Chapter Twenty-Nine

The Church speaks of the “Fullness of the Gospel” in the Book of Mormon, but many essential elements are not contained therein

“This ancient volume of holy scriptures is a sacred companion to the Bible, containing the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Tom Perry, Ensign, May 2007, pg. 88;

The fact is however that in spite of the mantra so often repeated in the church that the Book of Mormon contains the ‘fullness of the Gospel,’ many of the essential features of that Gospel are absent from it.

The following is a list of significant features of the gospel NOT found in the Book of Mormon:

  • God has a body of flesh and bones.
  • God is an exalted man.
  • God is a product of eternal progression.
  • The plurality of gods.
  • Baptism for the dead
  • The temple endowment
  • True nature of the Godhead
  • Men can become gods.
  • “Intelligences” are eternal.
  • Pre-existing spirits of men.
  • Three degrees of glory.
  • A “mother” in heaven.
  • God “organized” the world rather than “created” it.
  • A Melchizedek priesthood consisting of the offices of Elder, Seventy, and High Priest.
  • An Aaronic priesthood consisting of the offices of Priest, Teacher, and Deacon.
  • God has many wives/Mother gods
  • God had sex with Mary
  • Jesus and Lucifer are brothers
  • Jesus was Married
  • The Book of Mormon is the “Stick of Joseph.”
  • There is no eternal hell and punishment.
  • Men can become gods.
  • “Intelligences” are eternal.
  • Pre-existing spirits of men.
  • Marriage for eternity.
  • Polygamy is not an abomination in the sight of God.
  • Negroes are to be denied the priesthood.
  • The functions and offices of Evangelists Bishoprics, Stake Presidencies,
  • Assistants to the Twelve, a First Presidency, and President of the Church.

If the goal was a restoration, why wouldn’t the Lord have provided his people with a more complete understanding of the most fundamental and precious truths of the plan of salvation?

If he did, in fact, reveal these things to the Nephites, why did they not record them?

Ray Anderson suggests that:

“Perhaps the paucity of latter-day doctrines and practices is best understood by examining early church history. Looking back on the early days of the Restoration, David Whitmer emphatically declared his belief that Joseph Smith was never meant to create a church – that his only calling was to bring forth the ‘marvelous work and a wonder,’ the Book of Mormon. He also claimed that the Book of Mormon was intended to be the ultimate authority on matters of truth and religious worship. …Could it be that Joseph’s original intention was to bring forth scripture that would ‘reform’ Christianity rather than ‘restore’ it? “ 1


“The core of Mormon doctrine is centered wholly in Christ and his atonement. Without the foundation which the Book of Mormon lays, the other LDS teachings are meaningless. The Book of Mormon itself defines “the gospel” as simply the doctrine of Christ, faith in him, repentance, and the introductory ordinances. (What are these introductory ordinances?)

There are many religious topics and doctrines which The Book of Mormon does not discuss in detail (e.g., the premortal existence, see Alma 13:), and some which are not even mentioned (e.g., the ordinance of baptism for the dead).

This is unsurprising since the Book of Mormon’s goal is to teach the “fullness of the gospel”—the doctrine of Christ.”


FairMormon says, “The core of Mormon doctrine is centered wholly in Christ and his atonement. Without the foundation which the Book of Mormon lays, the other LDS teachings are meaningless.

Fine, except we are not speaking of ‘centrality;’ we are talking about ‘fullness.’

The difference. is not too difficult to grasp if we use an example.

The central focus of the US Bill of Rights is the protection of individual rights and freedoms. The fullness would, however, include the ten amendments to the United States Constitution.

  1. Freedom of speech
  2. Right to bear arms
  3. Protection against housing soldiers in civilian home
  4. Protection against unreasonable search and seizure, protection against the issuing of warrants without probable cause
  5. Protection against trial without indictment double jeopardy self-incrimination property seizure
  6. Right to a speedy trial. Right to be informed of charges Right to be confronted by witnesses. Right to call witnesses. Right to a legal counsel
  7. Right to trial by jury
  8. Protection against excessive bail excessive fines cruel and unusual punishment
  9. Rights granted in the Constitution shall not infringe on other rights
  10. Powers not granted to the Federal Government in the Constitution belong to the states or the

Can it be argued that it is enough that our fellow citizens know that the US Bill of rights affords them certain rights without knowing what those rights are?

No, to bring any benefit to the citizens of this great nation, to make our sacred freedoms come to life, we require the ‘fullness’ or the legislation.

Likewise, the efficacy, that is, that which animates the ‘Gospel’ comes from the fullness of it. The most important thing being is our Dear Lords atonement, our faith in him and the repentance of our sins.

But my friends are these are the just those things that all true Christians and their church’s belief.

You need to ask yourself the question:

“Is it possible that the Book of Mormon cannot contain “the fullness of the gospel” because it doesn’t teach certain unique LDS doctrines, such as baptism for the dead, the Word of Wisdom, the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, vicarious work for the dead, and the corporeal nature of God the Father?”

I think with a little thought you will agree that it cannot contain the fullness of the Gospel, without those things that make the Mormon religion unique.

If you answer it is yes, that the Book of Mormon can contain the fullness of the Gospel that baptism for the dead, the Word of Wisdom, the belief in three degrees of glory, and knowledge of celestial marriage, the importance of vicarious work for the dead, etc. are not significant, essential or even necessary to the Gospel.

I invite you to make that comment in the next Gospel Doctrine class you attend:

“Brothers and Sisters, the Word of Wisdom, the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, and the work for the dead, are not part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as they are not found it the Book of Mormon, so conduct yourselves accordingly!”


1 Ray Anderson, The Book of Mormon, A Voice From 19th Century Dust, Seattle, WA, 2007, pp. 41-42