).

Because of its importance we will also repeat another item that was said earlier. We have also consulted the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (it is also sometimes called the Inspired Version and the New Translation by the RLDS) to be sure the Bible verses we used represented Joseph Smith’s thoughts in 1833 when he finished it. On July 2, 1833 Joseph said:

We this day finished the translating of the Scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father.… Having finished the translation of the Bible, a few hours since.… (History of the Church, 1:368–69)

Where we did use biblical verses to show a conflict with the other Mormon scriptures, except as noted, the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) agreed with the King James Version used.

But scripture conflicts are not the only examples of the confusion within Mormonism. Conflicts of a similar nature exist just as much with the teachings of the top Mormon leaders.

 

1 Mormon leaders had this to say about Adam-ondi-Ahman:

Though there is no uniform belief among Christian scholars as to the geographical location of Eden, the majority claim that it was in Persia. The Latter-day Saints have more exact knowledge on the matter, a revelation having been given through Joseph Smith, at Spring Hill, Mo., May 19, 1838, in which that place is named by the Lord “Adam-ondi-Ahman.… ” (The Articles of Faith, [Apostle] James E. Talmage, p. 474, footnote)

When Adam, after being driven from the garden of Eden, went to Adam-ondi-Ahman to offer sacrifice.… (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, [President] Wilford Woodruff, p. 18)

Garden of Eden and City Zion Same Place. In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri. (Doctrines of Salvation, [Apostle] Joseph Fielding Smith, 3:74)

Since Adam called together seven generations of his descendants at Adam-ondi-Ahman, it can well be believed that there was his old homestead. If so, the Garden of Eden was probably not far distant.… (Evidences and Reconciliations, [Apostle] John E. Widtsoe, p. 396)

2 This same lesson is also in He That Receiveth My Servants Receiveth Me, Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide, 1979, p. 81.

3 This revelation was not put into the Doctrine and Covenants until 1876, and not accepted by common consent until 1880.

4 It may be said that this was an apostate, a wicked person, saying this. But note that Alma, an alleged true prophet, did not correct this teaching. In addition, other Mormon scripture, as shown below, says the same thing.

5 As a reminder, when a biblical verse is used and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (jst) is not shown, this means the jst has exactly the same wording or idea, even though the verse numbers may not be the same. If they are not in agreement, then the jst wording is also shown.

6 Most Mormons, and Mormon Church teaching manuals, say this really means the three Gods (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) are “one God in purpose.” This is their own interpretation as no Mormon scripture says this directly.

7 This verse and D&C 8:2: “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart,” seem to have Mormon scripture saying that only the Holy Ghost can dwell in a person’s heart.

8 Mormons interpret this as supporting ordinances for the dead. But Paul’s intent is to support the resurrection of the dead. In all of chapter 15, except for verse 29, Paul in speaking refers to “us,” “you,” “we,” and “your,” those in the Christian community. Only in verse 29 does he speak about “they,” those outside the Christian community. Details on this are covered in our book Mormons Answered Verse by Verse.

9 Full details are covered in my (J.R.F.) unpublished paperThe Fulness of the Everlasting Gospel—What Is It?”

10 The Evening and Morning Star, April 1833, Vol. 1, No. 11, page 81, and the 1851 Pearl of Great Price, page 15, both have the Holy Ghost in this verse saying, “I am Jesus Christ,” not “I am the Only Begotten.”

11 The following is the immediate historical background of Joseph Smith’s death:

In the mean time Joseph, Hyrum, and Elder Taylor had their coats off. Joseph sprang to his coat for his six-shooter, Hyrum for his single barrel.… Joseph reached round the door casing, and discharged his six-shooter into the passage, some barrels missing fire.… (History of the Church 6:617–18, also see 7:31)

… and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his [Joseph Smith’s] pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I [Apostle John Taylor] afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died. (History of the Church 7:102–3)

Webster’s Deluxe Unabridged Dictionary says a martyr is a person who chooses to suffer or die rather than give up his faith or his principles. While we can understand why Joseph Smith would try to defend himself, the minute he did, he proved that he did not want to die. Hence he was not a martyr.

12The Mormon Church now teaches that spirit and intelligence are not synonymous. Intelligence is eternal (Doctrines of the Gospel, Student Manual, Religion 231 and 232, p. 13), and spirits are procreated (Gospel Principles, p. 9). Joseph Smith and other early Mormon leaders for many years consistently taught that “spirits” are “eternal” and have “no beginning.” Some examples follow:

The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity.… If the soul of man had a beginning it will surely have an end.… Spirits are eternal.… the spirits of men are eternal.… Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so.… The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal with God himself.… I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it had a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end.… That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are co-equal (co-eternal) with our Father in heaven.… So with the spirit of man. As the Lord liveth, if it had a beginning, it will have an end.… I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself.… Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age, and there is no creation about it.… (The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 158, 181, 208, 352–54. Most of these are also found in the History of the Church 3:387, 4:575, 6:310–11.)

This treatise on the “Regeneration and Eternal Duration of Matter,” was written by Elder [Parley] Pratt while in Columbia prison, Missouri.… Matter and spirit are of equal duration; both are self-existent,—they never began to exist, and they never can be annihilated. * * * * Matter as well as spirit is eternal, uncreated, self existing.… (History of the Church 4:54–55, footnotes by B.H. Roberts)

13 The 1977 edition of the Book of Mormon says “foundation” instead of “preparator.”

14 Many Mormons take great pride in the fact that their congregation leaders (ward and stake leaders) are not paid. Some even think the top leadership is not paid, but this is not the case (The Mormon Corporate Empire, John Heinerman and Anson Shupe, Beacon Press, 1985 pp. 87–89).

15 Brigham Young in a public meeting on November 2, 1856, appeared to put this revelation to use when he said: “If any man or woman complains of me or of my Counselors, in regard to the lateness of some of this season’s immigration, let the curse of God be on them and blast their substance with mildew and destruction, until their names are forgotten from the earth.… I do not believe that the biggest fool in the community could entertain the thought that all this loss of life, time, and means, was through the mismanagement of the First Presidency” (Journal of Discourses 4:68).

16 16. We realize there are also what appear to be discrepancies in the Bible. Most of these are easily answered. We suggest the following books: Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason L. Archer, Regency Reference Library/Zondervan Publishing House, 1982; Today’s Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties, David E. O’Brien, Bethany House Publishers, 1990.

Farkas, J. R., & Reed, D., A. (1997, c1995). Mormonism : Changes, contradictions, and errors (electronic ed.) (37). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Mormon Scriptures Compared

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