Chapter 10: Scriptures

"Chapter 10: Scriptures," Part Three: Communicating with God, ()


Our Father in Heaven has given us four sacred books to help us. Do you know the names of these four books?

Our Father in Heaven Shows His Love for Us by Giving Us Sacred Writings

Our Father in Heaven has told the prophets to write the things He wants us to know. These writings are called scriptures. They are very sacred because the things that are in them come from our Father in Heaven. They are greater and more important than anything a person could write without our Father in Heaven’s help.

Our Father in Heaven gives us these writings to help us. By reading them we can learn of our Father in Heaven’s great plan for us. We can learn about our life with Him before we were born. We can learn about Jesus Christ. We can learn the things we must do to be happy and become like our Father in Heaven.

These writings help us learn that our Father in Heaven loves us and wants us to do the right things. They tell us about other people who learned about our Father in Heaven. They tell us that He loves all people. We read in these scriptures that when people choose to obey our Father in Heaven, they are happy, and He helps them. When they do not obey Him, they are not happy and do not receive His help.

Discussion

  • What are the scriptures?

  • What can we learn from the scriptures?

We Have Four Books of Scripture

The four books of scripture are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. They all contain the words of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. They all teach the true teachings of our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.

The Bible

The Bible contains our Father in Heaven’s words given to people from the time of Adam to the time when the Apostles* of Jesus lived. These words are also for us to study and follow today. The Bible is divided into two parts. These are the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament starts with the story of how our Father in Heaven created the earth and sent the first man and woman to earth. The Old Testament contains the stories of many prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, Israel, Moses, Isaiah, and Elijah. The stories tell how our Father in Heaven helped the people when they did what was good. It also explains that when the people did not listen to the prophets and did not obey our Father in Heaven’s teachings, they could not receive His help.

The New Testament is the second part of the Bible. It tells the story of the birth and life of Jesus on earth. It contains some of Jesus’ beautiful teachings and many stories of His love for the people and how He helped them. It explains how He called Apostles from among His followers and how He taught these Apostles and gave them authority to do His work. His followers knew He was the Lord. Later writers called Him the Lord Jesus Christ.

The New Testament tells how Jesus suffered and died for all. The New Testament ends with the stories of how His Apostles taught others about Him, the things that will happen before Jesus comes again, and the end of the world.

The people of the world did not accept the Apostles but laughed at them, persecuted them, and killed them. When all of the Apostles and prophets were dead, there was no one left to write the words of our Father in Heaven.

The Bible contains the words of our Father in Heaven as far as it is translated correctly.

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon contains our Father in Heaven’s teachings to people who lived on the American continents. Parts of this record were written 2,000 years before Jesus Christ was born. Another part begins about 600 years before Jesus Christ and ends 400 years after He was born. This book contains important teachings of our Father in Heaven. The Book of Mormon was written to help people then and now to know that Jesus is the Savior of all the world.

Most of the Book of Mormon tells about a group of people who traveled from Jerusalem to the American continent. They made the journey 600 years before Jesus Christ was born. They were led by a prophet named Lehi and his son Nephi. Two of the brothers of Nephi were wicked and would not obey their father. They were called Laman and Lemuel.

When Lehi died, the members of his family separated into two groups. Those who followed Nephi were called Nephites. Those who followed Laman were called Lamanites. These small groups grew to be great nations. The Nephites and the Lamanites fought many wars against each other. Our Father in Heaven blessed and protected the people who were obeying His commandments.

Our Father in Heaven chose many prophets to teach and lead His people in America. The stories of their lives and their teachings are found in the Book of Mormon. Some of the most important prophets in this book are Nephi, Jacob, Benjamin, Alma, Mormon, and Moroni. All of these men wrote the history of our Father in Heaven’s people in America. Mormon took these records written by the prophets and put them together in one book.

The prophets told the people that Jesus would come to visit their land after He completed His work in Jerusalem. Jesus did appear to the good people in America. He taught them His gospel* and the things they must do to return to our Father in Heaven after they died.

The people believed Jesus and obeyed Him for many years. They were good and lived in peace. Then they started to forget about Jesus. They stopped listening to their prophets. They did only wicked things.

Mormon, one of the last prophets in the book, gave the history of his people, the Nephites, to his son Moroni. After all his people were killed in a great battle with the Lamanites, Moroni buried in a hill the history that the prophets had written of his people.

The history remained buried in the hill for hundreds of years. Finally, in 1820, our Father in Heaven chose Joseph Smith to be His prophet and sent Moroni, a resurrected* being, to show Joseph where the history was buried. Joseph translated the history into English. It is known today as the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon was written to show that our Father in Heaven knows and loves people everywhere on earth. The Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus is the Savior of all the people on earth and is the Son of our Father in Heaven.

The Doctrine and Covenants

The Doctrine and Covenants contains the words of our Father in Heaven to people of modern times. It contains instructions for organizing the Church of Jesus Christ. It explains the duties of the members and leaders. It also contains teachings that had been lost for a long time to the people of the world. It explains some teachings of the Bible.

The Doctrine and Covenants has messages for us who live today. It warns us of the things that will come if we do not obey our Father in Heaven. It also tells us about the wonderful things our Father in Heaven has prepared for us if we obey Him.

The Pearl of Great Price

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 contains visions that our Father in Heaven gave to Moses. It explains the Creation of the earth. It contains teachings that were lost from the Bible.

The book of Abraham tells about the Creation of the earth and about our Father in Heaven and His power.

The writings of Joseph Smith tell how our Father in Heaven called him to be a prophet. They also include some of his translation of the Bible and statements explaining some of the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These statements are called the Articles of Faith.

The prophet of our Father in Heaven who lives today also writes things that our Father in Heaven tells him. Our Father in Heaven has made known many great and important things to prophets in the past. He continues to make known great and important things to His prophet today.

Discussion

  • What are the four books of scripture we have today?

  • Why is each of these books important to us?

Our Father in Heaven Will Help Us When We Study the Scriptures

In the scriptures, our Father in Heaven teaches us His plan for us to return to Him. By studying the scriptures we can learn the things He wants us to know and do. If we do not study the scriptures, we will not know what is in them. We will not know what our Father in Heaven wants us to do.

We need to study the scriptures every day. We should also read to our families from the scriptures. We should help our families understand the scriptures. We should teach our children that these are sacred books that come from our Father in Heaven. We should help them to know what is in these books and to be grateful for them.

Discussion

  • How will our Father in Heaven help us when we read the scriptures?

References

Our Father in Heaven Shows His Love for Us by Giving Us Sacred Writings

We Have Four Books of Scripture

Our Father in Heaven Will Help Us When We Study the Scriptures

  • John 5:39 (Study the scriptures. They will help us to return to our Father in Heaven.)

  • Mormon 7 (Scriptures teach us the things that we must know.)

  • Moroni 10:3–5 (The Holy Ghost will help us to know that the scriptures are true.)