The Book of Mormon can enhance your study of the New Testament.
The New Testament is a record of the life of Jesus Christ and its impact on the first generation of Christians. It consists of:
- Four accounts of His life and ministry, by different authors (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), known collectively as the Gospels.
- An account, written by Luke, of the experiences of the apostles as they organized the church following the Savior’s death and resurrection, called “the Acts of the Apostles.”
- A collection of epistles written by the apostle Paul to church members in various regions. These epistles are organized by length, from the longest (Romans) to the shortest (Philemon). The lengthy epistle to the Hebrews is last because its authorship is not clear.
- Epistles by other church leaders—James, Peter, John, and Jude—known as the General Epistles.
- An account of an extensive vision experienced by the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos. This document foretells events in the distant future, with extensive use of symbolism, culminating in the ultimate triumph of God and His church. This book is called “Revelation,”
The Book of Mormon was written by a group of people who left Jerusalem about 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ and immigrated to the American continent. Although Book of Mormon authors never met the writers of the New Testament, both sets of authors built on a common Old Testament foundation. (See 1 Nephi 5:11-13.) Furthermore, Book of Mormon prophets gained access to some New Testament content by revelation, and they added additional insight to those passages. Here are some of the most significant of these connections:
- Nephi experienced an expansive vision in which he saw global events in the distant future. He was instructed not to include all that he saw, because an apostle of Jesus Christ named John would record those events. (See 1 Nephi 14:18-27.) This is a clear reference to the book of Revelation.
- Zenos’s allegory of the olive tree, quoted in Jacob 5, has a lot in common with Paul’s metaphor of wild branches grafted into an olive tree in Romans 11:16-29.
- The apostle Paul and the prophet Alma both elaborated extensively on the second half of Psalm 95. (See Hebrews 3-4, Alma 12-13.)
- Jesus Christ delivered the Sermon on the Mount during His mortal ministry, probably more than once. (See Matthew 5-7, Luke 6:17-49.) During His visit to the American continent following His death and resurrection, He delivered essentially the same sermon to the people described in the Book of Mormon. (See 3 Nephi 12-14.)
- Immediately after sharing this sermon, the Savior explained to His audience that they were some of the “other sheep” He had referenced during His mortal life, whom He would bring into His “fold.” (See John 10:16, 3 Nephi 15:12-24, 16:1-3.)
- In Mormon’s sermon on faith, hope, and charity, he quotes nearly verbatim from the apostle Paul’s poetic discourse on charity in 1 Corinthians 13. (See Moroni 7:45-47.) He then concludes the sermon with a paraphrase of 1 John 3:2: “When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Additionally, Book of Mormon prophets worshipped Jesus Christ long before He was born. An angel told Jacob that our Redeemer would be called “Christ” (2 Nephi 10:3), and his brother Nephi added that “according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (2 Nephi 25:19). And about 125 years before the Savior’s birth, King Benjamin taught that there is “no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent” (Mosiah 3:17), which is the same message delivered by Peter in Acts 4:12. Multiple Book of Mormon prophets foresaw and described the life of Jesus Christ, including Nephi (1 Nephi 11:13-14), Abinadi (Mosiah 15:1-9), and Alma (Alma 7:9-13). And multiple people in the Book of Mormon testified that their sins had been washed away because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. (See Enos 1:5-8, Mosiah 4:2-3, Alma 19:29, Alma 36:17-21.)
In 2023, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will study the New Testament as part of the Church’s Come, Follow Me curriculum. As we study this year, let’s remember these connections and allow the Book of Mormon to add richness to our understanding of the gospel.
Br. Anderson: THANKS for your contributions to our daily living. I start each day a little better by studying your thoughts, insight & messages.
Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. Thanks for letting me know. Merry Christmas!