The Latter-day Saints and their Scriptures

A lot is being written about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints these days since Gov. Mitt Romney has (almost) nailed the Republican nomination for president. There probably never has been more attention given to the LDS Church — sometimes called Mormon — in modern times.

Latter-day Saints share some beliefs with Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, but they are not a Protestant church. The church’s teachings are drawn from its founder, Joseph Smith Jr., in the 1820s. While the Latter-day Saints have the Bible (the King James Version) as one of their foundational books, they also consider three other books core to their beliefs: the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.

Outside of LDS and academic circles, not much is known about how these three books and how they are regarded in the daily lives and religious practice of Latter-day Saints.

In an Aug. 8 essay, “The Bible Plus,” in The Christian Century, Kathleen Flake, associate professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt University, explains the three books of LDS Scripture, how they came to be and how they relate to the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible.

A Latter-day Saint herself, Flake is no stranger to the Catholic Church. She holds a masters degree in religious studies from The Catholic University of America.

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13 Responses to The Latter-day Saints and their Scriptures

  1. Mitch Finley says:

    Anyone who wants a fair, thorough, well-documented discussion of the LDS church, should read One Nation Under Gods by Richard Abanes. Check out, also, the reviews of this book by LDS members themselves on

  2. Rev. Val Zdilla says:

    I have read that book. A very good explanation of history, beliefs and practices.

  3. Cora Bigwood says:

    I had a friend that was not allowed by the LDS ‘church’ to attend her only child’s wedding because she was not an LDS member. She is protestant (Methodist). How sad is that?

  4. Lucille Hadden says:

    One would be wise to dig deeper to understand that LDS believers hold a totally different faith than Christianity. Catholics do not recognize LDS baptisms for this reason. They do not have the same belief about God as Christians do–The Trinity. They do not hold the same belief about Jesus. They believe that one can progress to become a god, and that Jesus and the Father both did so. As Catholics, we need to know and recognize the lies in false religions.

  5. Phil Dolan says:

    This is half a story. Yea she wrote this book and an essay but what does she say? Is it sound, rational, or what?

  6. Katherine says:

    Phil, There are links to the article in the blog so you can read it for yourself.

  7. Mitch Finley says:

    Re: Lucille Hadden’s comment above. One of the points Abane makes in his book is that the LDS church for some years now has been quietly trying to give the impression to the world at large that it is really just another Protestant denomination, which certainly is not true. Abane provides an excellent summary of Mormon doctrines and beliefs in his book, and you don’t have to read far in this summary to realize that Mormons rival Scientology when it comes to fantastic beliefs accepted on blind faith.

  8. Sue says:

    Re. Cora Bigwood
    I believe your friend’s daughter was sealed in the temple and not the “church” meetinghouse. There is a difference. My husband and I were sealed in an LDS temple. We were adult converts and our families could not witness the ceremony. It was a little sad, but for me, I wanted to be sealed in the temple. That is the most holy, sacred place where I could be sealed to my husband for time and eternity not just for this life.

    Our family was waiting for us in a guest area of the temple. We also had a ring exchange and reception at a different location.

    It is not a matter of exclusion of non-members, it is being spiritually prepared for the sacred experience by making and abiding previously made covenants. Because of my experience with sacred spaces, I am respectful and tolerant of those in other religious traditions.

  9. Robert ian Williams says:

    Don’t trust Flake…the Book of Mormon is a nineteenth century product, teaching the curse of a dark skin, that the American indians descend from the Jews and there were three great pre Columbian civilizations. However there is not a shred of archaeological or dna evidence.

    The Doctrines and Covenats is mainly the rantings of Joseph Smith, and section 132 oroclaims polygamy as the divine pattern of marriage..with the highest degree of glory Godhood,

    The Pearl of Great Price contains the Book of Abraham..which is a nonsensical account teaching the plurality of Gods, pre-existence and other anti Christian doctrines. it is based on papyri, whicha re in fact Egyptian funerary tests and is rejected by all Egyptologists.

    They also use the KJV Bible, but regard it as being full of error..they sate in their aticles of faith ” we believ the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God and the Bible inso far as it is translated it is full of error. they reject the Song of Songs as uncanonical.

    They would like Joseph Smith’s “corrected or inspired version”, but Smith’s widow gave it to another break away group, now called the Community of Christ, based in Missori.They hold the copyright.

    This should concern all catholics…

  10. Robert ian Williams says:

    For a brilliant and balanced rebuttal of the errors in Mormon scripture and Mormonism, edged in Christian love and integrity.Visit

    Founded by fifth generation ex Mormons, one of whom is a descendent of the Mormon prophet, Brigham Young ( 1801-1877)

    By the way the Book of Mormon teaches that the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon, and that it corrupted the Bible.Although in recent years they have down played this doctrine..yet in the Mormon Missionary companion it is still taught.

  11. Sue says:

    Re. Robert ian Williams. A Mormon Apostle said it so well. “I saw a few leave the [LDS] Church who could then never leave it alone”.

  12. Robert Ian Williams says:

    I have never been a member of the Mormon sect, and I am a Catholic.
    Mormonism is not Christian and belives in a God who is an exalted man,who is eternally procreating spirit children with his wife (wives). Indeed Mormonism belives in many Gods and cannot even be categorised as Monotheistic.

    Any informed Catholic must be concerned about Mormonism or any other cult or religion that challenges our claims, and is aggresively proselyting with devious methods in Catholic lands.

  13. Sue says:

    Funny, I pray daily to God the Father and end my prayer “in the name of Jesus Christ”. Guess that makes polytheistic.

    I have enjoyed company and companionship of Catholics and don’t berate them for their beliefs that do not jibe with my own. That would be rude and disrespectful. As a Catholic, perhaps you should limit your discussion to Catholicism as you have a spotty understanding of Mormonism.

    From our hymn” I believe in Christ. He is my Lord and King” and nothing you can say will make me revoke that testimony I have of Him.

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