I’m an early morning seminary teacher and most of the time I’m able to answer most of my kids questions. I know I know this, but for the life of me cannot come up with an appropriate answer with supportive evidence. “Why don’t we (Mormon Church) use the holy scriptures as translated by the prophet himself instead of the King James version?”
Robert, from Sun City, California
It’s not that we would use the Joseph Smith translation INSTEAD of the King James Version. We use it IN ADDITION TO the King James Version. As I’m sure you know, the entire Joseph Smith translation of the Bible is contained in the Mormon Church printings of the King James Version.
It is most important for us to have at our fingertips the scriptures that most of the Christian Churches and most Christians accept at their Bible. Can you imagine what missionary work would be like if we couldn’t quote from the Bible in the same way that other Christians understand it? Instead of inviting the Holy Spirit as a witness during the missionary discussion, we would be trying to justify and defend the different version of the Bible that we would use.
It’s true that the Joseph Smith Translation clears up many ambiguities and corrects passages that have been erroneously copied from earlier texts. Where those differences are critical to the understanding of a bible passage, they are immediately available for reference.