On the topic of
See DVD catalog for
prices & more details.
Jesus Christ -Josepth Smith
Lifting the Veil of
The Bible and the Book of Mormon
Called to be Free
DNA and the Book of Mormon
The Temple of the Godmakers
Has Mormonism Changed?
For more details
My collection of Testimonies of
The Book of Mormon ...
FACTS OR FEELINGS
FACTS OR FEELINGS Is it true or false?
Our initial decision about the Book of Mormon is usually based on our preconditioned feelings. Everyone has feelings, and all people who disagree have sincere feelings. Obviously, feelings alone can't give us a reliable answer. We must check the facts to be absolutely sure our answer is correct.
FACT: GOD'S TRUTH NEVER CHANGES
The "Doctrine & Covenants" agrees (D&C 3:1-3):
Verse 1) God's works, designs, and purposes cannot be frustrated.
Verse 2) God does not vary from what He has already said (He doesn't need to change His mind when giving scripture).
Verse 3) God's work is never frustrated, but frustrated work comes from man. The fact is, God never changes His scriptures. He gets it right the first time.
CLAIMS OF DIVINE AUTHENTICITY
"I began looking for evidence concerning whether the Book of Mormon came forth and was translated by the gift and power of God."
Was it really from God?
TESTIMONY OF THE THREE WITNESSES
(Joseph Smith was the fourth witness) (Printed in the front of any Book of Mormon [BoM] except the first)
Proclaimed by the Lord Himself: "for his voice hath declared it unto us."
The Book of Mormon is a work of God, given as scripture: "translated by the gift and power of God."
The whole Book of Mormon is scripture: "...we know of a surety that the work is true."
TESTIMONY OF THE "LORD'S VOICE" (according to Joseph Smith)
Confirmed by the Lord's voice: "We heard a voice from out of the bright light above us saying, ..." (History of the Church [HoC] 1:55)
The Book of Mormon is scripture from God: "...These plates have been revealed [and translated] by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct, ..." (HoC1:55)
Joseph translated it according to the commandment of the Lord and it does not contain errors: "And he has translated the book even that portion which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true." (D&C 17:6)
Joseph's power to translate ultimately came from God himself: "...God ministered to him by an holy angel, ...And gave unto him commandments which inspired him; And gave him power from on high, ...to translate the Book of Mormon." (D&C 20:6-8)
THE CHURCH'S OFFICIAL TESTIMONY
Inspired authors: "Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation." (BoM Title Page)
Hidden and protected by Jesus: "Written...and hid up unto the Lord, ..." (BoM Title Page)
Reintroduced by the power of God: "To come forth by the gift and power of God...The interpretation thereof by the gift and power of God." (BoM Title page)
It is scripture that contains every necessary part of the gospel: "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture...and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel." (BoM Introduction page)
The Eighth Article of Faith: "...we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." (Articles of Faith at the end of the Pearl of Great Price)
The early testimonies of the Book of Mormon agree:
1) It is scripture and is totally true and correct.
2) It contains every necessary part of the fullness of the everlasting gospel.
3) Joseph was operating under the power of God [inspired] and not working by his own power, when he translated the Book of Mormon.
If today's Book of Mormon is truly a work of God, according to His perfect knowledge, the facts would demonstrate that it is totally correct. It would be without errors or changes, exactly as God inspired the original prophets and Joseph to write and translate it.
TESTIMONIES OF THE WORK OF MAN
I discovered the following statements which provide first-hand testimony of the Book of Mormon's authorship and accuracy.
BOOK OF MORMON PROPHETS TESTIFY (about their record) These quotes prove that the original Book of Mormon prophets considered much of their work to be the work of man.
(Not according to God's perfect knowledge):
"And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge." (I Nephi 1:3)
"Nevertheless, I do not write anything upon the plates save it be that I think it be sacred." (I Nephi 19:6)
(Not according to God's perfect knowledge):
And he [Nephi] gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious;..." (Jacob 1:12)
"Wherefore, I conclude this record declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge." (Jacob 7:26)
(Not according to God's perfect knowledge):
"And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory;" (Ether 5:1)
"Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good;" (Moroni 10:1)
(For more examples, look up these verses: II Nephi 2:17 suppose; Jarom 1:1 commandment of Enos; Omni 1:1 commandment of Jarom; Alma 40:20 my opinion; Mormon 8:1 commanded by Mormon; Mormon 8:12 imperfections in scripture; Mormon 9:3134 our knowledge, imperfections; Ether 12:2327 weakness in writing)
JOSEPH CHANGES HIS TESTIMONY
By 1841,Joseph had printed three editions of the Book of Mormon (1830, 1837, 1840). Each edition after the first contained changes and corrections which eventually Joseph could no longer ignore:
"I told the brethren that 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." (HoC 4:461 and BoM Introduction page)
No longer is it absolutely correct. Now it is only the most correct. No longer does it promise you the way to be with God; now Joseph only promises a nearness to God. "Nearer" is a relative word, rather than an absolute word. "Nearer" still implies not quite there. This is one step down from being a divine record.
MODERN-DAY PROPHETS SUSTAIN
TESTIMONY OF DISCLAIMER
The current edition of the Book of Mormon (1981 and newer), contains the church's official disclaimer of inspiration. For 151 years, errors were perpetuated in the six previous versions of the Book of Mormon (1830, 1837, 1840, 1842, 1879, 1920).
"Some minor errors in the text have been perpetuated in past editions of the Book of Mormon..." (bottom of the page titled "A Brief Explanation About the Book of Mormon")
My question is, which version does the church want us to believe is the word of God (8th Article of Faith), the newest one or one of the older ones? Remember that the works of God can never be frustrated, and God does not vary from that which he has already said (D&C 3:13).
In order to be more truthful, the LDS eighth Article of Faith needs to be changed to read, "We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God as far as it is correctly translated and changed."
"...This edition contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the prophet Joseph Smith." (BoM, A Brief Explanation...)
The real true God never has to seem anything. He knows all things. God does not conform to man, man conforms to God. God's works are not the works of conformity; never have been, never will be. What we see here is that the church has taken out old errors (not the work of God) and has inserted new ones (the work of man).
The Mormon church sustains the modern-day prophet as the "mouthpiece of God" and the final authority on what becomes scripture and what is dropped from scripture. The modern-day prophet authorizes all LDS scripture changes ("conformity") and revelations (words of God). Remember that a true prophet will never lead his people astray.
WHAT IS SCRIPTURE?
Feelings, many times, lead people astray. Feelings are not scripture. Feelings can't change the facts. Facts in scripture always line up with truth. The first five books of the Bible (the books of Moses), were the standard by which additional books were judged and were added.
The old testament was the standard by which the New Testament books were judged by. Any books written during this time had to pass the test of the old testament. Likewise, any new books claiming to be scripture must pass the test of scripture, the Bible. It is true that many verses from the King James Bible have been copied into the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 12-24 and others). These are still scripture no matter where they are copied. However, the Book of Mormon itself demonstrates that it does not qualify, as a whole, as true scripture from God, because of the errors.