Reason #197: Count up the Book of Mormon Changes for Yourself

I‘ve seen estimates as high as over 5,000, describing the number of changes in the Book of Mormon from its first “inspired wording” to recent editions. But don’t take my word, or anyone else’s for that. Look on this site and compare multiple digital versions for yourself:

Facsimilies of Historic Book of Mormon Editions

Very interesting!

For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today (Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading devices.

Also available by Latayne C. Scott, Latter-day Cipher: A Novel




  1. D.
    Dec 23, 2011

    Hello Mrs Scott,

    First, I want to thank you. Though never a mormon, I am a confessional Christian with many LDS family members and have been researching mormonism for years (for my own understanding and to understand my family.) Your site and material are of a different category than 95% of all other material on the LDS, not so much for the hard facts, but for the understanding and the compassion within your tone. Essentially, I thank you for your context -it is rare and helpful (also helpful is your ability to write.)

    Now, the question: Since you have been a Christian, and have come out of the mormon mirage, do you still have a tendency to seek out the hidden things of God? I ask this because I am aware of the mormon tendency to take the complex and even mysterious things of God and break them down into human formula, things understandable and not that different than the mind of the creature…hence they destroy the creator/creature distinction, and create a god in their own image. I am curious of your struggles as a Christian, now, having come out of the LDS, and how you combat the natural human tendency to slip into gnosticism, that old temptation to turn the glory of God into a staircase of knowledge full of formulas and higher understandings. I am not referencing the Christian progress of sanctification, in which we become more and more united in practice and understanding with Christ (the pilgrim’s journey.) I am come to see mormonism as an earthy version of gnosticism, and I am curious if you agree with this, and if you see a gnostic tendency in yourself, now, walking that pilgrim’s journey in Christ? I hope this question makes sense, if not, I will try to articulate it better.

    Thank you for your service to the body, and as a fellow Christian who has not met you, I express a digital hug your way.

  2. admin
    Dec 27, 2011

    Thank you for writing, and please excuse my delay in responding.

    Actually, when I left Mormonism I was so afraid of what you are calling gnosticism that I closed myself off from anything that even “smelled” like subjectivism — including promptings from the Spirit and other intangible but real communication from the Lord. It took me over ten years to find some kind of balance. So I would say that the issue you raised is a very valid point of discussion, and still a source of struggle for me — and, I suspect, for others like me who “felt” Mormonism very vividly.

  3. D
    Dec 28, 2011

    Thank you for the response. I value your insights due to this honesty, and I continually find your writings and comments helpful.

    Having read up on the 1800s and the atmosphere in which Smith started his religion…it was very much a time of subjective religion. Sadly, many American forms of religion even today have not shaken off that form. I was curious since it is a minefield trying to figure out American Christianity, though it can be done. For someone to come out of Mormonism to trek through a subjective American Christianity must have been frustrating, since, after all, it was in such an atmosphere that Smith stepped out himself, creating something even more subjective and aberrant as a result. A book I would highly recommend to anyone curious is The Democratization of American Christianity by Hatch. He traces this subjective religiosity and even touches on Mormonism. A helpful book.

    Realistically, as I am sure you know, self-religion, or even gnosticism is a problem for all Christians in America. It must have been even more difficult for someone coming out of the LDS, and I thank you for your writing and your honesty.

    Your brother in Christ, the true Israel and the true temple…

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