scripture


The LDS Church has four books that it regards as scripture. These are known as the Standard Works: 


The Book of Mormon

The Pearl of Great Price

Doctrine and Covenants

The Bible (King James Version)


While the uniquely Mormon books are greatly respected by LDS members, the Bible is said to be corrupted.  "...because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book...an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them"  (I Nephi 13:29 - The Book of Mormon).


Any teaching of an LDS prophet is to be revered as holy scripture; new revelations are occasionally added to the Doctrine and Covenants. Brigham Young stated, "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture" (Brigham Young, Jan 2, 1870, Journal of Discourses 13:95).


Did you know?

  • There have been over 4,000 changes to the text of the Book of Mormon since it was first printed in 1830?
  • The sub-title "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" was added in the 1980's? 
  • That 120 million copies of the Book of Mormon have been printed in 14 languages?
  • You can find approx. 200 New Testament verses as well as large portions of Isaiah from the King James Bible within the Book of Mormon?



Proof-texts: The mis-use of the Bible to support Mormon teachings



THREE LEVELS OF HEAVEN

(I Corinthians 15:40-41): The Mormon Church mis-uses I Corinthians 15:40-41 to teach that there are three levels of Heaven. "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory." By reading the passages before and after these two verses, it is clear that the Apostle Paul is teaching about the resurrection of the human body. We have an earthly (terrestrial) glory now, but in the resurrection we will be given a body with a heavenly (celestial) glory. The Mormon Church also uses II Corinthians 12:2 to teach that there are three heavens. The Apostle Paul spoke of "one caught up to the third heaven." Bible scholars believe that the first "heaven" is the earth’s atmosphere, the second "heaven" refers to the stars and planets, while the third heaven is the actual dwelling place of God.


OTHER SHEEP

(John 10:16): "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." Mormonism claims that this is proof of the Book of Mormon account of Christ’s visit to the Americas following His resurrection in Palestine. Mormons believe that the "other sheep" were the Book of Mormon people, but Jesus is speaking of the Gentiles who will respond to the Gospel and eventually be a part of His church.



THE TWO STICKS

(Ezekiel 37:15-22): A common argument for the Book of Mormon is a passage of scripture in Ezekiel 37. "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah…then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph…And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand." Mormonism teaches that this is a prophecy of the coming of the Book of Mormon, and that it will be joined to the Bible, or stick of Judah, in the last days. Actually this passage is interpreted for us in verse 22. "And I shall make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all". The nation of Israel had been divided into two kingdoms, and this is a prophecy of the political unity that God would establish for his people.



ADDING TO THE BIBLE

(Rev. 22:18-19; Proverbs 30:6): A common argument that Christians use against the Book of Mormon is Revelation 22:18-19 "…If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Often Christians claim that because the Book of Mormon comes after the warning in Revelation, it is not acceptable scripture. Mormons counter that in Proverbs 30:6 the Lord declares, "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." If as a Christian you will not allow for the Book of Mormon, why do you accept the entire New Testament which came after the Book of Proverbs? They would ask, "Have you not added to God’s Word?" It is true that the warning at the end of Revelation is speaking specifically of the Book of Revelation. Our argument against the Book of Mormon should be that it fails the test of being canonical- it does not consistently teach the truths of God revealed in the original revelation, the Holy Bible. Along with the other LDS scriptures, the Book of Mormon has violated all of the warnings of the Bible not to add or take from God’s message to mankind.



BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD

(I Corinthians 15): "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? Mormonism uses this text in I Corinthians to argue for the need for baptizing the dead, as they do by proxy in LDS temples. Was the Apostle Paul telling the Christians of Corinth to do this? Is this evidence that Christians were engaged in baptisms for the dead? A closer look reveals that he was using as an example a third party who had a practice that expressed faith in the after life. Paul is telling the Corinthian Christians to have faith in the resurrection of the human body. "Else what shall they do…why are they then baptized for the dead?" Notice that Paul does not associate himself, or the Christians he is addressing with the practice of baptism for the dead.



MEN CAN BECOME GODS

(Psalm 82:1-8; John 10:16): Mormons use Psalm 82:6 and Jesus’ quotation of it in John 10:16 to argue that their belief that men can become gods is a Biblical teaching. The verse in Psalm 82 reads, "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." A couple of things should be noted about this passage. To begin with, LDS doctrine teaches that Mormon men have the potential to become gods after death. Those being referred to in Psalm 82 are men still living on the earth. Verse 7 says, "But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes." This passage is a rebuttal to men who were judges in Israel. They had been given the title "god" in the sense of having authority. Even the Mormon Apostle James Talmage admitted, "In Psalm 82:6, judges invested by divine appointment are called "gods" (Jesus the Christ, p. 501). The Bible tells us that there is only one true and living God, and that will always be so. "…before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me" (Isaiah 43:10).






the role of scripture

Holy scripture is viewed very differently in the LDS Church than in traditional Christian churches. It is said that the words of the president of the Mormon Church, who is believed to be a modern-day prophet, has more bearing on the membership than what is stated in any religious book of scripture. "The Latter-day Saints do not do things because they happen to be printed in a book...There is no book big enough or good enough to preside over this Church." (Orson Whitney, Conference Reports, Oct. 1916, p.55). "While the Church views its scriptures as a canon in a strict sense, they are not viewed as closed. The doctrine of continuing revelation is one of the fundamental beliefs of the Church. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1281). On the other hand, as evangelical Christians we see the Bible as a closed canon and the final authority for our faith. The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy that "...from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:15).