Why is Christ Only “A” Son of God?

By Keith Brown

In the Book of Mormon, which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints testify is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, recorded in Alma 36:17 are these words:

And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

To conclude from that one verse of scripture that Latter-day Saints think less of the Lord Jesus Christ because Alma referred to Him as a son and not the son is nonsense, and also proves to be a hypocritical argument when viewed in the light of parallel passages found in the Bible.

For example in Luke 2:11 are found the words, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” If the same logic were applied to this verse of scripture as applied to the verse in the Book of Mormon in Alma 36:17, could not a similar conclusion be drawn that whoever believes in Luke 2:11 is not a Christian because they believe that Jesus Christ is just a Savior and not the Savior? A similar argument could also be used when referring to Hebrews 5:8, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ believe and teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is both a son of God (Heavenly Father) and the Son of God. Furthermore, they testify and believe that Jesus Christ is a Savior, and He is indeed the Savior of the world. Latter-day Saints revere Him as their personal Savior – the One who bled, suffered, and died for the sins of all mankind.

The Book of Mormon refers to Christ as the Son of God at least 50 times and refers to Him as a son only once. That is hardly enough evidence to prove that Latter-day Saints are not Christians, yet critics will grasp at any straw that they can in an attempt to prove their point.

But what do we mean when we say He is the Savior of the world? The Redeemer? Each of these titles point to the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way by which we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. Jesus suffered and was crucified for the sins of the world, giving each of God’s children the gift of repentance and forgiveness. Only by His mercy and grace can anyone be saved. His subsequent resurrection prepared the way for every person to overcome physical death as well. These events are called the Atonement. In short, Jesus Christ saves us from sin and death. For that, he is very literally our Savior and Redeemer. In the future Jesus Christ will return to reign on earth in peace for a thousand years. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He will be our Lord forever. [1]

Additional Resources:

Basic Mormon Beliefs and Real Mormons

Mormonism in the Bible

Does the Book of Mormon Forbid Polygamy?

By Keith Brown

Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the following statement in 1998 about the Church’s position on plural marriage:

This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church…. If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church. [1]

There have been times when the Lord has commanded His people to practice polygamy (plural marriage.) For example, as taught in modern day revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 132:1, the Lord gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon. In Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 132:1 are recorded these words:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines.

There have been other times when the Lord has given other instructions to his servants. For example, in The Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Jacob as recorded in Jacob 2:27-29:

Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; for I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

The questions then begs to be asked, “How can Latter-day Saints claim to follow the Book of Mormon when it specifically forbids having more than one wife?” Those who pose this question often ask it based on the aforementioned scriptures in Jacob 2:27-29 because they do not fully understand the context. From just these three verses it seems obvious that the Nephites were not to have more than one wife. However, there is one exception, and only one exception, to this rule. To fully understand it requires reading the next verse. Verse 30 of Jacob 2 states:

For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

Stephen R. Gibson, author of One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions stated:

The one exception would be if the Lord commands his people to live otherwise–to raise up a righteous seed– as he did in Old Testament times as well as in the early days of the Restored Church. Today we continue to live as we have been commanded by the Lord through His prophets; that is, with one wife for each man.

It is interesting that nowhere in the Bible is there wholesale condemnation of the practice of plural marriage. In fact, many of the great men venerated by Christianity had more than one wife: David, Solomon, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many others. As we attempt to understand the doctrine of plural marriage, perhaps it would be helpful to remember that the Lord sent his Only Begotten Son through polygamous lines (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Surely that fact alone indicates the Lord’s approval of this practice when he commands it.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a God who upon occasion gives more than one wife to a righteous man. Obviously, God has different rules and policies for different times. Plural marriage is righteous and acceptable conduct if God commands it through his prophet, but it is an abomination when the Lord has not commanded it. (Stephen R. Gibson, One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 35-36)

In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage (Official Declaration 1.) [1]

Additional Resources:

Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration

The Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Chrsit)

“Mormon” Polygamy

 

Does the Book of Mormon Quote the King James Bible?

By Keith Brown

The Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ) contains many linguistic similarities to the King James Bible. In some instances, entire passages of scripture are duplicated in the Book of Mormon. At other times the source is acknowledged as in the book of Second Nephi, where 18 chapters of the book of Isaiah are quoted. There are some 478 verses in the Book of Mormon which are quoted in some form or other from the book of Isaiah. Of these verses, one Mormon scholar notes that 201 of them match the King James version of the quote and another 207 show variations. In addition, 58 quotes from Isaiah found in the Book of Mormon are paraphrased versions of those found in the King James Bible. [1]

The Existence of Biblical passages

The existence of biblical passages in the Book of Mormon is explained in the text as being the result of Lehi’s family bringing with them a set of “brass plates” from Jerusalem containing the writings of Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and several prophets not mentioned in the Bible. Regarding this record, 1 Nephi 5:10-13 states: [1]

And after they had given thanks unto the God of Israel, my father, Lehi, took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning. And he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents; and also a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah; and also the prophecies of the holy prophets, from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah; and also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah.

Stephen R. Gibson, author of One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions stated:

Of the approximately 264 thousand words in the Book of Mormon, about 17 thousand are close parallels to the King James translation of the Bible. Most parallel verses occurred when Nephi quoted the Isaiah of the Old Testament using records on brass plates brought from Jerusalem. Other parallels occurred when the resurrected Savior repeated his Sermon on the Mount to the Nephites and then quoted Malachi at length. In both cases, we are told in the text that these are quotations of scriptures that had been recorded elsewhere.

Why would God render the Book of Mormon translation into KJV English?

As more than one LDS scholar has pointed out, the KJV English was the accepted scriptural language of Joseph Smith’s day. When Jesus, the Apostles, or even the angel Gabriel quote scriptures in the New Testament they do not quote from some ancient and perhaps original source. Instead they quote from the Septuagint—the Greek version of the Old Testament, which was the accepted Bible of New Testament readers. “When ‘holy men of God’ quote the scriptures,” notes Nibley, “it is always in the received standard version of the people they are addressing…” Likewise, the scriptural language of Joseph Smith’s day was King James English. Quite often when other ancient texts— such as the Dead Sea Scrolls—are translated into English, they—like the Book of Mormon—are rendered into King James English. One can hardly chide Joseph for doing the very same thing that modern scholars often do when translating ancient religious texts. [2]

Stephen R. Gibson further stated:

LDS scholars generally agree that in instances where the Book of Mormon parallels the Bible, Joseph Smith must have noted the parallels and used the King James Bible to guide him in his choice of words. If the Book of Mormon agreed with the Biblical text in meaning, he apparently utilized the Biblical text, italicized words and all. However, when the plates differed from the Biblical text, he followed the text on the plates.

Since the ultimate source of the teachings of the Book of Mormon is Christ, and since the ultimate source of the teachings of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) is also Christ, it should surprise no one that there are many parallels between the Book of Mormon and Bible passages. While one cannot conclusively prove that Joseph Smith used a Kings James Bible as an aid in translating the parallel passages, that explanation is reasonable. (Stephen R. Gibson, One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 21-22)

Does the Book of Mormon Contradict the Bible?

By Keith Brown

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints testify that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of their religion, and it is indeed Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints further testify that the Book of Mormon does not purport to detract from the Holy Bible in any way, but rather it enhances the teachings found in the Bible. Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible testify that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Divine Son of God. And so, if Latter-day Saints claim that the Book of Mormon and the Bible compliment one another, why do there appear to be contradictions between the two?

As an example, in the Bible, in the New Testament book of Acts it says that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The Book of Mormon records that there were people called Christians in approximately 72 B.C. In Alma 46:13-16 are found these words (see also Alma 48:10):

And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land. For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church. And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come. And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.

Stephen R. Gibson, author of One Minute Answers published by Horizon Publishers stated:

It doesn’t take a lot of scholarship to know there is no contradiction in this situation. “Christian” wasn’t the original word used in either the Biblical text or on the plates in the Book of Alma. “Christian” is an English word, and neither the Bible or the Book of Mormon was originally written in English.

A dictionary definition of the word “Christian” is, “A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.” In the Book of Mormon, Lehi and his family carried the plates of brass that they had obtained from Laban as they departed the Old World (see 1 Nephi 4). The plates contained “the prophecies of the holy prophets, from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah; and also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah” (1 Nephi 5:13). Therefore, it follows that the ancient people known as Nephites knew about the prophecies that had been foretold about the coming Messiah/Christ (The word “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew word “Messiah”). Furthermore, the Book of Mormon records many more prophecies by New World prophets of the coming Messiah/Christ. All those who believed in the prophecies were known as “Messiah-believers” or, equivalently, “Christ-believers.” Therefore, all pre-Christian era Israelites who believed in the coming Messiah/Christ would have been considered Christians in this sense. This is the sense we find in the Book of Mormon. In translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith used the English word “Christian” to convey the meaning instead of the original Nephite word which was used.

Additional Resources:

The Lord Jesus Christ in Mormonism

Mormonism in the Bible

The Church of Jesus Christ

Where is the Book of Mormon’s “Fulness of the Gospel?”

By Keith Brown

The word “fullness” conveys the idea of wholeness or completeness. In reading modern day revelation as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 20:9, a person could interpret the scripture to mean that the Book of Mormon, which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormon Church) testify is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, should include every point of doctrine, covering every conceivable gospel topic such as temple marriage, sealing ordinances, and baptisms for the dead, yet not one of these topics is mentioned. The words recorded in D&C 20:8-10 are these:

And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them—

That the Book of Mormon does not contain “every conceivable doctrine” coincides with other teachings in the scriptures were it is made clear that there are still many great, and precious truths that God has yet to reveal to His people. In the Bible, in the Old Testament book of Amos, are found these words, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). And in the New Testament, in John 16:12, the Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” With that being said, nowhere within a single volume of scripture, nor within the entirety of the Standard Works (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price), can be found all of the conceivable doctrines of the gospel.

The Book of Mormon gives us a clear understanding of what is needed to truly follow the example of Christ and be “saved” in the Kingdom of God (3 Nephi 11:33). It is required that we have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized with water and the Holy Ghost and endure in righteousness to the end (see all of 2 Nephi 31 and 32) (Stephen R. Gibson, One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 33-34.)

One might add that the fullness of the gospel, in addition to the above, embraces the atonement of Christ and the universal judgment. (3 Nephi 27:13-21) (Stephen R. Gibson, One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 33-34.) In the Book of Mormon, in 3 Nephi 27:13-21 are recorded these words:

Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father. And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words. And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.

The Book of Mormon is correct in the doctrines and principles it teaches, but it does not claim to contain all truth. Its own self-described purpose is to “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Title page), and that these teachings are “plain and precious.” For the most part, the Book of Mormon does not concern itself with the deeper mysteries of God. The Book of Mormon [block]0[/block] ”the most correct of any book on earth,” but certainly not comprehensive. [1]

In the quoted passage of scripture from the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 27:13-21), the Lord Jesus Christ defines the gospel as:

  1. Christ came into the world to do the Father’s will.
  2. The Father sent Christ to be crucified.
  3. Because of Christ’s atonement, all men will be judged by him according to their works (as opposed to not receiving a judgment at all and being cast out of God’s presence by default, Nephi 9:8-9).
  4. Those who repent and are baptized shall be filled (with the Holy Ghost, Nephi 12:6), and
  5. if they continue in faith by enduring to the end they will be justified (declared “not guilty”) by Christ before the Father, but
  6. if they don’t endure they will be subject to the justice of God and cast out of his presence.
  7. The Father’s words will all be fulfilled (cf. D&C 1:38).
  8. Because no unclean thing can enter the Father’s heavenly kingdom, only those who rely in faith on the atonement of Christ, repent, and are faithful to the end can be saved.

This is “the gospel.” The Book of Mormon teaches these concepts with a plainness and clarity unequaled by any other book. It has therefore been declared by the Lord to contain “the fulness of the gospel.” [1]

President Ezra taft Benson, the 13th President of The Church of Jesus Christ explained:

The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 20:9). That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation (Benson, pp. 18-19). [2]

Additional Resources:

Our Savior Jesus Christ

Mormonism in the Bible

Mormon Apologetics

 

 

Did the Book of Mormon Give the Wrong Birthplace for Jesus?

By Keith Brown

In the Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ), in Alma 7:10 is recorded the prophet Alma’s prophecy that Jesus Christ would be born of Mary at the land of Jerusalem. The words that are recorded are these:

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.

First, it should be noted that Jerusalem in this passage is referred to as a land, not a city. A geographical map will show that the city of Bethlehem, the place where the Bible teaches that Christ was born, is a tiny subburb of Jerusalem, located just 5 miles south of the heart of the city. Therefore, Bethlehem is a part of the land of Jerusalem, making the Book of Mormon record correct.

This is comparable to a person telling his friend that he is from Annapolis Maryland when in fact he may live in one of many surrounding areas of Annapolis. To use Annapolis as his reference point, even though he does not actually live in the City Annapolis, is no more incorrect than for a traveler of old to say that he was from Jerusalem, even though he may have actually lived in the city of Bethlehem.

Referring to the birthplace of Christ as the land of Jerusalem makes sense if that passage were written by an ancient New World prophet. The use of the term “land” in this passage and other passages in the Book of Mormon is consistent with usage in the Dead Sea scrolls, and lends way to evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. If Joseph Smith, the first prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had been the author of this passage of scripture versus being the translator of it, would he not have written that Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem? After all, he was familiar with much of the Bible, and every school child was familiar with the story of Christ being born in Bethlehem.

Second, the critics’ case against the Book of Mormon proves futile because they fail to realize that if they insist on refuting the authenticity of the Book of Mormon based on the passage recorded in Alma 7:10, they must at the same time reject the Bible because it says that Amaziah “was buried at Jerusalem with his father in the city of David” (2 Kings 14:20), and the city of David is Bethlehem (see Luke 2:4; 1 Samuel 20:6).

Stephen R. Gibson, author of One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 19-20, stated:

Bethlehem is only five miles south of the much larger city of Jerusalem. Thus, a citizen of Bethlehem could have accurately described himself as a person who lived “at Jerusalem.” Rather than Alma’s comment being evidence of Joseph Smith’s fraud, it is in reality a confirmation of his inspiration.

Today, the further we are away from our home or any specific town, the more likely we are to “lump it” with the closest large metropolitan area. If we are visiting New York we might tell people we are from Salt Lake City rather than Bluffdale, Utah. If we are in Europe we might tell someone that we are from Utah, or possibly we might say we are from the United States. When we say that, we aren’t in error; we are just not being as specific as we could be.

A final thought: if Joseph Smith or later Church leaders felt this to be an error, why didn’t they “correct” it and make it one of the many “wholesale” changes the detractors are always accusing the Church leaders of making in the Book of Mormon? Latter-day Saints find no contradiction with Christ being born “at Jerusalem,” the land of the forefathers of Alma and his people.

 

Do Latter-day Saints Tear Down the Bible?

By Keith Brown

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe and testify that the Book of Mormon is exactly as its name claims it to be, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and that it is the Word of God. Latter-day Saints (or Mormons as they are commonly referred) also believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God, and use both the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible side by side when teaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fourth Article of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ states:

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Members of the LDS Church believe that the Bible came from writings of holy men of God as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost as recorded in the Bible in 2 Peter 1:20-21, and that it is “through the same process that they have additional Holy Scripture, including the Book of Mormon, which supports and exalts the Bible” [1] The words recorded in 2 Peter 1:20-21 are these:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Latter-day Saints do not believe that the Book of Mormon detracts from the Bible, but rather it enhances their learning and understanding of the Bible and the sacred writ contained therein. Furthermore, members of the LDS Church do not believe that the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible in any way, but rather the Book of Mormon and the Bible compliment one another. They view the Bible as being “rich in history, doctrine, stories, sermons and testimonies, all of which witness that Jesus Christ is the Divine Son of our Heavenly Father.” [1] Likewise, they also believe that the Book of Mormon witnesses and testifies that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Divine Son of God the Eternal Father.

Concerning this matter, Stephen R. Gibson, author of One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 55-57, stated:

Latter-day Saints don’t tear down the Bible–they hold it in high esteem and regard it as the recorded word of God. However, a few well-meaning members, in an effort to help people sense the importance of the Book of Mormon, have a tendency to elaborate on the books that are missing in the Bible, the Biblical doctrines that are not clear, or they focus on erroneous translations in parts of the Bible, to the exdusion of what is so priceless about the Bible. Detractors, building on that tendency and trying to bolster their erroneous notion that Latter-day Saints aren’t Christian, often attempt to give the impression that Latter-day Saints are anti-Bible. This just isn’t true. We believe the Bible is the word of God, and we study it, cherish it, and use it so we may better understand God’s will. Joseph Fielding Smith said that the Bible “has had a greater influence on the world for good than any other book ever published.” Regardless, some try to extract the idea that we don’t value the Bible from the eighth Article of Faith, which states, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” When detractors take this to mean that we feel the Bible is of little worth, the conclusion they draw just isn’t true, and it is diametrically opposed to the central message of the Article of Faith they are attempting to explain away. We don’t have a problem with the Bible only with occasional mistranslated passages found in various Bible translations.

Latter-day Saints do not believe that any one translation of the Bible is without error, but detractors twist this to mean that Mormons do not accept the Bible as the word of God. However, from this author’s experience with numerous Christians, Latter-day Saints seem to accept the Bible more literally than all other denominations!

Although the Book of Mormon testifies of the truthfulness of the Bible, it does inform its readers that many plain and precious truths were purposedly taken out of the Bible centuries ago. In the Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ) are recorded these words in 1 Nephi 13: 26-27:

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.

Latter-day Saints use the King James Version of the Holy Bible when teaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some more recent translations of the Bible have deleted precious truths that are essential in teahing and understanding the true meaning of the gospel. There are a few translations that have even gone so far as to change the gender of God. These “modern” translations of the Bible do not appeal to Latter-day saints, but they do tend to appeal to those who do “not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, a modern day Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ stated:

The Bible is the foremost of the Standard Works of the Church; that it is the first of the accepted, approved, canonized volumes of scripture used by the Saints as a standard by which all doctrine and procedures are judged (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p.390).

Modern day revelation as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) teaches that one of the reasons for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is to prove to the world that “the holy scriptures are true.”

Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old; thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. Amen. (D&C 20:11.12)

Addition Resources:

The Lord Jesus Christ in Mormonism 

The Bible in Mormonism

Mormon Doctrines

 

Pew Study on Mormons in America

As the “Mormon moment” extends into 2012, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life today released a groundbreaking new survey, the first ever published by a non-LDS research organization to focus exclusively on members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their beliefs, values, perceptions and political preferences.

Entitled “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society,” the survey was conducted between Oct. 25 and Nov. 16, 2011 among a national sample of 1,019 respondents who identified themselves as Mormons. The results validate a number of long-held stereotypes (most American Mormons are white, well-educated, politically conservative and religiously observant) while providing a few interesting surprises (care for the poor and needy is high on the list of LDS priorities, while drinking coffee and watching R-rated movies aren’t as taboo among the rank and file as you might think).

Pew Study on Mormons in America“While this survey comes amid a contentious election campaign, it is not solely or even chiefly about politics,” said Luis Lugo, Pew Research Center director, in the published survey’s preface. “Rather, we hope that it will contribute to a broader public understanding of Mormons and Mormonism at a time of great interest in both.” Continue reading

Mormon Temples: Indestructable Spirit of Elijah

mormon templeThis is the house of the Prince of Peace, and would you profane it thus with violent deeds and hearts overflowing with hatred? Lo! where the crucified Christ from His cross is gazing upon you! See! in those sorrowful eyes what meekness and holy compassion! Hark! how those lips still repeat the prayer, “O Father, forgive them!” Let us repeat it now, and say, “O Father, forgive them!”—Longfellow.

Temples, sacred Houses of the Lord, have been destroyed by those venomous towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for insensible reasons. Cecil McGavin shared this poignant capturing of Anti-Mormon forces aimed at destroying the work of the Lord. Destroy edifices they may, but destroy the work of God, they will never do:

As Caesar burned his bridges lest his legions would dream of returning home, the torchbearers in Hancock County were anxious to wrap the temple in flame lest pilgrim feet from beyond Rockies should be tempted to return to the City of Joseph. As long as that beautiful temple crowned the hill beside the majestic Mississippi, it might entice a return to the once holy city.

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Mormon Beliefs: Jesus Christ is Omnipotent

Jesus Christ MormonMembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormons and/or the Mormon Church, inadvertently, by the media) believe that Jesus Christ is omnipotent, has all-power, as many other Christian denominations profess. When some of other faiths ask us if we believe in and worship Jesus Christ, we speak clearly a resounding yes–as the name of the Church and as our lives and hearts reflect. We love Him. We worship Him. We recognize His atoning sacrifice on our behalf and His lasting and continued grace.  We also believe in His omnipotence.

Let me illustrate from an example of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  Ammon, a great missionary whose words were recorded in the Book of Mormon, said in Alma 26:35-36:

My joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who repent and believe in his name…. This is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting woe. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people.

Are Mormons Christians:  Can you read from the Book of Mormon this and many other passages and observe our desires to be His disciples and live His teachings and answer anything but yes?