Many believe that the Bible is full, complete, and without flaw. If you believe that, I’m sorry. That’s not to say that the Bible as a whole is false, or that the writings therein didn’t happen. But look at these examples of errors within the Bible:
Common Biblical Errors
-The vision of Paul: Compare Acts 9:7 with Acts 22:9 (Luke wrote both).
-Judas’ death: Compare Matthew 27:5 with Acts 1:18.
-Can man see God?: Compare Exodus 33:11 with John 1:18.
-Did Jesus baptize?: Compare John 3:22 with John 4:2.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” (Articles of Faith, v.8).
Joseph Smith taught that “many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” He also taught that the Bible was correct as “it came from the pen of the original writers,” but that “ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors” (HC 1:245; 6:57). The Church absolutely respects the Bible and we use it as part of the scriptural “Canon”, but we also recognize that it is not complete or entirely accurate as a record. For this, we believe that the Lord has given us additional scripture to support and to verify the Biblical record.
The Book of Mormon supports the Bible
As an example, imagine two pieces of white paper, identical in height and width. One is crisp, and clean, without wrinkles, or tears. The other sheet of paper looks a little bit more warn down. It has a few wrinkles, and in a few spots, there are small tears, and even a couple of holes. We will compare this to the Book of Mormon and the Bible, respectively. Over time, through hundreds of different translations, little pieces of the paper have been skewed, torn, or even lost entirely. The original piece of paper is almost completely there, but is lacking in a few places. Now, take the paper that represents the Bible and lay it over the paper representing the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon fills all of the gaps, tears, and changes in the Bible’s piece of paper. Used together, we have the complete Gospel with all of the truths and doctrine needed to make it back to live with our Father in Heaven.
In the analogy of our two pieces of paper, why is the Book of Mormon without any rips, or holes? Where did it come from? What does the Book of Mormon even contain?
The History of the Book of Mormon
The writings of the Book of Mormon are among many which were recorded by prophets handed down from generation to generation. They were engraved into thin pages of metal, compared to papyrus, which was commonly used in the records of the Bible we have today.
Mormon was a great prophet and military leader in ancient America, about four hundred years after the death of Christ. One of the major accomplishments of Mormon’s life was abridging his own record, as well as the large number of writings from earlier prophets. Before he was killed in war, he gave the abridged record to his son Moroni. Moroni then added his own writings of the history of his people, and then buried the collection of plates in a hill called Cumorah.
These plates remained hidden and buried in the earth for 1400 years, until 1827, when a young man named Joseph Smith was directed to them, in what is now western New York State. Joseph Smith was led to these plates by a messenger sent from God, an angel who identified himself as Moroni, now resurrected, who had buried the plates centuries before. With divine assistance from God, Joseph translated the record into English. The translation was then published in 1830 as the Book of Mormon, which we have today.
Because the Book of Mormon has only been translated once, and because it was done through the assistance of the Lord, it has no errors. There have been no “plain and precious truths” removed from the Book. With the Book of Mormon and the Bible together, the two sheets of paper can be laid over one another, and have all of the truths. The Book of Mormon supports the Bible, and the Bible supports the Book of Mormon.
How does it support the Bible?
In the New Testament, during the account of the Savior’s baptism, it says that Christ was baptized to fulfill “all righteousness” (Matthew 3:13-16). What does that mean, exactly? In the Book of Mormon, we receive more explanation on what it means to fulfill all righteousness in 2 Nephi 31:5-9.
Another example is in John 10:16. It says:
“16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
When Christ was talking to the people at this time, they didn’t know exactly what he meant by this. But in the Book of Mormon, in 3 Nephi 15:21-23, Christ is speaking to the people in the Americas and says:
“23 And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
25 And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice.”
There are countless other examples of things which the Book of Mormon helps to clarify.
What does the Bible say about the Book of Mormon?
Isaiah 29:4, 11-18; Ezekiel 37:15-17 — Just so you know, when it says, “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim…”, it is NOT talking about Joseph Smith. It’s talking about Joseph in Egypt, and how the Book of Mormon history begins through his lineage (1 Nephi 5:11-16).
What does the Book of Mormon say about the Bible?
1 Nephi 13:20-29, 40-41; 2 Nephi 29:3-14; 3 Nephi 23:1; Mormon 7:8-9.
In what ways are both books a testament of Christ?
2 Nephi 29:8; John 20:31; Acts 10:43.
To end, I just feel it worth mentioning that the Bible mentions this in 2 Corinthians 13:1:
“In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
The Book of Mormon, right on the cover says, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” I have such an incredible testimony of the Book of Mormon. Every time I read, I feel myself growing closer to my Savior Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father. The Book of Mormon does NOT replace the Bible. And the Bible, likewise, does not replace the Book of Mormon. But used hand-in-hand, the Bible and the Book of Mormon can be utilized to combat false doctrines (2 Nephi 3:12). Don’t believe me simply because I say so. Read the book for yourself. Call the Missionaries up, and they will be able to help you.