The Book of Mormon is the founding event of
the Restoration. It claims to be written by ancient Israelites
whom God led from Jerusalem to Central America just before
Nebuchadnezzar besieged and destroyed the holy city. The book contains
their history, as well as the divine direction and revelations that
came to them, including the personal appearance and instruction from
Jesus Christ. He appeared to them after his ascension from the Mount
Olivet. Joseph Smith received the record from the hand of an
angel, Moroni, the last author in the book, and translated it from
its hieroglyphics through the gift and power of God.
The primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince "the Jew
and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting
himself to all nations." Its secondary purpose is to tell the
house of Israel "the covenants of the Lord, and that they are not
cast off forever." The Book of Mormon made a significant
impact when it was first published, serving as a valuable tool to
attract people to the restored gospel, but it will play a more
significant role in the near future. When the gospel goes forth to
the descendants of the Book of Mormon people who still inhabitant
this continent, it will serve as an indispensible tool.
The Book of Mormon excited controversy even
before its publication. Joseph Smith had worked for a band of
treasure seekers who shared an unwritten code that any of them
finding treasure must share it with the rest. These men did
not believe that the golden plates on which the Book of Mormon
record was written were revealed by an angel and maintained that
they had a right to share that treasure. Joseph could not use
the plates for that purpose and told them "No." Their anger,
coupled with the jealousy of other clergy who had nothing so
spectacular to offer possible parishioners, generated skepticism and
false accusations that has followed the book ever since.
Evidence of the divinity and historicity of
the Book of Mormon is overwhelming. It was published before
any discoveries in Central America were available in America, yet it
gives abundant descriptions of the geography of the land and culture
of the people that are verifiable by archeological discoveries.
The book also contains a variety of Hebrew writing styles that were
unknown until well after its publication. Such abundant
external and internal evidences supply superb confirmation of its
have added a profound and overwhelming proof of the Book of Mormon.
The central prophecies of the book foretell the rise and future of
America, prophecies that are only now coming to fruition. Those
prophecies state 1) that America will become a great nation, 2) that
its people as a whole would reject the Restoration along with
the Book of Mormon, 3) that this nation would lose the gospel that
it had, 4) that descendants of the ancient Israelites, who are the
Hispanics, would be enlarged and spill into this nation, 5) and that
those descendants would then believe and obey the gospel.
Of these five predictions, four have come to
pass or are in the process of being fulfilled. 1) America has
become a great nation and is now the greatest nation on earth.
When the Book of Mormon was published, America was not a great
nation and its future was unknown. 2) Most movements do not
predict that their their message will be rejected, yet this is the
forecast that the Book of Mormon makes – a prediction that proved
true. 3) American society is founded on Christianity and the
Bible. Their influences appear everywhere, in our founding
documents, on our money, in our public buildings, in town squares,
but all those are slowly eroding away – a fulfillment of the
prophecy. 4) One recent development is the explosion in
America's Hispanic population. It is estimated to surpass the
white population within 40 years. Waves of immigrates, some
legal and many illegal, have crossed our southern borders, a
development that could not have been predicted 140 years ago.
Such precise fulfillment stands as indisputable testimony of the
Despite all these evidences, the most secure
witness is the testimony of the Holy Spirit. The closing
chapter contains the following promise, "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" (Moroni 10:4-5). We testify that God will
answer those who ask him if the Book of Mormon is true.
Thousands have and thousands have received their witness.