In most of the articles on this website, I have stressed the point that The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints (hereafter “LDS,” “Church” or “LDS church”) teaches myriad ideas which run contrary to the unambiguous teachings of the Book of Mormon. Most LDS church members are surprised and/or upset by this assertion and skeptical of its accuracy. But to prove its truth, I urge readers to ask themselves if, during the April 2020 LDS general conference, they noticed any point in any talk where a scripture was quoted by a general authority which was at odds with the version of the same scripture in the Book of Mormon. It absolutely did happen, as we shall see. Continue reading
In Part 1 of this essay I included the excerpt below from the LDS Church’s Teacher Manual for seminary (i.e., high school aged) students. This excerpt is taken from the Book of Mormon lesson wherein the content of Jacob 2 and 3 is addressed. Readers may wonder why I didn’t include material from the lesson covering Jacob 2 and 3 in the Church’s Book of Mormon Teacher Manual for Institute (i.e., college aged) students. (I truly do hope readers wondered that. It would mean the reader is intellectually engaged in the discussion of this topic, for one thing, and that question naturally inheres in a discussion about how the LDS Church teaches difficult subjects. But in this case, the question also leads to a very interesting answer.) Continue reading
By Scott S. Mitchell
Two Sundays ago, the lesson in my LDS priesthood meeting centered around a talk by Becky Craven in the April 2019 general conference entitled “Careful Versus Casual.” Predictably, two things occurred during the classroom discussion. First, the discussion quickly focused on two of the most prominently discussed Law-of-Moses-type items on Mormonism’s long checklist of do’s and don’ts–wearing the temple garment and Sabbath Day observance. Second, two or three members of the class self-censored the comments they felt were most important to make. (It should be obvious who one of them was.) Had they not self-censored, they would have pointed out that neither temple-garment-wearing nor Sabbath Day observance were part of Jesus’ gospel when he preached that gospel to the Nephites. Thus, as non-commandments, the rules of garment wearing and Sabbath proscriptions didn’t merit the attention LDS Church members give them. In fact, it might also have been added that Jesus never even mentioned the word “temple” or anything about sabbath observance to the Nephites in all his teachings,1 nor were these items part of his teachings to the Jews.
In a previous essay, I laid out the evidence demonstrating why Shem and the ancient high priest Melchizedek couldn’t have been the same person, contrary to popular Mormon belief. See Why Melchizedek wasn’t Shem, and Why it Does and Doesn’t Matter, elsewhere on this website. By reading further information on this subject, which was brought to my attention by a reader of this website, I have found what I consider to be another forbiddingly strong argument that further solidifies the case against Shem and Melchizedek sharing the same identity. At the end of this essay, I’ll explain why I think this new piece of evidence has important ramifications for our study and understanding of not only the Bible, but all other books that Mormons accept as scriptural.
The “new” (to me, at least) piece of evidence is that Shem had been dead for 570 years when Abraham was born, so he couldn’t have been present when Melchizedek later encountered Abraham as the latter returned from the slaughter of the kings. Continue reading
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (hereafter “LDS church”) are taught the following about the three entities who comprise the Godhead: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.” See Doctrine and Covenants (“D&C”) 130:22. (Emphasis added.)
They’re further taught that in heaven, before the earth was formed, Jesus and all the future inhabitants of the earth were spirits, or “intelligences,” existing separately of the Father, who was also there (see Abraham 3:22-28 in the Pearl of Great Price, a canonized book of LDS scripture)1, but that the God who governed the earth until his own birth into mortality was indeed Jesus, not God the Father.2
Finally, LDS church members are taught in their temple ceremonies that the name “Jehovah” refers exclusively to the premortal Jesus, and in no sense refers to God the Father. Continue reading