What book more so than any other book has had the greatest impact on world history?
What book has been called “the most correct of any book on Earth” and would get a man nearer to God than by any other book?
If for question number one you answered The Bible, you would be correct.
If for the second question you said the Book of Mormon,you would be correct again.
So we have these two influential books that continue to be important around the world. The Bible is the best selling book of all time. According to the CIA World Factbook, 31.59% of the world’s population is Christian and adheres the teachings of the Bible. That’s 2.2 billion Christians.And President Thomas S. Monson announced at the 2013 October General Conference that the membership of the Church has reached 15 million members (I’m proud to be part of that growth since the last announcement). This means that 15 million people worldwide consider the Bible and the Book of Mormon scripture and central to their lives.
These are no small numbers.
Despite the fact that so many find these books influential (or perhaps, because they do) we ask ourselves: Why are books that were written centuries ago in ancient civilizations in languages we don’t speak (and in the case of the Book of Mormon, a language that is no longer spoken) important to us today?
(Ahh, yes, my favorite argument…It’s old!!! It has no use for us today! We’ve progressed! We’re much more civilized and much smarter than those old uneducated religious cooks!)
Unfortunately, I have heard a Latter-day Saint (ok, it’s only one person, but it still troubled me when I heard it) make the argument that besides telling us to come unto Christ, these books written in ancient languages have no purpose for us today and instead we should concentrate on modern revelation through our modern prophets.
First off lets get this straight, I agree that the words of modern prophets are important. All you have to do is look up their Conference talks on YouTube if you don’t believe me. Their words are inspiring and are a blessing to those of us listening.
However, there is something special about the Bible and the Book of Mormon. These books do testify of Jesus Christ and tell us to come unto him, but they also do something more. In these books of scripture God reveals Himself to us. I’m one of those people who believe that we can’t know God entirely but we can know at least some things about Him.We cannot grasp God in His entirety but what we can grasp, we should seek for.
How do we do this?
The Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants all reveal God to us. These four sets of scriptures (known as the standard works) combined reveal to us the fullness of the Restored Godspell (Sorry, I mean Gospel, though technically, godspell is correct in an Anglo-Saxon way). Through reading the Scriptures, we find the fullness of the Gospel. We also find God.
God reveals Himself to us in the Scriptures. In these texts He is waiting to tell us about Himself. All we need to do is open us the Scriptures and read. By doing this He will make Himself known to us.
I love having the standard works because if we read them carefully, keeping in mind there is one God, one Savior, and one Gospel, we can and will get the most complete understanding of our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ.
The Scriptures are God’s gift to His children, inviting us to communio with Him.
Take Him up on it.