I was asked this question yesterday by someone who I think was sincere in his asking. Many who believe in the Bible think that it is the complete word of God.
“Why do we need the Book of Mormon?” I responded, very simply, if you believe in Jesus Christ, and you love His words, why would you not want to read about what others recorded when the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ came and taught them?
The Bible is wonderful. Its teachings are true and witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ. God loves all His children. Jesus Christ visited this ancient people of the Book of Mormon after His resurrection and they witnessed His resurrected body. He blessed their children. The Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. It is the record of another group of Christians who recorded their experiences and witness. I think that any believer in Jesus will love the Book of Mormon.
He then responded and said, “Is The Book of Mormon an extension of God’s Word or more of an optional reading that can accompany the Bible and encourage us in our faith, like a devotional book?”
Again, I think he is genuinely asking the question, so I responded, The Book of Mormon is also God’s word. I would not say that it is an optional extra reading.
Do you think that everything that Jesus ever has said or will say is contained in the Bible? I do not. I believe that Jesus Christ is alive. I believe the Bible, while its teachings are good and true, only give us part of what Jesus taught. The Bible is simply writings of multiple apostles and prophets compiled into one book, and what has been included in the Bible has changed through the centuries.
I don’t want to downplay the Bible, but I believe that God is not limited to the words that men have compiled into what we now know today as the Bible.
I believe that Jesus speaks to prophets today. If God speaks to a prophet in our day, would not this be considered scripture as well? Isn’t that what scriptures are; the words and teachings of prophets and apostles?
So, yes, I do think that it is ultimately good to continue learning all that we can about Jesus Christ and His words through His holy prophets, which in my opinion are not limited to the Bible. The Book of Mormon is not just an extension of His word. It is His word as given to another people.
Jesus clearly taught more than what is recorded in the Bible. We do not have a complete record of everything Jesus Christ said. I’m glad to have what we have, but it is not complete. After the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus, His apostles continued to teach the people. They continued to call other apostles. Paul traveled to many places teaching and we read his words in the Bible. Paul’s words are those of an apostle of Jesus Christ written after Jesus had died. They are wonderful. But if we found today another epistle from Paul, wouldn’t you want to have it as scripture? I learn much from his writings.
This is what the Book of Mormon is. It is more holy scripture. It builds and fortifies all that is in the Bible. It clarifies some things which may not make sense. It has not gone through multiple translations. There are many who claim the bible is false and that Jesus was not resurrected. The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ lived and was resurrected. It is a record of the resurrected Jesus Christ visiting another people and teaching them. Those are the words of Christ. We are meant to feast upon those words, not put them as a side note. It is another record, more scripture, which testifies of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. You have the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon Testament.
I think it was God’s plan to make another witness available to help convince His children of the truth of the gospel. It is a mistake to ignore the Book of Mormon by thinking everything that Jesus spoke to the world is in the Bible. Embrace all that is good brother; both the Bible and The Book of Mormon. Together, they will bring the Light of Christ into your life brighter and more sure than any other way.