“Why We Need the Book of Mormon,” New Era, Apr. 2013, 34–35
Some people may ask you why we need the Book of Mormon when we already have the Bible. In fact, Jesus Christ testified that this would happen (see 2 Nephi 29:3). There are many reasons why the Book of Mormon is important in our day (for example, see 2 Nephi 29:7–11). Here are just a few reasons why it’s essential.
The scriptures show us a pattern of using multiple witnesses to establish truth in Christ’s Church. The Book of Mormon adds a second witness to the Bible as a testimony of Christ. Elder Mark E. Petersen (1900–84) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once said, “The chief reason we have the Book of Mormon is that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall all things be established. (See 2 Cor. 13:1.) We have the Bible; we also have the Book of Mormon. They constitute two voices—two volumes of scripture—from two widely separated ancient peoples, both bearing testimony to the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.”1 President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) has added, “We must not forget that the Lord Himself provided the Book of Mormon as His chief witness.”2
We know that “plain and precious things … have been taken away from” the Bible throughout time (1 Nephi 13:40). The Book of Mormon clarifies Christ’s doctrine and brings the fulness of the gospel to the earth once again (see 1 Nephi 13:38–41). For example, the Book of Mormon helps us know that baptism must be performed by immersion (see 3 Nephi 11:26) and that little children do not need to be baptized (see Moroni 8:4–26).
Joseph Smith testified that the Book of Mormon is “the keystone of our religion.”3 Since we know this, it does not seem a coincidence that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830, just 11 days after the Book of Mormon was first available for public sale on March 26, 1830. The Church was not organized until its keystone scripture was available for its members.
Regarding the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith taught that “a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”4 It has the power to change lives—including yours and those you share the Book of Mormon with. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has testified, “The effect of the Book of Mormon on your character, power, and courage to be a witness for God is certain. The doctrine and the valiant examples in that book will lift, guide, and embolden you. … Prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will build faith in God the Father, in His Beloved Son, and in His gospel. It will build your faith in God’s prophets, ancient and modern. … It can draw you closer to God than any other book. It can change a life for the better.”5