We Believe the Bible to be the word of God
I just read an inspired and informative article about why Latter-day Saints believe the Bible. I’m linking to it here, but here are the highlights that touched my heart:
1. Latter-day Saints don’t just believe in the Bible, we believe the Bible. We believe the people and prophets are real, the history it describes is authentic, and the testimonies it provides of Jesus Christ are true.
2. We believe the Bible remains a religious document.
3. We also believe that the Bible teaches the covenants and ordinances essential for eternal life, illuminates the strait and narrow path leading to exaltation in God’s presence, and gives hope for a better world and a place at the right hand of God, to all who bear burdens and feel they are forever coming short of the glory of God.
4. As the Savior declared several times during his mortal ministry, those who believe the Bible and teach its truths to others will receive eternal blessings: “Whosoever shall do and teach these commandments of the law until it be fulfilled, the same shall be called great, and shall be saved in the kingdom of heaven” (see KJV Matthew 5:19 and the JST of that verse as cited here from JST Matthew 5:21).
5. The Bible contains the words of God and the words of many others. More important than the words, are the doctrines that are contained in the Bible.
6. The Bible contains a cosmology of all mankind and of mankind’s eternal journey—capturing the depth and breadth of the human experience. It illustrates God’s dealings with His children throughout history, and the cosmic battle between good and evil, waged in the pre-mortal world, which now continues here in mortality.
7. But even more, the Bible testifies that God has always been in control and that in the end, evil will be totally overcome (see Revelation 20-21), the Savior will return, and the earth will enjoy His presence for a thousand year Garden-of-Eden-like experience.
8. The numerous journeys in the Bible serve as a reminder that we’re all on a cosmic journey to get back into God’s presence. For those with eyes to see and minds to understand, the Bible is rich with symbolism that can assist us in this journey.
Jeffery Marsh also gives the history of the coming forth of the Bible including its translation into English and why we use the King James Version as our standard today. My heart always breaks a little when I’m reminded of the story of William Tyndale, who was burned at the stake for creating the first English translation from the original Greek and Hebrew so that all the people, no matter their means or circumstances, could learn the true word of God and develop a personal relationship with Him.
My favorite scriptures in the Bible are the ones that testify of Christ, his divinity, and the pure doctrine of salvation. I love the parables and stories of the New Testament. I love the many instances that testify of Jesus Christ praying to our Father in Heaven. I love when Christ teaches his disciples that there are other sheep that are not of this fold whom he must teach (Joh 10:16, referring to the people in the American continent) And I especially love the scripture in First Corinthians 15:29 where Paul speaks about the principle of baptism for the dead—why else would we be baptized for the dead if the dead do not rise? A lost truth—the practice of saving those who died without the ordinance of baptism—was a common practice in Paul’s day.
Nuggets of truth that have been missing for centuries are now restored through Joseph Smith the Prophet in this last dispensation of time. They can be found in the Bible, if we read it ourselves, rather than rely on those who act more righteous and more learned than we to interpret it for us. God loves all of us equally. He will testify to the least-educated as quickly and as assuredly as he would the scholar. But it is the humble in heart that will hear Him clearly. I know this to be true because I have witnessed it many times and in many ways. Because of this, I know the Bible is of profound value in the redemption of the human soul.