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Last Update: 1/2014

Is the Book of Mormon Inspired? Part 4

This section covers the books of Helaman through 3 Nephi

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.


Helaman 3:8 "And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east."

From the inception of the Mormon church up until decades ago, LDS leaders have taught that the Nephites and Lamanites occupied all of North and South America.  Today, Mormon scholars try to limit the geography to Southern Mexico and Guatemala (where the Mayans were).  DNA proof shows Mayans and other American Indians came from Asia.

Helaman 6:10 "Now the land south was called Lehi and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south."

This contradicts the bible as it states that all of King Zedekiah's sons were killed (Jeremiah 39:6).

Helaman 6:21-28 "But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, ... And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, ... Now behold, it is these secret oaths and covenants which Alma commanded his son should not go forth unto the world, lest they should be a means of bringing down the people unto destruction.  Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit ... who spread the works of darkness and abominations over all the face of the land, until he dragged the people down to an entire destruction, and to an everlasting hell."

According to the Book of Mormon, the Lord does not work in secret combinations (Ether 8:19).  Also, the bible has this to say about taking secret oaths and covenants:

James 5:12 "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."

Matthew 5:37 "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

The Lord is informing us that when we tell someone we are going to do something we are not to swear it by oath or covenant.  He tells us when we say yes it means yes, and when we say no it means no without swearing to it by oath or covenant.

The obvious issue here is that Mormons make oaths and covenants in their temple through secret handshakes, signs and passwords (combinations).  Even the Book of Mormon says that it is Satan who stirs up hearts to enter into covenants and oaths and he will bring you down into everlasting hell in entering into them.

Helaman 8:21 "And now will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us..."

This contradicts the bible as it states that all of King Zedekiah's sons were killed (Jeremiah 39:6).

Helaman 9:6 "Now, immediately when the judge had been murdered -- he being stabbed by his brother by a garb of secrecy, and he fled, and the servants ran and told the people, raising the cry of murder among them;"

Can you explain how someone can be murdered by the stabbing of a garb of secrecy?

Helaman 12:25-26 "And I would that all men might be saved. But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, yea, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord; Yea, who shall be consigned to a state of endless misery, fulfilling the words which say: They that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation. And thus it is. Amen."

Yes we do read these two scriptures from the bible in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and John 5:29.  How could the Book of Mormon be suggesting "we read" from New Testament books that were written about 90 years later?  This smells of plagiarism.

Helaman 14:27 "And he said unto me that while the thunder and the lightning lasted, and the tempest, that these things should be, and that darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days."

Matthew 27:45 and Luke 23:44 both state that darkness covered the land for three hours, not three days.  More errors in the Book of Mormon proving it is not inspired work, but the work of man.

3 Nephi

3 Nephi 1:19 "And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given."

The bottom of the Book of Mormon page says it was the year 1 AD.  King Herod died in 4 BC, so if he ordered the deaths of all the boys two years old and less, then by math Jesus would have had to have been born in 7 BC at the earliest and 4 BC at the latest.  So this Book of Mormon date is at least five to eight years off.  More errors in the Book of Mormon proving it is not inspired work, but the work of man.

3 Nephi 2:15 " And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;"

This is one 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."

By the way, have you ever seen any African American or American Indian converts to the Mormon church have their skin color change to be "white and delightsome"?

3 Nephi 8:3 "And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land."

Matthew 27:45 and Luke 23:44 both state that darkness covered the land for three hours, not three days. More errors in the Book of Mormon proving it is not inspired work, but the work of man.

3 Nephi 9:17 "And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled."

This contradicts Mormon doctrine that we are all literal spirit children of heavenly Father.  This states, as does the bible, that we become the sons of God by believing on Christ.  Romans 8:17 says if we are sons then we are heirs with Christ.  An heir is someone who inherits something (does not earn it) from someone who has died.  Christ died, and we become heirs with Him in heaven by believing on His name.

3 Nephi 9:18 "I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end."

Alpha and Omega are English spellings of Greek words.  The Book of Mormon was not written in Greek so how in the world are these words included?  This is obvious plagiarism from the KJV.

3 Nephi 10:9 "And it came to pass that thus did the three days pass away. And it was in the morning, and the darkness dispersed from off the face of the land, and the earth did cease to tremble, and the rocks did cease to rend, and the dreadful groanings did cease, and all the tumultuous noises did pass away."

Matthew 27:45 and Luke 23:44 both state that darkness covered the land for three hours, not three days. More errors in the Book of Mormon proving it is not inspired work, but the work of man.

3 Nephi 11:31-40 "Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. ‚ĶVerily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil..."

This is one of the clearest examples laid out of the doctrine of Jesus in the Book of Mormon. Jesus declares that if anything is added or subtracted to this doctrine of repentance and belief in Him, then it comes from evil. Would this include things like plurality of gods, pre-earth existence, baptisms for the dead, three levels of heaven, plural marriage, plan of salvation, requirement to pay a full 10% tithing to receive the highest level of heaven, going to the temple to be endowed and sealed, learning secret handshakes, names, signs, tokens, keeping all the laws and ordinances of the LDS church, etc.?

3 Nephi 12:22 "But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

This is one of the clearest examples of plagiarism of the KJV bible within the Book of Mormon coming from Matthew 5:22.  "Raca" is not an English word, but an Aramaic word, which was not known by the KJV translators in 1611 so they just left the word untranslated.  Current bibles display the correct translation as "worthless" or "good for nothing" since we can now translate the Aramaic language. 

Even more proof that it is plagiarized and that Joseph Smith was not able to translate is that in his Inspired Version (Joseph Smith Translation) of the bible, he fails to translate the word by saying "Raca, or Rabcha". The same translation error in the Book of Mormon and the Inspired Version equals plagiarism from the bible.

3 Nephi 13:9-13 "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen."

Joseph Smith's Inspired Version of the bible has this translation for the prayer, "Therefore after this manner shall ye pray, saying, Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Give is this day, our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And suffer us not to be led into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever, Amen."

If both are translated by the gift and the power of God and the Book of Mormon is supposed to be the most correct book on earth, which one is correct?

There are more verses in the Book of Mormon (copied from the KJV) and translated differently in Joseph Smith's Inspired Version.  Examples include 3 Nephi 13:26-27 and 3 Nephi 14:6.

3 Nephi 15:21 "And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

This verse is copied from John 10:16, which was written decades later.  Also the KJV italicized words are copied over as well.  The italicized words were not in the original manuscripts used in translating the KJV, but added in 1611 for better flow and readability.  How could these same italicized words be written on the golden plates from centuries earlier?

3 Nephi 18:28-30 " And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it; For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood."

Joseph Smith shows his lack of reading the bible in context with this gross misrepresentation of 1 Corinthians 11:27-29.  This is not discussing our personal worthiness or lack of worthiness as a precurser to taking sacrament, because noone is truly worthy.  Paul is simply presenting the way in which the sacrament was being partaken.  The church at Corinth was abusing the observation of the sacrament because they were turning it into a meal.  Joseph Smith completely misinterprets the word "unworthily" here.

3 Nephi 19:4 "And it came to pass that on the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, behold, Nephi and his brother whom he had raised from the dead, whose name was Timothy, and also his son, whose name was Jonas, and also Mathoni..."

Timothy is a Greek word that never appears in the Old Testament.  Jonas is the New Testament name for Jonah in Matthew 12:39.  How can the Book of Mormon possibly have these names without any contact with the old world since about 600 BC?

3 Nephi 19:18 "And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God."

This is contradictory to the LDS doctrine of praying ONLY to God the Father in the name of Jesus.  

3 Nephi 20:16 "Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

I understand they are not suggesting that lions are in the Americas at this time with this statement, but why would they use the phrase "lions among the beasts of the forests" when lions live in the plains?

3 Nephi 20:23-26 "Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people. Verily I say unto you, yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have testified of me. And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. The Father having raised me up unto you first, and sent me to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities; and this because ye are the children of the covenant --"

These verses are a paraphrase of Acts 3:22-26, which was written about thirty years later suggesting plagiarism.  To make it worse, Joseph Smith includes Peter's comments as if Jesus had said them, as if they were apart of Moses' words in Deuteronomy 18:15, 19.

3 Nephi 24:6 "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." 

This contradicts the LDS doctrine of a God who changes.  Doctrine and Covenants 56:4 states "Wherefore I, the Lord, command and revoke, as it seemeth me good..."

3 Nephi 28:6-9 " And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me. Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven. And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father. And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand."

How could there have ever been a total apostasy if three Nephites and John never died as under Mormon teaching they were allow to live that they "might bring the souls of men" to the Lord?  If they never died then the gospel never needed to be restored.  That, or they must have been the worst missionaries ever because what souls did they bring forth if there was a total apostasy?

Mormons misinterpret John 21:22-23 which states, "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee? follow thou me. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee?"  

This is a great example of when reading archaic Elizabethan form English can get you into trouble.  The proper interpretation is that Jesus is simply telling Peter not to worry about John, but to worry about himself.  Even if John were to live until the return of Jesus, what difference would it make Peter?  John confirms this by stating that Jesus said "If I will that he tarry", not that he will tarry till Jesus comes.  Jesus then states "what is that to thee?", meaning don't worry about John, worry about yourself Peter.

3 Nephi 30:2 "Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel."

This verse plainly suggests that murderer's can be forgiven by God.  However, this completely contradicts Doctrine and Covenants 42:18 "And now, behold, I speak unto you the church.  Thou shall not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come."

Yes, you could argue that to kill someone and murder someone is different.  But under any circumstance, to murder is worse than to kill, as there is intent with murder.  For example, if I get in an accident and someone is accidentally killed versus if someone cuts me off in the car and I pull out a gun and shoot (commit murder) them.  The above verses are completely contradictory in that D&C states that killing (the lesser of the two) is unforgivable and the BOM states that murder (the worse of the two) is forgivable.  This cannot possibly be inspired by God.  God does not contradict himself.  

The bible is clear with the commandment thou shall not kill; but does this mean that if someone kills another person, accidentally or not, that they have no forgiveness?  If this were the case, then why would Moses have appeared in glory on the Mount of Transfiguration if killing or murder is unforgivable (Matthew 17 and Mark 9)?  The bible clearly states that blasphemy of the Holy Ghost is the only unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31-32).