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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Two Sticks - Now One

I'm 153 pages away from reading the entire Old Testament.  This is not really that great of a feat since I've never done it before.  I've read the New Testament a couple of times but I've never been able to say that about the Old.  If another Christian from a different faith were to ask me if I've ever read the Bible all the way through, I'd be embarrased if I couldn't say that I have.  How would I reconcile with them our 8th article of faith.  I want to be able to honestly answer,"Yes, I've read the Bible - all of it, every last bit."  I started my goal to read the Old Testament all the way through probably around six years ago.  So it's taken some time.  I haven't been extremely dilligent but I've slowly pressed through.

Now I must admit that the King James Version isn't exactly a "page turner" the way the language is written can be a little hard to understand and can take some serious "chewing before swallowing."  But I have a little secret that has helped me through my study called biblegateway.com  There, I like to use the New International Version.  I match it up with my KJV, my footnotes, and the JST (Joseph Smith Translation) when needed.  It really makes the chapters much more clear and a ton easier to read.  Some of the versions on Bible Gateway can be pretty funny like the really modern language translation called "The Message."  As fun as that is, you won't find "Da Hawaiin Pidgin Bible" there... that's another website. ;)

I've read the Book of Mormon more than 20 times.  (What's interesting is how my testimony of the Bible has been strengthened through reading it.)  The Book of Mormon is just as it says on the cover, "Another Testament of Jesus Christ."  It is also a witness of the Bible.

Currently, I'm in the begining of Ezekiel.  Some of the most well-known verses are found in the center of chapter 36 where the Lord speaks of giving us a new heart and a new Spirit.  And then in chapter 37, where the word of the Lord comes to the prophet and commands him to "take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.  And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?  Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.  And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes."  Ezekiel 37:16-20

Under "Book of Mormon" on the "Gospel Topic Guide" it states:
The Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus Christ and confirms the truths found in the Holy Bible. Far from undermining the Bible, the Book of Mormon supports its testimony of Jesus Christ. One passage says that the Book of Mormon “shall establish the truth” of the Bible “and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved” (1 Nephi 13:40).

I have witnessed this for myself.  The Book of Mormon makes the perfect mission companion to the Bible.  It doesn't undermine it in any way rather it supports and upholds it!!  Because of the miracles that have come into my life from daily personal scripture study, I can truly say that I don't just believe God speaks to prophets both ancient and modern, I can say I KNOW He does!  I know that Jesus is the Christ, my Redeemer and Savior.  I know He lives and I cannot deny it.  What a wonderful and glorious Gospel this is!

-Alicia

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