Aside from the Book of Mormon not containing the so-called “precious truths” that were allegedly lost, of LDS essential doctrines (e.g., LDS polytheism [i.e., the idea that many true Gods exists, technically, henotheism], Exaltation, Eternal Progression, the idea of Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods, sealing, eternal marriage et al.), the LDS doctrine has always rejected the biblical revelation of Christ.        

In spite of who authored it, the Book of Mormon contains significant contradictions both historical and theological (and logical). Of the abounding material objectively demonstrating this (from its inception in 1830), we have documented a vast amount of erroneous teaching contained in the LDS so-called scriptures (i.e., the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price).

Also, my friends at Institute for Religious Research have provided a simple short article, Seven Contradictions Between The Book of Mormon and the Bible. Although, as pointed out above, many of the fundamental heresies of the LDS Church such as polytheism and Exaltation, which are post-Book of Mormon, this article addresses seven significant false LDS doctrines, which are in fact currently contained in the Book of Mormon.

In fact, it is easily proven that Smith’s early teachings as contained in the Book of Mormon (and early sections of D&C) controvert present- day LDS theology on many accounts. See Early Teachings of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, which Contradict Present- day LDS Theology – See Early Teachings of Joseph Smith.

Although there are many more contradictions and factual errors in the Book of Mormon (and in the other LDS scripture) than seven, they sufficiently and objectively demonstrate that the Book of Mormon is untrustworthy patently contradicting God’s revelation contained in the biblical content. See our expanded article on the Book of Mormon here Book of Mormon

Note, Aside from the seven contradictions briefly listed below by IRR (and many others can be shown), one additional Book of Mormon false teaching is its repeated affirmation of Modalism, that is,  Oneness theology – see Modalism and the Book of Mormon 

IRR article:

There are many serious objections to the claim of Joseph Smith and the LDS church that the Book of Mormon is divinely inspired Latter-day scripture supplemental to the Bible.* However, none are more significant than the numerous contradictions between Book of Mormon teaching and the Bible. This list is illustrative only, not exhaustive.

(1) The Book of Mormon teaches that little children are not capable of sin because they do not have a sinful nature (Moroni 8:8). In contrast, the Bible in Psalm 51:5 clearly teaches that we have a sinful nature from birth: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (NIV). (This does not mean that those who die in infancy are lost.**)

(2) The Book of Mormon teaches that the disobedience of Adam and Eve in eating the forbidden fruit was necessary so that they could have children and bring joy to mankind (2 Nephi 2:23-25). In contrast, the Bible specifically declares that Adam’s transgression was a sinful act of rebellion that unleashed the power of sin and death in God’s perfect world (Romans 5:12; 8:20-21). There is no Biblical support for the view that Adam and Eve could only fulfill the command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) by disobeying God’s command regarding the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17). The Book of Mormon teaching that these divine commands are contradictory, and that God expected Adam and Eve to figure out that in reality He wanted them to break the latter command (“of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it”) in order to keep the former (“be fruitful and multiply”), has no basis in logic or the Biblical text, and attributes equivocation to God.


(3) The Book of Mormon teaches that black skin is a sign of God’s curse, so that white-skinned people are considered morally and spiritually superior to black-skinned people (2 Nephi 5:21). In contrast, the Bible teaches that God “made of one blood all nations of men” (Acts 17:26, KJV), that in Christ distinctions of ethnicity, gender and social class are erased (Galatians 3:28), and that God condemns favoritism (James 2:1). [NOTE: See our article, Mormonism and Black Skin, for an documented and expanded look at the LDS views both delineated in the LDS scriptures and by way of sermon or statements by LDS General Authorities (LDS Presidents, Apostles, etc.) regarding people with dark skin, which the LDS has seen, for almost 200 years, as “cursed”].      

(4) The Book of Mormon teaches that, “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23; see also Moroni 10:32). In contrast, the Bible teaches that apart from Christ we are dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1,5) and unable to do anything to merit forgiveness and eternal life. Salvation is wholly of grace (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 11:6; Titus 3:5-6), not by grace plus works. Good works are a result, not the basis, of a right relationship with God (Ephesians 2:10).

(5) According to the Book of Mormon, about 600 years before Christ, a Nephite prophet predicted that “many plain and precious parts” (1 Nephi 13:26-28) would be removed from the Bible. In contrast, from the Bible it is clear that during His earthly ministry, Jesus himself constantly quoted from the Old Testament Scriptures, and showed full confidence in their completeness and accurate transmission as they had survived down to His time. Jesus declared that “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31; see also Matthew 5:18), and promised His disciples who were to pen the New Testament that the Holy Ghost “shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26); Jesus further promised the apostles that they would “bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). These promises clearly imply that the fruit of the apostles — the New Testament Scriptures and the Christian church — would endure.

(6) According to a Book of Mormon prophecy (Helaman 14:27), at the time of Christ’s crucifixion “darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days.” In contrast, the New Testament gospel accounts declare repeatedly that there was darkness for only three hours while Jesus was on the cross (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:24).

(7) The Book of Mormon teaches that there were many high priests serving at the same time (Mosiah 11:11; Alma 13:9-10; 46:6,38; Helaman 3:25) among the Book of Mormon people who are described as Jewish immigrants from ancient Israel who “kept the law of Moses” (e.g., 2 Nephi 25:10; Jacob 4:5; Jarom 1:5). In contrast, it is clear from the Bible that only one individual at a time occupied the office of high priest under the Old Testament dispensation (see, for example Leviticus 21:10; Matthew 26:3; Hebrews 8:6-7). (The mention in Luke 3:2 of “Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests” is not a real exception — in Christ’s time Israel was under the domination of the Romans, who intervened to change the high priest at will. See John 18:13, which describes Annas as “father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.”)

CONCLUSION: The contradictions between the Book of Mormon and the Bible constitute a most serious obstacle to accepting the Book of Mormon as Latter-day scripture supplemental to the Bible. The Bible came first, not the Book of Mormon. And whereas the Bible is organically linked to the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ by extensive surviving manuscript evidence going back as far as A.D. 125-30, the Book of Mormon is wholly lacking in any such evidences of ancient origin. Is it not reasonable, therefore, to make the Bible the standard for judging the Book of Mormon, and not the other way around? If we accept the Bible as our “measuring stick” for spiritual truth, the Book of Mormon must be rejected.

When one examines the Book of Mormon and its teachings, what is interesting is that the Book of Mormon does not contain distinct LDS doctrine. The doctrinal essentials, according to Mormonism, which lead to salvation, are not the same essentials as taught in 1830. Why? Because Joseph Smith changed his teachings, with no explanation to the Mormon people.

The Book of Mormon for example, does not teach: God is an exalted man with a body of flesh and bones; the plurality of Gods; a Mother God in Heaven; Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial heavens; Baptism for the Dead; Celestial marriage; the Law of Eternal Progression; Exaltation (i.e., man becoming a God); the Aaronic Priesthood, the Melchizedek Priesthood and the doctrine of Pre-existence.

These are distinctive LDS teachings that Mormons pride themselves on, but why then, do we not find these teachings before 1832? If Joseph Smith was speaking as God’s “prophet,” then what he taught in 1830 should be consistent with was is taught today by the Mormon Church. Truth does not change.


Early Teachings of Joseph Smith vs. Latter Teachings
One God or Many Gods?


“Testimony of the Three Witnesses”:

And honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God (Book of Mormon, Introduction).


Book of Mormon (1830):

And now, behold this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen” (2 Nephi 31:21; emphasis added).

And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God? And Amulek said; Yea, there is a true and living God. And Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No. Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things? And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me (Alma 11:26-31; emphasis added).


Doctrine and Covenants:

In the early sections of the LDS scripture, Doctrine and Covenants, are clear teachings that there is only one eternal God:

By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them. . . . Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end (20:17; 1830; emphasis added).1

Smith wrote the Book of Mormon by 1830 and these early sections of Doctrine and Covenants were written in the same year. However, when we read the later sections we find that Smith’s teaching of one God radically changed:

Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore they shall be from everlasting to everlasting, because the continue; then they shall be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject to them (132:20; 1843; emphasis added).


Pearl of Great Price:

We also find this doctrinal switching in the LDS scripture Pearl of Great Price. In the first book of the Pearl of Great Price is the book of Moses. The book of Moses text is an excerpt from Smith’s own translation of the Bible called the Inspired Version,2 which is from 1830.

And I, God said: Let there be light . . . And I, God saw the light . . . And I, God called the light Day; and the darkness, I called Night. . . . (Moses, 2:3-5; emphasis added)

And I, God made two great lights . . . And I, God set them in the firmament of the heaven . . . And I, God, said; Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life. . . . (ibid., 16-17, 20; emphasis added).

However, when you turn to the next book (Abraham) in the Pearl of Great Price, you find something very interesting. When we compare the same verses in Abraham (ch. 4 was penned in 1842) with the book of Moses (penned in 1830) we find Smith’s doctrinal switching most obvious:

And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light . . . And they (the Gods) comprehended the light. . . . And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. . . . (Abraham, 4:3-5; emphasis added).

And the Gods organized the two great lights . . . And the Gods set them in the expanse of the heavens… And the Gods said: Let us prepare the waters to bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life. . . . (ibid., 16-17, 20; emphasis added)

These are only a few examples of the verse-to-verse comparisons of the book of Moses (chap. 2) and Abraham (chap. 4).

The point is: the word “God” is singular throughout Moses chapter 2 and in the book of Abraham, which is, almost verbatim, the same account as in Moses, the word “God” is changed to “Gods” (“Gods” 47 times in chap. 4). Keep in mind that Smith penned this section of the book of Abraham in 1842 and Moses is from 1830.

Joseph Smith started out, in 1830, teaching that there is only one God but by 1844, Smith is declaring full-blown polytheism (i.e., many Gods):

I will preach on the plurality of Gods… I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. . . . Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods (Joseph Fielding Smith, ed. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; given August 15, 1844; emphasis added).

Here then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priest to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one. . . . (ibid., 346; emphasis added).

God (the Father, and Holy Spirit) is Spirit

Along with Monotheism, that is, the belief in one God, Joseph Smith also started out teaching that God is spirit. And, just as he changed his doctrine of one God to many Gods, Smith, changed his teaching that God is spirit to the Father has a body of flesh and bones (cf. D&C, 130:22). But, to be sure, Smith did teach, early on, that God is spirit.

Book of Mormon: “And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believeth thou this?” (Alma 22:10).

Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou are holy, and that thou wast spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever (Alma 31:15; emphasis added)

Doctrine and Covenants: The original 1835 edition of Doctrine and Covenants contained a section called: Lectures on Faith. This section had about 68 pages and more than 20, 000 words. However, this section is now missing from the current edition of Doctrines and Covenants. The entire Lectures on Faith have subsequently been removed from both the RLDS and LDS Doctrine and Covenants. The reason why it was removed is evident:

There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things. . . . They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fullness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man (Lecture 5, 52-53; emphasis added)

“The Father being a personage of spirit,” is not what modern LDS teaches. Compare this to what the later sections of the current Doctrine of Covenants teach:

The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit (130:22; given April 1843; emphasis added)


Modalism in the Book of Mormon

Clearly, Joseph Smith did not understand the difference between the doctrine of the Trinity and the teachings of Modalism. Modalism (also referred to as Oneness theology) was the second century heresy that asserted that God is unitarian (unipersonal), that is, God existing as one person that reveals himself in different modes, manifestations or dimensions, rejecting the Trinity.

In other words, in Oneness thinking, since God is one, and Jesus is called God, Jesus then is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit—not three persons, rather three manifestations or modes. Oneness doctrine teaches then that the unipersonal God (named Jesus) has two natures, divine being the Father and human being the Son. Thus, in this doctrine, Jesus acts sometimes as the Son (human) and sometimes as the Father (God) and yet other times the Holy Spirit.

For more details on Oneness see: Oneness Theology. 

So, what does Modalism have to do with Joseph Smith? Answer: the Book of Mormon teaches both Trinitarian and Modalism. However, I find that the Book of Mormon is more modalistic than Trinitarian, though. First, observe these decidedly modalistic passages in the Book of Mormon.


Mosiah 15. The introduction of Mosiah chapter 15 reads: How Christ is both the Father and the Son–He shall make intercession and bear the transgression of his people. . . .” Then, starting at verse 1 through verse 5, note the heighted areas:

And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself [the Father] shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son. The Father because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son. And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God. . . . (Mosiah 15:1-5).

That Jesus is the Father, is a teaching that is clearly taught in Smith’s, Book of Mormon


Ether 3:14: “Behold, I am the he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am the Father and the Son. . . .”

Alma 11:38-39: “Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

Amazingly, a mere five verses later (11:44), we find a contradictive implication of what resembles the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity:

but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit , which is one Eternal God. . . .”

 2 Nephi 31:21: “And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.”

Further, the “Testimony of the three Witnesses” do not agree with the present-day LDS teaching (three separate Gods). Rather, the converse is stated: “And honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God” (Book of Mormon, Introduction). The nature of God is not the only doctrine that Joseph Smith changed in his lifetime. However, the true God of biblical revelation is the triune God and thus, a denial of the nature of God is a denial of Christ and His gospel (cf. Isa. 43:10; Hosea 6:6; John 8:24, 58; 5:24; 17:3; 1 John 5:20).

In the end, plainly, early LDS doctrine is fundamentally different then present-day LDS doctrine. Smith started out teaching that God was spirit and there is only one eternal God. Then, Smith did a doctrinal U-turn, teaching heresies that deny who God is, and all the while, claiming it was God that was giving him these revelations.

Hence, if the Joseph Smith really had restored the “plain and precious truths” that were allegedly lost and if Smith restored the so-called lost church, then, God’s truth in the nineteenth century should be consistent with God’s truth today. But the fact is: Joseph Smith believed in revolving gods that change who they are and altered their doctrines. Unlike the God of Scripture Who said: “I the LORD do not change. . . . ” (Mal. 3:6; NIV)



1, These passages in the LDS scripture Doctrine and Covenants directly renounce the LDS doctrine of Eternal Progression which states that God the Father was once a man that had to become a God. Plainly taught by Joseph Smith:

it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and suppose that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did… Here then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priest to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one. . . . (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345-47; emphasis added).

Hence, in LDS theology God has not eternally existed as God. Joseph Smith gave this address in 1844, whereas Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 20 was given in 1830. Thus, the evolution of Smith’s teaching is obvious.

2, The interested reader should note, that with no formal education in the field of biblical language the unlearned Joseph Smith made his own version of the Bible. It was called The Inspired Version of the Bible. The Inspired Version contains numerous alterations to what the text (cf. Gk. and Heb., as well as recognized translations of the Bibles) actually says in order to support his preconceived teachings. Example: John 1:19 of Joseph Smith’s translation states, “No man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the son; For except it is through him no man can be saved” (emphasis added). Compare this with John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” There is not one Greek manuscript in existence that would support Joseph Smith’s alterations of the Bible. The common response by most Mormon missionaries, is that Joseph Smith had never finished his translation, however, July 2, 1833 at Kirtland, Ohio, Smith stated: “this day finished the translating of the Scriptures. . . . ” (History of the Church, 1:368).

3, Known also as the “Jesus only” churches, the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) being the largest. See my article on Oneness Pentecostalism.


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