Faith in God: We Believe the Bible
“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” (Articles of Faith 1:8). These words were written by Joseph Smith, the first prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Mormon Church. Joseph Smith wrote the Articles of Faith to clearly delineate what Mormons believed so as to dispel any misconceptions that people of other faiths might have.
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God.” As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I, and other Mormons, believe in, follow, and love the Bible just as followers of other Christian faiths. “We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” The Book of Mormon is a book of ancient scripture written by prophets on the American continent and translated by Joseph Smith. Since it contains revelation to prophets who were commanded to write scripture, the Book of Mormon is similar to and complimentary to the Bible. The Book of Mormon is not intended to replace the Bible; rather, it supports the Bible. Reading the Book of Mormon has strengthened my testimony of the Bible; there are many passages in the Book of Mormon that speak of the Bible, its prophets, its prophecies, and its truthfulness. The Book of Mormon turns the reader to the Bible, and vice versa.
Another Testament of Christ
The title page of the Book of Mormon, written by Moroni, one of the Book of Mormon writers, explains the book’s purpose: “To the convincing the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.” As I read and study the Book of Mormon, my testimony of the Savior grows. Book of Mormon writers all testified of Christ; their words to the people then about the Savior and His Atonement are applicable to me, and to all of us, still today. The words “Christ,” “Jesus,” “Lord,” and other titles for the Savior appear on nearly every page of the book.
The Book of Mormon is evidence to me that God still cares about His people today. We still have the Bible, which is God’s word; however, with many translations through the centuries, some doctrines are confusing, as we can see by looking at the many different Christian churches on earth today. Heavenly Father has given us this sacred scripture, the Book of Mormon, to clarify the doctrine so we can plainly understand His words and commandments. He does not want us to be lost and confused, and wondering what our purpose is on earth. Heavenly Father loves us, and wants us to return to Him, and has given us the Book of Mormon to help us learn and understand what’s really important in life.
My Faith in God Because of the Book of Mormon
Reading the Book of Mormon has done more to increase my faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ than almost anything else I can do or have done. Combined with prayer, reading the Book of Mormon brings me closer to Christ and strengthens my testimony of Him. The Book of Mormon teaches me what to do to feel the Savior’s love and forgiveness. It testifies that Jesus Christ lives, and that He loves all of Heavenly Father’s children.
The Book of Mormon also clearly teaches the doctrines and principles that Christ taught to his disciples while He was on the earth. These doctrines and principles of faith, repentance, forgiveness, baptism, and the Holy Ghost are taught throughout the Book of Mormon by many prophets. As I read about these important doctrines and principles, I can feel Heavenly Father’s love for His children, and my faith in Him grows.
“Nearer to God”
Joseph Smith, the man who translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, stated in the book’s introduction: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” Reading the Book of Mormon is great. I feel the Spirit, and I learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. But reading the Book of Mormon doesn’t do me, or anyone, any good unless we apply what it says. When we “abide by its precepts,” doing what the writers instruct and applying the lessons taught, we truly come closer to God. One of the best ways for us to come to know our Savior is by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.