Book of Mormon
The “Mormon Bible” is the King James version of the Bible. The Book of Mormon is another book of scripture, also treated as sacred by the Mormons. They consider both books to work hand in hand to testify of the Savior.
“Perhaps no other book has been denounced so vigorously by those who have never read it as has the Book of Mormon.”–Boyd K. Packer, “‘The Things of My Soul‘,” Ensign, May 1986, 59
Those who read the Book of Mormon for the first time are often surprised that it is not at all what they’ve heard it was. It testifies of the Savior’s divinity, and mentions his ministry or teachings more often than the entire Bible, although it’s a smaller book.
The Book of Mormon is organized much like the Bible, with smaller books within the large book-just as the Bible includes Genesis and Matthew, for instance. Later editions include modern additions of chapters and verses like those in the Bible to make it easier to reference.
Like the Bible, it has a basic storyline, although stories aren’t the primary purpose of the book, any more than the stories are the main purpose of the Bible. The book concerns, for the most part, the descendants of one family, the family of the prophet Lehi. Lehi lived in Jerusalem around the time of the prophet Jeremiah, and like Jeremiah and other prophets of the time, preached that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the inhabitants carried away captive or killed unless they repented. When Lehi’s life was threatened, God instructed him to take his family, leaving behind his wealth, and go into the wilderness. Eventually they would land on the American continent, following God’s instructions. After the death of the parents, the children would split into two groups. Those who followed the oldest son, Laman, were largely wicked. Those who followed the fourth son, Nephi, were largely righteous. The contrast of the two groups helps us to see what happens when we either follow or reject the Savior. The way the Nephites, as the followers of Nephi were known, worked to save their fallen portion of the family, shows us how to treat others who are in trouble spiritually.
These people brought with them the scriptures that were available to that point, probably somewhat corresponding to the Torah. They knew of Christ and their prophets foretold his coming and mission. When Christ was born, they were given signs and knew He had come. When He died, they also knew that. Then, after His death, Jesus Christ came to them for a few days, to properly organize their church, teach them, bless them, and minister to them. This is the centerpiece of the book, the reason for its existence.
It is, as the recently added subtitle attests, another testament of Jesus Christ. Not only does the book teach of Him, but He appeared to these people, and we know He came to others as well-the other sheep referred to in the Bible-which teaches a priceless lesson. We learn that God and Jesus were not just the Gods of Jerusalem, but of all mankind everywhere. He was entirely aware of those who lived away from the Holy lands and loved them enough to spend time with some of them, leaving us additional testimonies of their divinity and reality.
If this is not what you’ve heard about the Book of Mormon, why not read it for yourself? Mark each passage that refers in some way to the Savior in red and then see how many are marked when you’re finished.
Read the Book of Mormon online.
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