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 contains the writings of ancient prophets who taught that Jesus Christ would come to save His people. So does the Book of Mormon. The Bible contains personal accounts of Jesus Christ teaching, blessing, and healing people. So does the Book of Mormon. Both books of scripture include writings of prophets and apostles about how to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Together, the Bible and the Book of Mormon invite all people to follow Jesus Christ and be saved through His grace.
How Are They Different?
The Bible was written by prophets and historians living in the Middle East. Their writings cover thousands of years of history, from the creation of the world through about AD 100.
The Book of Mormon covers a period of about 1,000 years, from 600 B.C. to A.D. 400 and takes place primarily in the Americas. In about 600 B.C., God warned a man named Lehi to leave Jerusalem and take his family to a promised land in the Americas. They took with them their scriptures, including the books of Moses and the writings of Isaiah, which are found in the Old Testament.
From the scriptures and by revelation from God, the people of the Book of Mormon knew that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would come. After Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected near Jerusalem, He visited the people of the Book of Mormon. He taught them, blessed and healed them, and established His church among them.
The Bible and the Book of Mormon took place on opposite sides of the world, yet they both teach and testify of Jesus Christ.
Why Do We Need Both?
The Bible and the Book of Mormon strengthen each other. Consider this simple illustration:
How many straight lines could a person draw through a single point on a piece of paper? Hundreds, if not infinite. Imagine that the point is the Bible and each line represents a different interpretation of a scripture or teaching in the Bible. These different interpretations result in many different Christian churches.
Now imagine that a second point, representing the Book of Mormon, is placed on the paper. How many straight lines can be drawn between the two points? Just one.
For example, the Bible teaches about “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). But Christian churches today don’t always agree about what baptism means and whether it is necessary.
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 clarifies whether infants and little children need to be baptized. A prophet taught his son that because they are not able to knowingly commit 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 becomes clear 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?
Church members study the Bible and the Book of Mormon together. In Sunday School classes around the world, Church members study a different volume of scripture each year, rotating among the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants (revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith). The Church has published versions of the scriptures that include thousands of cross-references to each other. An extensive topical guide includes references to both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Why Does It Matter?
The Book of Mormon is evidence that God’s love and influence 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 of Jesus Christ.