Updated: Jul 15, 2022
I had a conversation with someone recently about why the book of Mormon is important and how it fits in with the Bible. Of course, they thought that there should be nothing except the Bible. So I put together some thoughts, take a look.
What is the Bible? I mean, what is the Bible really? Is it the continuous spoken word of God to prophets? Or is it separate books in one big continuous book or a compilation of independent books or writings? Who was in charge of its evolution from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation? Did it just grow one book at a time?
Actually anciently even as far as a couple of hundred years ago, the masses didn't even have a bible. It's a modern thing. The printing presses, the publishing of books, ancient writings on scrolls or sticks or plates were rare back in the old days. Not everybody had access to them. These sacred writings were kept by the prophets.
They were handed down generation to generation much like the book of Mormon records were also handed down generation to generation by the prophets that would add to them from time to time. They would add the words of God as it was revealed to them from time to time. This is the pattern of God to continually reveal his will to prophets that he chooses.
Where did the idea come from, that the Bible contains all of God's writings that ever were or ever would be on the face of the earth? Who made that up? Because it sure isn't taught that way in the Bible. Yeah, it may say about a certain book, like Deuteronomy don't add to the book of Deuteronomy or there's another occurrence of this phrase in the book of revelation, but if taken literally to mean Bible and only for the 21st century readers, because that's who has a Bible, then there could be no books after Deuteronomy could have been added, if we take it, literally that book means bible. But the word book does not mean Bible that's a modern and an incorrect idea because when those phrases were written in the Bible 3,500 years ago, and 1900 years ago, there was no such thing as a Bible. Moses didn't have a Bible. He had tablets and he may have had, he may have written on some scrolls, but he did not have a Bible.
The Bible that we use was not compiled until thousands of years later. Book did not mean Bible. It merely meant book, and there are 66 books in the standard Bible today used in most churches. Is the Bible, the complete set of prophetical writings that God ever gave to His prophets? I submit that it cannot possibly be the complete set, even though the Bible today contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It teaches how salvation in Christ works. The question comes who then assembled the Bible? Was it prophets under the direction of God who decided to put writings in the Bible canon or were there other writings that didn't make the cut? And if not, why? What about other continents? Did God speak to those people too?
Or did he ignore them? Actually, Jesus said that he had other sheep, not of the fold of Jerusalem. Lost tribes of the house of Israel scattered into the earth. Ruben Dan Asher, Benjamin Naphtali, 10 brothers, sons of Israel. There were other writings besides those in the current Bible, the ancient Apocrypha for instance, has many sacred writings that didn't make the cut in 382 AD when the Catholic church met together. They use them now. Who decided this? The book of Enoch, for instance, did not make the cut, even though he was a great prophet of God in the old Testament. Again, what, who, what committee made this decision? Here's how the Bible came together as scripture Canon in today's world.
Let's rewind to the council of Rome in 382 AD and the Catholic church leaders met with their scholars in 382 AD, the council of Rome, and they decided to pick and choose which books would be in their official Canon of scripture. So they made a list and then they ratified that list. That list closely resembles what's actually in the Bible today, but had more books that are not in the Bible
now. did God do this? Or did men do this without any authority from God, based merely on their feelings or opinions and of scholars? If there was an apostasy at the deaths of the 12 apostles, the original 12 apostles, then of men. Jesus Christ's church had 12 apostles.
If they weren't on the earth and the authority wasn't in the earth, then it was men who changed the Bible without input by revelation from God, which would have to come through a true prophet. By the way, the Catholic church, just 200 years after the council of Rome in 382 AD, they did add the Apocrypha to their scripture Canon also. Today, all non Protestant Christian churches, accept the Roman Catholic Apocrypha as scripture canon, the Protestant churches do not.
And the only church that is a restorationists church of the original church of Jesus Christ with 12 apostles and prophets is the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. They don't accept the Apocrypha as canon either. Who decides if the Bible will change? Scholars? Churches without any direct authority? Or God? If the latter, if that makes the most sense to you then great.
You believe God actually can communicate with mankind today and could, if He wanted to call a prophet to speak for him. And this has been the pattern for 5,000 years. With an open mind, the idea that the book of Mormon can also come unto us in the last days is plausible. If God decides through a prophet of God to bring it forth. The book of Mormon is actually a wonderful gift to the world saved specifically for the last days, testifying of Christ and his involvement in an ancient civilization on the American continent.
It has such great detail as to how those people worshiped and who they worshiped and the way the prophets and apostles ministered and taught the gospel of Christ to the people. It's a very detailed and wonderful book. It speaks of Christ again and again and again, over 2000 references to Christ, a work inspired by Jesus Christ and he taught ancient prophets on the American continent.
The resurrected Christ even made a personal correction to their scripture canon and they immediately complied. Jesus was involved in their scripture. God anticipated that there would be confusion over the idea that the Bible was not the lone record of God's dealings throughout the ages of the earth. The earth is bigger than Jerusalem or the middle east. God had prophets all over the earth and they kept records independent of what is in the Bible
as we now have it. Here's what God revealed to ancient America prophet Nephi about the book of Mormon in the last days. He said, and because my word shall hiss forth, many of the Gentiles shall say, a Bible, a Bible, we have got a Bible and there cannot be any more Bible. But thus saith the Lord God: Oh fools, they shall have a Bible and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they, the Jews for the Bible, which they received from them? What do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails and the labors and the pains of the Jews and their diligence unto me in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
Oh, ye Gentiles, have you remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay, but you have cursed them and have hated them and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads for I the Lord have not forgotten my people. Thou fool that shall say a Bible, we have got a Bible and we need no more Bible. Have you obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? It would not make sense that those portions of the house of Israel who left Jerusalem anciently to escape Babylonian captivity, some cross lands, some crossed oceans, and some came to a new continent. It would not make sense that they would be forgotten by the Lord their God, given that many promises that God gave to Abraham and his seed, which the house of Israel is a part. God would not forget them. Many of those were already worshiping the one true God in Jerusalem. They practiced the law of Moses and they had the gospel of Jesus Christ as part of their revelations.
They knew the law of Moses was a school of laws to point them to Christ. They knew that their salvation was in Christ and not of the law. One of these ancient Jerusalem prophets was Lehi. He received visions seeing Jesus Christ. He saw a pillar of fire. He saw the future 12 apostles of the lamb following the Lord. And he was told to call the people in Jerusalem to repentance. The Jews in 600 BC rejected him.
They did not listen, but they threatened and they sought to kill him. He was warned by God, in a dream to leave Jerusalem with his family. And God led them to the promised land, the ancient Americas. They traveled by ship as instructed by God. All of this is told in much detail in the first two books in the book of Mormon. The Bible has two parts, an old Testament and a new Testament, before Christ and after Christ. God was involved in the creation of the content within the Bible, the individual books in the Bible, because he revealed himself to prophets and they wrote down the things that they learned from God by revelation.
This led to a collection of writings of ancient prophets that built up over thousands of years, some of which were able to be copied such as the dead sea scrolls. And so those were found to correlate with the writings and their sacred nature. However, it's this idea that the canon is closed, which is false because the Bible does not teach this.
We need to understand how the Bible was assembled. Old Testament books, first written in Hebrew and then the new Testament books written in Greek during the generation of Jesus Christ. When John wrote the book of revelation, he was on the isle of Patmos, banished around 100 AD, when he did that. He was a prophet living after Jesus was crucified and resurrected proving that the heavens were still open after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We can see that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote their gospels as found in the new Testament and that they all read a little differently. For instance, Matthew has the great sermon on the Mount three chapters worth, but it's missing from others even though Luke speaks to it a little bit. It's interesting how each gospel author emphasized different things, but all were inspired to bring different perspectives and focus.
It's a brilliant and inspired work of God and they are compatible with each other