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Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is The Book of Mormon?

This week's question is probably one that is asked as often as any other question I've got.  I believe it's probably a question that you have asked yourself, even if you haven't asked it out loud:

"What is the Book of Mormon? Does it replace the Bible?"
So in this post, I'll give you a brief overview of what the Book of Mormon is, and what it is to Mormons. 

What is the Book of Mormon

Here's the opening paragraph of the Introduction to the Book of Mormon:

"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." -Introduction to the Book of Mormon
I'd recommend reading the entire Introduction if you want to have a great overview of what the Book of Mormon is, and what it contains. 

To answer the question of what the Book of Mormon is, let me respond to a few things you've probably heard about the Book of Mormon.

Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon

Many people believe that the Book of Mormon was written by the Prophet Joseph Smith.  This is not true.  We can get into the whole story another time of how the record containing the Book of Mormon was found, but for now, suffice it to say that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from a record of the ancient inhabitants of the American continents.  This record was written by several different prophets on this continent and those records were compiled and abridged by a prophet named Mormon.  Hence, the name, The Book of Mormon, because he abridged it. 

Again, Joseph Smith translated the record through the gift and power of God, he did not write it.

The Book of Mormon replaces the Bible

This is patently false.  We LOVE the Bible and constantly use it for study, teaching, etc.  The reason that you see our missionaries only talking about the Book of Mormon can probably be simplified into about two reasons: #1 The majority of people already have the Bible and are familiar with it, so we don't have to offer one to you (incidentally, if you ask missionaries for a Bible, they do have Bibles they can give to you...) and #2 The Book of Mormon is one of the evidences of our message, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in its entirety, has been restored and there is, again, a prophet of God on the earth today.

The Articles of Faith is a list of our basic beliefs.  The Eighth Article of Faith states:
"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 do believe the Bible to be the word of God.  The Bible is an indispensable part of our scriptural canon.  It is only in the Bible that we find the account of Christ's life. 

Here is how the Book of Mormon fits with the Bible.  It is Another testament.  It stands next to the Bible in testifying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  That he is the Savior of the world and that it is only through Christ that you and I can return to live with our Heavenly Father. 

The prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon said it this way,

"...there is no other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved." -2 Nephi 25:20

In Conclusion

In conclusion, We believe the Book of Mormon is scripture.  We believe the Bible is scripture.  We use them together be two witnesses of the same thing, that Jesus Christ is our Savior. 

I am sure that if you were to read the Book of Mormon, you would find that most of the things you've been told about the Book of Mormon are not true.  You may not agree that it is scripture, and you may not choose to accept it as such, and that's ok.  But if you were to read it, you would find a book that strongly testifies of the same Savior that you worship, and that it teaches what the Bible does, that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way you can be saved.   

My Offer

Here is my offer to you, my friends.  If you would like, I will personally mail you a copy of the Book of Mormon for you to read.  You can always get a free copy from the Church's commercials and website, but I know that many of you won't do that because it is brought by those "scary" missionaries we talked about last week, haha. 

My offer is I will personally mail the Book of Mormon to you if you would like to see what it says.  After I mail it, I will not bug you about it.  I won't ask you to meet with missionaries, or do anything else with it.  My only motivation is to give you the chance to look at it if you have ever had a desire to do so. 

If you want a copy of the Book of Mormon, email me your address and I'll send you a copy.  If you do not want one, I hope that this has at least answered some of your questions about what the Book of Mormon is, and why it is important to us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Please forward this message to your friends and family if you have found value in it.  Thanks!

Twitter: @Skropp2

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