Many Plain and Precious Things

Just a word of explanation to those of you who are not LDS.  I didn’t blog this week on the next lesson on the teachings of George Albert Smith because it will not be studied this week in the LDS church.  They only study it on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of each month.  On other Sundays there is a little more flexibility on what they will study in Relief Society and priesthood quorum meetings.  For example, for this coming Sunday they will be studying one of the General Conference talks from last October – which specific one is decided on by the local leaders.

But each Sunday, in their Sunday School or Gospel Doctrine classes, they will be studying the Book of Mormon.  The focus this Sunday is on 1 Nephi 12 – 14.  This is the section that repeatedly states that “the great and abominable church” has removed “many plain and precious things” from the Bible.

One interesting note has been how the interpretation of the “great and abominable church” has changed over the years.  Years ago, when I first started witnessing to Mormons, it was not uncommon for them to identify it as the Catholic church of the Middle Ages.  This, however, is not how the teacher’s guide for this course interprets it.  It says:  “Emphasize that the great and abominable church is a symbol of apostasy in all its forms.  It is a representation of all false doctrine, false worship, and irreligious attitudes.  It does not represent any specific church in the world today.” (p. 18)

Much more important is the Book of Mormon’s claim that many plain and precious things were taken away from the Bible.  How should we react to that?  We could bring in evidence from the scholarly discipline known as textual criticism to show how faithfully the Bible was passed down from generation to generation.  Especially pertinent is the fact that the vast majority of variants between the various ancient biblical manuscripts consist of additions to the text rather than subtractions from the text.  But, to be honest, even though Christians see textual criticism strongly supporting the faithful transmission of the Bible, in my experience, its findings don’t seem to faze most Mormons.

I think the same can be said for the comparison between the wealth of archaeological evidence supporting the Bible and the dearth of such evidence supporting the Book of Mormon.  Yes, this concerns some Mormons but not that many.  Many haven’t thought about it, and when it is pointed out to them, many shrug it off as unimportant.

The bottom line is that, even though there is strong evidence of the faithful transmission of the Bible, it is still a matter of faith that we believe that today’s Bible faithfully represents the original.  As it is a matter of faith for Mormons to believe that many plain and precious things have been removed from the Bible.  Because of that, I feel that it is more productive to talk about how the book of Mormon does not complement the Bible, but rather contradicts it.

I realize that many Mormons will vehemently protest that last statement.  But for them to say that it doesn’t contradict the Bible would be similar to me saying that my beliefs complement and don’t contradict Mormonism, even while I reject many of Mormonism’s beliefs.  How many of them would sit still as I proclaimed, “I am a Mormon, even though I don’t think Joseph Smith was a prophet, or that the LDS Church was the only true church, or that heaven doesn’t consist of three kingdoms of glory”?  Similarly, we can’t sit still when the Book of Mormon is referred to as another testament of Jesus Christ even though it states that we are saved by grace after all we can do, or that Adam and Eve’s Fall was a blessing, that there was a great apostasy from 100 AD through 1800 AD (Teacher’s guide, p. 16) and on and on.

The messages of the two books are different!  I am so thankful that the Bible tells me that I am saved solely by grace, without works rather than “after all I can do”.  I am so thankful that it promises that there will always be believers and thus the church on earth until Christ returns.  I am even thankful that it shows just what a tragedy the Fall was because that highlights for me that I was spiritually dead and thus my utter inability to please God and my dire need of Jesus doing it all for me.

It is my hope and prayer that many Mormons will stop and think and see the drastic differences between the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  And that they will listen to the Bible rather than the Book of Mormon.

19 Responses to “Many Plain and Precious Things”

  1. 1 choosethechrist
    January 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    If a “revelation” contradicts what God has said before then the “revelation” is false, it is not from God.

    Deut. 13:1-3
    If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and … says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

    Contradictions, Inconsistencies And Errors In The Book of Mormon: http://www.bibleanswer.com/bom_cont.htm

  2. 2 choosethechrist
    January 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? Alma 5:27

    This is one of the most perplexing verses I have seen. People being cleansed by the blood of Christ 100 years before the crucifixtion of Christ?

    Hebrews 9:22
    22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    People being cleansed through blood that had not been shed yet?

    Someone forgot to tell Israel that they didn’t really need to do all of those animal sacrifices. According to the Book of Mormon, they were already forgiven through the shedding of Christ’s blood in the future.

  3. 3 choosethechrist
    January 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    My thanks to Sharon Lindbloom for providing this contradiction:

    “I do not believe that a man is saved in this life by believing, or professing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but that he must endure to the end and keep the commandments that are given.” (Joseph F. Smith, Conference Reports, April 1915, 119)

    Acts 16:30–31
    30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

  4. 4 wyomingwilly
    January 20, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I’ve personally never run into any rank and file Mormon that thought there were “many” plain and precious
    things lost from the Bible . These people simply felt that God had chosen a prophet to reveal new truths
    through for our day , included in this were new scriptures . It was’nt so much that the Bible could’nt be
    trusted to contain enough of God’s truths , it’s just that there were new truths to know . They proceed to
    to carry the Bible and call it God’s Word. As far as the Book of Mormon goes , though it contains many good
    statements about Jesus , I think the spotlight should shine on what Mormon prophets and apostles
    have taught since 1830 as a way to test the truthfullness of the Mormon gospel and see what the Bible
    reveals about what they’ve taught, if anything. Are all other Churches the “Church of the Devil ” , was
    there a complete/universal apostasy ? etc. Just my musing. WW

  5. 5 Kent
    January 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Wyomingwilly said,

    “:I think the spotlight should shine on what Mormon prophets and apostles
    have taught since 1830 as a way to test the truthfullness of the Mormon gospel and see what the Bible
    reveals about what they’ve taught, if anything. Are all other Churches the “Church of the Devil ” , was
    there a complete/universal apostasy ? etc. Just my musing.”

    Very true, and although some the Book of Mormon teachings are contrary to what the Bible teaches, enough so to make it the musings of man and not God, it is amazing how not many current LDS beliefs are even taken from its pages.

    As I said in the last thread, key doctrine such as eternal progression, God was a man first before He was God, and others such as temple marriage are not in the BOM.

    One that jumps out at me is the BOM says that God doesn’t change and although I am sure Shem or someone likely believe they have already explained how the supposed most correct book on earth, the BOM, does teach that God did change from a man into God, the BOM itself says God doesn’t change so no one has shown me how “God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever” and doesn’t change means He was a man first.

    Mormon 9:9-10

    9 “For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?

    10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.”

    The argument could be that God’s character doesn’t change even if He was a man first on some unknown planet but if that was the case, then He would have been a sinner first who progressed to be God so that would mean He did change from a sinful man into a sinless God and the BOM says He doesn’t change and of course eternal progression isn’t taught in the BOM.

    The other argument also could be that Jesus Christ, who is God, did become a man but that doesn’t hold water as He was still God even when He walked this earth as the only sinless man there has ever been so Jesus Christ truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    Mormons, do you ever wonder why you have to explain so many contradictions, especially from the Bible, in what your church teaches?

    On the contrary, as a Christian, I have spent very little, if any time, having to explain contradictions in what the Bible teaches.

    Sure there are non believers who take things out of context who try to say the Bible contradicts itself but still it is truly amazing how little we have had to explain any supposed contradictions at all.

  6. January 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    “This is the section that repeatedly states that “the great and abominable church” has removed “many plain and precious things” from the Bible.”

    The Mormon Church removes many plain and precious truths often…In this video, the Mormon Church uses a half truth to decieve the public into thinking there was a universal apostasy. They use part of a quote/sentence by Martin Luther to support this false doctrine…

    Defintion of a half truth: “A deceptive statement”


    I encourage all of the Mormons reading this blog to fully investigate for yourselves everything your church has told you is “anti-Mormon” . Not everything is anti-Mormon and you won’t know until you investigate. Don’t blindly believe a church who tells half-truths because half-truths is deception.

    Mormons, are you aware of the fact that when you personally call something anti-Mormon without first investigating it for yourselves that you could be held accountable by God for spreading lie’s?

    Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving,… and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

  7. 7 wyomingwilly
    January 21, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Echo, that was a video , thanks.
    Mark, When the BofM claims to be “another testament of Jesus Christ” , I suppose that is true to some
    extent because I read that it is for the ” convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the
    Eternal God” . I guess that would make it another book that agrees with the Bible in declaring this truth
    about Jesus. etc. To me that’s no reason to embrace it as something I must have, since the Bible to me is
    enough on that issue. Also I figured out long ago that the BofM could’nt give me a better moral code to live
    by either. For me red flags go up right away when I hear claims that there is something missing from what
    Jesus gave His apostles in the N.T. concerning what is necessary to be made right with God and gain
    complete salvation( eternal life). Since Mormon apostles claimed that salvation is ” once again available ”
    to mankind after 1800 years by way of new revelations, I have to say ” No thanks” .

  8. 8 Kent
    January 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Wyomingwilly, there is some truth in the Book of Mormon but there is enough falsehood to make it not be another testament of Jesus Christ.

    One of the main heresies is in the BOM where it says that grace is after all we can do. I believe that one line from the BOM is one of the roots of all of the falsehood in the LDS church that follows because Mormons can justify climbing the ladder to salavation by citing it.

  9. 9 wyomingwilly
    January 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Kent, my point was that just like the Koran can agree with the Bible on some aspect about Jesus ( He is
    sinless; He was a prophet etc etc ) so too the Bof M contains truth about Jesus . So in that manner it
    can be said to be “another book ” agreeing with the Bible. This in no way makes it or other “Holy Books”
    equal to the Bible as God’s Word . I believe that there is enough spiritual truth in the Bible , in embraced,
    to safely get me to heaven. I agree with you that the BofM seems to add works into the equation of what
    is necessary for gaining eternal life . ( Here and there are specks of truth : 2Nephi 31:19 ” relying wholly
    on the merits of Christ who is mighty to save” ) . I also think that the issue of a complete apostasy is a
    bigger reason why I can’t follow what Mormon apostles advertise as ” latter-day” scriptures” , and that
    obviously includes the BofM.

  10. 10 markcares
    January 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    The most dangerous error is one that mixes in a lot of truth with it. One of the devil’s favorite weapons is God’s Word – with just a twist. That is what he did in the Garden of Eden – that is what he did in tempting Jesus. That’s why, in some ways, the Book of Mormon is even more dangerous than D&C because it mimics more truth than D&C does.

  11. 11 Martha Golden
    January 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I just read 1 Nephi 12-15. My first thought was, “no wonder my LDS parents are so negative.” I found it negative and oppressive. In my opinion, it is pure evil. I had to put some praise music on and praise my God in order to shake the gloom and doom. I also have a problem with the fact the Mormon church says that the Bible is lacking plain and precious things. I find the Bible light and full of God. If I had the choice between the love that permeates the Bible and the gloom and doom of the Book of Mormon. I’ll pick the Bible any day. The fact that the LDS church say that all other churches are an abomination is just wrong. I’m praying today as they are falsely taught that the Bible falls short, that God will take the scales off the Mormon church and they can see the One and Only True God of the Bible.

    PS. I beleive our prayers are being answered. I listened to a question and answer with the head historian of the Mormon church, Marlin K Jensen. He admited that people are leaving the church in droves.

    [audio src="http://www.fileswap.com/dl/5iKOuShH9D/ElderJensenQandAInterlacedEdited.mp3" /]

  12. 12 Kent
    January 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    “the Mormon Church uses a half truth to decieve the public into thinking there was a universal apostasy. They use part of a quote/sentence by Martin Luther to support this false doctrine…”

    So the Mormon Church printed up millions of copies of an out and out lie that left out part of what Martin Lurther said as proof there has been a total apostasy?

    We all know where that came from, the father of all lies the devil himself.

    By Lurther pointing out that the Catholic Church had steered away from the truth of the Bible is proof in itself that the word of God never passes away and that there has never been a complete apostasy as if there had been, Lurther would not have able to do what he did.

    So there is no proof there has ever been a complete apostasy as it is only the Mormon Church saying there has been one.

  13. 13 Martha Golden
    January 23, 2012 at 2:25 am

    I agree Kent. I believe the apostolistic authority was transferred into the Bible itself when the apostles died. That Jesus is our great high priest in the order of Melchizedek. We need no other apostles if we set our eyes on Jesus and the Word of God. I also agree with you, Kent, that God will not allow His Word to pass away and this is proved through Luther. We are human and error prone, but the Word of God (the Bible) is inerrent.

    It breaks my heart that they are being taught that all other churches are an abomination and the Bible had “plain and precious things” removed from it. It’s such a lie.

  14. January 23, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Martha, you bring up a good point. The Bible does not say anything about us needing to be able to trace apostolic authority in order to have a source of truth. The Bible does not say anything about us needing the church for our salvation. In fact, the Bible says that scripture is all we need.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17
    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    Jesus is the authority, the church is not the authority. Jesus is the high priest, the church is not the high priest. All we need is Jesus. We need to be careful to not elevate the status of the church above Christ.

    The Bible is the measure against which all teachings and doctrines should be compared. It is heartbreaking to see people fall for lies. I hope the LDS people can find the courage to be like the Bereans.

    Acts 17:10-12
    10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

    The church is not the savior, Jesus is the savior. Salvation is not a laundry list of things to do. There is only one thing to do: put your faith and trust in Christ.

  15. January 23, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Mormonism says:

    “Therefore, acting alone, the grace of Christ is not sufficient for salvation. The works of man — the ordinances of salvation, the deeds of service and acts of charity and mercy — are necessary for salvation…” (By Grace Are We Saved: The necessity of God’s grace in addition to man’s good works, 1989 ed., p. 70)

    The Bible says:

    Ephesians 2:8-10
    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    Romans 3:24
    24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

    Romans 3:28
    28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

    Philippians 3:7-9
    7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

    Titus 3:5-7
    5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

  16. 16 Kent
    January 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    “Therefore, acting alone, the grace of Christ is not sufficient for salvation. The works of man — the ordinances of salvation, the deeds of service and acts of charity and mercy — are necessary for salvation…” (By Grace Are We Saved: The necessity of God’s grace in addition to man’s good works, 1989 ed., p. 70)”

    I remember the Mormon Church would put out full page newspaper ads detailing their charitable activities, which were for public relations, but what they really seemed to be doing was doing their giving to be seen by men.
    Giving to charity is not only not to be done specifically to be seen by men, as in putting the ads out that show what good deeds people are doing, giving is not be done as a condition for salvation.

    Matthew 6:1-4

    1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly”

  17. 17 JBR
    January 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Very interesting video. Do you know if Tanner’s talk was videoed ?

  18. January 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    On the very day that you posted this Blog, I happened to be a guest on Doris Hanson’s TV show, “Polygamy, What Love is This?” broadcast out of Salt Lake City. I was speaking on the reliability of the Bible and we started out the discussion highlighting the claims from 1 Nephi 13 about the plain and precious parts that were taken from the Bible by the “great and abominable church”! The show is now archived online for you to watch. It is at: http://www.whatloveisthis.tv/episodes/2012/ep503.htm

    Our discussion centered on the logistical impossibilities of actually sabotaging enough of the Old or New Testaments without its being discovered through the mountain of ancient manuscripts that we have today.

  19. 19 Kent
    January 25, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Martha said, “I believe the apostolistic authority was transferred into the Bible itself when the apostles died. That Jesus is our great high priest in the order of Melchizedek. ”

    .So there is also no such thing as the Mechizedek priesthood for anyone else but Jesus.

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