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What is The Pearl of Great Price in Mormonism?

Pearl of Great Price

The Pearl of Great Price is a collection of various materials related to Mormonism, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The Pearl of Great Price is part of the “standard works” upheld by Mormons, who also consider Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, and the Bible canonical. Notably, the LDS only considers the Bible to be authoritative “so far as it is accurately translated,” and Mormon texts such as The Pearl of Great Price are used to judge what parts of the Bible are accepted.

The Pearl of Great Price contains several main sections. The Book of Moses is a re-interpretation of the creation story and of portions of the book of Genesis. The Book of Abraham is Joseph Smith’s so-called “translation” of an Egyptian papyrus text. Modern scholars have examined these documents and found no connection between their actual content and Smith’s version. Joseph Smith—Matthew is a re-inspiration or re-translation of parts of the Gospel of Matthew, according to Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith—History contains dictated autobiographical stories from Smith’s life and supposed divine encounters. Articles of Faith is a heavily edited summary of Mormon religious principles.

The content of The Pearl of Great Price is used within the LDS to support Mormon doctrines and religious beliefs, even when those positions contradict the Bible. This includes a denial of the Trinity and claims such as there being other gods besides the God of the Bible, that God is a man with a flesh-and-bone body, that Smith was personally visited by Christ, that all churches other than the LDS are abominations, and so forth.

Since its contents blatantly contradict Scripture, and in some cases have been objectively proven as deceptions, The Pearl of Great Price should not be considered a valid source of spiritual knowledge. Using this text as a way of overriding the Bible is one example of how Mormon teachings are patently false and cannot be accepted as a legitimate part of Christianity.

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What is The Pearl of Great Price in Mormonism?
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This page last updated: January 4, 2022