You Can’t Separate The Book of Mormon From Joseph Smith

A common question we hear a lot is: “How can you separate Joseph Smith from The Most Holy & Sacred Book of Mormon?” Most Mormon’s don’t know this, but early on, Joseph tried to separate himself from The Most Holy & Sacred Book of Mormon by selling its copyright.

Question: Mormons should ask themselves what would have happened to The Most Holy & Sacred Book of Mormon if Joseph succeeded in selling the copyright?

Answer: People would not have had to show their faith in it by joining his church. The Book would have gone freely – like the Bible – to the world with no strings attached.

You Can’t Limit Joseph Smith

Here is a common statement that is usually put to us as a question for us to prove.

“God would not call Joseph only to bring forth The Book of Mormon and nothing else. He restored the gospel; established the Kingdom, etc..”

We do have the prophecies regarding Joseph Smith from the The Book of Mormon and the Bible; and the words that the Lord spoke directly to him. It nowhere says Joseph was called to do anything more than to bring forth The Book of Mormon.

And I shall give unto him a commandment that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. (2 Nephi 3:8)

And you have a gift to translate the plates; and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift for I will grant unto you no other gift. (Book of Commandments IV:2)

Joseph had to change revelations to allow him to do more things. Here, Joseph added “coming forth of my church” to justify his church:

And to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness – clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.(D&C 5:14 compare with Book of Commandments IV:4.)

Joseph had to remove the word “reformation” which was a direct contradiction to a “restoration:”

And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them. (D&C 5:20 compare with Book of Commandments IV:5.)

 Joseph was only called to bring forth The Book of Mormon, which book was to finish the reforming that the great Reformers started 500 years ago.

Question: Mormons should ask themselves what would have happened to The Book of Mormon if Joseph had not sequestered it to his church?

Answer: Those many early Christian converts to The Book would have incorporated it into their own denomination.

Interview

1. What is the Doctrine of the Book of Mormon?

a. You cannot claim to be the only true church (2 Nephi 28:3).

b. The Dark Ages were not a result of “priesthood” being taken from the earth. Lack of faith IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST is the cause of a lack of angels, miracles, and power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 7:33-38)

c. The definition of “Church” was different. It was defined as anyone who believed in Jesus Christ (Mosiah 26:21-22) or who was baptized in his name (3 Nephi 26:21).

d. Requirements for salvation were simple: confess Christ, repent if you needed to, and be baptized for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon did not say anything else was required for salvation (3 Nephi 11:33).

e. Church order was based upon elders, priest, and teachers. There were also disciples and prophets, but they were not offices in the church.

f. Meetings were conducted by the Holy Spirit, therefore each meeting was different.

g. Baptisms were performed by a teacher, priest, or elder and were strictly forbidden to children or those who needed no repentance.

h. Confirmation was not mentioned, therefore it was not a requirement of salvation.

i. The “gift” of the Holy Ghost is available to all, thus it is referred to in the Book of Mormon as a “gift.” On occasion, the Holy Ghost and not the gift of it (Which is a free offering to all.) was bestowed on others, the bestower being full of the Holy Spirit first, was able to impart of it to others as did Saul, Peter, and Jesus. At other times it was poured out on groups like on the day of Pentecost, or to individuals straight from God.

j. The Book of Mormon does not say that the Holy Ghost is a person, but rather is a power, and there are many fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit including speaking with the tongue of angels, interpreting languages, healing, prophesying, bearing one another’s burdens, etc. The modern day phenomenon of being “slain in the Spirit” is also mentioned in the Book of Mormon more than once (Alma 18:42, 19:8, 22:18; Jacob 7:21).

k. The Godhead is made up of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself is often referred to directly as God and not always as the Son of God, therefore the Book of Mormon leaves room for interpretation as to the true nature of the Godhead. Jesus was seen as a pre-mortal spirit being by one prophet during Old Testament times, and the Book of Mormon is clear that Jesus was born of a virgin, died, rose again and is in heaven as a resurrected being.

l. Other than a prophet seeing the spirit of the pre-mortal Jesus, there is no further information on the nature of a “pre-mortal existence” for God’s other children.

m. The Book of Mormon is clear that we are to pray to God in the name of Jesus, however Jesus did allow the people to pray directly to him on one occasion (3 Nephi 19:18, 26).

2. What is Not Book of Mormon Doctrine?

Mormon Church doctrine or beliefs not supported by the Book of Mormon include: plurality of Gods, progression of God, mother in heaven, baptisms for the dead, eternal marriage, temple endowments, apostles, polygamy (not tied to salvation), pre-existence, priesthood authority, high priest after Jesus, temple building after Jesus, word of wisdom, a church structure of prophets, apostles, patriarchs, seventy, or deacons.

3. What is the Intent & Purpose of the Book of Mormon?

a. It is a Second Witness of Jesus as the Messiah, his virgin birth and resurrection from the dead. God knew His people would reject the coming of the Messiah, so He prepared a Second Witness for them, which is currently being overlooked due to its association with the Mormon Church.

b. A spiritual “Book of Instruction” for the inhabitants of America.

c. A history of God’s dealings and promises to the inhabitants of Western New York which was the center of the Promised Land.

d. Restores Biblical instructions left out of the Bible – the how-to’s of Baptism and Communion.

e. Details the “Work of the Father” in these last days.

4. What is Not the Intent or Purpose of the Book of Mormon?

a. Start a new religion.

b. Further divide the Christian people.

c. Endorse doctrine not in it.

5. What is Unique About the Book of Mormon?

a. It describes the history of a remnant of the House of Jacob, the tribe of Joseph.

b. It contains visions of the past and future, and of the Savior by numerous prophets.

c. It has faith promoting teachings, prophecies, and doctrine.

d. It has inspiring dreams and interpretations.

e. It contains profound preaching not found anywhere else.

f. It gives instructions specific to the United States of America.

g. It was written in 16th century English, not 19th.

6. What is Not Unique About the Book of Mormon?

a. It adds no new doctrine to the Bible.

b. It is not the only sacred record to be hidden and later found.

c. It is not the only thing made out of gold to be taken into heaven.

d. It was produced in a way previously found in the Bible.

7. What is Confusing About the Book of Mormon?

a. People assume that the doctrine in the Mormon Church was derived from it.

b. It contains nothing uniquely found in the Mormon Church.

c. Old theories long ago dispelled are still being perpetuated as factual such as Solomon Spalding’s manuscript and The View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith.

d. The long standing Mormon Church claim that it is a history of the inhabitants of North and South America, and the American Indians descended from Lehi. [The Book of Mormon is clear on its geography, that all its events occurred in a small area in Western New York, that they were a sub-group of a much larger culture, that the Book of Mormon people were purposely wiped out, and any traces of them removed.]

e. Use of the word “plates” in describing the record has garnered visions of a heavy stack of stiff metal plates thicker than tin. More accurate statements use the word “leaves” to describe the sheets which were as pliable as “thick paper” and you could rustle them with a finger like the pages of a book.

f. Use of the word “translate” has attributed powers to Joseph he did not have, and the historical record states clearly that he saw the English, then dictated it one word or sentence at a time. It is now known that the English is of 16th century origin, not 19th.

8. What is Not Confusing About the Book of Mormon?

a. The gospel it contains is simple, not complicated.

b. The gospel it contains is the “full” or complete gospel of Jesus Christ.

c. It adds no new doctrine to the Bible nor does it need any additional doctrine to be added to it.

d. It is a confirming message from God that what the Bible says about Jesus, his virgin birth, death and resurrection ARE TRUE!

e. It restores the missing instructions on baptism and communion.

f. It can unify an isolated Mormon Church with the body of Christ if followed.

g. It can convert Muslims and Jews by providing for them a Second Witness that what the New Testament says is true.

9. What Should People Know About It?

a. It belongs to the world and not a particular denomination.

b. It is the Second Witness of Christ that God said He would provide.

c. Aside from everything else, it contains powerful preaching on Jesus Christ not found anywhere else.

10. What Do You Hope a Denomination-free Book of Mormon Will Do?

a. Provide a Book of Mormon that anyone can use unattached from a denomination.

b. Provide a viable Second Witness for Christ that Christians can use to proselytize to the Muslim and Jew.

11. If Joseph Smith or Brigham Young Were Alive Today What Would They Do With It?

a. We believe they would work to make it available to the public free of any denomination like the Bible is, and stop using it to do anything more than to convert people to Christ.

12. What Views Do You Have That Are Different From Other Book of Mormon Believers?

a. We do not believe it to be a history of the American Indians.

b. We do not believe its geography to be centered in Mesoamerica.

c. We do not believe Joseph used any of his own words to dictate it. Nor do we believe he had the ability to translate. We believe he dictated it by peering into another dimension and reading the English from there.

13. How Do You Explain the Lack of Archaeological Evidence for the Book of Mormon?

a. Simple, no one has looked in the right place.

b. Assumptions of what they should find are incorrect. They were purposely destroyed and all evidences of them removed. (See www.bookofmormongeography.org for details.)

14. How Do You Explain the Lack of DNA Evidence Linking Native Americans and Jews?

a. We believe The Book of Mormon peoples were nothing more than a subset of a much larger, pre-existing population. When their bloodline died out or was exterminated, any chance of making a DNA connection was lost.

b. Scientist have already linked other stands of DNA to the old world, which proves nothing more than that there were visitors coming here from all over the world. DNA will neither prove nor disprove the value of the Book of Mormon. If the preaching of the Book of Mormon does not astound you, that a young man who never preached a word wrote, then you would be accepting a holy record for all of the wrong reasons.

15. Do You Believe External Evidences Will Ever Be Found to Support the Book of Mormon?

a. Yes we do, both by newly discovered ancient writings and by newly discovered archaeological ruins in Western New York. We already have an authentic Nephite archeological site located and will only reveal its location when b. has been achieved and a proper archaeological team assembled.

b. We believe God does not want confirming evidence to be brought forth until after the Book has been publicly separated from the Mormon church, or from any church.

16. If As You Hope All Christian Denominations Cling to the Book of Mormon, What Difference Will That Make?

a. Of course we do not ever see it replacing the Bible in church, but we do see it being used on occasion to confirm the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

17. If the General Body of Believers Were to Conform to the Book of Mormon, What Affect Do You Believe That Would Have On Society?

a. We believe the only reason the world has not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is because Christians by and large are divided. Jesus said if you are not one you are not mine. Christianity is the largest religion on earth and has been for some time. Still, the world we live in is impoverished, and as stewards over the earth, we are missing important opportunities to come together and truly make a difference.

b. The Book of Mormon says that once Christians believe in the Book of Mormon, so too will the Jews; and once the Jews believe, all faiths upon the earth will follow suit, until the whole earth has submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

18. Does the Book of Mormon Describe the Coming Millennium of Peace?

a. Several prophets were aware of the writings of Isaiah and often times quoted his record in this regard. One prophet Nephi, saw all things including the things of John the Revelator. Another prophet Ether saw three New Jerusalem’s. One to be built upon the Promised Land of America, the one in Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and a third one coming down from above as John described.

19. Do You Believe That America is Already the New Jerusalem or Will Some Group Build One in Independence Missouri?

a. We do believe the government of the United States of America, with its inspired constitution at its core, IS the New Jerusalem, and that it fulfills every prophecy foretold. What Mormon’s fail to realize is that the New Jerusalem would be built upon “The Promised Land” of the Book of Mormon, which they on all accounts believe is somewhere near Mexico. Therefore, they should be looking forward to building, moving, and living in a New Jerusalem in Mexico not Independence, Missouri.

b. Benjamin Franklin’s Albany Plan of Union in Albany, New York, was the forerunner to our Constitution, and was a joint effort by the Colonists and the Iroquois Nation – the current inhabitants of The Promised Land, thus fulfilling all Book of Mormon prophecies concerning a New Jerusalem to be built jointly by the Gentiles and the Lamanites. Indian treaties still exist between the two nations.

For more details see The Geography Of

20. With America Under Threat By Non-Christian Nations, How Important Do You Feel This Information Is?

a. We believe the Bible to be the word of God and we believe the Book of Mormon substantiates it, that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God, that he died and rose again the third day and now lives, that he is the Savior appointed by God for all of mankind, and no one can approach the throne of God unless they respect His choice. All Christians should therefore support this work and cling to this book – the Handbook for the Promised Land – the New Jerusalem, the tool by which God would subdue all nations for the Second Coming of our Lord, the rightful ruler of all.

b. To this end we pledge our support and encourage all Book of Mormon believers to study these materials and take them back to their own congregations and use them to make a difference where they are.

21. Is Book of Mormon Christian Having an Impact on the Mormon Church?

 Yes. They changed their Gospel Principles manual to be more in line with the teachings of the Book of Mormon and less like the teachings of Joseph Smith.

22. Is Book of Mormon Christian Justified In Its Evolved Position?

 Yes. In the words of B.H. Roberts:

And let me here say a word in relation to new discoveries in our knowledge of the Book of Mormon, and for matter of that in relation to all subjects connected with the work of the Lord in the earth. We need not follow our researches in any spirit of fear and trembling. We desire only to ascertain the truth; nothing but the truth will endure; and the ascertainment of the truth and the proclamation of the truth in any given case, or upon any subject, will do no harm to the work of the Lord which is itself truth.

Nor need we be surprised if now and then we find our predecessors, many of whom bear honored names and deserve our respect and gratitude for what they achieved in making clear the truth, as they conceived it to be – we need not be surprised if we sometimes find them mistaken in their conceptions and deductions; just as the generations who succeed us in unfolding in a larger way some of the yet unlearned truths of the Gospel, will find that we have had some misconceptions and made some wrong deductions in our day and time.

The book of knowledge is never a sealed book. It is never “completed and forever closed;” rather it is an eternally open book, in which one may go on constantly discovering new truths and modifying our knowledge of old ones.

The generation which preceded us did not exhaust by their knowledge all the truth, so that nothing was left for us in its unfolding; no, not even in respect of the Book of Mormon; any more than we shall exhaust all discovery in relation to that book and leave nothing for the generation following us to develop. All which is submitted, especially to the membership of the Church, that they may be prepared to find and receive new truths both in the Book of Mormon itself and about it; and that they may also rejoice in the fact that knowledge of truth is inexhaustible, and will forever go on developing. (B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1909], 3: 503 – 504.)

 

Replace With What

There is an inclination among critics of Mormonism to tear down without offering anything in its place. Such was the topic of a General Conference talk by Boyd K. Packer in 1974. Lest we be accused of doing the same, we cite the pertinent parts of his talk with a link to the talk in full, followed by our comments:

The Prophet Joseph Smith was an unschooled farm boy. To read some of his early letters in the original shows him to be somewhat unpolished in spelling and grammar and in expression. That the revelations came through him in any form of literary refinement is nothing short of a miracle. That some perfecting should continue strengthens my respect for them.

Now, I add with emphasis that such changes have been basically minor refinements in grammar, expression, punctuation, clarification. Nothing fundamental has been altered.

Why are they not spoken of over the pulpit? Simply because by comparison they are so insignificant, and unimportant as literally to be not worth talking about. After all, they have absolutely nothing to do with whether the books are true. After compiling some of the revelations, the ancient prophet Moroni said,”. if there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Morm. 8:17.) “And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these.” (Morm. 8:12.) A man might take a stone and, in order to verify precisely what it is, subject it to a test to identify slate or sandstone. After conducting these tests, he may conclude his research with the statement: “I did not discover that it was a diamond.” His conclusion, though accurate, has nothing to do with whether or not it is a diamond. Nor will it ever be verified by using the wrong formula. There may be a thousand tests he can apply and come to the same conclusion. After, and only after, he subjects the stone to the correct formula can he know for sure. Until then, his conclusion, “I did not discover it to be a diamond,” is relatively useless information. There has, over the years, been an endless procession of those who would examine these revelations by every formula save the right one. Each becomes evidence, as Paul said, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. 2:14.) These scriptural diamonds, as we have described them, will stand the test. As surely as a man may determine whether a purported diamond is genuine by subjecting it to well-known tests for diamonds, the scriptures may be subjected to well-known tests for scriptures. There is a very precise formula. To apply it, one must, of necessity, move from criticism to spiritual inquiry. There are those who have made a casual, even an insincere effort to test the scriptures and have come away having received nothing, which is precisely what they have earned and what they deserve. If you think it will yield to a casual inquiry, to idle curiosity, or even to well-intentioned but temporary searching, you are mistaken. It likewise will not yield to the overzealous or to the fanatic. It is when a lifetime is quietly committed with sincerity and humility that one can know for sure. Many elements of truth come only after a lifetime of preparation. A testimony of them, however, can come very quickly. Do not belittle the possibility that many humble folk, young and old, possess such a testimony. Many possess a testimony that transcends the knowledge to be gained in academic and scientific fields. When a humble man bears testimony based on spiritual inquiry and righteous living, be careful before you repudiate his witness because he is otherwise unlearned.

Many an academic giant is at once a spiritual pygmy and, if so, he is usually a moral weakling as well. Such a man may easily become a self-appointed member of a wrecking crew determined to destroy the works of God.

Beware of the testimony of one who is intemperate, or irreverent, or immoral, who tears down and HAS NOTHING TO PUT IN ITS PLACE.

(Boyd K. Packer, “We Believe All That God Has Revealed,” Ensign, May 1974, 93)

Ensign, May 1974 Although academic in its allegory, Packer’s double talk speaks loudest. Notice in the first statement that we indented and bolded, Packer plays down the changes that were made to the scriptures. He implies their meaning was never changed. Book of Mormon witness David Whitmer would disagree. In his pamphlet An Address to All Believers in Christ, David cites numerous redactions that entirely changed the original meaning of the revelation. The name of the church is only one example. It was given by revelation, then changed, then changed again. Another is Section 1 of the D&C compared with how it originally read in the Book of Commandments:

SECTION 1 COMPARISON

Book of Commandments Doctrine & Covenants
A preface or instruction unto the Book of Commandments (removed) Lord’s Preface to the doctrines, covenants, and commandments given in this dispensation. (added)
2) my preface unto the Book of Commandments 6) my preface unto the book of my commandments (added)

Reference to the “Book of Commandments” has been removed from the heading and its meaning ALTERED by a SINGLE word in verse 6. The significance of that change is explained here: http://www.whitmercollege.com/topics/book-of-commandments-yes Now we ask, is it “tearing down the works of God” when historians, believers, or others confront the redactions that did change the meaning of the revelations? Likewise, is it “intemperate” “irreverent” or “immoral” to replace those with the truth? To imply that Christianity, the Book of Mormon, or the Reformers have nothing to offer IS reckless. Instead of acting omnipotent over others, Latter-day Saints could embrace a world that is standing by with open arms – if they would only follow the teachings in The Book of Mormon.

Explains the Bible Example

Q. Do you have an example of how The Most Holy & Sacred Book of Mormon can help us to understand the Bible better?

A Marvelous Work and A Wonder

Here is an example of how The Book of Mormon can explain more of what the Bible says:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. (Isaiah 29)

What Isaiah says here one time, several Book of Mormon prophets expounded upon:

17 And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.
18 Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words (The Book of Mormon) unto them, which words shall judge them at the last day, for they shall be given them for the purpose of convincing them of the true Messiah, who was rejected by them; and unto the convincing of them that they need not look forward any more for a Messiah to come, for there should not any come, save it should be a false Messiah which should deceive the people; for there is save one Messiah spoken of by the prophets, and that Messiah is he who should be rejected of the Jews. (2 Nephi 25)

The Book of Mormon tells us that this Marvelous Work and A Wonder is referring to a time when God would “set his hand again the second time” to restoring the house of Israel, which had been scattered or lost. It also tells us that the tool by which he would do this wonder is through his words in The Book of Mormon.

Thus, what do we know about what Isaiah said regarding the “marvelous work and a wonder?”

We know that it is referring to the Jews. To a time when The Book of Mormon (As Second Witness) would come forth and convince them that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah).

Denomination Free Book of Mormon

Q. How do you know that The Book of Mormon is not meant to be tied to any particular denomination, especially the Mormon Church which uses it exclusively as a means for winning converts?

A. Back in the Summer of 1828 when Joseph had first completed over a hundred pages of dictation with Martin Harris and others as his scribe, he lost those pages when Harris took them to show his wife and friends. After a period of chastisement from the Lord for having trusted Harris with the manuscript, Joseph received further instructions what he should do.

It is in those instructions that we find the original purpose for The Book of Mormon clearly stated – it was for all believers. Stated two full years before Joseph started his own church, and before he began using it exclusively in that church:

46 And, behold, all the remainder of this work (The Book of Mormon) does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people (Inhabitants of America).
47 And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers;
48 Yea, and this was their faith-that my gospel, which I gave unto them (Tribe of Joseph) that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites (Non-believers), and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions.
49 Now, this is not all-their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land (Native Americans, Colonialists, and others.);
50 And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land (United States) in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life;
51 Yea, that it might be free (Democracy) unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.
52 And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received (Bible), but to build it up.
53 And for this cause have I said: If this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them.
54 Now I do not say this to destroy my church (Body of Christ), but I say this to build up my church;
55 Therefore, whosoever belongeth to my church need not fear, for such shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.
56 But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil-yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center.
57 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not (John 10:16).
58 I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
59 I am he who said-Other sheep have I which are not of this fold-unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not.
60 And I will show unto this people that I had other sheep, and that they were a branch of the house of Jacob (Tribe of Joseph);
61 And I will bring to light their marvelous works, which they did in my name;
62 Yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel which was ministered unto them (The Book of Mormon), and, behold, they shall not deny that which you have received (Bible), but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me.
63 And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them.
64 Therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery;
65 For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;
66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.
67 Behold, this is my doctrine-whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.
68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.
69 And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
70 And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Amen. (D&C 10)

All surviving Book of Mormon witnesses eventually left Joseph Smith and his church because he went beyond the original purpose of The Book of Mormon. However none of them ever recanted their testimony of The Book.

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