Monthly Archives: June 2017

#BOMSummer DAY 24, Jarom-Words of Mormon: “This Book Can Help”

#BOMSummer Day 24, Russell M. Nelson, A Testimony of the Book of Mormon, Ensign, Nov. 1999

Jarom-Words of Mormon

Elder Russell M. Nelson:

Each individual who prayerfully studies the Book of Mormon can also receive a testimony of its divinity. In addition, this book can help with personal problems in a very real way. Do you want to get rid of a bad habit? Do you want to improve relationships in your family? Do you want to increase your spiritual capacity? Read the Book of Mormon! It will bring you closer to the Lord and His loving power. He who fed a multitude with five loaves and two fishes—He who helped the blind to see and the lame to walk—can also bless you! He has promised that those who live by the precepts of this book “shall receive a crown of eternal life.” (“A Testimony of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Nov. 1999)

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#BOMSummer DAY 23, Jacob 6-Enos: “Central to Our History and Theology”

#BOMSummer Day 23, James E. Faust, “Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Jan. 1996

Jacob 6-Enos

President James E. Faust:

A keystone keeps an arch in place; without a keystone the whole arch will collapse. Why is the Book of Mormon the keystone of our religion? Because it is central to our history and theology. It is the text for this dispensation. Nothing took priority over getting the Book of Mormon translated and published. Everything was held until that was accomplished. There were no Apostles until it came into being. Ten days after the book’s publication the Church was organized. Publication of the Book of Mormon preceded missionary work because Samuel Smith needed to have it in hand before he could go forward as the first missionary of the Church. Sections 17 and 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants indicate that the Brethren could not fully know the divinity of the latter-day work until the Book of Mormon was translated.

As a young missionary I personally learned the importance of the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon in missionary work. Elder Wm. Grant Bangerter, Elder Lynn A. Sorensen, and I, along with other dedicated young men, were pioneer missionaries in Brazil half a century ago. One year we converted only three people. In 1994 in this same country 43,247 souls were converted. There are now more than one hundred stakes of Zion in Brazil. There are seven stakes in the city where Elder Bangerter and I, laboring as companions, found the first members of the Church.

What is the difference between then and now? Why was it so hard in the beginning and so fruitful now? In large measure it was because the only scripture we had was the Bible. The only expression concerning the Book of Mormon came from our own testimonies spoken in a strange tongue. Unlike Samuel Smith, we did not have the Book of Mormon in hand to leave with any who might be interested. Only after the Book of Mormon was published in Portuguese did the great harvest of converts come. The Lord has made clear that this generation shall remain under condemnation “until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon” (D&C 84:57). (“Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Jan. 1996)

#BOMSummer DAY 22, Jacob 5: “Another Witness”

#BOMSummer Day 22, Gordon B. Hinckley, “Recurring Themes of President Hinckley,” Ensign, June 2000

Jacob 5

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

Believe in the Book of Mormon as another witness of the Son of God. This book has come forth as an added testimony to the world of the great truths concerning the Master as set forth in the Bible. The Bible is the testament of the Old World. The Book of Mormon is the testament of the New World, and they go hand in hand in testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I can’t understand why those of other faiths cannot accept the Book of Mormon. One would think that they would be looking for additional witnesses to the great and solemn truths of the Bible. We have that witness, my brothers and sisters, this marvelous book of inspiration which affirms the validity and the truth of the divine nature of the Son of God. God be thanked for this precious and wonderful testimony. Let us read it. Let us dwell upon its truths. Let us learn its message and be blessed accordingly (meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, 15 Nov. 1998; quoted in “Recurring Themes of President Hinckley,” Ensign, June 2000, 18–19).

#BOMSummer DAY 21, Jacob 2-4: “Most Correct”

#BOMSummer Day 21, Joseph Smith, “I Told the Brethren,” History of the Church Vol. 4, pg. 461

Jacob 2-4

The Prophet Joseph Smith:

I spent the day in the council with the Twelve Apostles at the house of President Young, conversing with them upon a variety of subjects. Brother Joseph Fielding was present, having been absent four years on a mission to England. 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. (History of the Church 4:461 [Chapter 27]. See also the Introduction to the Book of Mormon)

President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973): “It has always seemed to me that the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith in counsel to the brethren, impressing the value of the Book of Mormon, have greater significance than many of us attach to them. His statement was: ‘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’ (History of the Church, 4:461). … If one wants to get close to God, he can do it by reading the Book of Mormon” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 62).

The following articles provide proper perspective on this quote by putting it in its original context:

#BOMSummer DAY 20, 2 Nephi 32-Jacob 1: “In Several Ways”

#BOMSummer Day 20, Ezra Taft Benson, “THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE WORD OF GOD,” Ensign, May 1975 (2)

2 Nephi 32-Jacob 1

President Ezra Taft Benson:

Now God expects us to use the Book of Mormon in several ways. We are to read it ourselves—carefully, prayerfully—and ponder as we read, as to whether this book is the work of God or of an unlearned youth. And then when we are finished reading the things in the book, Moroni exhorts us to put them to the test in these words:

“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.” (Moro. 10:4.) I have done as Moroni exhorts, and I can testify to you that this book is from God and so is verily true.

We are to use the Book of Mormon as the basis for our teaching. In section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord states: “And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in … the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.” (D&C 42:12.)

As we read and teach, we are to liken the Book of Mormon scriptures unto us “that it might be for our profit and learning.” (1 Ne. 19:23.)

We are to use the Book of Mormon in handling objections to the Church. God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ revealed themselves to Joseph Smith in a marvelous vision. After that glorious event, Joseph Smith told a minister about it. Joseph was surprised to hear the minister say that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days, that all such things had ceased. (See JS—H 1:21.)

This remark symbolizes practically all of the objections that have ever been made against the Church by nonmembers and dissident members alike. Namely, they do not believe that God reveals his will today to the Church through prophets of God. All objections, whether they be on abortion, plural marriage, seventh-day worship, etc., basically hinge on whether Joseph Smith and his successors were and are prophets of God receiving divine revelation. Here, then, is a procedure to handle most objections through the use of the Book of Mormon.

First, understand the objection.

Second, give the answer from revelation.

Third, show how the correctness of the answer really depends on whether or not we have modern revelation through modern prophets.

Fourth, explain that whether or not we have modern prophets and revelation really depends on whether the Book of Mormon is true.

Therefore, the only problem the objector has to resolve for himself is whether the Book of Mormon is true. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was his prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation. (“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Ensign, May 1975)

#BOMSummer DAY 19, 2 Nephi 29-31: “A Divine Gift”

#BOMSummer Day 19, Neal A. Maxwell, “By the Gift and Power of God,” Ensign, Jan. 1997

2 Nephi 29-31

Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

The Book of Mormon’s stated purpose is for “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ” (title page), making it a divine gift to the entire human family.

In fact, Nephi tells us that God “doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world” (2 Ne. 26:24). The knowledge concerning God’s plan of salvation, repeatedly and carefully set forth in the Book of Mormon, can counter the hopelessness and despair of some who lament the human predicament in which they feel mortals are “conceived without consent” and “wrenched whimpering into an alien universe” (Morris L. West, The Tower of Babel [1968], 183). So many mortals desperately need to know there is divine design. No wonder the Lord told Joseph Smith that the Restoration came to increase faith in the earth! (see D&C 1:21).

Originally translated from reformed Egyptian into English, the words of the Book of Mormon are now available in 88 languages. Reaching 100 languages is likely within the next several years. From its first edition of 5,000 copies in 1830 and on through 1995, nearly 78,000,000 copies are estimated to have been distributed.

We know the book’s influence will continue to grow. “Wherefore, these things shall go from generation to generation as long as the earth shall stand; and they shall go according to the will and pleasure of God; and the nations who shall possess them shall be judged of them according to the words which are written” (2 Ne. 25:22). Among other words foretelling the book’s growing influence are these: “The day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops” (2 Ne. 27:11). Hence the Book of Mormon’s best days still lie ahead! (“By the Gift and Power of God”, Ensign, Jan. 1997)

#BOMSummer DAY 18, 2 Nephi 27-28: “The Principal and Commanding Figure”

#BOMSummer Day 18, Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant

2 Nephi 27-28

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:

The principal and commanding figure in the Book of Mormon, from first chapter to last, is the Lord Jesus Christ. … The book centers upon that which scriptural testaments have always centered since the days of Adam and Eve—the declaration to all that through the atonement of the Son of God, ‘as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will’ [Moses 5:9]. …

… The Book of Mormon is the preeminent statement of God’s covenant with and his love for his children here on earth. It is his definitive latter-day declaration regarding the atoning sacrifice of his Son (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 3–4).

#BOMSummer DAY 17, 2 Nephi 25-26: “The Keystone”

#BOMSummer Day 17, Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986

2 Nephi 25-26

President Ezra Taft Benson:

The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. This was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s statement. He testified that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion” (Introduction to the Book of Mormon). A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.

There are three ways in which the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony.

The Book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do. It bears witness of His reality with power and clarity. Unlike the Bible, which passed through generations of copyists, translators, and corrupt religionists who tampered with the text, the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired step of translation. Therefore, its testimony of the Master is clear, undiluted, and full of power. But it does even more. Much of the Christian world today rejects the divinity of the Savior. They question His miraculous birth, His perfect life, and the reality of His glorious resurrection. The Book of Mormon teaches in plain and unmistakable terms about the truth of all of those. It also provides the most complete explanation of the doctrine of the Atonement. Truly, this divinely inspired book is a keystone in bearing witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ (see title page of the Book of Mormon).

The Book of Mormon is also the keystone of the doctrine of the Resurrection. As mentioned before, the Lord Himself has stated that the Book of Mormon contains the “fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:9). That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation. The Book of Mormon offers so much that broadens our understandings of the doctrines of salvation. Without it, much of what is taught in other scriptures would not be nearly so plain and precious.

Finally, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it.

Yes, my beloved brothers and sisters, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion—the keystone of our testimony, the keystone of our doctrine, and the keystone in the witness of our Lord and Savior.  (“The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986).

#BOMSummer DAY 16, 2 Nephi 20-24: “Over One-half”

#BOMSummer Day 16, Ezra Taft Benson, “Come Unto Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1987

2 Nephi 20-24

President Ezra Taft Benson:

The major mission of the Book of Mormon, as recorded on its title page, is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.”

The honest seeker after truth can gain the testimony that Jesus is the Christ as he prayerfully ponders the inspired words of the Book of Mormon.

Over one-half of all the verses in the Book of Mormon refer to our Lord. Some form of Christ’s name is mentioned more frequently per verse in the Book of Mormon than even in the New Testament (“Come unto Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1987)

#BOMSummer DAY 15, 2 Nephi 15-19: “Two Basic Means”

#BOMSummer Day 15, Ezra Taft Benson, “THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE WORD OF GOD,” Ensign, May 1975 (2)

2 Nephi 15-19

President Ezra Taft Benson:

The Book of Mormon brings men to Christ through two basic means. 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 and the first principles of the gospel, including our need of a broken heart and a contrite spirit and a spiritual rebirth. It proclaims we must endure to the end in righteousness and live the moral life of a Saint.

Second, the Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. 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)