This will be a quick study today since I had meetings this morning and am slammed for the entire day.
However, last night I read an article by Elder Russel M. Nelson titled “A Testimony of the Book of Mormon“.
It really caused me to reflect for a few reasons:
- Do people who are opposed to the Church really understand what we claim the book to be?
- Do they know who actually wrote the Book of Mormon?
- Have they ever really read from it’s pages and ask themselves the question – could a 14-23 year old boy write this stuff and be as accurate as the book is?
- What about all the cross-references and jumping back and forth throughout the book – how hard would that have been for a young man who wasn’t well educated?
- Do they understand that the Book of Mormon DOES contain the fullness of the gospel?
- Ultimately, if they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior, wouldn’t reading the book cause them to be happy about all the information there is about Him?
I know, these questions have obvious answers to me, but they seem to be logical nonetheless.
Here are some of the answers to the above questions, found in the article I read:
Do people who are opposed to the Church really understand what we claim the book to be?
…study of the Book of Mormon is most rewarding when one focuses on its primary purpose—to testify of Jesus Christ…When you read the Book of Mormon, concentrate on the principal figure in the book—from its first chapter to the last—the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. 3 And look for a second undergirding theme: God will keep His covenants with the remnants of the house of Israel. 4
The Book of Mormon is a crucial component of that covenant. 5 It is holy scripture that encompasses sacred writings from the small and large plates of Nephi, the plates of Mormon, the plates of Ether, and the plates of brass, which contained “the five books of Moses, … a record of the Jews, … and … prophecies of the holy prophets.” 6
Do they know who actually wrote the Book of Mormon?
[The Book of Mormon] was written anciently for our day. It reveals the endless Lordship of Jesus Christ in accounts of two ancient American dispensations, 16 preserved for the benefit of us who live in this dispensation of the fulness of times. Certainly no royalties came to its authors. In fact, they paid dearly for their privilege of participation. What motivated them? Their devotion to God! The book’s four major writers—Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni 17 —were all eyewitnesses of the Lord, as was its martyred translator, the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Other great prophets of the Book of Mormon—in their own way and time—testified of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Among them were the brother of Jared, 11 Zenock, Neum, and Zenos. 12 Testimonies of Jesus Christ that predated His birth in Bethlehem were also recorded from King Benjamin, Abinadi, Alma the Elder, Alma the Younger, Amulek, the sons of Mosiah, Captain Moroni, the brothers Nephi and Lehi, and Samuel the Lamanite. 13 In a seemingly endless sequence of prophetic proclamations—testimonies of “all the holy prophets” 14 for “a great many thousand years before his coming” 15 —the Book of Mormon makes the solemn declaration that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
Have they ever really read from it’s pages and ask themselves the question – could a 14-23 year old boy write this stuff and be as accurate as the book is?
The King James Version of the Bible, for example, was produced by 50 English scholars who accomplished their work in seven years, translating at the rate of one page per day. 39 Expert translators today do well if they can also translate scripture at the rate of one page per day.
In contrast, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon at the rate of about 10 pages per day, completing the task in about 85 days! 40 (Many of us feel good if we can read the book in that time.)
The First Presidency provided opportunity for the Twelve Apostles to see portions of the original manuscript and the printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon. Words cannot describe the deep emotions we felt as we examined these precious documents and observed that marks of editing were remarkably rare.
Do they understand that the Book of Mormon DOES contain the fullness of the Gospel?
He instructed the people. He taught them to pray, to repent, to be baptized, to partake of the sacrament, to know of His doctrine, to understand the importance of sacred ordinances and covenants, and to endure to the end. 36
Ultimately, if they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior, wouldn’t reading the book cause them to be happy about all the information there is about Him?
Each individual who prayerfully studies the Book of Mormon can also receive a testimony of its divinity. 44 In addition, this book can help with personal problems in a very real way. Do you want to get rid of a bad habit? Do you want to improve relationships in your family? Do you want to increase your spiritual capacity? Read the Book of Mormon! It will bring you closer to the Lord and His loving power. 45 He who fed a multitude with five loaves and two fishes 46 —He who helped the blind to see and the lame to walk 47 —can also bless you! He has promised that those who live by the precepts of this book “shall receive a crown of eternal life.” 48
I’m grateful for the willingness I’ve had my whole life to put the words of Moroni to the test, to search, ponder and pray.
It’s hard to understand why people are close-minded toward a book of such power. I guess not all people are, hence the missionary efforts move forward.
I want to make it a life-long journey to study, to understand and to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon with everyone I come in contact with.
I want to always be alert and attentive so that I will know how to best share this inspired book with those who are ready to receive it.
I want to have answers to inquirers questions who really are looking for truth.
I’m grateful to the desire that I feel in my heart.
I know it’s the Spirit testifying of truth.
I know that if I “live my religion”, I will be saved via the Atonement of Jesus Christ.