Do “Official” Mormon Sources Exist?

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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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30 Responses to Do “Official” Mormon Sources Exist?

  1. fproy2222 says:

    Here we have a good example of someone who gets his answers from himself, only somewhat true and close enough that the misrepresentation is hard to correct without lots of study.
    Ps. Who is authorized to help you understand God’s Word in the MRM. I find that it does not agree all the time with many Christian scholars, who do not agree with each other?

  2. falcon says:

    That’s pretty fun, but sadly, true! Anyone who spends any amount of time trying to have a discussion with a Mormon has run about in this maze.
    So I’m wondering, how can anyone get excommunicated from the Mormon church for anything but nasty behavior? I love the line, “You can believe whatever you want in Mormonism, you just can’t teach it.”
    Modern day Mormons, who would like Mormonism to be something other than what it was in the past, have given over to this “not official” line to the point where it’s difficult to have a meaningful discussion with them. It’s the old “count, doesn’t counter” corundum. Mormons can blow more smoke around in order to not be definitive than any group I know.
    I think they have the behavior component of their program pretty much nailed down. Beyond that, Mormonism is a shell game.
    BTW, what are the trophies on the top shelf in the video?

  3. Mike R says:

    Fred, Christian scholars can and do disagree at times. That’s why we take our counsel on
    significant doctrines from Apostles, the ones Jesus sent out to preach His gospel, their
    message is available for all to read in the New Testament. Apparently it seems that the
    more your Church tries to be accepted as part of the Christian church community, the more
    it tries to distance itself from some of the more “unique” doctrines taught by some of your
    former apostles . Some people might call this chameleon behavior . If you can’t trust men
    who claim that Jesus is personally directing them to lead His “restored “Church when they
    preach over the pulpit, and then have it published , then who can you trust to be reliable guides
    in spiritual truth ? I’m stickin with those men who Jesus actually did direct to preach His
    gospel—–it’s saving truths have set men and women spiritually free for 2000 years now.
    Now that’s worth embracing.

  4. falcon says:

    Here’s the problem. Mormons claim they have a living prophet that speaks for the Mormon god. Either the Mormon god is very confused or his mouth piece on earth hasn’t a clue. We could list for you all sorts of bizarre and contradictory statements and doctrines that have a shelf life according to progressive revelation or in retrospect are placed in the “doesn’t count” category.
    I grew-up Catholic. I was very clear on Catholic doctrine. There was no speculation about it. I haven’t been a practicing Catholic for decades, but I’m sure the doctrines haven’t changed. Some practices have, but the core of the religion has remained consistent.
    Mormonism can’t even make up its mind regarding who God is. Joseph Smith held to a traditional view of God when he launched his religious experiment. Like others like him of his era, he “evolved”. It’s interesting to note that the Community of Christ Mormon sect holds fairly close to Mormonism at its inception. In fact, Joseph Smith’s wife Emma was a member of the “restored” Mormon church and Smith’s son was the prophet guiding it.
    I’m clear on the basic beliefs of the orthodox Christian faith. Those are the basics that have stood the test of the Scriptures, tradition and finally time.
    I would suggest that you abandon the false religion of Mormonism and allow yourself to be guided by the Bible and led by the Holy Spirit.
    Why you want to follow false prophets is beyond me. Mormonism can be debunked in about thirty minutes for anyone who has access to a computer, the internet and an open mind.
    BTW, God has revealed to me that Mormonism is false. So where do we go from there? I would suggest the Scriptures and the historical record is a good place to start.

  5. TJayT says:

    “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That’s so not official.”

    “Smack. Smack. Smack. Smack.”

    🙂 Oh my heavens that was so good I almost ran off the road (not that I was watching it while driving at work, that would be illegal and immoral)!

    One question, what is the rational for calling the 1830 BoM non-doctrinal?

  6. falcon says:

    What do you have a “testimony” of, the original BoM or the updated one with all of the changes?
    That’s the point. I’m sure you know about all of the changes. These changes aren’t merely a little clean-up of Joe’s grammar and sentence structure. Some deal with fundamental doctrines of the Mormon church (whatever they happen to be at the moment).
    You can do a search on “changes in the BoM text” and you’ll see what they are. After that I’d be interested in which edition you have a witness about.
    Bruce McConkie and his Mormon Doctrine book isn’t even published and distributed any more, as far as I know. And brother Brucie was the go-to-guy for the head honchos of the Mormon church of his era. He’s not in the picture now.
    The way Mormonism is handled now days is that things that are embarrassing or weird are said to be folklore, not really taught any more and in the prize by former apostle and head dude Hinkley “I don’t know that we’ve ever taught that” when speaking about the man to god deification program of the LDS church.
    Slippery little rascals these Mormons!

  7. TJayT says:


    Ah, it’s because it’s not the most current edition, I got ya.

    I think I’ve read most of the main change to the BoM (the ones that aren’t punctuation, spelling or cutting out the millions of “and it came to pass” lines) and I wasn’t personally worried by any of them. That’s why I was surprised someone would say it wasn’t offical. But I’m also the Mormon that hasn’t prayed about the BoM, so what do I know?


  8. I encountered this problem from a family member recently. I was answering the question whether Mormons can be considered Christian on my blog with a compare/contrast of major doctrinal differences. The first thing she said to me was that “Mormon Doctrine” isn’t actually Mormon Doctrine, and neither were some statements made by authoritative people while in positions of authority. Where is the line drawn, then, and who draws it?? Frustrating.

  9. Rick B says:

    In the Original 1958 Edition to the Book Mormon Doctrine By Bruce R.McConkie He states In the Preface:

    This Work on Mormon Doctrine Is unique–the first book of it’s kind ever published.
    It is the first major attempt to digest, explain, and analyze all of the important doctrines of the kingdom.
    It is the first extensive compendium of the whole gospel–the first attempt to publish an encyclopedic commentary covering the whole field of revealed religion.

    True, there are many Bible commentaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias; but they all abound in apostate, sectarian notions. Also, there are many sound gospel texts on special subjects.

    But never before has a comprehensive attempt been made to define and outline, in a brief manner, all of the basic principles of salvation–and to do it from the perspective of all revelation, both ancient and modern.

    This work on Mormon Doctrine is designed to help persons seeking salvation to gain that knowledge of God and his laws without which they cannot hope for an inheritance in the celestial city.

    Since it is impossible foe a man to be saved in ignorance of God and his laws and since a man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, it follows that men are obligated at their peril to learn and apply the true doctrines of the gospel.

    This gospel compendium will enable men, more effectively, to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom”; to “be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel,in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient” for them “to understand.” (D and C 88:77-7)

    For the work itself, I assume sole and full responsibility. Observant students, however, will note that the four standard works of the Church, (Cont)

  10. Rick B says:


    are the chief sources of authority quoted and that literally tens of thousands of scriptural quotations and citations are woven into the text material.
    Where added explanations and interpretations were deemed essential, they have been taken from such recognized doctrinal authorities as Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, and Joseph Fielding Smith.

    Two persons have been particularly helpful in the actual preparation of the work: 1. Velma Harvey, my very able and competent secretary, who with unbounded devotion and insight has typed manuscripts, checked references, proofread, and worked out many technical details; and 2. Joseph Fielding Smith , Jr., my brother in law, who both set the type and made many valuable suggestions as to content and construction.

    Abundant needed and important counsel has also come from Milton R. Hunter, my colleague on the First Council of the Seventy; Marvin Wallin, of Bookcraft; and Thomas S. Moson, of the deseret News Press. Salt Lake City, Utah June 1, 1958 –Bruce R. McConkie.

    Now with that said, How can any one say these sources are not “Official”?

    It’s these people that Bruce quoted that are mentioned in all those other sources.

    Fred said

    Here we have a good example of someone who gets his answers from himself, only somewhat true and close enough that the misrepresentation is hard to correct without lots of study.

    Typical reply from a Mormon. How do you figure this guy gets answers from himself? He uses LDS books, and many off us here have those same books and used them with Mormons and we get that same reply, sorry but they are not official. And I dont see you saying they are official and we can use them.

  11. falcon says:

    Here’s the deal.
    Mormonism is about the spiritual dynamic called revelation. In the case of Mormonism its’ progressive revelation and it’s most often personal.
    That was the double edge sword that Smith created. On-the-one-hand he was attracting people who were a fed-up with Calvinism and church structure and authority and who wanted their own authoritative communication with God.
    It’s really an attractive concept to many people. Now the problem was that while it was a magnet to gain members, it was also a problem in that people could question why Smith’s revelations were any more superior than their own.
    That’s why we get all of these people early on having their own visions, for example to bolster their credentials.
    Multiple revelations make Mormonism difficult to pin down. Just take a few of our favorites: Adam-god and Blood Atonement. BY is a treasure trove of idiocy. He’s the crazy uncle in the attack, the elephant in the living room.
    Mormons don’t like to be responsible for these things that we bring up because it gets to the nutty character, reliability and integrity of many of the Mormon leaders past and present.
    The Mormon testimony, reinforced by the Burning in the Bosom experience is critical to keeping the rank and file in line. Once someone gets the feeling and interprets it as a direct communication from God, a uber spiritual experience, than nothing else matters. The feeling confirms that it’s all true so don’t question the veracity and legitimacy of the LDS church.

  12. falcon says:

    There have been several instances on this blog over the years where myself and others have asked Mormons to straighten us out. That is, tell us where we have it wrong regarding Mormonism. What we find is that they can’t tell us where we have it wrong because there’s a rich treasure trove of documented resources to back up our observations about the Mormon religion, its history, practices and beliefs.
    At some point the Mormon, buried in documented evidence, gives up and bears their testimony.
    The bearing of the testimony, it seems, is the Mormon’s ace in the hole that they’ve been waiting to jump up and slam down on the table in victory. That strategy is short lived when we non-Mormons explain that we also have a testimony and even strong emotionally feelings regarding our convictions.
    When push comes to shove, Mormons can’t defend their religion based on documented sources because they deny those sources have authority even though they are published by their own church.
    At-the-end-of-the-day about all Mormons have to cling to is their testimony. And what is a testimony? It’s what the individual believes and feels about something. More accurately, the feelings reinforce what the individual wants to believe.
    Mormonism breaks down fast; at about the second level of questioning.
    Without some form of documentation, Mormonism is what someone thinks, believes and feels.

  13. falcon says:

    Mormons may think that Christians are being a little unfair regarding the lack of a definitive source of reliable information within Mormonism. They might point to the different denominations within the Christian family that have a different take on topics as diverse as baptism (sprinkle, pour, immerse) and what does “communion” (bread/wine) really mean.
    The problem Mormons have is that they make twin claims that get them into trouble. Those claims are that the Mormon church is the one true church and has the real gospel restored. The other claim is that they have modern day prophets and apostles that speak for God to the people. Sort of like Moses. The basics of Christianity are well defined and agreed upon by those considered “orthodox”. After that there’s a lot of speculation but the foundation is well laid and clear.
    The problem with Mormonism is that it can’t decide if what these modern day Moses’ say is really from God or merely the Mormon Moses’ opinion. Mormons have tried to say that if something is spoken from the pulpit at GC or if it has the church’s publication mark on it, it’s “official”. Again, the problem is that a lot of the goofy controversial stuff was spoken from the pulpit at GC and (a lot) of the goofy stuff has been/is printed by the Mormon church.
    Then there’s the problem of the “one true church”. Would someone clear up which sect of Mormonism is the true blue authentic Mormon church? I’d say the FLDS comes closest to BY Mormonism and the CoC is the closest representation of “original” Mormonism circa 1832.
    Progressive revelation gives Mormonism a good deal of wiggle room and allows for some cover. It’s pretty much touch and go however.

  14. Kate says:

    I am wondering why Mormons are working to become gods. That doctrine is nowhere to be found in the Standard Works. It was a sermon given by Joseph Smith, so does that make it “not official?” If it’s not official church doctrine then we have a whole lot of people striving to be a god and it’s not doing them a bit of good (Christians already know this). Where in the Standard Works does it say that God was once a man? It has been said by Mormon leaders, but WHERE in the Standard Works is that taught? What is so crazy to me is that Mormons can just pick and choose what is doctrine and official at the drop of a hat, in any given situation. What nonsense. God is not a God of confusion, and THAT is in the Standard Works.

    The changes to the Book of Mormon are very distressing to me and should be very distressing to any LDS. The fact that the Holy Trinity is changed should be a big red flag. Verses such as 1 Nephi 11:21, 1830 edition says: “Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the very eternal Father!” to the current version: ” Behold the Lamb of God yea even the SON of the very eternal Father!” And my favorite, 1 Nephi 14:40, 1830 edition says: “..that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and Savior of the world.” to the current version: “…that the Lamb of God is the SON of the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world.” These two verses alone should have any right thinking Mormon questioning.

  15. Kate says:

    You know, I was just thinking, the Adam/God doctrine was a sermon on the nature of God, given by Brigham Young, just as God was once a man was a sermon given by Joseph Smith, so which version of God is the correct one? They were both the mouthpiece of God right? Who’s the crazy uncle and who’s a true prophet? How tiring it is to try and mesh all of this together to make some sort of sense.

  16. falcon says:

    Let’s try this:
    After Joseph Smith died there was a lot of confusion in the Mormon church and his revelation was lost. The text of the original BoM was corrupted. BY and other subsequent prophets allowed false teachings and revelations to enter the Church. It was necessary to restore the original revelation.
    We could also go with the idea/fact that Joseph Smith had the original revelation but fell away and went into error.
    Any of these will work. There are many sects of Mormonism all claiming someone fell away and something needed to be restored. It’s a constant theme.
    For example:
    “The Church of Christ Temple Lot believes that it is the only true church in the modern world and that all other churches are an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. As published on the official church website “There is no other authority to represent the Kingdom of God on the earth in modern times, nor had there been in the churches for 1260 years prior to 1830″.[15]”
    “The Church of Christ (Temple Lot) rejects the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, as well as Joseph Smith’s Inspired Version of the Bible, preferring to use only the King James Bible and the Book of Mormon as doctrinal standards. The Book of Commandments is accepted as being superior to the Doctrine and Covenants as a compendium of Joseph Smith’s early revelations (due to changes effected in many Doctrine and Covenants sections that had earlier been printed in the Book of Commandments), but is not accorded the same status as the Bible or Book of Mormon.[16]”
    “Baptism for the Dead, eternal marriage, polygamy and the eternal progression doctrine are all rejected. The offices of High Priest and Patriarch are rejected…”

    Someone needs to restore the restoration………continually.

  17. Kate says:

    I get what you are saying. I’m wondering how many LDS actually know anything at all about the other sects of Mormonism and what they teach. Growing up LDS, I had heard of the RLDS and the FLDS and was only told that they are apostates. Nothing more. Just don’t have anything to do with them. I was so clueless because I thought there were only 2 other sects. I just didn’t think to look at anything for myself, I was just so trusting. It’s interesting to study the other groups and their beliefs. I have been doing that for awhile now. It’s also interesting to see how the doctrines and beliefs are all different according to which man each group chose to follow after Joseph Smith’s death. I wonder what sort of doctrines and beliefs Mormonism would have if they would have stuck together and there was only one sect of Mormonism today…..hmmm…. It does seem like the other Mormon sects are more forthcoming with what they believe to be official.

  18. spartacus says:

    One man’s apostate, is another man’s restoration.

    Kate, I’m totally with you on the “exception to the rule” status of JS’s King Follett Sermon. It’s not in confirmed scripture.

    But neither is:

    1) While the Word of Wisdom is in scripture, it’s necessity for Temple participation is not.

    2) I believe the PERMANENT change from wine to water, is also not part of confirmed scripture. In fact, scripture still COMMANDS wine’s use (this came in 1833 DnC 89 WoW after the 1830 DnC 27 revelation that said not to use wine purchased from “your enemies”). Isn’t the LDS Institution big enough to finally follow this command? Anyone poisoning LDS church farms?

    3) Of course, Heavenly Mother is not part of confirmed scripture. Poor woman/women is/are the Rodney Dangerfields of the LDS religion;)

    4) Official Declaration 1 IS in confirmed scripture but doesn’t even call itself a revelation. That’s a whole other category of scripture/official doctrine confusion unto itself. (Note: Has anyone read all of the Dec 1 content lately? In the Excerpts he says, “The Lord has told me to ask the Latter-day Saints a question…”, “all these things would have come to pass, had not that Manifesto been given”, “”And Almighty God decreed that the Devil should not thwart it. If you can understand that, that is a key to it.” – Everything (you guys decide, we do it or perish, and Well God said this so we/men think Manifesto is in line w/ God’s actually revealed will) but God’s revelation. How can LDS read this and not see men’s work completely bereft of God’s revelation? I can only assume they don’t really read it. But… it is Confirmed Scripture.

    Can anyone else think of more Non-scriptural presently practiced doctrines?

  19. falcon says:

    You nailed it with this one:

    “It does seem like the other Mormon sects are more forthcoming with what they believe to be official.”

    I don’t know what it is about the SLC bunch but they have a real problem with being forthcoming regarding their history and beliefs. Now granted, the rank and file are in the same boat you were in when you were a member. That is, you just didn’t know and that’s what I’m getting at. The problem with hiding the truth from the members is that when they do find out (the truth) they feel that they’ve been lied to at least by omission.
    This is what the president of the Community of Christ Mormon sect says:
    “Because of my exploration of various credible works, and probing discussions with historians, some of my previously held notions have been challenged and adjusted in the face of additional knowledge. The “apologetic” approach to church history—presenting our story in as favorable a light as possible—is not sufficient for the journey ahead. That approach does not evidence the integrity that must be fundamental to our witness and ministry.”
    You’re right. The other groups don’t seem to be into the hide and seek game.

  20. Dale says:

    This video is awesome because it’s SO TRUE! I thought I was the only person who got this type of answer from Mormons. Sometimes I’ve been told that when a former prophet taught something that contradicts current church teaching, those words were just his opinion.

    Kate, you helped me realize something I had never seen before. The idea of God being once a man isn’t in the Standard Works!!! That’s amazing! Does anyone know if Heavenly Mother is in the Standard works either?

  21. falcon says:

    I don’t know if heavenly mother is in the standard works. What I’d like to know is if heavenly mothers, with an “s”, is in the standard works. In-other-words, Joseph Smith taught that “the principle”, polygamy, needed to be practiced in order for a man to become a god and reside in the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. So Mormon women need to realize that their Mormon god is a polygamist.
    As far as I can tell, no modern Mormon man will become a god unless he practices polygamy. Of course this is all folklore, the word modern Mormons use when trying to run away from the obvious.

  22. Mike R says:

    Falcon and Dale,

    The Mormon doctrine of Heavenly Mother is not taught in the Standard Works nor is She mentioned there. I don’t wish Mormons to take this the wrong way but that would be giving respect to her, and there is little of that in the lives of most Mormons, assuming they are obedient to the counsel of their leaders who teach that it is improper Christian behavior to talk with her and tell her they appreciate her through prayer.

  23. falcon says:

    It’s part of the Mormon line that they are showing respect for the so called “heavenly mother” by not talking about her. That way they don’t have to explain exactly who she is in Mormon lore. It’s a convenient way out in avoiding a controversial subject. That way a definite “theology” doesn’t have to be developed.
    This is the problem with Mormon progressive revelation and personal revelation in general. These Mormon authorities just get in full revelation mode which is basically endless speculation and creative imagination. It’s a real head trip for them.
    The apostle Paul said that certain men should be instructed not to teach strange doctrines. Mormonism is the strangest doctrine of all trying to promote itself as Christianity.

  24. Kate says:

    OK, so here’s the thing. If Mormonism (LDS brand) is THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH with the true and pure form of Christianity, why aren’t they trying to save souls by shouting out the truth? Why is everything hush, hush, or down right hidden? I know Mormons claim “milk before meat” but if it’s the meat that saves people, why aren’t they shouting that from the rooftops? You would think that God would have his mouthpiece here on earth telling the truth to the masses, no matter how embarrassing or crazy it may sound. I’m sure Noah endured some horrible persecution while building the Ark…..

  25. falcon says:

    I have a chart around here some where that illustrates the differences between the three branches of Mormonism; but doesn’t include the FLDS.
    We aren’t talking about small differences, but major ones. When you examine the SLC brand of Mormonism in a side-by-side examination with the other Mormon brands, we can see why it’s kept hush, hush.
    The two main alternative sects of Mormonism (non-FLDS) really don’t hold much in common with SLC Mormonism. They rejected polygamy early on, but also hold to a more traditional view of the nature of God reflecting the view of the early Mormon church.
    It must be remembered that Joseph Smith was a religious entrepreneur who loved to incorporate all sorts of imaginative beliefs and practices in his experiment. He was also heavily involved in folk magic which gave him some hocus pocus that he passed off as spirituality.
    SLC Mormonism is in a constant duck and cover mode because the early Mormons were like super balls bouncing out of control all over the place.

  26. fproy2222 says:

    So where is the “official” source for your brand of Christianity?
    And don’t say the Bible, because you’ll cannot agree on what God meant in His Word.


  27. Dale says:


    I find it amusing when Mormons try to point the finger on things like this. It’s a classic “shoot the messenger move.” Instead of addressing the problem, try to point out other people’s instead.

    Even if all Christian churches were in turmoil, the LDS Church, by virtue of its own claims, should be doing a better job of naming, using, and sticking to its official sources rather than the current hodge podge of Standard Works and some (but not all) prophetic announcements from the pulpit.

    Mormonism faces the unique problem that they created: pointing to prophets as the authority but also ignoring much of what they say. I know many LDS who insist Brigham Young was the TRUE successor to Smith, but at the same time, they DENY much of his teachings.

    Pointing out any perceived problem with another Christian denomination does not correct the problem within Mormonism.

  28. Rick B says:

    Fred, your question is easy to answer, but why bother? You refuse to answer our/my questions, so why should I answer you?

  29. Kate says:

    From what I have learned in my year as a Christian, the Bible is THE authority for Christians. A am in awe at how the core doctrines throughout all Christian denominations are exactly the same. and how these doctrines have stood the test of time. I’ve researched many denominations over the past year and there are differences on minor issues. When I look at the world around me it is obvious that God loves variety, why wouldn’t he love to be worshiped in a variety of ways by a variety of people? I believe (now) that the Bible is the inspired Word of God with his fingerprint all over it. I never believed that as a Mormon because I was taught it wasn’t reliable. This is why Mormons have no problem seeing it for less than it is. Christ’s church is made up of believers, it’s not a multi million dollar corporation with a CEO/President at the top. A President who hides behind his thousand dollar suit, in his million dollar home, refusing to shout out the true “official” doctrines that are his responsibility as the “prophet.” He claims to be bringing souls to Christ, but all I see is him bringing souls away from Christ and to his multi million dollar business. Truly sad.
    I am a Christian and I get my official doctrine from the Bible. It’s where the true and living Christ can be found. He is the authority.

  30. spartacus says:

    Amen, Kate.

    fproy, please try to be civil, respectful, and what you think Christ would want you to be like in your posts with us. It doesn’t matter how you perceive the comments here. As a professed follower of Christ, you should not react in kind, let alone the worse that you tend to be (at least in sarcasm and total disrespect of the whole point of posting with others- communication).

    One comment – LDS Church’s inability to be open about its true beliefs goes back at least as far as JS’s response to the newspaper with the Articles of Faith. I have posted elsewhere that, if they weren’t so nice and neat, then LDS should be just as outraged by its inaccuracy to their beliefs as any other “A.ll N.ever T.rue I.nfo”‘s statements. While AoF is official, it is useless. Anyone reading it would be completely blindsided by actual LDS theology.

    So we have seemingly official works that are deemed not official; Official beliefs that are not in official canon. (Heavenly Mother, WoW temple requirement, etc.); And there are official statements that are not really worthy to be “official” (in that they don’t really represent the official organization anymore than any other (AoF – except the reference to the BoM). Actually, the AoF would fit better with the other nonFLDS denominations of mormonism than they do the SLC denomination.

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