The Book of Mormon 3913 Changes!

Joseph Smith in the process of translating the golden Nephi Plates the angel Moroni gave him. This process of translation of “scripture” is the only time known to man, when God inspired the translator. Yet the original 1839 book of Mormon was full of all kinds of errors!

The original 1830 Book of Mormon:

Summary of Changes

By far the majority of changes between the 1830 and subsequent versions of the Book of Mormon are spelling or grammar corrections. The original text betrays it’s New England origin in many ways, from inconsistent spelling to incorrect use of tenses and number, as well as incorrect usage of Jacobean English.

There are a few changes which affect the narrative of the Book of Mormon itself. These are summarized below.

A sampling of the 3913 changes made to the inspired book of Mormon:

This changes section courtesy of the Jerald and Sandra Tanner. For more, order their book, “Mormonism, Shadow or reality?”

Text Original 1830 Edition, Book of Mormon Editions 1837, 1888, 1920, 1964, 1978
Title page

Joseph Smith, Jr. The author and proprietor of this work

Joseph Smith, Jr. the translator of this work

Title page

now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men…

now if there are faults, they are the mistakes of men…

1 Ne 13:40

the lamb of God is the Eternal Father

the lamb of God is the son of the Eternal Father

1Nephi 11:21

the Eternal Father

son of the Eternal Father

1 Nephi 11:32

the Everlasting God

son of the Everlasting God

1 Nephi 20:1

words added

or out of the waters of Baptism

2 Nephi 12:9

the mean man boweth down

the mean man boweth not down

Alma 29:4

Yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable

words deleted

Alma 37:21,24

directors

Interpreters

Alma 30:16

it is the effects of a phrensied mind

it is the effect of a frenzied mind

Throughout B of M

now there was seven churches

now there were seven churches

Throughout B of M

there were no blood to shed

there was no blood to shed

Throughout B of M

there is two churches

there are two churches

Throughout B of M

and also much horses

and also many horses

Throughout B of M

these things had not ought to be

these things ought not to be

Throughout B of M

as I was a journeying

as I was journeying (“a” removed)

Throughout B of M

They did prepare for to meet them

They did prepare to meet them (“for” removed)

Throughout B of M

some have arrested the scriptures

some have wrested the scriptures

Throughout B of M

when they had arriven

when they had arrived

Throughout B of M

having no respects to persons

having no respect to persons (“s” removed)

Throughout B of M

they had fell into great errors

they had fallen into great errors

Throughout B of M

which was wrote upon the plates

which was written upon the plates

Throughout B of M

they were exceeding fraid

they were exceedingly afraid

Throughout B of M

they had began to possess the land

they had begun to possess the land

Throughout B of M

this they done that they might provide food

this they did that they might provide food

Alma 23:1

nor neither of their brethren

nor either of their brethren

Mosiah 21:28; Ether 4:1

king Benjamin

Mosiah (Benjamin was dead at this time)

1 Nephi 12:18  

Jesus Christ

Messiah (Jesus had not yet been revealed to the Nephites)

1 Nephi 20:1  

come forth out of the waters of Judah

or out of the waters of baptism (these words added after “Judah”

2 Nephi 16:2  

seraphims

seraphim (verse copied from older copy of KJV which made a gramatical error)

Covering up Camorah

This section on Camorah, courtesy of agnositc Curt van den Heuvel

Critics have often pointed out that there is a suspicious link between the hill Cumorah and the angel Moroni, and the Comoros Islands off the eastern coast of Mozambique, the capital of which is Moroni, and has been since before the Book of Mormon. Defenders of the Book of Mormon claim that this is only a coincidence, and that ‘Comoros’ in fact has very little correspondence with ‘Cumorah’. The fact of the matter is that prior to the French occupation of the late 1860’s, Comoros was known by its Arabic name, Camora (sometimes also spelled Comora). It is thus more than a little suspicious to note that the 1830 Book of Mormon uniformly spells ‘Cumorah’ as ‘Camorah’. See, for example, the original text of Moroni 6:2:

And I, Mormon, wrote an epistle unto the king of the Lamanites, and desired of him that he would grant unto us that we might gather together our people unto the land of Camorah, by the hill which was called Camorah, and there we would give them battle.

As proof of the above assertion, we offer this section of an 1808 map of Africa.

Click to View

This is part of the Mozambique channel. Madagascar is the island at the bottom right, and Mozambique is at the left. Roughly in the middle is Camora. The full map can be downloaded from the University of Texas.

Is God responsible for these errors?

  1. Joseph Fielding Smith, 1961, “the printer was a man who was unfriendly” The Improvements Era, p924
  2. John Gilbert, the printer said, “I called their attention to a grammatical error, and asked whether I should correct it? Harris cunsulted with Smith a short time and turned to me and said: ‘The Old Testament is ungrammatical, set it as it is written'” Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol 1, Introduction.
  3. Many early Mormons taught that the errors were on the original Gold Nephi plates.
  4. “If the translation is not such a word-for-word bringing over from the Nephi language into English, then it cannot be claimed that the Nephite original is responsible for verbal and grammatical errors.” Defense of the Faith, p278, B.H. Roberts, Mormon historian.
  5. Next Mormons blamed the scribe who wrote from what was dictated by Joseph Smith.
  6. “The awkward, ungrammatical expression of the thoughts is, doubtless, the result of the translator’s (Joseph Smith’s) imperfect knowledge of the English language…That old theory cannot be successfully maintained; that is the Urim and Thummin did the translating.” Defense of the Faith, p306, B.H. Roberts, Mormon historian.

We have the following questions for Mormons to answer:

  1. If the original 1830 Book of Mormon was inspired than why were there so many errors and changes and additions and deletions, when compared to current editions?
  2. Why does the B of M use old KJV type English at a time when it was not currently used.
  3. Why is about 1/8th of the B of M copied directly from the KJV (1611AD) when it was alleged to have been written some 1200-2000 years before the KJV existed?
  4. Joseph Smith deleted the italicized words in the KJV because he knew they were not in the original. “Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” Isa 6:5, The words “is & am” are deleted in the Book of Mormon.
  5. How can we be assured that the translation of the B of M into French is correct?
  6. How do you account for the stunning parallels in both content and order between the B of M and the View of the Hebrews, by Ethan Smith? Published in 1823 (7 years before the B of M) less than 100 miles from the Joseph Smith’s parents home.
  7. Why did the angel take Nephi Plates back to heaven? Do they not belong with man?
  8. Mormon Article of Faith #8: “We Believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” Why do you only add the phrase, “as far as it is translated correctly” to describe the Bible and not after the book of Mormon when in fact there are far more translating errors in the Book of Mormon than the Bible?
Original language translation process stated accuracy observed accuracy
Bible Inspired Greek skill of men translation errors 99.9% accurate
1830 B of M Inspired Egyptian inspired of God no translation errors thousands of major errors

INTRODUCTION TO
3,913 Changes in the Book of Mormon

Available from: http://www.bible.ca/seek-bookstore.htm

(Revised in 1996)

In this study we will show that there have been at least 3,913 changes made in the Book of Mormon from the time it was first published in 1830.

In making this study we obtained photocopies of an original 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon from the University of Utah Library. This copy was donated to the library by the Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe.

After comparing the first edition of the Book of Mormon with the 1964 edition we marked the changes on the photocopies of the 1830 edition. Therefore, the text is an exact photographic reproduction of the first edition of the Book of Mormon, and the handwriting shows the changes that would have to be made in the text to bring it into conformity with the 1964 edition. We have not tried to show capitalization or punctuation changes in this study.

(In 1981 the LDS Church published a new edition of the Book of Mormon, making a number of additional changes in the text. They also reset the type thus changing the page numbers from the previous editions.)

It is very interesting to note that the Mormon Historian Joseph Fielding Smith has claimed that there is no truth in the statement that there have been thousands of changes in the Book of Mormon. He was reported as saying the following at the fall conference of 1961:

“During the past week or two I have received a number of letters from different parts of the United States written by people, some of whom at least are a little concerned because they have been approached by enemies of the Church and enemies of the Book of Mormon, who have made the statement that there have been one or two or more thousand changes in the Book of Mormon since the first edition was published. Well, of course, there is no truth in that statement.

“It is true that when the Book of Mormon was printed the printer was a man who was unfriendly. The publication of the book was done under adverse circumstances, and there were a few errors, mostly typographical – conditions that arise in most any book that is being published – but there was not one thing in the Book of Mormon or in the second edition or any other edition since that in any way contradicts the first edition, and such changes as were made were made by the Prophet Joseph Smith because under those adverse conditions the Book of Mormon was published. But there was no change of doctrine.

“Now, these Sons of Belial who circulate these reports evidently know better. I will not use the word that is in my mind.” (The Improvement Era, December, 1961, pp. 924-925)

This study will show that there have been thousands of changes in the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Fielding Smith is the one who is not telling the truth. As to his statement that the man who printed the first edition was unfriendly and allowed errors to creep into the book, the famous Mormon Historian B. H. Roberts has already stated that the first edition of the Book of Mormon was “singularly free from typographical errors” and that the printer could not be blamed for the many mistakes that are found in the Book of Mormon:

“That errors of grammar and faults in dictation do exist in the Book of Mormon (and more especially and abundantly in the first edition) must be conceded; and what is more, while some of the errors may be referred to inefficient proof-reading, such as is to be expected in a country printing establishment, yet such is the nature of the errors in question, and so interwoven are they throughout the diction of the Book, that they may not be disposed of by saying they result from inefficient proof-reading or referring them to the mischievous disposition of the ‘typos’ or the unfriendliness of the publishing house. The errors are constitutional in their character; they are of the web and woof of the style, and not such errors as may be classed as typographical. Indeed, the first edition of the Book of Mormon is SINGULARLY FREE FROM TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS.” (Defense of the Faith, by B. H. Roberts, pp. 280-281; reprinted in A New Witness For Christ in America, by Francis W. Kirkham, Vol. 1, pp. 200-201)

In a footnote on page 295 of the same book Mr. Roberts stated:

  • “But after due allowance is made for all these conditions, the errors are so numerous, and of such a constitutional nature, that they cannot be explained away by these unfavorable conditions under which the work was published.”

John H. Gilbert, the man who helped to print the Book of Mormon, claimed that the Mormons did not want him to correct the grammatical errors which were in the manuscript:

  • “When the printer was ready to commence work, Harris was notified, and Hyrum Smith brought the first installment of manuscript . . . On the second day – Harris and Smith being in the office – I called their attention to a grammatical error, and asked whether I should correct it? Harris consulted with Smith a short time, and turned to me and said: ‘The Old Testament is ungrammatical, set it as it is written.’ . . . .
  • “Cowdery held and looked over the manuscript when most of the proofs were read. Martin Harris once or twice, and Hyrum Smith once, Grandin supposing these men could read their own writing as well, if not better, than any one else; and if there are any discrepancies between the Palmyra edition and the manuscript these men should be held responsible.” (Memorandum, made by John H. Gilbert, Esq., September 8, 1892, Palmyra, N.Y., printed in Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 1, Introduction)

A photograph of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon which is published in the book, A New Witness For Christ In America, Vol. 1, page 216, proves that the printer was not responsible for the grammatical errors which appeared in the first edition A second handwritten manuscript known as the printer’s manuscript also confirms this. (See photo at the end of the introduction.) Photos of the printer’s manuscript can be seen at the University of Utah Library Special Collections. George Reynolds quotes the following from an interview with John H. Gilbert:

  • “‘Hyrum Smith always brought the manuscript to the office; he would have it under his coat and all buttoned up as carefully as though it was so much gold. He said at the time that it was translated from plates by the power of God, and they were very particular about it. We had a great deal of trouble with it. It was not punctuated at all. They did not know anything about punctuation, and we had to do that ourselves.’
  • “‘Well; did you change any part of it when you were setting the type?’
  • “‘No, Sir; we never changed it at all.’
  • “‘Why did you not change it and correct it?’
  • “‘Because they would not allow us to; they were very particular about that. We never changed it in the least. Oh, well; there might have been one or two words that I changed the spelling of; I believe I did change the spelling of one, and perhaps two, but no more.’
  • “‘Did you set all the type, or did some one help you?’
  • “‘I did the whole of it myself, and helped to read the proof, too; there was no one who worked at that but myself. Did you ever see one of the first copies? I have one here that was never bound. Mr. Grandin, the printer, gave it to me. If you ever saw a Book of Mormon you will see that they changed it afterwards.’
  • “‘They did! Well, let us see your copy; that is a good point. How is it changed now?’
  • “‘I will show you (bringing out his copy). Here on the title page it says (reading) “Joseph Smith, Jr. author and proprietor.” Afterwards, in getting out other editions they left that out, and only claimed that Joseph Smith translated it.’
  • “‘Well, did they claim anything else than that he was the translator when they brought the manuscript to you?’
  • “‘Oh, no; they claimed that he was translating by means of some instruments he got at the same time he did the plates, and that the Lord helped him.'” (The Myth of the Manuscript Found, 1883 edition, page 59)

According to Joseph Smith’s testimony there should not have been any reason to make changes in the Book of Mormon. He stated that when he and the witnesses went out to pray concerning it, a voice spoke from heaven telling them that the translation of the Book of Mormon was correct:

  • “. . . we heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying, ‘These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear.'” (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Vol. 1, pp. 54-55)

On another occasion Joseph Smith stated:

  • “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on the earth . . . ” (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461)
  • The errors in the Book of Mormon were blamed on the fact that it was originally written in “reformed Egyptian.” On page 538 of the first edition we read as follows:
  • “Condemn me not because of mine imperfection; neither my father, because of his imperfection; neither them which have written before him, but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than that which we have been.
  • “And now behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in the Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in the Hebrew, behold, ye would have had none imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.” [Mormon 9:31-34]

On page 564 of the first edition of the Book of Mormon we read as follows:

  • “And I said unto him, Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing: for Lord, thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, whereunto thou hast not made us mighty in writing: for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them; and thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands . . . when we write, we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words. And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying, Fools mock, but they shall mourn . . . ” [Ether 12:23-26]

For many years the Mormons taught that the Lord had given Joseph Smith a perfect translation of the Book of Mormon, and that all of the errors were errors which were made by the Nephites on the original plates. David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon, made this statement:

  • “I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English.” (An Address to All Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, 1887, page 12)

Martin Harris (another of the three witnesses) claimed that Joseph Smith received the translation directly from God, and that it was a perfect translation. George Reynolds quotes the following from a letter written to the Deseret News by Edward Stevenson:

  • “‘Martin explained the translation as follows: By aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear and were read by the prophet and written by Martin, and when finished he would say, “Written,” and if correctly written, that sentence would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the language then used.'” (Myth of the Manuscript Found, Juvenile Instructor Office, 1883 edition, page 91)

George Reynolds, who was a member of the First Council of the Seventy, 1890-1909, made this statement in 1883:

  • “But at the outset it must be recollected that the translation was accomplished by no common method, by no ordinary means. It was done by divine aid. There were no delays over obscure passages, no difficulties over the choice of words, no stoppages from the ignorance of the translator; no time was wasted in investigation or argument over the value, intent or meaning of certain characters, and there were no references to authorities. These difficulties to human work were removed. All was as simple as when a clerk writes from dictation. The translation of the characters appeared on the Urim and Thummim, sentence by sentence, and as soon as one was correctly transcribed the next would appear.” (Myth of the Manuscript Found, 1883 edition, page 71)

The Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde claimed that the words appeared on the Urim and Thummim. He wrote a pamphlet in the German language entitled, A Cry From the Wilderness, A Voice From the Dust of the Earth. This pamphlet was translated into the English language by Justus Ernst of the Church Historian’s office, and is reproduced in a thesis by Paul R. Cheesman. In this account the following appears:

  • “These were used in the following manner: These two stones, called Urim and Thummim, in diameter the size of an English crown (coin) only a little thicker, were placed where all light was excluded. The persons using these offered their prayers to the Lord, and the answer became visible, written in letters of light on the Urim and Thummim, but disappeared again soon after. Thus: ‘The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.’ In this manner the sacred records were translated into English.” (An Analysis of the Accounts Relating Joseph Smith’s Early Visions, A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Department of Graduate Studies in Religious Instruction, Brigham Young University, May, 1965, by Paul R. Cheesman, page 167)

Oliver B. Huntington recorded in his journal that in 1881 Joseph F. Smith, who became the sixth President of the Mormon Church, taught that the Lord gave Joseph Smith the exact English wording and spelling that he should use in the Book of Mormon:

  • “Saturday Feb. 25, 1881, I went to Provo to a quarterly Stake Conference. Heard Joseph F. Smith describe the manner of translating the Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith the Prophet and Seer, which was as follows as near as I can recollect the substance of his description. Joseph did not render the writing on the gold plates into the English language in his own style of language as many people believe, but every word and every letter was given to him by the gift and power of God. So it is the work of God and not of Joseph Smith, and it was done in this way . . . . The Lord caused each word spelled as it is in the book to appear on the stones in short sentences or words, and when Joseph had uttered the sentence or word before him and the scribe had written it properly, that sentence would disappear and another appear. And if there was a word wrongly written or even a letter incorrect the writing on the stones would remain there. Then Joseph would require the scribe to spell the reading of the last spoken and thus find the mistake and when corrected the sentence would disappear as usual.” (Journal of Oliver B. Huntington, page 168 of typed copy at Utah State Historical Society)

Non-Mormon writers have criticized the grammar of the Book of Mormon stating that God could not make the many grammatical mistakes that are found in the Book of Mormon. Finally, the Mormon Church leaders became so embarrassed about the grammar that they decided to abandon the idea that God gave Joseph Smith the English that is found in the Book of Mormon; their new idea was that God just gave Joseph Smith the idea and that he expressed it in his own words. The Mormon Historian B. H. Roberts made this statement:

  • “The fact that such errors in grammar and diction as occur in the translation are just such errors as might reasonably be looked for in the work of one unlearned in the English language.
  • “From this data the following argument proceeds: It is impossible that the alleged translation, whether by divine or human media, could be a word-for-word bringing over from the Nephite language into the English; and if the translation is not such a word-for-word bringing over affair, then it cannot be claimed that the Nephite original is responsible for verbal inaccuracies and grammatical errors. If the Book of Mormon is a real translation instead of a word-for-word bringing over from one language into another, and it is insisted that the divine instrument, Urim and Thummim, did all, and the prophet nothing – at least nothing more than to read off the translation made by Urim and Thummim – then the divine instrument is responsible for such errors in grammar and diction as did occur. But this is to assign responsibility for errors in language to a divine instrumentality, which amounts to assigning such error to God. But that is unthinkable, not to say blasphemous. Also, if it be contended that the language of the Book of Mormon, word for word, and letter for letter, was given to the prophet by direct inspiration of God, acting upon his mind, then again God is made responsible for the language errors in the Book of Mormon – a thing unthinkable.
  • “Rather than ascribe these errors to Deity, either through direct or indirect means, men will reject the claims of the Book of Mormon; and, since the verbal errors in the Book of Mormon are such as one ignorant of the English language would make, the temptation is strong, in the minds of those not yet converted to its truth, to assign to the Book of Mormon an altogether human origin. . . .
  • “Are these flagrant errors in grammar chargeable to the Lord? To say so is to invite ridicule. The thoughts, the doctrines, are well enough; but the awkward, ungrammatical expression of the thoughts is, doubtless, the result of the translator’s imperfect knowledge of the English language . . . that old theory cannot be successfully maintained; that is, the Urim and Thummim did the translating, the Prophet, nothing beyond repeating what he saw reflected in that instrument; that God directly or indirectly is responsible for the verbal and grammatical errors of translation. To advance such a theory before intelligent and educated people is to unnecessarily invite ridicule, and make of those who advocate it candidates for contempt . . .
  • “It is no use resisting the matter, the old theory must be abandoned. It could only come into existence and remain so long and now be clung to by some so tenaciously because our fathers and our people in the past and now were and are uncritical.” (Defense of the Faith, by B. H. Roberts, Deseret News, 1907-1912, pages 278, 279, 295, 306, 307 and 308)

B. H. Roberts claimed that since God did not give the English found in the Book of Mormon, the Church leaders had a right to make changes in it:

  • “Many errors, verbal and grammatical, have already been eliminated in the later English editions, and there is no valid reason why every-one of those that remain should not be eliminated . . . There is no good reason why we should not have just as good a Book of Mormon in the English language as they now have in the French, the German, the Swedish and the Danish . . . for in these translations, it has not been thought necessary to perpetuate the English errors; nor do I believe it necessary to perpetuate them in our English editions . . . the present writer hopes that he will live to see those verbal and grammatical changes authorized.” (Defense of the Faith, Vol. 1, pages 300 and 301)

The Mormon Historian Joseph Fielding Smith claims that “such changes as were made were made by the Prophet Joseph Smith.” While it is true that Joseph Smith made most of the changes, many changes were made after his death. Dr. Sidney B. Sperry, of the Brigham Young University, admited that Dr. Talmage made many of the changes in 1920:

  • “The writer happens to know that Dr. Talmage was a stickler for good English and a close student of the text of the Book of Mormon. He knew as well as anyone the imperfections of the literary dress of the First Edition of the Nephite record and took a prominent part in correcting many of them in a later edition of the work (1920).” (The Problems of the Book of Mormon, page 190)

Four important changes were made in the second edition of the Book of Mormon concerning the Godhead. One of the most significant changes was made in 1 Nephi 13:40. It was stated in this verse that the purpose of the Nephite records was to make known that Christ is the Eternal Father. In the first edition we read as follows:

  • “. . . These last records . . . shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior . . . ” (Book of Mormon, 1830 edition, page 32)

In the 1964 edition it reads as follows:”. . . 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 . . .” (Book of Mormon, 1964 edition, 1 Nephi 13:40)

Another important change was made in 1 Nephi 11:18; this is page 25 of the 1830 edition. In the 1830 edition it read: “. . . Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh.” In modern editions it has been changed to read, “. . . Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.” The words, the Son of, were inserted in the middle of the sentence. Verse 21 of the same chapter originally read: “And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!” It was changed to read: “And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” Verse 32 of the same chapter, which is on page 26 of the original edition, was also changed. In the 1830 edition it reads: “. . . the Everlasting God, was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.” It was changed to read: “. . . the Son of the everlasting God, was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.” Joseph Smith apparently made these changes to support his doctrine of a plurality of Gods.

In Mosiah 21:28 the name of the king has been changed from Benjamin to Mosiah. In the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon we read as follows:

  • “. . . king Benjamin had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings . . .” (Book of Mormon, 1830 edition, page 200)

In modern editions of the Book of Mormon this verse has been changed to read:

  • “. . . king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings . . .” (Book of Mormon, 1964 edition, Mosiah 21:28)

According to chronology found in the Book of Mormon, king Benjamin should have been dead at this time; therefore, the Mormon Church leaders evidently felt that it was best to change the king’s name to Mosiah.

Dr. Sidney B. Sperry, of the Brigham Young University, made the following comment concerning this change:

  • “In Mr. Budvarson’s photo reproduction (p. 21) of page 200 of the First Edition he takes pains to underline ‘king Benjamin’ and points out that in later editions it was changed to read ‘king Mosiah.’ (Cf. Mos. 21:28) Budvarson is correct in this; the prophet Joseph Smith did change the reading in the Second (1837) Edition despite the fact that the original manuscript reads ‘king Benjamin,’ if the manuscript made by Oliver Cowdery and now in possession of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is any criterion. (Cf. ‘Preface,’ page viii of current editions of their Book of Mormon.) The change raises an interesting question. Who was responsible for the reading, ‘king Benjamin,’ in the first place? Was it an inadvertent slip of the tongue on the part of Joseph Smith as he dictated his translation to Oliver Cowdery, or did he translate correctly enough an original error on the part of Mormon, the abridger of the Book of Mormon? The last of these suggestions is probably the correct one, for the fact remains that the reading ‘king Benjamin’ is an out-and-out error, because the king had been dead for some time, and his son Mosiah was his successor with a ‘gift from God.’ (See Mos. 6:4-5; 8:13) What we have here, Mr. Budvarson, is an example of another human error that Joseph Smith was glad to correct.” (The Problems of the Book of Mormon, page 203)

Five things should be noted concerning Dr. Sperry’s statement. First, he admits that the king’s name was changed from Benjamin to Mosiah. Second, Dr. Sperry admits that the original manuscript reads king Benjamin. Third, he states that it probably read Benjamin on the original gold plates. Fourth, Dr. Sperry admits that the reading king Benjamin would have made a contradiction in the Book of Mormon because king Benjamin had been dead for some time. Fifth, Dr. Sperry states that Joseph Smith deliberately altered this to eliminate the contradiction. It is very strange that Dr. Sperry would make such an admission. In other words, Dr. Sperry is admitting that the Mormon Church leaders deliberately falsified this verse to eliminate a contradiction. Dr. Sperry is not only admitting this, but he is also trying to justify their action. On page 191 of his book, Dr. Sperry states:

  • “Our leaders are generally well justified in making the changes that have appeared in later editions of the Nephite sacred record.” (The Problems of the Book of Mormon, page 191)

Another change involving the names Benjamin and Mosiah is found in the Book of Ether. On page 546 of the first edition of the Book of Mormon we read as follows:

  • “. . . for this cause did king Benjamin keep them . . . “
  • In the 1964 edition, Ether 4:1, we read:”. . . for this cause did king Mosiah keep them . . . “

A change has been made in the First Book of Nephi, evidently in an attempt to strengthen the Mormon claim that baptism was practiced by the people in the Old Testament. This verse is taken from Isaiah 48, and appears as follows in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon:

  • “Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord . . . ” (Book of Mormon, 1830 edition, page 52)

In modern editions it reads as follows:

  • “Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear by the name of the Lord . . . ” (Book of Mormon, 1964 edition, 1 Nephi 20:1)

It is interesting to note that even the signed statement by the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon has been altered. In the 1830 edition (last page) it read:

  • “. . . that Joseph Smith, Jr. the Author and Proprietor of this work, has shewn unto us the plates . . . “

In the 1964 edition it reads:

  • “. . . That Joseph Smith, Jun., the Translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates . . . “

Sometimes claims are made for the Book of Mormon which are not supported by the first edition. Bruce R. McConkie, of the First Council of Seventy, made the following statement concerning the word cherubim.

  • “In English, the plural of cherub is cherubs; in Hebrew, the plural is cherubim, except that the King James Version of the Bible erroneously translates the plural as cherubims. The Book of Mormon (Alma 12:21; 42:2-3) the Pearl of Great Price (Moses 4:31) and the Inspired Version of the Bible (Ex. 25:20-22) give the plural as cherubim.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1979, pages 124-125)

Bruce R. McConkie is correct in stating that it is wrong to add an s to cherubim. Adam A. Clarke made this statement concerning the word cherubim.

  • “Hebrew plurals in the masculine end in general in im: to add an s to this when we introduce such words into English, is very improper; therefore the word should be written cherubim, not cherubims. (Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 1, page 56)

In other words, Mr. Clarke means that the word cherubim is already in the plural form (cherub is the singular) and that to add an s to it would be like adding an s to the word geese.

The word cherubim appears three times in modern editions of the Book of Mormon, and is used correctly (as Mr. McConkie stated). This would certainly be evidence in favor of the Book of Mormon if it was not for the fact that in the first edition of the Book of Mormon the word appeared in all three places as cherubims, with the s improperly added (see the first edition, pages 256, 337, 338). So, what at first appears as evidence for the Book of Mormon becomes evidence against it when the whole truth is known. Two of the changes were made prior to the 1888 edition; however, Alma 12:21 of the 1888 edition still used the word cherubims, and was apparently changed at some later date.

On page 703 of his book, Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie states that “the plural of seraph is seraphim or, as incorrectly recorded in the King James Version of the Bible, seraphims.” Upon examination we find that the word seraphim is used twice in the Book of Mormon. It is used correctly in modern editions; however, in the first edition it appears as seraphims, with the s improperly added (see first edition, page 91, lines 28 and 38). The 1888 edition of the Book of Mormon reads the same as the 1830 edition; therefore the changes must have been made at a later date.

In the first edition, page 87, this statement appears:

  • “. . . the mean man boweth down . . .”

In the 1964 edition (2 Nephi 12:9) this has been changed to read:

  • “. . . the mean man boweth not down . . . “

In the first edition, page 303, this statement is made concerning God:

  • “. . . yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills . . . “

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 29:4) eight words have been deleted:

  • “. . . yea, I know that he allotteth unto men according to their wills . . .”

In 1981 this was changed back to the original wording.

In the first edition, page 328, the following appears:

  • “. . . yea, and that ye preserve these directors . . . And now my son, these directors were prepared, that the word of God might be fulfilled . . .”

This has been changed to read as follows in the 1964 edition (Alma 37:21, 24):

  • “yea, and that ye preserve these interpreters . . . And now my son, these interpreters were prepared that the word of God might be fulfilled. . . “

The interpreters in the Book of Mormon were used for interpreting languages, whereas the director was a ball which was used as a compass (the Lord was supposed to make a spindle in the ball point in the direction the people should go). It is very interesting to note that the 1888 edition of the Book of Mormon reads the same as the first edition, showing that the change was made after that date.

In the first edition of the Book of Mormon, page 31, the following appears:

  • “. . . neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that state of awful woundedness . . . “

In the 1964 edition (1 Nephi 13:32) this has been changed to read:

  • “Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness . . . “

On page 214 of the first edition this statement appears:

  • “My soul was wrecked with eternal torment . . .”

In the 1964 edition (Mosiah 27:29) this has been changed to read:

  • “My soul was racked with eternal torment . . .”

On page 379 of the first edition this statement appears:

  • “Now the Nephites were guarded in the city of Gid; therefore Moroni caused that Laman and a small number of men which was appointed to go with him.”

This sentence is incomplete in the first edition; however, in the 1964 edition (Alma 55:7) it was changed to read as follows:

  • “Now the Nephites were guarded in the city of Gid; therefore Moroni appointed Laman and caused that a small number of men should go with him.”

On page 351 of the first edition we read:

  • “And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had wrote upon the rent, and crying with a loud voice . . .”

In the 1964 edition (Alma 46:19) this has been changed to read as follows:

  • “And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, crying with a loud voice . . .”

On page 353 of the first edition this statement appeared:

  • “. . . the cause of diseases which was subsequent to man, by the nature of the climate.”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 46:40) this has been changed to read:

  • “. . . the cause of diseases, to which men were subject, by the nature of the climate-“

On page 382 of the first edition this statement appears:

  • “. . . for behold, his army had been reduced by the Lamanites because of the numerority of their forces having slain a vast number of our men . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 56:10) this was changed to read:

  • “. . . for behold, his army had been reduced by the Lamanites because their forces had slain a vast number of our men ….”

On page 342 of the first edition we find the following:

  • “. . . took the remainder part of his army and marched . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 43:25) this has been changed to read:

  • “. . . took the remaining part of his army and marched . . .”

On page 501 of the first edition this statement appears:

  • “. . . for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.”

In the 1964 reprint (3 Nephi 22:4) nine words have been added:

  • “. . . for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.”

On page 305 of the first edition we find the following:

  • “But behold, it is the effects of a phrensied mind . . . “

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 30:16) this has been changed to read:

  • “But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind . . . “

On page 236 of the first edition the following statement appeared:

  • “. . . I know that Jesus Christ shall come; yea the Son of the only begotten of the Father . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 5:48) the word of has been deleted:

  • “. . . I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only begotten of the Father . . . “

On page 555 of the first edition this statement appears:

  • “. . . his sons and to his daughters, which were not, or which did not seek his destruction.”

In the 1964 edition (Ether 9:2) this has been changed to read:

  • “. . . his sons and to his daughters who did not seek his destruction.”

On page 538 of the first edition this statement appeared:

  • “. . . and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.”

In the 1964 reprint (Mormon 9:34) nine words have been deleted:

  • “. . . and also that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.”

Non-Mormon writers have criticized the Book of Mormon because the words it came to pass appear so frequently. It is interesting to note that this expression has been deleted in a number of places. For instance, on page 262 of the first edition we read as follows:

  • “And it came to pass that he began to plead for them, from that time forth; but they reviled him, saying: Art thou also possessed with the Devil? And it came to pass that they spit upon him . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 14:7) it has been changed to read: “And he began to plead for them from that time forth; but they reviled him, saying: Art thou also possessed with the devil? And they spit upon him . . . ”

On page 346 of the first edition this statement appears: “Now I cannot retain the words which I have spoken . . .”

In the 1964 edition (Alma 44:11) this has been changed to read: “Now I cannot recall the words which I have spoken . . . ”

On page 203 of the first edition we find the following: “. . . none were consecrated except it were just men.” In the 1964 reprint (Mosiah 23:17) this has been changed to read: “. . . none were consecrated except they were just men.”

On page 475 of the first edition the following appears: “. . . because they testified particular concerning us, which is the remnant of their seed. . . . And those things which testifies of us, are they not written . . . ”

In the 1964 reprint (3 Nephi 11:16, 17) this has been changed to read: “. . . because they testified particularly concerning us, who are the remnant of their seed. . . . And these things which testify of us, are they not written. . . ”

On page 541 of the first edition we find the following: “. . . and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness be come . . . ”

In the 1964 reprint (Ether 2:11) this has been changed to read: “. . . and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come . . . ”

On page 233 of the first edition we find this statement: “. . . he awaked them out of a deep sleep . . . ”

In the 1964 edition (Alma 5:7) this has been changed to read: “. . . he awakened them out of a deep sleep . . . ”

On page 272 of the first edition we find the following: “. . . and thus we will reserve the flocks unto the king . . . ”

In the 1964 edition (Alma 17:31) this has been changed to read: “. . . and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king . . . ”

On page 272 of the first edition this statement appears: “. . . and they were not in number a very few . . . ”

In the 1964 edition (Alma 17:34) this has been changed to read: “. . . and they were in number not a few.”

On page 277 of the first edition we find the following: “. . . and the light of everlasting light was lit up in his soul . . . ”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 19:6) this has been changed to read: “. . . and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul . . .”

On page 406 of the first edition this statement appears: “. . . they were drowned up in the depths of the sea.”

In the 1964 edition (Alma 63:8) this has been changed to read:

“. . . they were drowned in the depths of the sea.”

On page 382 of the first edition we read as follows: “. . . therefore it supposeth me that I tell you . . . ”

In the 1964 edition (Alma 56:5) this has been changed to read: “Therefore it sufficeth me that I tell you . . . ”

One of the most frequent mistakes in the first edition of the Book of Mormon is the use of the word was instead of the word were. The following are extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon in which the word was has been changed in later editions to were:

“. . . and also of Adam and Eve, which was our first parents . . .” (page 15) [1 Nephi 5:11] “Wherefore, all mankind was in a lost and in a fallen state . . .” (page 22) [1 Nephi 10:6] “And all these things of which I have spoken, was done . . .” (page 23) [1 Nephi 10:16] “. . . and loosed the bands which was upon my wrists . . .” (page 49) [1 Nephi 18:15] “And great was the covenants of the Lord . . .” (page 66) [2 Nephi 3:4] “. . . and they were surrounded by the king’s guard, and was taken, and was bound, and was committed to prison.” (page 169) [Mosiah 7:7] “. . . and these interpreters was doubtless prepared . . . (page 173) [Mosiah 8:19] “. . . and the seats which was set apart for the high priests, which was above all the other seats . . .” (page 178) [Mosiah 11:11] “. . . the arms of mercy was extended towards them; for the arms of mercy was extended . . .” (page 189) [Mosiah 16:12] “. . . both Alma and Helam was buried in the water . . .” (page 192) [Mosiah 18:14] “And the priests was not to depend upon the people . . .” (page 193) [Mosiah 18:26] “. . . and those that was with him.” (page 195) [Mosiah 19:18] “. . . the afflictions of the Nephites was great . . .” (page 198) [Mosiah 21:5] “. . . many of his people was desirous to be baptized . . .” (page 200) [Mosiah 21:33] “And now there was seven Churches . . .” (page 209) [Mosiah 25:23] “. . . there was many of the rising generation . . .” (page 209) “. . . those who committed sin that was in the church . . .” (page 209) “Now the sons of Mosiah was numbered . . .” (page 212) [Mosiah 27:8]

“. . . I had much desire that ye was not in the state of dilemma . . .” (page 241) [Alma 7:18] “. . . they was angry with me . . .” (page 248) [Alma 9:32] “. . . the land of Nephi, and the land of Zarahemla, was nearly surrounded. . .”(page 288) [Alma 22:32] “But behold there was no wild beasts . . .” (page 460) [3 Nephi 4:2]

There are also many places where the word were has been changed to was. The following are extracts from the first edition:

“. . . but it all were vain . . .” (page 142) [Jacob 7:24] “. . . an army of the Lamanites were in the borders . . .” (page 204) [Mosiah 23:25] “. . . inasmuch as it were possible.” (page 224) [Alma 1:32] “Now the object of these Lawyers were to get gain . . .” (page 251) [Alma 10:32] “. . . every living soul of the Ammonihahites were destroyed . . .” (page 267) [Alma 16:9] “. . . for the promise of the Lord were, If they should . . .” (page 359) [Alma 48:25] “. . . there was not a single soul of the Nephites which were slain.” (page 362) [Alma 49:23] “. . . because it were easy to guard them . . .” (page 375) [Alma 53:5] “And in this year there were continual rejoicing . . .” (page 414) [Helaman 3:31] “And there were but little alteration in the affairs . . .” (page 450) Helaman 16:12] “. . . therefore there were no chance for the robbers to plunder . . .” (page 460) [3 Nephi 4:2] “. . . in the which there were so much wickedness . . .” (page 463) [3 Nephi 5:6] “Behold I were about to write them all . . .” (page 506) [3 Nephi 26:11] “. . . there were no blood shed.” (page 519) [Mormon 1:12] “. . . and I were forbidden that I should preach unto them . . .” (page 519) [Mormon 1:116]

Another common mistake in the first edition of the Book of Mormon is the use of the word is when it should read are. The following are extracts from the first edition in which the word is has been changed to are in later editions:

“. . . the tender mercies of the Lord is over all . . .” (page 7) [1 Nephi 1:20] “. . . the mixture of thy seed, which is among thy brethren . . .” (page 30) [1 Nephi 13:30] “. . . shall establish the truth of the first, which is of the twelve apostles . . .” (page 32) [1 Nephi 13:40] “. . . there is, save it be, two churches . . .” (page 33) [1 Nephi 14:10] “. . . and all things that in them is . . .” (page 64) [2 Nephi 2:14] “. . . and all things are given them which is expedient . . .” (page 65) [2 Nephi 2:27] “. . . shall be the words which is expedient in my wisdom . . .” (page 67) [2 Nephi 3:19] “But great is the promises of the Lord . . .” (page 85) [2 Nephi 10:21] “And whoredoms is an abomination before me . . .” (page 127) [Jacob 2:28]

“. . . according to his judgments, which is just . . . ” (page 150) [Omni v. 22] “. . . and prophesied of many things which is to come . . .” (page 171) [Mosiah 7:26] “. . . or any likeness of things which is in heaven above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the water under the earth.” (page 184) [Mosiah 13:12] “Behold, here is the waters of Mormon . . .” (page 192) [Mosiah 18:8] “. . . ye hope for things which is not seen, which are true.” (page 315) [Alma 32:21] “. . . Behold, here is our weapons of war . . .” (page 346) [Alma 44:8]

In the following extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon the word much has been changed to many in later editions:

“. . . and wild goats, and also much horses.” (page 145) [Enos v. 21] “. . . and destroy the souls of much people.” (page 217) [Mosiah 29:7]

In the following extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon the word had has been deleted and the words not ought have been rearranged to ought not in later editions:

“. . . lest he should look for that he had not ought and he should perish.” (page 173) [Mosiah 8:13] “And he told them that these things had not ought to be . . .” (page 220) [Mosiah 29:34] “. . . and that they had not ought to murder . . .” (page 289) [Alma 23:3] “I had not ought to harrow up in my desires . . .” (page 303) [Alma 29:4]

Another common mistake in the first edition of the Book of Mormon is the use of the word a where it does not belong. In the following extracts from the first edition the word a has been deleted in later editions:

“As I was a journeying to see a very near kindred . . .” (page 249) [Alma 10:7] “And as I was a going thither . . .” (page 249) [Alma 10:8] “. . . the foundation of the destruction of this people is a beginning to be laid . . .” (page 251) [Alma 10:27] “. . . he met with the sons of Mosiah, a journeying towards the land . . .” (page 269) [Alma 17:1] “. . . as Ammon and Lamoni was a journeying thither . . .” (page 280) [Alma 20:8] “. . . there he found Muloki a preaching the word . . .” (page 284) [Alma 21:11] “. . . went about from house to house, a begging for his food.” (page 309) [Alma 30:56] “And Korihor did go about from house to house, a begging food . . .” (page 309) [Alma 30:58] “. . . Moroni, on the other hand, had been a preparing the minds . . .” (page 358) [Alma 48:7] “And thus Moroni had obtained a possession of the city Mulek . . .” (page 373) [Alma 52:26] “. . . the armies of the Lamanites are a marching towards the city . . .” (page 389) [Alma 57:31] “. . . the Lamanites saw that Moroni was a coming against them . . .” (page 403) [Alma 62:31] “. . . the Lamanites a marching towards them . . .” (page 529) [Mormon 6:7]

In the following extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon the word for has been deleted in later editions:

“. . . the Lamanites did gather themselves together for to sing . . .” (page 196) [Mosiah 20:1] “. . . they did prepare for to meet them . . .” (page 225) [Alma 2:12] “. . . the Son of God, which should come for to redeem his people . . .” (page 239) [Alma 6:8] “Now it was for the sole purpose for to get gain . . .” (page 252) [Alma 11:20] “. . . preparing the hearts of the children of men for to receive his word . . .” (page 261) [Alma 13:24] “. . . did pour out his spirit on all the face of the land, for to prepare . . .” (page 268) [Alma 16:16] “. . . after their many struggles for to destroy them . . .” (page 299) [Alma 27:1] “. . . free intercourse one with another, for to buy and to sell . . .” (page 422) [Helaman 6:8] “. . . we depend upon them for to teach us the word . . .” (page 451) [Helaman 16:21] “. . . they did cast up mighty heaps of earth for to get ore . . . ” (page 560) [Ether 10:23]

On page 260 of the first edition the following statement appears: “Behold, the Scriptures are before you; if ye will arrest them, it shall be to your own destruction.”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 13:20) this has been changed to read: “Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction.”

A similar mistake is found on page 336 of the first edition: “. . . some have arrested the Scriptures . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 41:1) this has been changed to read: “. . . some have wrested the scriptures . . .”

The following are extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon. The word arriven has been changed to arrived in later editions.

“. . . when they had arriven in the borders of the land . . .” (page 270) [Alma 17:13] “. . . wo unto this people, because of this time which has arriven . . .” (page 443) [Helaman 13:24]

The following are extracts from the first edition. The word respects has been changed to respect in later editions.

“. . . having no respects to persons as to those who stood in need . . .” (page 224) [Alma 1:30] “. . . they did impart the word of God, without any respects of persons . . .” (page 268) [Helaman 13:24]

The two extracts which follow are from the first edition of the Book of Mormon. The word fell has been changed to fallen in later editions.

“. . . the multitude beheld that the man had fell dead . . .” (page 278) [Alma 19:24] “But they had fell into great errors . . .” (page 310) [Alma 31:9]

The following extracts are from the first edition of the Book of Mormon. The word wrote has been changed to written in later editions.

“And thus ended the record of Alma, which was wrote upon the plates of Nephi.” (page 347) [Alma 44:24] “. . . I have wrote unto you somewhat concerning this war . . .” (page 377) [Alma 54:5] “. . . therefore I have wrote this epistle . . .” (page 457) [3 Nephi 3:5] “. . . I have wrote them to the intent . . .” (page 506) [3 Nephi 26:8]

The following are extracts from the first edition. The expression exceeding fraid has been changed to exceedingly afraid in later editions.

“. . . they were exceeding fraid; yea, they feared to displease the king . . .” (page 354) [Alma 47:2] “. . . they were exceeding fraid, lest there were a plan laid . . .” (page 392) [Alma 58:24] “. . . the Lamanites were exceeding fraid . . .” (page 415) [Helaman 4:3]

On page 76 of the first edition the following appears: “The Lord God hath appointed mine ear . . .”

In the 1964 edition (2 Nephi 7:5) “The Lord God hath opened mine ear . . .”

On page 74 of the first edition this statement appears: “. . . my brother hath desired me that I should speak unto you.”

In the 1964 reprint (2 Nephi 6:4) this has been changed to read: “. . . my brother has desired that I should speak unto you.”

On page 56 of the first edition of the Book of Mormon this statement appears: “And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, after that I had read these things . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (1 Nephi 22:1) three words have been deleted: “And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, had read these things . . .”

The following are extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon. The word began has been changed to begun in later editions.

“. . . it had sprang forth, and began to bear fruit.” (page 132) [Jacob 5:17 “. . . they had began to possess the land of Amulon, and had began to till the ground.” (page 204) [Mosiah 23:31] “. . . they had began to settle the affairs . . .” (page 368) [Alma 51:12] “. . . had began his march towards the land . . .” (page 372) [Alma 52:15] “. . . the church had began to dwindle . . .” (page 417) [Helaman 4:23]

On page 568 of the first edition this statement appears: “. . . the people upon all the face of the land were a shedding blood, and there was none to constrain them.”

In the 1964 edition (Ether 13:31) this has been changed to read: “. . . the people upon the face of the land were shedding blood, and there was none to restrain them.”

The following are extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon. The word done has been changed to did in later editions.

“. . . the servant of the Lord of the vineyard, done according to the word of the Lord of the vineyard . . .” (page 132) [Jacob 5:10] “. . . and this he done that he might overthrow the doctrine of Christ.” (page 140) [Jacob 7:2]

“. . . all this he done, for the sole purpose . . .” (page 170) [Mosiah 7:22] “. . . and this they done throughout all the land.” (page 220) [Mosiah 29:41] “. . . and this he done that he might subject them to him.” (page 225) [Alma 2:10] “. . . this they done that they might provide food . . .” (page 269) [Alma 17:7] “Now this he done that he might preserve their hatred . . .” (page 340) [Alma 43:7] “. . . this he done that he might usurp great power over them . . .” (page 341) [Alma 43:8]

On page 135 of the first edition we find this statement: “. . . I had hope to preserve, to have laid up fruit thereof . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (Jacob 5:46) this was changed to read: “. . . I had hoped to preserve, to have laid up fruit thereof . . .”

On page 138 of the first edition this statement appears: “. . . and the fruit were equal . . .”

In the 1964 reprint (Jacob 5:74) this has been changed to read: “. . . and the fruits were equal . . .”

On page 171 of the first edition of the Book of Mormon we find the following: “. . . and the effects thereof, is poison.”

In the 1964 reprint (Mosiah 7:30) this has been changed to read: “. . . and the effect thereof is poison.”

The following are extracts from the first edition of the Book of Mormon. The word retained has been changed to regained in later editions.

“. . . to the maintaining those parts of the land, of the which we had retained of our possessions . . .” (page 390) [Alma 58:3] “. . . that he may support those parts of our country which he hath retained . . .” (page 397) [Alma 60:24] “. . . and having retained many of the Nephites which had been taken . . .” (page 403) [Alma 62:30] “. . . even until they had retained the one half of their property . . .” (page 416) [Helaman 4:16]

The extracts that follow are from the first edition of the Book of Mormon; the word took has been changed to taken in later editions:

“. . . and behold, we have took of their wine . . .” (page 379) [Alma 55:8] “. . . after they had took them, they caused them to enter into a covenant . . .” (page 402) [Alma 62:16] “. . . the people of Nephi, which had some years before gone over unto the Lamanites, and took upon themselves the name of Lamanites . . .” (page 438) [Helaman 11:24]

The extracts that follow are from the first edition; the word gave has been changed to given in later editions:

“. . . and had gave them power to gain possession . . .” (page 380) [Alma 55:20] “. . . even as I have broken bread, and blessed it, and gave it unto you.” (page 490) [3 Nephi 18:6]

On page 359 of the first edition this statement appears: “. . . the Devil would never have no power over the hearts of the children of men.”

In the 1964 reprint (Alma 48:17) the double negative has been deleted: “. . . the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”

A similar mistake appears on page 141 of the first edition: “. . . neither hath been, nor never will be.”

In the 1964 reprint (Jacob 7:9) this has been changed to read: “. . . neither has been, nor ever will be.”

The extracts that follow are from the first edition; the word no has been changed to any in later editions.

“. . . have not sought gold nor silver, nor no manner of riches of you . . .” (page 157) [Mosiah 2:12] “. . . there shall be no other name given, nor no other way nor means . . .” (page 161) [Mosiah 3:17] “. . . nor murdering, nor no manner of iniquity . . .” (page 218) [Mosiah 29:14] “. . . they did not fight against God no more . . .” (page 290) [Alma 23:7] “. . . nor murders, nor no manner of lasciviousness . . .” (page 515) [4 Nephi v. 16] “. . . neither were there Lamanites, nor no manner of Ites . . .” (page 515) [4 Nephi v. 17]

On page 289 of the first edition this statement appears: “. . . or Omner, or Himni, nor neither of their brethren . . .” In the 1964 edition (Alma 23:1) this has been changed to read: “. . . or Omner, or Himni, nor either of their brethren . . .”

The two extracts that follow are from the first edition of the Book of Mormon; the word an has been deleted in later editions.

“And behold, they would have carried this plan into an effect . . .” (page 365) [Alma 50:30] “. . . we were desirous to bring a stratagem into an effect upon them . . .” (page 384) [Alma 56:30]

On the title page of the first edition (which was supposed to have been translated from the gold plates) this statement appears: “. . . now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men . . .”

In the 1964 edition this has been changed to read: “. . . now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men . . .”

In the study that follows we have marked all the changes that we were able to find, including spelling changes. In most books we would not consider spelling changes to be very important, but when we consider the fact that the early Mormon leaders taught that Joseph Smith received “every word and every letter” of the Book of Mormon directly from God, the spelling changes become significant. Some Mormons now claim that the witnesses to the Book of Mormon made up the story that the translation was given word-for-word to Joseph Smith; J. L. Traughber Jr., however, stated that David Whitmer told him that it was Joseph Smith himself who taught that the Book of Mormon was dictated word-for-word:

“. . . a spiritual light would shine forth, and parchment would appear before Joseph, upon which was a line of characters from the plates, and under it, the translation in English; at least, so Joseph said.” (Saints’ Herald, November 15, 1962, page 16)

Although there have been thousands of changes made in the Book of Mormon, the changes made in some of the other Mormon books are of a more serious nature. Some of the revelations that appear in the Doctrine and Covenants have had hundreds of words added to them. There also have been many important changes in the Pearl of Great Price. In the book, Flaws in the Pearl of Great Price, we reproduced the first edition of the Pearl of Great Price with the changes marked. Page 14 of the first edition would have to have 355 words added, 63 words changed, and 4 words deleted to bring it into conformity with the 1989 edition.

The changes made in the Book of Mormon and in Joseph Smith’s revelations have apparently caused the Mormon Church leaders some concern, for they fear that their people will find out about them. A few years ago the Mormon leaders allowed one of their members, Wilford Wood, to reproduce (by the photo-offset method) the first edition of the Book of Mormon (under the title of Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 1) and the Book of Commandments and first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (under the title of Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 2). The Deseret Press, which is owned by the Mormon Church, did the printing, and the Deseret Book Store, which is also owned by the church, sold them. Since Mr. Wood’s reprints did not tell that the revelations and the Book of Mormon had been changed, the church leaders evidently felt that they were safe as long as members of the church did not compare them with present editions. It appears, however, that members of the church did compare the books and found that many changes had been made. On October 9, 1964, a man reported to us that the Deseret Book Store had refused to sell him copies of Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Volumes 1 and 2. On October 10, 1964, Sandra Tanner went to the Deseret Book Store and asked the clerk concerning these books. The clerk, supposing she was a Mormon, said, “President David O. McKay won’t let us sell that anymore.” The clerk went on to say, “We’ve had several people leave the Church because of those books. The priests and ministers of the other churches are using these books to confuse people. Because of the confusion we can’t sell them any more. President McKay has taken them out of circulation.”

On October 13, 1964, Wesley P. Walters ( a minister in Illinois) wrote to the Deseret Book Store requesting copies of Joseph Smith Begins His Work, Vol. 1 and 2. His letter was answered on October 16, 1964. The answer was as follows:

“Thank you for your letter ordering Joseph Smith Begins His Work Vol. 1 & 2 by Wilford Wood. We are sorry to inform you that these two books are no longer available.

“We are returning your check along with a price list of our books. May we serve you with some of these fine books? (Letter from the Deseret Book Store, dated October 16, 1964)

An employee of the Deseret Book Store later said that these books were OUT OF PRINT. Of course this statement was completely untrue; when we told Wilford Wood that the Church was trying to suppress his books he wrote us a letter in which he stated:

“I would like to know if you would permit me to use your letter to show it to President McKay or those responsible for stopping the sale of the books at the Deseret Book Company. The books are sold everywhere else with no complaint . . . There are plenty of books, both volumes, and always will be and anyone who is hurt from the original story of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the foundation of the Church upon which it is built will have to pay the consequences for pretending to love the Prophet Joseph Smith and working against him.” (Letter by Wilford C. Wood, dated October 27, 1964)

We understand that Wilford Wood met with the President of the Mormon Church but was unsuccessful in his attempt to get the restrictions removed from the sale of his books. After the death of President Joseph Fielding Smith, the Wood’s were able to get the Deseret Book Company to once again handle both volumes of Joseph Smith Begins His Work.

For a thorough study of Mormon history and doctrine we recommend our book,

Image Goes here.

The photograph above is taken from the original handwritten printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon, which is in the Reorganized LDS Church Historian’s Library in Independence, Missouri. The arrows point to the places where the words the son of would have to be inserted to bring the manuscript into conformity with modern editions of the Book of Mormon. Since these words do not appear in the manuscript, this proves that the Mormon leaders have deliberately changed the Book of Mormon. This photograph also proves that Church Historian Joseph Fielding Smith deceived his people concerning the changes in the Book of Mormon. In his book, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 2, he made the following statement: “A careful check of the list of changes submitted by these critics shows there is not one change or addition that is not in full harmony with the original text. Changes have been made in punctuation and a few other matters that needed correction, but never has any alteration or addition changed a single original thought.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 2, page 200)

More: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/3913intro.htm

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