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LDS Question 15: How many works of scripture do the LDS [Later-Day Saints] people study as their Gospel works?
The Mormon people have desires to be “scriptorians” . . . at least this Mormon does . . . =0) I have studied the scriptures for probably thousands of hours, for they are by what we are to live and speak and make our choices. They are the lessons books of life as they come from our beloved Savior Jesus Christ, and by them and through them we can learn the answers to every question that faces us in life . . . with Christ being our supreme exemplar.
Here is a listing of the “scriptures” we, as Mormons, study . . .
1. THE BOOK OF MORMON;
Though Jesus Christ was born and lived in the lands of Israel . . . where the prophets kept records of His life and His teachings and His example; these records were written in the HOLY BIBLE; Jesus Christ—after His resurrection—also came and appeared to the people of the lands of the Americas. And, likewise, the prophets here wrote, recorded and kept records of His life, His teachings and His example. While here on this land, He called Twelve Disciples (as opposed to "12 Apostles". . . as he had called in Israel) . . . and organized His church here among these people in America. He taught them here, as He did there in Israel . . . with the beatitudes and the blessings and healing of the people. This record kept of these ancient Americans was kept on thin, tin-like sheets of gold and brass and is a record called the Book of Mormon. . . . a second witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the World.
We try to discipline ourselves to study this work of scriptures faithfully and regularly, and, hopefully, daily.
2. THE HOLY BIBLE;
As described above, the LDS people try, as well, to be continual students of the Holy Bible, as we believe it to be scripture and truth, as far as it is translated correctly. In our studies year by year in our Sunday School Classes we rotate one year at a time between the Book of Mormon, The Holy Bible (King James Version Only), The Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.
3. THE DOCTRINE and COVENANTS;
This definition---in the quotes below---of the Doctrine and Covenants is taken from a quote of the INTRODUCTION page found at the lds.org website. Also found on this site is a full copy of all the scriptures (where you can either read or listen to these scriptures) with their commentaries, etc., that is available to anyone who wishes to read/listen.
We study, as well, the Doctrine and Covenants, as these are words from the Lord Himself to the people of this last dispensation.
“The Doctrine and Covenants is a collection of divine revelations and inspired declarations given for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. Although most of the sections are directed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, the messages, warnings, and exhortations are for the benefit of all mankind and contain an invitation to all people everywhere to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking to them for their temporal well being and their everlasting salvation.
Most of the revelations in this compilation were received through Joseph Smith Jr., the first prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. Others were issued through some of his successors in the Presidency (see headings to D&C 135, 136, and 138, and Official Declarations 1 and 2).
The book of Doctrine and Covenants is one of the standard works of the Church in company with the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price. However, the Doctrine and Covenants is unique because it is not a translation of an ancient document, but is of modern origin and was given of God through His chosen prophets for the restoration of His holy work and the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth in these days. In the revelations, one hears the tender but firm voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking anew in the dispensation of the fulness of times; and the work that is initiated herein is preparatory to His Second Coming, in fulfillment of and in concert with the words of all the holy prophets since the world began.”
4. THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE:
Again, I quote from the sources on lds.org to be sure that I have everything stated correctly.
“Following is a brief introduction to the present contents [of the Pearl of Great Price] (brackets and words therein added):
1. Selections from the Book of Moses. An extract from the book of Genesis of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible, which he began in June 1830.
2. The Book of Abraham. An inspired translation of the writings of Abraham. Joseph Smith began the translation in 1835 after obtaining some Egyptian papyri. The translation was published serially in the Times and Seasons beginning March 1, 1842, at Nauvoo, Illinois.
3. Joseph Smith—Matthew. An extract from the testimony of Matthew in Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible (see Doctrine and Covenants 45:60–61 for the divine injunction to begin the translation of the New Testament).
4. Joseph Smith—History. Excerpts from Joseph Smith’s official testimony and history, which he and his scribes prepared in 1838–1839 and which was published serially in the Times and Seasons in Nauvoo, Illinois, beginning on March 15, 1842.
5. The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. A statement by Joseph Smith published in the Times and Seasons March 1, 1842, in company with a short history of the Church that was popularly known as the Wentworth Letter.”
For the same reasons as above, we Mormons or LDS people study the Pearl of Great Price to grow in Spirit and understanding of what our Heavenly Father wishes for us in our mortal time. We believe that each of us has a Special Mission to fulfill while we are here in our “Second Estate” (the first being the state we were in before we were born, while with our heavenly family).
5. CHURCH PUBLICATIONS AND WORLD CONFERENCES: i.e., Semi-Annual World Conferences, and the Church Publications, etc.
The LDS people watch two semi-annual world conferences per year where we get a chance to hear counsel and messages from the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and the Twelve Apostles and other church leaders. We also study our church magazines that are distributed monthly that contain messages from these same leaders that speak in World Conference; and that which is spoken by our Prophet and Apostles in their Spiritual callings for the purpose of the church we call scripture. As well, in our magazines there are inspirational stories published by various church members world wide.
As well, we are counseled to read from all good books, as we believe all the intelligence and knowledge and skills we acquire in this life . . . will be a great advantage to us in the next. All that we take into our brains through study and work and efforts to improve and refine ourselves will go with us after death.