By John McCort
The Mormons tell people that the Book of Mormon is the word of God just like the Bible. They leave the impression that the Book of Mormon is nothing more than an extension of the Bible and that both can and should be believed as being the word of God. (They actually feel the Book of Mormon to be superior to the Bible since they believe many precious and important parts of the Bible were supposedly deleted from the Bible by the Catholics.) The simple truth of the matter is that the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible in many areas. Both books cannot be true. At least one of them is a fraud.
The Book of Mormon was supposedly written before the time of Christ. A statement, dating about 147 B. C., is found in the Book of Mormon, “And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward” (Mosiah 18:17). In about 33 A. D. Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). Jesus did not establish his church until the day of Pentecost, 33 A.D. How then can the Book of Mormon say that the church was established 147 B. C.? One of them is wrong.
The Book of Mormon states, “So long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land-for thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church” (Alma 46:13, 14, p. 310, 73 B. C.). The Bible states, “And that the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The statement made in the Book of Mormon predates the statement in Acts by 100 years. Both cannot be right.
With reference to the darkness at the crucifixion of Christ, the Bible says, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour” (Matt. 27:45; Mk. 15:33). The Book of Mormon contains a completely contradictory account of the same event, “Three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel” (I Nephi 19:10, p. 42, 588-570 B. C.). Three days of darkness is quite a bit different from three hours of darkness.
The Bible states that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea … ” (Matt. 2:1). The Book of Mormon states that Jesus was born in Jerusalem. “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers . . .” (Alma 7:10). The Mormons argue that Bethlehem was a mere suburb of Jerusalem and therefore does not contradict the Bible on this point. The Mormons fail to take into consideration several key points. Jerusalem was a walled city and thus Bethlehem would have had to be inside the walls of the city. When Jesus traveled by donkey from Jerusalem to Bethany it is said, “And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany” (Matt. 21:17). Bethany was only two and one half miles outside of Jerusalem. Bethlehem was seven miles outside of Jerusalem. If Bethany maintained a separate identity, how much more so of Bethlehem.
The Bible says, “And that repentance and remission of sins be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). The Book of Mormon states, “Repenting of your sins . . . willing to take upon you the name of Christ by baptism” (1 Nephi 31:13). “Yea blessed are they who shall … be baptized, for they shall … receive the remission of their sins … Behold baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling of the commandments unto the remission of sin.” Again, the Book of Mormon supposedly predates the New Testament. Not one thing was preached, commanded, or prayed for in the name of Christ prior to the day of Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection; nor was one saved by baptism in his name prior to that time. Repentance and remission of sin were preached first from Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, 33 A.D.
The doctrine of latter day revelation teaches that God continues to reveal new truths through modern day prophets. Thus, what those prophets teach are to be received as equal authority with the Book of Mormon. Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith to the presidency of the Mormon Church, taught that Jesus was not begotten of the Holy Spirit. “When the virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Spirit” (Brigham Young, “Journal of Discourses”, pp. 769-770). This contradicts what the Bible teaches on the matter. “Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit . . . Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife: for that which has been conceived, is of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 1:19, 20).
There are many places where “inspired” Mormon literature contradicts itself. There are four , main documents which are considered by the Mormons as being inspired. The Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Book of Abraham are all considered to be the word of God. Major, blatant contradictions between these documents would disprove the books as being inspired. For example, the Book of Mormon states, “Yea blessed are they who shall . . . be baptized, for they shall . . . receive the remission of their sin . . . Behold baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling of the commandments unto the remission of sin” (3 Nephi 12:2; Moroni 8:11). The Doctrines and Covenants state, “All who fumble themselves . . . and truly manifest that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church” (Doctrines and Covenants 20:37). In one instance baptism is unto the remission of sin. In another inspired (?) document it states that after a person has received the remission of sins they are baptized to get into the church. Both statements cannot be true.
The Doctrines and Covenants contradicts itself on the subject of the Lord’s Supper. In one place it states, “That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, nether meet in the sight of your father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him. And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make” (Doctrines and Covenants 89:5). Doctrines and Covenants also says, “For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory” (Doctrines and Covenants 27:2).
Brigham Young, the “inspired” successor to Josph Smith, contradicted the Book of Mormon on the birth of Christ. Brigham Young stated, “When the virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Brigham Young, “Journal of Discourses”, pp. 769-770). The Book of Mormon teaches, “And behold he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God” (Alma 7:10, 11).
There are many other doctrines taught in the Book of Mormon which are completely contradictory to the Bible. Space will not permit a detailed expose of every Mormon contradiction. These examples should be sufficient proof to demonstrate the fraudulent nature of the Book of Mormon and other spurious Mormon literature.
Truth Magazine, XX:10, p. 7-8
March 4, 1976