In his October 2016 LDS General Conference address “If Ye Had Known Me,” Church apostle David E. Bednar began his address by citing to an example in the scriptures wherein Joseph Smith had supposedly corrected erroneous language in the King James Version (hereafter “KJV”) of the Bible. The scripture Bednar accepted as mistranslated was Matthew 7:21-23, which we find near the end of the Sermon on the Mount:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Bednar commented: “Our understanding of this episode is enlarged as we reflect upon an inspired revision to the text. Significantly, the Lord’s phrase reported in the King James Version of the Bible, ‘I never knew you,’ was changed in the Joseph Smith Translation to ‘Ye never knew me.'” Bednar then went on to partially base his talk on the verse that Joseph Smith had reworded in his “inspired” revision–Matthew 7:23.
The problem with Brother Bednar’s assumption that Joseph Smith’s revision was inspired, and that the King James Version of this scripture was in error and not inspired, is that the Book of Mormon version of this same scripture agrees with the King James Version, and disagrees with Joseph Smith’s revision. The same Sermon on the Mount that Jesus delivered to the Jews was also delivered almost word-for-word to the Nephites. It is found in 3 Nephi 12-14. The counterpart of the King James Version verse that Joseph Smith saw fit to modify is 3 Nephi 14:23. Its wording is identical to Matthew 7:23 in the KJV; the phrase in question reads “I never knew you,” not “Ye never knew me.” Continue reading