The Bible

Are Mormons “Bible-believing” Christians?

A photo of two Sister Mormon Missionaries studying the scriptures together at a table.Some members of other Christian denominations do not consider Mormons Christians, because they have added to the body of scripture. Mormons are indeed Christians.

As it says in the Book of Mormon… And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins (2 Nephi 25:26).

And in the Pearl of Great Price

Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous judge, who shall come in the meridian of time (Moses 6:57).

And in the Doctrine and Covenants

The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming our Lord and Savior Jesus in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April—

Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jun., who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church;

And to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand;

And this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory, both now and forever. Amen (Doctrine and Covenants 20:1-4).

All three of these scriptural books uphold the Holy Bible as the word of God. Nothing in these three books opposes any part of the Bible. Mormons study all the “Standard Works”: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants.

The Latter-day Saints have a great reverence and love for the Bible. They study it and try to live its teachings. They treasure its witness of the life and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Prophet Joseph Smith studied the Bible all his life, and he taught its precepts. He testified that a person who can

…mark the power of Omnipotence, inscribed upon the heavens, can also see God’s own handwriting in the sacred volume: and he who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the hand [of the Lord] wherever he can see it” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 56).

The version of the Bible commonly used by English-speaking members of the Church is the King James Version. The Sunday School course of study in the Mormon Church’s gospel doctrine class lasts for four years. The first year’s focus of study is the Old Testament and the Pearl of Great Price. The second year focuses on the New Testament. The third year focus is the Book of Mormon. The fourth year’s focus of study is the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history. Then the four-year schedule begins again. In past decades two years were devoted to the Old Testament because of its size.

The Latter-day Saint Edition of the Combined Scriptures

In 1979 the Church published a new edition of the combined scriptures. This work, guided by the General Authorities from its beginnings, represents an important achievement that has resulted in scriptural editions more easily read and understood than any editions yet published in this dispensation.

The need for a Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible came from an abundance of Bibles rather than a lack of them. Since the early 1920s the official missionary editions of the Bible had been published by Deseret Book Company through special arrangements with Cambridge University Press. President Heber J. Grant and Elder James E. Talmage made arrangements for the Church to use the Cambridge King James Version, with the addition of Elder Talmage’s “Ready References,” between the Old and New Testaments.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s the Department of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion published editions of the standard works for students. At the same time the Primary Association produced its own large-print, inexpensive edition of the King James Bible which contained no study aids. Bookcraft Publishers produced a King James Version that included notes and commentary by Elder Milton R. Hunter.

Like the new LDS edition, all these editions were the King James Version. The text of each was the familiar King James translation, but they were vastly different in their study aids and explanatory materials. Yet all were being used in Church curricula.

During 1971 a research paper by Grant Barton focused the attention of the General Authorities on the need for a unified Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Bible. The paper noted the confusion of having a Primary student use one edition of the Bible, asking him to use another style in seminary, and then providing him with a third for his mission.

Another important factor which focused the attention of the Brethren on the need for a unified Bible and an improved Triple Combination (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) was the decision to center the Church’s adult curriculum on the four standard works, using the scriptures themselves as student manuals. This curriculum program began in 1972.

These and other issues were carefully studied by the former Church Internal Communications Department, which planned and prepared Church curricula. The managing director of the department, J. Thomas Fyans (who has since become a General Authority), received permission from President Joseph Fielding Smith to recommend what might be done with the standard works. Brother Fyans and his associates began the unified effort to produce one Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Version and to improve study aids in the Triple Combination. [1]

The most talented scholars in the Church, the General Authorities of the Church, and the Cambridge University Press joined forces to create the new edition of the Standard Works (combined scriptures) of the Church. No text in any of the scriptures was changed. However, a new system of footnotes was devised, and careful cross-referencing was done. The work included complex indexing and added appendices.

The annotated scriptures developed by the Church include a “Topical Guide.” The Topical Guide with Selected Concordance and Index” is found in the appendix. This section contains 3,154 entries. More than 600 of these are to gospel topics where the most significant passages in all the scriptures are listed. The other full entries are a concordance of selected references from all the scriptures.

There is also a Bible Dictionary, which is located in the appendix of the Bible. The dictionary is based on the Cambridge University Press Bible Dictionary, but it contains many additions and changes to reflect the additional light and knowledge the Lord has revealed in our day. The dictionary’s preface informs us, however, that many of the items in the dictionary have been drawn from the best available scholarship of the world and are subject to reevaluation based on new research or on new revelation (see Bible Dictionary Preface). The dictionary can provide helpful insights to aid in scripture study. References to the Bible Dictionary are not only found in the Bible, but also in the other standard works.

Also included in the appendix are a Gazetteer and Maps: The gazetteer lists references to place-names shown on the maps by letter and number. This section is helpful in locating places mentioned in the Maps section that follows it.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created a beautiful collection of Bible videos for people of all faiths. You can view the LDS Bible videos here.

You can also order a free King James Bible from The Church of Jesus Christ here.

The Miracle of the Holy Bible.

Article Name
The Bible
Mormons study all the "Standard Works": the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine and Covenants.
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