There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true—John 5:32, Quote
What is the Word of God?Edit
The Lord is the lord of all men, and he is the lord of all things, he speaks his words at his pleasure. But it is through his servants the prophets, to which he reveals his secrets and word unto the world. (Amos 3:7) For millenia, God has established his word and gospel to the world. He has done this every time through giving revelation to prophets and witnesses of holy events, who have wrote down his word, and this has became what we know as scripture. It Ranges from the Israeli prophets of the old testament, to the Apostles and followers of the New Testament. To most modern Christians, The Bible is considered all the scripture God has revealed and will ever reveal. Today, many still insist on defending this claim. But just how accurate is it? Is there more than just the bible in finding God's word in this world? What is the answer? Perhaps that is wondered by many.
The bible is the Word of God, I myself never questioning such. I testify that it's events are true, and its prophecies are true. It tells a magnificent tale of the word from creation, through to the story, life and ministry of Jesus Chris the lord. But, I would like to promise you that there is more... and that one should never fell bad searching, for more...
God's word is unlimitedEdit
We must consider God's Omnipotence. God is unlimited because we are his subject. We are subject to him, he is not subject to us. First of all, who sets a limitation on his word? (2 Nephi 29) Nobody. But some Christian denominations would have you think that, claiming God's word can never be more than the "single text." But if God is unlimited, do they have the authority in claiming such? Do they dictate the Word of the Lord? They do not. God can speak his word according to his own pleasure. If one accepts the true authority and position of God, then they should question it not.
The bible, in particular, contains a great deal of God's revealed word. But, it does not and can never contain all of God's revealed word. For we need to learn this fact, that God never asked man to compile the bible. The bible historically, was not an immediate text compiled at the Lord's command. It was a gradually evolving one, many inspired men added to it slowly, adding the various manuscripts they were found and told over the years. It did not come to a form familar a familar size to what we have until 300AD! God had never instructed "the bible" as a result. It is merely a manmade collection of the word of God. Because of that, the potentiality of error exists in the principle that, men may have lost and missed out manuscripts. The fact that people were adding to it slowly also constituted an open cannon, there was no limitations or rules on what they could have added to it. Hence, it can be argued in the eyes of some the bible is flawed in this aspect, or incomplete! Nonetheless, do not make the mistake of absorbing its message any less, or its testimony. We do not claim to knock its authencity, we merely stress that it is not the complete word of God, and there is no logical argument to support that. Hence God is allowed to alter the word he gives unto man in accordance with his own agency. Therefore it is not heretical, or irrational to accept another book alongside the bible, such as the Book of Mormon.
Why does God need "extra word" then?Edit
Obviously, those willig to defend a biblical only canon would then go onto question, "even if God's word is unlimited, do we need any more than the bible?". Bare it in mind, the bible is not infallible or complete due to the History behind its origin. It may be hard for some believers to accept, but the bible in principle has been altered over time. Some parts have been completly removed and lost, this example is shown in the Book of 2 Chronicles, where we are told of a number of stories of Prophets which are no longer included in the Book. Also, some churches have more parts to the bible than others, the eastern orthodox church being one example. It's quite clear that despite one being one book, churches cannot simply agree on its content and doctrine. It is not strong enough as a book on its own to guide christianity in the direction of absolute truth.
So what is the Book of Mormon then?Edit
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.—2 Corthinians 13:1, The Bible
But despite this, we must not rule out the probability of other records being written unaware to those who compiled the Bible. If the Book of Mormon is true, then its records were compiled in another part of the world, prior to some parts of the old testament and a great deal of it taking place before the new testment itself, this then rules out the Book of Mormon as being "extra word", because it was still in fact the word of God of the time. It just happened to be that those in the eastern old-world, simply had no idea of such, and were only able to make the best direction to God from what resources they possessed, hence they created what we know as the Bible. Thus if the Book of Mormon is true, it is not "new word of God" because of its historical age, it is "new" to some because the modern world has not experienced it and it has not been present for the whole history of Christianity. If it had been, it would then not be "extra word" at all and would be viewed in the same way protestants see the bible. Thus modern revelation to confirm doctrine is very much possible.
Now, it is worth nothing that the Book of Mormon does not overule or contradict the content of the bible rather it acts somewhat complementary to it. The Book of Mormon acts as an extra witness and testimony of Jesus Christ. Thus it backs up the bible by supporting its truths, and reinforces the principle that Jesus Christ is indeed the saviour of the world and through his everlasting sacrafice atonment we can be saved by faith in him and obedience to his church and commandments.
As mentioned like the bible, the Book of Mormon is a historical text as well as a one of God. It tells a History of the ancient inhabitants of the American continents, namely a civilization known as the Nephites. The Book of Mormon is the record of these peoples, stretching Historically from 600BC to 400AD. It tells us of God's dealings with these people, and the subsequent testimony and visit they recieve from Jesus Christ himself following his ressurection. The Book contains many prophecies of the future of the world, Christianity and America, some which have indeed been fulfilled. It is a divine work of the lord, translated through the gift and power of God by Joseph Smith.
Despite this, some have accused Joseph Smith of "inventing" the Book of Mormon by himself. Although there is more than enough solid evidence to confirm this was simply not possible. Thus the Book of Mormon is true word of God, some might find it difficult or somewhat arkward to accept, but Joseph Smith and his followers poured their hearts and souls into having faith in this Book, in believing it and in following it. Smith sealed his testimony of this Book with his very life, his beliefs seeing him and his brother murdered for their faith at the hands of wicked men. Just like the martyrs of old who died in translating and establishing the Bible from the hands of churchmen to the general public.
How do we know if the Book of Mormon is true?Edit
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask 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.—Moroni 10:3-5, Book of Mormon
The verses above, outline a very simple answer. We can find out that the Book of Mormon is true by yourself by one simple means. That in faith, upon studying it carefully, you can ask the Lord about it via prayer, and as the book promises. You will be provided a manifestation of the truth by the Power of the Holy Ghost, which will come unto you as a burning, powerful and wonderful sensation. The bible also makes this promise many, many times, if you see the verses cited below:
- If we ask and pray, we can learn all things from the Lord (James 1:5)
- The things that you ask in prayer will always receive answers (Jer 29: 12-13), (John 14: 13-14), (John 16:23-24), (Matthew 7:7), (John 15:7), (Mark 11:24), (Luke 11:10)
- We should pray in faith if we are to expect an answer (James 1:6)
- Answers will be always given to us by the manifestation of the Holy Ghost (Gal 3:2, 14), (Acts 8:15), (Hebrews 6:4), (John 14:26 )