A Nazarene Looks at the Book of Mormon

By James Scott Trimm

 

A Brief Foreword by J. Jury

In this article, Rabbi James Scott Trimm- producer of the Hebraic Roots Version of the Scriptures- presents a thoughtful and detailed argument as to why the Book of Mormon has no place in either the restoration of the ancient sect of the Nazarenes, or in the lives of Torah Keepers of any denomination. Unfortunately, there are many accusations against Rabbi Trimm that he has, at some point in the past, endorsed the Book of Mormon. As a personal friend of Rabbi Trimm, I can vouch on his behalf that these allegations are false. This article should hopefully dispel some of these myths. I have reproduced this article (with permission) here on my own website as part of “Against All Heresies,” and I wholeheartedly endorse what Rabbi Trimm has written here concerning the Book of Mormon.

 

Part One: The Anti-Nomian Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon makes a major mistake from a Nazarene standpoint. The Book of Mormon does not represent the teachings of the Bible, but instead presents the teachings Protestant Christians have BELIEVED are in the Bible.

Although the Book of Mormon, unlike the Bible, presents a continuous story line running from “Old Testament Times” through into “New Testament Times”; the Book of Mormon is still clearly dividable into “Old Testament” and “New Testament” portions. Now in its “Old Testament Portion” the Book of Mormon teaches exactly what Christians WISH they could find in the “Old Testament” portion of the Bible. The “Old Testament” portion of the Book of Mormon teaches that the Torah was only temporary and should only be observed until the coming of Messiah:

2 Nephi 25:27, 30 (supposedly between 559 & 545 BC)

…that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.

“…you must keep the performances and ordinances of God until the law shall be fulfilled which was given to Moses.”

Mosiah 13:27 (supposedly in 148 BC)

“…but I say to you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses.”

Alma 30:3 (supposedly 74 BC)

…they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled.

Now this is EXACTLY what Christians would rewrite the real “Old Testament” (the Tanak) to say if they could. But the Tanak does NOT teach that the law of Moses should be kept only “until it should be fulfilled in Christ” until “the law ought to be done away”.

Instead the Tanak teaches that the commandments of the Torah would be for all of our generations forever:

Exodus 27:21

…it shall be a statute FOREVER to their GENERATIONS…

Exodus 28:43

…it shall be a statute FOREVER to him and his seed after him.

Exodus 29:28

…a statute forever…

Exodus 30:21

…it shall be a statute FOREVER to them, to him and to his seed THROUGHOUT their generations.

Exodus 31:17

It is a sign between Me and the children FOREVER.

There is no shortage of passages in the Torah which specify that the Torah will not be done away but will be for all generations forever, and will not be diminished or taken from.

(For more see: Leviticus 6:18,22; 7:34, 36; 10:9,15; 17:7; 23:14,21,41; 24:3; Numbers 10:8; 15:15; 18:8,11,19,23; 19:10; Deuteronomy 4:2; 5:29; 12:32).

Moreover the Psalmist writes:

Psalm 119:160

Your word is truth from the beginning: and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever.

Amazingly the Book of Mormon contradicts itself by echoing this sentiment:

Alma 41:8

…the decrees of God are unalterable…

Not only does the Book of Mormon have its “Old Testament” portion saying just what Christians wish the real Old Testament said (but didn’t), that the law should only be kept until fulfilled in Christ, at which time it would be done away, the Book of Mormon also has Yeshua (Jesus) teaching just what Christianity wishes He taught.

The Book of Mormon has Yeshua saying:

3 Nephi 15:5 (supposedly quoting “Jesus”)

“…the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfill the law; therefore it has an end.”

The Book of Mormon presents this as an elaboration to Yeshua’s statement in the Bible:

Matthew 5:17

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

This statement is repeated in the Book of Mormon’s own version of the Sermon on the Mount (3 Nephi 12:17). However, Christianity finds this statement by Yeshua to be inconvenient and attempts to interpret “fulfill” in this passage to somehow mean “end” or “done away”. The Book of Mormon takes this a step further and has Yeshua Himself interpreting “fulfill” as “end” (see also the above passages from the “Old Testament” portion of the Book of Mormon, where “fulfill” = “end” = “done away”).

The Book of Mormon teaches that the Law of Circumcision was done away in Messiah:

Moroni 8:8 (supposedly quoting “Jesus”)

“…the law of circumcision is done away in Me.”

Once again the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible, which teaches that the law of circumcision is for all generations forever:

Genesis 17:7, 9-10, 12-14

“I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant… You shall keep My covenant therefore, you and your seed after you in their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your seed after you; every man child among you shall be circumcised… And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you every man child in your generations… My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

Even the “New Testament” teaches that circumcision continued to be practiced in NT times:

Acts 16:3

“…and [Paul] took and circumcised him [Timothy]…”

The Book of Mormon also has Yeshua abolishing the law of sacrifice:

3 Nephi 9:19

“And you shall offer up unto Me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.”

Yet the Torah teaches:

Leviticus 6:22; 7:34,36

“…it [the law of sacrifice] is a statute for ever… a statute for ever from among the children of Israel…. a statute for ever throughout their generations.”

Moreover Paul performed animal sacrifices long after the time of Yeshua’s death (Acts 21:17-26 with Numbers 6:13-21; Acts 24:17-18) and stated:

Hebrews 10:2-3

“For then would they [animal sacrifices] ceased to be offered? …in those sacrifices there is a remembrance made of sins every year.”

Now in what one might think of as the “Apostolic” portion of the Book of Mormon, that portion of the Book of Mormon which describes events among the believers after Yeshua’s departure, the Book of Mormon once again comes through in presenting just the words Christians WISH they could find in the Acts portion of the Bible:

4th Nephi 1:12

“And they did not walk anymore after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses…”

By contrast the real “Apostolic” portion of the Bible teaches quite to the contrary:

Acts 21:20

“You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law.”

Paul for example said:

Acts 25:8

“Neither against the Jewish law, nor against the Temple, nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all.”

Acts 28:17

“I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers.”

Romans 7:12

“…the Torah is holy and the commandment is holy and just and good.”

Romans 3:31

“Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we maintain the law.”

In fact Paul himself did “walk after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses”. He:

  • circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:1-3)
  • took the nazarite vow (Acts 18:18; 21:17-26)
  • kept the Torah feasts of:
    • Passover (Acts 20:6; 1Cor. 5:6-8; 11:17-34)
    • Shavuot (Pentecost) (Acts 20:16; 1Cor. 16:8)
    • fast of Yom Kippur (Acts 27:9)
  • and even performed animal sacrifices (Acts 21:17-26 with Numbers 6:13-21; Acts 24:17-18)

Thus consistently in regards to Torah truth the Book of Mormon does not repeat the teachings of the Bible, but instead consistently the Book of Mormon substitutes the teachings Christendom WISHES were in the Bible.

The Book of Mormon has its “Old Testament era prophets” teaching that the law should be kept until it would be fulfilled and done away with by Messiah. The Book of Mormon has the Messiah claiming to have ended the law, done away with the law of circumcision and abolished the law of sacrifice. And finally the Book of Mormon has its “apostolic era” believers abandoning the Law of Moses. All of these things are things that Christians WISH they could show in the Bible but which are not to be found in the Bible because they are not true.

 

Part Two: Conflicting with the Torah

The Book of Mormon claims that the peoples which it depicts as coming to the new world kept the law of Moses in all things until the time of Messiah’s death:

2 Nephi 5:10

“And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses.”

2 Nephi 25:24

“…we keep the law of Moses.”

Jarom 1:5

“…They observed to keep the law of Moses…”

Mosiah 2:3

“And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses…”

Alma 30:3

…the people did observe to keep the commandments of the Lord; and they were strict in observing the ordinances of God, according to the law of Moses; for they were taught to keep the law of Moses until it should be fulfilled.

But does the Book of Mormon prove true in this regard? Does it stand the test of Torah? Does its author even display and accurate knowledge of Torah?

The Priesthood

In the Book of Mormon, during the time period in which its people supposedly “did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses” (2 Nephi 5:10), Nephi consecrates his brothers Joseph and Jacob as priests:

2 Nephi 5:26

“And it came to pass that I Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people.”

Jacob 1:18

“For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph had been consecrated priests and teachers of this people, by the hand of Nephi.”

Now this Jacob and Joseph were both sons of Lehi (1 Nephi 18:7; 2 Nephi 2:2) and this Lehi was a Josephite (1 Nephi 15:12, 19:24; 2 Nephi 3:2-5; Jacob 2:5; Alma 10:3, 26:36). Thus Jacob and Joseph were both from the Tribe of Joseph and NOT from the Tribe of Levi.

But the Torah is very clear. One must be from the Tribe of Levi and a son of Aharon (Aaron) to be consecrated as a priest (Exodus 28:1; Numbers 3:5-13; 16:3-10, 40; Numbers 18; also Hebrews 7:12-14).

So how could Nephi claim that he and his people “did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses” (2 Nephi 5:10) when in fact he was consecrating his own Josephite brothers who were not even Levites, much less sons of Aharon to serve as priests?

Obviously the true author of the Book of Mormon was so ignorant of Torah he did not know that Josephites cannot be consecrated as priests.

The Temple

During this same time period that the Book of Mormon Peoples supposedly “did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses” (2 Nephi 5:10) they also supposedly built a Temple “after the manner of Solomon” on the American continent (2 Nephi 5:16). In fact they not only built one Temple but they built several. They built temples in “the Land of Nephi” (2 Nephi 5:8,16) and in “the Land of Zarahemla” (Mosiah 1:18) and in the “Land Bountiful” (3 Nephi 11:1).

However the Torah teaches that a single unique place would be established for the location of the Temple:

Deuteronomy 12:21

“…the place which the LORD your God has chosen to put His name there…”

Deuteronomy 16:16

“…in the place which he shall choose…”

“His name” in this case refers to the Ark of God “whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwells between the cherubims.” (2 Samuel 6:2). This single unique place was the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (2 Samue 6; 1 Kings 6, 8). Now let me repeat: the Torah is clear that there is to be only one unique location for the Temple and that the one Temple, once that place was chosen, could only be built in that one location.

But the Book of Mormon peoples supposedly built a Temple in “the Land of Nephi” sometime between 588 and 570 BC (2 Nephi 5:16) but by 124 BC they had also built another Temple in “the Land of Zarahemla” (Mosiah 1:18) and by about 34 AD they had built another Temple in “The Land Bountiful” (3 Nephi 11:1). And let’s not forget much of this time overlaps the time from about 460 BC to 70 AD in which the Second Temple stood in the chosen place on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Sacrificial Offerings

According to the Book of Mormon, during this time that the “Book of Mormon Peoples” were keeping “all things according to the law of Moses” (2 Nephi 5:10) they were offering sacrifices including “burnt offerings”.

Mosiah 2:3 (see also 1 Nephi 5:9, 7:22

“And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses…”

So now we have non-levitical priests officiating sacrifices at a Temple that is not in the chosen location! It just gets deeper and deeper!

Calendar

Although its people supposedly kept the Law of Moses until the time of “Christ”, the book places the death of “Christ” on “the first month, on the fourth day” of their calendar (3 Nephi 8:5). This is a serious problem for the Book of Mormon. We know from the “New Testament” that Yeshua’s death occurred either on Passover or on the day before Passover. Now Passover occurs on the 14th day following the New Moon for the month of Abib. On ANY New Moon based calendar (i.e. any Torah based calendar) the death of Yeshua would take place no earlier than the 13th day of the month. (On any full moon based calendar it would take place within two days of the first day of the month, so this could not even be a lunar based calendar at all). Thus the Book of Mormon People could not have been observing the Biblical calendar.

Conclusion

So now lets return to our key passage:

2 Nephi 5:10

“And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses.”

Now even if God had told the Book of Mormon peoples to appoint non-levitical priests and build various Temples in locations other then the chosen place at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and even if He told them to conduct sacrifices and offerings there, and even if He had told them to abandon the Biblical calendar…. The Book of Mormon would STILL be TOTALLY dishonest in claiming that they had done “all things according to the law of Moses” (2 Nephi 5:10).

 

Part Three: Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Joseph Smith dictated his Book of Mormon to his “scribes” from behind a curtain. You may recall that in the classic musical “The Wizard of Oz” when the Wizard is exposed as a fraud behind a curtain, he says “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” What he said with defensiveness this article proclaims of Joseph Smith with conviction: “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

Now Book of Mormon advocates will point to the Book of Mormon itself and Moroni 10:3-5 as the test for the Book of Mormon. This passage basically says that if you “ask God… if these things are not true… with a sincere heart…” that God will “manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” because “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” But this method is circular thinking. We must first assume Moroni 10:3-5 is true in order to test and see if Moroni 10:3-5 and the rest of the Book of Mormon is true.

Now it is true that Romans 8:4-5, 9 teaches that we walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh, but if we look back at Roman 7:14 we see that this is because the Torah is of the Spirit and we are of the flesh. This is why Paul says that he only knew what sin was based on what the Torah said (Romans 7:7). This is a very basic principle. What we get from ourselves is not of the Spirit but of the flesh… but the Torah is of the Spirit so we can know what is of the Spirit NOT by seeking answers within ourselves, but by searching the Torah.

Now the Torah gives us a plain and simple three step test for a prophet. This is an objective test that we are REQUIRED by the Torah to use to measure the claims of a prophet. Any measure of Smith’s prophetic claims including his Book of Mormon MUST be based on this three stage test. According to the Torah, if Smith fails ANY of these three tests then he is a false prophet and we would be violating the Torah to accept his Book of Mormon as true.

Test One: Did Joseph Smith (and/or his Book of Mormon) prophecy things that failed to occur?

This test comes from Deuteronomy 18:21-22:

Deuteronomy 18:21-22

And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Now Joseph Smith published his Book of Mormon in 1830. It was easy for Smith to have its “ancient prophets” prophecy events which occurred before 1830. For example we find “amazing” prophecies about Columbus (1 Nephi 13:12) the Indians (1 Nephi 13:14); the Puritans (1 Nephi 13:16) and the American Revolution (1 Nephi 13:17-19) but as we approach 1830 the “amazing” prophecies suddenly disappear. Smith had no real prophetic knowledge of events which had not already occurred. One good example is 2 Nephi 10:7. In 1830 most theologians believed that the nation of Israel would not be reborn and the Jewish people not settle in our land again until after the return of Messiah. In fact the Scofield Bible charts had to be redone after the birth of Israel in 1948 to accommodate this unexpected event. But the Book of Mormon blows it! Joseph Smith had no idea Israel would be reborn in 1948 so his Book of Mormon falsely predicts:

2 Nephi 10:7

But behold, thus saith the Lord God: when the day cometh that they believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.

The Book of Mormon wrongly prophecies that the Jewish people as a whole would have to turn to Messiah BEFORE they would be restored to their land! What a shock for Book of Mormon believers in 1948 when the Jews were restored to their land BEFORE turning to Yeshua as Messiah!

Test Two: Did Joseph Smith implore us to go after false gods?

This test comes from Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and 18:20:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Deuteronomy 18:20

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

Did Joseph Smith implore us to go after “other gods”? I will quote some of Smith’s own statements and allow the reader to determine this for himself:

Excerpts taken from: The King Follet Sermon; By President Joseph Smith Sunday, April 7, 1844. History of the Church, Volume 6, page 302.

“I will go back to the beginning before the world was, to show what kind of a being God is. What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth, for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and to tell you the designs of God in relation to the human race, and why He interferes with the affairs of man.

“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make himself visible, I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another.

“In order to understand the subject of the dead, for consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how He came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.

“These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.”

“…although the earthly tabernacle is laid down and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before.”

“In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted [prepared] a plan to create the world and people it. When we begin to learn this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer.”

Excerpts taken from: Joseph Smith’s Sermon On Plurality of Gods as printed in History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 473-479

“I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! We have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural: and who can contradict it!”

“Some say I do not interpret the scripture the same as they do. They say it [the quote by Paul which Smith is about to repeat] means the heathen’s gods. Paul says there are Gods many and Lords many; and that makes a plurality of Gods. in spite of the whims of all men…. I have a witness of the Holy Ghost, and a testimony that Paul had no allusion to the heathen gods in the text.”

“In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through-Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us; and when you take [that] view of the subject, it sets one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods. All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth.”

Can there be any doubt that Joseph Smith fails the second test as well in that he implored us to go after other gods?

Test Three: Did Joseph Smith himself and the fruits of his prophecies uphold Torah observance?

This test is also derived from Deuteronomy 13:1-5:

Deuteronomy 13:1-5

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Here we have an example of the fifth rule of Ishmael: PERKAT UKHELAL “particular and general”. This rule tells us that when a specific instance is stated first and followed by a general category then instances other than the particular one mentioned are included. In this case “Let us go after other gods” is a particular instance and “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments” is the general category. In other words the prophet must not just uphold the commandment against idolatry, that is just one example. The prophet must uphold all of the other commandments of the Torah as well, both in his own observance and in his prophecy.

So let us now apply this test to Joseph Smith. Was Joseph Smith Torah observant? Did he even pretend to be? Did he keep kosher? Did he keep the true sabbath? Did he wear tzitzit? did he keep the feasts? Etc. The answer is absolutely not. Moreover, as we have already shown Smith’s Book of Mormon teaches that the Torah was only to be kept until the Messiah had come to fulfill it, and that by fulfilling it Messiah had brought it to an end that it would be “done away”. The Book of Mormon plainly teaches that the Torah should NOT be observed.

Conclusion

Joseph Smith fails all three Torah tests for a prophet. He prophesied of events that did not occur. He drew men to other gods and he failed to uphold Torah either in his own path or in his fruits as a “prophet”. We have no choices here… the Torah REQUIRES that we reject his prophetic claims, including the Book of Mormon. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

 

Part Four: Displacing the Promises of Israel

According to Torah YHWH promised that he would make Abraham’s descendants through Isaac to be the special nation to Him that would be above all nations upon the face of the earth:

Genesis 15:1-5

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

Genesis 17:1-9, 19

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Genesis 18:17-18

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Deuteronomy 7:6-7

For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people…

But the Book of Mormon attempts to thieve this promise from the Jewish people and deliver it to its fictional Jaredites:

Ether 1:42-43

…I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth. And there I will bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.

The Book of Mormon’s Jaredites are a fictional non-Jewish race who supposedly left just before the fall of the Great Tower of Babel (Babylon) and settled in the New World. The entire civilization supposedly was destroyed (Ether 13-15) sometime before 130 BC (Omni 1:20-22). The Book of Mormon would displace these promises from the Jewish people and reassign them to a fictional dead civilization.

Not only does the Book of Mormon seek to displace Israel’s promise that there would be no greater nation, but the Book of Mormon also seeks to create a Land of Promise in America for the House of Joseph (2 Nephi 1:3). But the Torah teaches that the Land of Promise for all of Israel is in a very specific location in the Middle East (Genesis 13:14-18).

 

– James Trimm

 

Additional Notes

It is not possible to accept the Book of Mormon without disobeying Torah. Why?

Deuteronomy 19:15

“On the mouth of two witnesses or on the mouth of three witnesses shall a word be established.”

The Book of Mormon was allegedly written on metal plates in Reformed Egyptian, a language no one knows today or knew in 1830. It was allegedly translated into English by Joseph Smith, and Smith claimed 11 witnesses to the plates and the English translation. Did Smith’s 11 witnesses comply with Deuteronomy 19:15? No. If we believe their story (and a few of these witnesses recanted their story, but still… even if we believe it…), all they were able to testify to was that Joseph Smith showed them his English Book of Mormon, and some metal plates they did not understand. Those metal plates could have had a weather forecast on it for all they knew. None of these witnesses testified that the English translation in any way accurately represented what was on the plates. This is not a trivial issue, because at http://www.irr.org/mit/boapage.html is an account of how Joseph Smith took an Egyptian Scroll and allegedly translated it into English and titled it the “Book of Abraham”. The scroll is still known, and was later discovered to actually bear no resemblance to his English “translation”, but was actually a copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead! So all we really have witnesses to is that Joseph Smith produce a Book of Mormon in English and showed them some plates with something on it they did not understand. No one knows where these alleged plates are today. Thus the entire credibility of the Book rests on one witness; namely Joseph Smith.

This is not how Elohim operates. Elohim spoke His Torah from Mount Sinai to over 600,000 male witnesses, not counting women and children. Legend says the whole world heard it, but only the 600,000 man nation that recorded it preserved it to bear witness to the next generation. And legend teaches that Elohim gave a copy of the Torah, letter-for-letter to each of the 12 tribes so that if anyone changed it, there would be 11 other witnesses against them. No one knows where those 12 versions are today, but Elohim did establish multiple witnesses and left it up to man to preserve it.

But the Book of Mormon starts and ends with Joseph Smith. Also, there are PARTS of the Book of Mormon that even the 11 witnesses did not testify to. Mormon 8:5 tells us that Mormon 8:1-9:37 were not written on any plates, but on an unknown source text. None of Smith’s 11 witnesses ever testified as seeing the source texts from outside the plates. So at least SOME sections of the Book of Mormon have not had the source text witnessed by anyone but Smith, and no one has testified that the lost source accurately represents the English version except Smith.

And keep in mind that the 1830 Book of Mormon is not what most people use today. The LDS Church CHANGED the Book of Mormon, without a source text to use to correct it with! So it was CHANGED without any witnesses being able to testify that the source text is different than how it reads!

So there’s just no way Deuteronomy 19:15 can be fulfilled and the Book of Mormon be accepted at the same time. One must disobey Torah to accept the Book of Mormon by relaxing the requirement that all words be established by two witnesses or more.

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