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Latter-day Saint scripture/Supposed contradictions
Alleged Contradictions in Latter-day Saint Scripture
Jump to Subtopic:
- Question: Why are there discrepancies between translations in the Book of Mormon, King James Bible and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible?
- Question: Do Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 and 2 Nephi 31:17 or 3 Nephi 12:2 contradict one another regarding the order in which one receives baptism and a remission of sins?
- Question: Are Mormon scriptures full of contradictions?
- Question: Why does the Book of Mormon and Book of Moses describe "God" as creating, while the Book of Abraham describes "Gods?"
- Question: How can one view contradictions in Scripture in a faithful way?
Question: Why are there discrepancies between translations in the Book of Mormon, King James Bible and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible?
Parallel passages from the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible sometimes disagree not only with the King James Version of the Bible, but also with each other
Parallel passages from the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible sometimes disagree not only with the King James Version of the Bible, but also with each other. Critics ask why Joseph's earlier work (i.e., the Book of Mormon) generally followed the King James Version of the Bible closely while his later work (i.e., the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible) did not. Critics ask which translation did Joseph get right, implying that one is wrong, hence bringing his prophetic calling into question. Critics generally cite any of a number of passages from Matthew 5-7 from the King James Version and Joseph Smith Translation and 3 Nephi 12-14 from the Book of Mormon. A much celebrated example is:
Matthew 6:25-27 (King James Version)
- 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
- 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
- 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
3 Nephi 13:25-27) (Book of Mormon)
- 25 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
- 26 Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
- 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Matthew 6:25-27 (Joseph Smith Translation)
- 25 And, again, I say unto you, go ye into the world, and care not for the world; for the world will hate you, and will persecute you, and will turn you out of their synagogues.
- 26 Nevertheless, ye shall go forth from house to house, teaching the people; and I will go before you.
- 27 And your heavenly Father will provide for you, whatsoever things ye need for food, what ye shall eat; and for raiment, what ye shall wear or put on.
Joseph had different purposes in mind in his different translations
Joseph had different purposes in mind in his different translations. This is not unique or unusual in scripture -- even the Bible. Hence, neither the Book of Mormon nor the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible can be discounted because of seeming discrepancies with each other or with the King James Version of the Bible.
Joseph Smith had different purposes in mind when bringing forth the Book of Mormon and the Joseph smith Translation. His purpose in bringing forth the Book of Mormon was to witness "the reality that "Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations". Departing from the King James Version, i.e., the translation familiar to those who would become the Book of Mormon's first readers, would have been a stumbling block in achieving its purpose. On the other hand, Joseph's later purpose in bringing forth the Joseph Smith Translation is largely understood to have been one of redaction, or inspired commentary -- to resolve confusion regarding biblical interpretation Hence the different wording, and in some cases, even content.
Gleason Archer, well known Evangelical Christian and the Author of a highly respected book called "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties", addresses the issue of Paul citing deficient Greek Septuagint translations that appear in our New Testaments today in lieu of better translations of the Old Testament he could have come up with. Archer says:
"Suppose Paul had chosen to work out a new, more accurate translation into Greek directly from Hebrew. Might not the Bereans have said in reply, “that’s not the way we find it in our Bible. How do we know you have not slanted your different rendering here and there in order to favor you new teaching about Christ?” In order to avoid suspicion and misunderstanding, it was imperative for the apostles and evangelists to stick with the Septuagint in their preaching and teaching, both oral and written.
"We, like the first-century apostles, resort to these standard translations to teach our people in terms they can verify by resorting to their own Bibles, yet admittedly, none of these translations is completely free of faults. We use them nevertheless, for the purpose of more effective communication than if we were to translate directly from the Hebrew or Greek."
Archer's point is that it is more important in certain settings that Paul's writings be familiar rather than 100% precise.
Question: Do Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 and 2 Nephi 31:17 or 3 Nephi 12:2 contradict one another regarding the order in which one receives baptism and a remission of sins?
These scriptures are not contradictory, for at least three reasons
It is claimed that LDS scriptures such as DC 20:37 (first case) and 2 Nephi 31:17, 3 Nephi 12:2, and Moroni 8:11 (second case) are contradictory about the order in which one receives baptism and a remission of sins and that that "Mormon theologians" have ignored this issue.
As is typical in such charges of self-contradiction, the critics either:
- misinterpret LDS scripture;
- compare verses of scripture which are not speaking about identical issues;
- read Protestant terminology or theology into LDS scripture.
In this case, the critics have committed all three mistakes. As such, it is not surprising if "Mormon theologians" have spent little on the issues. The critics are looking to find fault, and so strain at gnats. LDS thinkers understand LDS doctrine, and so see clearly that there is no contradiction.
These scriptures are not contradictory, for at least three reasons—any one of which is sufficient to disprove the critics' claim. We will first list the scriptural texts, and then discuss each of the three reasons for which they are not properly seen as contradictory.
Scriptures to be considered
The first case
And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church (DC 20:37).
The second case
Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 31:17).
...Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins (3 Nephi 12:2).
And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins (Moroni 8:11).
Reason #1: The scriptures are discussing two slightly different issues
There is a difference between "received of the Spirit of Christ" (which is given to every man—see Moroni 7:16—but may be received or not depending on choices and heed paid to it) and the baptism of "fire and the Holy Ghost" which happens after baptism, as Joseph Smith taught:
There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this sign or ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him. 
Reason #2: The audience and presumed intent for the audience are slightly different
Note too that those in the first instance have repented and expressed a desire to be baptized, which desire and sincerity can then lead to a remission of their sins, (i.e., the intent is what matters, and a willingness to follow through on that intent).
In the second case, Nephi is encouraging those who may not have accepted the Messiah to do so, and to obey the commandments and example given by the Messiah—including baptism. So, his target audience is those who have perhaps not yet "desire[d] to be baptized." When they have that desire (by hearkening to the Spirit of Christ), they will then repent and hearken to it, and will choose to be baptized. This decision to repent and follow Jesus will ultimately lead to forgiveness, and the baptism of fire and the purging out of sin that comes with the receipt of the Holy Ghost (after baptism).
In short, the audience in the first case is further along in the process than the audience in the second.
Reason #3: The question presupposes that "forgiveness" is a single, unique event, when in fact it is an on-going process
Here, we see that the critics are viewing this question through the lenses of conservative protestantism.
The critics are assuming that the Book of Mormon matches their view of salvation, in which someone is "saved" once and finally by some type of "altar call" or confession. By contrast, LDS theology sees salvation, repentance, forgiveness, and purification and transformation by the Holy Ghost as on-going processes. The experience begins before baptism, leads us to baptism, and is the fulfillment of the promises and covenants of baptism, which must then be persisted in as we "endure to the end."
As the second case scriptures explain, as we learn of Jesus we are humbled and desire to repent. Repentance requires that we appreciate that we have not kept all of God's commandments, and we regret not doing so. We become resolved to keep God's commandments from henceforth, and the first commandment which we can obey is to choose baptism. The baptism is an outward sign of our repentance and determination to keep God's commandments, and this willingness to covenant with Jesus allows us (as the first case notes) to "receive...of the Spirit of Christ," which begins the process of remitting our sins. If we do not persist in our intention to follow Jesus, however, and were to suddenly choose not to be baptized, we would have returned to sin.
When we have been baptized, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which purifies us as if by fire, as sin and evil are burned out of us, and we walk in newness of life, following Jesus. We must then endure to the end, for if we do not, the remission of our sins (which we have only received because we have chosen to enter a covenant with Christ) will be null and void. The subsequent verses of 2 Nephi 31 explain this clearly:
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life (2 Nephi 31:18-20).
Question: Are Mormon scriptures full of contradictions?
The supposed contradictions arise from 1) misinterpretation, 2) comparing two verses when are speaking of different things and 3) reading Protestant meanings into scriptural terminology
Many conservative Protestant critics have reproduced a table which purports to show how LDS scripture contradicts itself.
The table below examines the supposed contradictions, presents the scriptures cited in context, and demonstrates that claims of contradiction rest on:
- a misinterpretation of LDS scripture
- comparing two verses which are speaking about different things
- reading Protestant meanings into scriptural terminology
Supposed Contradictions in LDS scripture
|Number||Column A: Book of Mormon...||Column B: "Contrasting" scripture...||Response and Comments|
|One God||Plural Gods||
To learn more:
|God is a Spirit||God Has A Body||
To learn more
God dwells in the heart
God does not dwell in the heart
|One God creates||Multiple Gods create||
To learn more
God Cannot Lie
God Commands Lying
God's Word Unchangeable
God's Word Can Change
No Pre-Existence of Man
To learn more:
|Death seals man's fate
||Chance for repentance after death||
|Heathen Saved Without Baptism||Baptism for the Dead||
To learn more:
|Only options are heaven or hell||Three degrees of glory, with most people "saved"||
'To learn more:
|Murder can be forgiven
||'Murder cannot be forgiven
|Polygamy condemned||Polygamy commanded||
To learn more:
|Against Paid Ministries
||For Paid Ministries
To learn more:
|Corrupt Churches Promise Forgiveness For Money
||Church Members Who Pay Tithing Will Not Burn
|Adam in the Americas||Adam in the Old World||
To learn more:
As we have seen, none of these paired scriptures contradict each other. This list misunderstands and misrepresents LDS doctrine.
Question: Why does the Book of Mormon and Book of Moses describe "God" as creating, while the Book of Abraham describes "Gods?"
Latter-day Saints believe that God is one, but accept the Biblical witness that this is a oneness of purpose, intent, mind, will, and love
The scriptures affirm that there is "One God" consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. A great debate in Christian history has been the nature of this oneness.
Protestant critics do not like the fact that Latter-day Saints reject the nonbiblical Nicene Creed, which teaches a oneness of substance. Latter-day Saints believe that God is one, but accept the Biblical witness that this is a oneness of purpose, intent, mind, will, and love, into which believers are invited to participate (see John 17:22-23). Thus, it is proper to speak of "God" in a singular sense, but Latter-day Saints also recognize that there is more than one divine person—for example, the Father and the Son.
This is not a contradiction; it merely demonstrates that the Latter-day Saints do not accept Nicene trinitarianism.
Question: How can one view contradictions in Scripture in a faithful way?
Latter-day Saints do not believe in the doctrine of Scriptural Inerrancy where the scriptures have to be completely historically accurate, contain no theological tensions, and have no contradiction. That said, Latter-day Saints tend to hold the scriptures with a high degree of authority. How can such be the case? We don’t believe that Scripture is inerrant, yet we also don’t want others to believe that we seek to create a God after our own image (Doctrine and Covenants 1:16) or that we believe that truth cannot be found in Scripture. It may become the responsibility of Latter-day Saints from time to time to defend the high authority of scripture and thus a hermeneutic for understanding how Latter-day Saints view contradictions/tensions may be in order. This article will suggest a few ways to view contradictions that don’t hold to Scriptural Inerrancy but still wish to use the scriptures to paint an accurate picture of God and the truth that he has revealed through prophets. It will distinguish different types of contradiction/tension and suggest ways to interpret them.
Historical Contradictions and Omissions
The first type of contradiction to deal with is historical contradictions. Historical contradictions are those in which information which is supposed to be historical is told in different chronological order or certain details about historical events differ in what are often claimed to be irreconcilable, non-harmonizable ways. Scripture contains some historical contradictions. A few examples:
- The Death of Judas. Did he die by hanging (Matthew 27:5)? Or did he fall headlong and have his bowels gush out (Acts 1:18)? Academic attempts to harmonize these two passages ceased at least as early as the late nineteenth century. Scholars today generally see both accounts as irreconcilably contradictory.
- Jesus Calming The Sea. In Gospel accounts differ in the succession of events when Jesus calms the storm at sea. In the Matthean account, the Lord chastises his apostles for not having enough faith and then calms the storm whereas in the Markan and Lucan accounts he calms the storm and then chastises his apostles. The Johannine account doesn’t even mention the story.
- The name of Moses’ Mountain. The Pentateuch differs in its naming of the mountain from which Moses received the Ten Commandments. In some instances it is “Horeb” (Exodus 3:1; 17:6; 33:6; Deuteronomy 1:2; 4:10) and in others it is “Sinai” (Exodus 19:1-2, 11, 18, 20, 23; 34:2,4,29,32; Numbers 3:1,4,14). This is one of the reasons that scholars see the Pentateuch as the composition of multiple authors/redactors.
- The Gospels differ in their timing of the crucifixion of the Savior. Was it during Passover? Before Passover? Or after Passover? Scholars believe that the difference is ultimately irreconcilable, and one simply must choose which account to believe. Generally, Mark is favored since it is considered the earliest to be authored.
So, how can one view such contradictions? A few questions to ask oneself that may provide solutions:
1. Full Reconciliation. There may not be any contradiction after all. Such an example might be the claim that there is a contradiction in the Bible as to what time Jesus was crucified.
2. Pluralistic Reconciliation. Could the presence of two differing accounts simply be giving more information to the story? Take for instance the presence of one angel at the tomb after the resurrection of Jesus (Mark 16:5) vs. two angels (Luke 24:4). Does the omission of the second angel in the Markan account mean there wasn’t a second angel? Not necessarily. We could just be receiving further information about the event or there could be a legitimate contradiction in the story. In the case of a legitimate contradiction, could we be satisfied knowing that at least an angel appeared at the tomb?
3. Nuanced Reconciation. Two writers may have remembered the same core event with some differing details.
4. Essentialist Reconciliation. The presence of contradiction in the way a historical event is related do not necessarily undermine the essential historicity of such an event. One may simply focus on the reality of the essence of the event being described rather than the presence of contradictions in the relation of the event or the ahistoricity of one event described. In the case of Judas' death, does it really matter how he died? Or, if we feel more conservative, does it matter that one account may have misremembered exactly how he died? The Bible can generally be trusted on historical grounds for a lot of it’s text as can the Book of Mormon. However, if a text did not mean to be historical, describe its historical events in literal, exact ways, or if the author simply couldn't remember what why should this matter? This should inform our theology (D&C 88:77-79).
The presence of historical contradictions should not come as a surprise. Such is why scripture such as the Book of Mormon so strongly emphasizes the importance of preserving records to accurately show exactly how God has reached out to his children. Ultimately one should seek the best scholarly perspectives on the matters and proceed with care as one informs herself. We should seek for as much accuracy as possible in our approach to scripture. As Elder John Widtsoe stated, the scriptures must be read intelligently.
Theological contradictions would be the presence of differing views about God, Jesus, or other theological issues written within scripture. As an example, it has long been noted by scholars that the Markan account of Jesus portrays Jesus as more human, lowly, and mortal than, say, the Johannine account which portrays Jesus as divine from the antemortal realm to the end of his life. Scholars generally believe that the Markan account holds what they view as a “low Christology” and the Johannine account as a “high Christology”.
Other potential tensions might include:
- How can we not perform our alms in public (Matthew 6:1) but also let our light shine before the world (Matthew 5:16)?
- How can we set childish things aside (1 Corinthians 13:11) and become as a child (Matthew 18:3)?
Now let’s look at possible solutions:
1. Full Reconciliation. There may be no contradiction at all. We may have simply misunderstood the two or more scriptures.
2. Nuanced Reconciliation. One potential reconciliation is to see two or more scriptures as forming a general core that one can adhere to with a modified periphery of belief surrounding that core. Using the Aristotelian idea of the whole being greater than the sum of parts (i.e.synergy), perhaps the differing theological views can be combined to see a more holistic view of a concept and how important it is. As an example, a nuanced view would be "All strawberry ice cream is good, but Dreyer's strawberry ice cream is best." In the case of the Christologies, Latter-day Saint New Testament scholar Julie M. Smith has suggested that the Markan Christology is a “full Christology” instead of a “low Christology”, pointing out how Mark still sees Jesus as the God of the Old Testament and other elements of Jesus' divinity while also acknowledging other parts that make him more human.
2a. Updating - "Development". Latter-day Saints believe that revelation comes line upon line (Isaiah 28:10; 2 Nephi 28: 20; Doctrine and Covenants 98:12; 128:21). In this case, could the later theological view simply be a development of the first proposition? For instance, 3 Nephi 11:25 and Doctrine and Covenants 20:73 word the baptismal prayer slightly differently. Could this reflect a slightly different emphasis for a more meaningful and instructive experience? For more information, see under “What can change through revelation?” in our article addressing how Latter-day Saints view the nature of revelation.
3. Pluralistic Reconciliation. Another potential reconciliation would be to hold a pluralistic view. An example would be "Both strawberry and chocolate ice cream are equally good." Sometimes, two different scripture writers will be saying two completely different things but perhaps we can develop a reconciliation where we hold both views in equal plane saying "sometimes X but sometimes, not X". To be sure, one should not attempt to say that the two writers are saying the same thing (such would be an inaccurate and/or disingenuous way of reflecting what appears in Scripture) but that they are stressing two entirely different things that can subsequently be placed into a fuller conceptual picture . As the Prophet Joseph Smith said: "By proving contraries, truth is made manifest.".
3a. Updating - Addition. Latter-day Saints believe that revelation comes line upon line (Isaiah 28:10; 2 Nephi 28: 20; Doctrine and Covenants 98:12; 128:21). In this case, could the later theological view be simply an addition to the first proposition or set of propositions? For instance, Doctrine and Covenants 46 lists additional gifts of the Spirit not listed in Moroni 10. For more information, see under “What can change through revelation?” in our article addressing how Latter-day Saints view the nature of revelation.
4. Exclusive Reconciliation. Perhaps there really is one view that is supposed to be the correct one and the writer of a second scripture is just wrong. This could happen in two ways:
- One writer could have misremembered or misinterpreted the view that was already established by revelation. As a potential way to reconcile these situations, consider one case from the Bible. The different sources of the Documentary Hypothesis differ in their view of God. Some insist in a more anthropomorphic God (one that is human and can be seen) and others insist on one that can’t be seen (see linked article for a chart with examples). The Book of Moses depicts God as anthropomorphic, corporeal, and passable. It thus resolves disagreement in the sources by restoring knowledge that perhaps did not have a faithful record kept for it (D&C 128:9). As another potential reconciliation, one might seek for which source was written earlier. Perhaps an earlier dated source would be more likely to remember and/or interpret the first proposition correctly.
- One writer could have deliberately misrepresented what the view established by revelation actually was— perhaps for rhetorical purpose or perhaps even for sinful purpose.
As an example of this, consider the words of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf regarding a scripture from Solomon:
The ancient King Solomon was one of the most outwardly successful human beings in history He seemed to have everything—money, power, adoration, honor. But after decades of self-indulgence and luxury, how did King Solomon sum up his life?
“All is vanity,” he said.
This man, who had it all, ended up disillusioned, pessimistic, and unhappy, despite everything he had going for him.
[. . .]
Solomon was wrong, my dear brothers and sisters—life is not “vanity.” To the contrary, it can be full of purpose, meaning, and peace.The healing hands of Jesus Christ reach out to all who seek Him. I have come to know without a doubt that believing and loving God and striving to follow Christ can change our hearts, soften our pain, and fill our souls with “exceedingly great joy.”
One will notice that Elder Uchtdorf 1)declared Solomon wrong, 2) used scriptures to establish what he believed was the correct view and indeed he uses many that contradict Solomon's view. But another important element of this is that he didn't state that Solomon was wrong for expressing the view or that the scripture wasn't inspired. Rather, he used Solomon's downtrodden state to illustrate an important principle of life. Perhaps other exclusivist reconciliations can adopt this same approach where we see that God allows for even "wrong" views to be used for a wise purpose — to provide us an opportunity to learn from negative example.
- Since line upon line revelation exists for Latter-day Saints, one view, established by revelation, could be superseded by another through revelation. This is especially true for hamartiological matters (D&C 56:4).
In the end we must seek out the best evidence and adjust our assumptions and views accordingly (D&C 88:77-79). It is hoped that examples from the first two bullet points don't exist across the scriptural record as much as the last bullet point or as much as opportunities for nuanced, pluralistic, or full reconciliations as we do want to preserve the integrity of prophets and revelation as much as possible.
Addressing Some of the Contradictions From Above
In the case of alms, Daniel C. Peterson offers some commentary (responding to critics of Latter-day Saint humanitarian efforts):
Some of them love to quote this passage, from the very teachings of Jesus that most of them otherwise reject:
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:1-4)
It’s a handy weapon, I suppose.
But they seem to have forgotten this passage, also from Matthew, just a few verses earlier:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
How to reconcile the two passages?
I think the point is that our goodness, if we can muster it, ought not to be a matter of personal boasting, nor of seeking status in the eyes of mortal humans, but should, rather, serve as a means of drawing attention to God, his Kingdom, and his Gospel. People looking on should be motivated to say, “I want to be a part of that,” not “My, my, that Max Mustermann is a remarkably admirable fellow.”And that, I think, is how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is trying to act. It’s thoroughly scriptural.
In the case of leaving childish things aside but also becoming as a little child, it seems that Paul meant to chastise those people that wouldn't show Charity to others. Thus, he wishes that we could become more mature in our treatment of others. In the Savior's case, he highlights a child's ability to believe, to be submissive, and to be obedient. In this way, we have to become as Children to be saved.
In sum, as we listen to scripture and accept it on its own terms, it seems that we can still emerge with truth that God wants us to know to achieve salvation and exaltation.
- Kevin Barney, "The Joseph Smith Translation and Ancient Texts of the Bible," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19 no. 3 (Fall 1986), 85-102.
- Gleason L. Archer, An Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1982), 31. ISBN 0310435706.
- Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 199. off-site
- Arthur C. Custance, "Abraham and His Princess," Hidden Things of God's Revelation (Zondervan, 1977), off-site ISBN 0310230217.
- See, for example, the examples of the Egyptian midwives and Moses discussed here.
- Kevin Barney, “The Joseph Smith Translation and Ancient Texts of the Bible,” in Dan Vogel, ed. The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990), 152-53.
- Thomas M. Mumford, Horizontal Harmony of the Four Gospels in Parallel Columns, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 48.
- See Julie M. Smith, BYU New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to Mark, (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2019) for commentary on both issues.
- See Justin Taylor, "What Hour Was Jesus Crucified?" <https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/hour-jesus-crucified-resolving-apparent-bible-contradiction/> (21 August 2019).
- Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the New Testament: Countering Challenges to Evangelical Christian Belief, (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016); K.H. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 2006); Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, (Grand Rapids: Eerdman’s Publishing, 2006); Crossway, ESV Archaeology Study Bible, (Carol Stream, IL: Crossway, 2018); Craig S. Keener, Christobiography: Memory, History, and the Reliability of the Gospels, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2019).
- John Sorenson, Mormon’s Codex, (Provo and Salt Lake: Deseret Book and BYU Religious Studies Center, 2013); Brant Gardner, Traditions of the Fathers: The Book of Mormon as History, (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2015); Brant Gardner, Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2007).
- Elder John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, ed. G. Homer Durham (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1960), 128.
- For an excellent work putting this in practice from a Latter-day Saint perspective, see Julie M. Smith ed., As Iron Sharpens Iron: Listening to the Various Voices of Scripture, (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2016).
- History of the Church, 6:428.
- An msn.com poll listed Solomon as the fifth richest person to ever live. “According to the Bible, King Solomon ruled from 970 BC to 931 BC, and during this time he is said to have received 25 tons of gold for each of the 39 years of his reign, which would be worth billions of dollars in 2016. Along with impossible riches amassed from taxation and trade, the biblical ruler’s personal fortune could have surpassed $2 trillion in today’s money” (“The 20 Richest People of All Time,” Apr. 25, 2017, msn.com).
- See Ecclesiastes 1:1–2.
- See Ecclesiastes 2:17.
- See Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 24:7.
- 1 Nephi 8:12.
- Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Believe, Love, Do," General Conference (October 2018).
- Daniel C. Peterson, "A note regarding complaints about LDS humanitarian efforts," <https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2019/07/a-note-regarding-complaints-about-lds-humanitarian-efforts.html> (18 August 2019).
- While these passages aren't contradictory per se, they have been used only to demonstrate the point of the author. It is possible that less mature critics could use this as an example of real tension.