This is part two in a set that answers the question “What is the Book of Mormon?” Beyond what the book physically is, where it came from, and how we got it, it is useful to understand why the Book of Mormon is important, and what purpose it serves.
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ
Like the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon is a Testament, or witness, of Jesus Christ. This is the book’s primary, stated purpose, as found in the title page of the book, translated from the original text:
“…to the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations”
Throughout the book you find references to the divinity of Jesus Christ as our Savior, and as the Son of God. Nephi, a Book of Mormon prophet, said in 559 B.C.:
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”
The Book of Mormon is plain and simple
Through the years, and through multiple and various translations, the Bible has lost some of its simplicity. Passages that contain basic truths can be difficult to understand, even with the best references.
The Book of Mormon was compiled from a large set of records around the year 385 A.D., by an ancient prophet named Mormon. It was recorded onto plates of gold, and buried. In the 1800’s, Joseph Smith received those plates through revelation, and translated them through the gift and power of God.
Because only one translation took place with the Book of Mormon, the plainness and simpleness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes through clear and sharp.
Don’t take my word for it- ask God if these things are not true
Moroni, son of Mormon, who also wrote the last pages of the Book of Mormon after his father gave him the record, added these words to all who would read the book:
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.
No one should expect the reader of scriptures, which come from God, to rely on the word of another human to tell them if those things are true or not. No one in the Mormon church will ever ask you to take their word for it- they will tell you to ask God, and rely on the Holy Ghost, who witnesses today as He ever did, of the truth of all things.