95946_000_008Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
I’ve been studying the Book of Mormon, but the Bible seems boring. Should I read and study the Bible just as much as the Book of Mormon?
The Bible is essential to the gospel. Through studying the Bible, we can learn of God’s dealings with man from the beginning. We can learn about the sacrifice of Adam, the courage of Daniel, the faith of Elijah, and the prophecies of the prophets. The Bible also contains a record of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry and testifies of his divinity. The Bible and the Book of Mormon go together, each supporting the other. In fact the eighth article of faith says, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” [A of F 1:8]
Jesus Christ himself taught from the Bible and told his disciples that the prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled with him. He helped them understand what the scriptures meant. “These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44–45).
Jesus Christ not only taught his followers in the Holy Land about the importance of reading the words of the prophets recorded in the scriptures, he also taught the scriptures to the people in the New World when he appeared to the Nephites after his resurrection. “And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them” (3 Ne. 23:14).
One of the first experiences recorded in the Book of Mormon is the story of Nephi and his brothers being called by the Lord to return to the city of Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates. These plates were a copy of the scriptures from the prophets from Adam to Lehi’s time, including Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Isaiah. It was essential that Nephi and his people have a copy of the scriptures as they traveled to a new land, so that they might preserve “the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and power of God, since the world began” (1 Ne. 3:20).
The Book of Mormon was the record kept by the Nephites in the New World of the Lord’s dealings with his righteous people. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In fact, in recent years, a subtitle has been added to the title of the Book of Mormon stating to the world that it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Even after you see the importance of the Bible, you may have difficulty reading it straight through. Just as in studying or learning about any subject, you need to start with the simple and work up to the more complex.
If you have younger brothers and sisters, read to them from the children’s versions of Bible stories available through the Church’s distribution centers. Then when you read the same stories in the original, you will already have some familiarity with them.
Arrange to check out the Church-approved New Media Bible Series of videotapes from your meetinghouse library.
Pray about your study of the scriptures. You will find that the more you read and study and pray, the more you will understand.
Remember the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand. To have the fulness and understanding of the gospel, you must read and study both.
Onnicka Osbourne, 19 Portmore, Jamaica
Reading both the Bible and the Book of Mormon helps the Holy Spirit abide with us even more powerfully. Both are testifying about Jesus Christ and his Second Coming.
Anselmo Baca, 17 Villanueva, New Mexico
Remember that the Book of Mormon is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” not to replace the Bible but to support it.
Mindy Anderson, 15 Hillsboro, Oregon
As I study the Book of Mormon, I am drawn to cross-references in the Old and New Testaments. Studying these increases my understanding of both the Old and New Testament, and I realize how important they are.
Elder Richard Pye, 19 England Birmingham Mission
If you recall, it was Joseph Smith who got the advice to pray from a passage in James. What if he never thought to look in the Bible for advice? As you read about Christ in the ancient Americas in the Book of Mormon, you also read about most of his life in the Bible. Pray to our Father in Heaven that he might help you be intrigued by the Bible. If you truly listen and are alert, he’ll tell you what you should do.
Britt Bennett, 15 Hanley Falls, Minnesota
I feel that as a missionary I can’t go without my companion. So also the Book of Mormon cannot go without a companion. Studying the Book of Mormon and the Bible together has strengthened my testimony.
Elder Aboagye, 23 Nigeria Lagos Mission