Did Joseph Smith change the very revelations that he claimed God gave him? The Mormon Scripture called Doctrine and Covenants records revelations Joseph Smith received directly from God. Joseph Smith originally printed these revelations in 1833 in the Book of Commandments. Later, in 1835, these very same revelations were published in the Doctrine and Covenants. While there is no indication that these revelations were redelivered to Joseph Smith by God, he took the liberty to make significant changes to these revelations, when they were reprinted, that included the deletion and addition of several words, sentences and paragraphs.
One significant change that Joseph Smith made, occurs at Doctrine and Covenants section 27 where Joseph Smith claims to receive the priesthood “keys of authority” that forms the very basis of the Mormon Melchizedek Priesthood leadership system. Yet, this whole section of Scripture is completely missing in the original version printed in chapter 28 of the Book of Commandments.
Another significant change is found in the Book of Commandments chapter 4 where God tells Joseph Smith, after translating the Book of Mormon, that He would “grant him no other gift” to translate. But later, when Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham, he changed this revelation to say “this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you” in Doctrine and Covenants section 5 verse 4.
Even the Book of Mormon at Alma 29:4 warns that God’s decrees are “unalterable.” Yet, not only did Joseph Smith change Doctrine and Covenants, he corrected several verses of the Book of Mormon, like 1 Nephi 13:40 where “the Lamb of God is the eternal Father” is changed to “the Son of the eternal Father,” and Mosiah 21:28 where “King Benjamin” is changed to “King Mosiah.” By changing the revelations he claimed were from God, Joseph Smith proved he was a charlatan and not a true prophet of God.
Book Of Commandments Section 4:
“he has no power over them except I grant it unto him; and he has a gift to translate the book, and I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift.”
Compared With Doctrine & Covenants 5:4:
“4 And you have a gift to translate the plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.”