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Doctrinal Contradictions

October 8, 2011

Richard Packham:

“Contradictions are a mark of falseness. If two statements contradict each other, then one of them must be false. If both statements come from the same person, then the suspicion must arise that the person is lying (or at least grossly mistaken) in one of them, or perhaps both.”

Aside from the many historical and doctrinal contradictions already listed in the other posts here, there are a number of other significant ones.

Is there more than one God?

Scriptures that clearly say there is only one God:  Alma 11:26-29, D&C 20:19, Moses 1:6, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 45:6

Passages that clearly say there is more than one God:  Abraham Chapter 4, D&C 132:37, and modern teachings

Are God the Father and God the Son separate personages?

Passages that clearly say they are separate: D&C 130:22, JS-Hist 1:17, and modern teachings

Passages that clearly say they are the same:  Mosiah 15:1-4, Ether 3:14

It’s also very interesting to note the differences in the early version of the Book of Mormon (before the First Vision was every mentioned) and the current version.

The 1830 version:

1 Nephi 11:21: “And the angel said unto me: Behold, the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!”

1 Nephi 13:40: “…the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world…”

1 Nephi 11:18: “And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of God.”

1 Nephi 11:32: “And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea,  the Everlasting God, was judged of the world.”

Current version:

1 Nephi 11:21: “And the angel said unto me: Behold theLamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!”

1 Nephi 13:40: “…the Lamb of God is the Son of Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world…”

1 Nephi 11:18: “And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God.”

1 Nephi 11:32: ” And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the Everlasting God, was judged of the world.”

What happens to people that didn’t have the chance to hear and accept the gospel in this life?

D&C 137:7-8 says they will make it into the celestial kingdom if they would have accepted it given the chance

D&C 76:71-78, especially verse 72, says they will only make it into the terrestrial kingdom

What happens to children who die?

Joseph Smith, in his King Follet Sermon (part 1, part 2), stated:

“But as the child dies, so shall it rise from the dead…. It will never grow: it will still be the child, in the same precise form as it appeared before it died out of its mother’s arms, but possessing all the intelligence of a God. Children dwell in the mansions of glory and exercise power, but appear in the same form as when on earth,… with not one cubit added to their stature.”

Joseph Fielding Smith, in Doctrines of Salvation, stated that their resurrected bodies would be

“…The same size as it was when the child died. It will then grow after the resurrection to conform to the size of the spirit.”

How was Jesus conceived?

Alma 7:10 and 1 Nephi 11 make it fairly certain that He was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost.

President Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51:

“When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was NOT begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family… Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven…. Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.”

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie in Mormon Doctrine:

“Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.”

What did God think of David and Solomon’s polygamy?

It’s important to note here that what is presented is God’s view of polygamy during a single time. It’s different than saying that polygamy under Brigham Young was okay and polygamy now is not.  It’s akin to God saying that Brigham Young practicing polygamy himself was approved and then later saying that it was an abomination.

Jacob 2:24

“Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”

D&C 132:38-39

“David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.  David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me…”

Also see 2 Samuel 12:7-8.

Is murder a forgivable sin?

3 Nephi 30:2, Alma 39:6, Matthew 12:31, and Jeremiah 33:8 all say that it is.

Joseph Smith in the King Follet Discourse, Journal of Discourses 6:8:

“All sins, and all blasphemies, and every transgression, except one, that man can be guilty of, may be forgiven; and there is a salvation for all men, either in this world or the world to come,… unless he has committed that unpardonable sin [the sin against the Holy Ghost]…”

D&C 42:18:

“And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.”

Joseph Smith in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 339:

“A murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have forgiveness… They [can] not be baptized for the remission of sins for they [have] shed innocent blood.”

Where was the Garden of Eden?

Moses 3:10-15 has it in or near Ethiopia.

D&C 116 has it in Missouri.

Natural man, good or bad?

Mosiah 3:19:

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man…”

Apostle George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses 21:79:

“The natural man is at enmity with Christ and with God;…”

Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses, 9:305:

“Paul says in his Epistle to the Corinthians, ‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of God,’ but I say it is the unnatural man that receiveth not the things of God. That which was, is and will continue to endure is more natural than that which will pass away and be no more. The natural man is of God.”

Are people punished for the sins of their ancestors?

D&C 101:78, the second Article of Faith, and other Mormon scriptures state that men will punished for their own sins and not others’ transgressions.

But D&C 98:39-46, the Book of Mormon, and the Old Testament have examples of people being punished for the sins of their fathers, grandfathers, etc.

Who was the angel who appeared to Joseph Smith in 1823?

Modern editions of JS-History have it as Moroni, as is the common belief of the church now.

But the 1851 version of the Pearl of Great Price, the biography of Joseph Smith by his own mother, and multiple early Mormon periodicals had it as Nephi.

The ordinance of baptism has been changed by the modern church

3 Nephi 11:24-25, D&C 20:73, Mosiah 18:11-14 all have different wording for the ordinance of baptism. 

Nowadays, any deviation whatsoever from D&C 20:73 means the ordinance was done improperly and must be done again.  The church teaches that ordinances should never be changed.

In the August 2001 Ensign:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, ‘Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.  It is this principle of consistent and unalterable requirements that gives true meaning to the performance of vicarious ordinances in the temple.”

I will likely add to this post over time.

Next step: The Adam-God Doctrine

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