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In General Conference this week one of the Twelve Apostles, Jeffrey Holland said (paraphrased) that many Christians err in the verses in Revelation 22:18-19 that state:

18 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 in this book:

  19 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 
President Holland goes on to state that the “words of the book of this prophecy” are pertaining to only the book of Revelation and that having additional scripture such as the Book of Mormon is not adding or taking away from the book of Revelation.  He says many Christians err in that they think the “book of this prophecy” is the whole Bible and that many books in the Bible were written well after the book of Revelation was written. 
If this is the case, one could argue that even though Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and other scripture, he did indeed add to the book of Revelation in at least five chapters which you can view here (make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the Book of Revelation translations).  One could argue that the hard life Joseph led and the imprisonments he had to face, the many babies that he and Emma had that died, and ultimately what caused his death were all part of the curses described in the book of Revelation.
The curse in Revelation doesn’t only mention adding to the book, but taking away from the book as well.  One could argue on the other hand that Joseph Smith wasn’t adding anything, but he was restoring the “plain and precious truths” that were taken out of the Bible as the Book of Mormon suggests.  One could argue that the “curses” that came as a result were persecution that has happened to other earlier Christians who translated the Bible or to those who don’t have the “fulness of the gospel.”  One could argue that Joseph Smith was persecuted because Satan was trying to thwart the work from progressing, etc. 
I can see why someone could side on the first option.  Especially those Christians who believe the Bible is all God has revealed and ever will reveal and that further revelation isn’t necessary and that throughout all the years there hasn’t been anything taken out of the Bible.  However I personally disagree with this.  I feel that continuing revelation is necessary and that many truths were indeed taken out of the Bible throughout the years.  In addition, if God had prophets and apostles before why wouldn’t he have them now?
What are your thoughts?

My mom recently gave me a good book for Christmas called The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel.  Lee was a hardened journalist and could see no reason to believe in God or Jesus.  To prove his point that there is not a way to prove that Jesus was the literal Son of God, he describes various bible scholars he visits and evidences that he finds that prove various aspects of Jesus’ life to be true from both christian and secular historical documents.  It is a very interesting book and very informative from a historical standpoint. 

In the book he poses the question: “Are there writings outside the gospels that affirm or support any of the essentials about Jesus or early Christianity?” (pg. 97)  He then goes on to discuss ancient records of people who talk about the three days of darkness during the time the Savior died, ancient jewish records that prove that there was a Jesus and he claimed to be the Son of God, that he raised people from the dead, and more. 

As I read this, I thought about his corroborating evidences and appreciated his discoveries and his research.  However, I thought to myself how much time he could have saved if he had simply read the title page of the Book of Mormon states that one of the main purposes of the Book of Mormon is for the “convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God…” 

The Book of Mormon is “the case for Christ” because it confirms and clarifies every point of doctrine that is discussed in the Bible for salvation.  The Book of Mormon contains many witnesses that Mr Strobel discusses in his book such as: three days of darkness after His death, evidences of the Gospels, evidences that there is a Bible written by the Jews and apostles.  In addition, the Book of Mormon contains accounts of the personal ministry of Jesus to the inhabitants of the American continent and the saving doctrines of faith, repentance, baptism, and recieving the Holy Ghost are confirmed and support what is in the Bible. 

President Gordon B Hinckley said of the Book of Mormon “…I read its words. I have read Joseph Smith’s explanation of how it came to be. To the unbelieving it is a story difficult to accept, and critics for generations have worn out their lives writing books intended to refute that story and to offer other explanations than the one given by Joseph the Prophet. But to the open-minded, this critical writing has only stimulated them to dig deeper; and the more deeply they dig, the greater the accumulation of evidence for the validity of Joseph Smith’s story. Still, as has been demonstrated for a hundred and fifty years, the truth of the Book of Mormon will not be determined by literary analysis or by scientific research, although these continue to be reassuring. The truth about the origins of the Book of Mormon will be determined today and tomorrow, as it has been throughout the yesterdays, by reading the book in a spirit of reverence and respect and prayer.” ( “Praise to the Man,” Ensign, Aug. 1983, 4)

It is true that despite many evidences that The Book of Mormon is a legitimate book and the history is accurate (see Book of Mormon Evidences, Evidences of the Book of MormonEchoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, and many other websites) many decide to ignore it’s truth.  However, there are many who decide to embrace the book’s truths as well and they find as I have found that the Book of Mormon, together with the Bible provide the most accurate case for Christ there is. 

The introduction of the Book of Mormon gives us an invitation to “all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true.  Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

I have read the Bible and I have read the Book of Mormon.  I know the Bible is the word of God and contains a witness of Jesus Christ as our Savior.  I know the Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus and confirms and clarifies the truths in the Bible.  To all those who are searching for a “case for Christ” I invite them to read the Book of Mormon.

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