Book of Mormon textual difficulties

1 Nephi 3:7, “I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” This seems to contradict Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 73:3-4, where Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon are told to continue to translate the Bible (their BOM) until it is finished. It was not finished, and without the Urim and Thummim or the plates likely never will be. Real translation is a scientific study, not a mystical revelation of words with the use of “seeing stones”. If it were simply the revelation of words, there is no need for an original text (the plates) to be present, needing “translation,” it would simply be a revelation, as like the OT prophets.

1 Nephi 13:26-28, “And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men. Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.” – So after the 12 Apostles are gone the church fell into a great apostasy and many things have supposedly been taken away from the Bible Christians have today. Yet God claims to be able to preserve His word stating, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Mark 13:31). Jesus never makes any claim that anything is missing from any Old Testament texts, but only that the Pharisees and others have misinterpreted there meaning. Jesus does not make any accusations about books missing. So are we to believe that from Jesus until now there is a lot of material missing? How would the Jews know of the Mormon people and their history (if they were real)? The BOM peoples would have been separated by too great a distance for their material to be known of as missing. Would God not have preserved his word as He promised? Even textual critics have not been able to prove that the Bible of today is somehow incomplete or missing anything.

1 Nephi 19:10 (and Helaman 14:20, 27; 3 Nephi 8:3; 10:9) – speaks of 3 days of darkness as a sign unto the house of Israel about the death of Jesus. The Bible record states that it was only 3 hours (Luke 23:44, Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33). Three days of darkness is unfounded in any historical record that would have covered the time period. It would have been a huge deal, far greater than any known eclipse, and listed in some other historical reference, maybe like Josephus. In short it would be a hard event to have been left out of all other historical references.

2 Nephi 5:10 (and other texts) state that The BOM peoples “did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.” This is not the case according to the BOM. Things within the law that would be precious (and still are) to the Jewish people are never even mentioned in the BOM. There are no feast days being mentioned, no ark of the covenant mentioned, no Aaronic Priesthood, no day of atonement, and particularly no mention of Passover. This is a dramatic oversight for a transplanted “Jewish” tribe. In what manner are they keeping the Law then? Also, to follow all things according to the law of Moses, there would only be one High Priest and one temple but the BOM make continued reference to having many high priests and many temples. Mosiah 11:5, 11; Alma 13:9- 12, 16:13; Helaman 3:25. This is a breaking of God’s commandments according to Deut. 12:13-14, 1 Kings 8:44 and 48; 11:13, 32 and 36; 14:21; Isaiah 18:7.

2 Nephi 5:21, “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” This horribly ascribes that black skin is a mark of a curse of God. This is just prejudice on Smith’s part and there is no such mention of any color curse in the Bible upon any people or any region or specifically of Canaan. (See also Moses 7:8)

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One response to “Book of Mormon textual difficulties

  1. Barbara Stafford

    Just as a side note: We have no need of the Urim and Thummin today as we have access to God through our High Priest Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals to us, through God’s Word all that we need to know. The Bible is complete however there were books written that were not deemed “inspired” by God but just historical accounts that are compatilble with the events of the Bible and the customs of the Jewish people during those times and therefore not included in the Word of God as we know it today. Ex: “The Book of Enoch the Prophet” and the”Lost Books of the Bible”

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