Does the Book of Mormon Quote the King James Bible?

By Keith Brown

The Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ) contains many linguistic similarities to the King James Bible. In some instances, entire passages of scripture are duplicated in the Book of Mormon. At other times the source is acknowledged as in the book of Second Nephi, where 18 chapters of the book of Isaiah are quoted. There are some 478 verses in the Book of Mormon which are quoted in some form or other from the book of Isaiah. Of these verses, one Mormon scholar notes that 201 of them match the King James version of the quote and another 207 show variations. In addition, 58 quotes from Isaiah found in the Book of Mormon are paraphrased versions of those found in the King James Bible. [1]

The Existence of Biblical passages

The existence of biblical passages in the Book of Mormon is explained in the text as being the result of Lehi’s family bringing with them a set of “brass plates” from Jerusalem containing the writings of Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and several prophets not mentioned in the Bible. Regarding this record, 1 Nephi 5:10-13 states: [1]

And after they had given thanks unto the God of Israel, my father, Lehi, took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning. And he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents; and also a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah; and also the prophecies of the holy prophets, from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah; and also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah.

Stephen R. Gibson, author of One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions stated:

Of the approximately 264 thousand words in the Book of Mormon, about 17 thousand are close parallels to the King James translation of the Bible. Most parallel verses occurred when Nephi quoted the Isaiah of the Old Testament using records on brass plates brought from Jerusalem. Other parallels occurred when the resurrected Savior repeated his Sermon on the Mount to the Nephites and then quoted Malachi at length. In both cases, we are told in the text that these are quotations of scriptures that had been recorded elsewhere.

Why would God render the Book of Mormon translation into KJV English?

As more than one LDS scholar has pointed out, the KJV English was the accepted scriptural language of Joseph Smith’s day. When Jesus, the Apostles, or even the angel Gabriel quote scriptures in the New Testament they do not quote from some ancient and perhaps original source. Instead they quote from the Septuagint—the Greek version of the Old Testament, which was the accepted Bible of New Testament readers. “When ‘holy men of God’ quote the scriptures,” notes Nibley, “it is always in the received standard version of the people they are addressing…” Likewise, the scriptural language of Joseph Smith’s day was King James English. Quite often when other ancient texts— such as the Dead Sea Scrolls—are translated into English, they—like the Book of Mormon—are rendered into King James English. One can hardly chide Joseph for doing the very same thing that modern scholars often do when translating ancient religious texts. [2]

Stephen R. Gibson further stated:

LDS scholars generally agree that in instances where the Book of Mormon parallels the Bible, Joseph Smith must have noted the parallels and used the King James Bible to guide him in his choice of words. If the Book of Mormon agreed with the Biblical text in meaning, he apparently utilized the Biblical text, italicized words and all. However, when the plates differed from the Biblical text, he followed the text on the plates.

Since the ultimate source of the teachings of the Book of Mormon is Christ, and since the ultimate source of the teachings of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) is also Christ, it should surprise no one that there are many parallels between the Book of Mormon and Bible passages. While one cannot conclusively prove that Joseph Smith used a Kings James Bible as an aid in translating the parallel passages, that explanation is reasonable. (Stephen R. Gibson, One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 21-22)

Does the Book of Mormon Contradict the Bible?

By Keith Brown

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints testify that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of their religion, and it is indeed Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints further testify that the Book of Mormon does not purport to detract from the Holy Bible in any way, but rather it enhances the teachings found in the Bible. Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible testify that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Divine Son of God. And so, if Latter-day Saints claim that the Book of Mormon and the Bible compliment one another, why do there appear to be contradictions between the two?

As an example, in the Bible, in the New Testament book of Acts it says that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The Book of Mormon records that there were people called Christians in approximately 72 B.C. In Alma 46:13-16 are found these words (see also Alma 48:10):

And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land. For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church. And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come. And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.

Stephen R. Gibson, author of One Minute Answers published by Horizon Publishers stated:

It doesn’t take a lot of scholarship to know there is no contradiction in this situation. “Christian” wasn’t the original word used in either the Biblical text or on the plates in the Book of Alma. “Christian” is an English word, and neither the Bible or the Book of Mormon was originally written in English.

A dictionary definition of the word “Christian” is, “A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.” In the Book of Mormon, Lehi and his family carried the plates of brass that they had obtained from Laban as they departed the Old World (see 1 Nephi 4). The plates contained “the prophecies of the holy prophets, from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah; and also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah” (1 Nephi 5:13). Therefore, it follows that the ancient people known as Nephites knew about the prophecies that had been foretold about the coming Messiah/Christ (The word “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew word “Messiah”). Furthermore, the Book of Mormon records many more prophecies by New World prophets of the coming Messiah/Christ. All those who believed in the prophecies were known as “Messiah-believers” or, equivalently, “Christ-believers.” Therefore, all pre-Christian era Israelites who believed in the coming Messiah/Christ would have been considered Christians in this sense. This is the sense we find in the Book of Mormon. In translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith used the English word “Christian” to convey the meaning instead of the original Nephite word which was used.

Additional Resources:

The Lord Jesus Christ in Mormonism

Mormonism in the Bible

The Church of Jesus Christ

Where is the Book of Mormon’s “Fulness of the Gospel?”

By Keith Brown

The word “fullness” conveys the idea of wholeness or completeness. In reading modern day revelation as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 20:9, a person could interpret the scripture to mean that the Book of Mormon, which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormon Church) testify is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, should include every point of doctrine, covering every conceivable gospel topic such as temple marriage, sealing ordinances, and baptisms for the dead, yet not one of these topics is mentioned. The words recorded in D&C 20:8-10 are these:

And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them—

That the Book of Mormon does not contain “every conceivable doctrine” coincides with other teachings in the scriptures were it is made clear that there are still many great, and precious truths that God has yet to reveal to His people. In the Bible, in the Old Testament book of Amos, are found these words, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). And in the New Testament, in John 16:12, the Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” With that being said, nowhere within a single volume of scripture, nor within the entirety of the Standard Works (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price), can be found all of the conceivable doctrines of the gospel.

The Book of Mormon gives us a clear understanding of what is needed to truly follow the example of Christ and be “saved” in the Kingdom of God (3 Nephi 11:33). It is required that we have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized with water and the Holy Ghost and endure in righteousness to the end (see all of 2 Nephi 31 and 32) (Stephen R. Gibson, One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 33-34.)

One might add that the fullness of the gospel, in addition to the above, embraces the atonement of Christ and the universal judgment. (3 Nephi 27:13-21) (Stephen R. Gibson, One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions, pg. 33-34.) In the Book of Mormon, in 3 Nephi 27:13-21 are recorded these words:

Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father. And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words. And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: 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. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.

The Book of Mormon is correct in the doctrines and principles it teaches, but it does not claim to contain all truth. Its own self-described purpose is to “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Title page), and that these teachings are “plain and precious.” For the most part, the Book of Mormon does not concern itself with the deeper mysteries of God. The Book of Mormon [block]0[/block] ”the most correct of any book on earth,” but certainly not comprehensive. [1]

In the quoted passage of scripture from the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 27:13-21), the Lord Jesus Christ defines the gospel as:

  1. Christ came into the world to do the Father’s will.
  2. The Father sent Christ to be crucified.
  3. Because of Christ’s atonement, all men will be judged by him according to their works (as opposed to not receiving a judgment at all and being cast out of God’s presence by default, Nephi 9:8-9).
  4. Those who repent and are baptized shall be filled (with the Holy Ghost, Nephi 12:6), and
  5. if they continue in faith by enduring to the end they will be justified (declared “not guilty”) by Christ before the Father, but
  6. if they don’t endure they will be subject to the justice of God and cast out of his presence.
  7. The Father’s words will all be fulfilled (cf. D&C 1:38).
  8. Because no unclean thing can enter the Father’s heavenly kingdom, only those who rely in faith on the atonement of Christ, repent, and are faithful to the end can be saved.

This is “the gospel.” The Book of Mormon teaches these concepts with a plainness and clarity unequaled by any other book. It has therefore been declared by the Lord to contain “the fulness of the gospel.” [1]

President Ezra taft Benson, the 13th President of The Church of Jesus Christ explained:

The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 20:9). That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation (Benson, pp. 18-19). [2]

Additional Resources:

Our Savior Jesus Christ

Mormonism in the Bible

Mormon Apologetics

 

 

Mormon Beliefs: Jesus Christ is Omnipotent

Jesus Christ MormonMembers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormons and/or the Mormon Church, inadvertently, by the media) believe that Jesus Christ is omnipotent, has all-power, as many other Christian denominations profess. When some of other faiths ask us if we believe in and worship Jesus Christ, we speak clearly a resounding yes–as the name of the Church and as our lives and hearts reflect. We love Him. We worship Him. We recognize His atoning sacrifice on our behalf and His lasting and continued grace.  We also believe in His omnipotence.

Let me illustrate from an example of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.  Ammon, a great missionary whose words were recorded in the Book of Mormon, said in Alma 26:35-36:

My joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who repent and believe in his name…. This is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting woe. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people.

Are Mormons Christians:  Can you read from the Book of Mormon this and many other passages and observe our desires to be His disciples and live His teachings and answer anything but yes?

Mormon Beliefs: Jesus Christ is Mediator

Atonement Jesus Praying Gethsemane MormonJesus Christ serves as an Advocate, and has become our Mediator by virtue of His unparalleled atoning sacrifice for our sins, which “overpowered” and satisfied justice and brought mercy to each of us, a way out of darkness into light. In this sense, He intercedes on our behalf, as indicated in these words from the prophet, Lehi, in The Book of Mormon:

Wherefore, he is the first-fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercessions for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved….

In teaching his sons, Lehi also records his admonition, later in the chapter:

I would look unto the Great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of His Holy Spirit.”

Other Biblical and Modern Scriptural References that affirm Mormon doctrine and belief in Jesus Christ as the Mediator include the following:

  • No man cometh unto the Father, but by me, John 14:6
  • One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5
  • He is the mediator of a better covenant, Heb. 8:6
  • The mediator of the New Testament, Heb. 9:15
  • Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, Heb. 12:24 (D&C 107:19).
  • Ye should look to the great Mediator, 2 Ne. 2:28
  • Made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, D&C 76:69

D&C refers to a book of modern revelation, The Doctrine and Covenants, received by Joseph Smith after his call to become a prophet in our day and facilitate the Lord’s re-establishment of His original Church and kingdom upon the earth today.

We invite you to receive a free copy of the Book of Mormon or other scriptures to learn for yourself about God’s restored Church and authority on earth.

Mormon Beliefs: Becoming God or Christ-Like

Jesus Christ MormonWhen asked, “Do you believe that men and women can one day become a god or goddess,” this response by a Mormon educator was given regarding the Plan of Salvation or Purpose of Life, as revealed by the Savior and taught in His true and living Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called the “Mormon Church” by the media).

We come to the earth to take a physical body, be schooled and gain experiences, and develop sweet and lasting relationships. We strive to keep the commandments and grow in faith and spiritual graces until we are prepared to go where God and Christ are. For Latter-day Saints, eternal life consists in being with God; in addition, it entails being like God. A study of Christian history reveals that the doctrine of the deification of man, the idea that human beings can, through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and through the divine transformation of human nature–become a joint heir or co-inheritor with Christ to all the Father has–was taught in the early Christian church, at least into the fifth century by such thinkers as Irenaus, Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius, and Augustine. Orthodox Christianity still holds to a doctrine of deification today. While these individuals and groups may not believe the same way Latter-day Saints do, it is clear that the idea was not foreign to the people of the early church.

All men and women, like Jesus Christ, are made in the image and likeness of God, and so we feel it is neither robbery nor heresy for the children of God to aspire to be like God; like any parent, our Heavenly Father would want his children to become and be all that he is. We believe such biblical phrases as “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) or “becoming joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), or “partaking of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), or having “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) or “when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1John 3:2) all point toward this grand ideal. Continue reading

Mormonism vs Mainstream Christianity

Mormon Beliefs: Mormonism vs Mainstream Christianity

Jesus Christ MormonSomeone was once asked if we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed “Mormons”, actually known as “Latter-day Saints”) desire to “build up our public image or slip into mainstream Christianity.”  This came as a sincere question, but it amazes me that one outside the faith–particularly some in the media–might jump to the conclusion that our speaking about Christ, His atonement and grace, would seem to be ‘about image’ rather than conviction. The Church bears His very name. We claim He stands at the helm.  Well, without further comment here, may I share what Bob, the Dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University responded to this sincere question:

First of all, I would state categorically (and I mean no offense by this statement), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [whose body of beliefs is referred to by some as Mormonism, Mormon Doctrine--really it's Christ's] has no desire to move into the mainstream of Christianity. We are what we are and we believe what we believe. We profess to be ‘Christian but different.’ Those differences–such as our belief in an apostasy or falling away; the need for a restoration through a modern prophet, Joseph Smith; the fact that priesthood or divine authority was restored by heavenly messengers; the historical veracity and doctrinal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and other modern scripture; the doctrine of the premortal existence of man; the place of temples (Mormon temples), eternal marriage and family (see Mormon Weddings), etc–these ideas set us apart from many other Christians. But we feel strongly that our strength lies in our distinctiveness, in what we have to offer the world. People are not joining The Church of Jesus Christ ["Mormon Church" is a misnomer] in ever-increasing numbers nowadays because we are just like the Catholics or Methodists or Lutherans down the street. There’s definitely something different about the Mormons. Continue reading

Mormonism: Doctrines of Jesus Christ

Mormon MissionaryThere are times when members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defend their faith aggressively and times when they are silent; much depends on the issue, the proponents of falsehood, the type of misunderstanding or misrepresentation, and the workings of the Spirit. Truth stands independent of who believes it. The honest will recognize it; the dishonest will eschew it; the disenfranchised will attempt to destroy the indestructable. In general, and speaking from a lay point of view, Mormons defend when the lies perpetuated do sufficient damage to honest seekers’ search for truth or when they make of Christ’s teachings a sham and a confusing mockery that may impact generations, or when the blatant falsehoods are deliberate and retractable.

One late Mormon writer commented on the slanders and misperceptions about Mormons that have been promulgated by critics who reap and seek to gain from their investments in opposing truth:

While the public are overwhelmed with lying slanders of every description, concerning the Church of Latter Day Saints, the inquiry often arises, why do the elders of the church hold their peace, instead of contradicting the various falsehoods, which are published concerning them and their principles? The answer is, it would require a standing army of writers, and printers in constant employ; for no sooner are our enemies detected in one falsehood than a thousand more are put in circulation by them: and there are many who love a lie so much more than the truth, that we are quite willing they should enjoy their strong delusion; because they believe not the truth, but have pleasures in unrighteousness; and we know, that those who are seeking for truth, will judge for themselves, by an examination of our books, and not allow our opponents to judge for them. What ideas would be formed of the Bible, by one who had never read the book himself, but who trusted altogether to the statements of Thomas Paine, and other infidel writers concerning it? We propose in this work, to prove to every candid mind, that whether our principles be true or false, Mr. Sunderland is guilty of the most glaring falsehoods, misrepresentations and lying slanders, that ever disgraced humanity; and that he has palmed upon his deluded readers such wilful and barefaced impositions, that he is justly ranked among dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, and idolaters; and no longer fit to fill any place in civilized society; much less to stand at the head of a paper, under the sacred title of “Zion’s Watchman.” If his readers do not dismiss his paper immediately, after coming to a knowledge of his wickedness, they will be set down as partakers of his evil deeds; and if they hold him any longer in fellowship either as a christian or a member of society, the proverb will be fulfilled upon them, “that a man is known by the company he keeps.”

“And all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.”—Rev. xxi;8.

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie.”—Rev. xxi;27

 

If you are trying to discern the truth from the error when it comes to Christ’s pure teachings and the claim that His actual Church exists on earth today–it was re-established in our day–we invite you to read the Book of Mormon and/or ask questions here. If you would rather learn in person, we can arrange for you speak directly with a Latter-day Saint or representative missionary–Mormon missionary, missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ–who is called by Jesus Christ to teach those seeking to know Him and His purpose for your life.

 

 

Jesus Christ in The Book of Mormon

Jesus Christ in The Book of Mormon: Critics, Take Note:
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The Book of Mormon was not written as a curiosity. It was written with a definite, and very important purpose, a purpose felt by the reader at every turn. From the title page, we read that it was written, [as companion to the Bible] “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting Himself unto all nations.” This is its powerful testimony to our generation.

It was over fifty years ago that the Scottish clergyman and author, Dr. John Watson, wrote:

Were a parchment discovered in an Egyptian mound, six inches square, containing fifty words which were certainly spoken by Jesus, this utterance would count more than all the books which have been published since the first century (Life of the Master, p. 7).

Jesus Christ in the Book of MormonThe books which have been written about Christ and the great amount of fine scholarship which has been devoted to learning everything possible about His life and teachings, have given us much useful information. Compared, however, with the materials the scholars have had to work on, the amount of information in The Book of Mormon would make them seem penny-wise and pound-foolish.  The Book of Mormon contains a large amount of information about Christ which has been practically overlooked by scholars, and even by the critics of The Book of Mormon. The visit of Jesus Christ to Ancient America shortly after His resurrection is usually passed over to consider the book from other points of view.  Even that first serious critic, Alexander Campbell, objected because the discussion of Christ and Christian doctrines were too lucid and too early in world history to suit him.

The critic F. S. Spalding was to write, in summarizing part of the value of The Book of Mormon, if true: “If The Book of Mormon is true, it is, next to the Bible, the most important book in the world. This fact has been appreciated by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [nicknamed Mormons] and by them alone. If this book is what it claims to be it throws light upon matters of the first importance.

At the present time, when New Testament scholars, with better linguistic and historic equipment than ever before, are studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the record of His appearance to the Nephites and the version of His teachings preserved by the Nephite scribes would be of great value.

A flood of light would be thrown upon the whole question of Church origins if the account of the Church in the new world, described in The Book of Mormon, were similar to that in the old.

The value of The Book of Mormon to the archaeologist would be equally great.

It is inexcusable that the book has never had the serious examination which its importance demands.

M. R. Werner observed:

This inclusion of Jesus Christ (in The Book of Mormon) in Mormonism, however ex post facto it may appear to us, was either a stroke of wisdom upon the part of the founder of the new religion, or else a convenient piece of revelation upon the part of God.

The book contains a beautiful account of the visit of Jesus Christ to America in the book of Third Nephi. This account has been esteemed of such value that the Mutual Improvement Associations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints adopted Third Nephi as a book to be read by all members of its organizations as a reading course book in 1946-47. Excellent discussions of Third Nephi were prepared, for example that by Clarissa A. Beesley for the Special Interest Group and that by Dr. Lowell L. Bennion for the M Men and Gleaners. To these should be added the excellent summary with detailed references, A Guide to the Study of The Book of Mormon.

What does The Book of Mormon tell us about Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? From one point of view we might consider the information which gives confirmation to the Biblical material, and that which supplements or is in addition to the Bible. Let us consider, first, however, what The Book of Mormon relates of Christ’s life in the flesh written before his advent upon the earth.

At the very beginning of the earliest account the brother of Jared the great prophet, saw the Savior, Jesus Christ, in his spiritual body and was told that Christ would appear in the flesh in the same form. Ether foresaw the days of Christ. (Ether 13:4) Later people led by the Prophet Lehi were blessed with a much clearer understanding of the mission and life of Christ than were the Jews of Palestine.

One of the purposes for which The Book of Mormon was written was to give the Jews and Gentiles another witness and persuade them that Jesus is the Christ  (1 Nephi 6:413:40).

Lehi, ancient prophet in America, beheld Christ in a vision about 600 B.C. and said that many prophets had testified of Him. Nephi, his son, was given a prophetic outline of the Savior’s life. Jacob (Nephi’s brother) told that he and all the holy prophets before him had looked forward to the coming of Christ and he labored to bring people to Christ, as did also the first Nephi and King Benjamin, another Nephite leader (1 Ne. 1:9-111910:4-511:12-3419:10Mosiah 3:15).

Christ was to be the prophet foretold by Moses and recorded in the records of The Book of Mormon peoples. Abinadi gave a long account. The Almas taught much about Christ prophetically.  The knowledge of the coming life and mission of redemption of the Savior was clearly taught before His birth by The Book of Mormon prophets. All the prophets testified of Christ and were urged to look forward to His coming. As if in answer to Alexander Campbell’s objection to this early knowledge the Book of Mormon stated, “And this that it should be shown unto the people, a great many thousand years before His coming, that redemption should come even to them.”  And Alma asked in 73 B.C.:

Is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming? Is it not as necessary that the plan of redemption should be made known unto this people as well as unto their children? Is it not as easy at this time for the Lord to send his angel to declare these glad tidings unto us as unto our children, or as after the time of his coming?

The Book of Mormon peoples were unique in that although they knew clearly of the coming of Christ and His atonement, yet because they were living under the unfulfilled covenant with Israel, they were observing the Mosaic law.

Yea, and they did keep the law of Moses; for it was expedient that they should keep the law of Moses as yet, for it was not all fulfilled. But notwithstanding the law of Moses, they did look forward to the coming of Christ, considering that the law of Moses was a type of his coming, and believing that they must keep these outward performances until the time that he should be revealed unto them. Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come.

As mentioned in Chapter 13, the signs of the birth and crucifixion of Christ were predicted particularly by Samuel the Lamanite prophet and occurred later as he had predicted.

It is interesting to note in passing that The Book of Mormon in giving the time of the crucifixion allows for the difference in longitude between Palestine and America. The early afternoon in Palestine would be early morning in America.

E. S. Brightman  remarks:

Other sheep have I which are not of this fold.’ Yet the exact meaning of this beautiful verse is not entirely clear. Does it mean that there are non-Jewish Christians or does it mean that there are some who are not of the Christian fold who still belong to Christ?

This section from John 10:16 has been a puzzle for centuries. Christ explained to the Nephites 30 that this reference to the Nephites had not been explained in Palestine because of the unbelief of the people.

At the end of great destruction attending the crucifixion, Christ told the Nephites, in a voice from heaven, of the cities destroyed, and that He was Jesus Christ, the creator of the world, and that through Him redemption may be obtained. He told them that the Law of Moses was fulfilled, and that those who repent can obtain salvation. 31

Some time later God the Father, as in Palestine, introduced the Savior saying:

“Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name-hear him.”

After which Christ appeared saying:

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.… I am the light and life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning 3 Ne. 27:3-12.

Then Christ had those present come and feel the marks of the crucifixion on His body, that the people would know for a surety that He was the one predicted by the prophets, 34 and that there was a life after death and a resurrection. The Book of Mormon has great historical value in its confirmation of the actuality of the resurrection.

Twelve disciples with a similar church organization in Palestine, were called and given power to baptize and teach (Luke 3:22). Detailed instructions were given by the Savior regarding the meaning and rites of baptism and the sacrament, removing the ambiguities in the New Testament account as we have it. He left a church organized to carry on His work after He left, and answered a question as to the proper name of the church.

For 200 years the Church of Christ flourished with universal righteousness, peace and prosperity with all things held in common.

Dr. James E. Talmage pointed out fifteen important points concerning Jesus Christ and His life and mission in the Bible, each of which is substantiated by The Book of Mormon account (Jesus the Christ, 727). These points are:

  • Jesus Christ’s preexistence and antemortal Godship.
  • His foreordination as the Redeemer and Savior of mankind.
  • Predictions of Christ’s embodiment in the flesh as the Son of the Eternal Father and of mortal woman; and the fulfilment of these predictions in His birth as Mary’s child.
  • The sending of a forerunner, John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the Lord’s public ministry.
  • Christ’s earthly life, covering about a third of a century, characterized by beneficent service, by authoritative administration, and by unexceptional example.
  • The establishment of His Church with duly ordained apostles, who, with other ministers invested with the Holy Priesthood, carried forward the work of salvation after the Lord’s departure.
  • The specific and authentic enunciation of the fundamental principles and ordinances of the Gospel, by which the way of salvation has been opened to all, and without which none can abide in the Kingdom of Heaven, these comprising: (1) Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son and the Redeemer of the world; (2) Repentance of sin; (3) Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; (4) Bestowal of the Holy Ghost by the authoritative laying on of hands. Continue reading