Christ is acclaimed by Christians everywhere as the founder of their faith and the greatest man who ever lived. But there the unity of belief concerning him and his mission ceases.
Some people even in this day of education and enlightenment profess to believe that the Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) do not believe in Christ, but rather have some mystical theology based on a belief in Joseph Smith, or Brigham Young, or Mormon. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known informally by the nickname Mormons) believe the Bible. Indeed, so literally and completely do their beliefs and practices conform to the teachings of the Bible that it is not uncommon to hear informed persons say: If all men believed the Bible, all would be Mormons." Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine, and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine. They are one and the same.
But as is well known, the Bible does not contain all the doctrine and truths taught by the prophets and apostles, nor have the teachings preserved in it come down to us in an absolutely perfect form. There are and have been many translations and versions of the Bible, each of which varies from the others.
Mormons fortunately, however, are not forced to reply solely on the testimony of prophets and apostles of Old and New Testament times and lands. They have latter-day revelation, given through prophets of modern times, and also an inspired record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American continent.
Joseph Smith was the prophet who, under the direction of Christ, translated and brought forth in modern times the Book of Mormon. This book is a record of God's dealings with a people who had the fullness of the gospel and who anciently inhabited the American continent. Their prophets had the same spirit of testimony and revelation enjoyed by the old world representatives of the Lord. They spoke of Christ, prophesied of his coming, taught his doctrines, had his gospel, and administered the ordinances of salvation with his authority.
All of these things are spoken of in the Book of Mormon, and, accordingly, that volume is a new witness of Christ. It is a volume of scripture that supplements and supports, but does not supplant the Bible. The two Scriptures go hand in hand in bearing testimony of the divinity of Christ and in teaching his doctrines. The Book of Mormon has the advantage of plainness and simplicity in style. Indeed, there never were plainer or more powerful prophecies fortelling the coming and mission of Christ than those preserved for us in the Book of Mormon. And these came to the modern world through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
A prophet is one who has the supreme knowledge, engraven in his soul by revelation, that Jesus is the Christ "For the testimony of Jesus is (by definition) the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10.)
The Bible and the book of Mormon bear the same testimony. Both are records of God's dealings with ancient peoples who had the fullness of the gospel, who knew of Christ and his laws, and who had a sure hope of eternal salvation in the kingdom of the Father. They are in perfect agreement with each other. When taken together the Bible and the Book of Mormon give a plain and clear picture of Christ and of the laws of salvation.
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