By Marvin W. Cowan
The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible is one of four books of scripture that LDS have in addition to their official King James Version (KJV) Bible. Joseph Smith wrote all four of the LDS scriptures between 1830 and 1844. He said the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) is a sacred history of the ancestors of the American Indians like the Bible is of the Israelites. No ancient documents support the B. of M. as real history and no scientific evidence supports it either. Smith said that the B. of M. was written in a “Reformed Egyptian language” on gold plates that he found near Palmyra, NY and that he translated it into English by the gift and power of God. However, no “Reformed Egyptian” writing has been found in the Americas and Egyptologists say there is no such language. Smith also said by the gift and power of God he translated the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price (P. of G. P.) from ancient Egyptian papyri purchased in 1835 in Kirtland, OH. Facsimiles of three of those papyri are in every copy of the Book of Abraham along with Smith’s explanations. Egyptologists say the papyri are common funeral papyri and have nothing to do with Abraham or Smith explanations. Smith’s “translation” of Abraham contains stories of creation and other early Biblical events that are very different from the Bible. Smith also claimed that the book of Moses in the P. of G. P. was written by Moses, but was lost until God restored it through a revelation to him. It also has stories of creation and other early Biblical events that are different from the Book of Abraham as well as the Bible. No historical document or evidence of any kind supports Smith’s book of Moses.
The Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.) contains revelations from God primarily to Smith, so there are no historical documents to support his “revelations.” Smith also made changes in the KJV Bible and called it the Inspired Version or the JST, but no ancient manuscripts or other historical documents support his changes. LDS claim Satan led some early religious leaders to add and delete Bible content, but Smith corrected those errors through revelations from God in his JST. The Bible has thousands of ancient manuscripts that support its content, but not even one supports Smith’s corrections in his JST! None of Smith’s scriptures have any valid evidence to support them! So, was the new content in Smith’s scriptures something he made up?
In Genesis 6 and 7 of the JST, Enoch supposedly preached a long sermon which contains several unique LDS doctrines. Smith claimed that many things in the Bible had been distorted or were missing and that he restored them in his JST and in the book of Moses in the P. of G. P. In Genesis 6:60 of the JST and Moses 6:57 of the P. of G. P, Enoch mentioned the language of Adam or the “pure Adamic language” as it was called in the LDS temple ceremony. LDS believe they will speak that language during the millennium (Mormon Doctrine, p. 19).
Genesis 7:9-10 in the JST and Moses 7:8 in the P. of G. P. say the land of Cainan was cursed and “a blackness came upon all the children of Cainan, that they were despised among all people.” LDS taught that those of the Negroid race were cursed with black skins and were to be excluded from the LDS priesthood. That curse also excluded them from entering Mormon temples which meant they couldn’t go to the highest heaven after they died so they couldn’t become gods. The Negroid curse was part of the Mormon beliefs until June 1978 when it was cancelled by LDS Prophet Spencer Kimball’s revelation (Official Declaration—2 in the D. & C.). The curse of black skin had LDS scriptural authority because it is mentioned in Genesis 7:29 of the JST and in Moses 7:8 & 22 and Abraham 1:21-26 in the P. of G. P. But LDS believe their President is a Prophet who gives “current revelation” and his “revelation” ended that curse.
Genesis 5:24 in the Bible says that Enoch was translated or taken up to heaven. But Genesis 7:23-27 in the JST and Moses 7:18-21 in the P. of G. P says the Lord showed Enoch that the City of Enoch or “Zion in the process of time was taken up into heaven.” So, LDS teach that the City of Enoch or Zion was taken up to heaven, where it will remain until the millennium begins. It will then return to earth with the New Jerusalem and be merged with the New Jerusalem or Zion that the Mormons will build in Independence, Missouri where Christ will reign for 1,000 years (JST of Genesis 7:70-71; D. & C. 84:1-5; Moses 7:62-64 in the P. of G. P.).
In Genesis 7:42 of the JST and Moses 7:35 in the P. of G.P God said, “Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name also.” In D. & C. 19:10-12 God said, “For behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. Endless punishment is God’s punishment.” A pamphlet published by the LDS Church entitled “The Plan of Salvation” explains on p. 29, “Eternal punishment is God’s punishment; everlasting punishment is God’s punishment; or in other words it is the name of the punishment God inflicts, He being eternal in His nature. Whosoever, therefore, receives God’s punishment receives eternal punishment, whether it is endured one hour, one day, one week, or an age.” So, LDS “eternal punishment” is not eternal, but “eternal life” is eternal and never ends! Is that consistent?