Praying About the Book of Mormon

Is praying a sufficient method for determining the truth about the Book of Mormon?

Reference Links

An Essay on the Topic
The "Burning in the Bosom"
Does the Book of Mormon Teach Mormonism?
Video Transcript

If you have ever been visited by Mormon missionaries or neighbors, you have probably been asked to pray about the Book of Mormon.

According to them, based on the Book of Mormon verse Moroni 10:4, if you pray with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ, the truth of the Book of Mormon, and by extension all of Mormonism, will be manifested to you by the Holy Spirit. Conversely, if this truth is not manifested to you, it means you lacked sincerity, intent, or faith.

But is prayer alone a sufficient tool for determining the veracity of a religion? We will answer this question from the point of view of a Bible-believing Christian.

The first issue is that the Book of Mormon does not teach the major doctrines of the LDS church that set it apart from traditional Christianity. These include temple ceremonies, church organization, the preexistence and afterlife, and eternal progression to Godhood. These are found in their other scriptures, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, which are generally not given to people until after they have joined the church. Therefore it becomes misleading to expect people to accept Mormonism solely based on their reaction to the Book of Mormon.

So what does the Bible have to say? Mormons will quote James 1:5 which says that if anyone lacks wisdom, they should ask God and God will give it to them. But that verse is talking about wisdom for trials and temptations of the Christian life, not a religious litmus test. The Bible clearly states not accept any other gospels and to examine things for truth in case they are of false prophets.

And as we have seen in previous videos, all the evidence points towards the Book of Mormon being fictional, with no empirical evidence in its favor. But most importantly, many major doctrines of the LDS church are in clear violation and opposition to those of the Bible. The Bible does not say to give the benefit of the doubt and pray about such things, it says to recognize them by testing them against the biblical standard, and immediately reject them.

Effectively what the Mormon missionary is asking you to do in praying about the Book of Mormon is to ignore your doubts about it and distrust the clear teachings of the Bible. Remember, Mormonism only exists because the Bible is supposedly corrupt and Joseph Smith was just setting things aright. The Mormon missionary needs to convince you to not trust in the Bible in order to convert you.

The Holy Spirit would never testify in favor of something that was in contradiction to God’s word, but deceptive hearts and darker forces would. So be like the noble Bereans, who searched the scriptures daily to know what was true.