There are many aspects of Mormon theology that can be scientifically disproven. Moreover, some LDS teachings lack plausibility while others are simply bizarre. The following are several examples.
1. Death Prior to the Fall: 2 Nephi 2:22 and Alma 12:23–24 state there was no death of any kind (humans, animals, birds, fish, dinosaurs, etc.) on the earth until the “Fall of Adam,” which according to D&C 77:6–7 occurred 6,000 or 7,000 years ago (depending on how you interpret the scripture). And, in case there was any doubt on the Church’s stance, Joseph Fielding Smith stated as follows:
[T]here was no death of any living creature before the fall of Adam! … Anything contradictory to this doctrine is diametrically opposed to the doctrines revealed to the Church! If there was any creature increasing by propagation before the fall, then throw away the Book of Mormon, deny your faith, the Book of Abraham and the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants! Our scriptures most emphatically tell us that death came through the fall and has been passed upon all creatures including the earth itself. (President Joseph Fielding Smith, The Improvement Era, Abstracted from Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 5, p.112, 116.)
It is scientifically established there has been life and death on earth for billions of years.
2. First Humans: If Adam and Eve are the first humans, how do we explain the 14 other Hominin species who lived and died 35,000 to 250,000 years before Adam?
3. Jaredite Story: Joseph Smith said the first group of Book of Mormon people, the Jaredites, came to America in eight specially-built barges that resembled submarines. They were sealed all the way around except for two air holes. One air hole was located at the top and one on the bottom of the barges so as the barges rolled upside down in the water they could occasionally unstop one of the two air holes. These eight, airtight, rolling, rotating barges contained flocks of animals, swarms of bees, and enough provisions to enable them to travel to the New World over a period of 344 days. All eight ships miraculously landed at the same place even though they had no way to steer them.
4. Noah’s Ark: Scientific research proves that there was no worldwide flood 4,500 years ago. Plus, it seems implausible to believe that a 600-year-old Noah built a massive ark with dimensions that equate to about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet deep to avoid a flood that covered the entire earth in water. Moreover, it seems implausible to believe that Noah and his small family took two of each unclean creature and seven of every clean creature and all the food and fresh water that would be needed for these animals for six months. It seems equally implausible to believe that, following the flood, Noah and his family of eight repopulated the entire planet.
Simple mathematics show that there was insufficient room on the ark to house all the animal species found on the planet, let alone the food required to feed all of them.
5. Additional Scriptural Claims: Other events/claims that science has discredited:
- Jonah and the whale;
- Tower of Babel;
- Joshua stopping the sun;
- Joshua destroying the walls of Jericho;
- People living to be over 900-years-old;
- People turning into salt in Sodom & Gomorrah;
- As mentioned in Book of Abraham section, the sun getting its light from Kolob.
6. Bizarre Scriptural Claims and Beliefs: Many LDS beliefs canonized in scripture are just plain bizarre.
a. Abraham Lies and Gives Wife to Pharaoh: Abraham’s wife, Sarai, is apparently a beautiful woman and, as a result, Abraham (who, at the time, was named Abram) is worried that the Egyptians will kill him to steal her. Thus, when Abraham and Sarai enter Egypt, Abraham asks her to pretend that she is his sister and Sarai complies. Upon entering Egypt, Pharaoh is informed of Sarai’s beauty. Pharaoh then pays Abraham with animals and cattle so that he can take Sarai into his household as a wife or mistress. After doing so, God is apparently displeased with the arrangement and punishes Pharaoh’s family with “great plagues.” When Pharaoh discovers Sarai is married, Pharaoh demands that she and Abraham immediately leave, and expresses irritation that Abraham did not tell him that Sarai was his wife. (Genesis 12: 10–20.)
b. Lot Offers Daughters to Mob; Lot’s Wife Turned to Salt: Two angels visit Lot in Sodom. When word gets out about the angels, a mob of men visit Lot’s home demanding that they be allowed to rape the two angels. Lot asks the men if they would rather have sex with his two virgin daughters instead. The mob of men insist on having sex with the angels, so God strikes them all blind and tells Lot and his family to leave the city without looking back because he is going to destroy it. Lot’s wife disobeys the instruction, looks back at the city, and is turned into a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19: 1–26.)
c. Jacob Wrestles With God: Jacob is on a long journey when suddenly he begins wrestling with a man. The fight goes on all night. The man knows he’s losing, so he somehow wrenches Jacob’s hip out of place. Jacob says he won’t let go of the man until the man blesses him. The man complies and then admits that he is, in fact, God. He then changes Jacob’s name to Israel. Following that event, the Bible indicates that, from that day forward, Israelites did not eat the tendons attached to the hip because “God touched the hallow of Jacob’s thigh.” (Genesis 32: 22–31.)
d. David and 200 Foreskins: David wants to marry Saul’s daughter, Michal. Saul doesn’t want David to marry his daughter, so he demands that David pay him an absurd and bizarre price: 100 foreskins of his enemies, the Philistines, hoping that David will get killed fighting them. But instead, David kills 200 Philistines, cuts off their foreskins, presents them to Saul, and marries Michal. (1 Samuel 18−25−27.)
e. Elijah and the Mocking Children: Some children mock Elijah for being bald. Elijah curses the children and, after doing so, two female bears kill 42 of the children. (2 Kings 2: 23–24.)
f. Ezekiel’s Memorial to Siege of Jerusalem: God tells Ezekiel that in memorial of the siege of Jerusalem, he needs to build a model of the city, lie down on his left side for 390 days, and then lie his right side for 40 days. During this time, God says Ezekiel is only allowed to eat bread, which he has baked over a fire of human feces. Ezekiel protests at the last requirement, so God lets him use cow feces instead. (Ezekiel 1: 1–16.)
g. Jesus and the Possessed Pigs: Jesus is walking through a demon-infested tomb when two violent heretics begin flailing about in front of him. They sarcastically ask if Jesus has come to torture them for being possessed. Before Jesus can answer, a herd of pigs come thundering over a nearby hill. For some reason, the demons possessing the men plead to be allowed to enter the pigs. Jesus permits this, but soon after, the demon pigs are driven into the sea where they drown. People from the local town are shocked, and they tell Jesus to leave their land immediately. (Matthew 8: 28–34.)
h. Ezekiel and the Skeleton Army: God places Ezekiel in a valley full of dry bones and asks Ezekiel: “can these bones live?” Ezekiel replies that only God knows. God then instructs Ezekiel to, among other things, “prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.” Ezekiel complies with the instruction and “an exceeding great army” is brought to life. This army then returns to Israel. (Ezekiel 37.)