Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Why Do We Need the Book of Mormon?

The focus of Lesson 4 is the importance of the Book of Mormon. But, the Book of Mormon does not discuss critical doctrines like baptism for the dead or eternal marriage. It does not provide any specificity about the Plan of Salvation (i.e., no premortality, no three degrees of glory, etc.) or priesthood organization. Many of its teachings about the Godhead are ambiguous and confusing, without the benefit of further inspired interpretation. All of this information is provided, or greatly fleshed out, by the Doctrine & Covenants and other modern revelation. it teaches much about Christ and the atonement, but so do the Bible, the Doctrine & Covenants and modern revelation.

So do we really need the Book of Mormon? Why? Why isn’t the Doctrine & Covenants, along with modern prophets, enough? What does the Lord mean when he tells us to “remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon,” when it contains no information about the mother-of-all-covenants, the new and everlasting covenant of marriage?

I have some thoughts about this, but am interested to hear yours, first. I am also interested to hear other notable doctrines or ideas absent in the Book of Mormon.


  1. Some of my friends were urging me to become mormon, so I thought I'd give it some thought so I started looking at some of the origins of the Mormons and Joseph Smith, and the results are'nt to encouraging. Their's to many contradictions and strange stories and claims that just have no evidence. I can'nt understand why J. Smith claims he's a prophet when it says in the Bible thou shall not take away or add to this book.

  2. Anonymous: I can understand your questions and confusion. Trying to learn the truth on our own is a very difficult process. For every troubling fact you learn about Joseph Smith or LDS Church History, there is another fact that suggests that Joseph really was a prophet of God. I respect your efforts to study, learn figure things out.

    If you sincerely want to know about Joseph Smith, reading the Book of Mormon (as opposed to surfing the web) is pretty important. It is such a fundamental part of what he did that you can’t really make a decision about his accomplishments without reading it. "By their fruits ye shall know them," and all that. Ultimately, you will have to ask God if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet to really know.

    Your question about adding to the Bible is a common one with those learning about Mormonism. Without going into a lot of detail, I will just say biblical scholars basically agree that "The Bible," as we know it, was compiled long after its individual books were written by their original authors. The scripture to which you refer about "adding to this book" (Revelations 22:18) is talking about adding to or taking away from the book of Revelations, not today's Bible as a whole. It is only because the compilers of the modern Bible decided to make Revelations the last book that this verse appears toward the very end of the Bible that you study.

    Thanks for stopping by; you are welcome any time. I would love to hear more about your search and where it leads you.


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