Joseph Smith restored a literal interpretation, belief and reliance on scripture. Though many in the world today incorrectly believe “Mormons” do not believe in the Bible, every teaching, doctrine and principle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is firmly rooted in the Bible. In addition to turning our foundation back to scripture, Joseph Smith was inspired to restore doctrines that had been lost from mainstream Christianity. His translation (LDS, RLDS) clarified doctrine and improved the true meaning of the original authors of scripture. Additionally, the Prophet Joseph Smith received revelations clarifying portions of the Bible (such as D&C 76, 77, 91, and 132).
On July 2, 1833, Joseph Smith finished his translation of the Bible recording in a letter to the brethren in Zion: “We are exceedingly fatigued, owing to a great press of business. We this day finished the translating of the Scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father.” 1
Bruce R. McConkie on the Joseph Smith Translation
“The Joseph Smith Translation, or Inspired Version, is a thousand times over the best Bible now existing on earth. It contains all that the King James Version does, plus pages of additions and corrections and an occasional deletion. It was made by the spirit of revelation, and the changes and additions are the equivalent of the revealed word in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. For historical and other reasons, there has been among some members of the Church in times past some prejudice and misunderstanding of the place of the Joseph Smith Translation. I hope this has now all vanished away. Our new Church Bible footnotes many of the major changes made in the Inspired Version and has a seventeen-page section which sets forth excerpts that are too lengthy for inclusion in the footnotes. Reference to this section and to the footnotes themselves will give anyone who has spiritual insight a deep appreciation of this revelatory work of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is one of the great evidences of his prophetic call” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, p. 289).
“Yes, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is holy scripture. In one sense of the word, it is the crowning part of the doctrinal restoration. At least it sets the pattern and marks the way as to how the doctrinal rivers of the past shall yet flow into the ocean of the present, as shall surely be in the fulness of times. . . . But I am pleased to say in closing that this inspired work by the great Prophet of the Restoration is one of the great evidences of his divine calling. One of the reasons we know he was the mighty Prophet of the Restoration is the inspired translation and revision of the Holy Bible.” 2
The Joseph Smith Foundation Gospel Doctrine Study Companion will, in the near future, have the entire Joseph Smith Translation easily accessible for students of scripture.