What Is The Book Of Mormon?
The Book of Mormon is a religious book studied by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the Church believe that the Book of Mormon is quite literally “another testament of Jesus Christ” (in addition to the Bible).
The Book of Mormon acts as a companion book to the Bible, and it supports the doctrines, and testimony of Christ found in the Bible.
Who Is The Book Of Mormon About?
The Book of Mormon is unique from the Bible because through the Book of Mormon, we learn about the ancient people and ancient prophets from the Americas. You may recall that the Bible detailed the history of the people from the ancient eastern hemisphere.
Who Is Mormon?
Mormon was a Nephite prophet and military general who lived about A.D. 311-385. Mormon was the person who was tasked with compiling, keeping, and abridging the words of the ancient prophets of the Americas.
How Did We Get The Book Of Mormon?
Ancient Prophets chose, through the Spirit, what they wanted to document. They wrote about the history of their people, and the miraculous, spiritual experiences they had. Mormon abridged these records.
After Mormon passed away, his son, Moroni, also abridged some of these records and then sealed them. Through the Lord’s instruction, Moroni hid the records.
In the year A.D. 1823, Moroni visited Joseph Smith as a resurrected being. Moroni gave Joesph Smith instructions on how to find the records.
Joesph Smith translated the records, through the power of God, from a modified, reformed Egyptian, into English.
Why You Should Read The Book Of Mormon
Guide For Life
First and foremost, the Book of Mormon is a flawless guide for us. It is the perfect teacher for how to navigate our way through this life. The stories may be about people from a time so long ago, that their world seems more alien than not; however, the gospel principles and doctrine are the same that will lead us to salvation today.
In the first section of the Book of Mormon, called 1 Nephi, there are a few chapters spent describing a vision that Lehi, and later Nephi, had. This vision (of the Tree of Life) is very symbolic and is about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the wickedness of the world. In my own personal study of these chapters I learned several things I can apply to my own life, during these modern times:
- Even the most righteous of people need someone to be a good example (1 Nephi 8:14-16).
- There are people who truly desire to be righteous and follow God, but are drawn away and distracted by the wickedness of the world (1 Nephi 8:21-23)
- People who are in the great and spacious building (which is symbolic of the pride of the world) did not have a laid out path there. They had to meticulously seek the great and spacious building out. They had to turn their back on Jesus Christ feel their way there in the dark (1 Nephi 8:31).
Another Witness Of Jesus Christ
The Book of Mormon is another witness to us of Jesus Christ. On the Church’s website, we are taught, “the scriptures show us a pattern of using multiple witnesses to establish truth in Christ’s Church. The Book of Mormon adds a second witness to the Bible as a testimony of Christ.”
The Book of Mormon also clarifies on doctrines that were not addressed fully (or at all) in the Bible.
Come Closer To God
There is a very popular quote from Joseph Smith about the Book of Mormon, which states, “a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, then by any other book.”
If we want to communicate with God, we pray to him. If we want God to communicate with us, we read the scriptures. When we read the scriptures, the Holy Spirit sends impressions to us. By reading the scriptures, we can be changed for the better, and reach our eternal potential.
Invitation To Learn The Truth
Before Moroni sealed up the plates and hid them, he added a few more chapters. The Book of Moroni is only about 13 pages long and talks about several things including details about the administering of the sacrament, and some last words from Mormon.
One chapter in particular, however, includes instruction on how to know for yourself the truth of the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Moroni, chapter 10, verses 3-5:
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
A Brief Explanation of the Book of Mormon
Details of How the Book of Mormon was Translated
Moroni’s Promise by Elder Gene R. Cook (Ensign April 1994)