Why Must God Be “One and Done”? (2 Nephi 29)
What do the following books have in common?
- “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” by Agatha Christie
- “A Time to Kill” by John Grisham
- “Carrie” by Stephen King
- “Alex Cross” by James Patterson
If you guessed that they are the first books written by these four popular authors, then you're correct. Considering that these are some of the most prolific writers of the past 100 years, publishing many, many books between them, can you even conceive of any of them being told after writing their first book — “OK, you wrote one book; don’t write any more”? On the contrary, if you’ve been a fan of these or any other authors, then you're glad they weren’t “one and done.” You most likely look forward to each new book with great anticipation.
2 Nephi 29 explores the expected reaction of people to the coming forth of The Book of Mormon. Verse 3 says, “Many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.” Has this prophecy come to pass? Of course — it continues to occur on frequent occasions today when The Book of Mormon is mentioned to people who believe in the Bible but are not familiar with The Book of Mormon.
Volumes have been written about the validity of The Book of Mormon, but for the purpose of this article, I will share a rendition of what God has to say in 2 Nephi 29 about this topic:
- Why would you complain because I choose to have more of my words written? You’re anxious for more books about murders, court cases, and monsters who eat brains, but I have to be “one and done”?
- The testimony of two witnesses is better than the testimony of just one witness. By bringing forth a second book, the truth of my words can be confirmed, and all can know that I speak consistently to all nations.
- My work is not yet finished, so the complete story hasn’t been told yet. Even as of today, there is more to occur.
- Who said the Bible contains all my words? I didn’t say it — what right does man have to say that I’m “one and done”?
Expanding briefly on the last point above, you’ve probably been told at some point by some well-meaning person that you shouldn’t believe in The Book of Mormon because the last page of the Bible says “don’t add to this book.” The next time that happens, I want you to smile and nod your head and then give the simple response below.
In the final chapter of the Bible, Revelation 22, it does say, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” However, remembering that the Bible is actually a collection of 66 individual “books”, it’s clear that this verse at the end of the Book of Revelation refers to the Book of Revelation itself, a book written by the Apostle John. It's positioned as the final book of the Bible because, chronologically speaking, that’s where it belongs.
There’s no way that this one statement within a single book of the Bible collection refers to the entire Bible or the word of God in its entirety. If that were the case, then the Bible would need to end after Deuteronomy 4 where it says, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” God caused more to be written after Deuteronomy; He caused more to be written after Revelation; there is even more that we have yet to see.
Rejoice that God is not a “one and done” author. We’re blessed to have two volumes of His work and look forward with great anticipation to future books as the work of God continues to unfold.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.