In a Deseret News article the Mormon prophet, President Russell M. Nelson invited young adults to study the Bible with Him.
Nelson said to those at the devotional that he is seeking to learn how the inspired Bible predicted the coming of the Book of Mormon. He shared an experience he had with a Protestant minister who asked him if he believes in the Bible ?
Nelson said the minister expected him to say, “ ‘yes, as far as it is translated correctly,’ ” but he didn’t. Nelson said, “Yes, especially Isaiah 29 and Ezekiel 37. Because they each foretell the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.”
LDS teach that Isaiah 29:1-4 is predicting the coming of the Book of Mormon, which was translated from plates hidden in the ground by Moroni – coming as it did “out of the ground” to “whisper out of the dust” to people of our day.
But Isaiah isn’t talking about a literal book, much less one that would come forth in the future. If you read the entire chapter, it is obvious that God is speaking of the spiritual blindness of the people resulting in the destruction of Jerusalem. And being brought down to the ground, as if buried – Jerusalem would whisper.
Actually, Isaiah Chapter 29, verses 1 through 4, is a pronouncement of horrific judgment against Jerusalem in an attempt to get the nation of Judah to repent and return to God. This judgment was fulfilled in 700 B.C. Jerusalem had been humbled such that their speech was “out of the ground” or “low out of the dust.”
Mormons believe that Isaiah 29:4, where it talks about a “familiar spirit,” is a reference to the Book of Mormon being another witness of Jesus Christ.
It’s important to note: There are at least 15 Old Testament references to “familiar spirits” and all of them deal with
- Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27
- 1 Samuel 28:3-9
- 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24
- 1 Chronicles 10:13-14
- Isaiah 8:19; 19:3; 29:4
Therefore, when the Book of Mormon claims it has a familiar spirit, it is inadvertently claiming a relationship with the demonic. Familiar spirits are clearly rooted in occultism, and that’s why God condemns anything related to familiar spirits (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).
If the Book of Mormon is supposed to be the word of God, why would God associate it with demonic forces?
The LDS strongly emphasize the “marvelous work and a wonder” spoken of in verse 14. They believe the Book of Mormon fits that description.
But, when read in context, the “marvelous work and a wonder” refers to God’s work of vengeance on the ungodly, not his blessing of the righteous. It will be a “wonder” because the wisdom of the wise will perish. God’s wonderful and marvelous works are not always positive in nature. Moses called God’s plagues in Deuteronomy Chapter 28 verse 59 “wonderful” and “great.” And those didn’t turn out so well for them.
I’m taken back by the remarks of President Nelson, who like many LDS leaders before him, ignore the key passages in Isaiah 29 that set the historical stage for what follows. No biblical scholar see’s Isaiah’s warning as a prediction regarding a future book.