THE SCRIPTURES ARE AVAILABLE TO US TODAY
Again, tremendous resources for this lesson can be found in the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:... (the old Priesthood/Relief Society manuals). Especially helpful will be the manuals for Brigham Young, Chapter 17, Wilford Woodruff, Chapter 12, Joseph F. Smith, Chapter 5, Spencer W. Kimball, Chapter 6, and Harold B. Lee, Chapter 7. Remember, these can all be found on “lds.org” by clicking on “Gospel Library” then “Lessons” then “Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society.” All of the manuals are listed at the bottom of this page.
This section (after a suggested question) begins:
When the Lord’s servants speak or write under the influence of the Holy Ghost, their words become scripture (see D&C 68:4). (p. 45)
While this is how scriptures come to be, it is also true for any time a prophet speaks, in conference or any where else. However, technically, something else is required for a prophet’s words to become scripture. Here is what the Encyclopedia of Mormonism declares:
In principle and in fact, additions…are made to the standard works in the dual process of presentation through living leaders and, in accord with the law of common consent, acceptance by members of the Church. In this way, Latter-day Saints bind themselves by covenant to uphold them as scriptures. (p. 1278)
This is called “canonization” of scripture and is the process by which the Prophet proposes document(s) for the sustaining vote of the Church which then become scripture. The Bible and Book of Mormon were sustained as scripture at the organization of the Church on April 6, 1830. The Doctrine and Covenants (first known as the Book of Commandments) was sustained first in 1835 and several times later as sections were added. The Pearl of Great Price was sustained on October 10, 1880. Other canonizations, which are now in the Doctrine and Covenants, were Official Declaration—1 on October 6, 1890 and Official Declaration—2 on September 30, 1978, as well as two in the event next described.
Some of you more mature in age will remember, as do Sister Bair and I, a terrifically historical time in 1976 at the end of the sustaining of Church officers when President N. Eldon Tanner proclaimed:
President Kimball has asked me to read a very important resolution for your sustaining vote. At a meeting of the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve held in the Salt Lake Temple on March 25, 1976, approval was given to add to the Pearl of Great Price the two following revelations:
First, a vision of the celestial kingdom given to Joseph Smith, the Prophet, in the Kirtland Temple, on January 21, 1836, which deals with the salvation of those who die without a knowledge of the gospel; and second, a vision given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 3, 1918, showing the visit of the Lord Jesus Christ in the spirit world and setting forth the doctrine of the redemption of the dead.
It is proposed that we sustain and approve this action and adopt these revelations as part of the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
All in favor manifest it. Contrary, if there be any, by the same sign. Thank you. President Kimball, the voting seems to be unanimous in the affirmative.
These two “revelations” are now sections 137 and 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Indeed, Joseph Smith had many “revelations” which have not been canonized. That we are a Church of continuing revelation is born out by the following statement by President Harold B. Lee:
Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Council of the Twelve once told of a discussion he had with a group of stake officers. In the course of the discussion someone said to him, “Brother Widtsoe, how long has it been since the Church received a revelation?” Brother Widtsoe rubbed his chin thoughtfully and said in reply, “Oh, probably since last Thursday.” Brother Widtsoe undoubtedly referred to the meeting of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve that is held on each Thursday. (Tambuli - - the international equivalent of the Ensign which is sent to the Philippines - - Feb 1980, 38)
D&C 68:4 is used most often in conference talks, as it is in this section, in reference to prophets. To verify this, check out “scriptures.byu,edu” and click on D&C 68:4, then open the references there (the first one being (06—O,27,RDH) - - a talk in 2006, p. 27 by Elder Richard D. Hales).
However, this scripture also has a wider application. As D&C 68:2 states, it is for “…all those who were ordained unto this priesthood…”
This is how Elder Dallin H. Oaks used D&C 68:4 in a conference talk concerning worthy Priesthood holders:
It is a very sacred responsibility for a Melchizedek Priesthood holder to speak for the Lord in giving a priesthood blessing. As the Lord has told us in modern revelation, “My word … shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). If a servant of the Lord speaks as he is moved upon by the Holy Ghost, his words are “the will of the Lord, … the mind of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … [and] the voice of the Lord” (D&C 68:4).
But if the words of a blessing only represent the priesthood holder’s own desires and opinions, uninspired by the Holy Ghost, then the blessing is conditioned on whether it represents the will of the Lord. (Ensign, May 1987, 36
This section discusses the “standard works.” Elder Russell M. Nelson explains:
We call that guide the standard works, so named because they—the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—constitute the standard by which we should live. They serve as a standard of reference, as are standards of time, weights, and measures that are kept in national bureaus of standards. (Ensign, Nov 2000, 16)
President Harold B. Lee, in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, pleads with the Saints about the Standard Works:
It is the business of those who are to teach His children to teach the principles of the gospel. We are not set apart to teach notions or guesses at truth. We are not set apart to teach philosophies or sciences of the world. We are set apart to teach the principles of the gospel as found in the four standard works—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. (p. 65)
If you are interested in wonderful information about the coming forth of any of the Standard Works, you can go the particular Institute Student Manual for whatever book you want. Just go to “institute.lds.org” then “Institute Courses and Manuals” then click on the manual you want.
It interesting that according to the rules of grammar, the Bible is not italicized, along with other sacred books of world religions. The same is true for chapters in those books. So it is only appropriate then, that neither do we italicize the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price or their chapter titles.
That Brigham Young was not too worried about mistakes in the Bible is evident from his statement:
The Bible is true. It may not all have been translated aright, and many precious things may have been rejected in the compilation and translation of the Bible [see 1 Nephi 13:24-27]; but we understand, from the writings of one of the Apostles, that if all the sayings and doings of the Savior had been written, the world could not contain them [see John 21:25]. I will say that the world could not understand them. They do not understand what we have on record, nor the character of the Savior, as delineated in the Scriptures; and yet it is one of the simplest things in the world, and the Bible, when it is understood, is one of the simplest books in the world, for, as far as it is translated correctly [see Articles of Faith 1:8], it is nothing but truth, and in truth there is no mystery save to the ignorant. The revelations of the Lord to his creatures are adapted to the lowest capacity, and they bring life and salvation to all who are willing to receive them. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 121)
If you desire a truly wonderful resource on “How the Bible Came to Be” you will want to read the articles by that name from Lenet Read, who basically put the terrific research she did in her entire book into an eight part series printed in the 1982 Ensign from January to October (missed May, conference issue). January (part 1) and July (part 6) are especially good. You will never be the same if you read them. At least I am so glad I did.
Perhaps 2 Nephi 29:4-6 would be worth discussing concerning the gratitude Jehovah demands of us concerning the Bible:
But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.
Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
This section discusses the “Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible” (p. 46). Joseph began this important work in June 1830, only two months after the organization of the Church. He completed it, for the most part, three years later in July of 1833. Some great insights as to why Joseph made this translation come from not only his personal study of the Bible, but most importantly, his reception of the Lord’s inspiration. He stated:
I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek languages. I have been reading the German, and find it to be the most [nearly] correct translation, and to correspond nearest to the revelations which God has given to me for the last fourteen years. (Ensign, Apr 1971, 13)
And another time:
I shall comment on the very first Hebrew word in the Bible. I will make a comment on the very first sentence of the history of creation in the Bible--Berosheit. I want to analyze the word. Baith--in, by, through, and everything else. Rosh--the head. Sheit--grammatical termination.
When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the Baith there. An old Jew, without any authority, added the word. He thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head!
It read first, "The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods." That is the true meaning of the words... Thus, the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council. (History of the Church, 6:307)
Joseph Smith also gave three reasons why the Bible is not “translated correctly” (Articles of Faith 1:8):
I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. (History of the Church, 6:57)
There is a truly great resource for more information on one of the most powerful yet generally unknown histories of the Church - - that of the coming forth of the Joseph Smith Translation. It is told very well by one of the key players in the whole drama, Robert J. Matthews, in “Joseph Smith’s Inspired Translation of the Bible,” found in Ensign, Dec 1972, p. 61. He there relates that in translating the Bible, Joseph would first formulate a question. Second he would take that question to the Lord. Third he would receive an answer that later became a section of the Doctrine and Covenants. In this article he concludes:
It appears that the work was to be a revelatory experience, through which Joseph would come to an understanding of things that he had not previously known.
In a similar manner many of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were received, and these revelations came forth out of a background gained from the Prophet’s translation of the Bible…
It is significant that most of the doctrinal revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were received during the three years the Prophet was working with the Bible. It is possible that the greatest value of the new translation has come in this manner rather than from the corrections within the pages of the Bible.
What Joseph, by revelation, did was change over 4,000 verses in the Bible, mostly in Genesis, Psalms, Isaiah, Romans and 1 Corinthians. He changed almost 50% of the Gospels and 56% of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).
But perhaps the single chapter most changed by Joseph was Matthew 24, which is now Joseph Smith-Matthew in the Pearl of Great Price. Therein he increased the wording by 50%, adding only one new verse (verse 55 - - a powerful summation of the beginning and end of the millennium). But he first showed us that Jesus taught His apostles about the Second Coming (verses 1-4) and then rearranged nine verses as they appeared in Matthew 24 to nicely separate First Coming events (verses 5-19) from Second Coming events (verses 20-55). I have often said if the only thing Joseph Smith ever did was translate this chapter, it would be enough for me to know that He was a prophet of God.
BOOK OF MORMON
This section teaches that the Book of Mormon “contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” and gives references for that from the D&C (p. 46).
Some have wondered about this quote since the Book of Mormon contains little to nothing about baptisms for the dead, temple endowments, temple marriage, sealing of families, three degrees of glory, church and priesthood organization - - doctrines seemingly essential in the Church of Jesus Christ. President Ezra Taft Benson explained this in a First Presidency Message appropriately entitled “The Keystone of Our Religion”:
That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation. The Book of Mormon offers so much that broadens our understandings of the doctrines of salvation. Without it, much of what is taught in other scriptures would not be nearly so plain and precious. (Ensign, Jan 1992, 2)
In another talk, President Benson taught:
In the Doctrine and Covenants we learn of temple work, eternal families, the degrees of glory, Church organization, and many other great truths of the Restoration. (Ensign, May 1987, 83)
That President Wilford Woodruff was apparently not bothered by such questions concerning this issue is shown in this quote:
These two records [the Bible and the Book of Mormon] were also to be made use of in order to preach the fulness of the everlasting gospel to both Jew and Gentile; and they will stand in judgment against the generation living on the earth when they come forth. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 119)
In this section is also a statement made by Joseph Smith that the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth” (p. 46)
Those who oppose the Church have tried to refute this claim by pointing out that there were about 4,000 corrections made from the first edition. What I have never seen them include is the fact that Joseph was well aware of these errors, mostly spelling and grammatical, and made over 1,000 corrections himself for the second edition. He clarified this issue when he explained:
I never told you I was perfect, but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 368)
At “lds.org/newsroom” the following is released to the press explaining the nature and process of correcting these errors:
Almost 4,000 editing corrections have been made to the Book of Mormon since the first publication in 1830. For example: the word which has been changed to who 891 times; was has been changed to were 162 times; and the word that has been deleted 188 times. Other examples involve mistakes in the transcription process. While Joseph Smith and a scribe were translating in the book of Alma, for instance, the scribe misheard Joseph and wrote the word whether instead of wither. This mistake, which was included in the first edition, changed the complexion of the sentence and caused confusion among readers. Each correction that has been made has aimed at aligning the text with the original translation. (25 August 2008)
This section also has a terrific quote from President Benson about “how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.” (p. 46) From this talk which is quoted in the talk, he preceded the quote with the following explanation of a keystone:
A keystone is the central stone in an arch. (Ensign, Jan 1992, 2)
In the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith is a wonderful chapter titled “The Book of Mormon: Keystone of our Religion” (Chapter 4).
But the real bottom line, as the last section of this lesson will teach, is that by far the most important thing to do with the Book of Mormon is to read it. There are very few more powerful promises than was given by our past President Hinckley when he pleaded with us to read the Book of Mormon and proclaimed:
Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God. (Ensign, Aug 2005, 2)
I bear testimony that those promises still hold.
DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
Here is an interesting statement by President Ezra Taft Benson from an article entitled “The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants” (the whole article is great):
The Doctrine and Covenants is the binding link between the Book of Mormon and the continuing work of the Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors. (Ensign, May 1987, 83)
As LDS, we believe in open canon, which means literally that revelation which will lead to sustaining of further scripture has not stopped. Elder Boyd K. Packer said:
…the Doctrine and Covenants, the book that will never be closed. (Ensign May 1990, 36)
In the great talk already mentioned by President Benson, he pleads:
God bless us all to use all the scriptures, but in particular the instrument He designed to bring us to Christ—the Book of Mormon…along with…the Doctrine and Covenants, the instrument to bring us to Christ’s kingdom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Ensign, May 1987, 83)
Further elaboration concerning the “keystone” statement in the earlier section, President Ezra Taft Benson also stated:
The Book of Mormon is the “keystone” of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone, with continuing latter-day revelation. The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone. (Ensign, May 1987, 83)
The above helps us understand a little better what Joseph Smith stated about the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants:
Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none… (History of the Church, 2:52)
Important discussion/reading activities are paragraphs # 3 and # 8 of the “Explanatory Introduction” of the Doctrine and Covenants (second page - - after the title page). Paragraph # 3 is wonderful in explaining how the Doctrine and Covenants works “in concert” with the Bible and Book of Mormon. Paragraph # 8 is a powerful summary of the best themes of the Doctrine and Covenants.
President Heber J. Grant felt the same way as Paragraph # 3 details:
The Book of Mormon is in absolute harmony from start to finish with other sacred scriptures. There is not a doctrine taught in it that does not harmonize with the teachings of Jesus Christ. . . . There is not a thing in it but what is for the benefit and uplift of mankind. It is in every way a true witness for God, and it sustains the Bible and is in harmony with the Bible. (Presidents of the Church Institute Teachers Manual, Chapter 7)
If you are further intrigued, (or a glutton for details), two articles, “The Story of the Doctrine and Covenants” and “How the Revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were received and Compiled” are found in Ensign Dec. (p. 32) and Jan. (p. 27). Doctrine and Covenants Institute Student Manual is shorter (Intro).
PEARL OF GREAT PRICE
The Pearl of Great Price has a most fascinating historical background. In 1851, as a newly-called apostle, Elder Franklin D. Richards was mission president of Great Britain. He decided to print a mission pamphlet since half of the church members there had been members for less than two years. He named it “Pearl of Great Price” after Matthew 13:45-46. He included most of what is now Moses, from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Genesis, which had been printed in the Evening and Morning Star newspaper in Kirtland, Ohio. Next came what is now Abraham, which had been printed in the Times and Seasons newspaper in Nauvoo. Then came what is now Joseph Smith-Matthew, which had been printed as a broadside (kind of a poster) in Kirtland. Then in between some sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, some printed in newspapers and some not yet published, came some of what is now Joseph Smith-History, also printed in the Times and Seasons newspaper in Nauvoo. Next was Articles of Faith, also printed in the Times and Seasons newspaper in Nauvoo. Last was a poem by a recent British convert John Jacques, entitled “Truth” (now the lyrics to Hymn #272, “Oh Say, What is Truth?”).
A copy of this pamphlet was sent to Brigham Young, who placed it in the Salt Lake Temple vault in 1856. An American edition (minus the D&C sections and the poem) was printed in 1877 along with what is now D&C 132, which had never been published. In 1880 President John Taylor called on the Church to sustain the new Pearl of Great Price (minus D&C 132) along with a new edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (with section 132 added)
Something important about the Pearl of Great Price is that the books of Moses and Abraham are invaluable means to prepare one for going to the temple for the first time.
President Gordon B. Hinckley also stated:
The Pearl of Great Price supplies fascinating details missing from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament and from Matthew 24 in the New Testament. [Matt. 24] It also contains the remarkable and moving account of early events in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. (Ensign, Jan 1989, 2)
WORDS OF OUR LIVING PROPHETS
One of the very best resources for this section is Teachings of the Living Prophets Institute Manual, chapter 4. You can find it online at “institute.lds.org” then “Institute Courses and Manuals.” Following are some of my favorite quotes from that chapter:
Elder Harold B. Lee:
That which a living prophet tells us will always be in harmony with the standard works, but this is not to say he is limited by them. Although a prophet speaking under the influence of the Holy Ghost will never contradict principles found in the standard works, he will expand, or even go beyond them. A prophet may also give or take away principles or programs, according to the spiritual readiness of the people. (4-3)
President Ezra Taft Benson said that the “living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.”
“The most important prophet, so far as we are concerned, is the one who is living in our day and age. This is the prophet who has today’s instructions from God to us today. God’s revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the ark. Every generation has need of the ancient scripture plus the current scripture from the living prophet. Therefore, the most crucial reading and pondering which you should do is of the latest inspired words from the Lord’s mouthpiece. That is why it is essential that you have access to and carefully read his words in current Church publications.” (4-4)
STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES
In Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, President Smith gives us excellent reason to continue with study of the scriptures:
I have found very often in my experience in reading over passages of Scripture that the Spirit has brought to my mind new light, and has shown up to my understanding thoughts and views which seemed to be new to me, notwithstanding I had been familiar with those Scriptures and had read them over and over again. In fact, there is a peculiarity which I have found accompanies the reading of the word of God, that whenever read it is calculated to refresh the soul, to revive the spirit of man, and to draw him nearer, if possible, to the fountain of light, truth, wisdom, love and knowledge. (p. 44)
President Harold B. Lee, in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, gives wonderful counsel for this section:
Just as water was and is today essential to the physical life … , just so is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ essential to the spiritual life of God’s children. That analogy is suggested by the words of the Savior to the woman at the well in Samaria, when He said: “… whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14). (p. 59)
In Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, there is a wonderful title to the chapter on the Scriptures titled “Discovering the Scriptures for Ourselves.” Here President Kimball tells about being moved to read the Bible at age 14 when Susa Young Gates (Brigham Young’ amazing daughter) gave a “rousing talk” and asking “How many of you have read the Bible through?” It took him a year, but he did it. (p. 59)
President Kimball likewise gives wise counsel about scripture study in the same chapter:
The years have taught me that if we will energetically pursue this worthy personal goal [to study the scriptures] in a determined and conscientious manner, we shall indeed find answers to our problems and peace in our hearts. We shall experience the Holy Ghost broadening our understanding, find new insights, witness an unfolding pattern of all scripture; and the doctrines of the Lord shall come to have more meaning to us than we ever thought possible. As a consequence, we shall have greater wisdom with which to guide ourselves and our families. (p. 66)
President Kimball then requests of us:
I ask all to begin now to study the scriptures in earnest, if you have not already done so. (p. 66)
A powerful lesson about not having scripture study (because of no scriptures) is found in Omni 1:17 where Mosiah discovered the Mulekites, who had left Jerusalem about the same time as had the Nephites, somewhat over 200 years before. It may be good to discuss the two things that happened because they “brought no records [scriptures] with them”:
“…and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator…”
A NOTE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT “ADDING TO THE BIBLE” IS WRONG
The most-used “evidence that the Bible is the only “word of God” is a scripture in the book of Revelation. This is what John wrote:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written is this book.
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book Revelation 22:18).
Because these verses appear at the very end of the last book of the Bible, some have assumed this God’s warning against any future revelation. Before we examine this scripture more closely, it is important to note that a similar warning appears in the last book of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament which were written by Moses) which states:
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you (Deuteronomy 4:2).
John issued the same type of a warning as Moses had earlier done. This warning must have applied only to that which he had written—not to others= writings. If not, and Moses intended what some think John intended, this would argue from the Bible that we should all be Jews, since everything written after Deuteronomy would be false. If this argument were valid, not only the rest of the Old Testament, but also the New Testament would be false.
As mentioned, the placement of the warning in Revelation allows some to consider it to be a warning about adding to the Bible. In fact, there was no Bible in John=s day. The translation and selection of the books to be included into what is now known as the Bible would occur almost three hundred years later. In addition, Bible scholars are aware that Revelation was most likely not the last bible book written. The authors of The Oxford Companion to the Bible (Oxford Press, NY, 1993, pp. 8, 341, 375, 380, 472, 587, 653) list two ranges of estimates as to when scholars think the Book of Revelation may have been written. According to the latest range of the estimates, the books of 2 Peter, Jude and John (the Gospel by the same author of Revelation) may have been written later. According to the earliest range of estimates, the above books as well as Luke, Acts, James, and 1, 2, and 3 John (also written by the same author of the book of Revelation) may have been written later. Either way, John surely would not have violated his own warning if it really meant that there were to be no additions to the Bible.
As stated, the reference in Revelation is the one most used to present the case that the Bible is the only and final end of the revealed word of God, therefore the Book of Mormon is false.
The argument of “only the Bible” was also prevalent in Joseph Smith’s day. In the Elders’ Journal, published in Kirtland, Ohio in 1838, Joseph answered some questions. In answering questions 18 and 19, Joseph stated:
Eighteenth -- "Is there anything in the Bible which licenses you to believe in revelation now-a-days?"
Is there anything that does not authorize us to believe so? If there is, we have, as yet, not been able to find it.
Nineteenth -- "Is not the canon of the Scriptures full?"
If it is, there is a great defect in the book, or else it would have said so. (History of the Church, 3:28)
The fact is—nowhere in the Bible is there found a statement that God would only reveal truths to His children exclusively in that book. In fact, Amos 3:7 states:
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.