Mormon Sacred Texts




"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."     
- Articles of Faith, 8

Mormons recognize four main texts as divinely inspired and authoritative scripture. These are called the "Standard Works."

  • The Christian Bible (King James translation)
  • The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, which is:
    • an English translation from the golden plates that was first published in 1830
    • a record of God's work and Christ's apperance among the ancient natives of North America
  • The Doctrine and Covenants, "a collection of revelations and inspired declarations" composed of:
    • 138 revelations from God, 135 of which were recorded by Joseph Smith, plus one each by John Taylor, Brigham Young, and Joseph F. Smith.
    • Two "official declarations" which are more recent revelations. One was added in 1890 concerning polygamy; one was added in 1978 concerning the role of black persons in the Church.
  • The Pearl of Great Price, which is composed of:
    • two lost books of the Bible: the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham
    • a translation of the Gospel of Matthew
    • Joseph Smith history
    • The Mormon 13 Articles of Faith.




Mormons believe that errors have crept into the copying of the Bible throughout history and that additional errors have been caused by faulty translation of the Bible into English from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. In cases of conflict between the Bible and the remaining inspired texts, the latter are judged to be authoritative. 

In addition to the above sacred texts, the following books are considered to contain material of great historical and spiritual significance:

  • History of the Church: 7 volumes mostly written at the time of Joseph Smith. They document the early history of the church.
  • Journal of Discourses: 26 volumes from past General Authorities, who were close associates of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
  • Lectures on Faith: 7 lectures prepared by Joseph Smith and delivered in the 'School of the Prophets.' They discuss theology, the nature of God and the principles of faith.
  • The Inspired Translation of the Bible: a revision of the King James Version of the Bible by Joseph Smith.
  • Assorted writings such as conference reports, collected writings of modern prophets, etc.

Sources

  1. The Scriptures - LDS.org (full online text of Mormon scriptures)
  2. "Scriptures." Mormon.org.
  3. "The Book of Mormon." Mormon.org.
  4. "Introduction." Religioustolerance.org.
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