The Mormon Church uses four different books of scripture. They believe in the Bible as other Christians do. But they also accept the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as scripture.
Mormons use the King James Version of the Bible. The 8th Article of Faith states, "We believe the Bible to the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."1 Mormons accept the Bible as being true words from God to His prophets and apostles and a record of Jesus Christ's life and ministry. They do recognize that some plain and precious truths from the Bible have been lost through numerous translations.
The Book of Mormon is a record of the ancient inhabitants of the American continents and of Christ's visit to the people there after His resurrection. The record was written by various prophets starting at 600 BC until 400 years after Christ's death. One of the last prophets, Mormon, abridged the records, writing down the most precious truths on gold plates. These are the gold plates that Joseph Smith received from the angel Moroni.
Joseph Smith translated the record on the gold plates using the power of God. During the translation process Joseph Smith sat with the plates and verbally gave the translation to a scribe, primarily Oliver Cowdery, although the prophet's wife Emma and a few others acted as scribes for a short time.
The Book of Mormon was written "to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever— And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God manifesting Himself to all nations."2
The Doctrine and Covenants is mainly a compilation of revelations received by the Prophet Joseph Smith during the early days of the Church. A few revelations concerning important points of doctrine have been added since.
The Doctrine and Covenants outlines the organization of the Church and essential covenants that God has made with His people. It describes the plan of salvation and provides information on the importance of temple ordinances. The Doctrine and Covenants also contains the two official declarations of the Church. The first being when the practice of polygamy was discontinued and the second the revelation that all worthy male members of the Church should receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.
The Pearl of Great Price contains three main parts: The Book of Moses, The Book of Abraham, and Joseph Smith History. "The Book of Moses is an extract of several chapters from Genesis… which restores and clarifies vital points of history and doctrine missing from the Bible." 3 It discusses the events that happened before the earth was created, the creation of the earth, the story of Adam and Eve, and the prophet Enoch.
The Book of Abraham is a translation of papyri that Joseph Smith obtained in 1835. It is a record that includes the life of Abraham from the Old Testament and a description of the creation of the world.
Joseph Smith History describes the events in Joseph Smith's life, including his vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ that led up to the organization of the Mormon Church.
(1) Articles of Faith 1:8
(2) Book of Mormon. Title page.
(3) Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Book of Moses