Changes in the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon was said to have been translated "by the gift and power of God" and is "the most perfect of any book on the face of the earth." However, it has been changed some 4,000 times in the last 170 years.

Some of the changes involve important doctrinal changes, reflecting evolving Mormon doctrine. As Joseph Smith matured, he developed doctrinal ideas that sometimes were in conflict with the Book of Mormon. In those cases, the Mormon Church has changed the scripture to bring the Book of Mormon in line with evolving doctrine. Many less significant changes have also been made to the text: spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Jerald and Sandra Tanner in their work 3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon document specific changes.

One of the most important areas of change involves Smith's changing view of the nature of God. The Book of Mormon, which was written when Smith was relatively young (25-years-old) is not nearly as radical as that of later Mormondom.

For example, Mormonism today clearly sees God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost as three distinct personages. The Father and the Son both have physical bodies.

The Book of Mormon, while it does not support the classic Christian theology of the Nature of God, is quite different from current Mormon theology. The following changes illustrate that. If you will read them carefully, you will see that they support two very different views of the nature of God.



1830 Version Modern Version

P. 25

Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh.

I Nephi 11:18

Behold, the virgin whom thou seest, is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

P. 25

And an angel said to me, "Behold, the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!"

I Nephi 11:21

And an angel said to me, "Behold, the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!

P. 26

The Everlasting Father was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record

I Nephi 11:32

The Son of the Everlasting Father was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record

P. 32

These last records . . . .shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father, and the Savior

I Nephi 13:40

These last records . . . .shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior