This is the fifth of six posts answering a set of questions recommended by President Russell M. Nelson. So far, I have written about what the Book of Mormon is, what it affirms, what it refutes, and what it fulfills. Today, I will write about what it clarifies.
As I wrote yesterday, the Book of Mormon restores plain and precious truths which have been lost as the Bible was transmitted from one person to another over many centuries. Here are some concepts which are taught in the Bible and which are explained further in the Book of Mormon:
- The Bible tells the story of the Fall of Adam and Eve and connects it with the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Genesis 3, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). The Book of Mormon clarifies that to remain in the Garden of Eden was not a desirable state for Adam and Eve and that their transgression was part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for our happiness. “All things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things” (2 Nephi 2:22-25).
- The Bible explains that, because of Jesus Christ, we will all live after death and that our sins can be forgiven (John 11:23-25, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Romans 5) . The Book of Mormon explains more clearly how the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcomes both physical and spiritual death. It also explains what we must do to receive a remission of our sins (2 Nephi 9:6-26, Alma 42).
- The Bible contains many prophecies about the scattering and gathering of Israel (Leviticus 26, Isaiah 11:12, Isaiah 54:7). The Book of Mormon clarifies what the gathering means and how we can participate in it (1 Nephi 22:7-12, 2 Nephi 30:1-8, 3 Nephi 21).
- The Bible teaches that baptism is essential for salvation and that Jesus Christ implemented the ordinance of the sacrament at the Last Supper (John 3:1-5, Matthew 26:26-29). The Book of Mormon provides further information about how baptisms and the sacrament should be performed (3 Nephi 11:21-26, Moroni 4, Moroni 5).
- The Bible discusses the role of priests, explains that they must be chosen by God, and affirms that they must be worthy to serve (Exodus 28:1-3, Hebrews 5:4, Malachi 3:3). The Book of Mormon teaches that priests were chosen before they were born and that, by magnifying their calling, they can become sanctified and enter the rest of the Lord (Alma 13).
Today, I will be grateful for the enhanced knowledge the Book of Mormon has given me about God’s plan for His children and about how I can appropriately worship Him and contribute to His work.