Book of Mormon; Fullness of the Gospel?

20 October

“Lord Increase Our Faith”, page 64; “The real focus on the Book of Mormon should be on the details of the book itself, not on the details of the process by which it came forth.  Although we do not know everything about the process of its coming forth or its translation, the Book of Mormon is open to full scrutiny.” – Neal A. Maxwell

Ensign, May 2007, pg. 88; “This ancient volume of holy scriptures is a sacred companion to the Bible, containing the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.” – L. Tom Perry

     My objective in this article is for members of the LDS Church to ponder the information presented here and honestly ask themselves if it makes sense the Book of Mormon is from God.  While I don’t agree with Mr. Maxwell’s opinion on how people should view the Book of Mormon (Galatians 1:6-9), we’re going to take him up on what he said about it being open to full scrutiny.

     All right, so I have an obsession with the book of Jeremiah; I’ll be the first to admit it!  If you’re a Mormon, have you ever read the book of Jeremiah?  There’s an important lesson to be learned in Jeremiah 36:20-32.  King Jehoiakim had decided he didn’t like God’s written word so he cut it up and burned it thinking that would take care of God, but he was sorely mistaken.

     I believe it was Matthew Henry who said “Those who hate it always seem to do things like this in life” …they either try to destroy or discredit God’s very words. 

     It was 600 BC and the prophet Jeremiah had been warning the Israelites for forty years that danger was lurking.  He told them God had an important message He wanted for them to hear and if they obeyed Him they wouldn’t lose their lives.  Times would be tough, but if they fled for Egypt on their own seeking safety, they would die by sword, famine or pestilence.  If they stayed put in Jerusalem (Jer. 42:10) God would protect their lives in the upcoming onslaught of the Babylonian takeover.  While they were in captivity for a time, there was a small remnant that was allowed to remain seventy years later.

     The certifiably insane King Nebuchadnezzar (descendant of Queen of Sheba and Solomon) marched the Israelites out of Jerusalem, chained some of them nude alongside a river while partying on a boat nearby and eventually went totally mad, living with animals.  He too hated God and turned the sacred scrolls into sacks filled with sand for the captive Israelites to carry into Egypt.  No one escaped his wrath.  (Eventually Nebuchadnezzar repented and worshipped God.)

     Now some 2,400 years later we have the story of Joseph Smith and the “golden plates” which he said contains the “fullness of the gospel”, otherwise known as the Book of Mormon.  One of the remarkable events about this story is the timeline.  It’s the story of a lost tribe of Israelites fleeing Jerusalem in 600 BC and guess what?  Yep, they’re headin’ for Egypt, seeking safety from the fall of Jerusalem.

     Okay, foregoing the arguments, let’s say God told everyone but this lost tribe of “Nephites” to stay put in Jerusalem; what about Joseph Smith’s other assertion about the Book of Mormon? 

     He said a lot of things about this work so his claims should be investigated as Mr. Maxwell suggests.  It’d be amazing if anyone escaped the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar, so these plates should be of significant value if true, right?   

     What do these brass plates tell us?  Does the Book of Mormon contain the “fullness of the gospel”?  Remember, parts of these plates are supposedly what the Nephites hauled over to the States when they sailed here.   

     Let’s begin with what Doctrine and Covenants 19:26, 27:5 and 135:3 says:

And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God—

Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim.

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth…

     As you can see, we have confirmation through the prophecies above; the Church does believe it’s the “fullness of the gospel”.  Now in light of those prophecies by Smith, we need to compare them with what the Bible says about prophets and prophecies, in addition to looking at a few core Mormon doctrines and see if they’re in the Book of Mormon.  If they’re not found on those plates, we ask in all sincerity – how can this be the fullness of the gospel if it doesn’t contain all the requirements for salvation?

What the Bible Says:

Deuteronomy 18:20-22; “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.  21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?  22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Deuteronomy 13:1-5; “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.  5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

     Mormons believe a true and full salvation can only be attained in the highest kingdom of heaven which they call the “Celestial Kingdom”.  The Celestial Kingdom is reserved solely for those who have been found worthy enough to become a god themselves after they have accomplished a number of works here on earth.  Below are a handful of requirements and beliefs each Mormon needs for a true salvation in the Mormon Church. 

What the Mormon Church Says:

Church Government

 3 Nephi 12 says the twelve Nephite apostles received power to share the gospel, baptize and give the gift of the Holy Ghost.  This is the closest we come to anything remotely close to the hierarchy we see in the Mormon Church today.

 There is no “first presidency”, no quorum of the seventies, no bishops, no bishopric, no wards, no branches, no stakes and no stake presidents, no area presidency…compare it with what the Bible says about church structure:

1 Corinthians 10:32, 12:9-10, 18, 29, 30; Acts 13:1, Romans 12:8, Ephesians 2:20, 3:5, 4:11 

God

Father God has a body of flesh and bonesD&C 130:22

God was once a man. – HC 6:305, Gospel through the Ages, pg. 105 

God has many wives/Mother gods Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pg. 25

God has a father Gospel Truth, pg. 101; The Seer by Orson Pratt, pg. 132; Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 38

God had sex with Mary Journal of Discourses 4:218 – Brigham Young, February 8, 1857; Journal of Discourses  1:50-51, 8:115, 11:268

God progresses/Eternal progression – Distinct Doctrines and Teachings of the Pearl of Great Price, pg. 76; Gospel through the Ages, pgs. 114-115; Articles of Faith, pg. 390 

Three Separate Personages in Godhead Mormon Doctrine, pg. 576; D&C 130:22-23; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 552; Mormon Doctrine of Deity, pgs. 9-10; History of the Church 6:474, June 16, 1844

gods/polytheism

Many gods and councils of gods Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 348; Abraham 4:25

Man may become a god – Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 136-137; Gospel through the Ages, pgs. 105-106; D&C 76:58, TPJS 342-345

Man is a god in embryo Miracle/Forgiveness, pg. 3

Heaven

Three levels of heaven. – Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 367; D&C 131:1-4

Jesus

 

Jesus chosen to become a godMormon Doctrine, pg. 129, Abraham 3:27-28

Jesus and Lucifer are brothers Jesus the Christ, pg. 8; Gospel through the Ages, pg. 15

Jesus was MarriedJournal of Discourses 2:82, 2:210, 4:259-26 

Jesus was a polygamist Jesus was Married by Ogden Kraut, pg. 27; Journal of Discourses 13:309

Jesus Crucified for Polygamy Journal of Discourses 1:346

 Polygamy

Polygamy Condemned Jacob 2:24

Polygamy is true salvation D&C 131:1-4, 132:4-6, 20-21; Journal of Discourses 5:204 & 282, 11:269, 12:262, 13:167-168, 13:189, 17:225; Doctrines of Salvation 2:67; Mormon Doctrine, pg. 219; Evidences and Reconciliations, pg. 390; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 332…

Pre-existence

Elohim populating earth through sexually begotten spirit children –

Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 24; D&C 49:17, 93:23-29, 138:55-56; Mormon Doctrine, pg. 516; Abraham 3:22-28; Journal of Discourses 4:216; Melvin Joseph Ballard, Sermons and Missionary Services, page 247; Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions, pgs. 5-6; Life Before, pg. 91; For Behold Ye are Free, pg. 42; Ensign, November 1997, pg. 65; Way to Perfection, pg. 29…

 

Salvation

Temple marriage a requirement for exaltation – Teens, Temple Marriage and Eternity, pg. 1; Doctrines of Salvation 2:62; D&C 131:1-4

President of Church Holds Keys to – Mormon Doctrine, pg. 591

Salvation after Death

Book of Mormon – none is available after death 2 Nephi 9:15, 38; Alma 12:13-14, 34:31-34, 42:22-23

Other LDS teachings say it is necessary

Baptism for the dead D&C 124:29-30, 128:15; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 191; History of the Church 4:568-569; Encyclopedia of Mormonism, pg. 1258; Are Mormons Christians? pg. 19; Doctrines of Salvation 2:175…

     As the reader can plainly see, not one of those core doctrinal teachings is in the Book of Mormon.  The list here is brief in comparison to the hordes of all their teachings.  What we’ve presented here is enough to show the Book of Mormon certainly doesn’t stand up to the claims Joseph Smith and other Church leaders have made.

     How can the Book of Mormon contain the “fullness of the gospel” if their teachings are not to be found in the Book of Mormon?

     If you’re LDS we want you to know that we pray diligently for you each and every day.  We hope you’ll investigate these claims for yourself and see that God is not a God of confusion as it says in 1 Cor. 14:33.  Ask yourself and your leaders why there is such a huge contradiction in what D&C says and what the Book of Mormon doesn’t say.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18  …

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One Response to “Book of Mormon; Fullness of the Gospel?”

  1. shematwater October 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Just a few things.

    The term Gospel refers to “the eternal truths or laws, covenants, and ordinances needed for mankind to enter back into the presence of God.” (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/gs/g/30)
    The Presence of God is the Celestial Kingdom, not Exaltation.
    So, when it is stated that the Book of Mormon contains the Fullness of the Gospel it is refering to that which is required for the Celestial Kingdom. As such, the majority of the doctrines you list, not being required for this Salvation, would not be found. Such as:
    1. Church Organization
    2. Everything listed under God, except the physical body and three beings (which are in the Book of Mormon).
    3. Three Levels of Heaven
    4. Everything listed under Jesus
    5. Temple Marriage (As one can be in the Celestial Kingdom without it)
    6. Salvation of the Dead (As one can be in the Celestial Kingdom without it)

    Also, it was not a tribe of Israel that left, but a small group consisting of two families. They did not go to Eqypt, but traveled in the Wilderness, most likely SE. They left several months before the destruction of Jeruselem, and so they would have avoided the King.
    As to the Brass Plates, very little of them are actually in the Book of Mormon.

    As to the rest of the Doctrine that you list, let us look at some references from the Book of Mormon.

    Mosiah 7: 27 clearly teaches that God has a physical body “[Christ] should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth”
    Quite clearly the Father has a physical body, as it is the image after which man was created, and what Christ was to take on.

    As to three separate beings: 2 Nephi 31: 12 “He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.” Fairly obvious there are three beings. Also 3 Nephi 11: 25 in baptizing they declared ” Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy.” Again, it is clear there are three separate beings.

    Mans potential to become a god. 3 Nephi 28: 10 “and ye
    shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one” Fairly clear that if we are like Christ and the Father we will be gods like them.

    Plural Marriage: Jacob does not condemn plural marriage. You need to read this again. Jacob 2: 30 “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.” He is not condemning Plural marriage, but the unauthorized practice of it, stating that the Lord can require this of the saints, but until they are commanded to they are to have only one wife.
    Now, since it is not always permitted it is not a required practice, only a required belief.

    Pre-existance: Alma 13: 3 “being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.”
    Priest were ordained from the time the world was created because they had shown great faith and works. They lived before this mortal life, as they had choosen good before they were called.

    These doctrines are all there, all that is needed to bring a person into the Celestial Kingdom of God is in the Book of Mormon.

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