That is what is contained in the 2 Nephi 26-30, the section of the Book of Mormon that will be studied this Sunday in the LDS Church. This critique is set in the context of its supposed prophecy of Joseph Smith finding and translating the Book of Mormon.
These chapters contain quite a few condemnations of Christian churches. One that is emphasized and the one that I will be focusing on is its condemnation of the position held today by millions of Christians that the Bible alone is God’s revealed Word. Following are a couple of quotes from these chapters in the Book of Mormon that give a flavor for its position.
2 Nephi 28:29: Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!
2 Nephi 29: 3-6 And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible. But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles? O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people. 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?
As I said, that is just one of numerous condemnations of Christians and Christian churches in those chapters. As I reread those chapters this week, the thought that kept coming to mind was why would any Mormon today want to try to identify themselves, in any way, with the Christian church? These chapters draw a bold and distinct line between Mormonism and Christian churches. In fact, these chapters connect the actions and beliefs of Christian churches with Satan himself! That is even brought out in the conclusion of the teacher’s guide for this lesson. Its conclusion: “Explain that through studying the Book of Mormon and living the gospel, we will gain the power to avoid Satan’s deceptive illusions and be guided as we strive to stay on the strait and narrow path.”
In his book, Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, faithfully reflects the flavor of these chapters from 2 Nephi in his definition of Christendom. “The term also applies to the whole body of supposed Christian believers; as now constituted this body is properly termed apostate Christendom.” Again, I ask, why would any Mormon want to, in any way, identify themselves with apostates?