Significant Book of Mormon Changes: Chinese Word for ‘Mormon’, and Lamanite Ancestry

19 January

History of the Church, 4:461 (28 November 1841); “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” – Joseph Smith, Jr. [emp. mine]

BoM Just like anyone else, whenever I read the Church has made changes to the Book of Mormon, I think about Smith’s claim noted above. If it was so perfect, why did it need a revision? And so it was, when I came across two noteworthy items in the Sunstone Magazine.

The Church’s revision about the Lamanites will always be a prime example of why the Book of Mormon isn’t true. Anytime you make excuses for, and ultimately change the entire narrative for why your book is inspired of God, you’ve created a huge credibility problem for yourself.

Sunstone Magazine, December 2007, p. 74; “CHURCH REVISES BOOK OF MORMON INTRODUCTION ABOUT LAMANITES THE LDS CHURCH HAS CHANGED A STATEMENT ABOUT Lamanite ancestry in the introduction to the Book of Mormon. The new wording seems designed to accommodate archeological and genetic evidence that strongly disqualifies the introduction’s previous claim that “the Lamanites . . . are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.” The revised introduction says that “the Lamanites . . . are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Their behavior is reminiscent of the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, not skipping a beat as they pushed out their next month’s articles telling us Joe Smith was an extraordinary teacher, and why the Book of Mormon and Bible are true. See Ensign, January 2008 for complete listing.

After delivering such monumental news, nothing seemed amiss as they went merrily along to their next agenda…

Until 2007, Mormon in Chinese = The Evil Door

The next little tidbit of info from Sunstone told a story of interest to those who know anything about Mormonism. For years rumors about the translation of the word ‘Mormon’ in Chinese swirled around that ‘Mormon’ translated into ‘gates of hell’ for as long as I can remember. Long story short, it’s kind of true, but as is the case with translating many languages, some things get lost.

This time around they changed the Chinese characters in order to not scare people away from the Church. Check out what Sunstone reported in the same article –

Sunstone Magazine, December 2007, p. 75; “Church Revises “Mormon” in Chinese IN A RELATED STORY THAT SUGGESTS LDS LEADERS have been evaluating other Book of Mormon issues as well, the Church announced it has changed the Chinese characters used in translating the word “Mormon.”

In order to avoid negative connotations, new Chinese-language editions of the Book of Mormon now use characters that are roughly pronounced as “Moermen” instead of ones more typically pronounced “Momen.” According to a BYU NewsNet story, the pronunciation of the original characters sounded similar to an expression that means “evil door.” The change, which has been in the works for more than two years, was officially announced in September when the Church made available a new triple combination in Traditional Chinese.”

So there you have it. Evil door, vs. gates of hell. They’re close to being one and the same for the English speaking population of the world. Either way, the Church once again found itself having to change something about their sacred canon. In Chinese, according to FAIR, the word ‘Moermen’ translates into just a name.

For the record, the Oxford Dictionary defines Mormo as a hideous vampire-like she-monster. See message4mormons.org for more info.

Hopefully, both of these examples will remind us of Paul’s admonition!

Galatians 1:6-8; “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

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