Although the Book of Mormon is the keystone of this religion, the Bible is essential scripture of the Church. It was Joseph Smith's study of the Bible that prompted him to ask God which of all the churches was correct, after which he received the First Vision.
The eighth Article of Faith states, "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."
Prophets and Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have often testified of the truth and power of the Bible throughout Church history. Here are a few of their testimonies.
Miraculous preservation and translation
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared the story of William Tyndale in his April 2010 general conference address, "The Blessing of Scripture." Tyndale was martered outside Vilvorde Castle near Brussels, Belgium, due to his efforts to translate the Bible into English and make the words of God available for the common man. Tyndale wasn't the first, nor the last, who sacrificed in order to bring the word of God out of obscurity.
"We owe them all a great debt of gratitude," Elder Christofferson said.
"Consider the magnitude of our blessing to have the Holy Bible and some 900 additional pages of scripture, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. ... Surely with this blessing the Lord is telling us that our need for constant recourse to the scriptures is greater than in any previous time."
The fact that Tyndale and other translators even had this text to translate is a miracle, then-Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught in his April 2007 general conference address.
"It is a miracle that the Bible’s 4,000 years of sacred and secular history were recorded and preserved by the prophets, apostles, and inspired churchmen," he said.
"It is a miracle that we have the Bible’s powerful doctrine, principles, poetry, and stories. But most of all, it is a wonderful miracle that we have the account of the life, ministry, and words of Jesus, which was protected through the Dark Ages and through the conflicts of countless generations so that we may have it today."
From cover to cover
One of President Spencer W. Kimball's fondest memories was of reading the entire Bible from cover to cover when he was 14 years old. In a September 1981 New Era article, he described how a Church leader gave a rousing talk on reading the scriptures. She stopped in the middle of her address and asked, "How many of you have read the Bible through?”
An accusing guilt spread over the young Spencer. When the meeting closed, he resolved to read the Holy Bible from cover to cover. This was no easy task, as President Kimball explained in his April 1974 general conference address. "I found that this Bible that I was reading had in it 66 books, and then I was nearly dissuaded when I found that it had in it 1,189 chapters, and then I also found that it had 1,519 pages. It was formidable, but I knew if others did it that I could do it," he said.
One year later, he closed the book having read every page of it.
"Now I am not telling you this story to boast; I am merely using this as an example to say that if I could do it by coal-oil light, you can do it by electric light. I have always been glad I read the Bible from cover to cover."
A path back to God
President Brigham Young shared his testimony of the doctrines contained in the Bible and the power they possess.
“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."
President Wilford Woodruff taught that the Bible has been preserved for the modern day. Just like as in ancient times, it gives men and women the course to follow in order to return to God.
“While libraries, like the library of Alexandria … have perished, the Bible has been preserved unto us, and we have it to read. It gives unto us the law of God given to the ancients. But there has been no change in that law, so far as the gospel is concerned, from that day until this. The Bible — the Old and the New Testament — gives unto us the law whereby we may be exalted and go back again into the presence of God and dwell with Him for ever and ever. It gives unto us the course we should pursue in order to receive a part in the first resurrection, that we may come forth clothed with glory, immortality and eternal life.”
Is the Bible an imposture of the creation of men? "No," President Woodruff taught, "it is not in the power of any man who ever breathed the breath of life to make such a book without the inspiration of the Almighty.”
President George Albert Smith sometimes felt that members of the Church do not appreciate the Holy Bible. And he described the Bible as a letter from Heavenly Father, just like other books of scripture.
“They may be so received, at least they are His advice and His counsel to all the children of men given to them that they may know how to take advantage of their opportunities, that their lives may not be spent in vain.”
Testify of Christ
President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of the power of the testimonies of the Savior's Atonement and Resurrection contained in the New Testament in his April 1994 general conference talk, "The Greatest Miracle in Human History."
The Bible, specifically the New Testament, "has served as the foundation of the faith of uncounted millions across the world into whose hearts there has come the witness of the Holy Spirit that it is true. They have lived by this testimony, and they have died by it. When the dark shadow of death has crossed their paths, when hope normally would have fled, there has come the reassurance that 'as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive' (1 Cor. 15:22). In such hours of darkness there has shown forth a light, steady and certain, to sustain and comfort and bless.”
The Bible and The Book of Mormon are both witnesses of Jesus Christ, then-Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught in his October 2007 general conference address.
"They teach that He is the Son of God, that He lived an exemplary life, that He atoned for all mankind, that He died upon the cross and rose again as the resurrected Lord. They teach that He is the Savior of the world."
Love for the Book of Mormon expands one's love of the Bible.
"We are indebted to martyrs who gave their lives so that we could have the Bible. It establishes the everlasting nature of the gospel and of the plan of happiness."