LDS Articles of Faith, Part XL
Article 8, LDS Scripture, Book of Mormon, Part 7
The eighth LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” Joseph Smith was no theologian, but he did quote a lot of Bible texts, often out of context. I Nephi chapters 10-12 in the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) are dated between 600 and 592 B.C. but they quote from the Gospels, Epistles and Revelation in the New Testament which were written between 30 A. D. and 96 A. D. after Jesus ascended to heaven. Those quotations and many others in the B. of M. are anachronisms, meaning they are out of place! If the Gospel of John quoted Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address you would know that is an impossibility because Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 A. D., so it would be an anachronism!
The caption over II Nephi 3 says, “Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—he prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses who would deliver Israel; and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.” The chapter is a little hard to follow because Lehi prophesies about his son Joseph and then Lehi quotes a prophecy by Joseph (the son of Biblical Jacob) about his (Lehi’s) descendants. In Joseph’s prophecy he said there would be a choice seer who would be of his seed and have his name “Joseph” which would also be the name of his father, Joseph (Smith, Sr.). That is the prophecy of Joseph Smith mentioned in the caption over II Nephi chapter 3. If the choice seer (Joseph Smith) was a descendant of Joseph, the son of Jacob in the Bible, then Joseph Smith should be an Israelite. But his genealogy shows that Smith’s ancestors came from England! In II Nephi 3:4 Lehi said to his son Joseph, “Thou art the fruit of my loins; and I am a descendant of Joseph who was carried captive into Egypt.” In II Nephi 3:3 and 23 Lehi said of his youngest son, Joseph, “Thy seed shall not utterly be destroyed.” But Ether 4:3 and Mormon 8:2-5 say that all Nephites were destroyed. Lehi’s son, Joseph, and his descendants were Nephites, so Joseph’s seed was “utterly destroyed”!
Most of the content in II Nephi 3:5-17 is also in Genesis 50:24-35 of the Inspired Version of the Bible which LDS now call the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible. The JST of Genesis 50:33 even contains the same “prophecy” found in II Nephi 3:14 which says, “That seer (Joseph Smith) will I bless, and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded,” which we already pointed out was a false prophecy. Most of the content in II Nephi 3:3-17 and Genesis 50:24-35 is verbatim, word for word the same! But none of that content is in any other version of the Bible or any original manuscripts! Since Joseph Smith “translated” both the B. of M. and the JST, it raises questions about the “prophecy” concerning him! To be a real prophecy it needs to be known before the event it predicts. Neither the B. of M nor the JST existed until Joseph Smith produced them, so the “prophecy” about him is very questionable! That would be like someone in 2020 A. D. claiming God inspired them to write scripture with a “prophecy” that George Washington would become the first President of the United States. Most people would see that as fraud, since it would be too late to be a prophecy because it had already happened! II Nephi 3:17 in the B. of M. and Genesis 50:34-35 in the JST also has a “prophecy” by Joseph, the son of Jacob in the Bible, that God will raise up Moses and will give him God’s law. But like the prophecy about Joseph Smith, no one saw it until Joseph Smith wrote it around 1830 A. D.!
I Nephi 4:15-17 and Jacob 4:5 says they were to keep the law (given through Moses) and it was engraved on the brass plates that Laban had. I Nephi 4:24 says Nephi got those plates from Laban, so supposedly they had the law given to Moses. But II Nephi 5:26 says Nephi consecrated his younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, as priests and teachers over his people. Nephi was not following the law God gave to Moses when he did that because Alma 10:3 says Lehi and his descendants were from the tribe of Manasseh. To be a priest under the law given to Moses one had to be an Israelite from the tribe of Levi and family of Aaron (Exodus 29:29 & 44; 30:30; Numbers 3:10). The Aaronic priests also had to be at least 30 years old (Numbers 4:3, 30, 47). According to the date on the bottom of the page, I Nephi 18:7 says Jacob and Joseph were born about 590 B. C., after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. If they were born about 590 B. C. they would have only been twenty years old when Nephi consecrated them as priests since just two verses after Nephi made them priests it says in II Nephi 5:28 “And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem.” So, Jacob and Joseph were from the wrong tribe and they were the wrong age to be priests according to the law given to Moses!
II Nephi 5:34 says, “And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren.” Nephi said it was 40 years since they left Jerusalem. According to I Nephi 18:23 and the date at the bottom of that page, they arrived in the promised land in 589 B. C. Our last blog said 25-30 people arrived in the promised land but I Nephi 5:6 says they divided into two groups by 570 B. C. which was the beginning of the good Nephites and bad Lamanites. So, 29 years after they arrived in America those 25-30 people had grown to so many they divided into two nations and had contentions and wars with each other according to II Nephi 5:34. It was easy for the Nephites to identify their Lamanite enemies because II Nephi 5:21 says they had been cursed with a “skin of blackness.”
The last half of II Nephi 26:33 says, “He (God) inviteth them all to come unto Him and partake of His goodness; and He denieth none that come to Him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” But II Nephi 5:21-24 says the Lamanites “were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome,” but because of their wickedness, God cursed them with “a skin of blackness.” Why did God do that if all “black and white” people are the same to Him? In Jacob 3:8 Jacob said, “O my brethren (Nephites), I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins (Lamanites) will be whiter than yours (Nephites).” Doesn’t that mean that sin can cause a person’s skin to become dark? President Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th LDS Prophet indicated that Indians who become Mormons turn white! Speaking at the LDS Semi-Annual Conference in October 1960 Kimball said, “ I saw a striking contrast in the progress of Indian people…For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming WHITE and delightsome, as they were promised (Improvement Era, December 1960, pages 922-923). Kimball got that idea from II Nephi 30:6 in the B. of M. Before 1981, II Nephi 30:6 said the remnant (Lamanites) would become “white and delightsome.” But in 1981, II Nephi 30:6 was changed and the word “WHITE” became “Pure” in the B. of M. But III Nephi 2:11-16 still says the dark-skinned Lamanites who converted to the Lord became WHITE within one year!
Our next blog will continue the discussion of some internal content In the B. of M.