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Teaching Ideas
Article of Faith 8
As members of God's church, we believe that God reveals his will to prophets in all ages and that these prophets, as inspired by the Lord, record many of these revelations and the events surrounding them for the profit and well-being of God's children at the time as well as for future generations.  We believe and study these writings regularly by commandment as we search for answers, strengthen our testimonies and seek to become like our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ.

One of the records we believe to be the word of God is the Bible.  The Bible literally means "books" and is a collection of many of these sacred writings from the creation up through the death of the apostles of Jesus Christ that have been accepted as authentic.  We accept its authenticity and literalness; however, we also acknowledge that there have been some errors, few though they may be, as the writings have undergone translation and compilation.  We use the King James version which was translated directly from the original Hebrew texts and the Greek Septuagint which was also translated from the Hebrew and was in use at the time of Christ (1).

The Old Testament is a collection of many of the sacred writings before Christ's time.  It wisely begins with the creation and with the story of Adam and Eve.  It shows God's tremendous love and his whole purpose in creating this earth and giving us the experiences of mortality - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (2, 3).  It gives meaning to all the rest of scripture.  It then rushes through very quickly with few details the time up to Abraham, including the stories of Enoch and Noah.

At Abraham, the record slows completely and becomes more detailed.  The rest of the record focuses on him and upon his posterity as the covenant people of the Lord (4).  The Old Testament literally means "old covenant".  This focus helps us see the love and efforts of God as he worked with his covenant people who were blessed as they remembered him and served him, but who struggled when they would not.  For much of the time, they lived under a lesser law or old covenant (the Law of Moses) because they would not live the higher law.  It teaches us of the love and patience of the Lord and that he will never give up in helping us to receive the greatest blessings we are willing to receive.

The New Testament or covenant is about the life of Christ and the higher law that he restored, and it continues with his apostles trying to spread his teachings and sustain the church he had established.  It is of great worth to us as we learn of the love of the Father through the example of his Son.  We learn how to love, how to serve, how to sacrifice and how to forgive.  We learn patience and faith and humility.  We also have recorded the details and purpose of the greatest sacrifice ever made in behalf of the whole human family.  It is a priceless treasure for which we should be truly grateful and which we should return to again and again.

The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Christ is primarily a record of a prophet named Lehi who was led with his family from Jerusalem before its destruction to a promised land here in the Americas much like the children of Israel had been led out of Egypt to a promised land.  It teaches, like the Bible, that obedience and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are the key to salvation and exaltation.  It was written and compiled and abridged by prophets who saw our day and specifically wrote with us in mind.  It testifies of the covenants made to ancient Israel and shows how the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel are the fulfillment of those prophecies to remember covenant Israel in the latter days.  It is the record which, in God's wisdom, has been chosen as the tool to bring testimony and conversion to God's children in our day.

The Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage, pages 237-242, 250.
Don't Miss This by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman, Moses 1, Abraham 3.
3  Don't Miss This
 by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman, Genesis 3-4, Moses 4-5.
4  Don't Miss This by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman, Genesis 12-17.

(For additional insights, read The Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage.  Also listen to Don't Miss This, Old Testament on YouTube by David Butler and Emily Belle Freeman.)
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