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Dear Gramps,

In one of your answers you say, “In English, the accepted version of the Bible is the King James Version, and the Mormon Church accepts it, and all other versions, only insofar as they are translated correctly.” How does the Mormon Church decide which is “translated correctly” and which is not? Why, if Joseph Smith translated the Bible, doesn’t the Mormon Church use his version instead of the KJV? Thanks,





Dear Douglas,

There are two parts to the answer to your question, and one of them also answers your second question. The Mormon Church DOES use the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible. If you were to purchase, for instance, the 1979 edition of the Holy Bible published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you would find the Joseph Smith translation added to the King James Version. Brief changes are included in the footnotes. More extensive changes that are too lengthy for inclusion in footnotes are listed in a section in the back, entitled Joseph Smith Translation.

Just a couple of examples of footnote changes–You may note in the previous question published on the site–”Does the angel of the LORD refer to an angel or to the Savior?”–reference is made to Exodus 3:2 where a footnote cites the Joseph Smith Translation, presence of the LORD, as a correction to the KJT angel of the LORD.

The other part of the answer to your question relates to the scripture found in 1 Corinthians 2:11

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

(This scripture was also corrected by Joseph Smith to–

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, except he has the Spirit of God.)

Let’s take a minute to examine that scripture and its correction. Critically reading the KJV passage, we are to understand that only the Spirit of God knows the things of God. Thus, as it is stated without condition, the things of God cannot be known by man. This is obviously not what was intended by the passage. But it is logical and true that one must have the Spirit of God (which of course is the Holy Ghost) with him in order to understand the things of God.

Now there is a unique aspect of the Mormon Church that relates directly to this scripture. When any person, having developed faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and having repented of his sins, is baptized for the remission of his sins by the requisite priesthood authority, and thus becomes a member of the Mormon Church, he is given by the laying on of hands of authorized possessors of the holy Melchizedek priesthood the gift of the Holy Ghost. As long as he remains worthy to receive the influence of that Holy Spirit he is subject to its pure influence, and will know the things of God because he is possessed by the Spirit of God. Therefore, the true meaning of the scriptures will be revealed to his mind as he studies the scriptures and prays for the inspiration to understand their meaning.






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