A Consistent Prophetic Call


Latter-day prophets have consistently testified of the power and impact of the Book of Mormon in the lives of Heavenly Father’s children. Through the past half century, Church members have heard admonitions like these:

President David O. McKay (1873–1970): “I testify to you that the Book of Mormon is truly the Word of God, that communication between earth and heaven has been opened up again, and that the true way of the Lord has been revealed to men on earth, showing the means by which all needful knowledge and blessings may be received by every true believer in Christ” (“Marks Pointing to Authenticity of Book of Mormon,” Instructor, Oct. 1952, 318).

President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972): “No member of this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has not seriously and carefully read the Book of Mormon” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1961, 18).

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).

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985): “[The Book of Mormon] is the word of God. It is a powerful second witness of Christ. And, certainly, all true believers who love the Redeemer will welcome additional evidence of his divinity.

“This inspiring book was never tampered with by unauthorized translators or biased theologians but comes to the world pure and directly from the historians and abridgers. The book is not on trial—its readers are” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 133).

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994): “The Book of Mormon is studied in our Sunday School and seminary classes every fourth year. This four-year pattern, however, must not be followed by Church members in their personal and family study. We need to read daily from the pages of the book that will get a man ‘nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.’ (History of the Church, 4:461.)” (“Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 4).

President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95): “The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We invite you to read this wonderful record. It is the most remarkable volume in existence today. Read it carefully and prayerfully, and as you do, God will give you a testimony of its truthfulness as promised by Moroni (see Moro. 10:4)” (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1997], 54).

Photograph of Harold B. Lee by Merrett T. Smith, may not be copied