“The Records of the Prophets and of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb Are True”

Monte S. Nyman

The Lord in his foreknowledge provided a way to counteract the work of the devil in taking away the plain and precious things. He brought forth other scriptures, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl Great Price, and The Joseph Smith Translation to compensate for the precious things that were lost from the Bible (vv. 24–29).

Before these records came forth, Nephi saw that the seed of his brethren would receive the record of the Jews (the Bible) from the Gentiles (v. 38). There were four purposes of the Lord in bringing forth these other records. The first reason is to establish the truth of the records of the prophets (the Old Testament) and those of the twelve apostles of the Lamb (New Testament). Second, to make known the plain and precious parts that had been lost from the Old and New Testaments. Third, to “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.” The fourth reason is to make known that “all man must come unto (Christ) or they cannot be saved.” (vv. 39–40).

Although the Bible had suffered from the hands of the great and abominable church, it still contained the words needed to prepare the people for the restoration. The false conclusions that had been drawn from the Bible can now be clarified by reading the other records God had preserved. The work in the field of biblical criticism, in questioning the authorship of the various books of the Bible, is refuted by Nephi’s record as he describes the purposes for which the other records came forth. The angel of the Lord repeatedly cites the apostles and the prophets that are traditionally accepted as the true authors of the Bible (vv. 23; 39–41). The two records were to be established as one, for there is one God and one shepherd (v. 41).

Nephi gives another witness to the basic message of the Bible, that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of all mankind (1 Nephi 13:40–41). Thus, although the devil has, through the agency of man, caused many to stumble, the Book of Mormon comes forth to allow mankind to regain his footing. The Lamb of God, who is the son of the Eternal Father, the Savior of the world, and the Good Shepherd, shall come after the days of Nephi to manifest himself to all nations (v. 42). However, there is an order and a time period between his manifestations. He will (in the meridian of time) manifest himself to the Jews (including all the house of Israel), and then to the Gentiles (by the power of the Holy Ghost). After this (in the fullness of times), he will manifest himself to the Gentiles first, and then to the Jews (including all the house of Israel). The first shall be last and the last shall be first (v. 42). He taught the same concept to the Jews in their record, “And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last” (Luke 13:30).

The purpose of the restoration was also verified to Joseph Smith: “That through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews” (D&C 90:9).

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record