Thursday, February 24, 2011

We Believe: Scriptures

Article of Faith #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. 

We believe in the Bible as the word of God.  The Old Testament is the record of God's dealings with the ancient Israelites and their journeys to the promised land as well as the history of what happens afterwords.  The Old Testament is also the collection of prophecies concerning the coming of Christ.  The New Testament is the record of Christ's life and the miracles that he performed.  It also contains the epistles, or letters, written by the apostles to the church during that time.

We believe in the Book of Mormon as some more of God's words to his people.  As the Introduction to the Book of Mormon says, "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel."  The Book of Mormon begins with the story of Lehi and his family as they leave Jerusalem in 600 B.C.  and leave for the American continent.  The Book of Mormon contains their history and the history of their descendants.  It too, like the Bible, contains prophecies of the coming of the Savior to the world and the climax of the Book of Mormon is when Jesus Christ appears to the people in the Americas after His resurrection and ascension.  That is why the subtitle to the Book of Mormon declares it as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ".

We believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon go hand-in-hand.  Just as in using a GPS to find a destination requires two coordinates, our journey back to Heavenly Father needs these two volumes of scripture.  The Bible compliments the Book of Mormon and the Book of Mormon answers questions the Bible leaves unanswered.  As the Savior himself declared, "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.  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 (2nd Nephi 29:8-9)."  

We believe that along with these two volumes of scripture, God has continued to reveal His word and that we have more scriputes.  We believe in the Doctrine and Covenants, which is a collection of revelations given through Joseph Smith and other modern day prophets.  We believe in the Pearl of Great Price, which contains some of the writings of Moses and Abraham along with Joseph Smith's testimony.  These four volumes, the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, compose the standard works.

I am grateful for the scriptures in my life.  I have received guidance and answers to prayers to help me on my way.  I have been blessed with a knowledge of the truthfulness of the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon.  The great message is that you too can know for yourself.  The promise found at the end of the Book of Mormon declares, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things (Moroni 10:4-5)."  The Holy Ghost truly does bear record of the scriptures and teaches us all that we must know to find peace and happiness.

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