Comments about ‘BYU professor Royal Skousen concludes his discussion on changes to the Book of Mormon original text’

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Published: Tuesday, March 19 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


We study the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham as part of the OT. JS-Matthew as part of the NT. JS-History as part of the D&C and Church History segment.

Herndon, VA

To Brahmabull:

The Book of Abraham is in fact studied in LDS Sunday School, which is very easy to verify.

Since it covers Old Testament times, it is studied with the Old Testament as part of the rotating years of study.

It is also studied in-depth in classes at BYU and BYU-Idaho, and there is a recent institute manual as well.

Again, please, before you attack the church, please get your facts straight.

The Book of Abraham is true. We don't apologize for it. It contains wonderful doctrines that explain the purpose of life, the gospel, and other important matters. We are very blessed to have it.

Again, no apologies for the truth.

Dave C.
Crestline, CA

If God wanted the Book of Mormon to be letter & word perfect, He would have done it Himself; but, instead He allowed imperfect mortals to do the work for Him. It never surprises me when mere mortals make misstaakess!!

sandy, ut

Twin - While I am aware of them rolling it into the OT studies, it used to be studied on its own. They stopped that a few years back and it seems to me to be getting studied in church less and less. It is not what Joseph Smith claimed it was. This naturally leads one to believe the rest of his works aren't what they are claimed to be either. Many of the passages in the doctrine and covenants have been moved, and dates changed. Get yourself a copy of the original Book of Commandments and compare it to the current D and C. It is shocking that they changed the dates of the revelations to make the whole story seem cohesive and make the timeline match..

layton, UT

RE: Twin Lights ,the right hand of power is also literal. Wrong,

DEXIOS is used in the N.T. indicates relationship and is translated idiomatically into "right hand". although (kheir) which literally translates to "hand" does not appear in any of the references to the "right hand of God"... .

Christ has a body with a left and a right, Mark 10:40. True. J S, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son? First, he is a personage of tabernacle.

Biblical hermeneutics always let the N.T to interpret the O.T.. see Theophany’s.

“No one has ever seen God [the father], but the one and only Son, who is himself God[the son] and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.(John 1:18 NIV)

… (Moses) saw him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:27).

@G L W8, In Mark 7:6-8 – Jesus quotes Is 29:13 the Septuagint – “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, in vain do they worship me….”

sandy, ut


You are aware that truth is subjective. You THINK it is true, but that doesn't make it so. I doubt it is true, and I could be wrong as well. You can't pretent that you have an absolute knowledge of this truth, because there are others that KNOW it isn't true. I will say that if you aren't willing to look at facts instead of truth, then you will continue to be in the dark.

Polson, MT

While the lecture was on the Book of Mormon, and not on the Book of Abraham, because of some of the comments, I thought I would add my thoughts on Abraham. Just finished teaching the Pearl of Great Price in Adult Institute class. This book of scripture is the meat of "some" of the gospel teachings of the church. It is amazing in it's explanation of the creation, and the relationship of the planet Kolob to God's creations. Not for the "spiritually challenged", as it again is "meat" not "milk" when it comes to the teachings of the gospel. Beautiful in its context if read with a spiritual eye towards the mysteries of God. Read and re-read it's context, and enjoy the journey it can take you on!

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO


"....This book of scripture is the meat of "some" of the gospel teachings of the church."

I don't expect the rest of the Christian world to ever accept the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as authentic history and certainly not as scripture. But I think these volumes will some day in the distant future be studied for what insight they give to Joseph Smith's theological thought.


@brahmabull. The PofGP is a very complex book, with a great deal of temple symbolism, and difficult to study effectively in a general Sunday School class. It is taught as a course in adult Institute classes (I am taking one now, and learning a great deal about the temple and our relationship to it.) Ask your local Institute director for a schedule of classes.

Tooele, UT

While the LDS Church has made some grammar and style changes to the text over the years, such as exceeding/exceedingly, is has yet to correct the glaring inconsistencies in the use of "ye/thou/you." Often, a speaker in the Book of Mormon, while addressing an individual, will use all three pronouns. People who read the Book of Mormon in translation do not have to endure such distractions. Of course, many English speakers don't know the difference between them anyway.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY


Please reread my post. I said “Though it is certainly idiomatic (the right hand of power, etc.), it is also literal.” I was referring to the term “right hand of power” as an idiom and not as something literal.

Perhaps hermeneutics can use the NT to interpret the OT. But that is not what Paul referred to when he said “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine . . .” Because, of course, there WAS no NT when he wrote that.

As to anyone seeing God:
Gen. 17:1
Gen. 18:1
Exodus 6:2-3
Exodus 24:9-11
Num. 12:6-8


All I can say is that we study it and that I have taught it. Given a more topical outline, the current format is logical. Certainly no one is shying away from it. I will have to look at the D&C issue another day. I can only spend so much time here. Sorry.

Weber State Graduate
Clearfield, UT


No matter how many times you keep repeating something, it doesn't make it true if the facts don't support your claim. Your wild assertion that the Joseph Smith papyri have been independently "translated several times and found to be true" is simply false.

Even the church has admitted the surviving papyri are Egyptian funery documents and LDS Egyptian scholars John Gee and Michael Rhodes agree the BoA facsimiles are part of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. They offer an explanation that Joseph perhaps used other means to produce the BoA.

Furthermore, LDS apologists at FAIR state on their website that the surviving Joseph Smith papyri "are a portion of the Book of Breathings, an Egyptian religious text...written for a deceased man named Hor...called the Hor Book of Breathings."

I suggest you get a healthy dose of readily available reality before you continue to misrepresent the facts.

Weber State Graduate
Clearfield, UT


Your wild assertion that "the original papyri have been independently translated several times and found to be accurate" is simply false. No matter how many times you repeat this nonsense, the facts simply don't support your claim.

Please be honest in your comments – even the church doesn't support your argument.

From FAIR, an LDS apologist website, and their take on the recovered papyri:

"In fact, the Church ran a multi-part series with color pictures of the papyri in the Improvement Era...The series repeatedly affirmed that the recovered papyri contained Egyptian funerary materials."

"The Egyptian characters on the recovered documents are a portion of the "Book of Breathings," an Egyptian religious text that instructed the dead on how to successfully reach the afterlife. This particular Book of Breathings was written for a deceased man named Hor."

From FAIR regarding the facsimiles:

"It is noted that Joseph Smith's translation of the facsimiles does not agree with that provided by Egyptologists, and that some missing portions of the facsimiles were incorrectly restored."

With all due respect, I suggest you get some readily available clarity on reality before you continue to misrepresent the facts.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Twin Lights: If you go out to FAIRLDS and read what they have to say about the Doctrine and Covenants plus talks by many General Authorities what you will find is that what Brahmabull is saying is totally fabricated. One will learn that the revelations were received in many ways piece mail, not all of it at once. In fact, FAIR goes into a great deal of detail stating why dates, and verses were added or changed. This does nothing to convince critics or apostates about the truth but it does add that what is taught,"line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little goes well with how the Lord reveals his word to his chosen prophets as well as each and every member if they are willing to gain an understanding. As Brother Osterman stated in a talk that much what anti-mormon literature prints is well fabricated and is used to deceive not to inform the faithful.

layton, UT

RE: Twin Lights, there WAS no NT when he wrote that. True,

but now(Christians) like,” the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”(Acts 17:11)

seeing God: Gen. 17:1 The LORD often appeared but not in His full shekinah glory(*Ex 33: 18-20)…For no one can see me and live.

Gen. 18:1:They were angels see *Gen 19:1, or Christophany.

Exodus 24:9-11, There is no detailed description here of what they saw.

Gen 32:28, as a man he struggled with God.4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him;Hosea 12:4)*O.T.

Exodus 6:2-3, Num. 12:6-8. see Hebrews 11:27

Try the Perspicuity of Scripture. ”God is spirit’, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”(John 4:24 NIV)

No one has ever seen God’; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known(John 1:18 ESV)

Far East USA, SC

"Actually, the project should be available for all to review so that it can also more easily face the scientific peer review process"

Can you provide ANY instances where anything to do with Mormonism has been through a "scientific peer review process"?

Salt Lake City, UT

Avoid the Book of Mormon and talk about the Book of Abraham. Nice diversion tactic by critics.

Fred W. Anson
Lake Forest, CA

From the introduction to "The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text" by Royal Skousen:

"Over the past twenty-one years, editor Royal Skousen has pored over Joseph Smith’s original manuscripts and identified more than 2,000 textual errors in the 1830 edition. Although most of these discrepancies stem from inadvertent errors in copying and typesetting the text, the Yale edition contains about 600 corrections that have never appeared in any standard edition of the Book of Mormon, and about 250 of them affect the text’s meaning."

In other words, the Book of Mormon has EXACTLY the same kind of manuscript text variants that source Biblical manuscripts do - the same variants that Mormons point to regarding our so-called "compromised" Bible. AND proportionally there are MORE of them relative to the size and scope of the manuscript record across a far shorter time period.

Yet somehow we're supposed to believe that the BoM is more "correct" and more trustworthy than the Bible is? Hmmm . . . .

Salt Lake City, UT

Religion is a matter of heart, faith and decision. To the critics, if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is not true, why spend time critiquing and finding fault? Go in peace and seek truth as you define it and can embrace it. What I cannot understand is the constant harping, nit picking commentary about something you are obviously not in harmony with and your main purpose appears to be to dissuade others from their faith to your position of non faith.

Many posts seem angry or combative or unhappy. Your tone alone, regardless of content, is not influencing me to your point of view, as you offer nothing but negativity and ill-will. Why you spend time tearing down something you don't like is beyond me. Perhaps spending time in a positive pursuit would be more helpful.

The discussion does reinforce the old comment: They can leave the Church, but can't leave it alone.

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