A few weeks ago I came upon a Bruce McConkie speech so outrageous it would cause anyone to wonder just what purpose it served other than to malign our Lord. We used a small quote from this in our Witnessing Tip of the Day post for May 27th.
Without belaboring this speech, we do want to take a closer look at what McConkie said back in ’75. The reason for this is because it gives the reader a better understanding on how Mormon traditions of mistrusting the Bible comes into play, and continues to fester from one generation to the next.
The original talk was quite long so we’ve cut it down to a manageable size for our purposes here today. To read or listen to the talk in full, follow the link here –Teaching Seminary Preservice Readings Religion 370, 471, and 475, (2004), 123–132.
The topic of Mr. McConkie’s speech was on the reliability of the Bible, and how students at BYU should view it compared to the JST (Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible). He applied a rating scale of 1-10 to weigh the value of the KJV. Let’s begin shall we?! LAM’s insights, questions are in red font.
“…read the book itself. Unless and until we do, nothing else will fall into place. We cannot do other than rate this key as a ten on our scale. All biblical scholarship and understanding begin with reading the basic source material…Read the book itself. “Search the scriptures” (John 5:39). Treasure up the Lord’s word. Go to the source.
Good advice Mr. McConkie!
The question is – why didn’t he apply this to himself?
The words are sacred. Insofar as they have come down to us as originally penned, they were inspired by the Holy Ghost. They are to be read over and over again as long as we live.
Remember, this man is teaching at a university level here. Why is he throwing out blanket statements without verifiable proofs of his allegations? Who mistranslated it? Smith?
But in my opinion they are not all of equal worth.
And here we go.
Keep in mind Mr. McConkie’s opinions and viewpoints were, and still are, considered inseparable from all things Mormon. Whatever he said was meticulously documented, and inserted into the teaching manuals of almost every single book the Mormon Church has ever produced. It was that way then, and it’s still going on today in 2016. The manual we pulled this from is case in point.
The Gospels, particularly the Gospel of John, are worth their weight in gold. Acts is not far behind them.
Paul’s epistles, Romans being the chief and Philemon the least, are treasure houses of doctrine and wise counsel.
It’s odd he’d say this about John and the book of Acts. John declares Jesus is God and Acts is an historical account of Christianity which the Church denounces. And why is Philemon the least important?
The writings of Peter and James, plus 1 John, rank as though written by angels;
2 and 3 John are of no special moment;
Jude is worthwhile, at least; and for those with gospel understanding, Revelation is a foundation of divine wisdom that expands the mind and enlightens the soul.
In the Old Testament, Genesis is the book of books—a divine account whose worth cannot be measured. Exodus and Deuteronomy are also of surpassing worth. Numbers, Joshua, Judges, the Samuels, the Kings, and the Chronicles are all essential history, interwoven with deeds of faith and wonder that form a background for an understanding of the Christian faith.
If they really believed this why have they broken four of the commandments in Exodus 20?
Commandment #1 Exodus 20:3 – no other gods
Commandment #2 Exodus 20:4 – no graven images
Commandment #7 Exodus 20:14 – no adultery
Commandment #9 Exodus 20:16 – don’t tell lies
Leviticus has no special application to us and, except for a few passages, need not give us permanent concern.
The importance of Leviticus can never be overstated! It provides instructions on several key issues of the Law including the following –
How sin is atoned for through offerings of proper sacrifices (chs. 8-10)
Dietary requirements, how childbirth, and diseases are regulated (chs. 11-15)
Day of Atonement specifications for the annual sacrifices for sins of Israel (ch. 16)
Social and moral living Laws (chs. 17-22) – this included not engaging in polygamous marriages with sisters, other relatives, not drinking blood like heathens, etc.
We’re wondering why Mormons wouldn’t love Leviticus because of their emphasis on following the Law…
Ruth and Esther are lovely stories that are part of our heritage.
No mention of Jesus being our Kinsman Redeemer…
The Psalms contain marvelous poetry, and the portions that are messianic and that speak of the last days and the Second Coming are of great import. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations are interesting books;
That they are Mr. McConkie. They’re definitely of great import, not to mention interesting. They provide specifics on how to behave righteously, and what to expect after we die.
Job is for people who like the book of Job;
and the Song of Solomon is biblical trash—it is not inspired writing.
Wow, oh wow. Not sure If I feel more sorry for what McConkie’s life must have been like, or what he’s facing for making such a statement.
Mr. McConkie is kind of repeating what Joe Smith said about the Song of Solomon. Two years prior to McConkie’s statement a church run magazine (Ensign) reported the same thing about Smith’s interpretation, along with noting Smith had forgotten to include a rewrite on Ecclesiastes, calling it an ‘oversight’.
Ezra, Nehemiah, Obadiah, and Jonah are the least of the prophets;
Technically, they’re referred to as some of the ‘minor prophets’. This doesn’t mean they’re any less important.
and all the rest of the prophets—Isaiah above them all—each in his place and order set forth the doctrinal and prophetic word that must be studied in depth.
Smith should’ve studied Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel more in depth, because they all contradict the entire Book of Mormon.
The Joseph Smith Translation, or Inspired Version, is a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth. It contains all that the King James Version does, plus pages of additions and corrections and an occasional deletion.
Wow – that is one scary statement! An ‘occasional deletion’? It’s as if Satan is laughing in the face of God Himself by asserting such a thing.
It was made by the spirit of revelation, and the changes and additions are the equivalent of the revealed word in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. …
… Reference to this section and to the footnotes themselves will give anyone who has spiritual insight a deep appreciation of this revelatory work of the Prophet Joseph Smith…” – Bruce McConkie
And those with spiritual insight do pick up on these things, but more times than not, the Church doesn’t like what outsiders have to say, and relegate nonconforming comments to the ‘anti’ file.
It’s not that people don’t have a deep appreciation for what Smith did. We appreciate it more than Church authorities could ever know. For the Christian, it’s quite impossible to accept Smith’s ideologies because of his heresy.