Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 8, 1968
NUMBER 14, PAGE 9-11a

What Mormons Teach About The Bible (II.)

Kent Ellis

(Synopsis: The former article set forth the Bible's testimony as to its own inerrancy, completeness, and abiding relevance; and began a listing of Mormon claims in opposition to that testimony (a) that the Bible is incomplete in content, (b) mutilated in transmission, (c) uncertain in canon, (d) and incorrect in translations. This article continues the listing of Mormon accusations against God's word.)

5.Unconvincing in testimony. "And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true. And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb,..." (I Nephi 14:39,40). The title page of the Book of Mormon states its purpose to be "also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations..." In Doctrine and Covenants 20:11 we find that the Book of Mormon was for "proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true,..." Mormons teach then that the Bible is unconvincing. One can read it and never be convinced either that it is true or that Jesus is the Christ (Compare John 20:30,31). Logically, therefore, no one was ever convinced that Jesus is the Christ until the Book of Mormon was given to the world by Joseph Smith. According to this view, God gave one revelation which was unconvincing, then eighteen hundred years later gave another which was convincing to prove that the first one was true.

6. Unclear in teaching. Concerning the Bible, it is said that "at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men" (I Nephi 14:23). The evident implication is that the Bible is not now "easy to the understanding of all men." Mormon "elders" will tell you that one thing the Book of Mormon does is to make clear the teaching of the Bible.

7 .Contradictory in content. While in a private discussion with two Mormon "elders" one time, they sought to use the Bible to establish the claims of Mormonism, as though it were a reliable guide. However, when internal contradictions within the books of Mormonism began to be shown to them, they suddenly decided that the Bible was contradictory also. They claimed that the accounts of the death of Judas were at odds. They were shown that this is not true; but the point is that Mormons actually believe and teach that the Bible is internally contradictory, which it could not be if it were all true.

8. Inferior in comparison. Quotations already given prove that Mormons teach this. Other quotations further exhibit this fact. Joseph Smith said, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book" (Compendium, p. 273). That is the "prophet" and founder of Mormonism himself speaking. The Bible is inferior to the Book of Mormon because, according to Mormon doctrine, it did not contain "the fulness of the everlasting gospel," which the latter does, and because it was produced by inferior men. "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants,..." Furthermore, "the Book of Mormon, and this book of Doctrine and Covenants of the church, cost the best blood of the nineteenth century to bring them forth for the salvation of a ruined world;..." (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3,6). Certainly, then, the books of Joseph Smith are superior to those of Moses, David, Paul, John, etc., because Joseph himself did more for the salvation of men than did Abraham, Moses, Peter, Paul, John, etc., than "any other man that ever lived" in this world, Jesus Christ only being excepted. Thus, Mormons believe and teach that their books are superior to any books that came before, the Bible included.

9. Misleading in influence. By "misleading," I mean that, if followed, the Bible will deceive and lead astray into error. What else could be expected by following a guide that is incomplete, mutilated, uncertain, incorrect, unconvincing, unclear, contradictory, and inferior? But hear the voice of Mormon "inspiration": "And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles;....because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book,...because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceeding great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.

"Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.

"...wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb — I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day. insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb" (I Nephi 13: 39,32,34).

In brief, the teaching of these passages from the Book of Mormon is that the corrupted and mutilated Bible, taken by itself and without the assistance of the Book of Mormon, did and will cause men to stumble exceedingly, put them in an awful state of blindness, and bring them into the power of Satan. In fact, if this is true, the Devil never had a better or more effective instrument with which to destroy men than the Bible, which has been and is believed by millions. We here have reached the climax of the blasphemies uttered against the word of God by Mormon teachers. Personally, I do not know of another system, ancient or modern, which has taught more degrading and defaming things against the Bible.

Mormons And Roman Catholics

Although they speak of "that abominable church," evidently meaning the Roman Catholic church, which they say corrupted the Bible, the Mormon's use of the Bible is virtually identical with the use made of it by the Roman Catholic. Both claim the Bible as an authority, but not as the supreme authority. In reality, however, to say it is an authority only when attested to and confirmed by a superior authority is to make it no independent authority at all. With both the Bible is not even an authority in any meaningful sense, but is used only to lead you to whom and what is their real authority. The use made of the Bible by both is basically deceitful. Actually, neither system was derived from the Bible and both could exist entire without it.

Most of the Bible is useless to, and unused by the Mormons. Parts of it are used only as they are useful to their system. It is used as a source of isolated texts which are lifted out of context and twisted into pretexts for unscriptural doctrines. However, it is found to be an authority only in their hands. It is good and reliable only when used by them; it is repudiated as unreliable when used on them.

What one essential characteristic of Mormonism is to be found only in the Bible, and not in one of their superior authorities? Not one! If they admit or claim one essential element of their system is to be found only in the Bible, they automatically admit that it is dependent upon an unreliable source, by their own admission. It is foreign to and independent of the Bible in its origin and in its continued existence.


The books of Mormonism declare that men will be condemned if they reject it. "And those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; But those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation" (Doctrine and Covenants 20:14,15). "And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written" (D and C 84:57). The Bible says that men will be accursed if they accept it. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema" (Gal. 6:8). Now, the Book of Mormon either contains something different from the Bible or it contains the same thing. If the former it is here condemned by Paul speaking as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance. If the latter, it is utterly useless and unneeded, because we have the Bible. That a choice must he made is clear. A person can believe one, but not both. This is not a both / and proposition; it is an either/or situation.

This lesson has been directed mainly at the Bible believing non-Mormon. The dedicated Mormon's low view of the Bible and high view of his own books and authorities nullifies this argument for him. But even in so doing it proves my contention. If the Mormon repudiates my proof from the Bible on the ground that the Bible is unreliable, he thereby admits and confirms my thesis that the Bible is no authority to him, that he has no confidence in it, that it stands contrary to his doctrine and he stands opposed to it. The Bible and Mormonism are not compatible, because truth and error are not harmonious.

However, to the Mormon who has not before perceived the clear contradictions and antagonism between the Bible and Mormon doctrine, I appeal to give serious consideration to the facts here presented. This has been a demonstration of only one aspect of the differences between Mormonism and true Christianity. Given time and space it could be shown that the two systems are contrary in almost every essential particular.

Once again I quote from Orson Pratt. "The Book of Mormon must he either true or false....If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world; calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged, with their families, into hopeless despair. The nature of the book of Mormon is such that, if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; if false, no one can possible be saved and receive it. Therefore, every soul in all the world is equally interested in ascertaining its truth or falsity...If, after rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such. The evidence and arguments upon which the imposture was detected should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely, yet unfortunately, deceived may perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion may be exposed and silenced" (Introduction to Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, pp. 124, 125)

With most of this I agree. And it is a false, wicked, bold, deep-laid imposition, but it is not a cunning one. I would rather characterize it as a clumsy and crude one, which is obvious and easy of detection if one will only investigate the matter intelligently. I believe some of the evidence and arguments upon which Mormonism is shown to be an imposture have been clearly and logically stated, and pray that some sincerely deceived soul will be reclaimed from this deception and delusion. Further, I hope that this lesson will keep some others from ever being deluded by this anti-scriptural and anti-Christian system of error. (All Bible quotations are from the American Standard Version.)

— 417E. Groesbeck, Lufkin, Texas 75901.