Mormon Messages

The Blessings of Scripture


As part of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, consider our blessings and responsibilities in having God's word so readily available.


    On October 6 in the year 1536, a pitiful figure was led from a dungeon in Vilvorde Castle near Brussels, Belgium. For nearly a year and a half, the man had suffered isolation in a dark, damp cell. In a heated exchange with a cleric who argued against putting scripture in the hands of the common man, the man vowed if God spares my life, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the scriptures than the Pope himself.

    Now outside the castle wall, the prisoner was fastened to a post. He had time to utter aloud his final prayer. Lord, open the King of England's eyes. And then he was strangled. Immediately, his body was burned at the stake.

    Who was this man and what was the offense? His name was William Tyndale, and his crime was to have translated and published the Bible in English. In Tyndale's day, scriptural ignorance abounded because people lacked access to the Bible. Today, the Bible and other scripture are readily at hand, yet there is a growing scriptural illiteracy.

    What did people in 16th century England who paid enormous sums and ran grave personal risks for access to a Bible-- what did they understand that we should also understand? The scriptures are the standard for distinguishing truth and error. The scriptures enlarge our memory by helping us always to remember the Lord and our relationship to Him and the Father. Those who either don't have or ignore the recorded word of God eventually cease to believe in Him and forget the purpose if their existence.

    Consider the magnitude of our blessing. To have the Holy Bible and some 900 additional pages of scripture, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. Surely with this blessing, the Lord is telling us that our need for constant recourse to the scriptures is greater than in any previous time.

    May we feast continuously on the words of Christ that will tell us all things we should do. I bear you my testimony of the Father and the Son as they are revealed in the holy scriptures.