The Missionaries Asked Me...
To Pray About the Book of Mormon
The Challenge: Moroni 10:4 & 5
As a Bible-believing Christian, I pretty much ignored the challenge by the Mormon missionaries to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. It didn't help that my church had never covered the topic. When I was 31 years old, my best friend at work was Mark McAllister. We were working the same job and spent a lot of time together. One day at work, he told me that I really needed to know for sure if the Book of Mormon is true or not. He challenged me to read and pray about it (Moroni 10:4-5). As I considered his challenge, I realized that he was right. I really did need to know for sure if the Book of Mormon was true or false. If it is false, no one should be one. If it is true, everyone should be one because it is from the true God. Therefore, I would need to be a Mormon.
I went home that night, knelt down on my knees in my Bible study room, and asked God to reveal to me whether the Book of Mormon was true or not. My Sunday school classes had never covered Mormonism but now I needed to know the actual facts. I promised God that I would tell everyone what He helped me find out.
One of the things He helped me discover was that the original prophets who wrote on the plates began their work with a disclaimer. Instead of saying that their writing was inspired by God or thus saith the Lord, they would start by pointing out that this work was a product of their own personal opinion! They would also be commanded by their earthly fathers, rather than by Heavenly Father. The following is a collection of the Book of Mormon's human origins.
The Book of Mormon: Work of Man!
And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge. (1 Nephi 1:3)
Nevertheless, I do not write anything upon plates save it be that I think it be sacred. And now, if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself. (1 Nephi 19:6)
And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. (2 Nephi 2:17)
...wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven. And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious, ... (Jacob 1:1,2)
...I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge... (Jacob 7:26)
Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven. (Alma 40:20)
Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept...it must needs be that I write a little but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations... (Jarom 1:1,2)
Behold, it came to pass that I, Omni, being commanded by my father, Jarom, that I should write somewhat upon these plates, to preserve our genealogy...But behold, I of myself am a wicked man, and I have not kept the statutes and the commandments of the Lord as I ought to have done...and I had kept these plates according to the commandments of my fathers... (Omni 1:1-3)
And now I, Amaron, write the things whatsoever I write, which are few, in the book of my father. (Omni 1:4)
And now I, Mormon, ... began to be learned somewhat after the manner of the learning of my people) and Ammaron said unto me: I perceive that thou art a sober child, and art quick to observe; Therefore, when ye are about twenty and four years old I would that ye should remember the things that ye have observed concerning this people;...and ye shall engrave on the plates of Nephi all the things that ye have observed concerning this people. [writing according his own learning] (Mormon 1:1-4)
Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father...And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you. [All things aren't possible with God?] (Mormon 8:1, 12)
Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been. And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth ... that none other people knoweth our language; ... therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof. (Mormon 9:31-34)
And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God. (Ether 5:1)
And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou has made us mighty in word by faith, but thou has not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands...Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words. And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; ... (Ether 12:23-27)
Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good; and I write unto my brethren, ...(Moroni 10:1)
These quotes are conclusive evidence that the original authors from the Book of Mormon were producing a work of man. If God wanted the Book of Mormon to be inspired, He could have inspired its authors. But, as we have seen, the original authors of the Book of Mormon admitted that they wrote from their own human opinions, according to the best of their own knowledge, with their own errors and imperfections, and according to their own memory at the commandments of men. By their written testimony they altered the words on their own without God's help, and were supposedly ridiculed by men because of their weakness in writing. The original authors of the Book of Mormon wrote by their own hand upon the plates without the inspiration of God.
Abridgment of God's Scriptures?
The claim that the original writers of the individual books in the Book Of Mormon wrote through inspiration (the gift and power of God) means that every word would have been inspired scripture. God's truth never changes. God's word never changing through abridgments. God has severe penalties for those who would add or take away from his word. The fact that anyone would have eliminated some of God's words through an abridgment goes against God's word (Rev 22:18-19).
The Bible: A Work from God
The Bible says, All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:16) The men who God inspired to write the books of the Bible clearly acknowledged that God was their source: And the Lord spake unto Moses... ...the Lord spake unto Joshua... The vision of Isaiah...for the Lord hath spoken... The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Hosea, Joel, and the other Old Testament prophets. The New Testament gospels are written eye-witness accounts of what Jesus actually did and said. Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude all wrote as servants of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Book Of Mormon .. Which Version?
The LDS church has printed six additional versions since the first edition of the Book of Mormon in 1830. The other years of change were 1837, 1840, 1842, 1879, 1920, and 1981. Like the earlier versions, many words were changed. Which version is the one translated by God? The quotes above are essentially the same in all versions. The latest (7th) version has a comment about the previous versions. About this edition: Some minor errors in the text have been perpetuated in past editions. This edition contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the prophet Joseph Smith.
When God works, He doesn't make any mistakes. God is in the inspiration business. His works are perfect the first time. He doesn't run out of plates before the end of his words. He knows the future, so there's no need for an abridgment of his work. The Book of Mormon claims to be translated by the gift and power of God. God reveals His truth in man's native language, there's never a need for a translation. Man takes the work of God and shares it. This includes, copying, translating, abridging, making different versions and introducing errors. The real God does not write true scripture with disclaimers in it. A work of errors is not from the true God. Why didn't the abridgers, eliminate the words and works of man? Why would God translate a faulty work of man with all the errors intact? Couldn't God just say what he wanted to say?
Marshall Almarode - (509) 585-0416