Changed LDS Scripture/Part 11

By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2010
Mormons often boast that the LDS Church has “so much more than other Christians.” LDS do have more laws, ordinances, commandments and even scripture. But having “more” doesn’t mean it is better. People who want to know how to have eternal life can easily find the way in the New Testament. But Mormonism says the Bible is not enough without the content of four other LDS books of scripture, counting the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) Bible.

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Mormons often boast that the LDS Church has “so much more than other Christians.” LDS do have more laws, ordinances, commandments and even scripture. But having “more” doesn’t mean it is better. People who want to know how to have eternal life can easily find the way in the New Testament. But Mormonism says the Bible is not enough without the content of four other LDS books of scripture, counting the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) Bible. But those other LDS scriptures sometimes contradict each other and contain rambling stories that have nothing to do with eternal life! Mormons who want to go to the “celestial heaven,” must obey many laws, ordinances and commandments and study “more scripture.” Those things and their “temple works,” etc., make Mormonism very different from biblical Christianity. So, just having more “scripture” and having more works to do does not make Mormonism better!

The JST added a lot of extra content to the Bible, but none of it is essential to have a relationship with God. Much of the content that Smith added to his JST is completely out of historical context, like “Enoch’s sermon” that he added to Genesis chapters 6 and 7 which was discussed in our last three articles. There is no valid historical evidence that Enoch preached that sermon. Joseph Smith claimed texts like “Enoch’s sermon” were lost or removed from the Bible by unscrupulous men. By putting “Enoch’s sermon” in Genesis, Joseph Smith was trying to show that our Bible is incomplete because it isn’t in it. But the evidence shows that it was Smith who added and deleted content in the Bible. Smith ended his embellished story of Enoch in Genesis 7:78 of the JST when the entire City of Enoch was caught up to God instead of Enoch alone as the Bible says in Genesis 5:24. The Bible says that Enoch lived 365 years and then he was translated, but Smith’s JST says Enoch was 430 years old at the time he and his city were caught up. Why Smith changed Enoch’s age isn’t clear, but it probably was another attempt to show that our Bible is not accurate. But the evidence shows the Bible was right, while no evidence supports Smith’s JST. Except for a few useless additions, Smith’s JST of Genesis 7:79-85 has the biblical story found in Genesis 5:25-32.

Smith’s JST of Genesis chapter 8 follows the Bible account in Genesis 6 through 8:14 with some “filler material” added to many of the verses that doesn’t add anything of value to the biblical story. Part 3 of this series of articles mentioned that Genesis 1:1 through 8:18 in the JST is the same as Moses chapter 2:1 to 8:18 (the end of the book of Moses) in the Pearl of Great Price. The main difference between the books is that they have different chapter and verse numbers. Moses chapter 1 in the Pearl of Great Price has 42 verses and is not in the JST. In it God spoke to Moses and Moses saw God’s glory and creations. It also contains some unique LDS doctrines and in Moses 1:41 God predicts that some of the words Moses writes (in the Bible) will be taken out by evil men, but He says He will restore them through another prophet like Moses (Joseph Smith) so that they will be available again. Moses 1:41 sounds like those words must be very important, but there is nothing in them that anyone needs for salvation.

Except for “filler material” added in several places, the JST essentially contains the King James Version of the Bible from Genesis 8:19 to the end of the book of Revelation. The Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price has the same content as Genesis 1:1 through 8:18 in the JST, but only the KJV Bible has basically the same content as the JST for the rest of the Bible. Genesis 8:19 to the end of chapter 9 in the JST has the content of Genesis 6 through 9 in the Bible, so Genesis 10:1 is the same in both the JST and the Bible. From Genesis 10:1 through the end of Genesis the chapters are the same in both the JST and Bible but the verse numbers are often different.

Genesis 14 in the Bible only has 24 verses but the JST has 40 verses. Smith added 16 verses after Genesis 14:24 and mentioned several things that LDS do not teach or practice. In Genesis 14:27-28 in the JST it says that Melchizedek “was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the order of the Son of God.” LDS also claim their Melchizedek Priesthood is “after the order of the Son of God.” Genesis 14:30-32 in the JST then says,

For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

Notice that everyone ordained to this order… have power to… do all the things mentioned, including being translated into heaven! No LDS Melchizedek Priesthood holder has ever done any of these things, not even Joseph Smith, the “translator” of the JST! Why don’t LDS Melchizedek Priesthood holders do these things if everyone ordained to that order have the power to do them?

Anyone wanting to read more about Smith’s JST or Inspired Version can do so in Mormonism—Shadow or Reality?, by Jerald & Sandra Tanner, published in Salt Lake City by Utah Lighthouse Ministry in 2008. We will continue our study of the JST next time.

Read Part 12

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