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Defending the Faith: Does the Book of Mormon contain the 'fulness' of the gospel?

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    May 22, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    This is one of the weakest and most convoluted arguments against the Book of Mormon, basically amounting to splitting hairs and nitpicking over the precise meaning of words without focusing on what they actually say (indeed, few BoM critics appear to have actually read it). It essentially attempts to apply an inerrantist, "Sola Scriptura"; argument, which is completely alien and reflects the intrusion of Protestant bias. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. The Book of Mormon teaches all of these principles, in far greater clarity and specificity than the Bible does. Therefore, it can be said to contain the fullness of the Gospel, regardless of whatever other tangential doctrines it does not teach.

    The Lord teaches us line upon line, precept upon precept. Some however want meat before milk and don’t want to have to listen to living prophets. That’s their loss, but the Book of Mormon still stands on its own, independent of what other doctrines might be taught in the Church. Understanding the Book of Mormon’s teachings is crucial before anything else can be understood.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 17, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    RE: The Caravan ,“the very Son of God.” True,Via The Holy Spirit.

    God's authority, “... Those who Believed in his name, He gave the ‘Authority’=( G.exousia) to become children of God” (John 1:12).

    ”If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord(YHWH), and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be ’Saved.” (Romans 10:9)

    “Saved’ from what? The One from whom we need to be saved from is the very One who saves. “we were by nature deserving of wrath” (Eph 2:3)

    “…we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from Gods’ Wrath through him! For if, while we were Gods enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation(Romans 5:9-11)

    Whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36)

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 17, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    I've never actually had the Spirit testify to me about the truthfulness of the Bible. I have had the Spirit tell me many times that the Book of Mormon is scripture and is true. I have prayed to find out about the Bible many times, but no luck. Maybe some day. I use the Bible, I read the Bible, I use it in conjunction with the other Scriptures (Book of Mormon, D & C, Pearl of Great Price). I teach out of it and live by its principles. I do feel that for the most part, it is inspired, but I've read a lot in the Bible that frankly isn't inspired. I read things that were left out of the Bible that I also think were inspired but not included. So there.

    Wraith, you are right. The Book of Mormon was written by men. But it was compiled by Mormon, and was translated by Joseph Smith.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 10:24 p.m.

    @Aurileus Maximus
    I spent 4 years as a member, plenty of time for experiments. Never changed my lack of belief beyond a "maybe". (And yes, I realize those two sentences highlight major flaws like the whole joining when not believing thing; turns out being a protestant growing up gave me a strong sense of "eh they're all Christian denominations really, no biggie if I jump around". Heck, most recently I attended Catholic services, and technically they still consider me one due to the infant baptism.)

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 16, 2014 6:13 p.m.

    This is a terribly, terribly flimsy criticism of the Book of Mormon, at best. (But, hey, that never stopped anti's before....)

    The word "gospel" means "good news", therefore the "gospel" of Jesus Christ means "the good news of Jesus Christ".

    And just what is the good news of Jesus Christ?

    That God lives and loves us.

    That Jesus Christ is the very Son of God, and as that uniquely qualified Son, since we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, there is a way prepared, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, to overcome the effects of our sinful, fallen state by....

    Having faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, being baptized by one who has God's authority, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring (doing our best to obey and follow) to the end, and, finally, receiving the grace of Christ.

    And THAT doctrine is taught relentlessly, over and over and over in the Book of Mormon.

    All that we need to know to be 'saved' is contained within the Book of Mormon and that is good news, indeed!

    If the anti-Mormons want to hang their hopes on this argument, go for it....

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    May 16, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    @ Schnee

    If you are going to try explain away things so simply then you must include repetition.

    Scientists don't just run one experiment and come to a conclusion. Just like that it must

    be with spiritual experiences. Just because someone has a few bad spiritual experience does not automatically mean God does not exist. Just because a there is a few bad apples in a congregation does not mean the whole congregation is bad.

    Just like rules and procedures must be followed in conducting a scientific experiment there are specific rules and procedures that must be followed when conducting spiritual experiments.

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    An excellent article. It articulates persuasive counterpoints to a less-than-convincing logical stumbling block that has probably tripped up a few whose belief systems rest entirely upon rational confirmation recognized by the brain rather than spiritual confirmation recognized by the mind and heart. There's a reason that faith is the first principle of the Lord's gospel.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    May 16, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    @ The Wraith

    No, not really. The way your present things seems to me to be a more condescending manner.

    Where I feel like I more just present what I have found in a helpful manner and leave it at that.

    I guess I could be completely off base by my assessment but from previous posts it seems to correspond to a large portion of your previous remarks.

    While I have/do present some ideas that I have learnt from others that obviously you do not agree/believe. I do tend to think and examine them to a great degree and don't just post them for a show of intellectual superiority.

    There is a difference between thinking for oneself and group think.

    Just because you aren't part of the "LDS" group doesn't mean you still aren't falling into some others group think whether you realize it or not.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    @Aerilus Maximus
    "The difference between those books and holy writ is that the Holy Ghost presents itself when you read the word of God. Some people recognize this fact and some choose to ignore it."

    There are four kinds of outcomes with something like what you propose.

    Two of them work as planned. One of those is a correct positive (I believe the Holy Ghost presented itself and the book turns out to be scripture), and another is a correct negative (I didn't get that sense of the Holy Ghost and the book isn't scripture).

    The other two are mistakes. You highlight one of them, which you classified as willful ignorance (i.e. I didn't get that sense of the Holy Ghost but it ended up being scripture). The other msitake is false positives (i.e. I believe the Holy Ghost presented itself but it turns out the book isn't scripture). The first of these is the mistake I risk with the position I have, the latter is the mistake you risk. Of course, we're both rather comfortable with our choices.

  • falasha Mount Laurel, NJ
    May 16, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    From 3Nephi 28:10 Jesus does not list the missing ordinances the disciples need to "sit down in the kingdom of my Father" he powerfully declares them saved and worthy of exaltation by his own authority given him of the father. Joseph Smith said that "All men who become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fulness of the ordinances of his kingdom; and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fullness of that glory, if they do not lose the whole." May 28, 1843. Then later that year he revealed the "fullness of the priesthood" or second anointing. JS said he was often asked the question, "Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances? I would answer, No, not the fulness of salvation."

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    @AerilusMaximus

    Oh I saw the /s and I know what it means, I just wanted to reiterate my position clearly.

    As for the rest of your post I could say the exact same things to you could I not? It's plainly clear that your mind is already set in regards to believing even though there is a preponderance of evidence showing he did write it.

    I will not further extrapolate either because it is quite clear that it would be futile.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    May 16, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    @Wraith

    I guess you missed the /s or don't know what it means. Regardless, believe whatever you want to believe.

    Just as I guess you say there is plenty of evidence that would suggest that Joseph Smith wrote the book. There is plenty of evidence that suggest he couldn't have written the book.

    It is plainly clear that your mind is already set in regards to not believing it even though there is a pretty decent probability that he could not have written the book.

    I will not further extrapolate because it is quite clear that it would be futile.

    @ Frozen Factuals

    The difference between those books and holy writ is that the Holy Ghost presents itself when you read the word of God. Some people recognize this fact and some choose to ignore it.

  • crimendelsiglo Spanish Fork, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    webster's 1828 dictionary
    FULL'NESS, n. [from full. ]
    1. The state of being filled, so as to leave no part vacant.
    2. The state of ABOUNDING or being IN GREAT PLENTY; ABUNDANCE.

    ARTICLE 9
    We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    LDS have the same gospel as catholics/protestants since they use the same bible as LDS. the gospel is the same (the great definition of Jesus Christ,) but undeniably the BoM has a concentration of the same goodness of the bible, the pages of which are wasted on "history" and other diversions

  • Well.ok Lehi, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    Is it only a coincidence that when Joseph wrote D&C 20 that none of these unique doctrines mentioned had yet to be "revealed"?

  • Well.ok Lehi, UT
    May 16, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    @USAlover

    All of those aspects of the gospel you mentioned are found in the Bible and are taught by virtually every other Christian church.

    To all others, are our unique beliefs of deification, eternal sealings of families, Word of Wisdom, three degrees of glory, baptism for the dead, and the nature of God (physical bodies, three distinct personages in the Godhead) all just "appendages" of the gospel. Throughout my life in church, seminary, and on my mission I have always been taught these are core doctrines of the gospel.

  • Abinadis friend Boise, Idaho
    May 16, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand to teach us that Jesus Christ came to both groups on the earth and taught the gospel. The Book of Mormon testifies that the Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly and the Book of Mormon solidifies the truths of the Bible. There is no question that both books are true and if we study them both we will learn what is necessary to achieve what will be best for us while we are on this earth and beyond.

  • falasha Mount Laurel, NJ
    May 16, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    The list of faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection, preparing for judgement is also found in Hebrews 6:1-3. "Work out your salvation with fear toward God" Alma 34:37, or "work out your own salvation with fear" Phillipians 2:12. "meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls" Alma 37:34, compared with Matthew 11:29. The phrase "anchor to the soul" Ether 12:4 compared to Hebrews 6:19, "love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts", 1Nephi 11:22, compared to Romans 5:5 "love of God is shed abroad in our hearts". There are 15 verses from 2Nephi9 which are also right out of the new Testament, also "being made alive in Christ" 2 Nephi 25:25, as compared to "in Christ shall all be made alive" 1Corinthians 15:22, large sections from 1 Corinthians 12 and 13 on gifts of the spirit, charity, faith and hope. Couldn't we also say the bible contains the "fullness of the Gospel" by the definition of this article? After all Joseph essentially quoted 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 when he said everything else are just "appendages to it".

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 16, 2014 7:37 a.m.

    @Bifftacular

    Of course I believe what I wrote. Frozen Fractals did a great job explaining the psychological effect of priming so I'll let that stand. I will add though that there are plenty of people who have found their god in the works of Harry Potter or Tolkien.

    I would suggest that you don't try to use convert numbers as a proof of your holy book. Mormonism is a tiny in terms of world religions so you'll lose the numbers game to several holy texts both past and present.

    Every religion, I repeat every religion, uses personal god experience as a part of their truthfulness claim. These experiences are no better in Mormonism than in any other religion. If you're experience is valid, why aren't those from a Pentecostal, Muslim, Catholic, Baptist, or any other of the millions of religions?

    There are countless studies showing the mind is capable of creating these experiences and it's the only explanation of where they come from that makes any rational sense.

    @AerilusMaximus

    Of course I'm saying Joseph Smith wrote the book; the evidence for this is overwhelming.

  • Coasting H Provo, UT
    May 16, 2014 6:01 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon on the cover does not say The Book of Mormon - The fulness of the Gospel. It reads: The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It shares within it correct principals, and how one can come closer to Christ, and recieve his love for us. While Joseph Smith, JR was a Prophet and came across teachings in the Bible, and the Book of Mormon he prayed to receive answers, and had full faith and trus in a Loving Heavenly Father, and His Son to provide him answers. As AMOS 3:7 states Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unot his servants the prophets.
    As a prophet Joseph Smith, JR and thos after him are the mouth piece to receive clarification on the teachings of the fulness of the gospel to share with us, and those Eternal Principles that help us to be the best us.

  • brokenclay Tempe, AZ
    May 16, 2014 1:47 a.m.

    For me, the greatest argument against the Book of Mormon's authenticity was when I prayed about Mormonism and received a direct "no" answer from the divine.

    The second greatest argument, the icing on the cake, so to speak, was just to read the book itself-- extensive anachronism based on the KJV (e.g., Mosiah 12:6) and the reflection of a 19th century milieu (e.g., Mosiah 29:32).

    The term “east wind” is used in a judgment context in Mosiah 12:6 (also 7:31), in an American setting. But the east wind was a drying and hot wind in Israel, which could thus be perceived as a tool of judgment (e.g., Jer 18:17). Its use in the Book of Mormon reveals a human author unaware of the geophysical rationale behind this term.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 12:28 a.m.

    @Bifftacular
    "If it is the human mind as you suggest and any book would do, then people would be joining the church of Dr. Seuss, the church of Robert Frost, the church of Harry Potter - name any book."

    The difference between books like the Book of Mormon, Quran, the Bible, and the Scientology writings called Dianetics vs Seuss, Frost, and Rowling, is that only the former are presented as scriptures/relgious in meaning while the latter are not presented that way. So while one might find good messages in something like Harry Potter, that's not the same as any sort of religious belief. And if you don't believe in some particular claimed work of scripture as scripture? Well then it just falls towards the pile with other things that are fiction, since you'd consider it fiction too. And there one can easily still find some good messages in the Book of Mormon/Quran/whatever while not believing it to be scripture.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 15, 2014 10:39 p.m.

    RE: Nephi 28:13-15, or 2Cor 12:2-4 V.2 ..the third heaven. 4. …*paradise.

    In the Bible, “The 1st heaven is the region of the air, where the birds fly, The 2nd heaven is that t of space with the stars. The 3rd heaven is with God, where Christ ascended after his resurrection. "Today shalt thou be with me in “*paradise”. (Luke 23:43 ).]

    Christ declared the Fullness of his Gospel. ” For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those “He has given me”, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”(John 6:38-40 NIV)

    V 44,“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me ’Draws Them’, and I will raise them up at the last day. God chooses,draws the elect. Not man

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 15, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    I thoroughly agree with Bifftacular. The witness of the Holy Ghost is much more powerful than our human imagination.

    The Holy Ghost is also a revelator, and I have had many things revealed to me that I didn't previously know was LDS doctrine. I've had practical things revealed by the Holy Ghost that I had no way of knowing previously.

    Beyond all this, the world makes it hard to be a valiant latter-day saint. It takes a divine witness for all of us to embrace this challenge.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    May 15, 2014 9:22 p.m.

    @Bramah Bull

    "There is a reason the Book of Mormon doesn't contain current LDS teachings in it...."

    Really? Well..ya know what they say..everything you read on the internet is true or is it?

    @ The Wraith

    "There is, of course, a third source: the human mind."

    So your saying that Joseph Smith wrote the book himself? Hmm..never heard that before /s

    If you actually look into the original manuscript of the BOM it has really weird English. Some of this was grammatical stuff because of Joseph Smith lack of education and some was from just a strange way of writing they have in Hebrew. If you look at the original bible in Hebrew it has a lot more "and it came to pass" in it than the KJV does. JS decided while it was prophet to fix some grammatical things to make the book more easy to read.

    What is better for people to read a book and gain some understanding or not read a book because they don't understand?

  • PJ Pauni Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2014 9:21 p.m.

    Appreciate the article. Thank you.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    May 15, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    The 1828 Webster's Dictionary defines fullness as:

    FULL'NESS, n. [from full. ]1. The state of being filled, so as to leave no part vacant. 2. The state of abounding or being in great plenty; abundance.

    Christ lays out the Gospel beautifully. And there are a dozen very powerful testimonies of the mission of Christ.

    The Book of Mormon is certainly "abounding or being in great plenty; abundance" when it comes to the Gospel.

    The critics seem to think that the only thing about Mormonism are some strange, unique aspects. But, the vast majority of the Gospel for me has little to do with the things that don't really define our experience.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    May 15, 2014 5:00 p.m.

    Come on Wraith, you don't really believe what you just wrote. If it is the human mind as you suggest and any book would do, then people would be joining the church of Dr. Seuss, the church of Robert Frost, the church of Harry Potter - name any book. Other than the bible and perhaps the Koran, what books can you name that have influenced millions to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and/or influenced them to set aside their religion (or lack of) to join a religion that the rest of the world considers a cult? You can't because there aren't any. You are right - the human mind is powerful, and for a reason, but it isn't that powerful - not to that many rank & file human beings that have no OTHER motivation to join the LDS church other than via the power of the Book of Mormon.

  • Greenwich Time Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    Occam's razor holds that a simpler answer, like 1.96 Standard Deviations' below, is more likely correct. An examination of the etymology of the English word "gospel" (and of the New Testament Greek word from which it was translated) shows that "gospel" simply means "good news". So wherever the word "gospel" appears in the English New Testament, one can insert "good news". Doing that demonstrates that the New Testament relates the "good news" of Jesus's birth, death, atoning sacrifice, and resurrection, and the benefits we can derive therefrom through repentance and baptism. It's clear that the Book of Mormon also relates the "good news" of Jesus's birth, death, atoning sacrifice, and resurrection, and the benefits we can derive therefrom through repentance and baptism. In that regard, the New Testament and the Book of Mormon are totally in line one with the other. Through the years, humans have added a gloss of additional meanings to the word "gospel" that were not present in its earlier and original use. So the claim that the Book of Mormon, or any other book of scripture, does not contain the "fullness" of any of that subsequently added gloss is of no consequence.

  • Danite Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    @sew,

    While you are correct that we don't really see any explicit evidence about temple ordinances in the Book of Mormon, that's not to say they didn't have them. 4 Nephi is where we could expect to see them implemented but what we get is simply the results of a temple coventeded people. It has been understood that the 40 day ministering of Christ in Acts is all about the temple....

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 15, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    "The "fullness of the Gospel" is actually very simple. The fullness of the Gospel is:

    1. Christ is the Son of God
    2. He atoned for our sins and overcame death with Resurrection.
    3. If we have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure in faith to the end we have every hope of Salvation."

    USALOVER, So, "very simply" you are saying that the "fullness of the Gospel" is also found in Methodist, Catholics, Baptists, and virtually every other Christian sect?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 15, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    There seems to be a lot of fullness going around here. Many religions are certain they know what fullness is and some are even convinced they are the only ones who have it. It seems that some things will never change.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 15, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    Of course not,
    How could it, and why should?

    That would put Mormons right on par and absolutely no differnet that when Nephi said in 2 Nephi 29: "A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible."

    Why else should we have "Living Prophets and Apostles"?
    Why else should we have "General Conference"?
    Why else should we have "Revelation"?

    Speaking of which --
    Article of Faith
    9: We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

    I pity those who reject continuing revelation,
    and do not believe or look forward to having the other half - 2/3's of Book of Mormon.

    Fulness? indeed...

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    May 15, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    The KJV Bible AND the Book of Mormon TOGETHER contain the fullness of the everlasting gospel. Neither alone contain the fullness. This is the faith and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, Pennsylvania).

  • Dave54321 Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    In 3 Nephi 11, Jesus explains what his doctrine is:

    38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

    39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

    40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

    Faith, repentance, baptism, humility...anything more "cometh of evil".

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    @Bifftacular

    "It can only come from one of two sources: God or Satan."

    There is, of course, a third source: the human mind. Now obviously those who sincerely believe will dismiss this. However, if another person claimed that they had an overwhelming powerful experience that they knew came from god and that experience told them the Book of Mormon was wrong and their (insert any religion here) was the only true religion you would probably say that feeling was all in their head. This is the real problem with basing a religions claims of truthfulness on feelings - every religion makes the same claim. The human mind is a powerful thing.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    May 15, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    Correction: Noel Reynolds served as a mission president some years ago. He's currently serving as a TEMPLE president.

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 15, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    Then there's the rest of the Book of Mormon still to come from the sealed portion.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    May 15, 2014 11:59 a.m.

    I appreciate articles like this and agree with it. But to me, the underlying foundation is not the logic (important for sure) but the testimony that comes to one's heart/spirit from reading and studying the Book of Mormon. And where does that undeniable feeling come from? Particularly to the tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands) of new converts that have never previously heard of the LDS church and/or the Book of Mormon? It can only come from one of two sources: God or Satan. And it does come from somewhere, it is not an answer to deny that that overwhelming testimony/feeling is felt or exists - and not just in passing. If someone wants to argue it comes from Satan, I'd genuinely love to hear their reasons why.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 15, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    The ambiguous term “fullness of the gospel” is unique to Mormon preaching. The closest New Testament language comes to that phraseology that I know of is Paul writing to the Romans that he would come to them in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 15, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    I've always felt this was one of the weakest arguments against the Book of Mormon. There are just so many other arguments to be made and this is just so flimsy. How do you define "fullness" anyway? How can you say some doctrine or another isn't in the book when scripture is so open to interpretation? It's better to stick with more powerful criticisms.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    The "fullness of the Gospel" is actually very simple. The fullness of the Gospel is:

    1. Christ is the Son of God
    2. He atoned for our sins and overcame death with Resurrection.
    3. If we have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure in faith to the end we have every hope of Salvation.

    Period. Everything else is simply an appendage to this truth. It's all we "really" need to know and do. Like the Jews of old, even Mormons like to make things more complicated than they need to be. After all, we have to fill those 3 hour blocks with entertaining stuff...

  • get her done Bountiful, UT
    May 15, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    More words do not make more truth.

  • AT Elk River, MN
    May 15, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    Denver Snuffer has written some great stuff on this topic. Go to his blog and search for "fullness".

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    May 15, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    So it all comes down to what "fullness of the gospel" means. Each side uses a different definition. I appreciate Daniel's explanation.

  • caleb in new york Glen Cove, NY
    May 15, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    if all points had come neatly wrapped in the Book of Mormon, there still would have been a need for Joseph Smith, because there still would have been a need to translate the Book of Mormon into English and for someone to be the President of the church.

  • sew Herriman, UT
    May 15, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    Nephi explains the purpose of his writing early on while explaining what is meant by "fulness."

    (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 6:4)
    4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

    Also, it is likely that we do not find evidence of temple ordinances, etc. in the Book of Mormon because they were never practiced in the Americas. The Book of Mormon is the record of a people "crying from the dust".

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    I think a more simplified way to address this (weak) criticism is in the Book of Mormon. Christ gave the definition of His gospel in 3 Nephi 27:13-16. Here it is (summarized due to word constraints):

    13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me..

    14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; [...] that I might draw all men unto me, [...] even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works [...]

    15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; [...] I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

    16 [...] whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

    The whole BOM certainly has a fulness of the gospel, just like D&C says.