Are the Bible and the Book of Mormon the Same?
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints use the Bible and Book of Mormon together to learn and live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
How Are They the Same?
The Bible and the Book of Mormons are alike in many ways. Foremost of these is that both of these holy books contain the life of Jesus Christ. They tell about Jesus Christ’s personal encounters with His people such as teaching, blessing and healing them. Both scriptures also have the writings of prophets and apostles, which basically preach about the love, mercy and how to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Together, the Bible and the Book of Mormon carry the same purpose: to invite all people to follow Jesus Christ, follow his commandments and be saved through His grace.
How Are They Different?
The significant difference between the Bible and the Book of Mormon is the period and place of writing. The Bible is the works of the prophets and historians based in the Middle East, and it covers ancient years of history starting from God’s creation of the world until about AD100.
On the other hand, the Book of Mormon was primarily written in the Americas. It tells of a thousand years that dates back from 600 B.C. to A.D. 400. It all started when a man named Lehi left Jerusalem and went with his family in a promised land in the Americas because of God’s warning. They took with them their scriptures, including the books of Moses and the writings of Isaiah, which are found in the Old Testament.
When Jesus Christ resurrected near Jerusalem after His crucifixion and death, He visited the people of the Book of Mormon. He preached among them, blessed and healed the people, and came to established His Church.
Though the accounts told in the Bible and the Book of Mormon had happened on opposite sides of the world, they are bind with the same purpose and meaning: to teach and testify of Jesus Christ.
Both holy books go hand in hand in providing the knowledge about Jesus Christ, His life, teachings and commandments.
Why Do We Need Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon?
The best reason why we need the Bible and the Book of Mormon is that they complement each other, which means they bond and strengthen each other. This simple illustration can significantly explain the idea.
How many straight lines one can draw starting from a single point on a piece of paper? Definitely, it will be thousands, more so it’s infinite. If the point referred to is the Bible, and the lines drawn are the different interpretations of its contents, then it will result into different faith and beliefs. This is the main cause why different Christian churches exist.
Now if another point is drawn on the paper, how many lines will it need to connect both points? The answer will be: only one. This second point represents the Book of Mormon; so it just shows that both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are interconnected.
A good example to figure out is “baptism”…what it means, its essence and importance. This can be a subject for different interpretations, as many of the present Christian churches can’t come up with a single understanding, from which disagreements may arise. The Bible teaches about baptism, and it says: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5), and Jesus told his Apostles to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).
The Book of Mormon affirms baptism. During the time when Jesus Christ visited the people in the Book of Mormon, He taught: “Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day” (3 Nephi 27:20).
The Book of Mormon also answered and clarified whether infants and little children need to be baptized. A prophet taught his son that because children won’t be able to know if what they have done is a sin “little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins” (Moroni 8:11).
When the Bible and Book of Mormon are read together, it collaborates to clearly state that baptism is a commandment and that it is part of repentance.
How Does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Use the Bible and the Book of Mormon?
The Bible and the Book of Mormon are studied together by the members of the Church. Both holy books go hand in hand in providing the knowledge about Jesus Christ, His life, teachings, and commandments. During Sunday classes held around the world, different volumes of scriptures are rotated to be read and studied by Church members each year. These scriptures can be the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants (revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith). The Church has made its own versions of the scriptures and has published them with thousands of cross-references made between both holy books. A comprehensive guide for all those who would come to read it includes references to both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Why Does It Matter?
The Book of Mormon is a proof that God’s love is universal and endless, and that it knows no boundaries. It shows how it extends beyond the lands and people of the Bible, when read together, the Bible and Book of Mormon support and strengthen each other in witnessing and affirming of Jesus Christ.