Article 8

Article 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.

Latter Day Saints love the Bible.  We love the Savior and we love anything that testifies of him.  Without the Bible, we would be lost.  We could not survive without the stories of Jesus.  Our understanding of apostolic authority comes from Acts and the Epistles. Where would we be without the simple passage from James that started the entire Restoration? (James 1:5)  We believe God created the world as recorded in Genesis. We believe in the miracles of Noah, Moses, and Abraham. We claim to understand Revelation, Isaiah, and the Prophets better than any other Christian denomination.  We love it all.  We study it all. We cherish it all. To the greatest Bible scholars of the world, we say, "bring it on."

Ironically, this great love for the Bible is disparaged by those who don't know us.  They assume since we have our own Bible in the Book of Mormon, we must not honor the Holy Bible.  They couldn't be more wrong.

We honor the Jews as the Lord's covenant people.  We honor those scribes, prophets, and apostles that recorded God's word. We don't want to make the mistake of accepting the Bible and rejecting the Jews.  The Lord said, "many of the Gentiles shall say, A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.  But thus saith the Lord God: O fools... what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them?... 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? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them." (2 Ne. 29:3-5)

We believe all the covenants and promises of the Lord as contained in the Holy Bible.  We believe all prophecies will be fulfilled as written by the Holy Prophets-down to the smallest detail-every jot and every tittle (Matt. 5:18).

Joseph Fielding Smith

The Holy Bible has had a greater influence on the world for good than any other book ever published. It has been printed in more editions and translated into more languages and read by more people than any other book. No other publication has been more severely and critically examined. The reason for the Bible's great influence for good is because it is inspired and contains the word of the Lord delivered to his prophets, who wrote and spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, since the world began. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 3: 184)

Ezra Taft Benson

I love the Bible, both the Old and the New Testaments. It is a source of great truth. It teaches us about the life and ministry of the Master. From its pages we learn of the hand of God in directing the affairs of His people from the very beginning of the earth's history. It would be difficult to overestimate the impact the Bible has had on the history of the world. Its pages have blessed the lives of generations. (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 45)

The King James Version of the Bible

The King James Version is an inspired translation.  Though translated by scholars, it was not merely an academic exercise.  The translators understood the gravity of their responsibility and the importance of the task.  For them, the Bible was an "inestimable treasure, which excelleth all the riches of the earth." (Dedicatory Epistle to King James) 

"The process of translation and revision was to be undertaken by six companies (committees), two in each of Westminster, Oxford, and Cambridge... The learning embodied in the men of these six companies is daunting. It is sometimes assumed that people in the twenty-first century know more than the benighted people of the seventeenth century, but in many was the opposite is true.  The population from which scholars can now be drawn is much larger than that of the seventeenth century, but it would be difficult now to bring together a group of more than fifty scholars with the range of languages and knowledge of other disciplines that characterized the KJV translators." (Gordon Campbell, Bible: the Story of the King James Version, [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010], 47, 55)

They sought the help of heaven for the task and they received it.  In their Preface to the First (1611) Edition, they wrote to the reader:

"What truth (what saving truth) [have we] without the word of God? What word of God... [have we]  without the Scripture?  The Scriptures we are commanded to search... They can make us wise unto salvation. 2 Tim. 3:15. If we be ignorant, they will instruct us; if out of the way, they will bring us home; if out of order, the will reform us, if in heaviness, comfort us, if dull quicken us; if cold, inflame us... Take up and read, take up and read the scriptures...

"Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place...

"We commend thee to God, and to the Spirit of his grace, which is able to build further than we can ask or think. He removeth the scales from our eyes, the veils from our hearts, opening our wits that we may understand his word, enlarging our hearts, yea correcting our affections, that we may love it above gold and silver, yea that we may love it to the end." ("Translator to the Reader," The Holy Bible, King James Version, 1st edition [Oxford University Press, Anniversary Edition, 2011], Preface)

Bruce R. McConkie

The Holy Bible-as of now-is the most influential book ever written in the entire history of the world.  As presently constituted, it contains those portions of the sacred writings of Judaism and of Christianity which have come down to us in relative purity... The King James Version of the Bible, as published in the English tongue, is probably the best Bible ever prepared and preserved by the scholars among men. (Robert Millet in The King James Bible and the Restoration, ed. by Kent P Jackson [Provo: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 2011], 8)

Brigham Young

Take the Bible just as it reads; and if it be translated incorrectly and there is a scholar on the earth who professes to be a Christian, and he can translate it any better than King James's translators did it, he is under obligation to do so. If I understood Greek and Hebrew as some may profess to do, and I knew the Bible was not correctly translated, I should feel myself bound by the law of justice to the inhabitants of the earth to translate that which is incorrect and give it just as it was spoken anciently. Is that proper? Yes, I would be under obligation to do it. But I think it is translated just as correctly as the scholars could get it. (Discourses of Brigham Young, by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 124)

As far as it is translated correctly

Whenever Latter-Day Saints disagree with their Christian neighbors about a Bible passage, suspicion is placed on the correctness of the translation.  The varied interpretations of the Bible, however, would have occurred whether or not the translation was perfect.  Joseph Smith qualified the validity of the Bible as God's word with the phrase, "as far as it is translated correctly," because he knew the word of God well enough to recognize when it had been tampered with.  It is fair to state that he did not think all the errors came from the translation but used that term in broad strokes to include errors of transcription, errors of transmission, intentional removal of passages, and the actual translation.  He said, "I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 327)

"The fact that Joseph Smith did not believe that the Bible had come down to us in perfect condition did not seem to deter him from reading it, reflecting on its principles and doctrines, memorizing it, and quoting or paraphrasing scores of passages in sermons he delivered.  He did not assume and attitude of 'Well, since the Bible has been so terribly tampered with and has had so many scribal errors, we might as well turn instead to the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and covenants for scriptural authority.' While the Prophet loved the Book of Mormon all his life... he seldom read from it or quoted it in his sermons.  Instead, his messages to the Saints in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois are laced with biblical passages or paraphrases.  He taught repeatedly from the Bible and called upon the oldest commentary in the world, the Holy Ghost, to bring ancient words to light in modern times." (Robert Millet in The King James Bible and the Restoration, ed. by Kent P Jackson [Provo: Religious Studies Center, BYU, 2011], 4)

Neal A. Maxwell

Occasionally, a few in the Church let the justified caveat about the Bible-"as far as it is translated correctly" (A of F 1:8)-diminish their exultation over the New Testament. Inaccuracy of some translating must not, however, diminish our appreciation for the powerful testimony and ample historicity of the New Testament.

Latter-day Saints gladly share in the Holy Bible with all Christians. Since, alas, the Old Testament is so very, very little read in Christendom, what we end up sharing with other Christians, practically speaking, are the four Gospels and the precious epistles of the New Testament. Even so, these pages are a treasure trove testifying of Jesus. (Ensign, Dec. 1986, 20)

First Presidency Statement on the King James Version of the Bible

Since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has used the King James Version of the Bible for English-speaking members.

The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered the loss of many plain and precious parts. '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.' (A of F 1:8.)

Many versions of the Bible are available today. Unfortunately, no original manuscripts of any portion of the Bible are available for comparison to determine the most accurate version. However, the Lord has revealed clearly the doctrines of the gospel in these latter-days. The most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations.

While other Bible versions may be easier to read than the King James Version, in doctrinal matters latter-day revelation supports the King James Version in preference to other English translations. All of the Presidents of the Church, beginning with the Prophet Joseph Smith, have supported the King James Version by encouraging its continued use in the Church. In light of all the above, it is the English language Bible used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The LDS edition of the Bible (1979) contains the King James Version supplemented and clarified by footnotes, study aids, and cross-references to the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These four books are the standard works of the Church. We encourage all members to have their own copies of the complete standard works and to use them prayerfully in regular personal and family study, and in Church meetings and assignments.

Sincerely your brethren,

Ezra Taft Benson
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson

("News of the Church," Ensign, Aug. 1992, 80)

We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God

Latter-Day Saints believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God just like the Bible.  We believe it is scripture just like the Bible.  We believe it is just as important for our salvation as the Bible.  It is the word of God or God never spoke to man. If you don't believe it, then read it and decide for yourself. 

Joseph Fielding Smith said the Bible has "had a greater influence on the world for good than any other book ever published." (Doctrines of Salvation, 3: 184) Well, the Latter-Day Saints claim that the Book of Mormon has the same power to influence the world for good!  Is that possible?  Is that claim ridiculous?  Not to the millions who have gained a testimony of its truth and power.  Joseph Smith made the outrageous claim that "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." (History of The Church, 4:461)  That is quite a claim-quite a statement!

What do most Christians think of the Book of Mormon?  Its most ardent critics are those who have never read it.  They are sure it is a fake.  Positive it can't be true. Those critics who have read it can't seem to come up with any decent complaints.  Their lame arguments ring in our ears "like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Cor 13:1), while the truth of the book is carried deep into our hearts by the power of the Spirit.  Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "No other book has been so sharply, bitterly, and relentlessly attacked as the Book of Mormon. Yet, like gold tried many times in the furnace, it has passed through all attacks unscathed. Every weapon raised against it has perished, and the wisdom of the self-righteous who have attacked it has come to naught." (Doctrines of Salvation, 3: 209)

But we won't judge the unbelievers.  That is not our job.  We testify that ancient prophets will hold them accountable for rejecting the Book of Mormon.  What prophets?  Their names are Nephi, Jacob, and Moroni.  All three promised their message would condemn the unbelievers at the great judgment bar of God. Jacob said, "Will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets...?" (Jacob 6:8)  Nephi said, "these words shall condemn you at the last day" (2 Ne 33:14).   Moroni said, "ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you... that that which I have written is true" (Moro. 10:27-29).

Heber J. Grant

It has been said that the Book of Mormon has fraud written upon every page of it. The Book of Mormon is in absolute harmony from start to finish with other sacred scriptures. There is not a doctrine taught in it that does not harmonize with the teachings of Jesus Christ. There is not one single expression in the Book of Mormon that would wound in the slightest degree the sensitiveness of any individual. There is not a thing in it but what is for the benefit and uplift of mankind. It is in every way a true witness for God, and it sustains the Bible, and is in harmony with the Bible. No group of men can write a book of six or seven hundred pages that is a fraud and have it in harmony in every particular with the scriptures that were given to us by the prophets of God and by Jesus Christ and His apostles. (Gospel Standards, [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1981], 27)

Jeffrey R. Holland

I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world ... that the Book of Mormon is true. (Ensign, Nov. 2009, 90)

Harold B. Lee

In this day when the Bible is being downgraded by many who have mingled philosophies of the world with Bible scriptures to nullify their true meaning, how fortunate that our Eternal Heavenly Father, who is always concerned about the spiritual well-being of His children, has given to us a companion book of scriptures, known as the Book of Mormon, as a defense for the truths of the Bible that were written and spoken by the prophets as the Lord directed. (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, edited by Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], 158)

Stephen E. Robinson

In an age when most non-LDS scholars deny the historical truth of the Bible, the Book of Mormon proves that the Bible is correct, sometimes in intricate detail; that the picture of Jesus, the divine Son of God, presented in the New Testament is historically accurate; and that the testimony of Jesus borne by the early church is true. For example, most scholars attribute the majority of the Sermon on the Mount to the early church and deny that the historical Jesus ever spoke these words as recorded in Matthew. However, the Book of Mormon clearly supports Matthew's claim that the Savior gave the sermon. (Ensign, Feb. 1988, 13)