Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Mormon eighth article of faith

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Biblical Answers to Mormons“, posted with vodpod

 

 

mormon-claims1

Mormon Claims Answered
(1997 version) by Marvin W. Cowan

Utah Lighthouse Ministry would like to thank Marvin Cowan for graciously allowing us to post his book Mormon Claims Answered on our website. A paper copy of this book may be purchased through us for just $4.00. This book is also available in Spanish and Russian.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK  http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/mclaimscontents.htm

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXPLANATION OF ABBREVIATED BOOK TITLES

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1 – ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF MORMONISM

The Story As Told by Mormons
Evidence Against the Joseph Smith Story

The 1820 Revival and Joseph’s First Vision
A Biblical Response
First Vision Versions
Moroni or Nephi
Inconsistency about Church Membership
The 1826 Trial
Joseph Smith’s Death

 

CHAPTER 2 – GOD

The Trinity

God the Father
Mother God
Jesus Christ
The Holy Ghost
Polytheism

 

CHAPTER 3 – THE BIBLE

Incomplete and Incorrect Translation
Mormonism’s Inspired Bible
A Complete, Trustworthy Bible

 

CHAPTER 4 – THE BOOK OF MORMON

A Second Witness
Proof Texts from the Bible
The Importance of the Book of Mormon
Internal Evidence for the Book of Mormon

Changes in the Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon Clarifies Doctrine
External Evidence for the Book of Mormon

Translation Time
Origin of the Book of Mormon
The Witnesses of the Book of Mormon
Scientific Evidence for the Book of Mormon
The Ultimate LDS Test for the Book of Mormon

 

CHAPTER 5 – MORE LDS SCRIPTURE AND REVELATION

The Pearl of Great Price

Moses
Abraham
Joseph Smith – Matthew
Joseph Smith – History
The Articles of Faith
The Doctrine and Covenants

Changes Between Editions
Additions to the Doctrine & Covenants
Prophecies in the Doctrine & Covenants
Other Prophecies by Smith
Prophecies by Other LDS Prophets

 

CHAPTER 6 – PRIESTHOOD

Definition and Function
Origin of LDS Priesthood
Biblical Priesthood

 

CHAPTER 7 – THE CHURCH

Universal Apostasy
Restoration
Claims of The One True Church
LDS Church Offices

Apostles
Original LDS 12 Apostles
Prophets
Other Church Offices

 

CHAPTER 8 – SALVATION

Sin
Two Kinds of Salvation

General Salvation
Personal Salvation
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Repentance
Baptism
Laying on of Hands
Church Membership
Keep the Commandments

  1. The Ten Commandments
  2. The Word of Wisdom
  3. Tithing
  4. Gaining Knowledge
  5. Be Fruitful and Multiply
  6. Be Virtuous
  7. Doing Good Works
  8. Accept Joseph Smith and Successors

 

CHAPTER 9 – TEMPLE AND TEMPLE ORDINANCES

Temples

Genealogical Work
Temple Endowments

Marriage and Sealing
Polygamy
Baptism for the Dead

 

CHAPTER 10 – THE ETERNAL STATE OF MANKIND

Eternal Progression
Three Heavens or Degrees of Glory
Immortality and Eternal Life
No Hell
The Unpardonable Sins
Blood Atonement

 

OTHER LDS INFORMATION AVAILABLE

===============================================================

Chapter 3

THE BIBLE

 

“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.”

8th Article of Faith by Joseph Smith

    LDS Apostle James Talmage wrote, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts the Holy Bible as the foremost of her standard works, first among the books which have been proclaimed as her written guides in faith and doctrine” (A. of F., p. 236).

    And LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie said: “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known informally by the nickname Mormons) believe the Bible. Indeed, so literally and completely do their beliefs and practices conform to the teachings of the Bible that it is not uncommon to hear informed persons say: ‘If all men believed the Bible, all would be Mormons.’ Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine, and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine. They are one and the same” (What The Mormons Think of Christ, p. 2).

    Such statements have led many to assume that the LDS view of the Bible is similar to what Protestants believe, but such is not the case. Mormonism actually attacks the Bible on two counts: (1) it is mistranslated, and (2) it is incomplete.

 

INCOMPLETE AND INCORRECT TRANSLATION

    The mistranslation of the Bible is suggested in the eighth Article of Faith. Talmage explains, “There will be, there can be, no absolutely reliable translation of these or other scriptures unless it be effected through the gift of translation, as one of the endowments of the Holy Ghost… Let the Bible then be read reverently and with prayerful care, the reader ever seeking the light of the Spirit that he may discern between truth and the errors of men” (A. of F., p. 237).

    Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth Prophet of Mormonism also said: “There is not one principle pertaining to the salvation of men that is so clearly stated in the Bible, as it has come down to us, that men do not stumble over – not one thing. There is not one principle they can be united on that has been so clearly stated that they do not find their interpretations of it conflicting” (D. of S., Vol. I, p. 278).

    Joseph Smith also declared, “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” (T. of P.J.S., p. 327). And LDS Apostle Mark E. Peterson said, “Many insertions were made, some of them ‘slanted’ for selfish purposes, while at times deliberate falsifications and fabrications were perpetrated” (As Translated Correctly, p. 4).

    LDS Apostle Orson Pratt also wrote:

If it be admitted that the apostles and evangelists did write the books of the New Testament, that does not prove of itself that they were divinely inspired at the time they wrote…. Add all this imperfection to the uncertainty of the translation, and who, IN HIS RIGHT MIND could for one moment suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original? (Divine Authority of the Book of Mormon, pp. 45, 47; read all of this pamphlet for a detailed attack upon the Bible).

    In addition to this charge of an unreliable translation, Mormon leaders say that important doctrine as well as whole books have been deleted or added by corrupt men. Joseph Smith declared, “Upon my return from Amhurst Conference, I resumed the translation of the Scriptures. From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible or lost before it was compiled” (T. of P.J.S., pp. 9-11).

    The B. of M. also says, “Many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible… Thou fool, that shall say a Bible, we have got a Bible and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?” (II Nephi 29:3,6).

    Notice that only “fools” trust in the Bible alone! Verse 10 of the same passage goes on to say, “Wherefore, because ye have a Bible ye need not suppose it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.” The B. of M. declared that more revelation was needed and thus made way for its own existence!

    The B. of M. also predicts a great and abominable church has “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” (I Nephi 13:26).

    The bottom of that page of the B. of M. dates this perversion of the gospel around 600 B.C., which was long before the “gospel of the Lamb” was even given in the New Testament! LDS claim the B. of M. has restored these “plain and precious things,” and that it is the “fulness of the gospel” (B. of M. I Nephi 13:34-35; D. & C. 20:8-9; 27:5). But they are hard-pressed to point to anything that has been “restored” by the B. of M. Our chapter on the B. of M. discusses this problem further.

    Apostle Orson Pratt also claimed, “The Bible has been robbed of its plainness; many sacred books having been lost, others rejected by the Romish Church, and what few we have left, were copied and re-copied so many times, that it is admitted that almost every verse has been corrupted and mutilated to that degree that scarcely any two of them read alike” (The Seer, p. 213).

    Pratt made another familiar LDS charge against the Bible, saying:

The gathering together of the few scattered manuscripts which compose what is now termed the Bible was the work of uninspired man which took place centuries after John finished his manuscript. Among the vast number of professedly inspired manuscripts, scattered through the world, man, poor, weak, ignorant man assumed the authority to select a few, which according to his frail judgment, he believed or conjectured were of God, but the balance not agreeing, perhaps, with his peculiar notions of divine inspiration, were rejected as spurious. The few, selected from the abundance, were finally arranged into one volume, divided into chapter and verse, and named the Bible (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 3).

    Pratt goes on to say that this selection or rejection of the books of the Bible was done by a vote of those uninspired men as they met in councils (Ibid., pp. 36-38). Pratt shows indignation at the very idea of the early church fathers voting to accept or reject scripture. But, Talmage wrote concerning LDS scripture, “the works adopted by the vote of the church as authoritative guides in faith and doctrine are four: the Bible, the B. of M., the D. & C., and the P. of G.P.” (A. of F., p. 7). Therefore, the LDS Church accepted their four books of scripture by a vote! LDS must explain why it was wrong for the early church to vote on scripture and yet it was right for the LDS Church. Actually, about all those early church councils did was officially vote to endorse the books of the Bible then in use by the church. The Holy Spirit had already made the selection and guided them into all truth as Jesus promised He would in John. 16:13. There is absolutely no evidence that the books of the Bible were selected or rejected the way Pratt says they were.

    Pratt also condemned the Catholic Bible, declaring, “That the Romanists have continued in their apostasy until the present day is demonstrated from the fact that they have not added one single book to their canon since they first formed it” (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 38).

    Pratt said the same thing about the “Harlot Daughters,” i.e. Protestants (Ibid., p. 40). We will discuss what the LDS have added to their original scriptures in our chapter “More LDS Scripture and Revelation.”

    Orson Pratt also attacked the Bible saying, “The voices of several hundred jarring, contending, soul-sickening sects, were constantly sounding in your ears; each one professing to be built upon the Bible, and yet each one differing from all the rest. Under this confused state of things, you have peradventure, involuntarily exclaimed: can the Bible be the Word of God! Would God reveal a system of religion expressed in such indefinite terms that a thousand different religions should grow out of it?” (Divine Authenticity of the B. of M., p. 47).

    What would Pratt say now that over 200 splinter groups have come out of Joseph Smith’s original church? (See Denominations that Base Their Beliefs on The Teachings of Joseph Smith by Kate Carter). Neither LDS prophets nor their scripture have eliminated church splits!

    It is strange that Mormonism attacks the reliability of the Bible while Talmage calls it their “first” book of doctrine! But, not all LDS leaders agree on which LDS scripture is the most important. For example, Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the LDS Church wrote, “In my judgment there is no book on earth yet come to man as important as the book known as the Doctrine and Covenants, with all due respect to the B. of M. and the Bible, and the P. of G.P. which we say are our standards in doctrine. The book of D. & C. to us stands in a peculiar position above them all” (D. of S., Vol. III, p. 198).

    Obviously the D. & C. and the Bible cannot both be in “first” place above other LDS scriptures! But Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, said, “I told the brethren that the B. of M. 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” (T. of P.J.S., p. 194).

    Thus, while Dr. Talmage said the Bible is the most important book to Mormons, Joseph Fielding Smith said the D. & C. was the most important, and the founder of Mormonism declared the B. of M. was the book that would get men nearer to God. As Mormons now practice their faith, Joseph Fielding Smith is really the most accurate because LDS believe the Bible has been corrupted and therefore is not too reliable. Furthermore, the B. of M. does not teach much Mormon doctrine, as our chapter on the B. of M. shows.

    LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explains their view of “scripture:” “The Church uses the King James Version of the Bible, but acceptance of the Bible is coupled with a reservation that it is true only insofar as it is translated correctly (Eighth Article of Faith). The other three (The B.of M., D.& C., and P. of G.P.), having been revealed in modern times in English, are accepted without qualification” (M.D. p. 764). This statement clearly shows that the LDS leaders question the reliability of the Bible, but not their other three books of scripture. However, three of their four books of scripture have been changed several times. The last time was in 1981. The only book of scripture they did not change was the Bible! Since it is the Bible they claim has all the problems, their actions are a bit strange. LDS leaders made changes (including doctrinal changes) in their B.of M., D. & C., and P. of G.P. when those books were already perfect enough to be “accepted without qualification.” Why couldn’t they correct the corruptions in the Bible if they really exist? Could it be that LDS leaders know that the Bible is not as corrupt as their own three books?

    According to LDS scripture, every LDS president is “a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet” (D. & C. 107:91-92, M.D. pp. 591-592). Yet, even though Joseph Smith re-translated the Bible, the LDS accept only the King James Version as their official Bible!

 

MORMONISM’S INSPIRED VERSION BIBLE

    According to the D.H.C., Vol. I, pp. 324 and 368, and Times and Seasons, Vol. VI, p. 802, Joseph Smith completed a translation of the Bible. Those sources and Andrew Jensen’s LDS Church Chronology show that the New Testament was finished February 2, 1833, and the Old Testament on July 2, 1833. In a revelation given on January 10, 1832, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon are commanded to “continue the work of translation until it is finished” (D. & C. 73:4). Obviously this was not talking about the B. of M. which was published in 1830. Nor could it be talking about the Book of Abraham Papyrus which Joseph Smith saw for the first time on July 3, 1835 (D.H.C., Vol. II, p. 235). Furthermore, Joseph Smith was commanded by God in D. & C. 124:89 to “publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth” (see also D. & C. 94:10 and 104:58).

    In spite of these commands in LDS scripture the LDS Church never published the Inspired Version of the Bible until 1979. According to LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, the reason it was not published is that “…This inspired revision of the ancient scriptures was never completed by the Prophet” (M.D., p. 383). If that is true, Joseph Smith was a very disobedient Prophet because he was commanded to finish it (D. & C. 73:4) and publish it (D. & C. 124:89)! As previously mentioned, Smith himself claimed he did complete it, but it had not been published at the time of his death in 1844. When he was killed, the manuscript went to his wife who never accepted Brigham Young as the successor to her husband. Her son Joseph III later became the Prophet of the Reorganized LDS Church and published the new translation for the Reorganized LDS Church for the first time in 1867. Many LDS people have used the RLDS edition, but it has never been officially endorsed by the LDS Church because they did not trust the “apostate” Reorganized LDS Church. The ninth printing of the 1944 edition entitles it the Inspired Version The Holy Scriptures. Below that title it says “A New Corrected Edition.” On p. 3 of the Preface, we read: “As concerning the manner of translation and correction, it is evident, that from the manuscripts and the testimony of those who were conversant with the facts that it was done by direct revelation from God.”

    If the inspired translation was done by direct revelation and yet needed correction by revelation, will the revealed corrections need to be corrected by further revelation? Why couldn’t God reveal it correctly the first time? And why is about 90% of it a copy of the King James Version if that translation is as bad as LDS leaders have claimed it is? Since 1979, the King James Bibles published by the LDS Church have most of the Inspired Version in the footnotes and appendix, but they call it the Joseph Smith Translation or the “JST.”

    One of the LDS charges against the Bible is that many books have been lost. Talmage lists 20 “lost books” of the Bible, which include “The Book of the Covenant (Ex. 24:7); Books of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14); Book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13),” and so on (A. of F., p. 501). Even if all 20 of these books are mentioned in the Bible, does that prove they were intended to be books of the Bible? If so, Epicurean and Stoic philosophy should be included also since the Apostle Paul quotes it in Acts 17:18 and 28. Just because some writing is mentioned in the Bible does not prove that everything in that document is supposed to be part of the Bible! One would expect the Inspired Version to contain the “lost books” which LDS claim make our Bible incomplete. But, not a single “lost book” has been replaced in the Inspired Version or in any other LDS book of scripture. In fact, the Inspired Version only has 65 books because Joseph Smith deleted the Song of Solomon!

    Are the “mistranslations” which LDS claim are in the Bible corrected in the Inspired Version? One good example is in Is. 65:1, “I am found of them who seek after me, I give unto them that ask of me; I am not found of them that sought me not; or that inquireth not after me.”

    Paul quoted this verse in Rom. 10:20, but in Joseph Smith’s translation it says: “But Esaias is very bold and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.” Smith’s “inspiration” speaks for itself!

    The Inspired Version prophesies the coming of Joseph (Smith) in Gen. 50:24-33. But, you do not need to look beyond Gen. 1:1 to see that this is no ordinary Bible. Other texts that did not fit Smith’s doctrine were changed so that they did fit. For example, Ex. 33:20 says, “Thou canst not see my face and live.” But, the Inspired Version says, “Thou canst not see my face at this time. John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time.” But, the Inspired Version says, “and no man hath seen God at any time except he hath borne record of the Son” (John 1:19). I John 4:12 says, “No man hath seen God at any time,” but the Inspired Version adds, “except them who believe.” Since Joseph Smith claimed that he saw God and Christ in 1820, he made the Bible conform to his teachings! Smith changed hundreds of verses in his Inspired Version, but not one change can be substantiated by the original manuscripts!

    Thus, the charge against the Bible made by LDS Apostle Mark E. Peterson certainly fits Joseph Smith’s Bible! He said, “Many insertions were made, some of them slanted for selfish purposes, while at times deliberate fabrications were perpetrated” (As Translated Correctly, p. 4).

 

A COMPLETE, TRUSTWORTHY BIBLE

    Since the LDS god is just a glorified man, it may be difficult for LDS to believe he can protect his word. But, Christians trust the Bible as the Word of God for several reasons. Archaeology has verified many locations and events mentioned in the Bible which show that it is truly an historical document. Some Biblical prophecies are known to pre-date their fulfillment, which suggests divine guidance. These things, along with the Bible’s own claim that it is the Word of God, give Christians confidence in it.

    Isaiah wrote, “The Word of our God shall stand forever (Is. 40:8). Peter said much the same: “The word of God which liveth and abideth forever” and “The word of the Lord endureth forever” (I Peter 1:23 & 25). Jesus also declared, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Jesus who made that claim also said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). If He has all power in heaven and earth, and He says His word will not pass away, we ought to be able to believe it! Rev. 19:6 also calls Him “The Lord God omnipotent” (all powerful). And if God cared enough to give mankind His Word, then He ought to also be able to preserve it. If the All Powerful Lord God can “keep” believers (I Peter 1:5), it is reasonable to believe that He can keep His Word too!

    Gal. 1:8-9 warns against teaching any other Gospel than that which Paul had already preached. But, it is impossible for Mormons to show that Paul taught such LDS doctrines as: God is a glorified man, celestial marriage, a temporary hell, or protective sacred underwear.

    There is no Bible verse that says “this is the end of all scripture.” But, Paul did write in Rom. 15:19, “I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.” Peter also wrote in II Peter 1:3 that “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Paul said in Col. 2:10, “You are complete in Him” (Christ). Therefore, what could “more scripture” possibly add? Christians already have all things that pertain to life and godliness, because the gospel has been fully preached and believers are “complete in Him.” The only thing which can be added to that completeness is distortion or perversion which Paul warned against in Gal. 1.6-9. Jesus also said, “the word that I have spoken – shall judge him (man) in the last day” (John 12:48). Therefore, no new “scripture” can add anything helpful to the gospel.

    Sometimes Christians use Rev. 22:18-19, to show that nothing should be added to the Bible. LDS respond that this verse applies only to the book of Revelation. While it does apply to the book of Revelation, it also applies to the whole Bible since it is located at the end of the last book of the Bible. But, LDS claim that Duet. 4:2 and Prov. 30:6 teaches the same thing as Rev. 22:18-19, so most of the Bible should not have been written if that same logic is used with them. However, those texts simply say that the Word of God must not be changed by adding to or deleting from it. But, in his Inspired Version of the Bible, Joseph Smith did add and delete from the book of Revelation in texts like Rev. 1:1-8. Therefore Rev. 22:18-19 does apply to the LDS!

    The New Testament writers were “eyewitnesses” of Jesus’ earthly ministry (II Peter 1:15-18, I John 1:1-5) and recorded the things they heard and saw for our benefit. Although Paul was not a disciple during Jesus’ earthly ministry, he was specially chosen by the Lord as a witness while the other apostles were still alive (Acts 22:14-15; I Cor. 11:23; Gal. 1:11-17). He also testified concerning the same thing as the other writers: what he had seen and heard of the Lord. Although much more could be written (John 20:30; 21:25), there is no need for more because we already have “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3; John 20:31). Most people haven’t read the Bible through once, so more scripture probably wouldn’t get read even if it existed. We do not need more scripture, but we do need to know the scripture we have!

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/mclaims3.htm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Reliability of Scripture“, posted with vodpod

 

CORRUPTION OF THE BIBLE IS AN LDS SMOKESCREEN

The LDS maintains that the Bible has been corrupted and is, therefore, unreliable. Their unsubstantiated claim is that some parts have been incorrectly translated, and that sections that had originally contained Mormon doctrines have been removed. However, they have never been able to come up with any proof to back up their allegations. The first part of this article is devoted to the evidence that supports the accuracy and reliability of the Bible. And the last section deals with the various LDS theories on the subject.

THE BIBLE’S RELIABILITY

If we have any doubts about the Bible’s truth or accuracy, we’ll read it with a jaundiced eye, and will always be wondering about the trustworthiness of some verse or the other. This will leave us open to being easily led astray by false teachers, false prophets and the like, whom the Bible warns us appear to be messengers of light:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV)

When it comes to deception Satan is a master of the art, and we are no match for him. So God has provided us with spiritual armour for our protection (Ephesians 6:12-17). And part of that armour is the Word of God (verse 17). When we use the Bible as our standard of truth, it serves as a spiritual sword, capable of decimating spiritual deception and error.

When Paul preached the New Covenant gospel of Christ to the Jews at Berea, they checked in their Bibles daily to see whether the things he was telling them were true (Acts 17:10-12). And sure enough, the prophecies about the coming Messiah lined up with what Paul had been telling them about Christ and his atonement for the sins of mankind. So many of them trusted in Christ for salvation.

If we follow the example of the Bereans by conscientiously checking up on whether or not the spiritual teachings we receive line up with the Bible, we will not be led into error. But in order to have the will to do this, we need to have faith in the Bible’s reliability, bearing in mind that faith isn’t a blind, mindless belief, an emotion, or a warm feeling in our bosom, as Mormons have been taught to believe it is. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to have faith in our feelings. Feelings are notoriously unreliable. Having faith doesn’t mean that we have to be gullible or throw our brains out of the window.

The following facts reveal the Bible to be a reliable standard of authority and truth, in which we can safely trust:

THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY TRUE

In the early 1800’s, the University of Paris printed an academic paper denouncing the Bible. They mentioned more than eighty historical facts that they claimed were untrue. However, within the next 100 years archaeological discoveries had confirmed the accuracy of the biblical record concerning every one of those so-called errors.

We have literally thousands of ancient, independent documents that support the trustworthiness of the biblical record. And archaeologists have confirmed the existence of biblical cities, nations, and individuals. They’ve also unearthed countless coins, artifacts, and evidence of civilizations and wars recorded in the Bible. Yet they’ve never found anything that has contradicted or disproved the Bible’s accuracy.

Compare this with the dismal record of absolutely no proof at all ever having been found concerning the LDS’s foremost scripture, the Book of Mormon, which they maintain is more accurate than the Bible. The evidence in favour of the Bible is overwhelming, and there is no evidence at all in favour of the Book of Mormon or of Mormon doctrine. Yet the LDS continues to throw stones both at the Bible and at biblical Christianity.

ACCURACY OF OUR COPIES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Strict regulations were enforced in the copying of Old Testament scriptures. An authentic specimen had to be used, and copyists weren’t allowed to deviate from it in any way. Nothing was permitted to be written down from memory, not even a dot. If any mistakes were made, the faulty copies were either burned or buried, as was every document that showed any sign of wear. Many other precautions were also taken, some even more elaborate than these, such as the counting of every letter on each page. So it’s unlikely that errors would have crept into the copying of the Old Testament.

It doesn’t make sense to imagine for one moment that people who were so fanatically fastidious about the accuracy of their scriptures, and so in awe of them, would adulterate them or hack out great big portions of them; or allow others to do so. Those Jewish folk guarded their scriptures jealously and reverentially. Don’t forget that the primitive church was completely Jewish, and a large number of the early church consisted of converted Jews, all of whom had this very same reverence for scripture.

In 1947 an Arab shepherd boy discovered a vast quantity of ancient manuscripts in some caves, which became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. They pre-dated anything we’d previously possessed, and included portions of every Old Testament book except Esther. Many of the scrolls were in fragments, but those they have pieced together agree with our modern Bibles.

The LDS Church maintains that parts of the book of Isaiah (the sections that don’t agree with their ideas), have been incorrectly translated. But we can now prove to them that this is not so, and that it is the LDS doctrines that are incorrect, not the Bible. Amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls was a complete copy of the book of Isaiah, written in an early form of the square letter. This dates it as far back as the second century before Christ, which makes it the same rendering of Isaiah that was read and quoted by the Lord Jesus. He accepted and proclaimed it as the true Word of God. And this very ancient copy of Isaiah agrees with our modern English translations of today. So the LDS will need another excuse to explain why their teachings don’t agree with the book of Isaiah.

Furthermore, Dr. Sidney B. Sperry, the LDS’s own Brigham Young University’s Professor of Old Testament History, Literature, and Languages, wrote the following in his publication, “Progress in Archaeology”:

“After reading the [Dead Sea] Scrolls very carefully, I came to the conclusion that there is not a line in them that suggests that their writers knew the gospel as understood by Latter-day Saints.” (page 52)

ACCURACY OF OUR COPIES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

As we’ve learned more about ancient biblical languages we have been able to translate them more precisely. But this hasn’t changed the actual meaning of the content in any way.

We possess more than 3,000 New Testament manuscripts dating from the fourth century. A few of these have minor variations. However, as most of them do agree, it’s an easy matter to sort out which are the reliable texts.

Some copies of John’s writings dating from 200 AD have come to light. They agree with our Bibles. We also have the writings of the apostolic fathers and the church fathers. (The apostolic fathers were the disciples of the apostles, and the church fathers were the disciples of the apostolic fathers.) Their combined writings contain the entire New Testament, except sixteen verses, which are only the introductions to the epistles. And their versions of the New Testament scriptures agree with our modern translations. So we can rest assured that our modern New Testament is in line with the original writings.

In their book “Eyewitness to Jesus,” German and British scholars Drs. Carsten Theide and Matthew D’Ancona refer to a fragment from the Gospel of Matthew, that scientific evidence revealed was written before AD 70, possibly as early as AD 30. This means that this gospel was written and circulated during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses to the events recorded. So they would have been able to vouch for its accuracy.

Because of the overwhelming evidence available, it is unlikely that errors could have crept into our versions of either the Old or New Testaments.

THE BIBLE IS OUR STANDARD OF TRUTH

The Bible is the standard of truth provided by God to enable us to test all spiritual teachings. But once we start relying on it, Satan knows that he will have lost the battle for our souls. So he puts a great deal of effort into trying to discredit it. And he’s very subtle. Remember what he said to Eve in the garden of Eden? He insinuated that perhaps God didn’t quite mean what he’d said so she shouldn’t take it too seriously. And she believed Satan, instead of taking God at His Word. As a result both Adam and Eve lost their righteous natures, their immortality and their fellowship with their Creator.

Satan is carrying on that same campaign of disinformation today, except this time it’s against God’s written word, the Bible.

CONTRADICTORY LDS STANCE ON THE BIBLE

When it comes to the Bible, the LDS church speaks with a forked tongue. On the one hand they maintain that it is their standard scripture, “the first” among their written guides in faith and doctrine. But on the other hand, they insist that it has been so badly corrupted that it cannot be relied upon.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts the Holy Bible as the foremost of her standard works, first among the books which have been proclaimed as her written guides in faith and doctrine” (LDS Apostle James Talmage, Articles of Faith, page 236).

“Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known informally by the nickname Mormons) believe the Bible. Indeed, so literally and completely do their beliefs and practices conform to the teachings of the Bible that it is not uncommon to hear informed persons say: ‘If all men believed the Bible, all would be Mormons.’ Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine, and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine. They are one and the same” (LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, “What The Mormons Think of Christ,” page 2).

But saying doesn’t make it so. The second quote is both false and deliberately misleading. The LDS leadership is well aware of the fact that their doctrines are not biblical. Moreover, they admit that the Jesus Christ that they follow is not the Christ of the Bible either (see the relevant article). And eternal progression, the foundational doctrine on which the LDS stands or falls, is anti-biblical to the point of being blasphemous, as are their doctrines on deity and the atonement.

Contrary to apostle McConkie’s false claims mentioned above, the Bible vigorously opposes LDS doctrines, and in order to justify this very obvious discrepancy the LDS church teaches their members that the Bible has been corrupted to the extent that it is not reliable. They are instructed to use their own scriptures and revelations as the standard against which to measure the accuracy of the Bible.

“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.” (Church News, June 20, 1992, page 3, quoting a letter from the First Presidency [Presidents Benson, Hinckley and Monson] dated May 22, 1992, to all of the Church)

There are a great many LDS teachings on the unreliability of the Bible. Here are just a few:

“Many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 1, page 245)

“Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 327).

“… who in his right mind could for one moment suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?” (LDS Apostle Orson Pratt, “Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon,” Page 47.)

In light of the above, one can only assume that their earlier, dishonest statements about their teachings conforming completely to those of the Bible, were nothing more than a deliberate smoke screen designed to conceal the fact that Mormonism is an unbiblical religion and that their doctrines are exclusive to the LDS church alone.

The Book of Mormon goes one step further in the LDS tirade against the Bible. It declares that only a fool would believe that the Bible is an adequate spiritual guide. (This crude statement gives the Book of Mormon a reason for its existence.)

“Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. ……..Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.” (2 Nephi 29:6, 10)

“….. 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. And all this have they done that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men” (1 Nephi 13:26-27)

Mormon literature provides many more statements along the same lines, but the above sufficiently proves the point that on the one hand the LDS claims that the Bible is their foremost scripture, that they honour and respect its authority, and that their doctrine so utterly conforms to biblical teaching that if all men believed the Bible, all would be Mormons. On the other hand they maintain that the Bible has been corrupted to such an extent that it can’t be trusted, that only fools would consider it to be an adequate spiritual guide, and that Mormons should use their own LDS revelations and teachings to gauge whether or not what the Bible says is correct.

The above two irreconcilable LDS stances are what some would term, “running with the hares and hunting with the hounds.” In other words, they enable the LDS to put forward whichever opposing point of view suits them best at any given time.

Let’s tackle some of the LDS’s accusations regarding their allegations about the Bible being corrupted and unreliable:

DIFFERENCES IN MANUSCRIPTS

There are minor variations in some of the available manuscripts. However, because of the vast number that are now in our possession (many thousands), it is an easy matter to sort out those that do not agree. Concerning those that do vary, scholars have come to the following conclusions.

“A careful study of the variants of the various earliest manuscripts reveals that none of them affects a single doctrine of Scripture. The system of spiritual truth contained in the standard Hebrew text of the Old Testament is not in the slightest altered or compromised by any of the variant readings found in the Hebrew manuscripts ….. It is very evident that the vast majority of them are so inconsequential as to leave the meaning of each clause doctrinally unaffected” (Gleason Archer, “A Survey of the Old Testament,” page 25).

“Only about one-eighth of all the variants had any weight, as most of them are merely mechanical matters such as spelling or style. Of the whole, then, only about one-sixtieth rise above ‘trivialities,’ or can in any sense be called substantial ‘variations’. Mathematically this would compute to a Text that is 98.33 percent pure.” (Norman Geisler and William Nix, “A General Introduction to the Bible,” page 365).

And Professor Richard L. Anderson, of the LDS’s own Brigham Young University, had this to say:
“For a book to undergo progressive uncovering of its manuscript history and come out with so little debatable in its text is a great tribute to its essential authenticity. First, no new manuscript discovery has produced serious differences in the essential story. This survey has disclosed the leading textual controversies, and together they would be well within one percent of the text. Stated differently, all manuscripts agree on the essential correctness of 99 percent of all the verses in the New Testament.”

“LOST” BOOKS

The LDS maintains that manuscripts are missing out of the canon. But there is a valid reason why not all available documents were included. Some failed to meet the strict criteria deemed necessary to qualify for inclusion.

ALLEGED CORRUPTION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

In attempting to explain why there is no mention of LDS doctrines in the Bible, LDS Apostle James E. Talmage suggested that some time during the fourth century Mormon doctrines and teachings must have been removed from the Bible.

However, besides having been recorded in the Bible, the apostles’ teachings were also quoted in numerous sermons, letters and documents. And by the time the fourth century came around these writings, as well as the biblical record, had been copied a great many times and widely circulated. So if Mormonism had been taught by the apostles there would have had to have been a record of it somewhere. But nobody, anywhere, has ever found so much as a trace of anything even remotely resembling Mormon doctrine prior to the establishment of the LDS church by Joseph Smith.

Critics of Mormonism are of the opinion that Joseph Smith used the excuse that the Bible had been corrupted as a dishonest ploy to justify the fact that the doctrines he taught were radically unbiblical.

LDS historian Hugh Nibley felt that the reason Mormon teachings weren’t mentioned in the Bible was because the original New Testament had been sabotaged before any copies had been made. But scientific evidence to the contrary discounts his theory. As already mentioned, a fragment of the gospel of Matthew was scientifically dated before AD 70 and possibly as early as in the AD 30’s. This means that it was written during the lifetime of the very people who had been witnesses to the events it mentions. And they would have objected it it hadn’t recorded the true facts correctly.

Other complete documents available are dated between about AD 70-807. At this stage in the history of the church, Christ’s original apostles would have been teaching and training those who were earmarked for leadership. And there was an extremely strict criteria laid down in the New Testament for selecting leadership. They would had to have been godly, mature, spirit filled Christians of the highest moral and spiritual calibre, whose doctrine was sound, who knew the scriptures and were capable of correcting error, and whose faith had already been tested and proved.

Furthermore, it would have been necessary for the entire Christian church, including the leadership, from every single area in the world where there had been Christians, all to have become apostate simultaneously. And at the same time as apostatising they would all have had to, once again simultaneously, reject their previous doctrines and adopt an entirely different belief system that opposed and did away with the very tenets the church had sacrificed, suffered and died for.

This idea is too far fetched to even warrant consideration.

Over all these long years that they’ve been in existence, the LDS has never ever been able to produce any evidence whatsoever, biblical, historical or archeological, that so much as suggests that either a complete apostasy of the early church or a corruption of the Bible ever took place, as they maintain they did. They have the same amount of evidence here as they have for their Book of Mormon being true, precisely nil. In fact they have never ever been able to produce any evidence that backs up any of their claims concerning their church being legitimate or that backs up their false accusations that biblical Christianity of today is not legitimate.

Surely, if either of these two claims had any substance, something would have been found by this time, to back them up.

The fact that Mormonism is an evolving religion should not be glossed over. LDS beliefs of today bear no resemblance whatsoever to their earlier beliefs. Twelve years after the establishment of the LDS church Joseph Smith introduced his new teachings on eternal progression, which brought about a complete change in their entire doctrinal system. Since then they have believed in an exclusive and unbiblical God, Christ, gospel and so on. (See the lead given at the end of this page to the article, “The Mormon Gods, Past and Present.”)

In other words, although they started off worshipping the biblical trinitarian, eternal, unchangeable, spirit God, twelve years later they changed over to the worship of a God of flesh and bone, who had once been an ordinary man.

In light of this, and their many other radical changes in doctrine, we can’t help wondering why the LDS should maintain that because the Bible doesn’t contain any of their current teachings it must have been corrupted. Do they expect the Bible to change its teachings every time they do so?

The main ingredient of truth is its consistency. It never, ever changes. So, unlike as is the case in Mormonism, the teachings of the Bible have never changed, and the Christian church of today (which the LDS accuses of being apostate) still uses exactly the same doctrines that Christ’s Apostles in the primitive church taught, adhered to and died to defend, as recorded in the Bible.

On the other hand, the LDS church has continued this pattern of changing their doctrines whenever they have deemed it convenient.

The Almighty God who created the universe, and who upholds it by His power, gave us the Bible as our standard of truth, both for our spiritual guidance and for our protection against spiritual deception. And He’s perfectly capable of safeguarding that same Bible from contamination or error. However, the LDS infers that He wasn’t able to do this, although, conversely, they insist that He is able to keep them from error.

But worshipping different Gods at different times, or for that matter, changing their other doctrines, clearly reveals that they must either have been in error prior to the changes in their doctrines or else that their present doctrines are incorrect. It would be impossible for both to be right.

If God allowed Joseph Smith, His chosen prophet, to teach doctrinal error on something as important as deity, and to lead them in the worship of the supposedly wrong God for over 12 years, why should we for one moment imagine that He doesn’t allow the LDS leadership to teach error today? And how do Mormons know that it wasn’t the second God, a glorified man, whom Joseph Smith taught them to worship, that was the wrong deity? How do they know whether or not they are guilty of the sin of idolatry?

The first link given below will take you to an article that discusses the three different Gods that have been worshipped by the LDS, each for a lengthy period of time. Quotes from LDS literature, providing irrefutable evidence that can be checked, are given. The second link leads to an article on the reliability of the Bible:

The Mormon Gods, Past and Present

The Bible and its Reliability as a Spiritual Weapon

Copyright 2007, Mormonism and Biblical Truth. All rights reserved.

http://www.bibtruth.com/corup.html

============================================================