Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Book of Mormon

I am grateful for The Book of Mormon. I know it to be the word of God. This book is an account of people who lived anciently in Mesoamerica. It was written by the prophets who lived among these people. These prophets taught and testified of Jesus Christ and His atonement. It also contains the account of Christ's visit to these people following his resurrection.

A belief in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon can be based upon many differing sources. For example, I am reading the book "Mormon's Codex: An Ancient American Book" by John L. Sorenson, an eminent scholar on Mesoamerica.  In this 800+ page book Sorenson discusses hundreds of correspondences between the Book of Mormon account and the history and culture of Mesoamerica. He believes that someone unfamiliar with the geography, history, social structure, and culture of the peoples of ancient Mesoamerica, such as Joseph Smith, could not have possibly written the Book of Mormon. It had to be written by someone familiar with life in ancient Mesoamerica.

While "Mormon's Codex" makes a compelling argument for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, my belief in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon isn't based upon the historical, geographical, archaeological, or anthropological evidence discussed in Mormon's Codex. My belief is based upon a witness by the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true.  Moroni, the final prophet who wrote in the book, promised this:

"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."  (Moroni 10:3-5)

I have read the Book of Mormon, and I have prayed to know whether it is the true record it claims to be. Each time I have read it and prayed the Spirit has witnessed that it is true.

Joseph Smith said, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon).  I have read the book many times, and I have tried to apply what I have learned each time I have read the book. As I have applied its truths, I have become a better person. The Book of Mormon has had a greater influenced on my life than any other book.
Nephi, the first writer of the record, stated near the end of his writings:

"And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye--for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness." (2 Nephi 33:10-11)

When the day comes that I stand before the judgment bar of God, I will not know any more then than I know now that the Book of Mormon is the word of Christ and that it is a true record.

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