"We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."
When we came back from our most recent trip to Disneyland, we had a very nice chat with a girl we met on the train. Religion came up, and she was talking about how Christians are so adamant about the Bible, and she was like, "But if I understand correctly, it wasn't written by Jesus, right?" Well, yes, that's right, but we didn't have much time to go into it because the discussion moved away from it very quickly.
For anybody reading who's not really familiar with the Bible, it was written by a lot of people over the span of at least centuries. In most cases (I think Song of Solomon is the most notable exception), the books were written by prophets and/or apostles, under inspiration from God. So while the Bible wasn't written by Jesus personally, it definitely has His seal of approval...except for the parts where it doesn't really.
The Bible is like, a million years old, and we didn't always have a printing press, so it got copied by hand. Not only that, but it was written in ancient languages that have been translated about a bajillion times. Give or take. (You can see I'm a little too lazy to get the specifics, but the point is still applicable.) As translators, we know how easy it is to make a mistake, or to not write down what you meant to write, or for your brain to jump ahead of your fingers so you accidentally didn't write the word "not," for example.
Not only that, but after the Resurrection and Christ's subsequent return to heaven, they killed the apostles, and there was what the LDS Church calls the Great Apostasy. Basically, there wasn't really anyone on the earth from that time until Joseph Smith who had authority from God to speak for God. Plus, humans aren't perfect, and corruption tends to find its way into places like, maybe church scholarship, and you have things like the Inquisition and all kinds of bad things done, ostensibly in the name of God. But the important point of this is that some people thought, "You know, I don't really like that the Bible says that. Let's just take that out. And let's change this to say something I'm more comfortable with."
Of course, we don't know what's been changed or how, because it happened a long time ago, and we don't know ancient Greek, and stuff like that. It's not like we're constantly questioning parts of the Bible; just that we're aware of the possibility of fallacy. We believe that if you read the scriptures prayerfully, the Lord will help you know what's right.
On the other hand, the original copy of the Book of Mormon (also written by prophets, through inspiration) was hidden away for centuries until a prophet was called of God to translate it. That prophet translated it with direct instruction from God, so while there is still some human error, the doctrine in it remains pure. The printing press already existed by then, so we didn't have to worry about people copying it by hand, making mistakes, and/or intentionally changing things.
Today I'm thankful for the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the printing press, getting snacks in Relief Society, and having plans to watch Brother Bear tonight (one of the songs on the new Koe no Ouji-sama CD is "Great Spirit" from Brother Bear, and we were like, "Wait; I'm not sure I know which song that is," so we have to rectify that).