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Lesson 16 - The Apocrypha and the Book of Mormon

TitleLesson 16 - The Apocrypha and the Book of Mormon
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication1957
AuthorsNibley, Hugh W.
Manual TitleAn Approach to the Book of Mormon
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsApocalypticism; Apocrypha; Apostasy; Plan of Salvation

In the light of the Dead Sea Scrolls, all the Apocryphal writings must be read again with a new respect. Today the correctness of the 91st Section of the Doctrine and Covenants as an evaluation of the Apocrypha is vindicated with the acceptance of an identical view by scholars of every persuasion, though a hundred years ago the proposition set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants seemed preposterous. What all the apocryphal writings have in common with each other and with the scriptures is the Apocalyptic or eschatological theme. This theme is nowhere more fully and clearly set forth than in the Book of Mormon. Fundamental to this theme is the belief in a single prophetic tradition handed down from the beginning of the world in a series of dispensations, but hidden from the world in general and often confined to certain holy writings. Central to the doctrine is the Divine Plan behind the creation of the world which is expressed in all history and revealed to holy prophets from time to time. History unfolds in repeating cycles in order to provide all men with a fair and equal test in the time of their probation. Every dispensation, or “Visitation”, it was taught, is followed by an apostasy and a widespread destruction of the wicked, and ultimately by a refreshing or a new visitation.