Book of Mormon textual difficulties: 2

This is a bit longer of a post than I prefer, but I want it to be the last of the Mormonism posts. I’m interested in getting back to expounding on true Bible doctrine.

2 Nephi 25:23-30 – a confusing mix of passages by which it is stated that we are saved by grace, that Christ is the fulfillment of the law, so we are dead to the law, and yet commanded to keep the law. At the very least this is a confusion of Justification with Sanctification. I did get to discuss this with my missionary guests. These two doctrines have a distinction to Mormons but almost in reverse. It is as if you go through a life of working on Sanctification, as all the world is already justified in Jesus (knowing it or not). So as they claim to be equal Christians alongside all the denominations, they maintain a separate universalism that no true Christian denomination holds to. The Christian says have faith in Christ for salvation, and thus live a godly life of gratitude in response. The Mormon says you are saved already, so live a godly life so as to attain positions within the higher heavens.

Alma 7:10, “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.” The birth place of Jesus is incorrectly stated as Jerusalem and not Bethlehem. Jerusalem is not the region but a specific city. Now Smith could have said in Judea, which is the region both cities are located in, but he didn’t. Was it a translation error, something wrong on the plates or just ignorance on the part of Smith? It could not be the Bible that is incorrect, being the OT reference to Bethlehem is a part of prophecy.

Alma 11: 5-12, “Now the reckoning is thus—a senine of gold, a seon of gold, a shum of gold, and a limnah of gold. A senum of silver, an amnor of silver, an ezrom of silver, and an onti of silver. A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley, and also for a measure of every kind of grain. Now the amount of a seon of gold was twice the value of a senine. And a shum of gold was twice the value of a seon. And a limnah of gold was the value of them all. And an amnor of silver was as great as two senums. And an ezrom of silver was as great as four senums.” – This is a record of currency, but gold and silver were not deemed that valuable in the Americas because they were such soft metals (you could not build many useful things out of them). The only recorded forms of currency in the ancient Americas were beans, typically coffee beans. This is recorded extensively and yet it is the one commodity that the BOM leaves out.

There is apparently no reason for the Mormon practice of baptism for the dead (D&C 124: 29) if the spirits of dead unbelievers are subject to the devil upon death as an eternal state.
Alma 34:35, “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.”
2 Nephi 28:21-22, “And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.”
Jacob 6:10, “And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment.”

It is historically impossible to have had so many people living in the ancient Americas (according to the BOM) that there would not be any artifacts, buildings, remains, or something (anything) that would attest to their existence. 3 Nephi 3:22 attests to “tens of thousands” going to defend against an army that must have been just as massive, to justify the need of such an army. Ether 15: 1-2 speaks of millions of peoples being slain, yet no mass graves found, so many swords would be masses of various metal deposits (or forged into other items).

This many people living prior to the battle would have been the equivalent of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, which all left their marks on the face of the earth with masses of artifacts. When discussed with my visitors they argued that there is evidence of the people of the BOM in Central America. I rebutted that all such discoveries belong to the Inca and/or Mayan people and that no relation has been established between them and the people of the BOM. There was no response given after this. I wonder about the “spin” they must put upon the items unearthed from these other civilizations in the Central America. They must distort and rewrite the Mayans, Incas and American Indians out of history in their circles to be able to claim what is theirs is really “evidence” supporting the BOM.

D&C 89 prohibits a bunch of things that even the LDS Prophets declare can be used and are useful to the Mormon (see Journal of Discourses Vol. 12 pp. 402-403).

D&C 42:12, “And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fullness of the gospel.” So the Bible, without the supplements of the Mormon books, does contain all that’s needed to have the fullness of the Gospel, and yet there is nothing that mirrors it in the BOM. Theirs is a totally different gospel, which according to Paul is then really nothing at all. The missionaries continued to refer to 2 Nephi 25:23-30 as their proof text. This passage only confuses what it is to have faith for Justification and works as produced in Sanctification.

D&C 68:4, “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” If Smith and other prophets of LDS are speaking in the name of the Lord, why have there been so many prophesies that have not come to pass or were just plain wrong? How would you reconcile that with Deuteronomy 18:20-22? The church should consider this along with Deuteronomy chapter 13. (ex. prophesy of D&C 84:1-5, “in this generation,” dedicated by Smith).

D&C 87:1-8 – is no real prophesy of the Civil War. War was eminent at the time, and already being discussed in the local newspapers. There was no spilling out to all nations of the civil war, and there was no full end of all nations as verse 6 indicates. Smith merely adds wrath of God language to the local headline news.

Hope you learned from the series. Time to move on.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Book of Mormon textual difficulties: 2

  1. Whitney

    Thank you for enlightening us on Mormonism, Dr. John.

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