Changed LDS Scripture/Part 6

By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2010
All true translations of Genesis 1-3 in the Bible speak of God in the third person singular: “God said…,” or “God did….” But the Joseph Smith “Translation” (JST) of Genesis 1-3 says, “I, God…” 33 times, and “I, the Lord God…” 32 times, and “I…” 11 times. So, God personally told the creation story in the JST, but no Old Testament manuscript supports that reading.

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Genesis Distortions

All true translations of Genesis 1-3 in the Bible speak of God in the third person singular: “God said…,” or “God did….” But the Joseph Smith Translation” (JST) of Genesis 1-3 says, “I, God… 33 times, and “I, the Lord God… 32 times, and I…” 11 times. So, God personally told the creation story in the JST, but no Old Testament manuscript supports that reading. Moses 2-3 in the Pearl of Great Price, which is LDS Scripture, says the same thing as Genesis 1-2 in the JST. LDS often claim that truth can be established by two witnesses, but Smith wrote Moses in the Pearl of Great Price and the JST, so these are not two witnesses. In the Pearl of Great Price the creation story is told in both Moses 2-3 and in Abraham 4-5, but Abraham 4-5 is very different from Moses 2-3 as well as Genesis 1-2 in the JST. Instead of saying “I, God,” created everything, like Moses and the JST, Abraham 4:1 says “They, the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.” At least 30 times in Abraham 4-5 it says “the Gods” said or did something! So, was it “I, God,” or “they, the Gods,” who did the creating? Genesis 1-3 in the JST and Moses 2-4 in the Pearl of Great Price also mention God’s “Only Begotten” six times, and it is mentioned several times later in the JST of Genesis even though God’s “Only Begotten” was not a known concept in Old Testament times!

Genesis 3:1-5 in the JST is not in any other Bible. Those verses say that Satan wanted to become the Savior of mankind when he was still in the pre-mortal spirit world. That doctrine is also found in the Pearl of Great Price (LDS scripture) in Moses 4:1-4 and Abraham 3:27-28. The 2009 edition of Gospel Principles, which is a manual all active LDS adults will study in 2010-2011, explains more of this doctrine:

All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. “Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal (physical) body” (p. 9).

When the plan for our salvation was presented to us in the pre-mortal spirit world we were so happy…. We understood that we would have to leave our heavenly home for a time…. We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, “Whom shall I send” (Abraham 3:27). Jesus Christ, who was called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27; Moses 4:1-4)…. Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost”…. Under his plan, we would not be allowed to choose…our purpose in coming to earth would have been frustrated…. After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, “I will send the first” (pp. 13, 15).

Notice that last sentence: “After hearing both sons speak,” God said He would send the first (Jesus). So, LDS believe Satan and Jesus Christ are both sons of God! Gospel Principles was copyrighted in 1978 by the LDS Church and several editions have been published since then. All previous editions made this doctrine even clearer. In the 1997 edition, when God the Father asked, “Whom shall I send” to be the Savior, it says, “Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, ‘Here am I, send me’” (p. 17). It goes on to tell what Satan (the other brother) said. LDS leaders changed the wording in that context to make it less obvious that they teach that Christ and Satan are brothers.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was asked about Mitt Romney’s Mormon beliefs on a national TV program. He responded, “Don’t they believe that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers?” For asking that question, some LDS called him a “Mormon basher,” while others in the media criticized him for it. Why didn’t LDS leaders defend that doctrine if they believe it? Because they understand that it is offensive to non-LDS, which makes it more difficult to proselyte them. LDS leaders tried to solve that problem by changing words that offended non-Mormons, but they did not change LDS doctrine. This doctrine is imbedded in LDS scriptures, so they can’t change it without changing their scripture!

Genesis 3:32 through 5:3 in the JST is not in any other Bible or original manuscript. Genesis 4:1-5 in the JST say Adam and Eve had other children who married and had children before Cain and Abel were born. Genesis 4:6-9 of the JST says an angel appeared to Adam and explained “the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father,” and mentions the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But there is no evidence that Old Testament people understood such things. In Genesis 4:10-13 of the JST Adam and Eve rejoice because their transgression made it possible to reproduce and know good and evil, which are LDS doctrines. Genesis 5:4-9a in the JST contains basically what is in Genesis 4:1-7 in other Bibles. Genesis 5:9b-16 in the JST is not in other Bibles, but it says Cain made a deal with Satan so he could kill Abel. Genesis 5:17-34 in the JST again has the basic content in Genesis 4:8-24 of other Bibles. Genesis 5:35-6:1 in the JST is not in other Bibles. Those 12 verses say that Lamech made a secret covenant with Satan and was cursed because of it.

We have given these examples to show how Smith changed and added to the Bible. Smith copied the King James Version of Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6 and Revelation 22:18-19 into his JST, but he must not have believed what he wrote, because each of those verses warn the reader not add or change what God had revealed!

More can be read about the JST or “Inspired Version” of the Bible in our book Mormon Claims Answered. Next time we will continue to examine the JST.

Read Part 7

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