Introduction to the Book of Mormon
We have all heard of the Bible (or at least most of the world has) and most of the world has probably heard about the Book of Mormon. But how many of those people actually know what the Book of Mormon really is? Do you know?
Some might say it is the “Bible” of the Mormons, or say that it is the book that Joseph Smith wrote. Both are wrong. The Book of Mormon is a history of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, and has a history that goes back as far as the falling of the Tower of Babel! The Book of Mormon is not the “Bible” of the Mormons, it is a companion to the Bible.
The Mormons (Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or LDS for short) believe in the Holy Bible (members in the US and English speaking countries use the King James Version of the Bible), and believe that the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand. Both are needed to understand God’s entire message.
A lot of people criticize the members of the church because of the Book of Mormon. But to those critics I share a scripture from the Book of Mormon; “Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?” (2 Nephi 29:7)
The Book of Mormon Title Page: Introduction
“The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.
The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates, were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.
The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.
After Mormon completed his writings, he delivered the account to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own and hid up the plates in the hill Cumorah. On September 21, 1823, the same Moroni, then a glorified, resurrected being, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language.
In due course the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who translated them by the gift and power of God. The record is now published in many languages as a new and additional witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that all who will come unto him and obey the laws and ordinances of his gospel may be saved.
We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5, below)
‘ 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)’
Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.”
Think about it, the Bible was written in the “Old World” or what we know today as the Middle East. Whereas the Book of Mormon was written in the “New World” or what we know today as the Americas. God had his children dispersed after the falling of the Tower of Babel and scattered among the world. So, why would God only call prophets in one part of the world? Why would he give his word or “light” to those in the middle east and leave the rest of his children in other parts of the world with no word and no “light”, ultimately leaving them in the dark? That doesn’t sound like God. God loves all of his children and called prophets all over the world. Remember the Dead Sea Scrolls? We know that there is more “word” of God than what is in the Bible.