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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Most Correct Of Any Book On Earth

A painting of the prophet Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith said the following about the Book of Mormon: “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.”

In saying this, however, Joseph did not say the Bible was not correct. He was simply implying that the Book of Mormon was more correct. To read Joseph Smith's own account of how the Book of Mormon came to be, click HERE.

Before anyone flips out because they think I was saying the Bible is false, let's go back to pre-school for this example. Let's say that Mary has six apples. Mary gives John three apples. Mary gives Sam two apples. Does John have apples? Does Sam have apples? Does Mary still have apples? The answer to all three of these questions is "yes."

I hope I illustrated my point. The Bible has truth and correct principles. The Book of Mormon does also, but is simply more correct than the Bible. Does that mean the Bible does not have truth or is incorrect if the Book of Mormon has more truth and is more correct? No.

The Bible and the Book of Mormon
support each other.
Self explanatory. If the Book of Mormon has errors it is the mistakes of men.

The Bible was also written by men. Whether those men be prophets or translators, they are nonetheless men. The Bible is not inerrant. It has errors. It has mistakes. In fact, the Bible contradicts itself many times.

One of those contradictions is the fact that there are four different descriptions of the sign nailed to the cross above Christ when he was crucified.

Matthew's account: "And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus the King of the Jews." (Matthew 27:37)

Mark's account: "And the superscription of his accusation was written over, The King of the Jews." (Mark 15:26)

Luke's account: "And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is the King of the Jews." (Luke 23:38)

John's account: "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. (John 19:19)

So my consensus is either that these four gentlemen were all looking at different signs, that they couldn't read, or that in the translation process of the Bible someone forgot to proofread these descriptions to make sure they matched. I doubt the first two. (For more information on the translation of the Holy Bible, READ HERE)

If the Holy Bible, in its entirety, is correct, then why are there four different descriptions of what the sign said above the cross Christ was crucified on?
Another contradiction is in John 3:22, which reads:

22 ¶After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judæa; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

In this verse it says Christ baptized. However in John 4:2 it says Christ did not baptize.

The Holy Bible contains many truths.
However, it does not have
a fulness of truth.
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

The story of Paul's conversion told in Acts 9 contradicts the re-telling of the same story in Acts 22. In Acts 9:7, it says the men heard a voice, but in Acts 22:9 it says they heard no voice.

Acts 22:9
9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

There are many other numerous similar examples I could list off, but to respect the word of God I will not do so. I don't want to seem like I'm just bashing it.

Now let's go back to the passage found in the front of the Book of Mormon: "And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ."

I believe this passage to apply to the Holy Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. The mistakes in translation are from the faults of men. Does that make the Bible untrue? No.

Although I do not believe the Holy Bible as a whole is correct and without error, I do believe the stories and parables contained within its pages are useful in portraying symbolism, demonstrating basic gospel principles, and supporting the teachings and things found in the Book of Mormon.

Members of the LDS church don't just think
reading the scriptures is a good idea--  for
us it is considered a commandment of God.
In the eighth Article of Faith written by the Prophet Joseph Smith, he declares the Church's official stance on the Bible:

8 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.

Also, the ninth Article of Faith says the following about the word of God:

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

So lets put this out there in clear wording. The Holy Bible is a correct book as long as it meets one criteria. That is, it must be translated correctly. Also, because God is not silent, He can give us as much as His word as it pleases Him.

The Book of Mormon prophet Nephi had a revelation from God and he included it in the 29th chapter of the second book he wrote in his time as a prophet. This is his record of what the Lord said:

3 And because my words shall hiss forth--many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?

5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

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.

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.
(See John 10:16 and 3 Nephi 15:17)
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.

Wow! Could you imagine being on the other end of that conversation with the Lord? What a powerful passage.

I have always wondered what people mean when they say, "the heavens are closed" or "God doesn't speak to man anymore."

Hearing these statements makes me wonder... Who are you to say that God doesn't speak to people nowadays? Don't you think God loves us today just as much as He loved His children back in ancient times? Don't you think we need His help more than any other people in any period of history? If God can do such great miracles back in the day, how is it that He cannot help me in my small and insignificant every day life?

Nephi said it best when speaking to his hard headed and hard hearted brothers in 1 Nephi 17:50-51:

50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.

51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?
To read the rest of the chapter in context, read 1 Nephi 17 HERE.

Just because He doesn't speak to you doesn't mean He doesn't speak to me. I've received revelation (messages or inspiration from God) for my life and others. Very rarely is it some voice. I've never seen God, Jesus Christ, or their angels-- more often it is thoughts or impressions on my mind that this revelation comes. However, I know these things come from God and I cannot deny it. You can't refute a testimony.

And for anyone who says all revelation and communication from God stopped with the death of the Apostles-- think again.

Just as God's children in ancient times,
we have a living prophet on the earth today.
His name is Thomas S Monson.
Amos 3:7 states: "Surely The Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets." Or in other words, if a church doesn't have a prophet, that means The Lord is "doing nothing" in them.

Oh, what? There are no prophets today? You guessed it. Think again.

Ephesians 4:11-14:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
And he gave some what? Prophets and apostles.
Look at all the different religions out there. Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, etc. Does it look like we are unified in the faith? Nope. We will continue to have prophets and apostles on the earth until we are all in the unity of the faith.
For the people that say that Christ's church never left the earth-- think again.


Correct. You are right in saying that Christ's church was taken off the earth. The apostles were killed and the priesthood removed from the earth. However, there were still apostles and prophets on the earth. I'll let you do some of your own research on this one. Read these: THREE NEPHITES and JOHN THE BELOVED.

So you see, after the death of Jesus Christ and His apostles, these four prophets and apostles (I say prophets and apostles because apostles are still considered prophets, seers, and revelators) were still on the earth and still held the priesthood, or God's power and authority, and still remain on the earth today.

While in His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ called prophet
 and apostles, gave them His priesthood, and
organized His church.
But now back to Christ's church. Many people quote Daniel 2:44, which says the Lord will will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and would not be left to other people, but will break into pieces and consume all the kingdoms.

Many say this refers to the church Christ set up during His mortal ministry. This kingdom could not be created without a prophet because the Lord does not work, as Amos says, except through his servants the prophets.

The kingdom that Christ set up could not have been the one mentioned because in Matthew 21:43 it says, "Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." So the kingdom Christ organized was left and given to another people. Therefore, Christ's church was not on the earth at the death of the apostles. The kingdom referred to in Daniel 2:44 refers to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ever hear in the scriptures "the dispensation of the fullness of times?" (See Ephesians 1:10 for reference) Well I got a question for ya. How could something be restored if it was never on the earth or had not been taken off to begin with? Riddle me that.

Okay, so let's take a little break. Hopefully now I've established a few things.

First, that the Bible, in it's entirety is not 100% correct. It is not infallible or inerrant. However, it is still not false and is read and revered as the word of God by the LDS church.

If you didn't get those three points out of the above text, please STOP, go back, and read it again!

Now let's move onto the big one. Many people try to bash the Book of Mormon by quoting Revelation 22:18-19. Let's take a look at what the passage says:

18 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:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

So if the Book of Mormon is "adding to" the book, then where are the plagues? There aren't any on the Mormon church. Look at the Dark Ages. Ever heard of the Black Death AKA the Bubonic Plague? Looks like we found the plagues...

And just as a side note, if people have no problem accepting the Dead Sea Scrolls as scripture, why is it so hard to accept the Book of Mormon?

Now look at John's wording here. He says "this book" or "the book of this prophecy" four times in the course of this passage. Clearly, John is not referring to the Holy Bible. He is referring to the "book of prophecy" meaning the book of his prophecy, the Book of Revelation. He wasn't referring to the Bible-- the word "Bible" means "a collection of books," so he was talking about one of the books in the collection. Not to mention, the Book of Revelation was not the last book of the Bible written chronologically. Don't believe me? Go look it up. That's one thing the Internet is useful for. I did it for you... Just click the link.

Need direction in your life? The Book of Mromon
will help you find it.
This passage of scripture written by John is a favorite among Book of Mormon critics, however very few of them are familiar with Deuteronomy 4:2, which says pretty much the exact same thing: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you."

So wait-- by their logic, everything after Deuteronomy 4:2 is false scripture and should be considered invalid? No, that doesn't make sense. How can that be possible? Perhaps because it wasn't referring to the whole book as a total. 

I hope anyone who reads this post does not think I do not respect the Holy Bible as the word of God. I love the Bible and read from it often. However, I know from reading it it is not infallible. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God also and know it to be the most correct of any book on Earth.
The Book of Mormon WILL change your life.
You just have to let it.

To the critics of the Book of Mormon who say they have read the Book of Mormon and claim it is of the devil: If you feel that way, crush the spiritual wall around your stubborn heart and read it again with an open mind and open heart. Allow the spirit to talk to your soul and nourish you spiritually. Read it as Moroni invites you to do in Moroni 10:3-5. Read with a sincere heart, with real intent, and having faith in Christ, and it WILL change your life! I did, and it changed mine.

A book nothing to be scared of. It won't eat your soul and send it to me in a package if you read it. It won't make you burst in flames, but it will set your heart on fire. Spiritually, of course.

If you knew your salvation depended on a 531 page book, wouldn't you want to read it?


Additional links:
Read the Book of Mormon online: HERE
Request your own FREE copy of the Book of Mormon: HERE
Chat with representatives of the LDS church online: HERE

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