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Mormon objections to deriving LDS doctrine from sources other than the 'Standard Works'

Mormons may object to the citation of works such as Journal of Discourses and Mormon Doctrine when discussing LDS doctrine. LDS doctrine, they argue should be derived only from the 'Standard Works'. However, there are several problems with this objection:

  1. Very little Mormon doctrine is, in fact, derived from the Book of Mormon; rather, most comes from 'revelations' given to Joseph Smith in Doctrine & Covenants. In each section of my material, and to substantiate every major doctrine discussed, I have directly quoted many official LDS sources including the 'Standard Works'.
  2. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young claimed to speak authoritatively from God. The Journal of Discourses gives a quite accurate account of sermons delivered by early leaders, particularly Brigham Young. The sermons were transcribed and recorded by official church transcribers and checked by the speakers for accuracy. Many of Smith's sermons were included in the original 'Standard Works' but were later removed by LDS officials. In almost all cases, independent verification of the statements can be found in other official church publications, particularly periodicals.

Mormons try to make a distinction between times when their leaders speak in an official, prophetic capacity (on behalf of God) and when they speak in a non-prophetic capacity. The latter, they argue, is where anti-Mormon writers take non-official doctrine out of context. However, this line of reasoning ignores some very bold and unique claims made by LDS founders and leaders about the authority with which they speak.

To Mormons, the Living Prophet is the first line of authority. This becomes even more important when one considers that the official LDS position on the Bible (contained in their Articles of Faith) diminishes the Bible's authority. The current LDS prophet can overturn any prior teaching of a past prophet. Brigham Young said that, when compared to the Living Prophet, the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the 'Standard Works' of the Church were nothing to him..."they do not convey the word of God as does the prophet".

The founders and leaders of the LDS church obviously believed the doctrines they declared, so how would we know which of those doctrines are now truthful and which are not? Mormon leaders incorrectly assume that it is a small thing to change or add to a previous revelation from God. Throughout its text, the Bible warns about this:

The Bible warns of listening to false prophets:

And the Bible makes it very clear how to test whether a prophet is speaking from God or not because many false prophets will try to speak for God:

In summary, the Bible states that a false prophet can be recognized if: 1) if his prophecies do not come true 100% of the time, 2) if his prophecy contradicts a previous revelation or command given by God. In either case, the prophet is to be put to death. It should be very clear to the careful student of Mormonism that LDS prophets, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in particular, do not meet either these criteria: 1) the Doctrine & Covenants contain verifiably false prophecies by Joseph Smith15, 2) their doctrines and teachings clearly contradict the Bible.


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