The Book of Mormon and Mormonism
The Book of Mormon, published and used by over a hundred Latter-day Saint denominations but best known through the larger Mormon Church, or "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", was a work much discussed in the early days of the Church (1986-92) and about which there were many conflicting opinions. Considerable investigation of this text by the Patriarchate had led them initially to the conclusion that it was "inspired fiction", a Christ-centred text of high ethical content containing many true Christian doctrines and practices but also some false ones. However, its historicity was seriously questioned: the purported method by which it was brought forth (viâ an angel, first identified as "Nephi" and then later changed to "Moroni") was suspected as a fraud or a demonic impersonation; and the involvement of its "translator", Joseph Smith, in folk magic, treasure hunting, free masonry and the occult was regarded as an unlikely combination for one supposedly called to perform a Christian labour. Added to this was the rejection by the Patriarchate of the whole basis of Mormon legalistic claims to priesthood authority and the mission of the Church established by Smith and his successors. Notwithstanding this the Book of Mormon remained an enigma but was was used from time to time in the period of Church history up to 1992. The following inspired statement was received whilst meditating on this book and should be read in connection with Section 370 which explains the difference between solar-, terrestrial- and lunar-type revelations. Also see the Nephilim Page [Oslo, Norway].
1. The subject of the Book of Mormon had occupied my mind for many years and I was intimately acquainted with its content.
2. I was attracted to much of its moral and ethical purity but had grown to be suspicious of some of its doctrinal teachings as I simultaneously came to know the Bible better.
3. I was also troubled by the manner in which it had been brought forth and the many internal contradictions of the Book, its simplicity suggesting that it was authored by one mind, its plagiarism of the Bible, and its well developed "Old Testament" Christology.
4. These were problems that had bothered many of the faithful from Mormonism too, including a leading Mormon intellectual, B.H.Roberts, who had identified all the of the Book of Mormon's weaknesses and had concluded that it was historical fiction.
5. As I thought on all of these things, the years of research that I had done on this book, and how I had vacilated between believing it and then doubting it, my mind was suddenly filled with divine light and I understood.
6. The book did indeed contain much light and truth of profit to man but the claims of its author were false.
7. The Saviour had indeed visited the New World at one time, as is recorded in the legends of many Amerindian tribes, but not to any "Nephites" or "Lamanites" who were pure fiction, as were the stories weaved around them, including the gold plates, all confirmed by the total absence of any direct physical evidence despite over one-and-a-half centuries of intensive archaelogical research in the New World.
8. Joseph Smith was indeed visited by an angel but not "Nephi" or "Moroni", or by an angel of the Lord, but the same one who later masqueraded himself as "John the Baptist" and who appeared the following century dictating purported "revelations" to Otto Fetting and William Draves (an active Free Mason), both of whom started their own Mormon splinter groups.
9. The apostles Peter, James and John never visited Smith nor conferred any "Melchizedek Priesthood" upon him, as his diaries, and the way these personages were later historically weaved into the Latter-day Saint myth, amply attest.
8. However, the Lord Jesus Christ did indeed visit Joseph Smith in the grove at Palmyra for which purpose he went to seek for a remission of his sins for all the wrongs he had committed.
9. The story that he had gone there to find out which was the true Church and the commission he received to start a new one, was a later fabrication, as was the purported visit of the "Father" to him.
10. His original call was to bring about a new reformation in the Protestant world but he chose to establish his own church instead in order to satisfy his ambitions for power and wealth.
11. To do this he constructed a fairy tale about Nephites and Lamanites around the light the Lord had given him and created the Book of Mormon from the biblical revelations the Lord had given him earlier, much as Gilbert Clark later wrote the purported Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon or "Oracles of Mohonri" from the Book of Mormon account, occult legends, and kabbalism blended in with Christian truths, claimed ordination to Priesthood at the hands of the Father and the Son, and claimed to have been shown the gold plates. Smith's own mother testified in her book of her son's giftedness in telling stories as a boy about the early American Indians long before the purported Book of Mormon was unearthed.
12. The Book of Mormon is therefore partially inspired but total fiction and contains some false doctrine, and it is the inspired nature of some of its parts that has attracted so many honourable people and led them into the destructive semi-Christian, semi-occultic web of Mormonism with its many lies and deceptions.
13. As I meditated upon the theology of the Book of Mormon I saw in a flash that it was the logical outcome of Luther's reformation doctrine.
14. It was pure Presbyterianism, refined and taken to its logical conclusion or consummation, and set in a fictional landscape of Christian American Indians.
15. I saw that many of the errors of the Reformation had been perpetuated in the Book of Mormon, including the false doctrine that the Law was completely done away with, a dogma fully in accord with Protestant teachings on grace.
16. Much of Joseph Smith's treasure-seeking had been included, a prophecy about his rise as a self-styled prophet, a dream of his father's about the Tree of Life, part of the Anglican Church's Westminster Confession, some Shakespeare, some French, and a Greek name (Timothy) which the ancient Nephites could not possibly have known about, despite elaborate attempts by Mormon scholars like Hugh B. Nibly to establish that the first partriarchal figure of the Book of Mormon, could have had contact with Greek culture, and therefore Greek names, viâ trade.
17. Ironically, Book of Mormon theology was little used in the Mormon Church which Smith established;
18. For having established a reputation for himself using the Book of Mormon, he felt free to diverge into those areas which interested him the most, namely the occult, kabbalism and other practices, which led to the formation of most of the Doctrine & Covenants (some revelations are true, but most are not), the Pearl of Great Price, the neo-masonic temple rituals (reformed only in the late twentieth century), disasterous experiments at Kirtland, Independence and Nauvoo which lead to bankruptcy, immorality, the intimidation of locals, the assassination of "apostates" by Danite bands, and to much human misery.
19. His own personal assassination and the deaths of so many of his followers at the hands of enraged mobs who had been told they would be disposessed of their land by Smith's revelations was the result of his own ambition for ecclesiatical and temporal power and wealth, leading him to vainly suppose that he would succeed in becoming the President of the United States, and leading his followers like Parley P. Pratt to boast that the whole of America would be converted to Mormon- ism within a decade.
20. It has been suggested by some Christians that the Book of Mormon was a demonic plot to produce a counterfeit Christianity, but I understood that this explanation was too simplisitic.
21. For Joseph Smith was influenced by both the Lord and by demonic forces over which he had no control, the latter taking more and more control of him as time progressed, leading him in the end to boast in Nauvoo that he had done a greater work than even Christ and the original apostles in establishing a Church.
22. Though there is much in the Book of Mormon that is commendable, there is also much that is not, and unless a Christian is well acquainted with his Bible and has enjoyed the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout his life giving him a good spirit of discernment, the Book of Mormon will lead him into dangerous spiritual waters that may wreck his soul.
23. Let everyone judge the Book of Mormon and Mormonism righteously, as the Saviour would, recognising the good that both have produced, but eschewing that which is false, which is much.
24. The Book of Mormon is not used by the New Covenant Church of God for the reasons given, neither is it accepted as a scriptural work by the Chavurah Bekorot or Holy Order, though the Order has extracted that which is pure and biblically consistent and uses it for spiritual instruction in firstborn Colonies.
25. This, then, is what the Lord confirmed to me on Thursday 13 June 1996 and represents the conclusions I have come to as a result of tweny years intensive study, praying and revelation, and is, to date, the official position of the Church vis-à-vis the Book of Mormon and Mormonism. Amen.
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This page was first created on 20 March 1998
Last updated on 20 March 1998
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