Shortly after his death, the Savior appeared to the inhabitants of the ancient Americas as the resurrected Lord with a body of flesh and bones.
OK, let’s stop right there. This is really fascinating. Hello, Saints. My name is Jeff. I am a Christian pastor learning everything I can about the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter day Saints. And in this video, I’m going to be talking about the Book of Mormon. It is the basis of the LDS Church. And the LDS Church YouTube channel has put out a video explaining what the Book of Mormon is. So I’m going to watch it, I’m going to learn, I’m going to react, and I’m going to give you my perspective. So let’s do it.
The Book of Mormon. What is it? And why do members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints care so much about it? Mormons, properly referred to as Latterday Saints, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints read and revere the Bible as all Christians do. But they read and believe in an additional book called the Book of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ. For them, it’s not a replacement for the Bible. It’s not a substitute. It’s a companion. Just as the Bible is scripture, the book of Mormon is also scripture. Let’s talk a little about what Scriptures are and how they come about. The word Scripture means sacred or religious writings. Scriptures are written by God’s spokesman called prophets, his representatives. Although God often teaches and communicates with his children individually, something Latterday Saints call personal revelation, when God interacts with or teaches his children as a people, his prophets record those events and teachings for the benefit of all.
Okay, so right off the bat here, the description of what the Scriptures are, what the Bible is and how it comes about is pretty consistent with what is taught in the rest of Christianity that God gives revelation to specific individuals and they write it down for the benefit of those who are following God. Let’s keep going.
The Holy Bible is one example of scripture. It is an account of God’s interactions and teachings with the people in and around of the eastern Mediterranean region before, during, and after the ministry of Jesus Christ. It is a collection of writings, both spiritual and historical, written by prophets.
So one thing that’s sticking out to me right here is the specificity of the timing and the location of when the Bible was written. Whenever I’m teaching people how to read the Bible, how to study the Bible, understanding who was originally written to when and why is really important to understanding what is being David. So pointing out that the Bible was written to a specific people at a specific time is important, and I appreciate that that’s being pointed out.
In the Holy Bible, there are miraculous stories of faith, sacrifice, trial and love. You might have heard of Noah and the Ark or moses and the children of Israel, and of course, the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These stories and events were written down, collected, and shared from generation to generation. They were eventually compiled into a collection of scripture, a book called the Holy Bible. Originally written in both Hebrew and Greek, the Bible has since been translated into English and hundreds of other languages available throughout the world.
Okay, so as they wrap up the section on what the Bible is, why it was written, how it was written, how it was translated, I’m tracking, I think that this is a pretty good representation of how all of Christianity regards the Scriptures, regards the Bible, and why we believe it to be so important to what we believe and why we believe it.
What about the people that lived beyond the geographical setting of the Bible, outside the Mediterranean area? What kind of interaction did God have with them?
That’s a really good question. That’s a question that I think a lot of people in Christianity, especially in America, wonder about. What about people who weren’t in the proximity of where God was doing his work through the Jewish people in the Old Testament or the Hebrew people and what Jesus was doing and the impact that he was making in and around Israel during his lifetime? What about the people that lived in other parts of the world? So this is a really fascinating question that a lot of people wonder about, and this is actually being addressed here as we explore more about the Book of Mormon.
Well, in the Bible from the Book of John, jesus revealed to his disciples in Jerusalem and other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. Some of these other sheep to which Jesus refers are the inhabitants of the ancient Americas who lived at that time.
Okay, so I’m gonna need to pause right there because this really is straying from my understanding of that specific passage. It was just quoted in John and is a bit of a stretch to tie to the people in the Americas. Let me explain why in that specific passage in John, jesus is actually talking to the Jewish people, the people that were of the house of God throughout the entirety of the Old Testament. And what he’s explaining is that he didn’t just come for the Jewish people, but he came for anybody who had put their faith in him. So essentially gentiles or non Jesus. So this tie to people in America is a bit of a stretch because from what I understand, the LDS church teaches that the people in America are actually of Hebrew descent. So I’m not sure that this syncs up with how I would handle that passage in John.
The Book of Mormon is a compilation of the sacred writings of many generations of the people that lived there and received instruction and teachings from God. They had prophets who, just like the Bible, recorded spiritual and historical events over thousands of years. The crowning event in the Book of Mormon is the account of Jesus Christ ministering to the other sheep, as he said he would shortly after his death, the Savior appeared to the inhabitants of the ancient Americas as the resurrected Lord with a body of flesh and bones, as he did in his earthly ministry in Jerusalem. Jesus taught the inhabitants his gospel, and they recorded it. They handed it down to future generations through prophets, leaders, and other inspired individuals.
Okay, let’s stop right there. This is really fascinating. So, on one hand, this is an effort to answer the question we were talking about earlier, about the people who lived in the Americas during the time of Jesus. And what this really highlights to me is how firmly the LDS Church adheres to and holds to what we were talking about a second ago, where scriptures are written to a specific people at a specific time. What I’m learning here is that the Eldius Church holds that really firmly and believes that the Holy Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament were specifically for the people in the eastern Mediterranean and in that part in and around Israel. But that the Book of Mormon is specifically for the people in the Americas. But there’s a big question that’s looming in my mind, and that is, does the information that’s outlined in the Book of Mormon match what is in the Bible? Because there’s nothing in the Bible that indicates that at any point jesus was going to sort of reincarnate or appear to people in other parts of the world. That’s not something that’s taught about or foreshadowed or indicated in the Bible, which makes me pause as to how plausible it is that he would have done it as it’s outlined here in the Book of Mormon.
So how did the Book of Mormon get its name? Who is Mormon and what does he have to do with this Book of Scripture? In the fourth century Ad. Again in the Americas, there lived a prophet and historian named Mormon. He was charged by God to abridge all of the scriptural records that have been kept and passed down from past prophets. In that part of the world, mormon engraved the abridgement on gold plates in a language his people called Reformed Egyptian. As Mormon was the prophet whom God called to compile the centuries of records. The book carries his name, the Book of Mormon. At the end of his life, he passed these engraved plates to his son Moroni, also a prophet of God, who was last to add to the book. Before he died, Moroni buried the gold plates in a stone box on a hillside in what is now upstate New York. 1400 years later, in 1000 823, this same prophet moroni. Now a resurrected being appeared to the prophet Joseph Smith. He told Joseph about the gold plates, showed him where to find them, and commanded him to translate the record into English, which Joseph did under the power and inspiration of God.
And since then, the Book of Mormon has been translated into over 100 languages and is, like the Holy Bible, also available throughout the world as an additional book of sacred writings written by God’s scripture.
Okay, so this is a really fascinating piece of information here. This idea that Joseph Smith received the ability to translate the Book of Mormon from gold plates into English under the inspiration or power of God, that is something that is incredibly unique to the Book of Mormon. And I don’t know of any occurrence of that taking place with the writers of the Old Testament or the New Testament. The writers of the Bible received revelation from God and wrote it in their native language. And then after that, people would translate it into other languages so that it could be read and understood. But the fact that Joseph Smith was translating these gold plates from reformed Egyptian, which is a language I’m not familiar with, I’ve never heard of that before, but I’m also not a linguist, so I should probably just do some research and maybe make a video on it. But to take it from reformed Egyptian to English by the power of God is incredibly unique and is not at all how the rest of the Bible was written. And I think that’s important for me to point out, because up to this point in this video, there’s been this comparison to how similar the Bible is to the Book of Mormon with the people that it was written by and who it was written to and the reasons that it was written.
So this is a pretty big difference that I think is worth pointing out.
So what’s in the Book of Mormon. As stated on its introduction page. The Book of Mormon puts forth the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Outlines God’s plan of happiness for his children. And tells them what they must do to gain peace in this life and obtain salvation and eternal life with God nephews. An early prophet found in the Book of Mormon preached. 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. In fact, the Book of Mormon has over 500 pages containing nearly 3500 references to the Savior Jesus Christ. It testifies of Jesus Christ. It declares the mission of the Savior. It reveals the gospel of Jesus Christ and clarifies doctrine.
Okay, so I’m learning that there’s a lot of information in the Book of Mormon that really does point to Jesus, to why he came and what he came to do. I think that leads to a question, though, about who Jesus is. Is that Jesus in the Book of Mormon described the same way that he’s described in the Bible, not just on, like, personality and character, but what about his origin? Where does Jesus come from? Is that consistent in the Book of Mormon? Whenever you read how that is described in the Bible, is Jesus considered God, for example? Because the Bible teaches that Jesus is God. If the Book of Mormon doesn’t teach that or if it teaches any information that’s different about Jesus, though, the Book of Mormon might use the name Jesus and point to the mission of Jesus. If it contradicts what the Bible teaches, I think that puts me in a place of wondering. We’re using the same name, but are we talking about the same Jesus? That’s a really important question that I have as I continue to learn about the content of the Book of Mormon and the stuff that’s taught about Jesus and his mission for mankind.
As the bible contains the old testament and the new testament, the book of Mormon is yet another testament of Jesus Christ. It is another witness of God’s dealings with his children in a different part of the world. The Bible and the Book of Mormon work together to teach and testify of the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s dealings with his children.
Okay, this is fascinating because I really am seeing an effort to be made to show how similar the Book of Mormon is and where it comes from, how it came about, and to whom it came about, trying to make a parallel connection to how the Bible came about. But as a pastor, there’s a few questions that are looming in my mind. There’s a lot of what we can see in the Bible that has extra biblical evidence around it as far as cities and people and archeology that sort of corroborates the writing of the Scriptures into whom it came. For example, you’ll find excavations of areas where battles took place, and there’s evidence of those battles. And there’s also evidence of the Bible being passed through generations on manuscripts. And we have the Dead Sea Scrolls. Which. If you don’t know the story about the Dead Sea Scrolls. You need to check it out because it’s pretty magnificent that there were scrolls that were found in the early to mid 20th century. And there are portions of scriptures going all the way back into the Old Testament. Which gives evidence to the writing of the Bible.
The preservation of the Bible. My question is, does that same evidence exist regarding the story that surrounds the Book of Mormon as far as people and places, archeological finds around cities and battles? Because I think that is one thing that I have heard, that that evidence doesn’t exist for the Book of Mormon like it does for the Bible, which is one of the reasons why there’s a pause for the rest of Christianity when it comes to considering the Book of Mormon as an actual sacred text or Scripture when it’s lacking extra biblical evidence. Let’s keep watching.
Today. Millions of Latter day Saints believe the Book of Mormon another testament of Jesus Christ to be scripture. They believe it is the word of God to his children and stands as a companion to the Holy Bible. God loves his children and wants them to know about him, learn of Him and his son Jesus Christ. He has provided holy Scripture to show his children the way through living. The teachings found in the Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible, they can find peace in this life and salvation in the life to come. The book of what it is, where it came from and what it teaches. Now you know.
Now I know. That was really well done. It was very helpful, super informational. To summarize my reaction, I think that there is an agreement on understanding where the origin of the Bible came from and what it is and to whom it was written and why it was written. When it gets into the idea of there being sort of an extra Biblical Testament of Jesus, that makes me ask a lot of questions about whether there is archeological or extra biblical proofs of what the Book of Mormon claims. Are the teachings in the Book of Mormon consistent with the teachings of the Bible? Because where there’s a contradiction, that gives me pause to embrace the Book of Mormon and also is the Jesus that’s talked about though it’s the same name, is it the same Jesus that’s described in the Bible? Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out a very specific passage in the Bible that might be one of the biggest reasons why I’m slow to embrace the Book of Mormon. And it’s a passage on in Galatians that says, but even if we or an angel from heaven should preach the gospel other than the one we preach to you, let them be under God’s curse.
What I believe the Bible teaches. And what is taught in the rest of Christianity is that after the Old and the New Testament were revealed and given to us by God. That there was no more revelation to come. That Jesus is the revelation of God’s character and will in flesh. And that everything that’s taught about in the Bible. About who he is. Why he came. Is sufficient for salvation and reconciliation before God. So anything that comes after the Old and the New Testament and claims to be an additional revelation. Even if it’s from an angel and presents a gospel that is unique and is a bit of a different spin on the gospel that is taught in the New Testament. These are all questions that we ask in the rest of the Christian community that makes us slow to embrace the Book of Mormon. But at the end of the day, here’s the other thing. I haven’t read the Book of Mormon yet, and I’m going to. And as I do, I’ll provide my reaction. But I’m glad I got this foundational knowledge of what it is and why the LDS church embraces it. And it’s really helpful for me to understand its importance as it relates to the LDS church and the Mormon people.
But what are your thoughts? Leave a comment below. Let’s talk about it and keep it respectful. Also, I’d love it if you checked out my patreon where you can just support this channel or you can get a sneak peek behind the scenes and even interact with me personally and keep coming back here to watch more videos because I got more to make, I got more to talk about. I got more to learn about. So until then, I’ll see you later. Saints.
Download the FREE Skylight spiritual wellness app