“As Does the Bible”

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).

Looks Like HeartacheThe 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

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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74 Responses to “As Does the Bible”

  1. falcon says:

    In answer to your question, it doesn’t matter! This is Mormonism we’re talking about here. Things change. Someone got a new revelation or something. It could be changed back tomorrow or clarified so it sounds about the same as it did before. As I’ve said, that’s the fun part of Mormonism. Truth just kind of floats out there. I often quote the Amazing Randy (master debunker) when asked why people believe in the paranormal: “Because they want to,” he replied. What you have described in your post is a salient feature of Mormonism. So for me it’s not the point that in Mormonism the Bible “use to contain” the fullness of the Gospel. It’s that Mormons can flip faster than a fish on dry land when it comes to their doctrine, teachings and customs. You gotta love these guys.

  2. jer1414 says:

    Good question… why did the Bible and BoM both contain the “fullness” of the gospel, and now the Bible doesn’t? – or even if Bible still does, it’s not pointed out anymore?
    Perhaps too many Mormons got questioned on why one would need the BoM if the Bible already contains the “fullness”. Perhaps the phrase was taken out of the updated version of the BoM because for some investigators, it questioned the need for the BoM.
    I also agree with Falcon above, Mormons may not see the change as any big deal. I also get the idea they are be used to things/teachings being changed/updated based on continuing “revelation” -just as the past updated BoM versions that have changed significant verbage to the book haven’t been any big deal to them (so it seems from my experience). I pray Mormons would begin to see the many changes their church makes as a “big deal”.

  3. iamse7en says:

    This is a good question. Many within the LDS Church argue that the Book of Mormon itself does not contain a “fulness of the gospel.” There is no mention of the exalting Temple ordinances, work for the dead, or even the three degrees of Glory. This are pivotal doctrines to what the LDS would call a “fulness of the Gospel.”

    However, one must define what they mean by a “fulness of the Gospel.” Does it mean that the book contains all those doctrines necessary for exaltation, or does it mean that the people within that book had all the necessary doctrines, priesthood, and ordinances necessary for exaltation? To say whether a book contains a “fullness of the gospel” all depends upon that persons definition of it.

    We admit the Book of Mormon does not contain all the necessary doctrines and ordinances necessary for exaltation, which is another reason why we believe in the need for continual revelation of truth. However, we believe the people within the Book of Mormon had all the necessary doctrines, priesthood, and ordinances that they needed for their own salvation and eventual exaltation. The Book of Mormon contains a history of peoples over the course of THOUSANDS of years, including the Jaredite account. Do we expect all their teachings and practices to be mentioned in a 500 page book? Certainly not.

    A simple definition of “fulness of the gospel” by the beloved Elder McConkie:

    “The fulness of the gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fulness of salvation. Those who have the gospel fulness do not necessarily enjoy the fulness of gospel knowledge or understand all of the doctrines of the plan of salvation. But they do have the fulness of the priesthood and sealing power by which men can be sealed up unto eternal life. The fulness of the gospel grows out of the fulness of the sealing power and not out of the fulness of gospel knowledge… (continued below)

  4. iamse7en says:

    “Our revelations say that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel. This is true in the sense that the Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with a people who had the fulness of the gospel, and therefore the laws and principles leading to the highest salvation are found recorded in that book. In the same sense the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants contain the fulness of the gospel…
    “The fulness of the gospel cannot be preserved in the written word. The scriptures bear record of the gospel, but the gospel itself consists in the power of the priesthood and the possession of the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Mormon Doctrine, p. 333

    We agree that the people within the Book of Mormon had a fulness of the Gospel, as did the people in the Bible, OBVIOUSLY. I am not sure why they would have removed “as does the Bible” – Both are of the same case: both do not contain all doctrines of exaltation, but both have peoples who had a fulness of the gospel. I didn’t even know they removed “as does the Bible.” Source? Was there an official church statement about the removal? What was their explanation, if there was such. They usually include that information and explain why there was a change…

  5. iamse7en says:

    Here is the only ‘answer’ to my question, I have found from Juvenile Instructor blog (http://juvenileinstructor.wordpress.com/2007/11/12/as-does-the-bible-official-statement-forthcomingmaybe/):
    There has been considerable question concerning how we should interpret the omission of the phrase “as does the Bible” from the Introduction to the Book of Mormon. The phrase first appeared thus in the 1981 edition: “It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americans and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel.” However, in the 1992 Spanish-language edition, the phrase “as does the Bible” was removed. The change was reflected in subsequent foreign-language (re)printings, and first appeared in English in the 2004 Doubleday edition.
    Carrie Moore in her Deseret News article mentioned the “as does the Bible” change, but stated that the church had declined to comment. In a response to an email from the Juvenile Instructor, Church spokesman Mark Tuttle stated the following:

    “Support and reference materials for the scriptures are only changed for major new editions (the last English edition was in 1981), and not with individual (re) printings. How this is done and its timing (considering all of the individual language translations), is a complex problem that we hope to address in detail in the near future. Until that time we are not able to provide additional comments.”

    This response gives me hope that the Church’s media representatives will soon address the issue of how the “as does the Bible” change occurred. Although Tuttle confirmed that a statement is forthcoming, he was unable to state that it would address this specific issue.
    Bottom Line: The issue is complex, and the Church hopes to address it in detail, later.

  6. Berean says:

    Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th President and prophet of the LDS Church does not fully agree with Bruce McConkie’s definition of “Fulness of the gospel”. He takes it much further. He says:

    “FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL. By Fulness of the gospel is meant all the ordinances and principles that pertain to the exaltation in the celestial kingdom.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p. 160)

    That seems pretty clear and proposes a difficult problem for the LDS people to explain because nowhere in the Book of Mormon are ordinances like celestial marriage, plural marriage, baptism for the dead, endowments, being sealed, etc., mentioned. These and other ordinances are mentioned in the Doctrines and Covenants as necessary for exaltation in the celestial kingdom.

    If we are to take Joseph F. Smith’s word for it, then one doesn’t need the D&C or anything else to attain exaltation in the celestial kingdom. All one needs is what is taught in the Book of Mormon.

    I look forward to hearing the spin by our Mormon friends on here as they explain this away.


  7. eric017 says:

    As a Christian, I can’t help but feel extremely grateful that I no longer need worry about things making sense ‘later’ as I did when I was a Mormon. For it was finished at the Cross.

  8. Jeffrey says:

    You know, I always thought it would make much more sense for a investigator to read the Doctrine and Covenants and pray about its truthfulness.

    Better yet, it would make much more sense for an investigator to read the Doctrine and Covenants and compare it to God’s Word found in the Bible. But alas, thats not how the LDS go about converting people. They insert a distrust of the Bible into the minds of the investigators, tell them to read the BoM which mirrors much of the Bible so that it comes off rather Christian (only one God, etc.) and pray about its truth. Once they feel all warm and cozy and excited about the possibility of the “restored” truth of Christ’s Gospel, and get baptized, its smooth sailing from there to get them to believe anything else.

    The LDS church plays on the logic that many people probably have about the Bible. And that is “Man, that book is so old and has been translated many times, there just HAS to be some “plain and precious truths” removed from it. This is when they deny the power of God in keeping his word clear for his people.

    I must admit. The tale of Joseph Smith is a fascinating one. However, rarely is much of his history mentioned. Even my wife who was born and raised LDS, didn’t have any idea about Joseph Smith’s polygamy.

    So tell me my LDS friends, shouldn’t people be reading about what the church really believes and praying about that? Instead of reading some fascinating stories in the Book of Mormon that hold very little doctrine as to what the LDS church really believes? That is an honest question. I don’t doubt that people will still accept the LDS gospel, but I would argue that not as many would if they dug into the history of the LDS church and the doctrines it has now, and has held years ago.

  9. gundeck says:

    You are correct about the D&C. As long as investigators never move beyond the BoM they will never understand the key dogmas that the LDS believe. I would add that investigators need to read the Pearl of Great Price along with the D&C. Mormon missionaries should require this.

  10. subgenius says:

    consider the following:
    ” I should say for the salvation of his creatures in these last days, since we have already in our possession a vast volume of his word which he has previously given. But you will admit that the word spoken to Noah was not sufficient for Abraham, or it was not required of Abraham to leave the land of his nativity and seek an inheritance in a strange country upon the word spoken to Noah, but for himself he obtained promises at the hand of the Lord and walked in that perfection that he was called the friend of God. Isaac, the promised seed, was not required to rest his hope upon the promises made to his father, Abraham, but was privileged with the assurance of his approbation in the sight of heaven by the direct voice of the Lord to him.

    “If one man can live upon the revelations given to another, might not I with propriety ask, why the necessity, then, of the Lord speaking to Isaac as he did, as is recorded in the 26th chapter of Genesis?

    Obviously the book of Revelations was not the end of the Bible. And those above who say that the American Standard, or the KJV, or the countless translations are not the “complete” Bible. At what point did the Bible end? Did this argue persist at any complilation point?

    Where in the Bible does God say “I am finished speaking” ?

  11. Jeffrey says:

    Subgenious, no one said that God can’t/won’t reveal more to mankind. That is someone LDS like to say about Christians as if we are trying to limit his knowledge or power. The fact remains though, that the plan of salvation is clear in the Bible. It is the LDS church that is putting modern revelation (words) in God’s mouth. No where does it mention slightly tweaked, but not much, Masonic rituals (secret handshakes, oaths, vows), in the Bible.

  12. iamse7en says:


    You gotta be kidding me. That definition is exactly what Elder McConkie said. Did you even read the quote? The very first line from McConkie says the same exact thing you quoted from JFielding Smith. And your explanation before the quote is, that JFielding Smith “takes it much further.” Haha. I can only laugh.

    This is a big reason why many critics of the church don’t really connect with us: They’re irrational, and they misuse quotes, or don’t understand the quotes they use.

    Your quotation:

    “FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL. By Fulness of the gospel is meant all the ordinances and principles that pertain to the exaltation in the celestial kingdom.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p. 160)

    Says the same exact thing as my quotation:

    “The fulness of the gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fulness of salvation.”

    Exaltation = fulness of salvation… You were trying to say that President Smith was saying something completely different from Elder McConkie, which you say proposes a problem:

    “That seems pretty clear and proposes a difficult problem for the LDS people to explain because nowhere in the Book of Mormon are ordinances like.. “

    You can ‘spin’ all you want, but those quotes say the exact same thing. And ‘this problem,’ of the BoM not containing all the ordinances and teachings: I explained very clearly, this “problem” you were trying to pose. You obviously don’t know what the Church means when they say that the Book of Mormon contains a fulness of the gospel. But you must be an expert on interpreting what Mormon prophets really meant. I’m not sure what you thought you were reading, but you are very misled. I look forward to now hearing your ‘spin,’ as you once put it.

  13. Berean says:


    No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I read your quotes. That’s sad that you think it’s funny when you are the one at odds with your prophet when you say:

    “Many within the LDS Church argue that the BOM itself does not contain a ‘fulness of the gospel’. There is no mention of exalting temple ordinances, work for the dead, or even the degrees of glory. These are pivotol doctrines to what the LDS would call a ‘fulneess of the Gospel.'”

    You went on to say:

    “We admit the Book of Mormon does not contain all the necessary doctrines and ordinances necessary for exaltation”

    Now, does your statement line up with Joseph F. Smith’s? No, he says the BOM does contain ALL the ordinances and principles that lead to exaltation in the celestial kingdom. I guess that’s an in-house debate you Mormons can have because you referenced the argument within the Church. Your problem is with the inconsistency of your so-called prophets and apostles.

    You stated: “we believe the people within the BOM had all the necessary doctrines and ordinances they needed for their own salvation and EVENTUAL exaltation”.

    Does Joseph F. Smith say “eventual”? Was Doctrine and Covenants around when Joseph F. Smith was president? Yes. Why would he define the “fulness of the gospel” the way he did for the BOM if he knew that ordinances in the D&C were now required for this generation of believers?

    I know what the Church means. I can read very well. Mormons don’t like it when non-members point out quotes from their prophets that give them confusion. Your right, I don’t connect with you spiritually. That’s why I don’t pray with Mormons. Mormons serve another spirit (2 Cor 4:4). As long as Mormons want to live under law and try to complete “after all we can do” they will continue to “splash water” spiritually and will not make it thinking Jesus needs their disgusting righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). I have eternal life right now and know it (John 6:47). Mormons can’t say that with 100% certainty.

  14. iamse7en says:


    Wow you still don’t understand. Joseph Fielding Smith does not even mention the Book of Mormon in that quote! Here is the confusion here. You are taking JFielding Smith’s comment, and applying IT to the Book of Mormon. As I said in my original comment, it depends upon your DEFINITION of ‘fulness of the gospel.’ When I said, “We admit the Book of Mormon does not contain all the necessary doctrines and ordinances necessary for exaltation,” that has to do with one definition.
    Or when I said, “We believe the people within the Book of Mormon had all the necessary doctrines, priesthood, and ordinances that they needed for their own salvation and eventual exaltation,” it was referring to another definition. By the way, your complaint about the word ‘eventual’ makes no sense. Exaltation is a future event for living people, it is eventual if they obey the commandments.

    Also, the BoM mentions TEMPLES, but of course makes no mention of their practices, rites, or ordinances within those temples. Did they only build them but do nothing IN them? They followed the Law of Moses before Christ, and the new Law afterwards. How can you expect every doctrine they believed in to be recorded in an abridgment of thousands of years of history?

    As I quoted from Elder McConkie above:

    “Our revelations say that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel. This is true in the sense that the Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with a people who had the fulness of the gospel, and therefore the laws and principles leading to the highest salvation are found recorded in that book.

    Continued below…

  15. iamse7en says:

    My statements line up with JFielding Smith’s! Let’s listen to HIS words, in answer to this very question (BoM containing a fulness of the gospel). This explanation is for you:

    “First of all, let us consider what the Lord means by ‘a fulness of the gospel.’ He did not mean to convey the impression that every truth belonging to exaltation in the kingdom of God had been delivered to the Nephites and was recorded in the Book of Mormon… Neither would this statement imply that every truth belonging to the celestial kingdom and exaltation therein was to be found within the covers of the Book of Mormon. There are many truths belonging to the exaltation that have not been revealed, nor will they be revealed to man while he is in mortality” (Answers to Gospel Questions, p. 95).

  16. Ralph says:

    No one has said that the Book of Mormon contains all of the LDS doctrine, but according to the BoM what is the gospel? 3 Nephi 27:13-22

    13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you – that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
    14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil –
    15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
    16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
    17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
    18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.

  17. Ralph says:

    19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
    20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
    21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
    22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day

    This is the Gospel according to the BoM and Jesus Christ. All other doctrines are to assist in this gospel.

  18. Berean says:

    Shocking…Joseph F. Smith like all the other LDS prophets contradicting what they said earlier or saying one thing in one book and another thing in another book. Joseph F. Smith defined “fulness of the gospel”. You can apply his definition wherever it best suits your purpose. Bill McKeever was so correct when he said that Mormons enjoy “salad bar” Mormonism. Mormons can pick and choose what they want or what quote they want where, redifine or simply count out what LDS prophets have said in the past as old revelation. I think the Mormons should get rid of all the standard works simply on the basis that it is past revelation. Why don’t you just use the semi-annual conference report as your momentary scripture? All this just goes to show the fallibility of your prophets.

    Exaltation is a future event for you. That is the real problem here. You have no idea if you have made it. You don’t know if you were to die right now whether you’d be with Heavenly Father in the celestial kingdom, do you? According to the LDS King James Bible, John 6:47 says I have eternal life right now. Look at the footnotes at the bottom: “eternal life; exaltation”. All based on belief – nothing else – no “after all I can do” nonsense. Your whole hope is in the word “IF” in Moroni 10:32. That is real risky on your part. You aren’t obeying all the commandments therefore you aren’t going to make it and it’s the BOM that dooms you. The gospel message of the Bible is simple and true.

    I know the Bible means very little to Mormons because the LDS Church has forced it into your brain that it’s not trustworthy. Likewise, the BOM is not trustworthy and means nothing to me. I study it to show Mormons the fallacy of it. Any book, like the BOM, that came into existence from some man who had his face buried in his hat reading words while looking through a stone in the dark is anything from Almighty God! This is not how the Bible was written. God has nothing to do with folk magic!

  19. iamse7en says:

    Vindictive and deprecating, like most anti-Mormons. The Bible means a lot to us, and especially to me. You obviously don’t know very many Mormons very well if you make that judgment. We love the Bible and believe it to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly. To me, it’s just as important as the Book of Mormon, but of course, all past revelation doesn’t supersede current revelation. It sure does for ‘mainstream’ Christians.

  20. Berean says:

    Shallow and meaningless talk, like most anti-Christians. [Personal comment trimmed by moderator] I know Mormons learned that from the tale of Joseph supposedly being a martyr. If you want to know the real story read your own book “History of the Church” Vol.6, p.616; Vol.7, p.101-103. He was no martyr and he sure didn’t practice the Word of Wisdom.

    The Bible just doesn’t “mean a lot” to real Christians, it is everything. It is God’s Word…fully complete, fully authoritative and full of revelation that has not been fulfilled. Christians can study the Bible their entire lives and only scratch the surface of the deepness that is contained therein. Like all non-Christian cults of the world, and Mormonism is no exception, the Bible has to be neutralized of it’s authority by phrases like “as far as it translated correctly” with new scriptures then added on.

    If Mormons loved the Bible they would look at it. What? You don’t like my comment about the man (Joseph Smith) getting his words for his scriptures by looking through his hat into a stone in the darkness? That doesn’t bother you? You expect people to pray and ask God if the BOM is true when it came into existence like this? It’s vindictive for me to bring this to your attention?

    Any person who loved the Bible would have immediate “red flags” going up in the air. I see you didn’t deny it. Folk magic and using tools of the occult to receive revelation is strictly forbidden in the Bible. If you love the Bible you would know that and would renounce your prophet who was deep into this. What is amazing to me is that the LDS Church doesn’t even try to hide it. I have numerous Mormon resources verifying this with no apologies being offered.

    When new revelation contradicts revelation that has already been given then I know that newer revelation is not of God.

    I see you still didn’t answer my question about eternal life. I have it now and am confident. It appears you aren’t sure.

  21. eric017 says:

    I’ll lend support to Berian’s comment that Mormons don’t know(care) a lot about the Bible. While I can’t speak for all Mormons, I can speak to what things were like for myself and what I saw. When I picked up the book for the first time as a Christian, it was like picking up a new book. I read it cover to cover on my LDS mission, and had read the NT through probably four or five times while a Mormon. I knew the structural framework (i.e. the order of books) and stories, and of course all passages that the LDS church uses to support it’s doctrine. But I wouldn’t say I really understood the bible. I don’t know how much emphasis has changed in the 10 or 12 years since I left.

    The LDS church certainly teaches the bible, but it teaches it through the context of LDS doctrine. It almost never (at least in my experience) uses any greek or hebrew contextual language, unless the original language supports LDS doctrine. The interesting question is why use the KJV? We were told explicitly as missionaries to use only the KJV. I never had a sufficient answer provided. Why not use the Joseph Smith translation? I think the obvious reason for this is that Smith added much anacronistic detail that can obviously be shown as never to have been in the original manuscripts.

    So for me when I became a Christian, I decided to read the Bible through new fresh eyes and an open mind. I realized that there is much misunderstanding and misuse of the Bible by Mormons. There really isn’t room in this comment to provide examples, but I’d be happy too if anyone is interested.

  22. Berean says:


    The reason why the Bible makes no sense to any non-believer, and that includes Mormons, is because they have decided to follow a different Jesus, a different gospel and the biggest one of them all is a different spirit (2 Cor 11:4). Thus they spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14).

    I was never a Mormon, but I was raised in a devout Christian home. The Bible was read from constantly and we were in church three times a week growing up. I didn’t care about it and none of it made sense to me. When I turned 19 I gave my life to Christ, repented of my sins and all of a sudden the light was turned on in my head. The Bible became alive to me and made sense.

    Mormons are told to use the KJV because that is the version that Joseph Smith used for his plagiarism in addition to what he was told through the stone in his hat in the darkness. I’ve never had a Mormon be able to explain to me how the supposed plates were completed and buried in 421 AD, dug up in 1827 and then put on paper that was a language style from the 1600’s. King James english wasn’t around in 421 and it wasn’t around in New England in the 1800’s. With help from another spirit (looking through a stone in a hat), plagiarizing the KJV Bible, getting ideas from other books with similar stories that are related in the BOM (Ethan Smith’s “View of the Hebrews”) and taking events from the Bible and then changing the names and places of those events and then inserting them in the BOM all show J. Smith to be the fraud that he was.

    The JST version of the whole Bible was completed in 1833. The LDS Church tells its members otherwise, but once again, its their own historical writings that doom them. The LDS Church knows that its an unscholarly work and it would also make it impossible for them to sell the “Christian” label. They would end up like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who walk around with their cultic version of the Bible called the New World Translation.

  23. Berean says:


    I offer my apology for referencing a persecution complex that I feel many Mormons have. I should not reference specific blog posters names to that belief. I stand corrected.

    [Thanks for understanding the reason for the moderation, Berean. Your rewording of your comment is entirely acceptable here.]

  24. Just for Quix says:

    Comments like Packer’s are indicative of the ignorance and prejudice that continues to color LDS leadership’s criticism of the Bible.

    First, Nephi’s “testimony” about the Bible is completely unreliable — if he even were a real person — because it completely betrays ignorance of how the Bible came to be. When Nephi “lived” scripture was still evolving to what the Septuagint became. In fact one even wonders how Nephi could read and understand the “brass plates” because the BoM reveals no Torah discipline. Second, the BoM portrays a transplanted culture that reveals no understanding and use of holy texts as they were used, studied and understood by contemporary Hebrews. The closest we get are so-called parallels to Hebrew poetic and literary styles, while overt cultural signs and references within the text are devastatingly absent. Furthermore, what the BoM does assert, such as Nephi’s Christology / Messiahology, is also ahistorical and anachronistic to Hebrew culture.

    Furthermore, even if Nephi were merely recounting the prophecy of an angel, which is what 1 Nephi 13 purports to do, the angel’s “visionary” accuracy is also severely distorted and unreliable since it does not accord with what we know of the Bible’s history.

    Mormons severely fail, even today, to make a persuasive case of what “plain and precious” has been lost or removed from the Bible, and furthermore, how necessary LDS gospel teachings and practices (that even the BoM does not address) are actually “restored” from primitive Christianity. All Nephi 13 does is betray a very antagonistic and prejudiced modern-day origin of the book to Second Great Awakening Restorationism. The LDS case (read: propaganda) goes downhill from there.

    That LDS don’t further any lively Bible scholarship shows the low regard they accord it. That members don’t call their leaders on this prattle shows how Packer is ‘preaching to the choir’. There is a LDS culture of low regard for thoughtful, biblically-driven study.

  25. gundeck says:

    If you can bear with me, I would like to add to Eric017’s comments. The LDS church preaches that the bible is the word of God “only as it has been translated correctly.” This begs the question, what are the Mormons doing to translate it correctly? Why are there so few Mormon biblical scholars using the original languages? Why doesn’t the Mormon church have a modern (correctly translated) LDS version of the bible, like the NASB, NIV, ESV, etc? Where are the Mormon commentaries on the bible, produced by scholars versed in the original languages showing the historical context for Mormon beliefs? Where is the Mormon’s critical analysis, either textual or historical, of the bible showing where it has not been translated correctly?

  26. JamesN says:

    BIBLE INERRANCY. A precious concept to fundamental Christians. It’s not something Bible ascribes to itself but an attribute which those whose faith is entirely predicated place on it. And for good it is a must or else their faith falls in like a house of cards.

    Lets review the Bibles own evidentiary standard.


    Much of the Bible is the testimony of only ONE.. Thus if the biblical evidentiary rule were applied to the Bible, especially the New Testament., we would be left with nothing more than a pamphlet. With such a loss of credibility of so much important events the very foundations of a faith based upon the Sola Scriptura would crumble. And so the slippery slope theory unfolds. Therefore a belief that there can’t be any error in anything in the Bible is a must. It’s the doctrine that allows Bible only believer to get around the evidentiary rule and accept everything as correct with out error.

    LDS because of modern revelation and other sources of truth are no longer venerable to this event so therefore it is no longer a requirement to ascribe attributes to the Biblical text that never were there in the first place.

  27. eric017 says:


    I would like to know the “other sources” you are referring too. If it is the BOM, D&C or PoGP, then I think we have a black pot/kettle scenerio here. There is absolutely no evidence for much of the BOM, D&C or PoGP beyond the word of ONE, (i.e. Joseph Smith, Jr.). That and the touchy feely emotions of a few million Mormons. I would argue that there are millions more who have looked at the facts of Smith’s life and said, no thanks, he is untrustworthy. Why on earth would we put our faith in ONE, who showed time and time again through his behaviour and words that he couldn’t be trusted? Why should we believe his First Vision story, the most seminal event in Mormonism, when he told many different versions of the story? I think this is a sandy foundation, my friend.

    As to the Bible, I will admit that much of it one must have faith to believe it. But, we have scholorly evidence accumulated over the ages that tells us we can trust it. We can go back and look at early manuscripts, and read the original greek and hebrew. We can go to Jerusalem and meet actual Jewish people. Not so Zarahemla and the Nephites. I would like to know what attributes you think Christians ascribe to the Biblical text that were never there in the first place. Be specific. I predict you are going to have a hard time coming up with them, as I think the only reason you might make such a statement is because Smith said so. Sandy soil indeed.

  28. Jeffrey says:

    Oh JamesN,

    You said “EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES (2 Cor 13:1, Matt 18:16, 1 Tim 5:19; Duet 17:6)”

    You may not like this idea, but isn’t the Bible the written testimonies of multiple people, more than 2 or 3 witnesses to the Glory of God and Christ Jesus I might add? Eerie how the books of the Bible seem to all agree with each other, huh?

    I.E. – Life and death of Jesus Christ as reported by prophets AND ancient historians. Ancient historians (Jews, Greeks, Romans) confirm major events in the NT and some of them weren’t even believers. If your interested, go to this link that shows a table of the seperate but identical accounts of Jesus’s life as recorded in the Books of the Bible. http://www.everystudent.com/features/bible.html

    Has the Bible Changed? (excerpt taken from site)

    1. We have such a huge number of manuscript copies — over 24,000.
    2. Those copies agree with each other, word for word, 99.5% of the time.
    3. The dates of these manuscripts are very close to the dates of their originals

    When one can cross-reference multiple manuscripts, you come up with a rather accurate account. Lets go ahead and do that with the Book of Mormon.. wait, nevermind, your going to have to just pray about it.

    Not to mention Archaeological evidence.

    Now JamesN. Of course the Bible isn’t word for word correct from the original writings. But do you really want to put God’s power a notch lower by saying he wouldn’t protect his Word from gross error involving core doctrines, especially ones of salvation?

    That is your decision to make. It is utterly amazing to me that LDS can’t trust the Bible because Joseph Smith said so when there is so much history/testimony to support it. Yet they have the BoM with NOTHING but their feelings to support it. The article of faith should read as follows “We Believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, as fa

  29. gundeck says:


    This argument is surprising considering the lack of credible witnesses to the LDS cannon. Biblical inerrancy is not a man made “concept” held by “fundamental[ist] Christians. Inerrancy, Infallibility or Authority, whatever term you care to use, is taught in Scripture. 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. You can also look at Romans 4:23; 15:4 or 2 Pet 1:20.

    Any reasonable reader would conclude that you have ripped these passages from their indented context. Fist Deut 17:6 is speaking about witnesses with regard to the death penalty. Matt 18:16 is Jesus explaining how to resolve a conflict in with someone who sins against you. 2nd Cor 13:1 is Paul telling the Corinthians that they have had 3 witnesses to the Gospel. 1 Tim 5:19 is Paul teaching Timothy how to handle accusations against an Elder.

    Can you explain how your 2-man rule affects the BoM, D&C and Pearl of Great Price? Much of the BoM is directly taken from the King James Bible, so if the bible is only a “pamphlet” what is the BoM? Where is the 2-man rule for the Smith’s revelations in the D&C? Please explain how the 2-man rule affects the “translation” of the book of Abraham by Joseph Smith now that scholars (multiple witnesses) agree that the original papyrus had nothing to do with Abraham.

  30. Jeffrey says:

    Ack it cut me off. Using my 3rd comment of the day for this, so it better at least make someone smile..

    “We Believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly.”

    I mean, who knows.. Maybe Joseph Smith had something in his eye when he was looking through that stone in that hat.

  31. JamesN says:


    What does meeting a modern day Ashkenazi Jew in Jerusalem have anything to do with Biblical Inerrancy? Who knows one day you might be meeting a Nephite descendent and not even know it just as you wouldn’t know if you were meeting an actual descendent of ancient Jew..

    Attributes ascribe to the Bible by some Christians, not all, but certainly those that behold biblical inerrancy, is the inerrancy itself. The concept that the Bible that has been handed down to us is free from error. Much has been uncovered in the last century to show that errors in translation and document transmission has occurred. Even the most ardent textual critics claim only a 99.5%, to a document source, although that source does not mean it was the original autograph since there are centuries of time between the earliest manuscripts and the time when the original documents were written. No amount of textual criticism can reconcile that time gap.. There is just NOTHING to go on so it’s all faith.

    If my recollection serves me isn’t there a once devote Evangelical who is a renowned textual critic that has since come left his Evangelical faith because of the evidence that the Bible text has been tampered with. What was his name? Bert E?? .

    Furthermore- Biblical completeness. A closed canon, another attribute which the Bible makes no claim too but a Bible only based faith does.

    My point Eric is this.. The Holy Spirit is the Second Witness, but to accept that you evangelicals are going to have to accept the concept of a subjective “Burning in the Bosom” as a witness right?

    As for the spin of allegations of Joseph Smith first vision.. This blog doesn’t permit a lengthy dialog, so I’ll simply say that it is not as you say it is and leave it for another day.

  32. eric017 says:


    I wasn’t trying to make the connection that Jews in Jerusalem prove the Bible to be inerrant. I was trying to make the point that some things in the Bible we must take on faith. But there is much evidence to suggest that that faith is grounded in reality. But also to show that your criticism leveled at Christians for treating the Bible as we do is hypocritical because after all, the BOM hasn’t one iota of historical grounding to stand on. Apply the same standard to yourself.

    On one hand you say that there is much evidence to suggest that there is much evidence suggesting the errors in the Bible, and we have only ONE witness (whoever wrote it). Then you suggest that the Holy Spirit is your second. How is this different than what Christians treat much of the Bible? You go to great lengths describing the textual criticism of the Bible, which is fine, but why isn’t there any textual criticism of the BOM? Why can’t people apply the same standards to the BOM that you can the Bible? It sure seems like you beleive in Book of Mormon Innerancy. There is a logical falicy here, I think, that your adherance to Mormonism won’t let you see.

    As to the first vision, you simply dismiss it, but early documents from LDS church history tell use otherwise. For example, Lucy Mack Smith said her son’s first vision was of an angel. Unfortunately for the LDS church, and fortunately for us, the early Mormons were sure good record keepers.

  33. JamesN says:


    I am not being hypocritical.. Because I have never stated that the BOM is any more grounded then the Bible. I accept my faith is Subjective. I don’t believe very many LDS would say the BOM is inerrant either.

    There is archeological back up for the BOM, but as with most Biblical Archeology it comes down to a subjective interpretation of that archeology. You also have far more people chasing Biblical archeology than BOM archeology for one simple reason.. There is more Abraham chasers in the world than Nephi chasers. When they become a Nephi chaser, they are called a Mormon.

    As an example of Archeology that supports the BOM.. Let start at the basics.. in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and landed his ships here in America. When he arrived it wasn’t un-inhabited was it? No there were people living here. Of course now your going to rush and say, ALL those people came from Mongolia across the bearing straight, right? You introduce yourself another problem because that event would have happened in the last Ice Age, which according to Biblical timelines, was before the flood and Noah’s Ark. possibly before Adam and Eve depending on how you read Genesis. So now we are going to wrestle not with whether or not some of those people are Nephites, Lamanites, jaradite or Mulekites, but whether or not they are Neolithic cave men.

    Bottom line here is for either faith.. LDS or Evangelical, they are Subjective and the witness of the truth comes from the Holy Spirit.

  34. Just for Quix says:


    I don’t think your reasoning is very astute of this topic. To apply biblical inerrancy only through the lens of evangelical fundamentalism misses the point of the most profound dividing line on the topic of inerrancy: do we have complete confidence that the Bible is a reliable tool to understand saving doctrine, about God’s search and redemption of Man, salvation and etc?

    Knocking down fundamentalist claims of the Bible as a thorough cosmogony is a straw man in addressing the scriptural primacy of the Bible. There are many Christians who accept inerrancy who do not use it as a timeline for the earth’s age, for one example. For another, there are many Christian who are much more truthful at scholarship into investigating the “.005% of the Bible that has altered” without being so lazy as to merely use the Bible as a proof text “as far as it has been translated correctly” as a way of avoiding what is required if one criticizes the trustworthiness of the Bible. Dismiss the Bible altogether if you are of the materialist world-view, fine, but then Mormonism needs to be discarded wholly as well. Claim to be Christian, and there are scripture, doctrines, and traditions to be reckoned with that spiritual witness alone cannot dismiss.

    The openness of canon is definitely a contested point among Christian Fellowship. Suffice to to say that even among those who would allow that God can add to the Holy Canon, would have unity with those who favor a more rigid closed definition in rejecting Joseph Smith’s claims on numerous counts. LDS doctrine doesn’t accord with the Bible, with NT Christological doctrines — and the questionable history and character behind Joseph and his creations don’t leave room for ecumenicism. We must be authentically divided in this if we are ever to have any authentic bridges. Witness does come from the Holy Spirit, but, like the Bereans, we must also turn to the Bible to discern truth from error.

  35. JamesN says:


    I disagree, the citations are not ripped out of context. The situational context of each scripture may be different but the evidentiary rule is the same. And in fact that rule has persisted to this very day.. It is embodied in our own legal system for establishing fact.

    2 Tim 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”

    1. Yes it affirms that scripture inspired by God carries authorities for teaching, reproof, correction and training.
    2. The context would apply in this instance to Hebrew Scriptures since the NT wasn’t in existence yet or at least only partly.
    3. It does NOT state that scripture is Inerrant or Infallible.
    4. It does NOT preclude that scripture may be subject to an element of human error. Either by the prejudices of the author, or in the transmission and translation over time.

    Rom 4:23 “Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him” -I don’t see the relevance here.

    Rom 15:4 “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

    Again, Context is of OT scripture, authority for instruction. No mention of inerrancy or infallibility.

    2 Peter 1:20 “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

    This one seems to affirm what I stated in a previous post, That the Holy Spirit is the second witness. That would be true not only the Bible texts, but for any scripture. Including the Book of Mormon.

  36. eric017 says:


    I adimently disagree that there is any archaeological evidence for the BOM. Name one reputable archaeologist who is not affiliated with the LDS church who has even suggested the possibility. I would bet even reputable scholars within the LDS church have not said such. As to your ‘evidence’, I am not a young-earth creationist, so I accept the idea that the Americas were colonized from Asia long before Lehi’s supposed voyage (or the ‘Jaredites’ for that matter). Additionally, there is no evidence whatsoever for admixture of DNA from middle-eastern peoples with Native Americans before Columbus. Yes, often archeaology is subject to interpretation, but it must be based on data, which there is none. As to your suggestion that many Mormons don’t consider the BOM inerrant (the most correct of any book), I personally have not met these people, and I guess you all disagree with every LDS prophet from Smith to Monson. I think your faith is based solely on your feelings, face it. Now would you please explain why many more people than the four million or so people who actually call themselves LDS, have subjective feelings telling them that the BOM is not true?

  37. JamesN says:

    It is sad say that we really don’t have a lot of undisputed archeology period for the BoM or Bible. We really have much more objective evidence for the King of Tyrant lizards than we have for the King of Jews.

    There is Archeological evidence available that supports the BOM it’s generally viewed that way only by LDS Scholars. Herein is the problem with archeologists.. BIAS.. There is Archeologists that publish findings that support the Bible tend to have a predisposition or bias to the Bible and they interpret their findings accordingly. There is very little un-disputed non-biased archeological evidence to support any biblical claim.. And therein is the problem. As soon as one archeologist come up and say’s hey here is Jericho and the wall came a tumbling down just like it say’s in the Bible.. Along comes another scholar that say’s yes the wall came a tumbling down, but not like in the Bible. It was in an Earthquake centuries earlier. Or we have with an ossuary, bones and all with Jesus’ and his family’s name on it and say’s see.. Jesus was real. It is promptly refuted and so it goes. The same is true for BOM archeology.. Whether it’s the Altar at Nahum or Bat Creek Inscription, Mound builders or the Olemecs.. none of it is undisputed.

    Consider what you are really asking here when you ask for Archeological proof of the Book of Mormon? If such proof existed, even in the tiniest form that would have huge ramifications, not only for the question of the BoM authenticity, but far more reaching, for it would also mean the Bible is objectively true, that Jesus is the Christ and so forth… Because of the miraculous nature of how we get the BOM, it would be the single greatest archeological proof ever. No longer would Christianity be a matter of faith.

    Why didn’t Christ appear to Pilate or the Sanhedrin after his Resurrection?

  38. Jeffrey says:


    please cease saying that Christianity is only a matter of Faith. You’re trying to couple that with the BoM as if it has no solid archeological or even historical evidence what so ever.

    No one who does research really questions the existence of Jesus Christ as written in the Bible.

    Need I mention again the ancient historians who weren’t even believers that kept record of Jesus Christ and His ministry on earth. And, how they match up with whats recorded in the books of the Bible?

    Why don’t you also take into account remnants of ancient cities that are found that agree with how the Bible has described?

    Now lets compare that with the BoM.. Where is Zarahemla again? No writings have been found, being of nephite and lamenite origin? No writings from anyone anywhere else that even mentions the prophets names or even Jesus Christ’s visiting the Americas?

    Now if the Nephites and Lamenites were tiny civilizations, I would agree that it would be rather hard for people to discover some traces, but you know full well that the BoM doesn’t call them tiny, or even moderately sized.

    You can go ahead and try to make it seem like the Bible isn’t well evidenced, but the only person you will be fooling is yourself. I do commend you though for agreeing that one has to accept the BoM on faith alone.

    Also I suggest you read some writings done by LDS archaeologists. Many of them agree that there is nothing to support the BoM. If you want a bias in your favor, then “dig” away. (pardon the pun)

  39. JamesN says:


    Christianity IS faith based, failure to recognize this is part of the problem that tends to exists between Evangelicals and LDS.

    ancient historians who weren’t even believers that kept record of Jesus Christ and His ministry on earth. And, how they match up with whats recorded in the books of the Bible?

    Please provide references.

    Why don’t you also take into account remnants of ancient cities that are found that agree with how the Bible has described?

    I didn’t say that there is NO Biblical archeology, just most of it if not all is usually contested by other archeologists with a different bias. This is exactly what happens with Book of Mormon archeology. Furthermore not one scrap of the Biblical archeological evidence affirms Jesus, his Ministry or his RESURECTION. Without the resurrection do you really have Christianity? Think about it.

    I propose to you that because of the miraculous method which we receive the Book of Mormon, that if they ever do uncover a ruin with the name Zarahemla on it .. That will be on the eve of the second coming because it will then erase all need for faith. For then you would have a proof of the Book of Mormon, you would have proof that Jesus is the Christ, you would have Proof that God exists. No faith required anymore. Think about it. We don’t have proof of the BoM for the same reasons we don’t have proof of the resurrection.

    Since we receive the Bible in less miraculous means, then finding a city ruin by the same name as an some author used in a Biblical manuscript is no more amazing then finding a letter someone wrote hundreds of years ago that referred to London or something.. It means only that the author was aware of the city at some point. It cast no value on it’s authenticity. There are numerous extra biblical documents that refer to cities and places later discovered that you wouldn’t consider scripture or true.

  40. oceancoast says:

    “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

    “But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. Q.E.D.”

    “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

    – Hitchhikers guide to the universe.

  41. subgenius says:

    cleverly left out the end of your Douglas Adams homage:upon the “vanishing of God”……
    “Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

    besides, i believe this board has determined that logical contradictions are irrelevant to religion since faith is free from its influence. Socrates critical reasoning is more appropriate for philosophical discussions.
    however, perhaps you may enjoy Pascal’s wager.

  42. Michael P says:

    Oh Deary, here we go again, in an effort to destroy the Bible so that Mormonism can be equal with Christianity. James, no one here would say faith is not an integral part of Christianity. Some may be too focused on the proof, but faith must play a role. That said, if you are given two books, one can be solidly backed up (disputed or not) and the other has no evidence to support it, and based on that alone are asked to believe one book over another, which would you choose?

    Oceancoast, cute story, but what are you trying to say?

    Sub, care to expand to what this board determined logival contradicstions are irrelevant? Pascal’s wager, huh? Wanna bet?

  43. eric017 says:


    You ask for an historical reference to Jesus, recorded in antiquity by an non-Christian. Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews independently varifies the basic Bible story. Josephus, as a Jew and Roman citizen, had no interest in promoting Christianity. Now again, I will agree that much of being a Christ follower requires faith. But faith in what? I argue that it is a faith based somewhat in reality. The BOM has no such reality. Every line of evidence, when looked at in an unbias way, suggest that the BOM story never happened. When we add this to the fact that the person who brought it about was shown more than once to be dishonest, prophesy things that never came about, and used occult like practices for financial gain and convicted in court of this, produced the book of Abraham (which the original manuscript is a 1st century B.C. Egyptian funarial text) what are we to think? BTW, does the church still print the facimalies with new versions of the Book of Abraham. I’d be suprized if they still do. Last, I’m still curious about what you think of the many, many people in the world who had thier heart tell them the BOM is not true?

  44. oceancoast says:


    Hitchhiker guide point -. That if you have proof then faith goes a way.

    Pascals Wager, a principle presented by Blaise Pascal on whether or not God exists. He postulates that since the existence of God can’t be rationally proven it would be better to wager in favor of God’s existence rather than against it for you would have more to gain and nothing to loose by doing so.

  45. subgenius says:

    logical contradictions are inevitable with the Bible. Simple ones are such as “eye for an eye” versus “turn the other cheek”. Or perhaps the distinctions between the 2 creation stories. O r how about the blatant statement from God in 1 Corinthians 2:14. Perhaps you can “logically contradict” that verse; i believe you will.
    Pascal’s wager is a fundamental notion in “Faith”.
    It basically states that if Faith is gamble, what do you lose or gain in the afterlife if you believe in God or do not believe.
    You also need to read and ponder Proverbs 21 (especially verse 2 for our discussion on logic, and peek at verse 11). But do not forget 1Cor2:14.
    by the way MichaelP….i do wanna bet!

  46. Michael P says:

    Ocean, I know Pascal’s wager, and I am asking if you want to bet on our destinies based on our current paths.

    I also got the point of the HG quote. I am asking YOUR point, not to rehash what it says. My take on proof has been given, but I’ll say it again. Proof is something we cannot do. Faith is needed to believer. But given the evidence we have at our disposal, it makes more sense to believe in something that has evidence to verify the source. Does it not?

    You keep saying that finds are in disupte. So what? Anything related to faith will be in dispute, but some things are not. The existence of David, customs and peoples previously thought only creations of the Bible, cities are now known to have existed. Jesus is known to have existed. There is much that is accepted as fact that the Bible presents in its histories. Does this prove the supernatural? NO! But it does give the supernatural credence. If what it says about the history of the Jews is true, it is entirely possible what it says about God is true.

    Contrast that for a second, the BOM, which we have no evidence. Why would we believe in something that has no historical value? If it cannot get even the history right, why would it be right spiritually? It wouldn’t now, would it? If a book is correct, it is correct in all areas.

    Sub, to discuss these “contradictions” would take too much space and time than I have now. But a good study of them will show you why they work together. 1 Cor 2:14 does not prove your point, either, as it speaks to those who do not believe. I can easilly turn that around on you, so the verse isn’t helpful.

    OK, lets bet: do you know for certain you have done enough to merit heaven? Do you know for certain where you will be after you die? I bet you do not, and cannot. Do I know? Absolutely.

    BTW, what is the nature of the wager: belief, no? How does works play into it? LDS still maintain works, while we give it all to faith.

  47. Jeffrey says:


    Eric017 gave you a reference on the historian request. Another one is the Roman Historian Tacitus.

    One big mistake I think many people are making here on the blog is they

    aren’t discerning PROOF from EVIDENCE. Because no one has seen Jesus’ ministry here on earth, no one has proof of things mentioned in the Bible. However, we do have evidence. Almost all evidence is disputed (regardless of how good it is), and I think it should be.

    So Mormons have this “proof” through their own testimony and “confirmation” from the holy spirit. It is personal to them and them alone so no one can know what they think/feel and therefore their “proof” is undisputable. That is all they have because they full well know there is no evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. In fact there is EVIDENCE (which is disputed) to the contrary (eric017) touched on these a bit ago.

    Christians have “proof” through the confirmation of the Holy spirit which can’t be disputed because of it being fully personal. However, Christians also have EVIDENCE (which is disputed) to support their belief in God and the Bible.

    So whoever said that if we have proof, there is no need for faith, I agree almost completely. The reason I say almost is lets say you were around in Jesus’ time. You walked with him, talked with him, saw miracles performed by him. You have belief that he is the Son of God for those reasons. However, you would still have to have FAITH in what he taught and promised to those that believed. This is why I don’t believe there is complete proof of anything. Christ Jesus left bits of evidence and it is your choice to have faith.

    The fact that LDS pray and get that “confirmation” of truth about the BoM, and the fact that members of other religions pray about things contrary to beliefs of the LDS church but also get that “confirmation” seems to be very dangerous to base ALL your decision of faith on what you personally believe to be true.

  48. JamesN says:


    Ah, the Testimonium Flavianum, I thought you might try to use this. You know of course that this single paragraph has been well determined by scholars to be a forgery, perhaps by 4th century Christians. It has about as much credibility as the Comma Johanneum. It must also be noted that the Text of Josephus does not come to us by way of Jews, but by Christians. No Josephus text is in extant that haven’t been handed down to us by Christian believers, so the chain of custody is biased..

    Aside from this spurious single out of context paragraph in Antiquities of the Jews, and a phrase found later on in the text referring to James the brother of Jesus we have nothing. The next closest evidence is Tactius, who after the fact refers to Jesus being put to death by Pontious Pilate.

    Even if you would set aside the prejudice of the fact that Josephus text was handed down by Christian believers, and view certain phrases in the Testimonium as interpolations instead of out right forgeries, Neither of these two sources affirm his Ministry or his Resurrection, they only affirm only that a person named Jesus existed which I don’t believe is in dispute. There were actually many people named Jesus, it was a popular name.

    On the BOM evidence again, we seem to be going around in circles.. There is plenty of Archeological evidence for the BoM, but none of it is without prejudice. The same is essentially true about the Bible. You accept the evidence for the Bible because of your bias and reject the BoM evidence for the same reason.

    You asked again, why so many people get a negative witness regarding the BOM.. I can’t answer that because each case is a personal and subjective experience. I would point to the Billions of people in the world who haven’t received a testimony of Christ. I would suggest the answer to the question regarding why some people get an affirmative witness and some do not lies with understanding why some accept Christ and some don’t.

  49. Jeffrey says:


    Could you do me a favor and reference what historical/archaeological evidences you are referring to? I would like to review the ones you are specifically thinking about.

    I have my bias, just like everyone does. Unfortunately thats not something the natural man can escape. You have information inputted into your brain, and belief structures are created. I will definitely try my hardest to view it with as little bias as possible though. I can say that I will at least do the leg work on it. I hope that my logical reasoning will be the primary thing used to judge my position on what you reference instead of my preconceptions.

    With everything that I have been shown to help prove Mormonism, has required too large a stretch of my imagination and degrees of possiblity to have ended up accepting it.

  50. JamesN says:


    2000 character is hardly enough to go over this topic, but you should check out FARMS. That is the LDS scholarship, but therein would be the evidences.

    Now whether your going to find a piece of Archeology or evidence that irrefutably proves the BoM.. I don’t think so.. In fact it has been in responding to this blog that I personally had an epiphany. That being that if the BoM is true, then God would not allow us to find a ruin with the name Zarahemla on it. Because finding such or any other proof that the BoM is authentic would remove the necessity for faith,.. Much more so than if such a proof was found for something Biblical it would be like finding proof that Jesus was Resurected. We get much of the Biblical record by a conventional means, if we had received the BoM like manner, then we would have had copies of the plates that Joseph Smith found and they could be analyzed checked, and then if we found a ruin to confirm some part of the record it would only go so far as to say who ever wrote that knew of this place we have found. Since we receive the book from an Angel, now if you find a ruin with the name Zarahemla on it, it carries a much greater significance. Not only are you confirming the BoM, but the supernatural means in which we received it, Angels, God , Jesus Christ etc.. I don’t see God operating in this manner. Jesus didn’t appear in front of Pilot after his resurrection did he? Faith is a very important aspect that we learn in this life.

    That being said, aside from a spiritual witness (Moroni 10:3-5) we are left to subjectively interpreting discoveries like “theAltars from Nahom” or the use of ALMA as a Hebrew name, or the Dead sea scrolls use of phrase “Land of Jerusalem” just . Then there is all the ancient American evidence as well, like Olmecs or and the Maya, Mound builders etc. Zarahemla may be right before us and we just don’t know it.

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