One of the things that sets members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints apart from other churches is our belief that the The Book of Mormon is the word of God – companion scriptures with the Bible.
Some people have a hard time accepting the Book of Mormon. They may think that the Book of Mormon competes with the Bible. My experience has been the opposite.
As I’ve studied the Book of Mormon, my understanding and love of the Bible has increased.
The Book of Mormon does not profess a different religion than that which is taught in the Bible. In fact, the Book of Mormon is a record of a group of people who escaped from Israel shortly before it was destroyed (by Nebuchadnezzar during the reign of King Zedekiah). A few families had been brought out of Jerusalem, by the Lord, and led to a promised land – the American continent.
Through their experiences and faith, we learn more about the gospel – the purposes of the law of Moses and the Savior. Jacob, a prophet from the Book of Mormon, succinctly explains:
” 5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.” – Jacob 4:5
This is not unlike what Paul taught:
“24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” – Galatians 3:24
The people who authored the Book of Mormon and lived in the Americas were members of the house of Israel who had the law of Moses and understood its purpose: pointing them to the Savior. They were Christian. And their teachings, like the teachings of the Bible, help us to know the commandments and covenants we need to make and keep in order to be righteous and happy.
My own experience
I love the Book of Mormon. I also love the Bible. For me, these two books are inseparable. They are connected. The common theme: Jesus Christ. I love the Bible and Book of Mormon because as I read them I’m uplifted, comforted, and edified. I feel closer to my Savior. As I read the scriptures, I’m filled with God’s love. This is an experience I have consistently. I know that the Bible is the word of God – as far as it is translated correctly; and the Book of Mormon is also the word of God.
I love God’s word! I love that I have more than just the Bible. I love that the Lord loves us enough to give us more than one witness.
If you have trouble accepting the Book of Mormon, I encourage you to hold an experiment: read it. You can request a free copy here. Pray about it. Be genuine – do not have any preconceived ideas. As you read it, jot down feelings that you have. Ask questions in your prayers – with the faith that you will receive answers. I feel confident that if you do this, you will have an experience similar to mine – rejoicing that the Bible has a companion that is just as brilliant. You will see these two books of scripture work together. The Bible will help you make more sense of the Book of Mormon. And the Book of Mormon will help you make more sense of the Bible. And together, they will bring you closer to Christ.
For more blog posts about the Book of Mormon, check out the Book of Mormon Forum.