Often Mormon missionaries are told at the door that they have added to the bible and are going to Hell. These good meaning Christians who are trying to save us, often use Revelation 22: 18 and 19. People assume this means to the whole book and that the Book of Mormon adds to the Bible. But wait. Similar scriptures can also be found In Deuteronomy 4: 2, and Proverbs 30: 6. If you read these the message is clear: I gave you commandments, doctrine. DO NOT ad lib, stretch, or alter for your benefit or you will be a liar. I said what I said. Leave it at that!
Here are just a few reasons pointed out by an apostle Jeffrey R. Holland in 2008. I summarize here.
- All bible scholars understand those verses to be about the book of Revelation, not the whole Bible.
- Many of the books in the Bible were written after John’s Revelation.
- The whole Bible did not exist when that was written. There was never a complete collection of the entire corpus of 5366 known Greek New Testament manuscripts. Only 35 are contained the NT as we know it. 34 were compiled after 1000 AD.
- Every prophet of Old and New Testament added scriptures to that received by their predecessors. What justifies them? It was made clear by Jehovah himself. “my works are without end and my words never cease”
- There is no closed canon. The Old Testament does not lose its value in our eyes when we are introduced to the New Testament and the New Testament is only enhanced when we read the Book of Mormon.
- Latter-Day Saints love and revere the Bible. It is always first identified in our standard works. Indeed, it was a divinely ordained encounter with the fifth verse of the first chapter of the book of James that led Joseph Smith to his vision of theFather and the Son, which gave birth to the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our time. But even then, Joseph knew the Bible alone could not be the answer to all the religious questions he and others like him had. As he said in his own words, the ministers of his community were contending—sometimes angrily—over their doctrines. “Priest [was] contending against priest, and convert [was contending] against convert … in a strife of words and a contest about opinions,” he said. About the only thing these contending religions had in common was, ironically, a belief in the Bible, but, as Joseph wrote, “the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question [regarding which church was true] by an appeal to the Bible.”7Clearly the Bible, so frequently described at that time as “common ground,” was nothing of the kind—unfortunately it was a battleground.
Thus, one of the great purposes of continuing revelation through living prophets is to declare to the world through additional witnesses that the Bible is true. “This is written,” an ancient prophet said, speaking of the Book of Mormon, “for the intent that ye may believe that,” speaking of the Bible.8 In one of the earliest revelations received by Joseph Smith, the Lord said, “Behold, I do not bring [the Book of Mormon fourth] to destroy [the Bible] but to build it up.”9
- One other point needs to be made. Since it is clear that there were Christians long before there was a New Testament or even an accumulation of the sayings of Jesus, it cannot therefore be maintained that the Bible is what makes one a Christian. The ultimate source of knowledge and authority for a Latter-day Saint is the living God. The communication of those gifts comes from God as living, vibrant, divine revelation.12
This doctrine lies at the very heart of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of our message to the world. We believe in a God who is engaged in our lives, who is not silent, not absent, nor, as Elijah said of the god of the priests of Baal, is He “[on] a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be [awakened].”13 In this Church, even our young Primary children recite, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”14
Those are great reason why we are not adding, but one thing I have noticed among all the versions of the Bible is all the “taking away” that is done. Go to a major chain book store and you may find a poster on the side of the shelf explaining all the different versions of Bibles and what they are good for. Really? Is not the original, most correct, the King James Version as we claim good enough for all reasons?
The bottom line is, you’ll need to find another reason to not want more truth.