What is the Book of Mormon?

The book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement. This book is said to be a record of ancient inhabitants in the American continent who came from Israel about 600 BC. It also proves another group of people called Jaredites who came out during the confusion of the tongues in ancient Babylon. This was the time whe212n the tower of Babel was being built. The Mormons claim all of them are ancestors of Native American Indians.

Where did this book originate? The Mormons claim an angel visited Joseph Smith (who was 14 years old then) and told him about a record deposited in a hill in Palmyra. There was something written on brass plates and that he was capable of translating this through the gift and power of God.

If the Bible has very old manuscripts, what was the basis of the Book of Mormon?

More than 2 years ago, I was able to meet three missionaries of the Church of the Latter Day Saints and asked regarding existing manuscripts of the Book of Mormons. Like the Bible in Greek, there are over 5,800 manuscripts aside from 19,000 manuscripts in other languages. They failed to give any answer on sources of their manuscripts.

 From what source did the Book of Mormon emanate?

Solomon Spalding has a great desire to know the history of the American continent, so much so that he wrote his own history of the Americas. He would share these stories to anyone who would listen to them. He came to be known as “Old came to pass after his favourite literary phrase. ‘And I came to pass’. Friends of Solomon stated that his novel Manuscript found has been stolen from the printers in Pittsburgh and that it resurfaced again in 1830 with some revisions and modifications as The Book of Mormon. (Page 5, The Mormon Contradiction In Their Own Words, By Marcia Van Outen)

How do their Missionaries present the Book of Mormons using the Bible?

The missionaries use the Old Testament specifically The Book of Ezekiel.  (Ezekiel 37:16-17).

16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

They say the Holy Bible is the first stick which is that of Judah. The other stick is the Book of Mormon referring to Joseph. They explained Lehi belonged to the tribe of Manasseh and the Jaredites belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. Both are from the tribe of Joseph. These are the people Jesus spoke with in Jerusalem.

Joseph smith mentioned a portion of the brass plates was sealed. He gave some of the translated characters from the unsealed part to Martin Harris (who helped finance publishing of the book). This in turn was brought to Professor Charles Anthon in New York. Martin Harris was among the witnesses of the divine legitimacy of the Book of Mormon.

There are questions regarding this:

First, did hebrew scholars before or since the time of Christ keep their records on tablets or brass plates? I do not know of any evidence Hebrews kept their records on these materials. This was the practice of Assyrians during 8th Century BC.

Second, is there any evidence showing the Pentateuch was written on brass plates? I also do not recall any evidence whatever the Pentateuch was written on brass.

Book of Mormon Issues

LDS Church members were taught the Book of Mormon was scripture and genuine record of inhabitants from the Americas between 2200 BC and 420 AD. It is mainly religious text but it needs to be interpreted literally as true, historical record of inhabitants of the olden Americas.  Some Latter-day Saints believe archaeological evidence supports the Book of Mormon. Many of them know there is little or no evidence but still believe in the book’s validity. Critics cite many issues about the text pointing out it is of more modern origin such as relics, DNA evidence, lack of archaeological proof, and language problems.

Joseph Smith Stated:

“God made aaron to be mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it.”
Brigham Young said:

No one can get to the highest heaven without Joseph Smith’s consent
“…no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial king of God without the consent of Joseph smith,”

(Page 97, The Mormon Contradiction In Their Own Words, By Marcia Van Outen)

The Book of Mormon does not present hypothesis that may be tested.

Nephi said only the family of Ishmael, Zoram and Lehi were left in Jerusalem in 600 BC. They migrated to the New World. There were 15 of them and another three or four girls but no more than 20 in all and in less than 30 years, according to 2 Nephi 5:28.

“And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem.”

They multiplied and divided into two nations.

“And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me. Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.” (2 Nephi 5:5-6)

After reaching America in 589 B.C, they constructed a temple like Solomon’s. Incidentally, Solomon’s temple required at least 153,000 workers and 30,000 supervisors (1 King 5:13, 15; 2 Chronicles 2:2) to complete construction within 7 ½ years. It is impossible that a few dozen unskilled workers could have replicated this feat even within 19 years. The archaeological evidence of the Book of Mormon is not sufficient. There is no proof of a massive Hebrew Temple structure in the Americas.

According to The Mormon Contradiction in their own Words by Marcia Van Outen, Page 295:

“Recent Book of Mormon change: Instead of being the “principal ancestors” of American Indians, Lamanites are now….”among the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Food eaten by the Jews of the Bible and the Book of Mormon people was not the same. The Book of Mormon people consumed pigs, raw meat, and other things Jews of the Bible would not have even touched. Daniel, who was exalted to Babylon, still followed the Jewish dietary laws. It is doubtful why the Book of Mormon people did not follow those same laws. Besides, the book of Mormon people did not follow any Laws of Moses which were portion of the books they brought along.

What else do we need to know regarding Church of the Latter Day Saints?

They practice Polygamy.

According to The  Mormon Contradiction in their own Words by Marcia Van Outen page 163 said:

Eleven of Joseph Smith’s wives were between ages 14 and 20, nine were in their 20s, eight were in Smith’s own peer group of 31 to 40, and two were in their 40s and three in their 50s. Brigham Young married a total of 55 wives, 54 of them after becoming a Latter Day saint. He stated that upon being taught about plural marriage “It was first time in my life that I desired the grave.” By the time of his death, Young had 57 children by 16 of his wives; 46 of his children reached adulthood. 

Masonic figures in the Salt Lake Temple architecture included the sun, moon, stars, all-seeing eye, hand grip, and beehive.

According to The  Mormon Contradiction in their own Words by Marcia Van Outen page 179:

More symbols used by the Mormons that are associated with Freemansory, the compass, the square, ritualistic handgrips, two interlaced triangles forming a six pointed start. The New Nauvoo Temple has numerous windows with the up-side down, five pointed star which is used in Masonry, however Satanists also use it.

Their other readings stated:

Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).

God the Father had a Father, (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 19; Milton Hunter, First Council of the Seventy, Gospel through the Ages, p. 104-105).

God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus, (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, 1857, p. 218; vol. 8, p. 115).

This one is disputed among many Mormons and not always ‘officially’ taught and believed. Nevertheless, Brigham Young, the 2nd prophet of the Mormon church taught it.

Are the writings in the Bible in agreement with the words that can be read in the Book of Mormon?

Many of us know the Church of the Latter Day Saints also use the Bible.  Both of these books are their basis.

When I talked to the three missionaries of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, they insisted that many religions today are in conflict since they cannot understand the messages in the Bible. It is locked so anyone who wishes to read and understand the Bible needs the key which is the Book of Mormon.

I asked them: Does the Book of Mormon contradict the bible?

Their answer was no so I presented verses from the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

1.) The son of Zedekiah named Mulek in the Bible was not mentioned. It says his sons were killed. The Book of Mormon contradicts this and says his son, Mulek lived.

Holy Bible

2 Kings 25:7 “And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah…” 

Book of Mormon

Heleman 8:21 “…Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek?  Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem?”   

2.) How distant is Bethlehem from Jerusalem? It is six Miles or 9.6 Kilometers from the heart of Jerusalem.

Holy Bible: 

Micah 5:2, “But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

Book of Mormon:

Alma 7:10, “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem, which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin…”

According to them, “Bethlehem is a small village of Jerusalem, five miles away from the city center.” According to him, “this is surprising evidence of the Book of Mormon’s genuineness.” He argues, “people of the New World” [America — where the book of Alma was set should be made about this claim.

Both Jerusalem and Bethlehem were called “the city of David” — not because they were the same city, or biblical writers were confused, but for different reasons. Bethlehem was so described because it was the birthplace of the great king (1 Samuel 17:12).On the other hand, when the early city of Jebus was overcome by David, his name was attached to the stronghold to honor this event (1 Chronicles 11:5,7). Within this same Old Testament perspective “Jerusalem” is set apart from “Bethlehem.” The sacred writer later indicates that David was at the “stronghold” (i.e., Jerusalem – v. 5), the Philistines were at Bethlehem (v. 16).

3.) How Long did Darkness Last after the Death of Jesus?

Holy Bible:

Luke 23:44,“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.”

Book of Mormon:

Helaman 14:20, “But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.”

4.) Did God Bewilder All Languages at Babel?

Holy Bible:

Genesis 11:9, “Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Book of Mormon:

Ether 1:34-35, “And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.35 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded.”

5. Did Melchizedek raise a Family?

Holy Bible:

Hebrews 7:1-3, This “King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him”; and to him Abraham apportioned “one-tenth of everything.” His name, in the first place, means “king of righteousness”; next he is also king of Salem, that is, “king of peace.”  Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

Book of Mormon:

Alma 13:18, “But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.”

6. Does The Church Of Jesus Christ Demand Money for Salvation?

Holy Bible:

Acts 20:33-34, I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions.

Book of Mormon:

Mormon 8:32, “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.”

7. How many believers Will assume the throne?

Holy Bible:

Revelation 7:9, After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.

Book of Mormon:

1 Nephi 14:12, “And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.”

8. During the ministry of Jesus, He spoke of His church as something in the future. However, the Book of Mormon claims the Christian church was established as early as 147 B.C. The Church began in 33 AD Mt 16:18 Acts 2 “disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” 40AD, Acts 11:26

Holy Bible:

Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Book of Mormon:

Mosiah 18:17 “And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward.” church began in 147BC, Mosiah 18:17