A Quick Look at the Book of Mormon

by Matt Slick

book of mormon

According to Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461) and contains the truths of Mormonism. However, if that is true, then why does the Book of Mormon contradict Mormon theology?

This is because the theology of Joseph Smith didn't really start to go off the deep end until after the Book of Mormon was printed. To harmonize their changing theology with their written scripture, the Mormons gradually redefined common Christian words. That is why the definitions of Mormon words are different than those of Christianity. See Mormon words don't mean the same thing for more information on this.

Praying About the Book of Mormon

One of the things Mormons ask potential converts to do is to read the Book of Mormon and then pray to God and ask Him if the Book of Mormon is true. It is said that you will then receive a testimony from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's restored church on earth today. It is difficult to counter this testimony because it is an emotional and, I believe, spiritual phenomena. I say spiritual; but I am not saying it is of God; it is of the devil.

Mormons teach that if you are sincere and that if you ask God for wisdom as it says in James 1:5, that God will answer you and lead you into the truth. What could be more common sense than that?

There are several reasons why this approach to determining truth is dangerous. The most important is as follows:

The Bible says that to determine truth, you must examine the scriptures. First, we see 2 Timothy 3:16-17 say that "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness."  Then when we look at Acts 17:11 which says, "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so."  If the Bereans compared what Paul the apostle said to inspired scripture, should we do any less with Mormonism? Of course not. You don't pray about truth; you look into the Bible for it. To begin with, the Mormons are going against scripture and trusting something unverifiable (except by their own subjective feelings of which the Bible says not to trust) Jer. 17:9.

The Book of Mormon Verses Mormon Doctrine

The Book of Mormon does not contain Mormonism. It is more Christian than it is Mormon. Mormon theology is about many gods, god being a man, men and women potentially becoming gods, but the Book of Mormon is basically Christian in its teachings.

The following information is in the Book of Mormon. Compare it to Mormon doctrine and see the differences. It is obvious that Mormonism grew and was pasted together as it developed. It is not internally consistent and it is self-contradictory.


The Book of Mormon

Mormon Doctrine

There is only one God.
Mosiah 15:1, 5; Alma 11:28; 2 Nephi 31:21.
Mormonism teaches there are many gods.
Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 5.
The Trinity is one God.
Alma 11:44; Mosiah 15:5; 2 Nephi 31:21.
The Trinity is three separate gods.
James Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1985, p. 35.
God is unchanging.
Mormon 9:9, 19; Moroni 8:18; Alma 41:8; 3 Nephi 24:6.
God is increasing in knowledge.
Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 120.
God is spirit.
Alma 18:24, 28; 22:9, 11.
God has the form of a man.
Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3.
Eternal hell
Jacob 3:11; 6:10; 2 Nephi 19:16; 28:21-23.
Hell is not eternal.
James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 55.
Polygamy condemned
Jacob 1:15; 2:23, 24, 27, 31; 3:5; Mosiah 11:2, 4; Ether 10:5, 7.
Polygamy was taught and practiced.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266.

12 Essential Mormon Doctrines not Found in the Book of Mormon

If the Book of Mormon is the "most correct book of any on earth" (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461), then why does it not contain essential Mormon doctrines such as . . .

  1. Church organization
  2. Plurality of Gods
  3. Plurality of wives doctrine
  4. Word of Wisdom
  5. God is an exalted man.
  6. Celestial marriage
  1. Men may become Gods.
  2. Three degrees of glory
  3. Baptism for the dead
  4. Eternal progression
  5. The Aaronic Priesthood
  6. Temple works of washings, anointing, endowments, sealing

The founder of Mormonism said the Book of Mormon was the most correct book of any book, including the Bible (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461), and that a man could get closer to God by following it than any other book. Yet, essential Mormon doctrines aren't even found in it.

This is because the Book of Mormon is nothing more than a fictional account made up by Joseph Smith. It wasn't until after the book had been printed that the additional heretical doctrines of Mormonism started to develop. That is why the Book of Mormon sounds so Christian--at first.




About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.