About Mormon Scriptures
Most people are aware that the Mormon Church uses more scriptures than the Bible. The Church uses the King James Version of the Bible in English-speaking countries, to which it has made no changes except to add cross-references to other scriptures, a dictionary, a topical guide, maps, etc. The other scriptures used by the Church are the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
The Book of Mormon is a history of some people who lived anciently on the American continent, probably in Mezzo-America. The main group fled from Jerusalem just before it was conquered by the Babylonians, around 600 B.C. These people were descendants of the tribe of Joseph, but would be considered Jews. They brought with them some scriptures, including the Book of Isaiah, and their prophets recorded scripture, using what they called “reformed Egyptian.” Since they engraved their writings on thin pages of metal, they chose this language because it was more brief than Hebrew. The book uses Hebrew-style literary constructs. The Book of Mormon people lived according to the Law of Moses, looking forward to the coming of their Messiah, Jesus Christ. Christ visited them after His resurrection and established His Church. The people flourished and enjoyed 200 years of peace, but then became wicked and entered a destructive cycle of war and destruction. The record ends around 400 A.D. and is called a record of a fallen people. Its purpose is to cry out from the dust of this destruction as another witness of Christ to the people of the “last days” (our day).
Because of misperceptions spread by anti-Mormons, some people are afraid to read the Book of Mormon. Moroni, the final prophet of the Book of Mormon, makes this invitation: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask of God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”
Perhaps even those who are afraid to open a real Book of Mormon could be courageous enough to read one page online. There it is, above. Click on the thumbnail of the page to enlarge it. To read on from this page, click here. To request a free copy of the Book of Mormon, click here.
The Pearl of Great Price contains several books. One is the Book of Moses, essentially part of Genesis, but with more information received by revelation to Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the restoration. Here is a page from the Book of Moses. Click on the thumbnail of the page to enlarge it. To read on, click here.
In addition to a History of Joseph Smith and the Articles of Faith, another book in the Pearl of Great Price is the Book of Abraham, translated partly by revelation, but also from papyri discovered in ancient Egyptian sarcaphagi. Here is a page from the Book of Abraham. Click on the thumbnail of the page to enlarge it. To read on, click here.
The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of revelations given from God to prophets of the Mormon Church. Most are from the early days of the Church (1830′s) and are revelations of Joseph Smith. This page is from Section 76, wherein Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw the kingdoms of heaven. Click on the thumbnail of the page to enlarge it. To read on, click here.
We mentioned that the Church has made no changes to the King James Version of the Bible. Here’s a page from St. Matthew (Chpt 22). This Bible is the edition published by the Church. If you compare it with your own King James, you’ll see that it is the same, except for the footnotes at the bottom of the page. Verse 11 is cross-referenced to the Book of Revelation. Verse 13 is cross-referenced to another chapter in Matthew, and to the Doctrine and Covenants. Verse 14 is referenced to the JST (Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible). Verse 16 has a clarification of meaning. Verse 18 has a definition of the word “tempt,” from the Greek. Verse 21 refers the reader to the Topical Guide (TG). To request a free copy of the KJV Bible, click here.
In the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29 it says:
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? 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?
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.