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God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are." (Moroni 9:7-11).
Miracles are not promised save to those who believe and obey as the Lord hath commanded. However marvelous they may be as gaged by physical standards, the gifts of the Spirit appeal to the unbelieving and carnal mind only as unusual and curious phenomena; while to the man of faith they testify of the power and purposes of God. Many people followed Jesus about through morbid curiosity, clamoring to see some strange thing wrought; and degenerate Herod Antipas, before whom our Lord was brought in bonds, was interested and amused, because "he hoped to have seen some miracle done by Him." (Luke 23:8.) Through a revelation to the Church in 1831 the Lord Jesus Christ gave this solemn admonishment against the craving for spiritual gifts to gratify curiosity.
"Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived, seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given. For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do, that all may be benefited that seeketh or that asketh of me, that asketh and not for a sign that he may consume it upon his lusts." (Doctrine and Covenants 46:8-9).
We are not justified in regarding miracles as infallible testimony of Divine power and authority, for powers of the baser sort work wonders, to the deceiving of many. The magicians of Egypt were able to imitate in small measure the miracles of Moses. John the Revelator told of evil powers deceiving men by what seemed to be supernatural achievements, and he saw unclean spirits, whom he knew to be "the spirits of devils working miracles." (See Rev. 13: 13-14, and 16:13-14). And the Savior Himself by this
solemn warning armed the disciples against deception: "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt. 24:24).
The distinguishing feature of a miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit, as contrasted with a wonder wrought through other agencies, lies in the fact that the former is always done in the name of Jesus Christ and has for its object the fostering of faith and the furthering of Divine purposes.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rejoices in the possession of the several gifts and graces with which the Church of old was endowed; and within her pale signs do follow them that believe. Come and see.
IS THE BIBLE SUFFICIENT?
Scriptures of Many Peoples
E 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, No. 8).
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts the Holy Bible for just what it purports to be, nothing less, nothing more. Taken as a whole the Holy Bible is a collection of sacred and historical writings, depicting though incompletely the Divine dealings with mankind on the Eastern Hemisphere from the creation down to about the close of the first century after Christ. The Old Testament contains a brief record of pre-Mosaic time, but is
largely a history of the Semitic people or Hebrews, as they lived under the Law of Moses. The New Testament is distinctively the Scripture of the Gospel as contrasted with the Law, and is devoted to the earthly ministry of the Savior and to the growth of His Church under apostolic administration. The compilation as it now stands is the work of men, and our modern translations from the original Hebrew of the Old Testament and Greek of the New have been made by skilled linguists and learned theologians.
But the wisdom of even the wisest of men may be faulty, and the understanding of the prudent may be biased and dangerously imperfect. The many revisions and successive versions of the Bible, made as the errors of earlier renditions became strikingly apparent, testify to the unreliability of scholarship in the translation of sacred writ. Moreover, it is an indisputable fact that the compilation of books constituting our present version is incomplete; for within the Bible itself more than a score of books, epistles, or other writings not included are mentioned, and generally in such a way as to show that those lost Scriptures were considered authentic and genuine. Furthermore, numerous Biblical passages are tinged with what scholars call "gloss"-that is wording intended to convey the private interpretation of the translator.
The Latter-day Saints openly proclaim their reservation as to incorrect translation. We are in harmony with all able and earnest students of the Scriptures in accepting the Bible as the Word of God, only so far as it is translated correctly.
But we hold that there are now extant other Scriptures, of equal validity with those of the Holy Bible, and in no sense in conflict therewith nor a substitute therefor. For nearly six centuries before and about four centuries after
the birth of Christ, the American continent was inhabited by a detached body of Israelites, who developed into powerful nations. Their existence was unknown to the people of the East. Is it unreasonable to believe that unto the western fold God sent His shepherds, and that prophets officiated amongst them by Divine appointment?
That the Book of Mormon would be rejected by many on the specious and untenable claim that they already had a Bible and that there could be no other Scriptures, the Lord foretold by the mouth of the prophet Nephi:
"And because my words shall hiss forth, many of the Gentiles shall say, A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
"Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
"Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
"And I do this that I may prove unto many, that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be, until the end of man; neither from that time henceforth and forever.
"For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it.
"And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews." (2 Nephi 29).
Thus is predicted the bringing forth of yet other Scriptures, not extant among known nations today, viz., the records of the Lost Tribes of Israel, to whom the Book of Mormon indicates the Resurrected Christ went to minister after His visitation to the Nephites. In the present or last dispensation numerous revelations have been given by Jesus Christ to His modern prophets. Many of these are before the world in the volume of latter-day Scripture known as the Doctrine and Covenants.
It is noticeable that we make no reservation respecting the Book of Mormon on the ground of incorrect translation. To do so would be to ignore attested facts as to the bringing forth of that book. Joseph Smith the prophet, seer, and revelator, through whom the ancient record has been translated into our modern tongue, expressly avers that the translation was effected through the gift and power of God, and is in no sense the product of linguistic scholarship.
The Bible in its original form, and in modern versions so far as correctly translated, contains the Word of God. Without it, the world would be plunged into spiritual