Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Book of Mormon
What exactly is in the Book of Mormon? Well, the Book of Mormon is an account of a man named Lehi, who was a prophet, and was warned by God to leave Jerusalem before it was destroyed (which it was when Babylon took it over). He took his family, his wife and four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Samuel, and Nephi, and headed for the wilderness. They also brought Ishmael and his family. After time in the wilderness, where they experienced trials and afflictions, the Lord commanded them to build boats, and, just as with Noah, the Lord gave them specific instructions. They built these boats, and followed the logical next step, they set off on the open seas. After a long trip, they arrived in the promised land as was told them by God. This land was what we know now as the American continents. They settled there, and after Lehi died, he left Nephi, the youngest son, in charge. He did this because Nephi was the most righteous and faithful of his sons. The oldest sons, Laman and Lemuel, were both very angry with this. They were not righteous, and did not follow God's laws. The anger amidst the family resulted in two major groupings to be formed: The Lamanites (those who followed Laman) and the Nephites (those who followed Nephi). The Lamanites were typically more wicked people, and the Nephites were typically more righteous, but throughout the account, we see a kind of roller coaster with the Nephites, seeing them being righteous, then prideful and wicked, then righteous again.
As time elapses, we see accounts of numerous prophets, such as Alma, Abinadi, Ammon, etc. We see their dealings with Nephites who have gone astray, and Lamanites. They taught the word of God, just as prophets did in the old continent (like Moses, Noah, and Abraham). And one thing that all the prophets prophesied was the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. All the believers awaited in great anticipation the coming of the Lord. Around the time he was to come, the nonbelievers were really sick of the believers, and threatened that if the sign didn't come (a day, a night, and a day where there was continual light, as if there were no night), then they would kill all the believers. But, the sign came, and many were converted.
Several years later, following Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, during the 40 days he tarried on the earth, he taught his disciples on the old continent, and visited his people on the new continent. He called 12 to preach the gospel, just as he did in Israel, and he gave them a sort of abridged version of his ministry. Again, many were converted, and Christianity swelled. However, shortly after, the people fell victim to pride and became wicked, so much so that they were all killed, until the only Nephite left was a man named Moroni, who had been given the records of the people, which had been abridged, keeping all the most important parts, and compiling them on a set of gold plates. He knew he wouldn't survive for much longer, and that the plates needed to be protected, so he sealed them up in the earth, where they would remain until the time came for them to be discovered.
These plates remained buried for about 1400 years before a man named Joseph Smith was led to them by an Heavenly Messenger, the man who had hidden the plates himself, Moroni. Joseph Smith then set about to translate the plates, and that has become known as the Book of Mormon (so named for Mormon, Moroni's father, who had abridged the plates).
Besides just being a book, it is another volume of scriptures, and it is the fruits of the Prophet Joseph Smith's labors. It is convincing evidence of the truth. If the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church restored again, and all the men following Joseph Smith are prophets.
I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that we are still guided by a prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's restored church. I know this because I have prayed about it, and God has told me, through the Holy Ghost, and I know that the same can happen for you, if you read the Book of Mormon, and sincerely pray about it.