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The Book of Mormon

What the Holy Bible and Book of Mormon say about each other.

How can Mormons believe in the Book of Mormon, if the Holy Bible is the only authoritative, inspired word of God?

Problems with the Book of Mormon? 52 solutions I found in answer to a former LDS missionary turned anti-Mormon. Addresses topics like: why no writings by Zenock, Neum and Zenos have been found yet; how Joseph Smith taught the dove is a sign of the Holy Ghost when the Book of Mormon says “form”; how Alma received priesthood authority; why Alma immersed himself when he baptized Helam; the Urim and Thummim vs. the seer stone myth; why and how Nephi was able to slay Laban; and many more. Entire document can be downloaded as a zip file.

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What the Holy Bible and Book of Mormon say about each other.

The Bible, on the Book of Mormon:

Ezekiel 37:19 "Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."

John 10:16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd."

Note: Since the Book of Mormon claims to be a record made by a remnant of Israel, wouldn’t it be interesting to look at the Book of Mormon from a non-LDS, Jewish perspective? I think so -- And we can. Rabbi Yosef, a Messianic Jew, has examined the Book of Mormon from a Jewish perspective -- even cross examining it with Old Testament and New Testament prophecies, and Jewish holydays. See “The Jewishness of the Book of Mormon” at http://www.itstessie.com/jewishbom/ .

The Book of Mormon, on the Book of Mormon and Bible:

2 Nephi 29:7-14 "(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. (10) Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. (11) For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. (12) For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. (13) And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews. (14) And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever."

How can Mormons believe in the Book of Mormon,
if the Holy Bible is the only authoritative, inspired word of God?

For starters, most devout LDS people have a spiritual affirmation about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon--They have humbled themselves, setting aside pride and prejudices, sincerely seeking God’s will in their lives with an open mind, exercised their faith in Him, and asked in prayer (often more than once) if the Book of Mormon is true...And, one way or another, they have received a yes answer.

Many Mormons add education and personal study to their testimony of the Book of Mormon. A sample of mine is below:

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is just as capable, and willing, to reveal His will to us now as He was in ancient times. He, in his infinite power and love, is concerned about the salvation of ALL peoples on ALL continents in ALL eras of time. The problem is us--our unwillingness to listen, believe and obey, AND our quickness to bend His words to suit our own agendas.

NOTE: This section is divided into two parts: 1) Quotes from "Gospel Principles", a book published by the LDS Church. These quotes address the apostasy from the Primitive Church, and the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 2) My opinion on this topic, based on personal Bible study. My opinion addresses Biblical history, New Testament evidence of prophets who existed after the time of Jesus, writings of historians who lived during the Great Apostasy, and God's love for all mankind.


Part 1

"The Church of Jesus Christ was a carefully organized unit. It was compared to a perfectly formed building which was "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the Chief Cornerstone" (Ephesians 2:20)....The New Testament shows that this Church organization was intended to continue....(see Acts 1:23-26)....Jesus Christ had set a pattern for twelve apostles to govern the Church. It seemed clear that the organization was to continue as he had established it....Throughout history, evil men have tried to destroy the work of God. This happened while the apostles were still alive and supervising the young, growing Church. Some of the members taught ideas from their old pagan or Jewish beliefs instead of the simple truths taught by Jesus. In addition to this there was persecution from outside the Church....One by one, the apostles were killed. Because of the persecution, surviving apostles could not meet to choose and ordain men to replace those who were dead. Eventually, local priesthood leaders were the only ones who had authority to direct the various, scattered branches of the Church. The perfect organization of the Church no longer existed, and confusion resulted. More and more error crept into Church doctrine, and soon the destruction of the Church was complete. The period of time when the true Church no longer existed on earth is called the Great Apostasy. Soon pagan beliefs dominated the thinking of those called "Christians." The Roman emperor adopted..."Christianity" as the state religion. This church was very different from the church Jesus organized....The emperor chose his own leaders and called them by the same titles used by priesthood leaders in the true Church of Christ. Church officers were given honor and wealth....There were no apostles or other priesthood leaders with power from God and no spiritual gifts. The prophet Isaiah had foreseen that this condition would come about....(Isaiah 24:5)....God had foreseen what would happen, and he had prepared for the gospel to be restored. The apostle Peter spoke of this to the Jews....(Acts 19-21). John the Revelator had also foreseen the time when the gospel would be restored....(Revelation 14:6)....When Jesus Christ lived on the earth, he established his church, the only true church. He organized his church so that the truths of the gospel could be taught to all people and the ordinances of the gospel could be administered correctly with authority. Using this organization, Christ could bring the blessings of salvation to mankind. After the Savior ascended to heaven, men changed the ordinances and doctrines that he and his apostles had established....Men organized different churches. Each church claimed to be true but they taught conflicting doctrines. There was much confusion and contention over religion. The Lord had foreseen these conditions....(Amos 8:11-12)....The Savior promised that he would restore his church in the latter days. He said: "I will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder" (Isaiah 29:14). For many years people lived in spiritual darkness. About 1700 years after Christ, people were becoming more and more interested in knowing the truth about God and religion. Some of them could see that the gospel Jesus taught was no longer on the earth. Some recognized that there was no revelation and no true authority and that the church Christ organized did not exist on the earth. The time had arrive for the true Church of Jesus Christ to be restored to the earth. The Lord was about to do a "marvelous work and a wonder" and restore his church....In the Spring of 1820, one of the most important events in the history of mankind occurred....As a young boy, Joseph Smith wanted to know which of all the churches was the true church of Christ. He went into the woods near his home and prayed humbly and intently to his Heavenly Father, asking which church he should join. On that morning, a miraculous thing happened. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. The Savior told him that he should not join any church, because the true church was not on the earth....Beginning with this event, there was once more direct revelation from the heavens. The Lord had chosen a new prophet....Joseph was to be the one to help restore the true gospel of Jesus Christ." (Gospel Principles, pages 95-104)

"The Bible does not tell us everything concerning the priesthood or the organization and government of the Church. However, enough of the Bible has been preserved to show the beauty and perfection of the Church organization. The apostles were commanded to go into all the world and preach. They could not stay in any one city to supervise new converts. Therefore, local priesthood leaders were called and ordained, and the Apostles presided over them. The apostles visited and wrote letters to the leaders in various branches. Thus, our New Testament contains letters written by the apostles Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude giving counsel and instruction to the local priesthood leaders..." (Gospel Principles, page 96)

"On April 6, 1830, the Savior again directed the organization of his church on the earth (see D&C 20:1)....The Church of Jesus Christ today teaches the same principles and performs the same ordinances as were performed in the days of Jesus. The first principles and ordinances of the gospel are faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. These precious truths were returned in their fullness when the Church was restored to the earth. Through the gift and power of God, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, which contains the plain and precious truths of the gospel. Many other revelations followed and have been recorded as scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price." (Gospel Principles, pages 106-108)

Part 2 (My opinion from Bible study. This is not official LDS doctrine.)

God is a loving and all-powerful God, concerned with the salvation of all mankind. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. God can, and will, reveal His words to whomever He will, wherever He will, whenever He will.

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:" (Rev. 22:18, KJV)

When the Book of Mormon is looked at as "additional scripture", non-Mormons often use Rev. 22:18 as a rebuttal. It is conveniently located near the end of the Bible. It is a verse they use to assert that the Holy Bible is the only authoritative, inspired word of God, that there are no other scriptures, and that there will never be any other scripture.

If we look at such views, with knowledge of Biblical history, we can see them a bit more clearly. The Holy Bible, as the book we use today, was not agreed upon until the fourth century. Athanasius (A.D. 293-373), the bishop of Alexandria, publicly listed as authoritative scripture the same 27 books that are in the present New Testament. Even then, scholars like Origen questioned the authority of such books as James, Hebrews, and 2 Peter--books which today are such an essential part of the Bible. Other books cherished and often used by early Christians were not included on Athanasius's list--among them books such as the Epistle of Barnabas, 1 Clement, and the Shepherd of Hermas. Athanasius's list was accepted by some as canonical, while others debated it. The Council of Carthage, in A.D. 397, after much debate and disagreement, ratified as New Testament canon the same 27 books. Those men also decreed that no other books should be read in churches as divine scripture. (If the debates had went another direction, we could be clinging to New Testament quotes from the Epistle of Barnabas...and ignorant to the value of James.)

The question of canonicity also pertained to the Old Testament scriptures. Hence, the Apocrypha, which was reaffirmed by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1546. It is still a part of the Catholic scriptures.

The Book of Revelation, and the other books of the New Testament, were written hundreds of years before the Bible was assembled. Thus, in Rev. 22:18, John was referring to his individual Book of Revelation, not the Bible, because the Bible (as a book in itself) did not yet exist.

The earliest Christians used many books, both old and new, as scripture--And many of those texts were decreed "not useful" by a Council of men who lived hundreds of years after Christ. The Bible we use today contains only a fraction of what the earliest Christians used as scripture. When Christ taught His Gospel, it was pure and without contradiction. Over time, Christ's words became subject to many different interpretations, and a "falling away" occurred (predicted by Jesus, seen by His Apostles, and written about by historians of that time.) To get a closer, more accurate view of the doctrines practiced by the "Primitive Church", it is useful to read those early texts. When studying such texts, one should be wary of the interpretations, interpolations, and precepts of men that were mingled with God's words. Nevertheless, who are we to whine and complain about receiving more of God's word, even if it was not included on Athanasius's list (later known as the New Testament)?

The Bible contains clues to "missing scriptures" in both the Old and New Testaments. For example, in the Old Testament there are references to the Book of the Covenant (Exo. 24:4-7), the Book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14), the Book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13 and 2 Sam. 1:18), a Book of Statutes (1 Sam 10:25), and the Sayings of the Seers (2 Chron. 33:19). Those are just a few examples of at least 11 books of "missing scripture" mentioned in the Old Testament (KJV). Examples from the New Testament are missing epistles of Paul (1 Cor. 5:9, Eph 3:3-4, Col. 4:16), a missing epistle of Jude (Jude 3), and prophecies of Enoch (Jude 14). Also note Matthew's mention of Nazareth as the abode of Jesus, in Matthew 2:23: "...that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." When considered with the fact that no such saying of the prophets is found in any of the Old Testament books, it is further evidence of lost scripture.

"For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21, KJV)

This is yet another verse, used in mainstream Christian literature, to assert that the Holy Bible is the only authoritative, inspired word of God, that there are no other scriptures, and that there will never be any other scripture. This verse refers to prophecy that came to men in old times. It does not mention a definite book, nor a specific body of scripture. It does affirm the holiness of God's words as spoken by His prophets. It does not limit His words to a specific time or body of literature.

”And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judea a certain prophet, named Agabus.” (Acts 21:10, KJV)

YES! There were prophets after Christ... So often I hear that there were no more prophets after Christ, and that prophets were not needed after Christ. Yet, the New Testament, several times over, states the existence and blessings of prophecy and prophets after Christ. As there were prophets before Christ, and prophets after Christ, so can prophets exist in modern times. If we do not see it, it is because we have distanced ourselves from God. God is always there, always open, always ready to love and guide us. It is us, through our own pride, blindness and prejudice, who move away from Him.

God’s goodness, love and mercy is unchanging, being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. As there were prophets before Christ, and prophets after Christ, so can prophets exist in modern times. Why are we so quick to turn away from these glad tidings? We should be praising God for His goodness, love and mercy. Why, why, why are we so quick to throw His blessings away???

This brings me to the next verse...

”O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent to gather thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37, KJV)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. We, today, are no different than the ancient Jews. The Bible is full of examples of how, when something was near at hand, God sent prophets to the people. God sent such prophets among the people to warn them, to stir them to repentance and righteousness, to gather them under His protection. Time and time again, the prophets were rejected by the majority -- ridiculed, beaten, and even murdered. Many of those people claimed to believe the prophets who came generations before...But they would not see the mercy and warnings from God given during their own era. Many of us, today, are no different.

The Second Coming of Christ is at hand. The signs are all around us, growing more profound with each passing year. Once again, God, in His infinite love, wisdom and mercy, has sent His prophets to warn and gather whoever will listen. Once again, the fullness of the gospel of Christ is upon the earth. ...Once again, just like in ancient times, many people reject the prophets, mercy and warnings from God given during their own era... Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Come unto the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and receive the fullness of God’s blessings.

”And the Lord shall scatter you among all nations, and ye shall be few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you...But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deut. 4:27-29, KJV)

”But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24, KJV)

”And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16, KJV)

God has not forgotten His ancient covenant people, Israel. Even as He scattered them abroad, His love went out to them, and He prepared ways through which they could come unto Christ and know Him. God dealt with the Jews, and they wrote about it. God also dealt with the other scattered tribes of Israel, and they wrote about it. God, in His infinite love and mercy, sent Christ to teach and preach among the Israelites scattered to the Americas. And they wrote about it. It’s the record we now call the Book of Mormon.

God is omnipotent. He created all mankind, He loves all mankind, and He remembers all mankind--of all races, of all areas of the world, of all eras of time. He rules in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, and He brings forth His word to all peoples, even to all nations, throughout history. (Mark 16:15, John 10:16, Acts 2:37-39, Gal. 3:7-9, Heb 4:2, 1 Peter 4:6.) He wanted all people in olden times to know Him and come unto Him. Therefore, He proclaimed His word to them through His holy prophets. He equally wants us, in modern times, to know Him and come unto Him. And He gives us equal opportunity to do so: "Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matt. 7:7-8)" "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering....(James 1:5&6)" "For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.....For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in time of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. (1 Nephi 10:18-19)" [Bold type added by me.]

If a loving God, who wants all mankind to know Him and come unto Him, was powerful enough to speak to prophets in the ancient Middle East, then He was also powerful enough to share His words with prophets in other parts of the ancient world. And if the ancient Middle East prophets recorded His words as "scripture" to teach the people, the prophets in other parts of the world also recorded His words for the same purpose. And if a loving, unchanging God was powerful enough to choose and speak through His prophets of old, then He is powerful enough to choose and speak through His prophets in modern times -- IF we are willing to listen...

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