God Reveals His Word in Our Time

    The Book of Mormon

    Introduction

    When the resurrected Lord appeared to the multitudes of His disciples gathered in the land Bountiful in Book of Mormon times, He declared, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.”1 He then invited them to “arise and come forth”2 and healed their sick, blessed their children, and prayed to the Father on their behalf.

    Centuries passed before the Prophet Joseph Smith translated3 this account from the gold plates as part of the Restoration4 of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Today the Book of Mormon serves as another witness of Jesus Christ, that He is the Eternal God.

    As his ministry unfolded, the Prophet Joseph received revelations from the Lord to direct the Restoration of His gospel and His Church. In these revelations, published in what is now known as the Doctrine and Covenants5 and the Pearl of Great Price,6 is given a testimony of Jesus Christ, “His divinity, His majesty, His perfection, His love, and His redeeming power.”7

    Quotes

    Joseph Smith Quotes

    “I translated the record by the gift, and power of God.

    “In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded. . . . This book also tells us that our Saviour made his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection, that he planted the gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessing, as was enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgement of their prophesies, history &c., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days” (“Historical Sketch, 1 March 1842,” Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, comp. Dean C. Jessee (2002), 243–44).

    Witnesses

    Brigham Young, Second President of the Church, 1847–1877

    “What did Oliver Cowdery (one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon) say[?] . . . A gentleman walked into his law office and said to him, ‘Mr. Cowdery, what do you think of the Book of Mormon now? Do you believe that it is true?’ He replied, ‘No, sir, I do not!’ ‘Well,’ said the gentleman, ‘I thought as much; for I concluded that you had seen the folly of your ways and had resolved to renounce what you once declared to be true.’ ‘Sir, you mistake me; I do not believe that the Book of Mormon is true; I am past belief on that point, for I know that it is true, as well as I know that you now sit before me’” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 97–98).

    Ezra Taft Benson, 13th President of the Church, 1985–1994

    “Virtually every page of both the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon teaches about the Master—His great love for His children and His atoning sacrifice—and teaches us how to live so that we can return to Him and our Heavenly Father” (“The Gift of Modern Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 79).

    Wilford Woodruff, Fourth President of the Church, 1889–1898

    “I bear my testimony to these things. The Bible, the Book of Mormon, the book of Doctrine and Covenants contain the words of eternal life unto this generation, and they will rise in judgment against those who reject them” (Deseret News, Jan. 17, 1882).

    Questions

    In what way is the Book of Mormon another testament of Jesus Christ?

    “The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means,” explained President Ezra Taft Benson. “First, it tells in a plain manner of Christ and his gospel. It testifies of his divinity and of the necessity for a Redeemer and the need of our putting trust in him. It bears witness of the Fall and the Atonement. . . .

    “Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. . . . It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. . . . God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time” (“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Ensign, May 1975, 64).

    Readings

    Online Resources at ChurchofJesusChrist.org

    Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon and Restoration of the Priesthood”—Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual (Church Educational System manual, 2003), 52–66

    The Work of Translation”—in “Establishing the Foundations of the Church,” Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1996), 7–10

    The Plates Were Translated”—in “Joseph Smith: First President of the Church,” Presidents of the Church Student Manual (Church Educational System manual, 2004), 8