Does the Book of Mormon really contain the “fullness of the gospel?”

The following is from Rocky of Mormon Outreach as found on Facebook:

If the Book of Mormon contains the “Fulness [sic] of the Gospel” why aren’t these Mormon Doctrine essentials listed in the Book of Mormon?

1. Church organization
2. Plurality of Gods
3. Plurality of wives doctrine
4. Word of Wisdom
5. God is an exalted man
6. Celestial marriage
7. Men may become Gods
8. Three degrees of glory
9. Baptism for the dead
10. Eternal progression
11. The Aaronic Priesthood
12. Temple works of washings, anointing, endowments, sealing.

If I took these 12 Mormon doctrinal points away, would I have Mormonism? Answer: No!

So, answer the question: “If the Book of Mormon contains the ‘Fulness [sic] of the Gospel’ where are these Mormon Doctrine Essentials?”

18 thoughts on “Does the Book of Mormon really contain the “fullness of the gospel?”

  1. Apologetics ministries keep asking all kinds of stupid questions like this one. “The gospel” is defined in LDS scripture (including 1 Corinthians 15) as the message of Jesus Christ: his birth, death, burial, resurrection and appearance to witnesses. Mormonism affirms that the Bible also contains the “fulness of the gospel.” (Mormons generally use the spelling of the King James Bible, with only one “l”–both spellings are correct and neither warrants an “sic.”) Unfortunately, most apologetics ministries approach Mormon theology from the flawed perspective that all doctrine has to be present within the pages of a book; and they’ll cite this question again and again without understanding the basic elements of its premise–that it refers to “the gospel” rather than “all doctrine.”

    Hopefully the time will come when they can bring up questions of substance rather than this kind of fluff.

  2. Alma, your response is one of those typically “quite laughable” responses I mentioned. McConkie describes the “fulness of the gospel” as follows: “those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fulness of salvation.” So according to the list above, would you not say the following are important to reaching exaltation to godhood, which is the “fulness of salvation”?
    Laws: Word of wisdom, temple works
    doctrines: eternal progression, plurality of gods, plurality of wives, god as an exalted man, celetial marriage (w/o which, according to D&C 132, no one gets to be a god), baptism for the dead, etc
    Ordinances: Baptsim for the dead, temple works, priesthood
    Powers, authorities: Church organization, priesthood

    Seems to me that all the things mentioned have to be included in the “fulness of the gospel”?

    What about this question of “substance”- why is Joseph Smith not considered a false prophet when he had at least 50 false prophecies that I know of?

  3. Mr. Barker,

    SHIELDS and F.A.R.M.S. false religionists such as yourself aren’t permitted a forum here at DefCon. Unlike the average cultural Mormon wandering the streets of Salt Lake City who has simply been told lies his entire life by the LDS organization, you and your colleagues are a breed apart, being actively and purposefully involved in promoting soul-damning spiritual deception. Nevertheless it’s still amazing to me to see that even as you type a response which attempts to defend the demonically inspired, hell-spawned lies contained within the false religion of Joseph Smith, Jr., you still manage to take cheap personal shots at those whom you know you can’t deceive. But praise be to the Triune One True and Living God, the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe that He uses simple and humble means like DefCon, and individuals such as Glenn E. Chatfield to deliver precious souls from the clutches of Mormonism, a pox be upon its house.

    In Christ,
    CD

  4. Glenn:

    Yes, I am aware that McConkie provided that as one of his definitions in his book, Mormon Doctrine–after having provided the same explanation I gave above; and after stating what “the gospel” includes “in its broadest sense.” In its LDS scriptural context, however, it is defined in 1 Cor. 15:1-8 as I defined it and as McConkie defined it at the beginning of his entry.

    Your question asking if I would say your list is “important” isn’t the subject of my comment–that of whether or not the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel. So also, your comment that “Seems to me that all the things mentioned would have to be included” is merely a reiteration of the first error this blog post. What you or other critics of Mormonism think we ought to believe is utterly irrelevant. It is even more irrelevant if those who espouse these views only allow dissent from the ignorant (see Coram’s post above.)

    As for the substance you allude to, I’ve seen lots of lists that rely on bogus, unbiblical, and illogical premises. Standards that those who propose them would never allow to be applied to prophets from the Bible. But, if you think these alleged false prophecies have any merit, why don’t you go through them and pick the one that you believe is the most important and present it. I’d be happy to discuss it. I’ll cross post it on my blog as well. I’m not particularly interested in re-hashing all fifty or even two–just the one that you think is fatal to Joseph Smith’s standing as a prophet of the God of Israel. We can examine it and see if your standard is logically consistent or if it requires special pleading.

  5. DavidW says:

    Alma,

    Sir, this is a Christian blog, by Christians, for Christians. If you have serious, honest interest in understanding the Christian faith, as defined in God’s revealed word of truth, which is found in and solely in the 66 inspired books of the Holy Bible, then there are those here who would be happy to help you. If however your intent is to use this as a platform to defend or promote unbiblical teachings, or to discredit biblical Christianity, to engage in guile and deception, or to enter into arguments of will or intellectual superiority, then you are an enemy of Christ and have no part with true followers of the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

  6. David,

    I apologize. I thought the point of your blog was contending and defending your faith. But apparently it’s limited only to those who agree with you. That doesn’t strike me as particularly bold–perhaps your passage of Peter says, “Be ready to give an answer only to those who don’t challenge your paradigm?”

  7. DavidW says:

    Alma,

    You misunderstand. This blog is not about boldness, machismo, intellectual prowess, or verbal sparring. It is about truth. Specifically, God’s truth. The erroneous beliefs of the LDS organization have already been brought to the light of God’s word many times on this blog. A redundant rehashing of what has already been said, to everyone who shows up with a chip on his shoulder, is s waste of time. Your words thus far have shown no sincere interest in wanting God’s truth (as revealed in His word the Holy Bible), and your insults and verbal challenges continue to display that your interest is only to argue. Such is not the way of Christ. Your mockery of God’s word (as you stated above) is blasphemy. Because of these reasons your presence here is an unwelcome intrusion.

  8. Alma,
    Boy, it’s hard to pick just one. I’m giving you one really easy one and then a couple more complex ones. So you get three.

    1. D&C Section 124:56,59 (Jan. 1841) In reference to the Nauvoo House. “And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein, from generation to generation. … Therefore, let my servant Joseph and his seed after him have place in that house, from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.” Was the Nauvoo House ever finished? NO! Has any of Joseph Smith’s family possessed it for this past 170 years? NO!

    2. D&C Section 132 (July 12, 1843): “4. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. … 6. And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant [i.e., polygamy or plural marriage], it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. … 52. And let my handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God. … 54. And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph and none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law.”
    If this was an “everlasting” covenant, why was it officially discontinued in 1890? According to this prophecy, those who reject this command and are not living in plural marriage are damned. Emma never agreed with this prophecy, and even later claimed it was a product of Brigham Young and Hiram Smith. Was she destroyed?

    3. Hist. Vol. 6, p. 116 cites this prophecy given 16 December 1843 (originally printed in the Millennial Star, vol.22, pg 455, and cited in Joseph’s Journal as recorded by Willard Richards): “While discussing the petition to Congress, I prophesied, by virtue of the Holy Priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government. AND GOD SHALL DAMN THEM. AND THERE SHALL NOTHING BE LEFT OF THEM – NOT EVEN A GREASE SPOT.”

    Congress refused to hear the petition; was it broken up as a government?

  9. Dear Alma:

    I have to clarify something with you and also say thank you. First the clarification.

    You said,

    “It is even more irrelevant if those who espouse these views only allow dissent from the ignorant (see Coram’s post above.)”

    Our position is not that we only want to discuss these matters with the ignorant. Your comments being posted here should be proof of that (unless, of course, you count yourself as among the ignorant).

    I believe Coram Deo’s point (correct me if I’m wrong Coram), was that those who are not teachable, but only here to further false teaching, are wasting their time and ours. And in this particular case, Mr. Barker is an apologist for the LDS organization (much like yourself) and not only has no desire to hear or receive the truth, but his comments have been less than cordial. They’ve been downright vitriolic and condescending. Although none of us would refuse a member of LDS from sitting on our couch to discuss these issues, all of us would ask that person to leave if they became as rude and argumentative with the snarky tone that seems to accompany every one of Mr. Barker’s comments. Consider this our home.

    My caution to you, Alma, is to be mindful of your comments as well. Since you’re clearly an LDS apologist (seen you elsewhere on the net), and since you’re not here to learn but to erect smoke and mirrors in defense of LDS, and since you leave comments labeling non-LDS members who are critical of your religion as being stupid (or at least by extension since their questions are) . . .

    “Apologetics ministries keep asking all kinds of stupid questions like this one.”

    . . . then you need to be reminded that your ability to still have your comments posted here should not be taken for granted. (If you don’t understand why you shouldn’t have free-reign on here, please see our Rules of Engagement or DavidW’s comments above.)

    Now on to the thank you.

    You said, regarding the gospel,

    “‘The gospel’ is defined in LDS scripture (including 1 Corinthians 15) as the message of Jesus Christ: his birth, death, burial, resurrection and appearance to witnesses. Mormonism affirms that the Bible also contains the ‘fulness of the gospel.’”

    And,

    “In its LDS scriptural context, however, it is defined in 1 Cor. 15:1-8 as I defined it and as McConkie defined it at the beginning of his entry.”

    I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Finally a Mormon who admits that the gospel IS contained in the Bible and thus proving that there was nothing Joseph Smith needed to “restore.” Further proof that if there was anything to “restore,” it most certainly would have been found in that “most correct book” (with almost 4,000 corrections) known as the Book of Mormon which supposedly contains the fullness of the gospel . . . which the Bible already contains.

    Thanks again.

  10. Alma said: ” It is even more irrelevant if those who espouse these views only allow dissent from the ignorant (see Coram’s post above.)”

    Wow! That’s a very revealing statement about how you feel about your own co-religionists. With one fell swoop you just consigned the greater part of Mormonism in Salt Lake City, the state of Utah, and “cultural” Mormons like Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney (who have publicly denied and/or ridiculed key Mormon doctrines) to the ranks of the ignorant. Thank you for your candor.

    Glenn E. Chatfield, here are a few more items exposing the evolution of Mormon theology, courtesy of Dr. James White.

    In Christ,
    CD

  11. Last week, when I left comments on this blog, I was left with the impression that if I was anything more than a “cultural Mormon then I was not welcome to

  12. Thanks Coram Deo. I’m very familiar with James white. I was proselytized to the LDS when I was a pagan at 18 years old. When I was 22 I became a Christian (long story) and from that point on wanted to reach Mormons with the truth. That is how I got started in apologetics over 35 years ago. I have copies of the original BOM, original Book of Commandments, Diaries of Joseph Smith, and tons more of official LDS stuff, as well as scads of stuff from Utah LIghthouse Ministry and Mormonism Research Ministry and two whole shelves of books by and about LDS or ex-LDS members. I toured the Nauvoo Temple and have tracted in Nauvoo a couple times (it’s 2 hrs from home) After studying the LDS for 40 years (including my stint as one), I’ve heard it all from the likes of Alma and his ilk trying to defend the indefensible. Even so, every day I learn something new about the LDS. They never cease to amaze me with their twisting of Scripture and revising of their own history in attempts to defend false teachings.

  13. Sorry about the above comment. My screen fluttered and next thing I knew, my partial comment had been posted. At the time I was moving the cursor over to put ending quotes on “Cultural Mormon” and what appears above is now comment #12. Finishing my thought, my impression was that unless I was here to learn from critics of my faith, I had been uninvited. If that’s the case, I can move on. I did not, however, want to leave some of the above comments without a rejoinder. The Pilgrim noted: “Finally a Mormon who admits that the gospel IS contained in the Bible…”

    Perhaps you have been dealing with ignorant Mormons who are unaware of the teachings of their faith. Each copy of the Book of Mormon unfailingly includes an introduction that notes that the Book of Mormon “contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel.” You would think that this comment from the second sentence would be common knowledge–not only to everyday Mormons; but as well to those attempting to minister to them. Unfortunately, Pilgrim continued his comment with this non sequitur: “…and thus proving that there was nothing Joseph Smith needed to “restore.” That would be true from a perspective that believed that written text is all that is needed for salvation; but certainly not from a Mormon perspective that you cannot have faith in a being that does not exist. “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship.” There was much that needed to be restored regarding the nature and character of God, man, scriptures, faith, authority and scores of other doctrines.

    Glenn: If you want to narrow your choice down from three to one alleged false prophecy, I’m still willing to address it; but, as I noted above, I’m not interested in a discussion that can drop one item as soon as it’s apparent that it is fallacious–only to move to another. Surely, if you think Joseph Smith uttered 50 or 53 or even a hundred false prophecies, you can come up with one you’re absolutely sure will withstand scrutiny, can’t you?

  14. Steve says:

    Alma, please read the book of Galatians, it’s only 6 chapters. I’m not trying to bash Mormonism, but you can’t really believe the book of Galatians and Mormonism, that can’t coincide. I’m not trying to be judgmental, but really read that book and pray that God gives you His Truth (which is the same way we all need to do when read the Bible, ask for the Spirit’s guidance). Take care buddy, peace!

  15. Ryan says:

    “The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation.” – Ezra Taft Benson.

    This is what we mean. The fulness of the Gospel from our perspective does not entail all doctrines. Rather it explains Christ did for us through His atonement, and all things He has said we must do regularly in mortality to receive salvation and eternal life through His grace and mercy. We believe that as we focus our lives on achieving salvation in the kingdom of God, that the things required for exaltation, which happen less often (such as washing and anointing, endowment, sealings, etc.) will fall into place as we are faithfully living the Gospel and following the teachings contained in the Book of Mormon.

    That being said, to answer a couple of your questions: Eternal Progression isn’t a doctrine of the Church to my knowledge. Once we are resurrected, we can’t progress further. Also, the sealing power involved with eternal marriage is discussed very vaguely in the Book of Mormon, when the Lord spoke in 3 Nephi saying that whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

  16. Victor says:

    The Book of Mormon does not teach exaltation and president benson said that it does, that makes benson a liar

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