LDS Articles of Faith, Part XXXIV
Article 8, LDS Scripture, Bible, part I
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 (B. of M.) to be the word of God.” Mormons want to be called Christians, so many of the things they say sound “Christian.” LDS Apostle James Talmage said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts the Holy Bible as the foremost of her standard works (scriptures), first among the books which have been proclaimed as her written guides in faith and doctrine. In the respect and sanctity with which the Latter-day Saints regard the Bible they are of like profession with Christian denominations in general, but differ from them in the additional acknowledgment of certain other scriptures as authentic and holy, which others are in harmony with the Bible, and serve to support and emphasize its facts and doctrines…Nevertheless, the (LDS) Church announces a reservation in the case of erroneous translation, which may occur as a result of human incapacity…There will be, there can be, no absolutely reliable translation of these (Bible) or other scriptures, unless it be effected through the gift of translation, as one of the endowments of the Holy Ghost…Let the Bible then be read reverently and with prayerful care, the reader ever seeking the light of the Spirit, that he may discern between truth and the errors of men” (Articles of Faith, p. 236-237). Notice the progression in what Talmage said. He said LDS accept the Bible as first and foremost of their scriptures like other Christian denominations. Then he said LDS accept other scriptures and then he questioned the translation of the Bible and said those who read it need to “discern between truth and the errors of men.” Talmage didn’t say HOW to discern the truth, but he says it is by the light of the Spirit, which for most LDS is how they feel about it. But sometimes people don’t like what they read in scripture, and their feelings reject it even though it may be true, so feelings are not a good test!
LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie said, “Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known informally by the nickname Mormons) believe the Bible. Indeed, so literally and completely do their beliefs and practices conform to the teachings of the Bible that it is not uncommon to hear informed persons say: ‘If all men believed the Bible, all would be Mormons.’ Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine, and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine. They are one and the same” (What the Mormons think of Christ, p. 2). McConkie also said, “By the standard works of the (LDS) Church is meant the following four volumes of scripture: The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. The Church uses the King James Version of the Bible, but acceptance of the Bible is coupled with a reservation that it is true only insofar as translated correctly (Eighth Article of Faith). The other three, having been revealed in English, are accepted without qualification. Their perfection in any other language, however, is subject to a reservation as to how well the translation actually conveys the original thought” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 764).
McConkie said, “Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine. They are one and the same.” If that is true, why do they need three other books of scripture plus the messages of all LDS Prophets? If what LDS teach is Bible doctrine as McConkie claims, then the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price are unnecessary, since Talmage said they are “in harmony with the Bible and serve to support and emphasize the Bible’s facts and doctrine.” McConkie also said, “Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism they are one and the same and they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail.” He also said, Mormons are true Christians; their worship is the pure unadulterated Christianity authored by Christ and accepted by Peter, James and John and all the ancient saints” (Both quotes are in Mormon Doctrine on p. 513). But are Mormonism and Christianity the same? If they are, why do Mormons currently send about 62,000 missionaries to try to proselyte Christians each year? Does that make sense? And, why do LDS need three other books of scripture plus a living Prophet in order to teach their gospel? Other Christians don’t need or use all of those! The answer is obvious. They need those other LDS books of scripture because they teach doctrines that are not in the Bible! Some examples of LDS doctrines that are not in the Bible can be found in the first few blogs of this series on the LDS Articles of Faith.
LDS Apostle James Talmage said in the first quotation of this blog that there will be no reliable translation of Biblical scripture or ‘other (LDS) scripture’ unless it comes through the gift of translation as an endowment of the Holy Ghost. But McConkie indicated that the other three LDS books of scripture were revealed in English, so they aren’t qualified “as far as translated correctly” like the Bible. Then he mentioned that LDS scriptures translated into other languages is qualified! All LDS Prophets have “Translator” as one of their titles, so they must have the gift of translation. Why don’t the LDS Prophets translate the LDS scriptures into other languages so they will be more accurate? They could also do that with the Bible and then they wouldn’t have to qualify it “as far as it is translated correctly!” Is the reason they don’t do that because they can’t or because God doesn’t want us to have more perfect translations?
II Nephi 29:6 says “Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?” II Nephi 29:10-12 goes on to say, “Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words that I speak unto them; for out of the books that shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.” So, this says you are a “fool” if you believe the Bible is enough because the Lord will speak to all men and they shall write it and men will be judged out of the books that shall be written! Is God unjust so that He judges us out of books “that shall be written” in the future when we have no idea what will be in them? Jesus said in John 12:48 “the word that I have spoken will judge him (man) in the last day.” That is "just" since we know what Jesus taught! The above text in II Nephi 29 says there is scripture everywhere, and in every nation, so where is it? Why can’t we see it?
We will continue our discussion of the Bible next time.