Is the Book of Mormon Really Translated by The Gift and Power of God? or is it A Work of Man?
God’s Inspired Perfect Record
If the Book of Mormon was truly translated by the gift and power of God then we would expect it to reflect God’s perfection. Surely, God would not take the time to bury a bunch of plates that were not correct or contained errors in the original language. Then he would not inspire someone to make errors while translating the original into modern English. If it truly is the fullness of the everlasting gospel then it must reflect the whole gospel correctly. If the Book of Mormon is truly of God, then the following quotes don’t seem to fit well. (2 Nephi 33:11)
“And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye–for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.” (Ether 12:23-25)
“And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them. Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words.” (2 Nephi 3:21)
“Because of their faith, their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.” (2 Nephi 25:7)
“But behold, I proceed with mine own prophecy, according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err; nevertheless, in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.” (2 Nephi 28:14)
“They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” (1 Nephi 19:6)
“Nevertheless, I do not write anything upon plates save it be that I think it be sacred. 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.”
Moses wrote the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible) and didn’t speak well. According to the prophets in the Book of Mormon, they can’t write flawless scripture.
Disclaimers in the Book of Mormon? (Mormon 9:31 – 34)
“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. And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.”
The key points in this passage are, if you discover that there are errors in the Book of Mormon you really can’t say anything against the authors and therefore the book (Condemn me not because of mine imperfection … but rather give thanks. … we have written this record according to our knowledge.).
The modern-day prophets and apostles after changing more verses in 1981, the newest version (an abridgment?), added the following disclaimer (paragraph) at the bottom of the page opposite the table of contents:
“About this edition: Some minor errors in the text have been perpetuated in past editions of the Book of Mormon. This edition contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the prophet Joseph Smith.”
Publication History: There were two pre-publication manuscripts made prior to the first printing of the Book of Mormon. Different scribes produced the original manuscript on different sized pages in differing handwriting. The second is called the printer’s manuscript. It was made by one scribe and had to be neat enough to be able to distinguish between an “I” and an “E” so the printer could accurately set the print. Joseph was born in 1805 and was murdered in 1844. Therefore, only four “early editions” could have been “edited by the prophet.” (1830, 1837, 1840, & 1842)
Problems with this paragraph
“Minor errors”: This is the worse that the Mormon Church could admit and still keep the church together. Had they admitted major errors, thinking Mormons would get out. Since the translation was made “by the gift and power of God,” are we supposed to believe that these errors were made “by God?” Is God responsible for not addressing these errors or changing them for 150 years?
“Perpetuated in past editions”: Who perpetuated these errors? Was it the true church? With it’s true prophets? Did its members sustain these errors in conferences every year for 150 years? Past editions are 1830, 1837, 1840, 1842, 1879, 1920, current edition – 1981. (Dates between, are the same version; thus, a 1977 is the same as a 1920.)
“This edition contains corrections”: Using the word “corrections,” proves that after 150 years, some LDS official(s) fixed the errors. If the scriptures were, at all important to God, wouldn’t you think that errors in his scriptures would be at the top of his “to-do list?” Are these corrections a part of the essentials of the gospel or were they outside the fullness of the Gospel (and therefore fairly non-important)? We know that errors never come from God, we would hope that the corrections came from God in 1981, and not from man.
“Conformity”: There are six different texts to compare, counting the two manuscripts and the four early editions. Since each are unique and use different words in different places they can never be made to conform with each other since they are different. Joseph had to edit. God doesn’t conform to anyone or anything. Conformity is definitely the work of man.
“That seem appropriate”: With a modern-day prophet, why doesn’t the Mormon Church know what is appropriate? God certainly knows what is appropriate but if man doesn’t know, he can only guess at what might “seem” to be “appropriate.” This book needed far less perspiration and a whole lot more inspiration for it to seriously be considered Scripture.
My Verdict: Too Much Perspiration!
“For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” (2 Nephi 19:16 & Isaiah 9:16)