The Holy Bible is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to man. Mormons believe it is the word of God, and that it should be studied diligently by all followers of Jesus Christ. English-speaking Mormons use the King James Version of the Holy Bible. They believe that God inspired the men who translated the Bible into English as it is now presented in the King James Version. Other translations and modern language versions may be informative for study, but they may also lose some of the richness, depth, and meaning of the King James Version.
The [Holy Bible] is a collection of records of the followers of God who lived in the middle east that is divided into two major parts, the old and new testaments. Mormons consider both testaments to have significant teachings that we can learn from and implement in our daily lives. Even though the law was fulfilled when the savior came to the Earth, the history of the origin of man, and the teachings on faith and obedience are just some of the important teachings that we can learn from the old testament.
The Holy Bible is invaluable, along with the Book of Mormon, in studying Jesus Christ's teachings and the teachings of the prophets and apostles, who were called by God at various times during the history of the world to declare the word of God to the people around them. The Bible provides an important foundation for learning about God's plan for the progress and redemption available to all of mankind through Jesus Christ. Holy Bible Online
Mormons believe that the Bible is essential for individual and group study. They study the Old Testament and the New Testament for one year each during a four-year cycle of study in their adult and youth Sunday School classes. The old and new testament each require of year of study in seminary for adolescents as well. Many of the speeches given by leaders and members of the Mormon Church quote from passages of the Bible. The Book of Mormon also quotes prophets teachings that can also be found in Bible passages, especially the words of Isaiah and Malachi.
A section of the Book of Mormon tells of the visitation by the resurrected Jesus Christ to the people who were then living in the Americas. During this visit, the Savior taught the people to study the words of Isaiah and the words of Malachi from the Old Testament, and taught them that in Him (Christ) the law of Moses was fulfilled. Mormons believe that studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon are important steps in preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this earth, and in preparing for Christ's Millennial reign on earth.
Mormons believe that God did not cease to speak to his children when the Bible was compiled; they also believe that the writings of many ancient prophets are missing. For instance, the Doctrine and Covenants mentions writings from John the Baptist, and the Book of Mormon includes brief quotes from the extensive writings of Joseph who was sold into Egypt. The Book of Mormon also mentions the writings of Zenos and others who are unknown today. Latter-day Saints believe that the Ten Lost Tribes have had prophets and scriptures for many hundreds of years, and that they will bring them with them when they miraculously return. They also believe that much of the writing from the Book of Mormon peoples has been withheld until a time when people are righteous enough to receive them. Latter-day Saints also believe in a restoration of prophetic gifts in this modern day. This belief in a modern living prophet, who speaks for God through inspired revelation concerning today's world and its problems, is a unique teaching among Christian denominations. Mormon leaders study the Bible, but do not rely on it alone to guide them in teaching the world about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father's will for mankind. Nor do Mormons try to limit the amount of God's word that can be revealed and canonized for the use of man:
- Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
- Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
- And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
- 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.
- For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
- For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
- And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews (2 Nephi 29:7-13).
A 2014 Update on Mormons and the Bible
In early 2014 BibleGateway.com stated that Salt Lake City was among the least Bible oriented cities in the U.S. The Church of Jesus Christ has taken exception to this decision, because it was made after counting how many people logged into its website to access scriptures online. Latter-day Saints generally access scriptures online through LDS.org. Here are more explanation from the Church as to why BibleGateway's decision misses the point:
- The National Bible Association chose Salt Lake City as National Bible City and the location for its National Bible Week in November 2013. In fact, hundreds of people of many faiths gathered in the Tabernacle on Temple Square on 23 November 2013 for a concert to celebrate the Bible — the week’s signature event.
- A 2010 Pew Research Center study found that Mormons scored higher than any other group in queries about Christianity and the Bible.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Sunday School program — which takes place for an hour each Sunday — employs a study system in which members focus on one of its four books of scripture each year. This year, for example, Mormons across the globe are spending at least one hour a week during Sunday services studying and discussing the Old Testament. Next year, the text will be the New Testament, followed by the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and then back to the Old Testament in 2018.
- In 2010, the Church constructed a replica of ancient Jerusalem 56 miles south of Salt Lake City as part of its Bible videos project. To date (early 2014), 67 Bible videos about the life of Jesus Christ have been produced, and have received 13 million online views. To watch Bible videos from The Church of Jesus Christ, click here.
- In honor of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in 2011, BYUtv produced a three-part documentary on the remarkable story of this Bible’s coming forth. The sacred text’s impact on religion is detailed in more than 130 reenactments filmed in eight different countries (including actual sites where original events transpired), and 18 international scholars and religious leaders provide insight into the book’s origin. (See part 1, part 2 and part 3 of the documentary.)
- Also in 2011, MormonNewsroom.org wrote about the tremendous undertaking, completed in 1979, to create the Church’s own King James Version with study helps and other related resources.
- And in a seminal 2007 general conference address focused on Latter-day Saints’ belief in the Bible, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told Mormons across the world that “it is not by chance or coincidence that we have the Bible today. Righteous individuals were prompted by the Spirit to record both the sacred things they saw and the inspired words they heard and spoke. Other devoted people were prompted to protect and preserve these records. Men like John Wycliffe, the courageous William Tyndale, and Johannes Gutenberg were prompted against much opposition to translate the Bible into language people could understand and to publish it in books people could read. I believe even the scholars of King James had spiritual promptings in their translation work.”
Many more examples could be listed. Suffice it to say that Mormons love, frequently study and are deeply devoted to the Bible.