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Are Mormons Not Christian Because of Their Disbelief in the Bible?
Research by Kerry A. Shirts
Mormons are accused of being non-Christian since Mormonism itself does not accept the Bible, and in fact, the Bible was dismissed and relegated to a supposed lesser rank in scripture to the Book of Mormon, i.e. second place. The evidence right from the start in early Mormonism among the converts to Mormonism themselves soundly thrashes this cherished myth of Christians, who have never yet bothered to look into a most telling source, as there is quite an abundance of evidence to consider in the Journal of Discourses. There we read Mormon leader after leader tell their belief and see their extensive and rather detailed look into the Bible for their teaching.
"I have often heard men in this country splutter a great deal about the meaning of odd words in the Bible, but this only exhibits their folly: it is the spirit and intention of the language that are to be looked at, and if the translator does not know this it is impossible for him to translate correctly, and this is the reason why there are so many blunders in the Bible. I believe the English Bible is translated as well as any book could be by uninspired men. The German translation of the Bible, I believe, is tolerably correct, but some of the French editions are miserable."
"You know that it is generally understood, and perhaps by many of the strangers who are present to-day, that we do not believe the Bible. That is a great mistake: we do believe it. I can say, as one of the Apostles of old said, and it is my advice and instruction to you--prove all things, and try all things, and hold fast to that which is good."
"The Protestants believe the Catholics are all in error, and pack the whole church off to hell as the mother of harlots, without any trouble, or without even a sigh. And the old mother is just as uncharitable towards her daughters, for they are her offspring, and she sends the whole of them unceremoniously to the same place. The Catholics and Protestants are generally united in sending all the Mahometans and Heathens there. It would be something like it was with me once, when I was discussing with a minister on the principles of "Mormonism." Before I got through with him, he nearly destroyed and cast away the whole of the Bible, in his zeal to destroy our faith. He threw away one book after another, until but a small portion remained. So it is with the religious world generally; each one packs off his neighbor to hell; and after such narrow minds have made their selections of the worthy ones, and put them right, as they think, few besides will get to heaven."
"We will now come to the principle of legitimacy, which was the text given out this morning--to our rights, privileges, Priesthoods, authorities, powers, dominions, &c. &c. And as some of us are Scriptorians, and all profess to believe the Bible, I feel inclined to quote a text from it." In fact, as we look into this rather large source of primary material for early Mormon beliefs on the Bible, we find them constantly turning to it to illustrate their lessons, and that on every doctrine within Mormonism, not just a few cherished selected and favorite ideas!
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is given in the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and in the experience of every true Christian who has lived and still lives upon the earth, teaches that it is the privilege of every Saint so to live and walk before their God, as to enjoy the light of the spirit of truth from day to day, from week to week, and from year to year, through their whole lives. Without this privilege in the Gospel, connected with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, I should be inclined to believe that the religion that is taught in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon, would amount to nothing more than a mere phantom--an imaginary thing. It would be inadequate to satisfy, in any degree, the mind of man, as it is now organized."
"Now, we ARE believers in the Bible, and in consequence of our unshaken faith in its precepts, doctrine, and prophecy..." "I believe in the Son of God, and in the Old and New Testaments... I have learned wisdom, got light, knowledge, and understanding, so that I know how to believe the Bible" "I have acknowledged the Bible from the time I could be taught by my parents to revere it. They taught me that it was the sacred word of God. And as far as it could be translated correctly from the Hebrew and Greek languages, it is given to us as pure as it possibly could be given. The Bible is mine, and I am not prepared to have you rob me of it, without my consent. The doctrine in it is mine, which I firmly believe. I believe the Father begat the Son, and gave him to be a propitiation for the sins of the world. I believe he died for the redemption of man, and rose again the third day."
"We believe the New Testament, and consequently, to be consistent, we must believe in new revelation, visions, angels, in all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and all the promises contained in these books, and believe it about as it reads. We give great credit to the Apostles, translators, and the fathers that have preserved and handed down the Bible to us, their children, and defended it through blood and fire. In this they have certainly bequeathed a great blessing to the world, if they will be guided by the plain instructions contained in that book."
In talking to the Mormons themselves, Orson Hyde revealed something utterly ignored by critics of Mormonism, "Have you ever read your Bibles? I must confess I have not read it for some time, but looked more to Him who rules on high, and to those who hold the words of life in the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; I look to them more frequently than to it. I have once memorized the Bible, and when any one quoted one verse, I could quote the next. I have memorized it in English, German, and Hebrew..." What Christian or even Mormon has ever done that with the Bible?
"Our doctrine is a Bible doctrine"
"We believe this book, the Bible, to be an historical account of Jesus Christ, and his Apostles and Prophets. We believe it is sacred..."
"You know the prophecy of Daniel about the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens being given to the Saints of the Most High God to possess it forever and forever; you have read it and no doubt understand it.
Well, a mock court under the administration of Austin A. King, since governor of Missouri, while Joseph Smith and others were taken by a mob and were made subject to this inquisition, and to a mock trial, and while undergoing this mock trial the question was put to a witness, "Do these people, these 'Mormons' believe in this verse in the Prophet Daniel?" and at the same time quoting it. "Yes," said the witness. "Put that down," said the judge, "it is a strong point for treason." "But," says one of the lawyers in defence, "Judge, you had better put the Bible down for treason."
"This is the great failing of Bible Christians, as they are called. They have the theory of the religion of which the Bible testifies, but the practical part they spurn from them. This is why the Latter-day Saints have become so obnoxious to the Christian world. They believe in the practical part of the religion of which the Scriptures are a history. You may take the plan and details of former Christianity; but, unless it is reduced to practice, it will not benefit the people."
Mormon leaders have always tried to refer to the Bible in their teachings.
"Go and read the Bible--the book your mother taught to you when you were sitting on her knees and nursing at her breast. This good old Bible, you think we do not believe it: we believe every word of it, and practice it. If we do not, we are determined we will, by the help of God, that portion of it that alludes to us."
"We will refer to Gideon, the Prophet of God, when his host was so numerous that he went and made a selection of three hundred men to put all his enemies to flight. That is in the Bible. For heaven's sake, believe that, if you won't believe me.
There was Daniel, a servant of God, one who kept His commandments; he was valiant, and his friends said to him, "Daniel, put down the window, or they will see you praying." "I will pray with it open," he replied; and he opened his window and prayed, and told them all that he asked no odds of them. "I will pray to my Father and God, who can preserve me in a den of lions, or in boiling hot oil, or in anything else, and He will sustain me while He will send you to hell, you poor devils." He had such confidence in his God."
"that is the Bible; that is my doctrine: I believe it."
"This doctrine is found in this good old book, the Bible, which all of you profess to believe, and have to kiss to give validity to your oaths, when you are sworn before a magistrate to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
"We believe, for it is so written in the Bible, that the Lord wishes a people of his own--a kingdom of his own upon this earth, which is his."
"It is written of the Saviour that he descended below all things. If he did he descended in capacity. I will merely tell you what I believe on this point. I believe that there never was a child born on this earth with any less capacity than dwelt in the child that was born in a manger of his mother Mary. I believe, according to the natural ability which he received from his mother and from his supposed father Joseph, that there never was a child that descended lower in capacity, or that knew less. Yet, according to the history given of him, his power of mind developed with such wonderful rapidity that when he was but a few years old he propounded questions to the learned doctors of his day which they could not answer, and answered questions propounded to him which the querists could not answer. He increased in wisdom and knowledge, and came into communication with his Father. The Being whom we call Father was the Father of the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he was also his Father pertaining to the flesh. Infidels and Christians, make all you can of this statement. The Bible, which all Christians profess to believe, reveals that fact, and it reveals the truth upon that point, and I am a witness of its truth. The Apostles who were personally acquainted with Jesus Christ did know and understand what they wrote, and they wrote the truth."
Brigham Young in talking with his brother said "You and I believe in God and in the Bible. We suppose the Bible to be true, or at least the most of it. I admit it to be true, and admit that there is a God. We have always been taught so, and that we have a just God, if we have any. I believe in a just, holy, equitable Being..."
Notice how Heber C. Kimball put the Bible first in line, as the early Mormon leaders usually did. "There are many good books for you to read, and that are full of good instruction. Here are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants. You will see many revelations in the last-named book that are already fulfilled."
Brigham Young related a rather amusing and astonishing incident in Joseph Smith's life on just how cheaply the Christians then held the Bible. "Joseph Smith was arraigned before Judge Austin A. King, on a charge of treason. The Judge inquired of Mr. Smith, "Do you believe and teach the doctrine that in the course of time the Saints will possess the earth?" Joseph replied that he did. "Do you believe that the Lord will raise up a kingdom that will fill the whole earth and rule over all other kingdoms, as the Prophet Daniel has said?" "Yes, sir, I believe that Jesus Christ will reign king of nations as he does king of Saints." "Write that down, clerk; we want to fasten upon him the charge of treason, for if he believes this, he must believe that the State of Missouri will crumble and fall to rise no more." Lawyer Doniphan said to the Judge, "damn it, Judge, you had better make the Bible treason and have done with it."
"we take the Bible for our standard, which you can all read at your leisure"
"Again we read of certain ones, who had been baptized again by Paul, "and when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied." This is the Gospel we believe in and practice, now judge ye for yourselves whether we have the Bible to sustain us in this practice of the ordinances of the Gospel. I say let God be true, if it makes every man a liar."
Notice the standard that Brigham Young set below.
"If mankind honestly believe the Bible, with all their hearts, they are bound to become Latter-day Saints, for they will then do as we have done, be baptized for the remission of sins, and receive the promise of the Holy Ghost, and "When He, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." He will reveal unto you the goodness of the Lord, and the law of the Lord and his ways, and enlighten your minds to discern his goings forth among the nations and his footsteps among the people..."
"The Book of Mormon, which we firmly believe to be the word of God to nations that flourished upon this continent many centuries ago, corroborates the testimonies of the writers of the Old and New Testaments, and proves these books to be true. They were given to us in weakness, darkness and ignorance; I will, however, give the translators of King James's version of the Bible the credit of performing their labor according to the best of their ability, and I believe they understood the languages in which the Scriptures were originally found as well as any men who now live. I have in my life-time met with persons who would persist in giving different renderings, and make quotations from the dead languages to show their scholarship, and to confuse and darken still more the minds of the people. To all such I have always felt like saying, there is the Bible, if you are capable of giving us a more correct translation of it than we have, it is your duty to do so. The Old and New Testaments have always answered my purpose as books of reference. Many precious parts have no doubt been taken from them; but the translation which we have, has been translated according to the best knowledge the translators possessed of the languages in which the ancient manuscripts were written..."
"If there is anything that is great and good and wise among men, it cometh from God. If there are men who possess great ability as statesmen, or as philosophers, or who possess remarkable scientific knowledge and skill, the credit thereof belongs to God, for He dispenses it to His children whether they believe in Him or not, or whether they sin against Him or not; it makes no difference; but all will have to account to Him for the way and manner in which they have used the talents committed unto them. If we believe the plain, broad statements of the bible, we must believe that Jesus Christ is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; none are exempt. This applies to all who possess the least degree of light and intelligence, no matter how small; wherever intelligence can be found, God is the author of it. This light is inherent according to a law of eternity--according to the law of the Gods, according to the law of Him whom we serve as the only wise, true and living God to us. He is the author of this light to us. Yet our knowledge is very limited; who can tell the future, and know it as the past is known to us? It is a small thing, if we were acquainted with the principle. Were we acquainted with this principle, we could just as well read the future as the past.
The Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father, who came in the meridian of time, performed his work, suffered the penalty and paid the debt of man's original sin by offering up Himself, was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to His Father; and as Jesus descended below all things, so He will ascend above all things. We believe that Jesus Christ will come again, as it is written of Him: "And while they looked steadfastly toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken from you unto heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go unto heaven."
John Taylor reminisced about his encounters with various folks from other religions. What he notes about his belief as a Mormon in the Bible is seriously significant. "I remember once calling at a man's house who was a Presbyterian. After talking to him a little about his religion, said he, "You entertain curious notions." Said I, "I believe I got my notions from the Bible." Afterwards an infidel came in with whom I had a long conversation, trying to prove to him that the Bible and the Christian religion were true, or at least that taught by the Bible. "Well," said this gentleman to me, "I am surprised; I thought you were an infidel." "Why?" said I "Because," he replied, "I thought you did not believe in the Bible." Said I, "You are laboring under a great mistake; I do believe in the Bible, but not in principles contrary to the Bible, and consequently as the religion of the present day does not agree with the Bible I do not agree with it." 
John Taylor consistently preached "We have confidence in the Bible, and in the revelations of God."
Brigham Young's poignant experience with fellow Christians is worth reading since it directly pertains to this issue of the Mormons supposedly not believing in the Bible while the Christians accept it wholecloth. "When we come to the doctrines that we preach, as contained in the Bible, and lay them before the people, the whole Christian world cannot gainsay a word of them. I have read many and many a time out of the prophecies, and the sayings of the Savior and His apostles that the Bible contains, until they who listened have got up and declared they would hear no more from that wicked book, believing it to be the Book of Mormon. Priests and deacons have declared they would hear no more from that vile record. I have said, "Does not this agree with your faith and feelings?" "No, it does not, and if we had it in our houses, we would take the tongs and put it in the fire." "Well," I have replied, "the book I have been reading from is the Holy Bible, the Old and New Testaments, translated by order of King James." But they did not know what those records contained. When we come to the doctrines contained in this book the Christians cannot gainsay them; they are struck dumb and silent as night, or rage in anger. Truth overcomes error, and when it is set before the people, the honest receive it."
Brigham Young in asking why the world disparages Mormonism so terribly, asked "Is it because we believe the Bible, which declares that man is made in the likeness and image of God, that He has ears to hear our prayers, eyes to see His handiwork, a stretched-out arm to defend His people, and to make bare to punish the wicked nations of the earth?"
"The "Mormons," we were told this forenoon, believe in the Old Testament; but I will say that we not only believe in it, but we know, by the gifts of the Spirit of God, by revelations sent down from Heaven, by the visions of the Almighty and by the ministrations of holy angels, that the Bible is true; we know it to be a record from Heaven."
Brigham Young constantly taught his belief in the Bible and admonished others to get quick to reading it instead of merely saying you believe it. "I believe that the Bible contains the word of God, and the words of good men and the words of bad men; the words of good angels and the words of bad angels and words of the devil; and also the words uttered by the ass when he rebuked the prophet in his madness. I believe the words of the Bible are just what they are; but aside from that I believe the doctrines concerning salvation contained in that book are true, and that their observance will elevate any people, nation or family that dwells on the face of the earth. The doctrines contained in the Bible will lift to a superior condition all who observe them; they will impart to them knowledge, wisdom, charity, fill them with compassion and cause them to feel after the wants of those who are in distress, or in painful or degraded circumstances. They who observe the precepts contained in the Scriptures will be just and true, and virtuous and peaceable at home and abroad. Follow out the doctrines of the Bible and men will make splendid husbands, women excellent wives, and children will be obedient; they will make families happy and the nations wealthy and happy and lifted up above the things of this life. Can any see any harm in all this? ... "Now, if we can take the low and degraded and elevate them in their feelings, language and manners; if we can impart to them the sciences that are in the world, teach them all that books contain, and in addition to all this, teach them principles that are eternal, and calculated to make them a beautiful community, lovely in their appearance, intelligent in every sense of the word, would you not say that our system is praiseworthy and possesses great merit? Well, this is all in that book called the Bible, and the faithful observance of the principles taught in that book will do this for any family or nation on the earth."
Brigham Young was constantly throwing down the gauntlet. "where are the people who believe in God the Father? In our Lord Jesus Christ? Who believe the New Testament? Who will accept of the salvation that is proffered to the human family through the labors of Jesus and his Apostles? We are after them. Is there an individual on the face of the earth that will receive the truth? We want to find him. Who will receive the truth? They who will give all for Christ. Not the proud, not the haughty; not those who set stakes and say the Lord must come to them or they will not have salvation, but they who say, "Let the Lord draw the line and mark the path and we will walk to it." This must be the conclusion of every person who expects to be saved in the kingdom of God.
We preach faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Unless we believe the Gospel of Christ and obey its ordinances we have no promise of the life to come. If we ever attain to that it will be only by complying with the terms that Jesus has laid down. We cannot build and plan for ourselves... Will we do away with the Bible? We will not..."
Brigham Young, in his characteristic way, hit the nail on the head concerning the difference between Mormonism and Christianity, with a proclamation that simply shocks us for its boldness. "It has been proclaimed that there is a great difference between us and the Christian world. There is. Is the difference because we believe in another religion? By no means. The difference arises from the fact that we believe this Bible, wide open, from genesis to Revelations. They believe it, sealed up, never to be opened again to the human family. They believe it shut, we believe it open; they believe it in silence, we believe it proclaimed on the hose top; and when we scan the Bible and the feelings of the Christian world, we find that it is, as has been proclaimed here--there probably never was a day on the face of the earth when infidelity reigned more completely in the hearts of the children of men than it does now. We, as Christians, believe in God, in Christ and in his atonement, in repentance and obedience, and in receiving the Spirit; but what are the facts in the case? We are persecuted, our names are cast out as evil, we have the world arrayed against us. And who are at the head of this? The Christians... Where are their witness and testimony that they are right and that we are wrong? We have the Scriptures to testify to the right and righteousness of the cause we have espoused. They shut up the Bible, say they are Christians, and cry, "False prophets, false teachers, delusion, delusion, heresy, outcasts, kill them if you can not get rid of them without, they must leave, we cannot endure them any longer!"... Where is their proof, where is our proof? What criterion shall we go by? We have the Scriptures, we have the Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles; we have the revelations of the Spirit of God to ourselves; we have the truth within our hearts, and all this is proof to us of the validity of the faith that we have embraced; and if it is correct, and the Bible is correct; if it is true, and the Lord has spoken through his servants, they must be wrong... How are you going to know whether this work is true, whether the Bible is true, whether Joseph was a Prophet, whether Jesus was the Savior, and his Apostles were correct in their teachings? There is no way for you and me to know these things but by the Spirit of God; and if we live so as to enjoy the light of that Spirit, the light of revelation, it will be in us like a well of water springing up to everlasting life. If we do not live thus, we are in the dark as well as they."
Brigham Young, who never lost an opportunity to speak with people, whether Mormon or non, overheard a conversation between two people, "Do the `Mormons' believe in the Bible?"--"Why yes, I have heard them preach, and they believe the Bible more than the whole Christian world do." Brigham then asks with characteristic logic, "Well, where and through whom does this influence come, which leads people to believe to the contrary? I will not spend time to answer this, but I will say, that the Latter-day Saints believe more of the Bible than any other people that live on the face of the earth that we have any knowledge of."
On another occassion Brigham proclaimed, "I was brought up a Christian, very strictly, and was taught to read the Bible, consequently it is natural for me to believe it--it is according to my traditions, and also from the spirit of revelation from God unto myself. In all my teachings, I have taught the Gospel from the Old and New Testaments. I found therein every doctrine, and the proof of every doctrine, the Latter-day Saints believe in, as far as I know, therefore I do not refer to the Book of Mormon as often as I otherwise should. There may be some doctrines about which little is said in the Bible, but they are all couched therein, and I believe the doctrines because they are true, and I have taught them because they are calculated to save the children of men."
George Q. Cannon related just how much the Mormons accepted the Bible, which reflects Brigham Young's analysis of the difference between Mormonism and Christianity. "There are no people of whom I know anything in Christendom who believe the Bible, and are willing that their children should be taught all of its principle in their entirety, as do the Latter-day Saints. There is no principle set forth in the Scriptures that the Latter-day Saints do not incorporate in their faith and practice... This is an advantage we have above every other denomination with which I am acquainted. We believe the Bible in its entirety--that God is the same to-day as he was yesterday, and as he ever was..."
George Bywater was miffed at supposed Christians' and their attitudes since Mormonism was very strongly biblical. "We believe in baptism for the remission of sins and in the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost.
Now, we believe all this and much more. Our doctrines have been before the world for many years. Our Church works contain a very full and clear exposition of our views in relation to our faith, in relation to our principles affecting our life here and hereafter, and yet we discover, my friends, that we are unpopular, that we are not to be included among the Christian elements of society; we are considered Pagans, heathens, outlaws, barbarians, an immoral and reprobate race...What do we preach? The self-same principles that Jesus taught... Our doctrines are biblically pure, they are doctrinally sound according to the embodiment of divinity contained in this most ancient of books, called the Bible not only our first principles, but all other principles pertaining to it, including our social institutions..."
An important factor in understanding the Mormon view of the Bible was discussed by Charles W. Penrose - "Now although we do not base our faith upon the Bible or any other written work, yet at the same time there are no people upon the face of the earth who believe so much in the sacred scriptures left on record and handed down to us, as do the Latter-day Saints. Though we are not dependent upon books for our religion--for our religion would exist if there were no books in existence, at the same time we manifest by our works that we have more faith in the Bible than the people who profess to base their faith upon it."
Orson F. Whitney also proclaimed the interest and power in the Mormons believing and accepting the Bible - "The Bible is a blessing; we do not depreciate its value, for it enables us to meet the Christian world upon their own ground, using this Bible as the touch-stone of truth, in relation to their doctrines and those that we advance, which are taught and confirmed by this very Book in which Christians profess to believe. There is no doctrine preached or believed by the Latter-day Saints, but they can find confirmatory proof of its authenticity within the lids of the Holy Bible; and when their views are not received, and they are laughed to scorn and derided by the Christian world, it is simply an acknowledgement on the part of those who mistreat them that they do not believe their own Bible, that they have no faith in the record which they claim is all-sufficient--the be-all and the end-all of revelation.
They profess great reverence for this good Book, yet they do not believe or practice what it inculcates. It is a prevalent idea in the world, with those who are in possession of the Scriptures, that it is only necessary to believe on the name of the Son of God, and that constitutes salvation, taking I suppose as a basis for it, the Scriptural passage which declares that "God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Now, we take this position. We hold that belief in God and the Savior of mankind is absolutely essential to salvation. But we do not stop there. We claim that if men believe in Jesus Christ they will keep the commandments; they will live His laws; they will not repudiate any of the doctrines He preached; they will not say baptism is unessential; that Apostles and Prophets are no longer needed; they will not wrest the Scriptures; they will not say the blessings of the Holy Ghost are done away with; they will not say it is not in the province of inspired men bearing the Holy Priesthood to cast out devils, to speak in new tongues, to lay hands upon the sick and administer those spiritual blessings as they are empowered by the Priesthood bestowed upon them for that purpose. The Christian world would not repudiate these things if they believed their own Bible; for I nowhere read within the lids of this sacred volume that the time would ever come, except through transgression and apostacy, when these things would be done away with, and it would be said they were no longer needed."
The plain fact of the matter is, Mormonism is solidly Bible based, and in fact, we have now seen that the main difference, since the Christians love to point out differences as if that proves Mormonism is non-Christian, is simply this: Mormonism accepts the entire Bible far more seriously for study and a life's guide than Christians do. If acceptance of the Bible is one of the criterion necessary to qualify as Christians, Mormonism undoubtedly out-qualifies Christians themselves.
1. Journal of Discourses, (Hereafter JD) Vol.1, p.25, John Taylor, August 22, 1852. Cf. JD, Vol.14, p.338, John Taylor, March 3, 1872 - "There is a principle of freedom planted in the human mind that has always existed there, and no man, nor any power has yet been able to obliterate it. Believing as we do we take the liberty to believe the Bible..."
2. JD, Vol.1, p.34, Heber C. Kimball, July 11, 1852. See also JD, Vol.13, p.236, Brigham Young, February 20, 1870 - "Now, excuse me everybody that does not believe in the Bible, or who is inclined not to believe in it, we are so unwise, so shortsighted, so foolish in our imagination that we believe the Bible, we actually believe that God the Father is our heavenly Father, that we are His children; and we believe that Jesus Christ is our elder brother--that he is actually the Son of our Father and that he is the Savior of the world, and was appointed to this before the foundations of this earth were laid. We are just so foolish and short-sighted as to believe all this."
3. JD, Vol.1, p.154, John Taylor, June 12, 1853
4. JD, Vol.1, p.223, John Taylor, April 8, 1853. Cf. JD, Vol.13, p.29, Daniel H. Wells, April 7, 1869 "The Bible is good, and we believe in it more than any other people. " See also JD, Vol.13, p.38, George Albert Smith, October 8, 1869 - "The Latter-day Saints believe the Bible. An agent of the American Bible Society called on me the other day and wanted to know if we would aid the Society in circulating the Bible in our Territory? I replied yes, by all means, for it was the book from which we were enabled to set forth our doctrines..."
5. JD, Vol.1, p.234, Brigham Young, July 24, 1853
6. JD, Vol.1, p.237, Brigham Young, July 24, 1853. See also JD, Vol.13, p.269 - p.270, Brigham Young, July 24, 1870 - "Yet this book, the Bible, portrays the character of God, the Father of our spirits, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as clearly as any work ever written by man portrays the shape, nature, construction and constitution of the human frame. If this is so, why do not the Christian world believe in it? The Latter-day Saints do believe enough of it to try and carry it out in their practice."
7. JD, Vol.1, p.238, Brigham Young, July 24, 1853. See also JD, Vol.13, p.219 - p.220, Brigham Young, July 17, 1870 - "this book (the Bible) is the standard I believe." See also JD, Vol.26, p.270 - p.271 Junius F. Wells, July 12th, 1885 - "The Bible contains the doctrines that the Latter-day Saints preach, that the Latter-day Saints have the courage in the face of all the world to practice. They are doctrines of truth, of holiness, of progress and advancement, designed to save men, to build them up, to develop the best thoughts in them, and prepare them for greater light and greater knowledge..."
8. JD, Vol.1, p.238, Brigham Young, July 24, 1853. See also JD, Vol.17, p.270, Orson Pratt, November 15, 1874 - "Now the Christian world believe the Bible, so do the Latter-day Saints. WE believe that the original was just as true as the Book of Mormon, that is our faith..."
9. JD, Vol.1, p.242 - p.243, Brigham Young, July 24, 1853. Cf. JD, Vol.13, p.231, John Taylor, May 6, 1870 - "I believe the Bible; I believe in the revelations of God..."
10. JD, Vol.2, p.82, Orson Hyde, October 6, 1854
11. JD, Vol.2, p.188, Brigham Young, February 18, 1855. Cf. JD, Vol.13, p.56, Brigham Young, July 18, 1869 - "we not only believe part of the Bible, but the whole of it, and the whole of the plan of salvation that Jesus has given to us. Do we differ from others who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? No, only in believing more; we are one with them as far as they believe in him. Do we differ with regard to the practice of the Gospel that he has delivered to us? No, not as far as they really believe in and practice the doctrines taught by him. We believe all that any good man on the earth need believe. We believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ His Son, our Savior. We believe all that Moses spoke and wrote of him, all that the apostles said of him, and all that Jesus himself has said, which was penned by his apostles and servants."
12. JD, Vol.2, p.222, Heber C. Kimball, September 17, 1854. See also JD, Vol.17, p.71 - p.72, Wilford Woodruff, May 8, 1874 - "We believe in the revelations of Jesus Christ contained in the Bible..."
13. JD, Vol.3, p.312, Parley P. Pratt, April 7, 1856. See also JD, Vol.13, p.336, Brigham Young, April 24, 1870 - "we also believe the Bible. Do you, my friends? I would to God you did. I am like Moses when a messenger came to him saying, "The people are prophesying in their tents." Said Moses, Well, what of that? I would to God that the Lord's people were all prophets! I would to God that they all had revelation! When they receive revelation from heaven the story is told, they know for themselves.
14. JD, Vol.4, p.341, Brigham Young, June 7, 1857
15. JD, Vol.5, p.92, Heber C. Kimball, July 26, 1857. Cf. JD, Vol.13, p.18, John Taylor, March 14, 1869 - "Yes, let us take the Bible, for we all believe in that." See also JD, Vol.14, p.226 - p.227, Brigham Young, August 27, 1871 - "That book (the Bible) contains the words of the Almighty, and I will repeat a few of them." Also JD, Vol.15, p.119, George Q. Cannon, July 14, 1872 - "The Bible teaches that God is love... We are taught there that God's salvation is not confined to this brief space which we call time, but that, as he is eternal, so are his mercy, love and compassion eternal towards his creatures."
16. JD, Vol.5, p.133, Heber C. Kimball, August 2, 1857
17. JD, Vol.5, p.343, Brigham Young, October 18, 1857
18. JD, Vol.7, p.19, Heber C. Kimball, July 16, 1854. Cf. JD, Vol.13, p.247, Brigham Young, September 25, 1870 - "I was traditionated to believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and I believe it is a Bible doctrine. I do not think I am mistaken in my religious faith."
19. JD, Vol.7, p.42, Brigham Young, March 28, 1858
20. JD, Vol.7, p.286 - p.287, Brigham Young, October 9, 1859
21. JD, Vol.8, p.129 - p.130, Brigham Young, July 22, 1860. Cf. JD, Vol.25, p.228 - p.229, Charles W. Penrose, July 26, 1884.
22. JD, Vol.9, p.55, Heber C. Kimball, April 14, 1861. Also see JD, Vol.15, p.193 - p.194 - p.195, Brigham Young, October 8, 1872; Cf. JD, Vol.10, p.15 - p.16, Wilford Woodruff, July 27, 1862 - "If persons will believe the Bible, the Book of Doctrines and Covenants, and the Book of Mormon, they can therein learn the fate of the world, for it is there pointed out in great plainness." Also JD, Vol.10, p.19, Brigham Young, October 6, 1862 - "To believe the Gospel and embrace it, to believe all that is written in the Bible, Book of Mormon and Book of Doctrine and Covenants..." See also JD, Vol.15, p.43, Brigham Young, May 26th, 1872; Also JD, Vol.18, p.187 - p.188, Wilford Woodruff, April 6, 1876; Also JD, Vol.19, p.65 - p.66, Brigham Young, July 24, 1877; JD, Vol.21, p.243, John Taylor, March 21st, 1880; JD, Vol.23, p.125 - p.126, Wilford Woodruff, May 14, 1882; JD, Vol.23, p.320 - p.323, John Taylor, November 23rd, 1882; JD, Vol.25, p.90 - p.91, John Taylor, February 10, 1884.
23. JD, Vol.9, p.331, Brigham Young, August 3, 1862
24. JD, Vol.10, p.320 - p.321, Brigham Young, July 31, 1864. See also JD, Vol.18, p.67, Orson Pratt, July 25, 1875 - "These are some of the grand events spoken of in this Bible; these are events that the Latter-day Saints believe in, and that so far as it lies in their power, they are trying to fulfill." Cf. JD, Vol.23, p.41, John Morgan, December 18, 1881 - "we find the great majority of them [non-Mormons] much astonished when they learn that we believe in the Bible, and that we take the teachings of that Book to substantiate our doctrines. Among this class who are so uninformed as to our theological status are Congressmen, governors, legislators and others of distinction and character."
25. JD, Vol.10, p.321 - p.322, Brigham Young, July 31, 1864. See also JD, Vol.13, p.144, Brigham Young, July 11, 1869 - "The Gospel that we preach is the power of God unto salvation; and the first principle of that Gospel is, as I have already said, faith in God, and faith in Jesus Christ His Son our Savior. We must believe that he is the character he is represented to be in the holy Scriptures. Believe that he told the truth when he said to his disciples, "Go ye forth and preach the Gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." We must believe that this same Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, that is for the original sin..."
26. JD, Vol.10, p.325, Brigham Young, July 31, 1864. See also JD, Vol.18, p.35, Wilford Woodruff, June 27, 1875 - "I always have had faith in the Bible and in the revelations of God since I was a boy like these sitting on these seats, eight or ten years old, when I went to the Presbyterian Sunday school and read about Jesus Christ. I believed then that he was the Savior of the world; I believed that the Old and New Testament was true. I believe it to-day."
27. JD, Vol.11, p.122, Brigham Young, June 18, 1865
28. JD, Vol.11, p.123, Brigham Young, June 18, 1865. Also see JD, Vol.13, p.335 - p.336, Brigham Young, April 24, 1870 - "What we do ask is that you will believe what is recorded in the Holy Bible concerning God and His revelations to the children of men. Do this in all honesty and sincerity, then you will know that the Book of Mormon is true. Your minds will be opened and you will know by the visions of the Spirit of God that we teach the truth."
29. JD, Vol.11, p.341 - p.342, John Taylor, March 31st, 1867. See also JD, Vol.19, p.191 - p.192, Joseph F. Smith, September 30, 1877 - "The Bible is but a book containing the writings of inspired men, "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness;" as such we hold it is sacred... I have read the Bible, and I have as good reason for believing it as any other man, and do believe it with all my heart..." Also see JD, Vol.19, p.262 - p.263, Joseph F. Smith, April 11, 1878.
30. JD, Vol.11, p.346 - p.347, John Taylor, March 31st, 1867. Cf. JD, Vol.13, p.174 - p.175, Brigham Young, May 29, 1870
"This is the way that I read the Bible, and I ask, is there any harm in reading and understanding it thus? There are a great many infidels now, who were formerly among our Christian friends and brethren, who are ignoring the Bible in their public schools. I do not. Is there anything in the Bible that should not be read by the scholars in schools? If there be, leave out such parts, or rather replace the language there used, with phraseology more in accordance with modern usage, so that the principles contained in the Bible may be taught in your catechisms or other books. I know that there is some plain talk in the Bible, plainer than I heard this morning; but that plain talk was the custom of the ancients. The mere phraseology there used is not of much consequence, it is the true principle which that book teaches which renders it so valuable."
31. JD, Vol.12, p.58 - p.59, Brigham Young, June 16th, 1867
32. JD, Vol.12, p.108, Brigham Young, November 3rd, 1867. See also JD, Vol.13, p.250, Brigham Young, September 25, 1870 - "Take the Bible, then, as it is. If it is not translated correctly, wait until it is. It will do for us as it is, consequently we teach the principles it contains to each other and to our children, and endeavor to avoid giving them false ideas with regard to the faith of the Gospel that we believe in.
We believe in our Father, and do not apply this term to a nonentity... He is our Father; He is our God, the Father of our spirits; He is the framer of our bodies... This is the doctrine taught by the ancients, taught by the prophets, taught by Jesus, taught by his Apostles, taught by Joseph Smith, taught by those who believe the same doctrine that Joseph Smith believed in--the revelations that God has given in modern times, who believe in that Being after whose image and in whose likeness man was formed, framed and made, precisely like Him that made him. This is the doctrine. To believe that He lives... He has given His son, according to His good pleasure, to redeem the earth..."
33. JD, Vol.12, p.358 - p.359, Orson Pratt, February 24th, 1869
34. JD, Vol.13, p.176, Brigham Young, May 29, 1870. Cf. JD, Vol.13, p.235 - p.236, Brigham Young, February 20, 1870 - "The Bible contains the word of God, the word of Jesus, of angels, of good men, of those tolerably good, of wicked men, and the words of the devil, the enemy of all righteousness, the enemy of Jesus, and the enemy of this world, who is determined that he will possess the earth and its inhabitants; and in the main it is true; and every item of doctrine taught by the Latter-day Saints is to be found in this book."Cf. JD, Vol.14, p.209, Brigham Young, August 13, 1871; JD, Vol.14, p.280, Brigham Young, July 3, 1870; See also JD, Vol.14, p.99, Brigham Young, August 8, 1869 - "We believe the Bible and practice it, as far as our weaknesses will permit. Not that we do it perfectly; as it has been stated this morning, we have darkness, unbelief, ignorance, superstition, and our traditions to contend with and overcome; and they cling to us to that degree that we can hardly overcome them."
35. JD, Vol.13, p.213, Brigham Young, July 17, 1870
36. JD, Vol.15, p.41 - p.42, Brigham Young, May 26th, 1872. See also JD, Vol.16, p.212 - p.213, 216f, Orson Pratt, September 28, 1873 for a literal belief in the ministry of angels as opposed to the Christians of his day. Also see JD, Vol.16, p.243 - p.244, George Q. Cannon, October 6, 1873.
37. JD, Vol.16, p.72 - p.73, Brigham Young, May 25, 1873
38. JD, Vol.16, p.73 - p.74, Brigham Young, May 25, 1873. See also JD, Vol.17, p.341 - p.342, George Q. Cannon, March 28, 1875 - "He has revealed to us the everlasting Gospel; the everlasting Gospel! the truth as it is contained in this book (Bible); he has taught us what to do in order to gain favor in his sight." Also JD, Vol.18, p.120 - p.121, Wilford Woodruff, September 12, 1875 - "Let us try to be faithful and to live our religion; let us try to believe in the revelations of God... When I read the revelations, whether in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Book of Doctrine and Covenants, I look upon them as true, and I look for their fulfillment." See also JD, Vol.22, p.174 - p.175, Wilford Woodruff, June 12, 1881, for the acceptance of living prophets, apostles, and revelation as the Bible set forth. Also see JD, Vol.22, p.253 - p.254 - p.255, George Q. Cannon, September 18, 1881 - "We accept the Bible to-day without a question--that is, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and in God." Also JD, Vol.22, p.262 - p.263, George Q. Cannon, May 8th, 1881, for belief in the prophets and apostles as found in the Bible. Also JD, Vol.25, p.13 - p.14, George Teasdale, January 13th, 1884.
39. JD, Vol.18, p.250 - p.251, George Q. Cannon, September 17, 1876.
40. JD, Vol.20, p.242 - p.243, George G. Bywater, June 29, 1879. See also JD, Vol.22, p.69 - p.70, Charles W. Penrose, January 30, 1881. Also JD, Vol.26, p.228 - p.229, Henry W. Naisbitt, June 7, 1885 - "To tell a stranger that the people of Utah believe in the Bible, appears to be something altogether unlooked for."
41. JD, Vol.23, p.345, Charles W. Penrose, January 14th, 1883.
42. JD, Vol.26, p.198, Orson F. Whitney, April 19, 1885.