I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love learning about it. I love reading the Bible, and I love thinking about the doctrines taught by our Savior.
One thing about the Bible, it often leaves me fuzzy. Sometimes the doctrines that are mentioned seem elusive – difficult to understand.
I see why there are so many opinions on what the Bible teaches. It is no surprise to me that there are hundreds of religions that stem from a belief in the bible. We know that the bible went through many translations. Even the Lord knew that this would happen, and he explained to Nephi:
“And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.” – 1 Nephi 13:26
So, it begs the question, What is true? What is the gospel? Which doctrines are true and essential for our salvation? How do we make and keep covenants? Where is authority?
And here is where my love for the Book of Mormon steps in. The Book of Mormon helps to clear up the fuzziness.
“And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.” – 1 Nephi 13:40
The Book of Mormon does not compete with the Bible. Instead, it establishes the truth of the Bible. Isn’t that amazing! Because of the Book of Mormon, all scripture is relevant. Without the scripture, we are left, to stumble because we don’t have the whole picture. The Bible is missing pieces. How can we be whole, or perfect, if we don’t have all of the instructions?
The Lord knew this would be a problem:
“…after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.
For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.
And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.” –1 Nephi 13:34-36
We have the Book of Mormon today. We have the Lord’s record. We have His gospel, his rock, and salvation. We don’t have to stumble on the fuzzy concepts taught in the Bible. Instead, the Book of Mormon enlightens our minds and brings even more beauty and clarity to the words of the Bible.
Plain and Precious Parts of the gospel
Thanks to the Book of Mormon, I have been able to better understand:
- The Plan of Salvation (2 Nephi 2, Alma 42)
- Mercy, works, and grace (2 Nephi 25:23)
- The Doctrine of Christ – The Need for Baptism and Covenanting with the Lord. (2 Nephi 31)
- The afterlife and resurrection. (Alma 40)
- The real threat of the Devil. (2 Nephi 28)
- Priesthood authority and ordination. (Moroni 3)
There are so many other doctrines that I keep thinking of – including prayer, how to baptize, government, service, and the connection of faith, hope, and charity.
Each of these principles and ordinances can be found in the Bible, but most of them are relatively enigmatic. The Book of Mormon uses plain and simple terms to help us understand true gospel concepts. And, as we learn these things, the Bible becomes more beautiful, informative, and helpful to our lives.
I’m grateful that the Lord has blessed us with a way to access His love and mysteries. We can come to know Him and his true teachings as we study the Book of Mormon and Bible together. I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is the word of God. I know that it will help us to understand His mysteries. As we seek His word – in both the Book of Mormon and the Bible, He will enlighten our minds. He bless us with power and vision. We will be happier people. We will understand our Heavenly Father and Savior more and live lives worthy of the best blessings that He wants to give us. When we read the Book of Mormon, we open ourselves to divine tutelage. The Lord will correct us and direct us in a kind way. Our understanding of the Bible increases, and we can develop a true friendship with our Savior.
Do you have a difficult time understanding the concepts and principles of the Bible? Which ones seem fuzzy to you? Do you think that you are open to having greater understanding of the truthfulness of the Bible by accepting the help that comes from the Lord through the Book of Mormon? If so, comment here and we can have a discussion.
Finally, check out some other great blog posts on the Book of Mormon at Jocelyn’s Book of Mormon Blog Hop