Sunday, May 10, 2009

LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard Proclaims The Importance Of The Bible And Its Equality To The Book Of Mormon In Mormon Theology

The Eighth Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints states, "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."

However, the "translation" clause attached to the Bible has been the cause of misunderstanding among the general public and has fueled opposition among anti-Mormons. It makes it appear that we accord the Bible second-class citizenship in the scriptural lineup. Further muddying the picture is a statement once made by the Prophet Joseph Smith in which he said that the Book of Mormon was the most "correct" book upon the face of the earth.

But the fact is, the Bible is not "second-class" scripture. As Latter-day Saints, we consider the Bible to be equal in value and importance to the Book of Mormon. The "translation" clause is not a conditional clause, but simply an explanatory clause in which we cite the known limitation of the Bible. In the YouTube video embedded below, Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve, spends nearly 10 minutes explaining the value of the Bible further:

It is also well-known that the Prophet Joseph Smith did attempt to translate the Bible itself through revelation. However, he was assassinated before he could complete the task. Dissident Mormons who chose not to follow the main body of the Saints to Utah retained custody of his work and published the Joseph Smith Translation, then known as the Inspired Version, in 1867. But we cannot be certain about the validity of any additional changes they made to it, so we do not use the Joseph Smith Translation (JST). Instead, we use the King James Version. The JST is the official Bible of the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Unlike many Evangelical Christians who consider the Bible to be the "inerrant" Word of God, we Mormons do not consider the Bible nor any of our other standard works to be inerrant, since they were all recorded by imperfect people using imperfect syntax. Imperfection cannot produce perfection. Instead, we consider the scriptures to be "authoritative", meaning that despite any imperfections, we take authority from them. Because we also believe in the process of continually-available revelation from the Lord, this can further compensate for any errancy in the scriptures.

Review the LDS Church's official Gospel Library to find out more about how we view the Bible. In addition, a longtime LDS blogger, Jeff Lindsay, has compiled an FAQ page that is useful in explaining the Latter-day Saints' view of the Bible in depth. A post on Free Republic also provides a good overview.

You can also visit to chat live with a missionary, or to find out the location of the nearest LDS congregation.


  1. all 3 middle eastern jew based religions are based upon pure bullshit and mythology.

  2. Hey, anonymous? Where does that put the Mormons? Just curious...what do you think A.A.?
    You are a member of the LDS right? Or is that a ploy to try and recruit? Kind of hard to recruit when a good number in the LDS church aren't "white".


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