Many people assume that if they read the Book of Mormon they will get a good idea of LDS beliefs. However, the Book of Mormon teaches one God, not plural gods as in Mormonism. It mentions heaven and hell, not three degrees of glory. There are no temple marriage or secret temple ceremonies.

It does not teach baptism for the dead, pre-existence of man or eternal progression and other ordinances. If the Book of Mormon is a restoration and another Testament of Jesus Christ, why are not these teachings in the Book of Mormon? Afterall, Joseph Smith said, "The Book of Mormon is "the most correct of any book on earth." (History of the Church, 4:461.)

For the sake of clarity I will add the following site which explains all about ordinances in detail. Please note that at the end there are references given by the writer of the article. There is not one reference of any of these ordinances taught in the BoM. https://rsc.byu.edu/salvation-christ-comparative-christian-views/role-ordinances-church-jesus-christ-latter-day-saints

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    Can you read the Catholic Bible and get a good idea of what the Catholic doctrines are
    – 007
    Commented May 21 at 0:01
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    The BoM is more of a history book. I know because I have read it. What I mentioned in my thread is the BoM is not a "Didactic" book. It's mostly all "narrative." The Bible on the other hand is mostly didactic as well as being a narrative. The book of Acts is a coherent narrative presenting true history. The BoM claims to be a historical document and I contend it should be examined on that basis to determine it's authenticity. In fact the BoM at Moroni 10:3-5 ask you to pray and ponder in your heart if it is true. The problem with doing that is called circular reasoning. Look up what it means.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented May 21 at 1:00
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    It would help if you could give the actual quote where it says it has the fulness of the gospel. But the question is should those things you've mentioned be considered part of the gospel? All churches have doctrines that they wouldn't consider part of the gospel.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented May 21 at 1:39
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    Latter-day Saints don't believe in a closed canon. That applies just as much to the Book of Mormon as to the Bible. "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God" (9th Article of Faith). Commented May 21 at 2:09
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    As for what is included in the gospel: "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it" (Joseph Smith). Commented May 21 at 2:10

2 Answers 2


Ken Graham has a great answer, I'll add additional details.

It's important to take the the full quote:

The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.

What is the fulness of the everlasting gospel? It is explained further on in the Introduction

It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.


The record is now published in many languages as a new and additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that all who will come unto Him and obey the laws and ordinances of His gospel may be saved.

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

The Book of Mormon does not claim to contain a restoration, but the fulness of the gospel. So one should expect to find a witness that Jesus is the Son of the living God and the laws and ordinances of His gospel. What the gospel is can be defined from Article of Faith 4

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

So can we find these claims in the Book of Mormon? I'll note some of the more clear examples, but there are more (this is not a exhaustive list)


  • 1 Nephi 7:12 Lord is able to do all things … if … they exercise faith
  • Mosiah 3:9 salvation might come … through faith on his name
  • Alma 32:21 faith is not to have a perfect knowledge
  • Alma 34:17 exercise your faith unto repentance
  • 3 Nephi 26:9 first, to try their faith … then shall the greater things be made manifest
  • Ether 12:6 no witness until after the trial of your faith



Gift of the Holy Ghost

A Testimony of the Book of Mormon, by then Elder Russell M Nelson states:

How did He define the gospel? The resurrected Lord taught, “This is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.”

Then He amplified that one-sentence definition: “My Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me.”

This unique mortal mission of the Lord—the gospel as He defined it—we know as the Atonement. The fulness of the gospel, therefore, connotes a fuller comprehension of the Atonement. This we do not obtain from the Bible alone. The word atonement, in any of its forms, is mentioned only once in the King James Version of the New Testament. In the Book of Mormon, it appears 39 times! The Book of Mormon also contains more references to the Resurrection than does the Bible.

outline Plan of Salvation

  • 2 Nephi 2:26 Messiah cometh … that he may redeem the children
  • 2 Nephi 9:6 death … to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator
  • 2 Nephi 9:13 how great the plan of our God
  • Mosiah 13:28 salvation doth not come by the law alone
  • Alma 12:33 this being the plan of redemption which was laid
  • Alma 34:16 unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the … eternal plan of redemption


  • 2 Nephi 4:27 why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one … destroy my peace
  • Mosiah 3:18 salvation was, and is, and is to come … through the atoning blood of Christ
  • Mosiah 4:3 having peace of conscience
  • Mosiah 15:18 founder of peace … the Lord
  • Alma 13:18 Melchizedek did establish peace
  • Alma 24:19 buried the weapons of war, for peace
  • Alma 34:15 bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name

Witness of Jesus Christ

Refer to this answer note that

In a word-by-word study, I have found some form of the Lord’s name mentioned an average of every 1.7 verses in the Book of Mormon...In total the names/titles of Christ appear 3,923 times in the Book of Mormon

So the Book of Mormon does exactly what it claims to do. Reading the Book of Mormon one will get a good idea of what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe, mainly that we believe in Jesus Christ and the essentials of what one must do to return to live with him. Does it contain every doctrine no, but that has never been the claim. The LDS have a large canon of scripture that includes the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Is every detail found in the canon? There are probably references to everything in one book of scripture or another, but LDS also believe in continuing revelation by modern prophets and apostles.

To address other question topics

Baptism for the dead references are mainly found in Doctrine and Covenants and the Bible.

Plural Gods, in reference to the Godhead (God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost) are found throughout LDS canon and modern revelation, as it was mentioned in OP here are some of the Book of Mormon references:

  • 2 Nephi 31:21 doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
  • Alma 11:44 arraigned before the bar of Christ … and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit
  • Morm 7:7 sing … unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost
  • Ether 12:41 grace of God the Father … Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost

If you are referring to the belief that man may become like God, references are found in the Bible and modern revelation, refer to this answer (there are quite a few question/answers on this site that address this topic)

Three degrees of glory references are found in the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, and modern revelation. There are times when heaven references are in reference to the Celestial Kingdom (one of the degrees of glory). The LDS also believe that some references to heaven/hell are referring to after death spirit paradise/prison.

Sacred, not secret, temple ceremonies, which include marriage sealings, do have minor references in LDS canon, including the Book of Mormon (probably not to the degree you want) and modern revelation. Temples have open houses that last several weeks after they are built/renovated where anyone can go inside and see all the rooms.

Sealing/Marriage references:

7 Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.

Endowment references found in Bible and D&C

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    Book of Mormon may not have degrees of Glory, but what it does have is a discussion on the spriit world (the place where people are between the death and the resurrection).
    – kutschkem
    Commented May 24 at 8:55

Book of Mormon says of itself it is comparable to the Bible and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Why is not Mormon doctrine taught in the Book of Mormon?

The Latter Day Saints have a larger number of canonical books than traditional Christian Churches. Then too, Catholicism and Orthodoxy have a larger number of canonical books than those of Protestant Christians!

The Standard Works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church, the largest in the Latter Day Saint movement) are the four books that currently constitute its open scriptural canon. The four books of the standard works are:

  • The Authorized King James Version as the official scriptural text of the Bible (other versions of the Bible are used in non-English-speaking countries)

  • The Book of Mormon, subtitled sin-ce 1981 "Another Testament of Jesus Christ"

  • The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C)

  • The Pearl of Great Price (containing the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith–Matthew, Joseph Smith–History, and the Articles of Faith)

The Standard Works are printed and distributed by the LDS Church both in a single binding called a quadruple combination and as a set of two books, with the Bible in one binding, and the other three books in a second binding called a triple combination. Current editions of the Standard Works include a number of non-canonical study aids, including a Bible dictionary, photographs, maps and gazetteer, topical guide, index, footnotes, cross references, and excerpts from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.

The scriptural canon is "open" due to the Latter-day Saint belief in continuous revelation. Additions can be made to the scriptural canon with the "common consent" of the church's membership. Other branches of the Latter Day Saint movement reject some of the Standard Works or add other scriptures, such as the Book of the Law of the Lord and The Word of the Lord Brought to Mankind by an Angel. - Standard works

For Mormons, their doctrine is compiled from all the above sources, and not simply from the Book of Mormon alone!

No matter what Christian Church, Christian Ecclesial Community or Ecclesial Community one is attached to, these groups all have a set numbers of books in their Biblical Canon that their particular community holds as sacred and binding for belief.

There is no community that I am aware of that holds that all absolute doctrines are explained their relevant Book of Scriptures. This goes for Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants and Mormons.

Scriptures in all faiths are open to interpretation with a bias lending itself to the faith in question.

For example, Protestants will deny the Book of Maccabees as biblically canonical. Yet Catholics and Orthodox will. Even so the interpretation of some texts of the Book of Maccabees will be somewhat different between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

Protestants will interpret Scriptures differently than Catholics, even in those passages where key passages of Christian doctrine are concerned. Thus it is not surprising that the Book of Mormon follows the same logical route of explanation as other faiths and the need for interpretation.

Not everything is doctrinally explained in Scriptures, albeit whether or not it is the King James Bible (or other translation), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price.

In the end, the ”Bible teaches one how to go to heaven and not how the heavens go”. Galileo and the Interpretation of the Bible

The Latter Day Saints will interpret their Canon of Scriptures, just as others will do according to their beliefs and their standard Biblical Canon.

So why is not Christian doctrine taught in very Book of the common Christian Bible? Doctrines are defined and deepened as time goes by. Mormon theologians will expand on Mormon doctrine using their standard works, just as Christian theologians will refine their doctrine using their Biblical Canon as time advances on.

In the end, simply reading the Scriptures from whatever Church or Ecclesial Community won’t tell you what a denomination has developed as its’ doctrines, rules or standards of disciplines!!! For traditional Christian faiths, the teaching authority, tradition, interpretation and hermeneutics all plays a part in development of Christian doctrines. This bodes equally well within the Mormon religion also.

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    When you quote from the LDS Standard Works link their claim that the Authorized/King James Version is their official scriptural text of the Bible, please bear in mind this omission that was admitted to by an LDS member in his or her Stack answer a few months ago: “Joseph Smith Translation: The Lord inspired the Prophet Joseph Smith to restore truths to the King James Bible text that had become lost or changed since the original words were written.” This link was provided, churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/jst/… So, the AV has been changed by J Smith.
    – Anne
    Commented May 21 at 11:44
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    It is Smith's annotated version that the LDS goes by. Truly, when they claim that their B of M is "comparable to the Bible", they do, indeed compare it to the KJV, and they find the KJV wanting, so Smith's annotated version is considered superior. That is why they say their B of M "contains the fulness of the gospel", the inference being that the KJV from the early 1800s till today does not.
    – Anne
    Commented May 21 at 12:17
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    if you are referring to my answer (or not, still applies) it also states much of the KJV is translated correctly Also this is assuming Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet, if you assume he was a prophet, a prophet would be the one who could clarify mistakes within the bible. find the KJV wanting is a mis-characterization, it is canon. A better reference to why LDS refer to B of M containing fulness is this talk
    – depperm
    Commented May 21 at 12:57
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    @depperm I commented purely to Ken Graham but all I would say is, If the KJV does contain the FULNESS of the gospel, there would be no ned for any annotations to be added to it, to say what it should have said, or what it really meant, or what part of the gospel it omitted. Is there any LDS piece of official literature, or an LDS prophet that states, “The KJV contains the fulness of the gospel”? And, if not, it’s too obvious for words why such a clear statement is not forthcoming.
    – Anne
    Commented May 21 at 14:50
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    @Anne no, the LDS do not believe the Bible alone contains the fulness of the gospel. That doesn't make it wanting necessarily, otherwise it wouldn't be canon.
    – depperm
    Commented May 21 at 14:53

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