“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” (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:3).
“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?”
(The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:4.)
“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?” (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:6.)
“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” (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:10).
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated
correctly…” (Article Eight, Articles of Faith in the Pearl of Great
“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” (Joseph
Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 327).
“There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now
stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me” (Joseph
Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 310. See also
History of the Church 5:425).
“There is no salvation between the two lids of the Bible without
a legal administrator” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the
Church: Joseph Smith, 2007, p. 85).
2nd President Brigham Young
“Now let me say to you, my hearers, to Saints and sinners: there is
the New Testament; you may leave out the Book of Mormon, and
the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and follow the precepts of
that book faithfully, and I will warrant you to arrive at salvation”
(Brigham Young, July 24, 1853, Journal of Discourses 1:244).
“You believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do
not believe, though it is supposed that it is so written in the Bible;
but it is not, to my understanding. You can write that information
to the States, if you please—that I have publicly declared that I
do not believe that portion of the Bible as the Christian world
do. I never did, and I never want to. What is the reason I do not?
Because I have come to understanding, and banished from my
mind all the baby stories my mother taught me when I was a child”
(Brigham Young, October 23, 1853, Journal of Discourses 2:6).
“Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints
with it, and see if it will stand the test” (Brigham Young, Discourses
of Brigham Young, p. 126).
“The doctrine that we preach is the doctrine of the Bible, it is the
doctrine the Lord has revealed for the salvation of the children of
God, and when men, who have once obeyed it, deny it, they deny
it with their eyes wide open, and knowing that they deny the truth
and set at naught the counsels of the Almighty” (Brigham Young,
Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 126).
“No man can say that this book (laying his hand on the Bible) is
true, is the word of the Lord, is the way, is the guide-board in the
path, and a charter by which we may learn the will of God; and at
the same time say, that the Book of Mormon is untrue; if he has
had the privilege of reading it, or of hearing it read, and learning
its doctrines” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 459. See also Teachings
of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, pp. 345-346. Parenthesis
4th President Wilford Woodruff
“Ezekiel says that in the last days the stick of Joseph in the hands of
Ephraim should be placed with the stick of Judah, before the eyes
of the nations in the hands of the Lord, for a special purpose—to
gather the house of Israel in the latter days [see Ezekiel 37:15–28].
These two records were also to be made use of in order to preach
the fulness of the everlasting gospel to both Jew and Gentile; and
they will stand in judgment against the generation living on the
earth when they come forth” (Wilford Woodruff, Teachings of Presidents
of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 2004, p. 119. Brackets in original).
6th President Joseph F. Smith
“All members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
should be as familiar as possible with the words that are recorded
in the New Testament, especially with reference to those things
spoken as recorded by the apostles, and the Savior Himself” (Joseph
F. Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith,
1998, p. 45).
15th President Gordon B. Hinckley
“I have just completed reading a newly published book by a renowned scholar. It is apparent from information which he gives that the various books of the Bible were brought together in what appears to have been an unsystematic fashion. In some cases, the writings were not produced until long after the events they describe. One is led to ask, ‘Is the Bible true? Is it really the word of God?’ We reply that it is, insofar as it is translated correctly. The hand of the Lord was in its making” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 49).
“The Latter-day Saints believe the Bible. An agent of the American
Bible Society called on me the other day and wanted to know if we
would aid the Society in circulating the Bible in our Territory? I
replied yes, by all means, for it was the book from which we were
enabled to set forth our doctrines, and especially the doctrine of
plural marriage” (George A. Smith, October 8, 1869, Journal of
“The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered
the loss of many plain and precious parts” (Presidents Ezra
Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas Monson, “Letter
Reaffirms Use of King James Version of Bible,” Church News, June
20, 1992, p. 3).
“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” (Presidents
Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas Monson,
“Letter Reaffirms use of King James Version Bible,” Church
News, June 20, 1992, p. 3).
“The words contained in this Bible are merely a history of what
is gone by; it was never given to guide the servant of God in the
course he should pursue, any more than the words and commandments
of God, given to a generation under one set of circumstances,
would serve for another generation under another
set of circumstances. There must be something to suggest or to
draw forth the command to answer the circumstance under which
we are placed at the time” (Orson Hyde, October 6, 1854, Journal
of Discourses 2:75 ).
“What shall we say then, concerning the Bible’s being a sufficient
guide? Can we rely upon it in its present known corrupted state,
as being a faithful record of God’s word? We all know that but a
few of the inspired writings have descended to our times, which
few quote the names of some twenty other books which are lost,
and it is quite certain that there were many other inspired books
that even the names have not reached us. What few have come
down to our day, have been mutilated, changed and corrupted,
in such a shameful manner that no two manuscripts agree. Verses
and even whole chapters have been added by unknown persons;
and even we do not know the authors of some whole books; and
we are not certain that all those which we do know, were written
by inspiration. Add all this imperfection to the uncertainly of the
translation, and who, in his right mind, could, for one moment
suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who
knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution, so
as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original? Who
knows how many important doctrines and ordinances necessary to
salvation may be buried in oblivion in some of the lost books? Who
knows that even the ordinances and doctrine that seem to be set
forth in the present English Bible, are anything like the original?
The Catholics and Protestants do not know, because tradition is
too imperfect to give this knowledge. There can be no certainty
as to the contents of the inspired writings until God shall inspire
some one to re-write all those books over again, as he did Esdras in
ancient times. There is no possible means of arriving at certainty
in any other way. No reflecting man can deny the necessity of such
a new revelation” (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of Book of Mormon,
No. 3 (December 1, 1850), “The Bible and tradition, without
further revelation, an insufficient guide,” p. 47).
“In pre-Christian times Old Testament works were copied in the
same way on the ‘sticks’ which substituted for books in those days,
and which circulated among persons sufficiently educated to read
them… Many insertions were made, some of them ‘slanted’ for
selfish purposes, while at times deliberate falsifications and fabrications
were perpetrated” (Mark E. Petersen, As Translated Correctly,
p. 4. Ellipsis mine).
“As all informed persons know, the various versions of the Bible do
not accurately record or perfectly preserve the words, thoughts,
and intents of the original inspired authors” (Bruce R. McConkie,
Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 383).
“Strange as it may seem to present day enemies of the truth, their
very opposition to the receipt of more of the word of the Lord by
way of the Book of Mormon is one of the signs of the times. Their
opposition, summarized in the canting chant, ‘A Bible! A Bible!
We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible,’ brings
forth this severe rebuke from the Lord: ‘Thou fool, that shall say:
A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible….Wherefore
murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word?’”
(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 719. Ellipsis in
“The Bible itself, which recounts much of his life and many of
his doings, does not bear a sweeter or purer testimony of his infinite
goodness and grace than does this companion volume of holy
writ. Why should any who profess to love the Lord and to seek his
face have aught but praise for a work that acclaims so perfectly
the majesty and glory of the one who is Lord of all?” (Bruce R.
McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of
Man, p. 160.)
“The Bible bears true witness of God and his gospel as far as it is
translated correctly. Many plain and precious things have been deleted,
however; and the Book of Mormon is the means, provided
by divine wisdom, to pour forth the gospel word as it was given in
perfection to the ancients. It has come to preserve and sustain the
Bible, not to destroy or dilute its message” (Bruce R. McConkie,
The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, p. 160).
“There are no people on earth who hold the Bible in such high
esteem as we do. We believe it, we read and ponder its sayings,
we rejoice in the truths it teaches, and we seek to conform our
lives to the divine standard it proclaims. But we do not believe,
as does evangelical Christianity, that the Bible contains all things
necessary for salvation; nor do we believe that God has now taken
upon himself the tongue of the dumb which no longer speaks, nor
reveals, nor makes known his will to his children. Indeed, we know
that the Bible contains only a sliver, a twig, a leaf, no more than
a small branch at the most, from the great redwood of revelation
that God has given in ages past. There has been given then thousand
times ten thousand more revelation than has been preserved
for us in our present Bible. It contains a bucket, a small pail, a few
draughts, no more than a small stream at most, out of the great
ocean of revealed truth that has come to men in ages more spiritually
enlightened than ours” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The Bible: A
Sealed Book,” a BYU speech given to LDS Seminary and Institute
teachers, August 1984).
“The Book of Mormon is translated correctly because an unlearned
man did it by the gift and power of God. It took him less
than sixty translating days. The Bible abounds in errors and mistranslations,
in spite of the fact that the most learned scholars and
translators of the ages labored years on end over the manuscripts
of antiquity to bring it forth” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The Bible: A
Sealed Book,” a BYU speech given to LDS Seminary and Institute
teachers, August 1984).
“We doubt not also that the Bible, as now constituted, is given to
test the faith of men. It prepares men for the Book of Mormon.
Those who truly believe the Bible accept the Book of Mormon;
those who believe the Book of Mormon accept the Doctrine and
Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price; and those so enlightened
strive so to live that they can receive the greater light and knowledge
in those sealed books that are yet to come to light—those
books, we repeat, which shall come forth from unlearned men
as they are guided by the Holy Ghost” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The
Bible: A Sealed Book,” a BYU speech given to LDS Seminary and
Institute teachers, August 1984).
“By way of perspective, as far as gaining salvation is concerned, the
Bible is far excelled—immeasurably so—by the Book of Mormon
and the other latter-day revelations. These modern scriptures are
in fact the ones that must be believed and accepted in order for us
to be saved. If it came right down to it, those of us who live in the
dispensation of the fulness of times could be saved if there were
no Bible at all, because the gospel truths and powers have all been
given anew to us by direct revelation” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The
Bible: A Sealed Book,” a BYU speech given to LDS Seminary and
Institute teachers, August 1984).
“Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations are interesting books;
Job is for people who like the book of Job; and the Song of Solomon
is biblical trash—it is not inspired writing” (Bruce R. McConkie,
“The Bible: A Sealed Book,” a BYU speech given to LDS Seminary
and Institute teachers, August 1984).
“We could be saved without the Bible, but we cannot be saved
without latter-day revelation” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The Bible: A
Sealed Book,” a BYU speech given to LDS Seminary and Institute
teachers, August 1984).
“But, almost strangely, there are other millions of sincere and devout
persons who disbelieve, oppose, and openly fight the Book
of Mormon. We suppose that the book has more enemies than
friends. Why is this so? What is it about some words on a printed
page—all of which are clean and uplifting and pertain to historical
and doctrinal matters—that arouses such violent antagonisms?
Men ordinarily do not rise up to fight the Bible; they do
not organize mobs and incite them to shed the blood of others
because such persons believe in the scripture of the Old World.
Why should they do so with reference to a companion volume of
holy writ based on New World peoples and prophets? There are
those who disbelieve the Bible, of course, but this does not cause
them to put to death others who do believe. Neither the atheists
nor the communists have any use for the Bible, but they wage no
open warfare against the book per se; they do not wear out their
lives trying to show that it is false” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness
for the Articles of Faith, pp. 459-460).
“As far as the Bibles of the world are concerned, the King James
Version is so far ahead of all others that there is little comparison.
It rates as an item of five or six on our scale. It is the Bible
that came into being to prepare the way for the translation of the
Book of Mormon and to set a literary pattern and standard for the
revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants. It is the official Bible
of the Church. … What of the Other Translations of the World?
In answer we say: Forget them; they are of so little value that it is
almost a waste of time to delve into them. We take a liberal view to
even rate them as one on our scale. They are not binding upon us,
and in general they simply set forth the religious predilections of
their translator. Some, for instance, have Christ born of a young
woman rather than a virgin. There may be an occasional instance
in which one of these alien translations throws some light on a
particular point; they are not all bad; but there are so many things
to study and learn that I question the wisdom of treasuring up
the translation views of the wise and the learned who really have
nothing in the inspired sense to contribute to an understanding
of eternal truth” (Bruce R. McConkie, Sermons and Writings of Bruce
R. McConkie, p. 288. Ellipsis mine).
“The Book of Mormon has been, is now, and will forever remain
secure in the hands of the servants of the Lord, for which we are
immeasurably grateful. But with the Bible it was not and is not
so. It is now in the hands of intellectuals and unbelievers and
ministers whose delight it is to twist and pervert its doctrines and
to spiritualize away the plain meanings of all its important parts.
And it once was in the sole and exclusive care and custody of an
abominable organization, founded by the devil himself, likened
prophetically unto a great whore, whose great aim and purpose
was to destroy the souls of men in the name of religion” (Bruce
R. McConkie, Nyman and Millet, ed., Joseph Smith Translation: The
Restoration of Plain and Precious Things, p. 12).
“During the Dark Ages—during the Black Millennium, if you,
will—even the Bible that now is was kept from the people. Many
is the martyr who suffered death by fire for reading or possessing
biblical manuscripts. The translation and publication of the
scriptural word was opposed with satanic fury in that day. For the
present the devil has lost that round. Today he centers his powers
on denying the authenticity of the scriptures and using them to
prove such false doctrines as that God is a Spirit or that we are
saved by grace alone without works” (Bruce R. McConkie, Nyman
and Millet, ed., The Joseph Smith Translation, p. 13).
“The Bible that went forth to the gentile nations in the early days
of the Christian era, according to the angelic word to Nephi, ‘contains
the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the
house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies
of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings
which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many’
(1 Nephi 13:23). Thereafter the many plain and precious parts
were taken away by the servants in the house of that great church
which is not the Lord’s Church. Thus our present Bible contains
only a fraction of the holy word that once was compiled with and
included in it as the acceptable word of the Lord” (Bruce R. McConkie,
cited in Nyman and Millet, Joseph Smith Translation: The
Restoration of Plain and Precious Things, p. 16).
“By faulty transmission, many ‘plain and precious things’ were
‘taken away’ or ‘kept back’ from reaching what later composed
our precious Holy Bible” (Neil A. Maxwell, “The Wondrous Restoration,”
Ensign, April 2003, p. 35).
“Some Christians, in large measure because of their genuine love
for the Bible, have declared that there can be no more authorized
scripture beyond the Bible. In thus pronouncing the canon of revelation
closed, our friends in some other faiths shut the door on
divine expression that we in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints hold dear: the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and
Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the ongoing guidance
received by God’s anointed prophets and apostles. Imputing no
ill will to those who take such a position, nevertheless we respectfully
but resolutely reject such an unscriptural characterization of
true Christianity” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “My Words…Never Cease,”
Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2008, p. 91).
“Please do not misunderstand. We love and revere the Bible, as
Elder M. Russell Ballard taught so clearly from this pulpit just one
year ago. The Bible is the word of God. It is always identified first
in our canon, our ‘standard works.’ Indeed, it was a divinely ordained
encounter with the fifth verse of the first chapter of the
book of James that led Joseph Smith to his vision of the Father and
the Son, which gave birth to the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus
Christ in our time. But even then, Joseph knew the Bible alone
could not be the answer to all the religious questions he and others
like him had. As he said in his own words, the ministers of his
community were contending—sometimes angrily—over their doc-
trines. ‘Priest [was] contending against priest, and convert [was
contending] against convert…in a strife of words and a contest
about opinions,’ he said. About the only thing these contending
religions had in common was, ironically, a belief in the Bible, but,
as Joseph wrote, ‘the teachers of religion of the different sects understood
the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy
all confidence in settling the question [regarding which church
was true] by an appeal to the Bible.’ Clearly the Bible, so frequently
described at that time as ‘common ground,’ was nothing of the
kind—unfortunately it was a battleground” (Jeffrey R. Holland,
“My Words…Never Cease,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May
2008, p. 92. Ellipsis and brackets in original).
“Read Ezekiel 37:15–19 with class members. Explain that ‘the stick
of Judah’ is the Bible and ‘the stick of Ephraim’ is the Book of
Mormon” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine
Teacher’s Manual, 1999, p. 246).
“Because the Bible has been translated many times, it is printed in
different versions. In English, the King James Version of the Bible
is accepted as scripture by the Church” (True to the Faith: A Gospel
Reference, 2004, p. 157).
“[Referring to Isaiah 35:1-7] Several General Authorities have
seen the settlement of the mountain valleys of the Rockies by the
Latter-day Saints as a fulfillment of these verses in Isaiah (see Milton
R. Hunter, in Conference Report, Oct. 1965, p. 81; LeGrand
Richards, in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, p. 42; Smith, Doctrines
of Salvation, 3:346–47; Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 18:145).
When the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847, it
could be described as a ‘wilderness’ and a ‘solitary place’ (Isaiah
35:1). The Saints went to work immediately, and soon the desert
valleys of Utah began to ‘blossom as the rose’ (v. 1). But this
prophecy may also be fulfilled by the settlement of modern Jews
in the Holy Land, where similar things are taking place” (Old Testament
Student Manual 1 Kings-Malachi Religion 302, 2003, p. 168.
“[Referring to Ezekiel 37:15-20] The Doctrine and Covenants and
the Book of Mormon affirm that Ezekiel’s prophecy deals with the
Bible and the Book of Mormon being joined together. Doctrine
and Covenants 27:5 teaches that the Book of Mormon is the stick
of Ephraim. The Book of Mormon, in 1 Nephi 13:40–41; 2 Nephi
29:10–14; and Mormon 7:8–9 speaks of the records of the Jews and
the records of the Nephites being gathered together into one”
(Old Testament Student Manual 1 Kings-Malachi Religion 302, 2003,
p. 283. Brackets mine).
“One can disagree with the textual assumptions behind some of
the modern translations of the New Testament and still not be
overly concerned with differences that are immaterial. For a book
to undergo progressive uncovering of its manuscript history and
come out with so little debatable in its text is a great tribute to
its essential authenticity. First, no new manuscript discovery has
produced serious differences in the essential story. This survey
has disclosed the leading textual controversies, and together they
would be well within one percent of the text. Stated differently, all
manuscripts agree on the essential correctness of 99 percent of all
the verses in the New Testament. The second great fact that such
a survey demonstrates is the progress that has placed the world in
possession of manuscripts very near to the time of their writing.
One would have to be a student of ancient history to appreciate
how much superior the New Testament is to any other any book in
its manuscript tradition” (BYU Professor Lloyd Anderson, “Manuscript
Discoveries of the New Testament in Perspective,” Papers of
the Fourteenth Annual Symposium on the Archaeology of the Scriptures,
Presented April 13, 1963, pp. 57-58).
“Centuries after it was determined which books were to be included
in the Bible, people began to believe and teach that the Bible
was both complete (containing all that God had given through
ancient prophets and apostles) and infallible (having been transmitted
without any errors). Joseph Smith received correctives to
both ideas, being given additional scripture originally written by
ancient prophets and being inspired to make corrections in the
texts of the Bible” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 1:55).
“The Latter-day Saint use of the Bible differs from the Judeo-Christian
norm because it is not the sole LDS source of authority (see
Scripture: Authority of Scripture). The Bible is interpreted and
understood by Latter-day Saints through four important means:
(1) other LDS scriptures, which enrich and give perspective to
an understanding of biblical teachings; (2) statements of modern
prophets and apostles on the meaning of some biblical passages;
(3) the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible; and (4) personal
revelation through the gift of the Holy Ghost enhancing the comprehension
of the scriptures. Consequently, Latter-day Saints are
not left without information about the meaning of many difficult
passages that have divided the entire Christian world for two millennia”
(Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1:107).
“The final contribution of the Prophet to our understanding of
the Apocalypse is in the actual work he did on the text of Revelation
as part of his inspired translation of the Bible. As was noted
above, he deleted from, added to or changed a total of ninety
verses. Obviously, not every one of those changes are of equal significance.
The committee that worked on the LDS edition of the
King James Version included changes for only forty-seven of the
ninety verses, or just slightly better than half of the total changes.”
(Gerald N. Lund, Nyman and Millet, ed., The Joseph Smith Translation:
The Restoration of Plain and Precious Things, BYU, p. 258).
“The fact is, we do not depend on the Bible or on traditional biblical
interpretations for our theology. We do not know that the
Book of Mormon is true or accurate from what we might find in
the Bible. It is the other way around: the Book of Mormon has
been given to prove the essential truthfulness of the Bible (D&C
20:11; see also 1 Nephi 13:39–40; Mormon 7:9). Our faith as well
as our approaches to the study of the Bible or the Book of Mormon
must not be held hostage by the latest trends and fads in biblical
scholarship. Our testimony of historical events or of doctrinal
matters must not be at the mercy of what we think we know and
can read in sources external to the Book of Mormon or things beyond
the pale of revealed truth. In short, the Bible is not, and was
never intended to be, our sole guide, our template, our standard
against which we measure what we teach or believe” (BYU Professor
Emeritus Robert L. Millet, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon,
6:1, pp. 198-199).
“While the Latter-day Saints do not subscribe to a position of scriptural
inerrancy, they do have a firm conviction that the scriptures
mean what they say and say what they mean. They are to be trusted”
(BYU Professor Robert L. Millet, A Different Jesus? The Christ of
the Latter-day Saints, p. 37).
“From these statements of the Prophet we can ascertain more
clearly the meaning of the eighth article of faith, part of which
reads, ‘We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is
translated correctly’ (Articles of Faith 1:8). Here the word translated
appears to be used in a broader sense to mean transmitted,
which would include not only translation of languages but also
copying, editing, deleting from, and adding to documents. The
Bible has undergone a much more serious change than merely
translation from one language to another” (BYU Professor Robert
J. Matthews, A Bible! A Bible!, p. 72. Italics in original).
“In a vision of the future, Nephi sees the Bible going ‘forth from
the Jews in purity, unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which
is in God.’ But the Gentile church takes away ‘from the Gospel of
the Lamb, many parts which are plain and most precious.’ The
Book of Mormon, in other words, declares the Bible to be deficient”
(Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 100).
“The Book of Mormon not only prepares the way for itself by ridiculing
those who think the Bible sufficient; it warns readers against
restricting God in the present. Revelation may break forth anywhere
and anytime” (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough
Stone Rolling, p. 101).
“Joseph Smith claimed the Holy Ghost as his textbook (Teachings,
p. 349) and made his translation of the Bible from the original
language–the language in which all the revelations were originally
given–the language of revelation” (Joseph Fielding McConkie,
Gospel Symbolism, p. 236).
“The Bible went forth from the hands of its writers ‘in purity,’ but
it fell into the hands of spiritual thieves who took from it ‘many
parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants
of the Lord have they taken away. And all this have they done that
they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might
blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men” (Joseph
Fielding McConkie, Gospel Symbolism, p. 237).
“Excessive religious zeal is as dangerous to the salvation of men as
stubborn unbelief. Any virtue overdone becomes a vice. To honor
and reverence the Lord’s anointed is a requisite of salvation; to
deify them is to falsify their nature and to pervert the message
with which they are entrusted. It is to make of them the object of
worship in place of the God who gave us life. This most damning
and dangerous practice also finds expression in the deifying of the
words of the prophets. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day had done this
with the law of Moses. Their reverence was for the law rather than
for the Lawgiver. They bowed the knee to the law while crucifying
him of whom it testified. In our day there are those who do much
the same thing, wherein they make all manner of claims for the
Bible which it does not make for itself, including the idea that it is
complete, final, inerrant and infallible. The effect of such verbal
shrines and theological pilgrimages is to divert worship from the
only true and living God to salvation in a book, rather than in the
injunction of the Master who said, ‘Follow me’ (Matthew 4:19)”
(Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary
on the Book of Mormon 3:383-384).
“Normally, people do not become fundamentalists—and by fundamentalists
I mean those who hold the Bible to be both infallible
and inerrant-if they are already well informed about scripture,
doctrine, and history. While fundamentalists are not necessarily
unintelligent or ill informed, people characteristically become
fundamentalists before they know much about scripture, doctrine,
or history” (Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Expressions of Faith: Testimonies
of Latter-day Saint Scholars, Susan Easton Black, ed., p. 183).
Joseph Smith’s attitude toward the Bible was similar in many respects
with the views held by his contemporaries. Although most
Christians of pre-Civil War America held that the Bible was infallible
and all-inclusive, Quakers, Catholics, Unitarians, Universalists,
deists, and members of other religious societies denied this
concept. Many Americans of the early republic recognized that
the various editions of the Bible contained errors of omissions,
additions, and incorrect translations; and many Christians, particularly
members of societies who endorsed latter-day revelation,
denied that visions and revelations ceased with the death of the
apostles. The Prophet expressed his view of the Bible by stating,
‘I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the
original writers.’ It is a work which ‘came from God.’ Men should
diligently search the scriptures, he advised, for in this work one
can learn the laws and commandments of God and the program
of salvation. Let us not be deluded, the Prophet further preached,
by the view that the Bible is infallible. Many plain and precious
truths were taken from that work before it was compiled. ‘Ignorant
translators, careless transcribers,’ and ‘designing and corrupt
priests’ have also inserted in the scriptures many errors. Because
of the mutilations of the original text, the Prophet concluded that
there is a significant difference between the actual meaning of the
prophets and the present translation. The Prophet also criticized
Christians who insisted that the Bible was all-inclusive and the sole
norm of faith. Nowhere in that volume, the Prophet argued, do
we read that visions and revelations ceased permanently with the
death of the apostles. The canon of scriptures is not closed, Joseph
insisted; the Bible does not contain all that God ever revealed or
will reveal to man” (Milton V. Backman, Jr., American Religions and
the Rise of Mormonism, pp. 335 – 336).
“Today, English-speaking Church members use the Latter-day
Saint edition of the King James Version of the Bible. Based on
the doctrinal clarity of latter-day revelation given to the Prophet
Joseph Smith, the Church has held to the King James Version as
being doctrinally more accurate than recent versions” (“Joseph
Smith and the King James Bible,” Ensign, August 2011, p. 45).
“When we consider the ancient methods of transmitting texts by
hand, we realize that the Bible went through a remarkable process
to make it into this century. The Dead Sea Scrolls stand as a witness
that the Old Testament has been passed down through the
centuries with a respectable degree of accuracy” (Donald W. Parry,
“The Dead Sea Scrolls: Window to the Modern Bible,” Ensign, December
2014, p. 61).
“Joseph Smith often used the words ‘translated’ and ‘translation,’ not in the narrow sense alone of rendering a text from one language into another, but in the wider senses of ‘transmission,’ having reference to copying, editing, adding to, taking from, rephrasing and interpreting. This is substantially beyond the usual meaning of ‘translation.’ When he said the Bible was not translated correctly, he not only was referring to the difficulties of rendering the Bible into another language but he was also observing that the manuscripts containing the text of the Bible have suffered at the hands of editors, copyists, and revisionists through centuries of transmission. Thus, the available texts of the Bible are neither as complete nor as accurate as when first written” (Encyclopedia of Mormonism 2:764).