Read 1 Nephi 11-13
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “we believe … the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (A of F 1:8.) God has so declared it, so have its writers, so have its witnesses, and so do all those who have read it and received a personal revelation from God as to its truthfulness.
In section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says that He gave Joseph Smith “power from on high … to translate the Book of Mormon; which contains … the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ … which was given by inspiration.” (D&C 20:8–10.)
Nephi, one of the prophet-writers of the Book of Mormon, testifies that the book contains “the words of Christ” (2 Ne. 33:10), and Moroni, the last writer in the book, testifies that “these things are true” (Moro. 7:35).
This same Moroni, as an angelic being sent from God, showed these ancient records to three witnesses in our day. Their testimony of the records is contained in the front of the Book of Mormon. They state: “We also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.”
And Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the instrument whom God used to translate this record, testified 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.)
The Book of Mormon was written for us today. God is the author of the book. It is a record of a fallen people, compiled by inspired men for our blessing. Those people never had the book—it was meant for us. Mormon, the ancient prophet after whom the book is named, abridged centuries of records. God, who knows the end from the beginning, told him what to include in his abridgment that we would need for our day. Mormon turned the records over to his son Moroni, the last recorder; and Moroni, writing over 1,500 years ago but speaking to us today, states: “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.” (Morm. 8:35.)
The purpose of the Book of Mormon is stated on the title page. It is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.”
Nephi, the first prophet-writer in the Book of Mormon, states:
“For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.
“Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.
“Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.” (1 Ne. 6:4–6.) (“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Ensign, May 1975)