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Authority of LDS Scriptures

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Authority of LDS Scriptures

This section documents claims Mormon leaders have made for LDS Scriptures. Of special note are the claims that the Book of Mormon "is the most correct of any book on earth" and that it contains "the fulness of the everlasting gospel." These are important in light of the fact that the Book of Mormon has undergone thousands of changes and revisions and is completely silent on such essential Mormon doctrines as eternal progression, temple marriage and baptism for the dead.

It is important to examine what the leadership taught a dozen decades ago because many early doctrines and practices have been greatly modified or abandoned.

Click on links below to see scans of actual documents.

The Book of Mormon

  • Joseph Smith - Book of Mormon contains the "fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also" Doctrine and Covenants 20:8-9 (April 1830)

  • Joseph Smith - "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461 (1841)

  • Orson Pratt - "The Book of Mormon claims to be a divinely inspired record. ... This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man ...
        "If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world ...
        "If, after rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be extensively published to the world as such... " Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 1 (1850)  

  • Orson Pratt:
    Question. Does the Book of Mormon agree with the Bible?
    Answer. Both books being of Divine origin, they will of course agree; for God never disagrees with himself;"
    Q. Does the Book of Mormon contain any additional light not contained in the Bible?
    A. The whole volume, without exception to any of its parts, contains additional light and truth." The Seer, p. 212 (1854) 

  • Orson Pratt:
    Q. Is there any benefit to be derived from the prophetical and doctrinal portions of the Book of Mormon?
    A. Yes: in this respect, the book is infinitely more valuable than all other books in the world written by human wisdom. The doctrines and prophecies, contained in it, are so very definite, pointed, and plain, that no ambiguity or uncertainty is left upon the mind in regard to the way of salvation, and the events that are to transpire so far as they are predicted.
    Q. But is not the Jewish Record or Bible equally as plain?
    A. No: The Seer, p. 213 (1854) 

  • Orson Pratt - "But those who have read this book will bear me record that their minds have been forever set at rest, in regard to doctrine so far as the ordinances of the kingdom of God are concerned.
        "... So in regard to every other principle of the doctrine of Christ -- it is set forth in such great plainness that it is impossible for any two persons to form different ideas in relation to it, after reading the Book of Mormon." Journal of Discourses, vol. 15, p. 188 (1872) 

  • Orson Pratt - Quote continues from previous page: "You may ask, Why this plainness? Because it was translated by the power and gift of God;" Journal of Discourses, vol. 15, p. 189 (1872)

The Bible

  • Joseph Smith - "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. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." Pearl of Great Price, Articles of Faith, 8-9 (1842)
  • Brigham Young - "We receive what is said to have been written by one of the ancient Apostles, (why I make this peculiar remark is because this congregation heard brother O. Pratt scan the validity of the Bible, and I thought by the time he got through, that you would scarcely think a Bible worth picking up and carrying home, should you find one in the streets) ...
        "The Bible is good enough as it is ..." Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 116 (1855) 

  • Brigham Young - If he were a divine and determined the Bible was translated incorrectly he would correct it as soon as possible so all people might know the truth. "Take the Bible, then, as it is. If it is not translated correctly, wait until it is." Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 250 (1870)

The Doctrine & Covenants

  • Joseph Smith - "Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; ... but all shall be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." Doctrine and Covenants 1:37-38 (November 1, 1831) 

  • Joseph Smith - "... We do not present this little volume with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced ..." Doctrine and Covenants, p. iv (1835 ed.)

  • Daniel H. Wells - "The Book of Doctrine and Covenants informs us that things will be revealed, in this the dispensation of the fullness of times, that have been kept hidden from before the foundation of the world. Should we be surprised, then, when a new principle is manifested among us from the Lord through the channel of the holy Priesthood?" Journal of Discourses, vol. 18, p. 98 (1875) 

  • "What Scriptures Do We Have Today — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts four books as scripture: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. These books are called the standard works of the Church. The inspired words of our living prophets are also accepted as scripture." Gospel Principles, p. 52 (1992)