As I pointed out in my article on the Koran, the same methodology for the defense of the faith should be used for all non-Christian worldviews of religions. The Book of Mormon is no exception. They worship a false God, and thus it should be possible to demonstrate that by adopting their worldview, one becomes “vain in their reasonings” (Rom. 1:21). We must accept their presuppositions for the sake of argument and perform an internal critique of the Mormon worldview to demonstrate its absurdity.
It would be possible to demonstrate this on the basis of their view of God, but for this article I would rather focus on their view of Scripture, although the two concepts are obviously related. Deut. 13:1-5 indicates that a false prophet should be rejected not only if they worship a different God, but also if they teach contrary to previously revealed commandments, i. e. if their doctrine is defective. So let us examine briefly what the Bible teaches about its own doctrine.
Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that all Scripture is breathed out by God. But just how far does this inspiration go? In Galatians 3:16, Paul says, “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring’ who is Christ.” The OT passages Paul is referring are Gen. 13:15 and 17:8. Gen. 17:8 says, “And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” Notice what Paul is doing here. He is basing a theological conclusion on one word in the OT. Not just one word, but on the fact that this one word is singular instead of plural. Similar thinking is reflected in Jesus’ statement in Matt. 5:18, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” It is not simply the “gist” of the message of the Bible that is inspired; every dot and stroke, singulars and plurals, verb tenses, and sentence construction are all inspired.
Now let’s take a look at what Book of Mormon teaches about itself and its own inspiration. The introduction states, “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable with the Bible.” In the second paragraph it says, “The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.” The book makes similar claims to truth in 1 Nephi 14:30, 22:30; Mosiah 1:6; III Nephi 8:1, and others. In 2 Nephi 29:14, it says, “And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever.” So the book of Mormon claims that the same God that wrote it was the same God of the OT and NT and that the Book of Mormon is comparable to the Bible.
But then the Book of Mormon makes some rather strange claims about itself. I Nephi 19:6 says, “And now, if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself.” Alma 10:5, “I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power.” Mormon 8:12, “And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these.” Further, verse 17, “And if there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault.” And chapter 9:31, “Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.” Even the very title page states, “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.” In other words, the Book of Mormon’s doctrine of scripture clearly allows that there are possibly or actually mistakes within its pages.Compare this with the Bible’s own doctrine of Scripture, that it does not simply happen to not have mistakes, but that it cannot possibly have mistakes, as Jesus says in John 10:35, “Scripture cannot be broken.” Mormons cannot wiggle out of this by claiming that there is some admixture of truth and error, and it is the truth that is infallible. But Jeremiah 1:9 says, “Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.’” Similar statements are made in Isaiah 51:16 and Exodus 4:15. When a prophet of God speaks, every word, syllable, verb tense, and number are God’s Word and cannot possibly ever be incorrect.
Whatever the nature of the Mormon god is, we can see that, as with the Koran, the Book of Mormon on its own terms must be rejected. Believing the book of Mormon logically entails accepting the OT and NT and thus also the standards for determining true and false prophets in Deut. 13. And on this basis, Joseph Smith must be rejected as a false prophet, as the doctrine of Scripture found in the Book of Mormon is radically different than the doctrine of Scripture found in the pages of the Bible. Thus, anyone found to worship the God of Mormonism is found to become “vain in their reasonings.” They must reject their own foundation of truth and are thus left with no certain knowledge at all, unless they turn and worship the true God. (Col. 2:2-3)
You can get your own copy of the Book of Mormon at Amazon here.
Five questions I would like to ask a Mormon
1. On what basis do you reject the Koran?
2. Why are there repeated references to one God in both OT and NT? (e. g. Romans 1 and Deut. 6:4)
3. Are we saved by works or grace?
4. How do we know someone to be a false prophet?
5. Would be it impossible for god to be one God, and yet tripersonal? Why?