Saturday, March 20, 2010
From the time of Adam, God has commanded His prophets to record His revelations and His dealings with mankind. When prophets speak or write under the influence of the Holy Ghost, their words become scripture (see Doctrine and Covenants 68:4). The Bible is a book of scripture which is a collection of sacred writings. Its pages cover many centuries from the time of Adam through the years of the Apostles of Christ. Many different prophets wrote the words contained in the Bible, which is divided into two sections. The Old Testament contains much history of the people and many prophecies foretelling the coming of the Savior. The New Testament gives us information on the life of the Savior, who is Jesus Christ. Many truths lost from the Bible through the centuries were restored or corrected by Joseph Smith in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. It is a sacred record of some of the people who lived in the Americas between 2000 B.C. and 400 A.D. It contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It tells of the visit of Jesus Christ to the people in America soon after His resurrection. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon into English by the gift and power of God. He said that the Book of Mormon is "the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (introduction to the Book of Mormon). The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of modern-day revelations. This book contains revelations concerning the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days. The Pearl of Great Price contains the book of Moses, the book of Abraham and some inspired writings of Joseph Smith. The book of Moses is an account of visions and writings of Moses as revealed to Joseph Smith. It gives more information about the Creation as well as clarifying teachings and doctrines that have been lost from the Bible. The book of Abraham is a translation by Joseph Smith from a papyrus scroll taken from the Egyptian catacombs. This book contains information about the Creation, the gospel, the nature of God, the priesthood, and our premortal life. The writings of Joseph Smith include part of his inspired translation of the Bible, selections from his History of the Church, and the Articles of Faith. I treasure the words of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. I study them and try to live by them. I also treasure the words of our living prophets, which I also consider to be scripture. One of our Articles of Faith states, "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God" (Article of Faith 1:9). The scriptures are here for our benefit. We should study them every day and teach the truths from the scriptures to our children. Our children need to see us studying the scriptures and applying their teachings in our lives. Our children also need us to study the scriptures with them in order that they might learn to love the scriptures and live by the truths in them. We can avoid the evils of the world by feeding our minds with the truth and righteousness found in the scriptures. As we read, ponder, and pray about the scriptures, we will grow closer to God and to each other. When we sincerely and with real intent ask God to help us understand the scriptures, the Holy Ghost will bear witness to us of the truth of the scriptures. By studying the scriptures and receiving the testimony of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truth and avoid deception. I love to read the scriptures and feel the love of God through His words, through the words of His prophets, and through presence of the Holy Ghost.