Yes, the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (or “Mormons”) claim that, along with the Bible, the Book of Mormon1 is a revelation from God. However, the Book of Mormon fails the tests that the Bible gives to identify genuine revelations from God; e.g.:

Deut. 13:1-3
If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and …  says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Isa. 8:19-20
when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? … To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

Someone might claim a revelation has come from God, but if that “revelation” contradicts what God has said before then the “revelation” is false, it is not from God. This is true of the Book of Mormon (and the other Mormon texts): they contradict the Bible so they are not from God.

Examples of the Book of Mormon contradicting the Bible.

There are various “minor”  contradictions between the Book of Mormon and the Bible; e.g.:

Book of Mormon The Bible
1Nephi 4:2 (also 17:26)
…Moses…spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided…
Ex.14:21
…Moses stretched out his hand over the sea…and the waters were divided.
Mosiah 18:5,17
…in Mormon…they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward… [c. 148—145 B.C]
Mat.16:18
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church… [1stC AD]
Alma 46:13-16
{15} …all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called… [c. 73-72 B.C]
Acts 11:26
…For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. [1stC AD]
Alma 7:9-10
…the Son of God…shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem…
Mat. 2:1
…Jesus was born in Bethlehem…
Helaman 14:20
…in that day that he [Jesus] shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his blight unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead
Luke 23:44
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. [i.e. 3 hours of darkness]

These “minor” contradictions aren’t so minor when we realise that even they mean that the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible, and therefore the Book of Mormon isn’t a revelation from God.

There are more serious contradictions, too, between the Book of Mormon and the Bible. For example:

  • the Book of Mormon says the devil is a “fallen angel” (2Nephi 2:17-18),
  • the Book of Mormon and other Mormon texts say that Jesus pre-existed before his birth (1Neph.10:17;13:33-6 has Jesus talking c. 600-592 BC; Mormons say Jesus is Jehovah — or Yahweh — of the OT),
    • but the Bible says that Jesus, the son of God, came into being when he was conceived in Mary’s womb (Mat.1:18; Luke 1:31-32,35);
  • the Book of Mormon says America is the Promised Land (1Neph. 13 — see chapter summary),
    • but the Bible says Canaan (i.e. Israel) is the Promised Land (Gen.17:8; Deut.27:3-4).
  • the Book of Mormon says people carry on living as spirits after they die (Alma 40:11-14),

These are major contradictions with what the Bible teaches, which shows that the Book of Mormon is not a revelation from God (Deut. 13:1-3; Isa. 8:19-20).

These contradictions are all we need to see the Book of Mormon isn’t from God. However, there is other evidence, too. One further example of this evidence follows (for more, see Further reading):

Weakness of Mormonism’s foundation “vision”

The basis of the Mormon faith is a vision that a man called Joseph Smith claimed to receive in 1820.2 This authority is weak when you compare the various accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision — the accounts differ vastly. For a full comparison of the various “First Vision” accounts see Comparison of Mormon First Vision accounts; a summary is given below:

Smith’s official account of 1838 contradicts his earlier, first recorded written account of the “First Vision” (1832) in regard to how he discovered that all Christian denominations were astray from Jesus Christ and from the gospel:

  • In the official 1838 account, Smith says that before his “First Vision” he didn’t know all denominations were wrong (it had ‘never enter my heart that all were wrong’ — v18). In fact, it was impossible for him to know, he says (v8), and the information was revealed to him for the first time during the “First Vision” (also see v10);3
  • But, contrary to this, in his first written record of the “First Vision” (1832) Smith says that he discovered before the “First Vision” that all denominations were astray from the gospel — he discovered it by studying the Bible, he says.4 This contradiction between the two accounts makes the authenticity of Joseph Smith’s “First Vision” highly questionable.

Smith’s official account of 1838 also contradicts his own earlier accounts (Nov. 9th & 14th, 1835) in regard to who appeared to him in the “First Vision”: -

  • In the official 1838 account, Smith says that two personages appeared to him: One of the personages identified the Other personage as His own Son – the Father and Son here appearing to Joseph themselves (v17);3
  • But contrary to this, in the 1835 accounts it is angels who appear to Smith, not the Father and the Son.4 This contradiction between the two accounts makes the authenticity of Joseph Smith’s “First Vision” account highly questionable.

Joseph Smith’s own accounts of his “First Vision” contradict each other. At best, this shows that Smith’s words and writings are unreliable and cannot be relied upon for accuracy. At worst, this shows that Smith fabricated the “First Vision” altogether and he cannot be trusted. Either way, the foundation “experience” of Mormonism is unstable, which brings the rest of the religion into question.

Further reading

Mormons in Transition website.

Comparison of Mormon First Vision accounts

———-
Footnotes

  1. And other Mormon texts, e.g. Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.
  2. ‘The truthfulness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the truthfulness of the First Vision and the other revelations the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph.’ Gospel Topic: Joseph Smith (accessed 17/11/09)
  3. Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith — History, 1:7-20; online here. Also see here.
  4. History, 1832, Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, p. 2-3; online here.
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  • Mark

    “the Bible says that Jesus, the son of God, came into being when he was conceived in Mary’s womb”

    How, then, can Jesus claim “Before Abraham was, I am” if he didn’t exist before he was born to Mary? How can the New Testament so repeatedly claim that God created the world through Jesus, if Jesus didn’t even exist until ages after the world had already been created?

    • Barbara

      Jesus christ stepped down from Heaven in the Flesh as son of man and Son of God Genesis 1 1 in the beginning the Word (Jesus)was with God all things created he…read between the lines PRAY in the name of Jesus Christ amen

  • Luke Buckler

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Regarding your first question, please see the answer to ‘What did Jesus mean when he said “before Abraham was, I am”?

    Regarding your second question, please see the answer to ‘How can all things come from both the Father and the Son (1 Corinthians 8:6)?

    I hope these are at least a start to answering your questions.

    • Barbara

      I am the beginning and the end. Alpha and Omega. The author and finisher. In Jesus name amen

  • george

    if our souls cease to exist after death, than what is all this stuff about going to heaven after death so many more times in the bible

  • george

    as for saying that satan is a fallen angel, angel can just be used a synonym to a spirit, thus not contradicting that part. also the angels can’t sin comment has no scripture reference to it making it sound uncredible

  • george

    the promised land in the BoM and the bible is saying that to different people so that land is promised to separate groups of people, and also canaan might of not of been the promised land anymore

  • george

    and most important i noticed that none of you BoM scriptures don’t have links as oppose to the bible ones so that proves that you have been taking these scriptures out of context or something.
    i am going to get my mormon information on an un-biased website.

  • george

    if jesus isn’t jehovah, than who is. why is he not mentioned in the new testament. in the bible it shows that jehovah isn’t god and it makes perfect sense that it would be jesus. i’m not a mormon but i already believed that jehovah was jesus so some of your “bible references” contradict other and more major bible scriptures.
    i hope that no one else reads this page made by this person who went completely went out of his way just to attempt to make another religion look bad.

  • george

    we’re all christian here, but in romans 2:1 it says not to judge but i don’t see anything else here than a biased man trying to spread false feelings about another religion. hitler did the same thing and there is not a sane soul in the world who thinks that hitler was a good person. how is this any different? just because hitler massacred hundreds of jews does not mean that anyone else would do that to mormons if they were able too. luke, just let people believe what they want and don’t blame them for it.

  • Alex

    This is false! Remove this all! This is A warning from a random person that doesn’t read the Book of Mormon!!! You are being warned again! God forgive this person! Amen.

  • History1066

    Some of what you have said contradicts thousands of years of Christian tradition.

    • Jonathan Morgan

      This site isn’t about Christian tradition, but about what we believe the Bible says.

      • History1066

        Not a criticism, just an observation. I was kind of shocked because some of what was said here not only conflicts with what I was taught, it conflicts with some of the basic ideas that Christianity has taught for over 1,000 years. If anything, I applaud your willingess to challlenge your own dogma. To be honest, I am not a Christian (I was raised so, but have a far more complex religious system now). No offense has been intended, of course.

  • Barbara

    Hebrew 7speaks of the coming of the church of Jesus Christ and the latter day saints and now is amen

  • truth d

    All these points are erroneous. You are trying to confuse people by showing half truths and misinterpretations of both the book of mormon and the bible. But to say that Jesus didn’t exist before his birth to mary takes a lot of guts so instead of rebuking you for your ignorance I should commend you for your creativity