What is Scripture?

Scripture is defined as religious writings or texts considered to be authoritative, revered, and holy writ to a religious community.

In the Latter Day Saint movement, scriptures are a form of sacred writings; texts related to our religious tradition. These writings can be a compilation of beliefs, stories—real or figurative, ritual practices, laws or commandments that teach ethical conduct, instructions for spiritual growth or aspirations. Scriptures are the docrtrine from which theologies are formed, thus they are used to create and  foster religious communities. Religious texts can fall into a number of categories, including canonical or non-canonical, extracanonical, semi-canonical, and pre-canonical or post-canonical.

The Gospel Library

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” —Jesus Christ (John 14:6)

Scripture, to Latter Day Saint Christians, can be anything that testifies that Jesus is the Christ. Beyond this, every denomination within our movement has their own unique set of canonized texts.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

—2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Gospel Canon

“A man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge” —Joseph Smith Jr.

When the Church of Christ was legally organized April 6, 1830, the Bible (Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha) and the Book of Mormon were unanimously accepted as scripture. Latter, in 1835, the Doctrine and Covenants were added. From there, every LDS sect has accepted, or even sometimes rejected, a wide variety of scripture.