Lost Book of Lehi

During the summer of 1828, while working on the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith allowed his scribe, Martin Harris, to take 116 pages of the manuscript home to show Mrs. Harris. The manuscript pages disappeared. The lost book of Lehi is still missing; it has never been restored to the Book of Mormon.

As the story goes, Martin Harris asked for permission to take the Book of Mormon manuscript home in order to prove to his skeptical wife that the gold plates really did exist and Joseph Smith really was translating them. Joseph asked God if that would be okay “through the interpreters,” but Mr. Harris’ request was denied. Mr. Harris continued to pester Joseph until Joseph asked God for permission again and then again. Finally, permission was granted, Mr. Harris took the 116 pages home, and over the course of the next few weeks, the manuscript disappeared.

While Joseph still had the gold plates from which he originally translated, he received a revelation telling him not to retranslate that portion of the plates because enemies would somehow use the retranslation to make Joseph look bad (see Doctrine and Covenants 10). Instead, the revelation said, the plates of Nephi contained all the same information that had been on the plates of Lehi, only in greater detail; therefore, Joseph was to translate the plates of Nephi and forget about the lost manuscript of the book of Lehi. So he did.

On Wednesday (July 30, 2008) Jerry Johnston at Mormon Times wrote about the 116 pages Marin Harris lost from the early translation of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Johnston wrote that he has questions about that particular episode, and in his article he supposed some answers.

“Some questions I’ve puzzled out on my own. For instance, when Nephi begins the ‘small plates’ — which would replace the lost 116 — he says, ‘the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God.’

“I’m guessing that means the 116 were filled with ‘things pleasing unto the world’ — stories about battles, war heroes, kings and betrayals. If so, the Book of Mormon may be a more spiritual book because those pages were lost.”

That’s an interesting guess, but it raises other questions for me. For example, if the “account engraven upon the plates of Nephi is more particular” concerning the things that had been described on the plates of Lehi, wouldn’t all the details of battles, war heroes and kings be found on the plates of Nephi, and then some?

I also wonder about this view regarding the apparently unnecessary lost book of Lehi—that Mr. Johnston is comfortable with its absence, suggesting that perhaps this makes the Book of Mormon “more spiritual” than it would otherwise have been. Why would a Latter-day Saint hold such a view about a missing book from the Book of Mormon, but not allow a similar possibility for the allegedly missing books of the Bible?

Continuing with his pondering, Mr. Johnston wrote:

“Still, the one question that troubles many people never troubles me. Joseph Smith pleaded with God several times to let Martin take the 116 pages and was told ‘no.’ But Joseph went back one more time and God reversed himself. He let Martin take the pages. And he lost them.

“Why would God give his consent to such a debacle?…”

Mr. Johnston suggested that Joseph Smith and Martin Harris had lessons to learn and this was the way God choose to teach them. I have no doubt that God often uses our bad choices and disobedience to teach us lessons, but when Joseph discovered that the manuscript was missing he cried out in anguish, “It is I who tempted the wrath of God. I should have been satisfied with the first answer” (Quoted in Richard Lyman Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, page 67).

The clear implication here is that Joseph was wrong to keep asking God after he had received an initial answer; by continuing to ask, he provoked God’s wrath.

Most Mormons know of the lost 116 pages and the story surrounding the unfortunate event. So why is it that they will not accept the testimony of someone who has prayed about the Book of Mormon and received the answer that it is not of God? Time and again I hear Mormons say, “Well, you need to keep praying, keep asking, until He tells you it is true.” Though Joseph Smith tempted the wrath of God in not being satisfied with the first answer he received, they suggest investigators do the same thing.

Finally, Mr. Johnston wrote:

“…if I’m right and the Book of Mormon is more spiritual without those lost 116 pages, maybe having Martin misplace the things was simply God’s way of editing the book.”

Maybe. But doesn’t it seem odd that God would have to edit a book that He supposedly caused to be written “by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophesy and revelation–Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed”? All human writers understand edits and rewrites, but the need for multiple drafts is due to our imperfections and our ignorance when we begin of where the first draft will take us. God is not imperfect, nor is He ignorant of the future.

I believe the sovereign and almighty God did have a purpose in the loss of the 116 pages from the Book of Mormon. But if I were to guess, I would guess the reason has something to do with God’s merciful grace in providing people with yet another piece of simple, tangible evidence that Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God.

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.
This entry was posted in Book of Mormon, Mormon History and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Lost Book of Lehi

  1. GRCluff says:

    Rick B:

    Perhaps my problem is that I can’t keep up. You change the subject so many times that I don’t know what topic we are on by the time you finish your post.

    I don’t mean to be the source of confusion but I have attempted to address only one topic– the first one you breach. My assumption has been that the first topic must me the most important. Both your audio posts mention the compromised state of my Christianity first, so that is the topic I have engaged.

    If you want me to answer a specific question, state that question alone, then I may not get so confused. Perhaps you could call me lazy next, because I don’t replay your audio post 95 times to catalog each new topic and it’s related question. Lazy fits me better than non-Christian I would think.

  2. Jeffrey says:

    Thanks for the kind words, footdoc.

    You stated from your own experience that you “know” the LDS gospel is true because you have done what John 7:17 says. That is fine that is your experience and I would be wrong in trying to discredit that. In fact I agree that if one starts living the doctrine, God would make it known all the more unto a person. The catch I guess is I have experienced this in my life about the doctrine I hold to be true just like you, but some doctrine is at odds with each other (nature of God).

    So what doctrines of our faiths are we putting to this test? Because some of them are the same exact ones Christians hold and LDS hold (i.e. Love your Neighbor), I would imagine we would always come to the conclusion that that is true sound doctrine. But how do we put to test other doctrine besides reading God’s revealed Word, or more importantly to you, listening to whom you believe is the Holy spirit. Could you tell me how you came to the conclusion of “knowing” the temple rituals are true and necessary? Was it by the Holy Ghost’s witness only or was it in some other way? Did you just accept it because the prophets of your church “restored” it? (which if you heed the words of the prophets on never leaving you astray and all debate is over when the prophet has spoken, then I guess there would be no need to pray about it because it is scripture).

    If one has to do his will (or become a member of the church) as you say to truly know, then that contradicts Moroni 10:2. It specifically states that all you have to do is ask with sincere heart, real intent, faith in Christ, and the holy ghost will manifest the truth of it unto you. It contradicts the BoM and it also contradicts the message that Mishies are telling potential converts. They ask you to pray in order to KNOW truth, not get baptized, start living the life of a Mormon, and THEN you will know. See how your statement doesn’t make sense to me and shows a contradiction?

  3. Rick B says:

    Since this topic is on the Lost Books, here are a couple of questions, but they can all fall under a general question to be answered.

    How come NO LDS prophet has ever set the record straight by saying, The Lord spoke to me and here are the missing pages of Lehi, here are the correct verses that were changed in the orinigal BoM to todays book, here are the plain and precious things put back that were removed from the Bible. None of this has ever happended.

    Then as I pointed out, Mormon author Rex E Lee said

    The only real difference in this respect between the bible and the BoM is that the BoM is free from human translation errors and loss of material

    So in my above Question I said their were/are/have been doctrinal Changes from the 1830 edtion BoM to todays version, then were missing the 116 pages of Lehi, this fits both Human translation errors and loss of material

    So either Rex has no clue and is wrong, so how can he write a book called, What Mormons Believe or he was correct, but if he was correct, then explain the doctrinal errors and missing pages. And if you agree Rex is wrong, then How can I trust LDS to be correct if the book in question must be approved before being sold by LDS book stores and published by the LDS. Add to that if he was wrong, then how do you know other LDS are not wrong since they read books by him? Rick b

  4. GRCluff says:

    Rick B:
    Let’s see, maybe I can catalog your questions:
    1. What were the changes to the 1830 version of the BoM?
    2. Did any of those changes constitute significant changes in doctrine?
    3. Why doesn’t the current prophet bring the 116 missing pages out using his gift of prophecy?
    4. Why doesn’t the current prophet bring out the plain and precious truths that were removed from the Bible?
    5. How can I trust an LDS book to be correct?
    6. Why must LDS books be approved before they can be published?
    7. If Rex Lee was wrong in his book, doesn’t that mean that all LDS books are wrong?
    8. If LDS read books that are wrong, doesn’t that make them wrong too?

    Some of them may have been statements rather than questions, but even at that I can’t even begin to answer any of them in the 2000 character/3 entry constraints imposed here. And something tells me that you wouldn’t have patience to read all my arguments anyway.

    Let me start with the changes to the BoM issue:

    This web page attempts to answer that question like I might if I had the time and resources:

    [link removed]

    I will even paste in the “executive summary” if that will help.

    [No, it does not help. Please review the Mormon Coffee comment policy. -Mod.]

  5. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    aka footdoc

    I will start by addressing your last paragraph about Moroni 10. I know this has been discussed before, but just a few comments are worth reviewing. The promise, 10:4 contains three prereq’s. Sincere heart, real intent, faith in Christ. Without a lot of fanfare I have found that almost all, with few exceptions, have a sincere heart. A large dropoff occurs with real intent…”what lack I yet” comes to mind. Some cannot or will not heed a path other than the tradition of their fathers, even if God were to tell them. In the mish field (when I can honestly say I had the gift of discernment) I found the biggest stumbling block, I mean no offense, was that people lack true faith in Jesus Christ. Most assume they have it, including the missionaries. If someone was sincere with real intent, I would not tell them to pray again for an answer, if they lacked faith.

    Let’s go to the verse….”having faith in Christ, he WILL manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost”. There is no timetable there. It is not just kneel down, pray and the answer will come, that is not the promise. There is a contigency clause and the terms are invariably, Faith in Christ. There is a reason it is the first principle of the Gospel. I am so grateful for the Scriptures. The great
    1-2-3 combo for this is Hebrews 11, Ether 12, and Alma 32. The first 2 lay the foundation that all the prophets worked through this principle and that it is a real in the spiritual realm as my keyboard is in the physical. The beautiful thing about Alma 32 is he tells us how to get it, essentials on going from a belief or even desire to believe to actual knowledge. Hebrews 11, in my opinion, is one of the great pearls of the Bible, often quoted but least understood. Knowledge is the end of the road paved by Faith in Christ. “This is life eternal that they might KNOW thee…”

  6. Rick B says:

    Sending me to a website is not answering my question. Then when you put down number 1, what were the changes. I never asked you what were the changes, I said there were changes.

    Then you said 3 replys are not enough to answer me, thats I find hard to believe. Lets start with Rex, he said

    The only real difference in this respect between the bible and the BoM is that the BoM is free from human translation errors and loss of material

    A simple answer would be, Since we know that the BoM is missing pages from Lehi then this means Rex was wrong, Now was that hard? If Rex was not wrong, then how can he say that while were missing 116 pages of the BoM.

    Since you find it to be the impossible mission to answer the question of why have the Prophets never spoke for God and corrected all of the Missing plain and precious parts and other things, then let me ask, does it bother you that LDS claim the Prophet is THE ONLY person to speak for the Lord and yet it seems they cannot or will not. If that does not bother you, then why not?

    Then looking over your over view of what I said, you added things I never said, so that would explain why you cannot answer me, How about you answer what I asked, and not try avoiding my questions by tossing in questions in I never asked then saying to me, I asked so many questions you cannot answer them. I will post Doctrinal Changes for you to review, A simple Yes they are changes or no they are not, and in my words here is a short answer as to why I dont believe they are changes will work. Changes below, Rick b

  7. Rick B says:

    Here are the changes for you, And If I remember correctly, Bill Mc, from Mormon Research owns a 1830 edtion, He could show you the changes if you think these are incorrect.

    Four important doctrinal changes have been made in the Book of Mormon concerning the Godhead. The following compares the 1830 edition with all modern editions.
    Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God (1830 Edition, p. 25)

    Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of THE SON OF God (1NEPHI 11:18)

    the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world; (1830 Edition, p. 32)

    the Lamb of God is THE SON OF the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world(I NEPHI 13:40)

    behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father! (1830 Edition, p. 25)

    Behold the Lamb of God, yea even THE SON OF the Eternal Father (I NEPHI 11:21)

    the Everlasting God, was judged of the world… 1830 Edition, p. 26)

    THE SON OF the everlasting God was judged of the world(I NEPHI 11:32)

    Another doctrinal change has been made concerning God’s unalterable decrees:

    I know that he allotteth unto men, YEA, DECREETH UNTO THEM DECREES WHICH ARE UNALTERABLE, according to their wills;…” (1830 Edition, p.303)

    In later editions 8 words were deleted with no indication:

    I know that he allotteth unto men according to their wills (Alma 29:4, 1967 Edition)

    Now these shows Changes that Rex claims do not exist, Again How can he claim that? Rick b

  8. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    Jeffrey (cont.)
    The prophets and the scriptures’ main value is the foundation they lay for our faith. They teach us the way, which is to EXERCISE our faith in Christ…”they are they which testify of me…”

    Acts 2:37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
    38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    I have omitted the end of that chapter but also important.
    I am a living witness that knowledge does not come first, but after we exercise faith in Christ. The missionaries ask people to pray about the BoM, but in my day the 2nd discussion was what? Faith in Jesus Christ, of course. Because without faith the answer will not come, and I think Peter summarizes well how to exercise that faith.

    Excellent ?’s about all other knowledge especially the temple. I have tried to always follow the pattern of Faith in Christ no matter the issue. I can tell you that there are still many things that I don’t understand about the temple, that I accept on belief. I do have a KNOWLEDGE that I obtained through faith (it is real) that all of it points to the Living Christ. There are promises made there that I will never see in this life, but I find myself in good company…See Hebrews 11.

    Jeffrey, I can tell you are a good man. I encourage you to revisit this issue of Faith in Christ. I hope I have not been offensive. It is the key that unlocks Moroni’s promise and the door to eternal life.

  9. Rick B says:

    DoF said

    I am a living witness that knowledge does not come first,

    The problems with Knowledge are many. 1. Many false teachers and Prophets have knowledge, and lead people astray.

    2. Jer 17:11 says that the heart is dectiful and wicked. If you follow your heart then you could go astray.

    3. Here are some things the scripture teaches.

    1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Hbr 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

    Just because you have knowledge does not mean it is knowledge of the truth. 3rd post for today. Rick b

  10. Arthur Sido says:


    This is quite a few posts back, but…”So, if we are one with God, like he is one with is Father, then we should all join hands and be one in substance, right? That is what mainstream christianity should teach. Christ and his Father are one in purpose, and we should be one in purpose with them. They are separate and distinct individuals, just like you and I.”

    How are we joined to Christ? Through adoption. When we are adopted we become united with Christ, not because we are the same as Him but because through His grace He has extended the blessings of eternal life to us. We do nothing to deserve it and we never become like Him. It is a legal standing change, not a change in nature or a recognition of equality or even similarity with God. You have demonstrated quite nicely the error of proof texting outside of the Biblical witness as a whole.

    The Bible teaches that we are justified by faith alone, that Christ is God, that He is eternal and uncreated, that man is utterly lost and dead in sin and unredeemable outside of the work of Christ. Mormonism teaches just the opposite. I am very familiar with Biblical Christianity and mormonism and they are completely different religions, one based on the Word of God alone and one a construct of Joseph Smith. At least have the intellectual honesty to recognize that.

  11. GRCluff says:

    Rick B:

    Okay– maybe I can do this. Several of the changes you mention were found to be errors in the original print set. That is to say the original handwritten copy of the BoM manuscript was not set properly by the 1830 printers when they set the type. In some cases the notes in the margins written by JS’s scribes were ignored by the original printer. They were in a rush to get the first copy printed so they made some mistakes.

    If I gave you the original hand written script and you read what was scratched out or written in the margins would that be enough proof for you? You could even do tests on the paper and the ink, so make sure they are old enough and hadn’t been tampered with.


    I can agree that they are differnt religions, but will disagree on which one is right. If we are one like God and his Father are one, then we are one in purpose, not one in substance. Why is that so hard to grasp?

    On the Biblical witness as a whole, why are Mormons the only ones who teach Biblical concepts like the pre-existance of our spirits? I can list 7 verses that are quite specific on the topic.

    1. Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    38:7 …and all the sons of God shouted for joy.
    Who where the sons of God who shouted for joy when the world was created?

    2. Jer 1:5 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…

    3. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
    God promised us eternal life WHEN?

    4. Eccl 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
    How can your spirit return to a place it has never been?

    5. 2 Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    6. Heb 12:9 – running out of space.

  12. germit says:

    Mr.Cluff: no big mystery here: “why are Mormons the only ones (although if I looked hard enough, there are probably other groups that teach this as well) who teach Biblical concepts like the pre-existence of our spirits..?” Simple answer: it is not a Biblical concept. Cluff, just because we existed IN THE MIND OR PURPOSE OR PLAN OF GOD ETERNALLY, BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD,ETC, DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE WERE PRE-EXISTENT SPIRITUAL ENTITIES. So your verses 2 thru 6 do nothing for your argument, the show that God can hold a thought and a plan in HIS head for a long time, and that HIS plan for us is eternal. That is the plain meaning of the text, you are reading into it something that you have been told is there. As for the ‘sons of God’ in Job, I believe that is a reference to ANGELS, which christians hold to be an entirely different ‘species’ than people. I will check on other verses that refer to them as ‘sons of God’. Thanks for sending me back to my Bible: I need the push. Blessings: GERMIT ps to DOF: I think I see where Rick B is going with his thought on ‘knowledge’: Eckhart Tolle has ‘knowledge’ that his New Age system ‘works’ because he has ‘practiced it,and it has been working for over 20 yrs, etc’. I believe him. His faith has given him results. But has it taken him closer to the real Christ. I’m sure it has not, and I think you would agree. The “knowledge” you have , the ‘fruit of your obedience’ as it were, has to be measured by an objective standard, or we are back to the personal testimony argument. Faith is not just a willingness to act on a feeling of ‘I should…’. This ‘CONVICTION OF THINGS NOT SEEN is built on what we know about God, His character and promises through His word and His track record. This is not blind, “I’ll obey now and just see what happens” That is presumption to me,not faith. Long ps, thanks.

  13. Arthur Sido says:

    GRCluff, did you even read my post? We are made one with the Father through adoption, which is a huge theme throughout the Bible. We do not become like God but are given the grace of God through faith in Christ. Christ is eternal, uncreated. We are created beings. Different in nature and substance.

    All of the Scripture you quote has nothing to do with a made up doctrine of pre-existance, and everything to do with the sovereignity and purpose of God. God being eternal and outside of the stream of time as we know it knows all things that will come to pass because He has ordained them, including every person who ever has or ever will live. God had a plan and a purpose in covenant with the three members of the Trinity before He spoke the universe into being. God was not surprised when man fell and had decreed that His Son would come and die on a cross for those given to Him by the Father. The quotes you provide are great prooftext for Calvinism, not for mormonism.

  14. GRCluff says:


    I have been looking for that concept in the Bible, but I can’t find it anywhere. Where does it say “Angels are an entirely different “species” than people. I know it is a common teaching in Christianity, I just don’t think it is Biblical.


    I skipped over your adoption topic, it doesn’t make much sense to me. I don’t need to be adopted by God because he is the real father of my spirit. No adoption necessary.

    Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

    Why does Paul compare and contrast the father of our flesh with the Father of our spirits? Because they are two different entities. We are dual beings, body and sprit. God is the Father of our spirit — we are his offspring.

    Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
    29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God,..

    No adoption necessary.

  15. GRCluff says:


    You said:

    You mentioned that in the context of 2-6.

    2. 2. Jer 1:5 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…

    So, God knew Jeremiah personally in his mind and in his original plan? Quite a stretch there.

    3. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

    Why would God make a promise to his children that did not exist yet? Exactly who was he making promises to before the world began? Convoluted thinking there I think.

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

    How can a spirit return to God’s mind or his plan. If your premise is correct the OT prophet was speaking gibberish.

    Maybe we can conclude now that Mormons are the real Christians?

  16. jackg says:


    Adoption is clearly stated in the Bible (Rom 8:15 and Gal 4:5 suffice). I think you can’t find it because you don’t want to find it.

    Let’s say you’re a potter and you have it in your mind to create something you need, like a vase. You get the clump of clay, and in your mind’s eye you see that vase. You form the vase, and it serves its purpose. Since we talk to inanimate objects, you as the potter/creator of this vase are pleased with the vase fulfilling its purpose. In such a case, you could say to the vase that before you formed it out of clay, you knew it. God is the potter, and we are the clay, and before He forms us, He knows us. I suspect that you’ll struggle with this analogy. I’m curious to see how denigrating you become. One last thing to ponder: it is not out of the ordinary for a man to promise to himself that he will be a good husband and a good father before he is a husband and father, and yet such a promise impacts wife and children before they are his wife and children. Would you still ask how one can make promises to people not even there yet? God is much bigger than you think, and He can make promises to Himself as He pleases. To try and create a doctrine that contradicts the biblical teaching of adoption is non-Christian and is rightly called Mormonism. I’m prepared for your scathing remarks and disagreements.

  17. germit says:

    Mr.Cluff: “may we conclude now….” maybe you and the LDS mouse in your pocket, but make sure 1st it’s not FLDS, because they DO LOOK ALIKE. In reverse order: “how can a spirit return to God’s mind or his plan?” good question: because in God’s estimation, it is AS IF you and I have been around forever, because what God intends (in the future) to do, WILL GET DONE, it is as if it has already happened. God’s PLAN for us, and our actual appearance at birth (which is BOTH the appearance of someone physical and spiritual, simultaneously) are IN GOD”S MIND one and the same thing: only separated by TIME. Is this really ‘gibberish’ to you? it doesnt seem that complicated to me. 2cd: Why would God make a promise to His children that did not exist yet? Jack has done a great job giving us a human example where this might be possible. If a mere HUMAN, can hold onto a promise, prior to the real event, why can’t an infinite God?? Your God is shrinking, even as I type… and last “God knew Jer. personally in His mind and in his original plan?? QUITE A STRETCH THERE. Either your imagination is stunted, or your God needs ritilin, and remember it’s the LDS that say that KNOWLEDGE has been around forever (I think I have that right) How about a personal God , who has held a personal plan for us forever?? That makes me feel like HE REALLY must want to know me personally, if He has gone to all that trouble. How does it make you feel, Mr. Cluff? Good questions, by the way. PS: the adoption thing is clearly mentioned in my bible: what make ye of that, how can it be BOTH clearly stated, explicitly, and NOT NECESSARY??

  18. Arthur Sido says:


    ” skipped over your adoption topic, it doesn’t make much sense to me. I don’t need to be adopted by God because he is the real father of my spirit. No adoption necessary.”

    Yikes! So you just ignore topics that are confusing or maybe strike a little too close to home? If you are not adopted by God, you stand outside of His mercy and we know where that ends up. I think we are getting down to the nuts and bolts here, that you are simply not seeking God’s will in His revealed Word at all. You are merely comfortable in your testimony, culture and experience. As someone Reformed in thoelogy I guess it shouldn’t come as a shock to me that the Word of God doesn’t make much sense to you.

    Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. (John 10:25-26)

    Quit praying about the BoM and open the Bible. You don’t need new revelation, you just need to read the redemptive revelation found in God’s Word.

  19. Rick B says:

    you say that the doctrinal errors were mere problems with type setting, I find that hard to believe for many reasons.

    1. Am I to believe that NO ONE proof read it before putting it out in the hands of people as the Word of God?

    2. You guys pride yourselves on God giving you truth and revelation, yet God is not the author of confusion. so God allowed a corrupt version (the first version 1830) having teaching that show the trinity to be truth. yet God did not tell JS it was wrong, yet God clearly spoke to JS about not handing over the nephi pages, strange.

    3. Joseph Smith said

    that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book

    (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461).

    How can JS say that if their were doctrinal errors? seems JS did not review the word of God very well.

  20. Rick B says:

    4. Joseph Fielding Smith has claimed that there is no truth in the statement that there have been thousands of changes in the Book of Mormon. He was reported as saying the following at the fall conference of 1961:

    During the past week or two I have received a number of letters from different parts of the United States written by people, some of whom at least are a little concerned because they have been approached by enemies of the Church and enemies of the Book of Mormon, who have made the statement that there have been one or two or more thousand changes in the Book of Mormon since the first edition was published. Well, of course, there is no truth in that statement.

    It is true that when the Book of Mormon was printed the printer was a man who was unfriendly. The publication of the book was done under adverse circumstances, and there were a few errors, mostly typographical – conditions that arise in most any book that is being published – but there was not one thing in the Book of Mormon or in the second edition or any other edition since that in any way contradicts the first edition, and such changes as were made were made by the Prophet Joseph Smith because under those adverse conditions the Book of Mormon was published. But there was no change of doctrine.

    Now, these Sons of Belial who circulate these reports evidently know better. I will not use the word that is in my mind.

    (The Improvement Era, December, 1961, pp. 924-925)

    Now on top of the reasons I gave, it seems Rex and J.F.S were not aware of the changes. so if you were aware of them, and gave and answer, how come these guys were not aware of this? rick b

  21. GRCluff says:

    Arthur said:

    “You are merely comfortable in your testimony, culture and experience.”

    I can’t think of any statement that could be more offensive. I am Mormon by CONVICTION, not by tradition, thank you very much.

    You are right about one thing though. You said:
    “Quit praying about the BoM and open the Bible. You don’t need new revelation,”

    I don’t need new revelation on the BoM for sure because my answer in years past has been complete and unquestionable. The BoM actually teaches that concept:

    Alma 32:34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.
    35 O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect?
    36 Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith…


    I would say the adoption verses you reference should apply to adoption into the family of Abraham, since they were delivered to gentiles.

    You don’t find Christ metioning adoption to the Jews who were already part of that family.

  22. GRCluff says:

    Rick B:

    I have a few questions of my own. You are concerned about the validity of the BoM. Have you read it yet? If not, our discussion on the matter is over. I don’t mean read a few passages here and there, I mean cover to cover. I lost count after I finished my 14th reading cover to cover, and I will prefer to discuss the matter of its validity with someone with a similar knowledge level.

    Also, why this fixation on Rex Lee? Am I supposed to recognize him as a notable church leader or an exceptional church scholar? I don’t have him in either category, and I haven’t read any of his books.

  23. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    I usually don’t respond to RickB but on this one I can’t resist. RickB gives us some pearls on why knowledge alone cannot be trusted, and that KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH is the key. Obviously, I was referring to the knowledge of truth. To summarize RickB’s “problems with knowledge”.
    1. False prophets have knowledge
    2. The heart is wicked and cannot be trusted

    This “standard of truth” measurement is no less than the formula for rejecting ALL true living prophets. Let me explain. I will render a fictitious scenario starring Peter, RickB and myself. Setting: Act 2 (Day of Pentecost)
    RickB and myself are devout Jews. I drag him to listen to these fellow Jews who insist the Messiah has come. We have studied the scriptures together (the OT) and he would love to come prove these so-called apostles are simple false prophets. As we listen to them, I am amazed that they preach as one having authority. They are witnesses. They testify of this so-called Resurrection. They are teaching us things I never knew, yet I somehow believe them. RickB is quick to point out that just because they have this knowledge, doesn’t mean it is knowledge of the truth. They are false prophets who happen to have knowledge. I admit that I may have been gullible in the past. But not only do they come declaring authority, having superior knowledge, but I feel something when they speak. RickB, I am pricked in my heart and feel to repent of my sins and follow this Jesus. RickB says yes and this is your second problem. Your heart cannot be trusted. You are set up for deceit. Peter is a false prophet. As such, he has superior knowledge that he is leading you away with and the devil is backing him up by giving you this pricking of your heart. So what should I do, RickB? Come back to my house and let’s read again the words of the OT prophets. After all, they are dead and I can make them say whatever I want (this he says to himself). And besides, all my brethren will back me up on this….

  24. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    I ask, “Back you up on what? After all you guys cannot agree on much.”
    RickB states this is true but one thing they can agree on is that these apostate Christian band led by Peter are not prophets or apostles.

    So either I follow Peter, repent and get baptized, or return with RickB for some more scripture study. It seems odd to me though because I can’t find anywhere in my study of Moses and the prophets where they recommend the course RickB is setting out for me. Peter is following the same pattern as other prophets. He is testifying and inviting me to obey by following the Savior. And besides my heart is burning within me.

    Fortunately, I follow Peter’s advice.

    I meet up with RickB a year later. I tell him that I have found the words of this Jesus to be true, that if I will do the will of God I will know of the doctrine (NOW I have been given the knowledge of the truth). Of course, RickB states that it cannot be true. But now I KNOW I insist. This isn’t a faith thing anymore. RickB isn’t convinced because these false prophets have blinded you with his superior knowledge and the devil deceived because of the wickedness of your heart. How do you know that? I reply. “Because it doesn’t conform to my interpretation of the scriptures”

    If the assumption is false prophets have knowledge and you cannot trust you heart, then Peter is out the window. All those believers at the day of Pentecost were deceived (my Jewish friends believe this). All that is left is your own interpretation of the scriptures, which the scriptures themselves condemn. This is the way RickB would have it because on the soil of dead prophets, he can make them say whatever he wants.

    Alas, thanks be to God that he has followed a pattern that I can trust. I have the scriptures before me to see this pattern faithfully followed since the beginning. He calls living witnesses. They testify and invite all to come unto Christ and The Holy Ghost confirms that their words are true.

  25. Rick B says:

    Yes I have read the BoM cover to cover. Then as far as Rex E lee goes. It’s not a fixation I have so much as He Published a book as I stated called (What Mormons Believe).

    So First, He claims to be an LDS member.

    2. He claims to teach what LDS, IE you believe.

    3. If He speaks on behalf of LDS and his book was OKed to be published by the LDS chuch, that tells me he must know something and the LDS seem to agree, why else publish a book?

    4. Do you have a book written and published.

    5. You quoted from LDS book authors, so if you read LDS authors and quote from them or sugest them to me, I should be able to do the same.

    DoF, I know you try to avoid me, but that only because you cannot answer my questions and when you try, like with everyone else, you simply fail at honest answers. Rick b

  26. Arthur Sido says:


    “I can’t think of any statement that could be more offensive. I am Mormon by CONVICTION, not by tradition, thank you very much.”

    What are you convicted by? By your testimony in the BoM.

    “I don’t need new revelation on the BoM for sure because my answer in years past has been complete and unquestionable.”

    You totally missed the point. You don’t need new revelation at all, not just about the BoM. Everything you need to know about God and about yourself to be saved is in the Bible. Read that instead of a fanciful tale written by a young man in New York. or at least be honest and quite carrying around you quad and just carrying the BoM, D&C and PGP because those three oppose the Bible.

    “I would say the adoption verses you reference should apply to adoption into the family of Abraham, since they were delivered to gentiles.

    You don’t find Christ metioning adoption to the Jews who were already part of that family.”

    Unless you are Jewish, then you ARE a gentile regardless of what some “patriarch” tells you about the tribe you descend from. And who are the descendents, the heirs of Abraham?

    “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.” (Gal 3:7)

    By faith we are adopted by God (Romans 8:15, 23; Eph 1:5) and reconcilled to Him.

  27. GRCluff says:

    Arthur said:
    “Unless you are Jewish, then you ARE a gentile…”

    The Jews are one of 12 tribes of Israel, and the other 11 were not all killed, they were just captured and scattered through out the world.

    At least now we have put the concept of adoption into it’s proper context. We are adopted through faith into the family of Abraham. Fine, but our spirit is still the offspring of God.

    Then you said:
    “You totally missed the point. You don’t need new revelation at all, not just about the BoM. Everything you need to know about God and about yourself to be saved is in the Bible.”

    Yes we need new revelation. Are we going in circles on this one still? We need personal revelation on nearly everything in our lives, not to mention who has God’s proper authority to lead us to his kingdom on earth. The more intuitive people on earth can recognize it on sight. What is your problem?

    Oh yeah, if it isn’t written in the Bible it can’t be truth. I’m getting pretty tired of that dogmatic, dull and stale point of view.

    True conviction is born of faith, the kind of faith that motivates study, sure, but expands to include meaningful action like repentance, change and prayer. When prayer begins to become real, it stops being one sided. The communication that results will result in conviction that is real– a more enlightened point of view.

    One that IS taught quite clearly in the Bible if you actually believe what you read:

    1 Cor 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    True conviction born of the power of God is true Christianity. That is what Mormons do.

    1 Cor 12:3 …and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    Is it OK with you of the HG tells me the Jesus is Lord? Be careful now, you may tell me seek revelation.

  28. Ralph says:


    We LDS teach that the doctrine of adoption is being adopted by Jesus Christ. Because of His atonement we can receive both immortality and eternal life. So if we go by the meaning of ‘father’ as “one who brings life”, then Jesus becomes our eternal father as He is the author of our eternal life – BUT this is by adoption only. Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits and thus we are His children directly. the explanation of this is found in the BoM, but being an ex, you should already have learned all about this and know it.


    If we go along the lines you have set with the book by Rex Lee, the Harper’s Bible Dictionary is endorsed/written by the BSL. In it is states quite clearly that the Trinity as described by the creeds is not found in the Bible – Does this mean that all of the BSL subscribe to this view? As far as I can tell from their website, the majority of its members are Trinity believing Christians. So while Rex Lee can write a book and have it endorsed by the LDS church for selling in its authourised dealership, it is only his opinion and may not fully reflect the Church’s opinion.

    The Finnish Lutheran Bible translates the scripture Jer 1:5 as to personally know someone, not knowledge of or fore-knowledge about them. If I remember correctly this is translated from the German Lutheran Bible. But that’s their translation not yours so I guess they are apostate Christian now.

    BTW Jackg, What do you think about the Methodist church ordaining openly gay ministers? Did you know about it?

  29. Rick B says:

    I know you will not agree, but their is a big difference between the book by rex and the harpers bible.

    The difference is this, Rex claims the Book is called what LDS believe. The harpers bible does not speak for me, and yes Rex speaks for you guys by saying, this is what we believe. Then as I said, if you claim he cannot speak for you, then why do you or other LDS quote Fair/Farms and Steven R for Example.

    I see a double standerd, you guys quote other LDS who are not “Scripture” O quote an LDS member who appears to have gotten it wrong, and you will not even hear what he said. Rick b

  30. Rick B says:

    Ralf and GRCluff, my next and 3rd post for the day will be an audio comment, I am telling you this in case you decide to ignore it. the Audio post will be me reading the jacket of the book, what mormons believe By Rex E lee. Seems he is a well respected authority on Mormonism, so this tells me he should be listened to. Rick b

  31. Rick B says:


  32. GRCluff says:

    Rick B said:
    “yes Rex speaks for you guys by saying, this is what we believe.”

    I don’t need Rex’s book to tell me what I believe. My family has been Mormon for 6 generations now, having joined in 1831. I have detailed journals telling me all about their church experiences. I have taught our beliefs as a missionary for 2 years, graduated from seminary and institute both, and I have served in almost every church calling. I know exactly what we believe.

    I probably even agree with a lot of Rex’s book in context, but I will probably disagree with your interpretation of it, just like I will disagree with your interpretation of the Bible. In both cases you are very selective and out of context.

    Can we just agree to discuss the various topics on their own merit? If find a Bible verse to validate my belief, I will use it. If I find an author that can provide detail support and concensus I will quote him/her, but I will continue to resent quotes that tell me what I believe, especally when they are taken out of context.

    For example I could assume that you believe the Bible, find a verse that says God is fire, then ask you if you enjoy being burned. What does that have to do with the price of rice in China?

    Give me a real discussion topic to address man!

  33. Ralph says:


    For a book to be sold under the Church’s name in the official book shops it must have the approval of the Church. This does not mean that it is 100 percent correct nor that it speaks for the Church. The only person that can speak for the whole Church is the Prophet. The most correct book on this earth is the BoM, and it too has errors in it. So this book, although claiming to be Church Doctrine/beliefs and endorsed by the Church, can still have some incorrect things in it, but most of its topics come close to a reasonable description/understanding of our doctrine/belief. McKonckie’s “Mormon Doctrine” also has mistakes in it. So before going around telling everyone including us LDS what we believe, look at what we really teach and believe instead of taking one man’s comments and use them out of context.

    The quote you used was “The only real difference in this respect between the bible and the BoM is that the BoM is free from human translation errors and loss of material”

    The BoM is free of translational errors – does not mean that typographical errors, etc are not found, it just means that going from the original language to English was free from error. The loss of material – well I can see how your argument fits in, but without reading the book I do not know the context of this quote – he may just mean that what we have has not lost any content. For example – the Bible has a number of verses added to it, who knows if there were some taken out of it. In this light, the BoM has all of the verses in it that are meant to be in it, despite the 116 pages of manuscript missing. Besides, the content of the 116 lost pages was also recorded in another part of the plates that JS received (read 1 Nephi 6 and 9 where he describes what is to be written on the various plates for validation of this fact) just by a different author (ie Nephi instead of Lehi) and in different words – so the content is not missing, just Lehi’s version of it

  34. jackg says:

    First of all, happy birthday; and, yes, I have a real job but am able to do this while here.

    Okay,you said, “Oh yeah, if it isn’t written in the Bible it can’t be truth. I’m getting pretty tired of that dogmatic, dull and stale point of view.”

    I’m sorry the Bible isn’t enough for you. I blame it on JS et al for introducing such heresy into the world to victimize poor souls for whom Christ shed His blood on Calvary. I pray for every lost soul who is deceived by the great deceiver himself, even Satan.


    You said, ” So if we go by the meaning of ‘father’ as “one who brings life”, then Jesus becomes our eternal father as He is the author of our eternal life – BUT this is by adoption only.”

    Satan is also referred to as father (see John 8:42-47). Does he bring life? I think not. Since Christ, who is God, created everything out of nothing, then it clearly stands to reason that He created our spirits. However, this does not imply that we are automatically sons and daughters; we become sons and daughters. Continuing in 1 John 3:1-10, we read that one can either be a child of the devil or a child of God. Being created and becoming children of God are two different things. Being created by God certainly happened. Becoming children of God may or may not happen depending on whether or not we choose God as Father or Satan as father.

  35. Rick B says:

    Ralf and GRCluff,

    Here are some thoughts on why what you believe as LDS is so hard to take and I find rather Sad.

    You say the Prophet is the only person who Speaks for God.

    Yet many Ex LDS and Non LDS have asked, when was the Last time the Prophet said, thus saith the Lord and gave some Prophecy or spoke something of Substance. Not One person can remember.

    Then you say, Even LDS who write books get things wrong, Well the LDS who write books do not simply make up this stuff, Or Do they?

    If they get it wrong, then that means others who read their books are getting wrong info, then this leads down a slippery slope of confusiun.

    This shows maybe JS got things wrong, if he Did and God never corrected it, then maybe he was a false Prophet.

    Then if your reading something with error, and your not aware of it, then maybe your giving us wrong info. You claim to have prayed over the Book of mormon and were told it was correct, then admit it has error in it. Why would God allow His Word to contain error and not speak to the prophet and correct that error?

    How Come GRCluff seems to know that the Doctrinal changes were error that were simply from someone having a printing error, but the changes were never foot noted in the BoM? seems like deception to me. So much confusion to the point you LDS cannot seem to agree. And yet your trying to tell me what you believe is truth. Rick b

  36. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    I only avoid you because your posts are mostly about who is right and not what is right. Nevertheless, I wrote a fairly lengthy response to your flawed “Knowledge” argument. I am interested how you feel about that post. My basic premise is, with your reasoning on how to find and decipher truth, you would reject every prophets since the beginning of time. Especially Peter and the apostles on the day of Pentecost. It doesn’t surprise me that you are rejecting modern prophets because you are applying the same principles. I have answered your question. That is an honest answer. Any replies?

  37. JessicaJoy says:

    DoF: I thought your response was very interesting regarding the NT apostles, but I have to disagree with your conclusion. In direct contrast with your assertion that one should just accept a modern prophet based on a burning sensation, the Scripture commended the Bereans as being “more noble” than those in Thessalonica, “in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11) The reason they accepted the new revelation was not only based on the Holy Spirit’s power and personal drawing, but the truths proclaimed by Peter, Paul, etc. were in alignment with the rest of Scripture and the OT prophecies.

    I certainly believe God still speaks today – He speaks to my heart every day, but it is always in alignment with His written Word. The Holy Spirit illuminates His Word so that I understand it in a way that an unconverted person cannot (I Cor. 2:14-16).

    What I cannot understand in your argument about the apostles such as Peter and Paul, etc. is how Joseph Smith can possibly be compared with the purity, power, and Christ-likeness of these men? Paul said a bishop had to be blameless “the husband of one wife”… (I Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6). Joseph Smith was born in this dispensation… when this commandment of having one wife was still in effect. Personal revelation above the Word of God? That’s pretty scary… Paul said “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (I Cor. 14:37).

  38. DefenderOfTheFaith says:

    couple of thoughts.

    All I am saying is that on the day of Pentecost these believers DID accept Peter and the apostles based on being pricked in the heart. The scriptures are clear on this. To say that I have accepted a modern prophet based on “this alone” would probably not be accurate. Unfortunately, this is really more evidence for my lack of faith rather than that shown by those in Peter’s day. My point was to show RickB that he cannot condemn us for relying on the same “feelings” that these people did. If that is his argument then he must reject their experience also. If he accepts theirs, then he has to postulate some other reason why our experience is false.

    In the Bible, new revelation is not always in alignment with the written word. Moses, Abraham are two example. The scriptures are consistent that whatever God reveals NOW is correct, regardless of what has been said in the past, and that those living at the time a command is given are not justified by appealing to previous prophets (as quoted before, Moses, Abraham, Day of Pentecost, Sermon on the Mount, etc.)

  39. JessicaJoy says:

    Hi DoF, Thanks for replying. What new revelation are you referring to that was given to Moses and Abraham that contradicted the written Word?

    Mal 3:6
    For I am the LORD, I change not

    Heb 13:8
    Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

    While His name (Yahwe) indicates an increasing level of self-revelation, He does not give contradictory revelation of His moral laws. They are unchanging. From my review of Scripture, God’s view concerning fornication and adultery has never changed from the OT to the NT. While the OT saints did not have specific written commandment concerning polygamy, they had the commandments against adultery and fornication and were obviously in direct disobedience when they sinned in these areas and they suffered consequences.

    What I do not understand is how someone can be accepted as a prophet of God who violated (among many other commands) this most basic of moral laws.

  40. Rick B says:

    I reject your prophets for lots of reasons. I have said Many times as have others, What “Prophecy” have any LDS prophets spoken in the last 200 years that helps me? I do not mean, what feel good stories they gave.

    JS Changed the Bible in the JST of the Bible claiming God told him to do so, yet read Revelation 22 18:19. It say if you add to or take away from the words of this Book, you will have your name removed from the Book of Life. JS did that, God did not tell him to do so.

    Then on the Little story you gave, the flaws are these.

    The apostles did not simply go off of a burning in the bosom, the saw Christ crucifed and rise again, great solid evidence, Jesus told them that would happen and brought them back into scripture to show them, so they did not rely of blind faith as you do.

    Then, JS contrdicts lots of evidence, I as you stated do not simply say over and over, I’m right and your wrong, I back it up with evidence and scripture, if you cannot handle the evidence and scripture then thats on you. Rick b

  41. Andrea says:

    DOF wrote:
    “All I am saying is that on the day of Pentecost these believers DID accept Peter and the apostles based on being pricked in the heart.”
    It was not “based on” being pricked/pierced in the heart. If you read the whole chapter (here we go with context again), they accepted the words of Peter because he was quoting Joel and David -quoting scripture– and their prophecies regarding something which the Jews had just seen. (Acts 2:2-11) They saw that what was happening was described and prophesied in their scripture, so it must be from God and not wine. Then they were pierced in their hearts.

    But this has nothing to do with JS ‘cleverly’ finding a way out of having to exactly reproduce something which came from his imagination. Except for the fact that JS obviously never read the Bible under the influence of the Holy Spirit, which he couldn’t have because he never accepted that Christ’s atonement on the cross was enough to make us perfect in Him. I don’t exactly fault him though -Christianity then was not what it is today. He might have been really searching for the truth -and not just a megalomaniac- but got taken in and deceived by unholy powers.

  42. Rick B says:

    LDS claim they prayed and know the BoM is true, Non LDS christians claim, We prayed and God told us the BoM was false, We both claim we prayed and heard from God or the HS. So it appears we need to Search the Scriptures and not simply go by prayer alone, as a matter of fact even the BoM in I believe 4 places states, SEARCH the scriptures. Not Pray and do nothing more. Rick b

  43. Andrea says:

    Mormon children are taught that “Search, ponder, and pray are the things that (they) must do. The Spirit will guide and deep inside (they)’ll know the scriptures are true.” The beginning of the song says that when you read the scriptures “I feel the Spirit start to grow within my heart, a testimony that they’re true.” So even though they ‘search’ the scriptures, all it takes is that burning in the bosom for proof positive.

  44. Rick B says:

    I recived a burning also, from the firey hot food I eat. I also prayed about the BoM and God said two things. 1. search the scriptures and 2, the BoM was written by a false prophet, so my burning voids their burning. Rick b

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