reviewed* a “newish” reason to discount the Bible. The reason was promulgated by a writer named Daymon. His contention was that the present Bible did not meet the criteria of the “Book of the Lamb of God,” but here are more reasons to rethink his criticism—to consider the witness, attitude, and advice of a prior Smith, named Joseph.
After telling me [Joseph] these things, [Moroni] commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus: For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. He also quoted the next verse differently: And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. … He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. … He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here. (Pearl of Great Price | JS-History 1:36-41, bold emphasis added.)So, considering all the above, if we neglect the Bible could it end up constituting a form of ingratitude similar to what God lamented in:
[T]he first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same; we feel ourselves bound by the laws of God, to observe and do strictly, with all our hearts, all things whatsoever is manifest unto us by the highest degree of testimony that God has committed us, as written in the old and new Testament, or any where else, by any manifestation, whereof we know that it has come from God: and has application to us, being adapted to our situation and circumstances; age, and generation of life; and that we have a perfect, and indefeasible right, to embrace all such commandments, and do them; knowing, that God will not command any thing, but what is peculiarly adapted in itself, to ameliorate the condition of every man under whatever circumstances it may find him, it matters not what kingdom or country he may be in. (Copy of a Letter from J[oseph] Smith Jr. To Mr. Galland., Times and Seasons, vol. 1 (November 1839-October 1840), Vol. 1 No. 4 February, 1840 54, bold emphasis added.)
This book [of Mormon] also tells us that our Saviour made his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection, that he planted the gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessing, as was enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgement of their prophesies, history &c., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days. (Extract of a letter by Joseph Smith to Mr. John Wentworth, Editor, and Proprietor of the "Chicago Democrat," Times and Seasons, vol. 3 (November 1841-October 1842), Vol. 3 No. 9 March 1, 1842 708, bold emphasis added.)
In doctrine Mr. [Joseph] Smith is eminently scriptural. I have never known him to deny or depreciate a single truth of the Old and New Testaments; but I have always known him to explain and defend them in a masterly manner.—Being anointed of God, for the purpose of teaching and perfecting the church, it is needful that he should know how to set in order the things that are wanting to bring forth things new and old, as a scribe well instructed. This office and apostleship he appears to magnify; at his touch the ancient prophets spring into life, and the beauty and power of their revelations are made to commend themselves with thrilling interest to all that hear. (Letter of Orson Spencer., Times and Seasons, vol. 4 (November 1842-November 1843), Vol. 4 No. 4 January 2, 1843 57, bold emphasis added.)
I have witnessed the Mormons in their assemblies on a Sunday, and I know not where a similar scene could be effected or produced. With respect to the teachings of the prophet, I must say that there are some things hard to be understood, but he invariably supports himself from our good old Bible. (Excerpt from a letter signed “Yours, An Englishman” published in Times and Seasons, vol. 4 (November 1842-November 1843), Vol. 4 No. 23 October 15, 1843 356-357, bold emphasis added.)
The numerous Bible references cited in Lectures on Faith (the doctrine portion of the Doctrine and Covenants, 1835) which Joseph carefully reviewed in preparation for its publication.
And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible. But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles? (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 29:3-4)The final word in praise of the Bible we give to another Smith, the elder brother of Joseph:
[Pres't. Hyrum Smith] stated "that there were many of the commands of God that seemed to be overlooked by this generation, and he was fearful that many of the Latter Day Saints in this respect were following their old traditions, and former practices of spiritualizing the word of God, and through a vain philosophy departing from the pure principles of eternal truth which God had given by revelation for the salvation of the human family; but, that every word of God is an importance, whether it be the word contained in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, or in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, for 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.' The principles that are taught in the Bible are pure, and ought to be adhered too; and if people adhere to that teaching it will prove their salvation. The principles that are taught in the Book of Mormon are also pure, and holy and righteous, and will if followed lead men to God. And the principles that are taught in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, are from God, they are principles of righteousness;—they are given for a blessing to the human family, and the salvation, temporal and spiritual, of his saints; and that man who wantonly departs from any of the revelations of Jehovah, and treats lightly the word of God, whether contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon, or the Bible, is void of understanding: he is not wise concerning the doings of the Lord, the plan of salvation, the past dealings, present designs, or future purposes of the Almighty. (Extract of a discourse by Hyrum Smith, elder brother of Joseph Smith, Jr.; The Word of Wisdom, Times and Seasons, vol. 3 (November 1841-October 1842), Vol. 3 No. 14 May 16, 1842 799.)------------------------------/