Chapter ten of the Teachings of George Albert Smith is about the scriptures and the encouragement to use them. Whenever the Scriptures are the topic, one of the most visible lines of demarcation between Mormonism and Christianity appears seeing that Mormonism includes three other books as Scripture; namely, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
This has also been one of the most hotly debated topics between Mormons and Christians. Understandably so. Nothing influences people’s beliefs more than what they consider the word of God.
Over the years, many Christians have listed many problems they have with LDS Scriptures. They have cited the lack of archaeology proof for the Book of Mormon; its similarity in many places with the King James Version; the Book of Abraham in reality being a funeral Egyptian text to name just a few.
One thing that I always have found curious is that the books of Abraham and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price are supposedly the correct version of the similar accounts in Genesis. If that is correct, why didn’t Jesus point that out when he walked the earth? We know that the Genesis account as is contained in the Bible is the one that the Jews of Jesus’ day used. We know that from the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sources. If that account was as corrupted as indicated by the Pearl of Great Price, why didn’t Jesus correct it? I suppose somebody could claim that Jesus’ correction was one of the plain and precious truths that Mormonism claims were taken out of the Bible. But that is very difficult to believe. Just think of how Jesus’ Jewish opponents could have used that to incite the crowds! “He’s changing our Scriptures!” It’s difficult to believe that all traces of that could be wiped out, not only from the Bible, but from ancient history.
I doubt, however, that this argument will have much effect on most Mormons. After all, accepting books as Scripture are more a matter of belief than reason.
Over the years I have found a better way of showing the differences between the Bible and LDS Scriptures. It is emphasizing the unique and glorious message of the Bible that salvation and my living with heavenly Father is entirely, completely, 100% God’s gift. That we don’t have to do one single thing to receive that – that we can’t do anything to receive it. When it comes to being accepted by God the only thing that counts is what Jesus did for me. The more I emphasize that, the more I hear from Mormons wanting to learn more. That shouldn’t surprise me. Because, as the Bible says, that gospel message is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.