Comments about ‘Debate renewed with change in Book of Mormon introduction’

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Published: Thursday, Nov. 8 2007 12:00 a.m. MST

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Problem with DNA

I would love to have DNA testing confirm what the Book of Mormon says, but it is impossible to do so. We have no original base to test from (tribe of Joseph) and no current base to test compare (which tribe of current native americans??). Why have Southerton and co. made this out to be a definitive study?

There are serious doubts about the historicity of the Bible. Few proofs exist of major events and people (ie. the whole Exodus story). The same could be said about many historical texts that are unique. This doesn't prove they are not accurate.

All of this ignores the incredible weight in terms of the Bible's and Book of Mormon's content. These narratives are not written like fiction. There is too much of culture, sociology, military strategy, theology, philosophy, etc. for either book to not be true. They really do support one another theologically.

Whatever text changes there are in a modern introduction page are inconsequential. We have only modified the window dressing.

Ben H

This is nothing more than acknowledgment by the church that Jared, Lehi and Mulek were probably not the only ones to come to the Americas and create permanent settlements before Columbus. That's all that any of this means to me. For this reason, the DNA debate to me has always been pointless.

To Carl

Joseph Smith had to put "By Joseph Smith Jr." on the book in order to get it published. He decided it would be better to get it published and printed to share with everyone.

Just a Grandma

Boy howdy! I totally agree with Anonymous !
We are a people of Change! The Bible was changed many times, Catholic Doctrine has been changed many times the Book of Mormon has been changed and the list goes on and on. Geesh People why cant we all just get along? We, who all believe in God and Jesus Christ should not act as little children who think their daddy is the best and argue with each other. Remember we all have the same Father! Why must anyone be critical of anyone else's religion. Remember....on judgement day YOU will be asked why you made fun or rebuked anyone elses religious preference. Can you give a good enough answer to God why? I sure dont want to have to explain that one! I rather be asked why I stole a candy bar when I was 6 yrs. old !!! I am just an old grandma,who loves God ,what do I know??

To Florida:

Changes in the text have been made several times for different reasons. Some have been made to correct or update spelling and grammar to modern standards. Other changes were made because of printer's errors (when the typesetter lined up all the letters, they introduced errors). I believe the last set of "major changes" occurred when the "current text" was compared to the original manuscript written by Oliver Cowdery, who served as Joseph Smith's scribe for most of the translation--many of the previous revisions were done without consulting the original transcription, and as a result changes were required to revert back to the original. In short, a number of corrections have been made as a result of basic mistakes people make in the process of publishing books.

About 12 years ago, I helped publish a book that had no fewer than seven people proofread the entire text, several of them more than one time. About six months after publications, one of our interns noticed that we had missed the word "INTERSHIP" (not INTERNSHIP) on the spine of the cover. Happens all the time, even to the best of pblishers--people make mistakes.

MT in MD


It is all a matter of Faith, as with anything in the LDS church. DNA testing is an irrelevant matter. If one believes and uses the test that Moroni asks all to do, than the Book of Mormon is God's gift to man; not Joseph Smith.

If in fact, that the BofM can be proven to be false, which presently it hasn't, than it appears to me that the whole structure of the LDS church starts to fall apart.

It is a matter of faith.


Whats the big deal with one word change? I don't see that it makes a "hill of beans" difference to the contents that are in the book. However there is always some supposed intellectual that has been Xed that will use the one word change to blow his horn. It only makes him sound off key and flute small.Yet in his eye he thinks he is a tuba.This should not even made print. But because it involves the LDS church some editor or reporter feels that it's news worthy.However, It's about as insignificant as a pimple on a frogs behind.

stick with 1830

It demonstrates the error in thinking that the footnotes, introduction, and dictionaries are reviewed and approved by inspiration of the president of the church. Some will now think twice before placing the footnotes and etc on the same level of the verse they are reading. Personally, I like the 1830 edition of the Bookof Mormon that does not have footnotes and lengthy introductions. I'd rather just read the BoM for what it is without a comittee of who knows what people throwing their opinions into the matter.

No leg to stand on

Throughout the U.S. and the world, Christian demoninations are being torn apart over issues such as gay clergy, female clergy, same-sex marriage, and abuse by clery. And whether some Christians want to admit it or not, there are even deeper divisions regarding which religions and religious leaders are truly Christian and which are not. Is the Pope are true Christian? What about Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn?

To my non-LDS Christian neighbors and friends, please tell me why you attack my faith, when the beliefs of Christians are all over the chart?


The change regarding the Bible was first reported on the Juvenile Instructor blog early this afternoon. The SLT, who broke the story of the "among" change seems not to have been aware of that change before it was brought to their attention on the JI blog. I wonder where the Deseret News learned of it, if it was from the blog or from another source (who may or may not have learned it from the blog).

I am LDS

This change has made me a little unsure of what is fact and what is not. It won't change my testimony. I know I am a child of god and he loves us all. The church has made changes over the years and not minor ones either.
1)Stopping Piligamy (not that I would want to do this but it was done in bible times),
2)clothes legnth. (Need I say more)
3)The blacks holding the priesthood,
4)The way ordinaces are conducted in the temple, well humm that is all I can think of. What are they going to change next? Well as long as the Prophet says it is true. (?) but man shouldn't he get it right the first time. He is speaking to the man up stairs. well i thought I was taught this? sooooo to all you LDS out there, stay true to the faith. there is a reason for everything.
To Just G: there are some religions who teach you to beat your wife and show you how to KIll. yes i will stand up and say NO to that!
DNA testing well did they do it right? did they have a control testing too.

Why people pay attention to this

People stand up and take note of this because the L.D.S. Church maintains that they are "The only true Church on the face of the earth. Holding all of the keys to exaltation, and without certain ordinances performed in Holy Temples, you can not enter the highest kingdom and be with your family after death." Pretty serious claims..To do these you must get a recommend and profess to believe in the Book Of Mormon, among other fundamental truths. So, if this is indeed the truth, then of course the world will take note and have a keener interest in this book and anyhting about it. If this Church is founded by past and current day prophets who receive inspiration from God, then the whole world will indeed be very interested about any change to an official book and reason in depth for the explanation as to why. "We believe the Bible to be the word of God........only as far as it is translated correctly. But...We believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God..(No clarification added to this book.) So yes, the world will stand up and take note. A world which is very interested in Mormons.


Regarding the change to the "forward" of the B&M, I expect the critics will continue to be critics and the believers will continue to be believers.

As for the critics, this is a minor "clarifying" element that does not affect the scriptural part of the book. If people believed that Lamanites were ancestors to "all Native American Indians" that would be an assumption they made my mistake. I am glad that is something that we can now understand better.

As for prophets, to the reader in Florida, I like to look at modern prophets to realize what ancient prophets would have been like. They were real people with different personalities and approaches to teaching the gospel. For ancient prophets, we only have the scriptures to show what they said. That is pretty limited. For all we know, their comments may have been clarified many times. These men were not prefect people and not everything they said would have been "from god". Modern prophets give talks and opinions that touch on all topics. Clarifying one word from "primary" to "among" does not change the doctrine taught in the book; it only enhances our understanding of who these people were.

Leaving the Church

I am a Mormon. I have been my whole entire life. I am the great grandson of a former member of the quorum of the 12.
I have studied the BoM with fervent desire to identify whether it is a true document.
About 7 years ago, I visited Jerusalem and witnessed the entire LDS temple ceremony being performed by orthodox jews at the wailing wall.
I begin to search the roots of the church ordinances and learned that Joseph Smith was an active member of the Masonic Order.
I then learned of the discoveries made in the area of genetics and DNA tracing.
I can no longer follow the BoM as an accurate biblical record, but more of a fictional document.
I still love the values of the Mormon Church and principles taught to its members, but I do not believe in the accuracy of its cornerstone holy manuscript.

Go Grandma!

Old (and wise) people make a lot of sense. I understand why there are apoligists on both sides, to stick up for the truth as they know it. But when a person goes too far out of the way just to make someone else look bad and say I told you so, that is not being a very good Christian, is it. That is why LDS leaders curtail this if they know about it. It makes one wonder why don't other religions do this?


In modern time two founders of two major churches, Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard, have authored religious books. Smith's writting have undergone changes while Hubbard's has endured the test of time.

theological support

Of course the Book of Mormon supports the Bible theologically, it was written by a man steeped in his mother's biblical study habit. How interesting that a prophet in the ancient lands which became the Americas quotes biblical scripture in the King's English though any records he may have had access to predate the King James translation of the Bible by at least 1200 years. How interesting that an article of faith for the LDS church asserts that the Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly neatly providing the caveat needed to support faith in the holiness of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith was brilliant in his marketing of the religion he founded.


Different Carl than at 6:42pm.
Different response here than in the The Tribulation yesterday. More Desnews readers actually read the article.
The professional haters who follow the Trib's slant only read until they could find a club to hit with, and didn't read the Book, let alone the rest of the article.

Regarding mortal weakness of educated and presumably well-intended people, notice the reporter's. End of 3rd paragraph: "The new introduction reads much the same, but says..."
How could she miss the point of the article she was writing? Shouldn't it read "The new introduction reads EXACTLY the same, but says..." Oh, no, a one-word change! Burn the newspaper!

I ALWAYS understood "principal" to mean "one of the main ones", as opposed to "one of the many" and NOT "the only". So this so-called "change" is very slight when you see the whole message in context.

We've known for years there were others here when Lehi and Ishmael's family arrived. Maybe just some Mulekites, maybe leftovers from the Jaredites. But the record we have doesn't even try to give the whole social history. Humans, especially those with an agenda, have filled in far more than was ever justified.

CT Utahn

Didn't they change the wording in the Sunbeams (5 year olds) Sunday School manual a couple years ago?

Seriously, it is an introduction originally written not long ago. Let's keep things in perspective.

And before all the Christians start pointing fingers, just look back and see how much Christianity has been modified since Christ.


Don't you know if you criticize the BoM, you are at the hand of the Adversary?

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