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  Book of Mormon  

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 truthfulness.

Recent developments 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 book's divinity.

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.
 

 

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