You are here

Contradictions in Mormon Teaching

Printer-friendly version

Contradictions in Mormon Teaching

This section documents some of the many contradictions in the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the years. A number of things taught by early LDS Apostles and Prophets run counter to what is believed and taught today. For example, Brigham Young's teaching that Deacons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be mature, married men with families, contradicts the current Mormon practice of ordaining boys as young as 12 to be Deacons with the Aaronic Priesthood.


Early Teaching

Current Teaching

God is increasing in knowledge and power.

Wilford Woodruff - "If there were a point where a man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God himself is increasing in knowledge, power and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end. It is just so with us. We are in a probation, which is a school of experience." Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 120 (1857)

God has all power and knowledge.

"God is a glorified and perfected man, a personage of flesh and bones (see D&C 130:22). Inside his tangible body is an eternal spirit. God is perfect. He is a God of love, mercy, charity, truth, power, faith, knowledge, and judgment. He has all power. He knows all things. He is full of goodness." Gospel Principles, 1992 ed., p. 9

Adam not made of the dust of this earth.

Brigham Young — Adam not made of the dust of this earth. Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 6 (1853)

Joseph Smith — "The Priesthood was first given to Adam; ... He is Michael the Archangel, spoken of in the Scriptures. Then to Noah, who is Gabriel: he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157

Wilford Woodruff — Adam is Michael [the archangel] or God. Wilford Woodruff Diary, vol. 4, p. 129 (April 9, 1852)

Adam made of the dust of this earth.

Joseph Fielding Smith - "Adam created from dust of this earth." Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 90-91 (1954)

Joseph died after shooting two or three people.

John Taylor - Recounts final minutes of Joseph Smith's life and how he shot and wounded two or three people, two of whom died, before Joseph himself was murdered. History of the Church, vol. 7, pp. 102-103 (1844)

Account of Joseph Smith's death describing his returning fire with a six shooter. History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 618 (1844)

Joseph's death patterned after that of Jesus. He went to his death like a lamb to the slaughter.(D&C 135:4)

"When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two of three days previous to his assassination, he said: 'I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer's morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God and towards all men. "

"... the life of Joseph Smith was in some degree patterned after that of his Master, Jesus Christ. ... Like his Master, Joseph Smith also shed his blood in order that the final testament, the reestablishment of the new covenant, might be in full effect (see Heb. 9:16)." The Ensign, June 1994, p. 22

Deacon must be a man with a wife and family.

Brigham Young - Quoting the Apostle Paul - "Says he, 'I dare not even call a man to be a Deacon, to assist me in my calling, unless he has a family.' It is not the business of an ignorant young man, of no experience in family matters, to inquire into the circumstances of families, and know the wants of every person .... select a man who has got a family to be a Deacon, whose wife can go with him." Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 89 (1854)

12-year-old boy can be deacon in LDS Church.

"A boy who has been baptized and confirmed a member of the Church and is worthy may be ordained to the office of deacon when he is twelve years old." Gospel Principles, 1992 ed., p. 88

Blacks never to hold priesthood in this life.

Bruce R. McConkie - In the Pre-existent eternity there was a war in heaven. "Of the two-thirds who followed Christ, however, some were more valiant than others. ... Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God and his murder of Abel being a black skin. (Moses 5:16-41; 12:22) Noah's son Ham married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain, thus preserving the negro lineage through the flood. (Abraham 1:20-27)
   Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. ...
   The present status of the negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence. ...
   The negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from." Mormon Doctrine (1958 ed.), pp. 476-477 (1972)

All worthy males can hold priesthood.

Bruce R. McConkie - This edition has all the above parts edited out of this section, and they are replaced with new wording that reflects the 1978 revelation that allowed blacks to hold the LDS priesthood. Mormon Doctrine (1966 ed.), pp. 526-528 (1979)