The Book of Mormon is said to contain "the fulness of the everlasting gospel." LDS Authority Bruce R. McConkie defined it this way: "The fulness of the gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fulness of salvation." Elder McConkie identified the fulness of salvation as that which is the "highest salvation."
The Book of Mormon is silent on such doctrines as the authority of the priesthood, baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, and eternal progression. If the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, why are these important doctrines missing?
They do not exist for many reasons. But for one the BOM contradicts Mormon doctrine as it stands on many issues. So how could you expect the BOM to contain the fullness of the Gospel when the LDS church and the BOM disagree from the get go on issues about God and who God is. -M.M. (non-LDS)
The answer is simple. The fulness of the "gospel" as defined when speaking of the Book of Mormon means the fulness of the truths about Jesus Christ and his identity, mission, atonement, and ressurrection. His position as the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, his virgin birth, his death and ressurrection, are all made clear in the B of M and help both to clarify the message of the Bible on these points (a number of which have been distorted and/or removed), and witness that the claims of the Bible to Jesus's divinity are correct. A fulness of all gospel principles, which would comprehend all knowledge including Mathematics, all science, all philisophical principles and wisdom etc, was not intended and has been clarified a number of times be church leaders. The "fulness" of the gospel then, in this sense, means the complete information about the "good news" of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for sins, his ressurrection, and his position as the only begotton Son of God. Elder McConkie, when speaking of the fulness of the gospel, was speaking of it in another sense. In this sense, it means the whole gospel program as revealed in any age that allows someone to attain exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. This is the gospel in a more inclusive sense then that used in reference to the B of M, in which it means the fulness of the message of the centrality of Christ to our salvation and the nature of his mission and atoning sacrifice. There is no contradiction here, just a problem of semantics that arises when one word, as so many words in English are, is used interchangably to mean different things in different contexts. The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ and his mission, but it is also the good news of every other principle of the gospel, which includes all knowledge in the universe. The same term is used because it is the Lords "gospel" to reveal all this point by point as a person progresses in this life and in eternity. It is all "gospel" because it is all good news and also because the term gospel has come to mean in english usage "the truth" of something, as in "I read the book and what it says is gospel." or accepted truth. So the gospel is all truth and a true knowledge of all things, besides being a true knowledge of the mission and nature of Jesus Christ. -L. (LDS)
in mckonkie's book mormon doctrine, under "gospel" pg 333, bruce m says:
"the fulness of the gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain fulness of salvation."
if i read the B.O.M. alone, then, i could never be saved according to mormonism. (bruce m says that anything less than the entrance into the celestial kingdom is damnation.)
because to even try to enter the celestial kingdom i need to enter the temple, cannot drink "hot drinks" MUST tithe 10 percent, be married in the temple, etc. none of this is mentioned in the fulness of the everlasting gospel (B.O.M.) so this truly poses a problem.
now lets add to this problem. ezra taft benson taught at BYU the 14 fundamentals of following the prophet: "the living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works." if the B.O.M. truly is the fulness, then why is the living prophet more important?
now in doctrines of salvation vol 3 pg 198, joseph f smith says the D and C is the most important book even over the B.O.M. joseph f smith says that D and C is the word of god to those of us who dwell here now. joseph f smith says that the B.O.M. is just doctrine and history of an ancient people. this denies what bruce m taught.
one says it is the "FULNESS"; one says it is laws we need to know; another says it is just history. who is correct here? for more in depth talks about this or other mormon doctrines please write me at [email protected] -RB (non-LDS)