Friday, June 19, 2009

We Believe the Bible, because of the Book of Mormon

I have heard people claim that our use of the Book of Mormon somehow denigrates the Bible. That is ignorant hogwash. Mormon was very clear in his statements that he edited the records in his possession and created the Book of Mormon to do two main things: 1) bring people to Christ; and 2) convince people of the truthfulness of the Bible (the record of the Jews). When I read his own words, especially in the last chapters of his own "book", I simply can't see Mormon claiming that the Book of Mormon is more important than the Bible. Rather, I see him begging people to take the Bible seriously and accept it as a testament of Christ's divine mission.

Moroni continued this supplication. In one of the most under-analyzed verses in the entire Book of Mormon, he sets the stage for his final invitation to pray by saying:

"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." (Moroni 10:3)

Think about it: He "exhorts" people to "remember" things that are not included in the record he is compiling - or, at least, included only tangentially by reference. He is asking people to use a desire to know of the validity of the Book of Mormon to base their "pondering" on a remembrance of the mercy of God as recorded in the Bible. Without the foundation "score" that is "settled" in the Bible, Moroni's entire invitation lacks foundation - and the spiritual condition he feels is necessary for an answer to the subsequent prayer is not fulfilled.

3 comments:

Carol Brown said...

I really like this post. It reminds me of 2 Nephi 29:4, which reads: "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?"

How grateful we should be for the Bible!

backandthen said...

I should have read this BEFORE me lesson in my nursery class. Yes I have very smart small ones in this class.

Anyway, one of my problem about the lesson in the church is that everything is seen from an American perspective. The Anglo-Saxon culture is based on the Bible when the Latin culture is usually based on Roman and Greek culture. Thus we can't have the same approach of the bible and definitely NOT the same reaction.
What I am aiming at is that because so much emphasis is put on the BoM assuming that the bible is old news I realized when I was on my mission that I totally lacked this background for it was neither taught at church nor in my culture. I mean I did know more than the average French but nothing compared to the average American.
So I understand why people should think that the BoM denigrates the Bible although it is 150% wrong. It could give this impression that we place the BoM above the Bible and thus don't hold the Bible for something as precious as it should be held for. This is not understanding how the BoM works for us, that it is here to support the teachings of the Bible and not put it down, but I can't blame people for seeing things under this light.

As I was saying I had an interesting lesson to teach last sunday in the nursery. It was aaaaaaaaall about the BoM. No mention of the Bible. And I am almost through the manual. So I included the Bible in this lesson because I know if they don't hear it from me it could be that they won't hear it at all.
I think that our GAs take for granted things that are not at all.
It is ok, though. We can do it. I am not blaming them for not waking me up and making breakfast for me. I can do it :)
It is just that I understand the others' point of view.

Papa D said...

Amen, Carol. Thanks.

b&a, that is a fascinating perspective. I honestly hadn't thought about the cultural differences. It's something I will consider more carefully.