Sunday, January 20, 2008
Article of Faith # 8
8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
(Pearl of Great Price | Articles of Faith 1:8)
I am often asked by non-members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, if we believe to Bible to be the word of God, or do we just use our “own” Bible, i.e. The Book of Mormon.
Ironically, on this point, the Book of Mormon speaks of the Bible as being the word of God, see 2 Nephi 29:1-6. The answer therefore is a resounding, yes we do believe that the Bible is the word of God.
In the April 2007 General Conference of the church, Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “My brothers and sisters, the Holy Bible is a miracle! It is a miracle that the Bible’s 4,000 years of sacred and secular history were recorded and preserved by the prophets, apostles, and inspired churchmen.
It is a miracle that we have the Bible’s powerful doctrine, principles, poetry, and stories. But most of all, it is a wonderful miracle that we have the account of the life, ministry, and words of Jesus, which was protected through the Dark Ages and through the conflicts of countless generations so that we may have it today.
It is a miracle that the Bible literally contains within its pages the converting, healing Spirit of Christ, which has turned men’s hearts for centuries, leading them to pray, to choose right paths, and to search to find their Savior.
The Holy Bible is well named. It is holy because it teaches truth, holy because it warms us with its spirit, holy because it teaches us to know God and understand His dealings with men, and holy because it testifies throughout its pages of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Abraham Lincoln said of the Bible: “This Great Book … is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong” (Speeches and Writings, 1859–1865 , 628).
It is not by chance or coincidence that we have the Bible today. Righteous individuals were prompted by the Spirit to record both the sacred things they saw and the inspired words they heard and spoke. Other devoted people were prompted to protect and preserve these records. Men like John Wycliffe, the courageous William Tyndale, and Johannes Gutenberg were prompted against much opposition to translate the Bible into language people could understand and to publish it in books people could read. I believe even the scholars of King James had spiritual promptings in their translation work.
The Dark Ages were dark because the light of the gospel was hidden from the people. They did not have the apostles or prophets, nor did they have access to the Bible. The clergy kept the scriptures secret and unavailable to the people. We owe much to the many brave martyrs and reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Huss who demanded freedom to worship and common access to the holy books.
William Tyndale gave his life because he believed so deeply in the power of the Bible. He said, “The nature of God’s word is, that whosoever read it, or hear it reasoned and disputed before him, it will begin immediately to make him every day better and better, till he be grown into a perfect man” (in S. Michael Wilcox, Fire in the Bones: William Tyndale—Martyr, Father of the English Bible , xv).
Honest, diligent study of the Bible does make us better and better, and we must ever remember the countless martyrs who knew of its power and who gave their lives that we may be able to find within its words the path to the eternal happiness and the peace of our Heavenly Father’s kingdom.” For the full discourse, click here.
If we believe the Bible to be the word of God, then why do we need the Book of Mormon? As luck would have it, we can find the answer to that question in the Bible. See 2 Corinthians 13:1. Where it states, “THIS is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
The Holy Bible is one witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Likewise, the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus’ divinity.
Speaking of this, the Book of Mormon states, “7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.” See (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 29:7 - 9).
I am grateful for both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. They teach of Christ, and help me to better understand Him. As John 17:3 states, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”