Since 1981 the Introduction to the Book of Mormon has stated,
“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting Gospel.”
Recently the Introduction was changed; among other things, the words “as does the Bible” have been removed. This change is consistent with the teaching of LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer found in an article which appeared in the March 2008 issue of the Ensign magazine. In “Who Is Jesus Christ?” Mr. Packer stated, “Nephi testified that the Bible once ‘contained the fullness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record'” but later the “great and abominable church” took away many “plain and most precious” parts of the gospel (Ensign, March 2008, 16).
The above reference to the teaching of Nephi in the Book of Mormon has been a component of LDS doctrine since the Church’s inception. LDS prophets and apostles have preached continuously that the Bible has been corrupted and much truth lost from the original text. This LDS view of a corrupted Bible is now and has always been a major concern among Christians. The idea that the Bible is missing parts of the LDS Gospel is nothing new or shocking; but with this recent change to the Book of Mormon Introduction, the incongruity of the pre-changed text is brought to the forefront.
The Introduction was originally written for a new edition of the Triple Combination (one volume which contains the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price) published in 1981. The new edition of the scriptures was heralded as “the product of years of research and inspired direction.” * One wonders, therefore, how the inaccurate claim that the Bible contains the fullness of the everlasting Gospel came to be included in the first place. It certainly did not reflect the true teachings or doctrine of the LDS Church, yet it remained in the Book of Mormon Introduction for about 25 years.
* Edward J. Brandt, “Using the New LDS Editions of Scripture—As One Book,” Ensign, October 1982, 42