Before any of you get too irritated at my title, please, please take the time to read on and understand where I’m coming from. I love the Bible. If I could open it to you I think you’d believe me. It is one of the most significant guiding influences in my life today. It helps me to become a better husband, father, business owner, and friend. But here is my question. I am trying to figure out why people are able to so easily believe the Bible, but are unwilling to even consider the chance that The Book of Mormon might be true as well.
If you are to ask most professing Christians, they will tell you that they believe the Bible to be the infallible word of God. I always immediately agree with them except for the infallibility part. (More on that later) My next question is always, well…”which Bible”? There are literally hundreds of translations with slight variations in each of them. Some variations are agreeable, but then…others don’t even resemble each other. Many people will say, “go back to the Greek”, and then I ask, “you know Greek?”, They’ll say… “well no”, but my pastor does. So I’ll say, “what is the Greek going to do for us because Jesus and the apostles spoke Galilean Aramaic.” Josephus (Greatest Jewish Historian) tells us that Greek wasn’t spoken in first century Israel and that it was an extreme rarity for a Jew to know Greek. So in reality, no one on this planet can show me the original manuscripts for the New Testament. They are gone! All we have are copies of copies of copies and hundreds of biased translators “trying to get it right”. So when a “Mormon” says, “No I can’t reproduce the ‘gold plates’ for you to look at”, it’s really not to dissimilar to a person saying that they can’t reproduce the original Bible for me to look at. The absence of the original isn’t a deal breaker for me and I’m assuming it’s not for you.
Another question I might ask is who decided that the Bible was going to consist of 66 books. There are 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books in the Bible. Why? Who received a revelation from God that those 66 books contained everything that God wanted us to know for the next 2000 plus years? Not Peter, because the Bible was compiled long after Peter was gone. Most people don’t even realize that the Bible is not in chronological order. Revelation was definitely not the last book that was written even though it appears last in the New Testament. What about the “lost books?” What about 3rd Corinthians 1 Cor. 5:9 or the epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4:16). What about the book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18); book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11:41); or the book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29:29)? What took place during the 40 day ministry found during Acts 1? What if there was something in one of those books that God wanted us to know?
My point in saying all of this is two fold.
1. We need prophets! Amos 3:7 says “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Only a prophet that receives revelation is in a position to tell us what should and should not be included in the “Word of God”. No monk, reformer, or scholar is in a position to make that declaration no matter how well intentioned he might be. To say the canon is closed would require a revelation in and of itself.
2. It takes just as much faith to declare that the Bible is true as it does to make the same declaration about the Book of Mormon being true.
Let me illustrate.
In Exodus 14 there is a man named Moses that parts the Red Sea. Literally…the Hebrews walk through on dry ground. In Joshua 10:12, the sun stood still and the moon didn’t move. So what this is saying is that the earth stopped rotating. In Genesis 19:24-26, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt. In Numbers 22:28-30 an ass speaks to his master. He tells him whats up! In Judges 14-16, Samson kills 1,000 Philistines by himself…with a jawbone of an ass. In Genesis 6, a guy named Noah builds a ship and him and his wife as well as 3 of their sons and their wives hop aboard. Oh yeah…along with two of every kind of animal, bird, and seed. The earth is subsequently flooded. We are yet to find the ark. In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are walking in the midst of a roaring furnace fire and remain unharmed. In 2 Kings 2:11 Elijah is taken up into heaven on a “chariot of fire”. In Matt 14:25-26, Jesus is walking on water. Even Peter takes a few steps on the water himself! To top it all off, we have the Virgin Birth and subsequent Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
These are just a few examples of things that happened in the Bible that most people accept without questioning. In Matt 23, Christ is confused by the Pharisees and their willingness to so easily accept the teachings and stories of Abraham and Moses but are so unwilling to even consider things that Christ was doing and teaching them at that exact moment. “A prophet hath no honor in his own country”…and in his own time I might add.
Does all this stuff seem unbelievable? Of course it does! And yet so many still believe. Why? Because they know as well as I know, that with God, all things are possible and who are we to question or limit Him in what He can or cannot do? Does it sound any more believable that God appeared to a boy prophet in a grove of trees and that an ancient record was buried in the earth from long ago?
So think about this for a second! Really think about it! So lets just say you believe the Bible, and you also believe its infallible. You understand that there are no original documents that you can source just to be sure, and even at that you have no proof that the things that were actually written in the original documents actually happened. With all of that faith…I’m so curious…how its so hard for someone to give the Book of Mormon a chance. So many people write off Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon because “there is no way that could happen these days” or because “my friend told me it was a fraud.” Well guess what. That is what people say about the Bible too…but do you believe them? No! So why not give the Book of Mormon a chance as well?
I tell you honestly…that I don’t know if I could even believe the Bible if I did not have a second witness in the Book of Mormon to testify of the things that took place in the Bible! Did you realize that one of the main reasons the Book of Mormon was written and compiled was to testify of the Bible and help people who were unsure of the veracity of the Bible?
For behold, this (Book of Mormon) is written for the intent that ye may believe that (Bible); and if ye believe that (Bible) ye will believe this (Book of Mormon) also; and if ye believe this (Book of Mormon) ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them. (Mormon 7:8-9)
I believe that the Lord saw the day we live in and that it would be full of skeptics and doubters. He knew that people would begin to doubt the reality of God and His Christ and the truthfulness of the Bible and so He called a prophet to translate an ancient record similar to the Bible as another testament of Jesus Christ.
All I’m trying to say is that if you’re willing to accept and believe the Bible, then why not give the Book of Mormon a chance. Both take faith, and if what happened in the Bible is possible, then what happened in the Book of Mormon is also possible. The Book of Mormon in no way contradicts the Bible. Rather, it reinforces it in every way shape and form. It is the stick of Joseph talked about in Ezek 37:15-17 and a record of the “other sheep” that Christ spoke about in John 10:16.
Just give it a try…