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Last Update: 1/2014

Is the Book of Mormon Inspired? Part 3

This section covers the book of Alma

The Book of Mormon claims to be the inspired word of God and Joseph Smith further claimed it was "the most correct book of any on earth" (Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon Introduction).  With these types of claims one would expect there to be no errors, contradictions, anachronisms, or issues with archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, metallurgy, population growth, etc.

Please bear with me as I go through the Book of Mormon pointing out irreconcilable issues in these areas. 


Alma 3:6,8 "And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men. And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction." 

This is two of about 20 total verses in Mormon standard works that show just how uninspired their scripture is through racism.  Mormon doctrine teaches that those who were valiant in the pre-existent war in heaven (fought for Christ) will have white skin while on earth and those who were not valiant (fought for Satan) will be cursed with dark skin.  They refer to this as "The Curse of Cain."  Mormonism teaches that the curse God put upon Cain was dark skin.  Here are some quotes of Mormon leaders regarding this curse of dark skin:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:110, 1863).

"Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290, 1859).

"And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God" (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 22:304, 1881).

"There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less...There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body.The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits" (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1954, 1:65-66).

In an October 1960 LDS Church General Conference message, Spencer W. Kimball shared how Indian's skin color was becoming whiter when they converted to the LDS church. He stated, "The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and now they are becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. ...The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their bothers and sisters...At one meeting a father and a mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl--sixteen--sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents...There was a doctor in Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home had stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation...One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated" (Spencer W. Kimball, "The Day of the Lamanites," The Improvement Era, December 1960, p. 923).

Does the Bible speak of Cain being cursed with dark skin?  The biblical account where the LDS are referring to this curse is found in Genesis 4:11-12, just after Cain kills his brother Abel.  The problem is the curse was that that Cain's crops would be unfruitful and that he would be a vagabond (wanderer) as verse 12 plainly states.  A mark was put on Cain (verse 15) so that others would know not to kill Cain.  There is no Biblical support for this mark being black skin.  As you can plainly see, the LDS leadership has twisted the scriptures and brought forth a policy of racism for over 100 years before it was removed in 1978, well after the Civil Rights movement.  If the Prophet of the LDS church does communicate with the Lord, why was racism in place for over 100 years in the church?  Why was racism still taught years after the Civil Rights movement?  The Bible states everyone is the same; there are no advantages or disadvantages with skin color.

Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Alma 7:10 "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." 

The Book of Mormon prophet Alma prophesies that Jesus would be born in Jerusalem. Obviously this is wrong and is not inspired of the Lord. Prophecy from the Old Testament which date before the birth of Jesus tells us that Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2). This prophecy is important because it also tells the reader which Bethlehem Jesus was born in because there were two Bethlehem’s in the area, Bethlehem Ephratah in the south in the territory of Judah, and Bethlehem near Nazareth in the north in the territory of Zebulun. Where was Jesus born? In Bethlehem Ephratah! 

LDS apologists try to claim that Bethlehem is essentially a suburb of Jerusalem. It is six miles away and there are cities in between the two (e.g. Bethany). There is not a single non-LDS expert that will state any such thing. They would look at you like you have no idea what you are talking about. Jesus was born from the tribe of Judah, which Bethlehem is in the territory of Judah. Jerusalem is in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin, which would make Jesus having been born of the tribe of Benjamin! The prophecy of Alma could not possible be inspired by God because God is not in the habit of being close, He is perfect as what is recorded in the bible.

Alma 7:14 "Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness."

Jesus says this through the authors of the New Testament, not the Holy Spirit.

Alma 10:3 "And Aminadi was a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren."

If Lehi was a descendant of Manasseh, why doesn't DNA link the American Indians to Jewish people?

Alma 11:7 "A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley, and also for a measure of every kind of grain."

Barley was not brought to the Americas until about 1494 AD.

Alma 11:28-29 "Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No."

Contradicts Mormon doctrine of a plurality of gods.  If you want to try and add to the scripture by saying something like "there are no other gods that we worship" then would you not be adding to a book that is supposedly translated perfectly by the hand of God?  Joseph Smith said that this book is "the most correct book of any on earth" (Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon Introduction).

Alma 11:37-40 "And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins. 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; And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else."

Alma has laid the foundation that sin is what separates us from inheriting the kingdom of heaven. It is made clear here that he does not refer to resurrection, but refers to heaven so we don’t have to debate over the definition of salvation or eternal life.Alma then goes on to state that the Son of God [Jesus] is the Eternal Father of heaven and earth, beginning and the end, the first and the last. This contradicts another major Mormon doctrine in that Mormons believe Jesus and God the Father are separate Gods, but that is another topic.

Alma teaches that God himself has come down and taken on human form in Jesus Christ to redeem His people (Yet another verse that contradicts Mormon doctrine). Jesus takes upon Himself the sins of those who believe on His name and that these are the only people that have eternal life and salvation comes to none else. Read that last sentence again. There is another problem with this sentence and the Mormon view of salvation. Remember they teach that everyone will be resurrected to have eternal life and salvation (by the Mormon definition of salvation) because that is all the atonement of Jesus covers in their view. But verse 40 states that only those who believe on His name have eternal life and salvation comes to none else. So this verse could not possible be referring to a general resurrection because it is not offered to all as it is singling out only those who believe on the name of Jesus. These verses explicitly and clearly state that salvation and eternal life in heaven is gained only by believing Jesus Christ. 

Alma 13:1 "And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children;..."

How does one cite their mind forward to something that happened in the past?  This cannot be inspired writing.

Alma 13:18 "But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, ...for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father."

Contradicts Hebrews 7:3 which states that Melchizedek was without father and without mother.

Alma 16:13 "And Alma and Amulek went forth preaching repentance to the people in their temples, and in their sanctuaries, and also in their synagogues, which were built after the manner of the Jews."

In the Old Testament God commanded Israel to build one temple to reflect one true God (Deuteronomy 12:5).  Additionally, the one legitimate temple was only to be built in Jerusalem, which was the location that God designated where He would dwell (1 Kings 8:44, 48, 11:13, 32, 36)

Alma 18:9 "And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots..."

Horses were not brought into the Americas for another 1,600 years!  There is also no evidence uncovered of any wheeled vehicles in the Americas before 421 AD.  

LDS apologist have tried to claim that the horses could have been tapir (looks similar to a pig) or deer.  Can someone explain to me how you can ride a tapir or a deer into battle?

Alma 18:26-28 "And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit? And he said, Yea. And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth?"

This contradicts Mormon doctrine that God has a body of flesh and bones from Doctrine and Covenants 130:22.  Joseph Smith also taught that God was a spirit as shown in the Lectures on Faith, which were part of the Doctrine and Covenants up until 1921.  In lecture 5 on page 53, it states, "They are the Father and the Son:  the Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power..."

Alma 18:34-35 "Ammon said unto him: I am a man; and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people, that they may be brought to a knowledge of that which is just and true; And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God."

This contradicts LDS doctrine that man pre-existed (Doctrine and Covenants 93:23, 29-33; Abraham 3:18, 21-23)

Alma 19:29 "And it came to pass that she went and took the queen by the hand, that perhaps she might raise her from the ground; and as soon as she touched her hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying: O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, have mercy on this people!"

The name "Jesus" was first announced by the Angel to Mary in Luke 1:31, which was just before the birth of Jesus.  

Alma 22:9-11 "And the king said: Is God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem? And Aaron said unto him: Yea, he is that Great Spirit, and he created all things both in heaven and in earth. Believest thou this? And he said: Yea, I believe that the Great Spirit created all things, and I desire that ye should tell me concerning all these things, and I will believe thy words."

This contradicts Mormon doctrine that God has a body of flesh and bones from Doctrine and Covenants 130:22. Joseph Smith also taught that God was a spirit as shown in the Lectures on Faith, which were part of the Doctrine and Covenants up until 1921. In lecture 5 on page 53, it states, "They are the Father and the Son: the Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power..."

This also contradicts Abraham 4 which says "the Gods" organized the heavens and the earth (did not create).

Alma 24:19 "And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace."

If this were a perfect translation with no errors, why would God have this written only to correct it?

Alma 32:30 "But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow."

The part I bolded is not included in the original 1830 Book of Mormon. How could this be considered "the most correct book of any on earth?"

Alma 34:32-36 "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked. And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.

This contradicts the Mormon doctrine of a second chance after death by baptism for the dead (Doctrine and Covenants 128:15).  Hebrews 9:27 states, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:", which means there is no second chances to hear a gospel after this life.  

Verse 36 says the Lord dwells is the hearts of the righteous, but Doctrine and Covenants 130:3 says, "...and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false."  Yet again, more contradicting statements proving this is not inspired work, but the work of man.

Alma 36:17 "...I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world."

Jesus Christ is a Son of God and not THE Son of God?

Alma 40:25 "And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God."

Matthew 13:43, which was written almost 100 years later, says virtually the same thing: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father..."

Alma 41:4 "And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame -- mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption -- raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other --"

This contradicts LDS theology of three levels of heaven and an outer darkness by revealing only heaven or hell.

- Alma 41:8 "Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved."

This contradicts the LDS teaching and history of their God changing and altering everlasting and eternal doctrines essential to godhood (i.e. Adam God doctrine, Blood Atonement, The Curse of Cain, The United Order, Plural Marriage, the Temple Endowment Ceremony)

Doctrine and Covenants 56:4 states "Wherefore I, the Lord, command and revoke, as it seemeth me good..."

Alma 43:38 "While on the other hand, there was now and then a man fell among the Nephites, by their swords and the loss of blood, they being shielded from the more vital parts of the body, or the more vital parts of the body being shielded from the strokes of the Lamanites, by their breastplates, and their arm-shields, and their head-plates; and thus the Nephites did carry on the work of death among the Lamanites."

This makes absolutely no sense and then the writer corrects it in the next statement.  Why would he not just erase it since the wording made no sense at all?  Is this really the inspired word of God?

Alma 46:15 "And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come."

How in the world is it possible to be a "Christian" in 73 BC?  Furthermore, how can people living under Mosaic Law be in the church of Christ and be "Christians?"  The new covenant must have been made effective before they could make such a claim and the new covenant was not effective until Jesus Christ died (Hebrews 9:11-17).