Saturday, September 7, 2013


We believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God. 

This is a common statement to hear from Mormons.  "as far as it is translated correctly?"  Hmmm, that seems to imply that it has not typically been translated correctly, yes?  

How about a little context:

In Doctrine & Covenants 73:4, God, speaking to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, says, “it is expedient to continue the work of translation until it be finished.”  The work of translation being referred to here is the translation of the Bible.  According to the Book of Mormon, many “plain and precious” things have been taken away from Holy Scripture (more on that another time perhaps).  So Joseph Smith was commanded by God to translate it.  To restore all that had been lost. 

According to D&C 104:58, he was also commanded to “print my words, the fullness of my scriptures, the revelations which I have given unto you...”  (i.e. - the work was to be made available to the Saints.) 

There is a wonderful promise given in 1 Nephi 3:7 that seems to apply to just these types of situations, which says, “for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”  That’s a solid principle right there.  God commands – God enables. I think all of Christendom could agree on that one.  

And it seems that he did come through, at least for the command to translate; (the printing of it is another matter).  History of the Church volume 1, page 306, under the date of July 2, 1833, has a letter signed by Joseph Smith and others which says, “We this day finished the translating of the Scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father.” 

So... according to the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and the History of the Church, the work of translation was most definitely completed.

Seems simple.    So, WHAT IS MY POINT???

Well, after all that, you would expect that the official translation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would be the Joseph Smith Translation, (also known as the Inspired Version).  But it’s not.  I believe the official stance of the Mormon Church is that Joseph Smith was killed before the translation was completed.  That, as we have seen is a blatant contradiction of Mormon Scriptures and documented history.  If that were true, then the next Prophet in line should have picked up where he left off.   After all, God felt that this work was important enough to command it to be done in the first place, so unless God changed his mind, surely it was important enough for him to have prepared a way for it to be accomplished, as he promised – with or without Joseph Smith. 

Instead, Mormons use the King James Version of the Bible, and they publish a version with footnotes which lead to excerpts from the Inspired Version, buried somewhere near the back of the text.  This version only has excerpts; it does not contain the full translation. 

That bothers me.  It also bothers me that it doesn't seem to bother Mormons.  I'm very bothered...

Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the restoration, on command of the Lord, translated Holy Scripture; and most Mormons do not even have access to the majority of it, or even know that it exists beyond the few excerpts in the footnotes.

Regardless of whether or not I believe Joseph Smith’s translation to be accurate, I think that the Saints of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are entitled to have access to what they would consider a correct translation of Holy Scripture. 

They should, in fact be granted more than just access to it.  The Inspired Version of the Bible being anything less than the official translation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints implies that it can’t be trusted as Holy Scripture; which casts serious doubt on whether or not the leaders of the Church, particularly the early Church, really consider Smith to have been a Prophet. 


That should be the statement. 

I mean, there’s no need to use an inferior version when you’ve got one that you know you can count on, right? 

Please take a moment to pray for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Thank you.