Studying the Book of Mormon 2

03 December

Nephi & Jacob

     In the first part of this study we looked at the reign of Lehi and his son Nephi.  This time we’ll look a little longer at Nephi and then switch over to studying the works and wanderings of his younger brother Jacob who was born in the years of Lehi’s journeys.

     The more I read the Book of Mormon, the more fallacies I see throughout its text.  For the second part of this short study I had originally planned to go straight to the legacy of Nephi’s younger brother Jacob.  However, after thumbing through the text of Second Nephi to convince myself to skip it, I became convicted it needs attention.

     When I go out to speak to youth groups in churches I typically begin my lecture by reading Isaiah 40:8 and then having the students repeat the verse after me.

Isaiah 40:8; “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

     The one thing above all else I want those kids to remember is that one verse.  If they don’t remember anything that I taught them about Mormons, my goal is to have them memorize Isaiah 40:8.  Sure, I personally feel that it’s important everyone know the dangers of Mormonism.  However, as a Christian I am indebted to God that I teach on the infallibility of His word and His unchangeable ways.  Next year, or maybe in the next century there may not be any Mormonism, but rest assured there will certainly be another “ism” of some kind.

     When we as the body of Christ allow ourselves to slide into an existence of spiritual complacency we will also begin to rearrange and change the meaning of the word of God.  It’s our duty to teach the next generation of His ways else we are held responsible.  It’s also imperative that we “hold fast to that which is good” and remember the Apostle Peter’s exhortation from his second letter to the Jewish believers in Christ:

2 Peter 1:20-21; “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.

     With all that in mind let’s open the Book of Mormon to 2 Nephi 1:1 and take a good hard look at what Joseph Smith had to say.  This man is someone to take seriously and I mean that with every fiber of my being.  If we are to ignore or simply brush off someone like this then we endanger not only our eternal lives with God but the whole as well.  The following is what Joseph claims was on the plates of brass hidden in the hills of Cumorah. 

     In the beginning stages of this book we see that Nephi is praising the Lord that he and his family have made it safely to the Promised Land.  In 1:4 he says something that I find truly amazing.  It says; “For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.”

     The reason this is fascinating is because of what we studied earlier – the reality of what happened to the Jews who did flee to Egypt.  The majority did indeed perish because of their disobedience.  God had issued His commandment through the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 42 verses 7 through 22.  There were only a few that went back to Jerusalem and they were the poorest of the poor Israelites.  None of them had the money that Lehi had. 

And why did Lehi need money if he was going to a place that didn’t have anyone else there, let alone someone who would consent to his form of money and goods?

     What is even more fascinating is what Lehi says in verse five;

But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.”

     Because they aren’t in Jerusalem anymore, this has to mean that God has changed His mind again or He has lied to all the Israelites, not to mention the rest of the world.  After more than 400 years of captivity and another 40 years wandering in the wilderness, God led His chosen people to the choicest of lands in Canaan.  He gave that land to them as their inheritance for their children’s children.  I dare any Mormon to go tell a Jew that God says the new land of His children is in Mesoamerica and see what kind of reaction you get. 

     I don’t mean any disrespect at all to the Jewish community, please understand.  I am good friends with many Messianic Jews and practicing Orthodox Jews and wouldn’t dream of such a thing.  I personally feel that it’s insulting to God’s chosen people!  This is just one example of why the story that Joseph Smith concocted is a lie. 

     As we go further into this study, we see that Lehi is teaching his son Jacob something that is diametrically opposed to LDS theology.  In 2 Nephi 2:21 it says;

“…For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.” 

     According to LDS doctrine this is what it says in the Second Article of Faith:

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

     So if you’re witnessing to a Mormon or if you are LDS I truly pray that you would see things like this and ask God to clear the mind of the Mormon.  God loves the Mormon people, of this I am sure!  The heart of the average Mormon loves Jesus, but it’s death to the soul because it’s the wrong Jesus.  The two examples I’ve just listed above are simple and straightforward.  You don’t have to hold a PhD in anything to understand those two things are contradictory to each other.  And to further confuse the Mormon here is what it says just four verses later in 2 Nephi 2:25;

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

     Of course we know this is a lie because of what the Lord tells us in Gen. 1:27-28 and 2:24-5;

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

     And then we see that it isn’t until Genesis chapter three when Adam and Eve have sinned.  God had sanctioned for the couple to become one flesh and multiply before they had been booted out of the Garden of Eden.  The above LDS doctrine is nothing but a hoax and made something that was created by God Himself into something that could only happen if we’re sinning!

If procreating could only take place while man was in a state of sin, why is it that salvation for the LDS comes only through the new and everlasting covenant of eternal marriage and having babies?

     As we dig still deeper into the cavern of lies, Joseph has revealed to people what was to become of the “Jaredites”.  Beginning in chapter five we’re told that righteous Nephi took a few of his siblings and in-laws with him to escape to the wilderness.  Never mind that God had promised him that particular spot of land forever if he was righteous, he has now packed up his things and they’re leaving.

     This chapter is when the people are separated into the two major people groups that being the Nephites and the dark and loathsome Lamanites.  Nephi’s brothers that continually railed against him were stricken with a “sore cursing” which turned their skin dark.  In addition to this development Nephi was also crowned as king against his own wishes.  2 Nephi 5:18, 21-24;

And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king. But I, Nephi, was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according to that which was in my power.

And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.  And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.  And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.  And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.

     My list of questions and thoughts over the years about this particular passage is extensive as I’m sure the reader’s is as well.  However, I am mostly compelled to ask just one question for now:

Where in the span of the thirty years since they left Israel did the Nephites turn white?

    Generally speaking people from the Middle East aren’t white and delightsome.  Let me rephrase that, they’re usually not white.  And generally speaking from first hand experience, people who aren’t white and delightsome usually aren’t loathsome.  I’ve always been a hard worker, polite and giving to others.  The dictionary says the definition of loathsome is offensive, repellent, detestable, abhorrent and abominable.   I’ve known people much whiter than myself who could use a good scrub brush.  The inference of such remarks is nothing less than racist.  And I really don’t think making excuses for Joseph Smith being raised in the era of slavery is a good enough excuse in God’s eyes for clinging to that character flaw.

     Many times I’ll receive phone calls and/or e-mails chastising me for not understanding the social and political climate of the nineteenth century.  Actually I do understand it; it’s still alive and well in many places throughout the world.  Utah comes to mind pretty fast for me.  When people try to cover for Smith, I introduce them to my husband Kirk.  During the Civil War one of his ancestors took his wife and kids and fled for the north because he knew slavery wasn’t proper.  After settling in and changing his surname he fought for the north.  Don’t tell me Smith did it because he was from the “old school”.  Sin is sin.  It’s without excuse. 

     Moving along, we come upon another direct contradictory teaching within the doctrines of the LDS Church.  You see, I can’t stress enough to those who are investigating the Church for membership that it is vital you check these things out!  The Church has 124 operating temples on the day of this writing, April 27, 2007 –   

http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/operating  There are also six more under construction and another five that have been announced.  My question is:

Why? 

2 Nephi 9:38 says; “And, in fine, wo unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins.”

     Why would you need temples if Nephi is exhorting his brothers to be righteous before they die so they can receive salvation?  Also read 2 Nephi 9:15-16 which says the same thing! 

Does this mean the Book of Mormon has been mistranslated?

Which book is correct – D&C or Book of Mormon?

 

     More importantly why do the Mormons go to the temples to be baptized for the dead if there are no second chances?  D&C 124:29-30 says that the saints have to baptize their dead.  If the saints have to do this but not the people before Jesus’ time then why didn’t God just say that to Nephi?

 For the following ten chapters you will notice that Nephi has written down the words of Isaiah.  Why Joseph Smith thought this would fit in with the agenda of LDS doctrine is beyond me, but it is what it is.  In Chapter 19:6 he has quoted verbatim what is in Isaiah 9:6;

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

  Isaiah 9:6; 

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

     Here is where I think the LDS member should look very closely.  In our last look at the life of Nephi we read about Jesus telling the disciples that the Father would send them the Comforter in John 14:16-17.  Now take a good look at all the names given to that one “being” in Isaiah. This is obviously the Trinity, plain and simple.  Now why would Joseph Smith use a scripture out of Isaiah if he didn’t ascribe to the traditional Judeo-Christian view of that particular verse?  The answer is very simple my friends; to deceive.  The report from Nephi telling the people that God is coming in the flesh can also be seen in  2 Ne. 25:12-13.

     Those of us who have witnessed to the Mormon people will tell you that 2 Nephi 25:23 is one of the most contradictory statements in all of the Book of Mormon.  It says;

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved; after all we can do.

     When we read the words of Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9 we are comforted by his words about salvation and reminded of our blessings from the release of the Law;

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

     In the LDS doctrine listed above, the last part of the sentence is in bold type to point out the discrepancy between it and what the Bible says.  I implore the members of the Church to analyze that doctrine.  What does it mean to you?  Why does grace play a part in your salvation if you have any part in it?  It’d be like having to invite you to your own birthday party!  Grace is unmerited favor.  We receive grace even though we’re not worthy of grace or salvation for that matter but God in His mercy and love for us grants us that unearned favor.  It’s like a get out of jail free card!

     In 2 Nephi 26:32-33 Nephi is giving his people a list of commandments they are to obey.  Interestingly enough one of those commandments is to not murder because as he states, it is never from God.  Nephi said that God is plain in his commandments and easy to understand.

Why did God tell Nephi to kill Laban but give a commandment at a later time to say that it is a sin and you will die for it?

 

     The Bible is very clear about lies and God’s faithfulness.  In Malachi 3:6 it says that God doesn’t change; and in Titus 1:2 it says God cannot lie.  My last issue with this chapter has to do with the very last sentence.  It says;

…and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female…

      While that in and of itself sounds great and lines up with the Bible, what about chapter five of this second book of Nephi?  Smith just got done telling us the Lamanites were cursed.  How are they able to approach the throne of God with a clear conscience if they’re cursed? 

     In 2 Nephi 30:6 we see one of the grammatical changes that have been made to the Book of Mormon.  In all there have been over 4,000 grammatical changes made.  Here is the 1980 and later version of this verse: 

And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and delightsome people.

     In sharp contrast here is what it says prior to the change in 1980;

And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people.

     Since we’ve already discussed the color issue let’s forego that part of it and focus on what the Bible says in regards to this type of thing.  In Deut. 18:20-22 God tells the Israelites that in order to trust a prophet there is a test the prophet must pass.  If that prophet gives even one prophecy that doesn’t come true you are to ignore him because he will die and he has not spoken for God.

     Now from the example above:

Since when does the word white also mean pure?

 

If the Lamanites were supposed to believe in Christ then why are there still dark Native Americans?

 

     One chapter later we have Nephi preaching the gospel; keep in mind Jesus hasn’t been born yet let alone crucified and resurrected – that’s another five and a half centuries away!  The Greek words are also of interest considering Jacob and Nephi were living on a different continent, separated by an ocean, and they weren’t speaking Greek or Hebrew.  Joseph claims they had been speaking “Reformed Egyptian” (which to this day has never been authenticated by any reputable outside Egyptologist.). 

Why were words such as baptized, baptism and Holy Ghost used some 550 years before it actually occurred?

 

Why did Nephi say virtually the same thing that Luke did in Acts 4:10 almost 600 years before Luke was born?

 

2 Nephi 31:21; “And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

Acts 4:12; “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

And finally my dear friends from 2 Nephi 31:10 and 33:4;

 

How did Nephi know the name of Jesus before He was born?

 

Please know that if you’re a member of the LDS Church we are here not to bash you or any of the Mormon people.  Our hearts go out to you and we pray you will be set free from the confusion and lies of the doctrines of Joseph Smith.  We are convinced the Mormon people love Jesus and fear for them because this is truly not the Jesus of the Bible.  If you’d like more information you can contact us at Life After Ministries

www.lifeafter.org

Key words:  Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Nephi’s brother, Lamanites, Nephites, Jaredites, Laban, Laman, Lemuel, Articles of Faith, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith.

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