Friday, January 17, 2014

The Bible, The Book of Mormon and Continuing Revelation

There are two ways to gain information and understanding from the Bible.  It can be read in the light of traditional Bible scholarship that has created 10's of thousands of churches or it can be read in the revealed understanding of living prophets. 

The Bible has blessed many lives.  It has preserved the Christian faith for thousands of years.  It is record of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ that is brief but beyond compare.  Its principles can be seen in action as to how they influence people as a society and individually when they are adhered to.   It is a foundation and source of the laws that govern societies around the world.

Thousands of scholars have translated the ancient transcripts. Many anonymous and never to be know.  None have ever professed divine revelation yet modern professors will indicate that it was there without those translators knowing so.

Thousands of Bible based churches invoke authority because of their association with this book.  While many teach conflicting doctrines, their united emphasis on a few generally accepted creeds and the Bible itself justifies the disagreement.   

Christian apologists have declared the book inerrant but that man is fallible.  This declaration is nothing more than the opinion of a group of men and women that declare themselves to be the guardians of orthodoxy.   

What is the benefit of an infallible book if no one can understand it?  There is clearly a lack of divine authority and men drive the demand for religion with self appointments and attendance at theological seminaries. The various translations are proof enough that the Bible is not an inerrant book.

The doctrines of of mainstream theology essentially tell the infinite God that he can't create or reveal anything new.  They have closed his mouth and the canon of scripture to their opinions and scholarly conclusions.  

The Bible itself is demonstrative that revelation to authorized prophets and apostles is God's method of communicating his will. Bible scholars are nothing more than individuals interested in religion and set themselves up as experts.

The apostasy lead to the lack of authority and enlightenment in the church.  With the reformation era in history came the division from the universal church.  Men began to see that truth had been lost, ordinances changed and doctrinal discrepancies existed.  How could there ever be a single church again seeking to unite the children of God?

The reformation of the Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith ushered in an awakening. The Bible does speak of a latter day kingdom and a restoration of the gospel fullness.  Such an event could only take place with God directing the work through a prophet.  How and when could such a calling take place?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does teach and its members testify that a prophet was called and chosen to lead the process of restoring the church of Christ and the truths of the everlasting gospel.  Joseph Smith's story can be read at this link.

In summary young Joseph was trying to determine which church he should join.  In an effort to do so he resolved to go to a private place in the forest to seek wisdom through prayer.  The answer to that prayer was an appearance of divine beings, even God the Father and Jesus Christ.

With this appearance and subsequent visits by divine messengers the process of revelation from God began again.  Authority to act in God's name was conferred upon Joseph Smith by priesthood ordination through Peter, James and John.

For the next 30 some years the Lord would lay the foundation of a great work that would eventually fill the earth with a young man, Joseph Smith as his prophet.  He was persecuted his entire life after telling his story but remained undeterred in his commitment to his testimony until he was murdered.

After his murder by mob attack another was prepared and called to lead. Since Joseph Smith there has been a living prophet on the earth.  At this time it is Thomas S. Monson.  With a living prophet there are are no divisions of doctrine or misunderstandings as to what the Lord wants done.

Another part of Joseph Smith's mission was to bring forth another volume of scripture.  The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ and a companion volume to the Bible.  It testifies that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world and clears up the many doctrinal misunderstandings of our Savior's gospel.

You can read it and pray to seek your own witness of its veracity. These things have been done in order to prepare the world for the return of our Savior, the second coming spoken of and give sincere seekers of truth a way to know that God has established his kingdom on the earth.

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