We learn from ancient prophets that the Book of Mormon contains many “plain and precious things” that were preserved to instruct us in our day (see 1 Nephi 13:40; 19:3). These truths provide clarity and increased understanding of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and help students of the Book of Mormon navigate through life’s challenges with hope and strength. In the following quotes, modern prophets and apostles testify of these important teachings.
The Lord Is Mindful of Us
“I am reminded of the words of the Lord found in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Said the Lord, ‘Ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come’ [Ether 2:25]. My brothers and sisters, He has prepared us. If we heed His words and live the commandments, we will survive this time of permissiveness and wickedness—a time which can be compared with the waves and the winds and the floods that can destroy. He is ever mindful of us. He loves us and will bless us as we do what is right.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “Closing Remarks,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2009, 109.
Jesus Is the Christ
“The Book of Mormon is the most powerful written testimony we have that Jesus is the Christ. What did Nephi say was the basis for receiving the Holy Ghost? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Will reading the Book of Mormon now and then ensure faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? You wouldn’t count on it if you read Nephi carefully. He said this ‘is the gift … to all those who diligently seek him.’ Diligently surely means regularly. And it surely means pondering and praying. And the praying will surely include the fervent pleading to know the truth. Anything less would hardly be diligent. And anything less will not be enough for you and for me.”
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Going Home,” in Brigham Young University 1986–87 Devotional and Fireside Speeches (1987), 77–78.
A Declaration of the Gospel
“The core elements of the gospel message are found in all the holy scriptures but are most clearly given to us in the Book of Mormon and in the revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Here Jesus Himself plainly declares His doctrine and His gospel, with which God’s children must comply to ‘have eternal life’ (D&C 14:7).”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 19.
Baptism of Little Children
“[Some believe] that little children are conceived in sin and enter mortality in a state of natural corruption. That doctrine is false!
“‘If I have learned the truth,’ Mormon wrote, ‘there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children’ (Moroni 8:5).
“He called their disputation ‘gross error’ and wrote:
“‘Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; …
“‘And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children’ (Moroni 8:7–9). …
“Read his entire epistle. It is true doctrine.”
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Little Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17.
Warnings from the Book of Mormon
“Among the lessons we learn from the Book of Mormon are the cause and effect of war and under what conditions it is justified. It tells of evils and dangers of secret combinations, which are built up to get power and gain over the people. It tells of the reality of Satan and gives an indication of some of the methods he uses. It advises us on the proper use of wealth. It tells us of the plain and precious truths of the gospel and the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for all mankind. It informs us of the gathering of the house of Israel in the last days. It tells us of the purpose and principles of missionary work. It warns us against pride, indifference, procrastination, the dangers of false traditions, hypocrisy, and unchastity.
“Now it is up to us to study the Book of Mormon and learn of its principles and apply them in our lives.”
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Blessings Resulting from Reading the Book of Mormon,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2005, 8.
All Things Shall Be Restored
“The literal and universal nature of the resurrection is vividly described in the Book of Mormon. The prophet Amulek taught:
“‘The death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.
“‘The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; …
“‘Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame’ (Alma 11:42–44).
“Alma also taught that in the resurrection ‘all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame’ (Alma 40:23). …
“What a comfort to know that all who have been disadvantaged in life … will be resurrected in ‘proper and perfect frame.’”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Resurrection,” Liahona, July 2000, 17; Ensign, May 2000, 15.
Dangers of Secret Combinations
“The Book of Mormon teaches that secret combinations engaged in crime present a serious challenge, not just to individuals and families but to entire civilizations. Among today’s secret combinations are gangs, drug cartels, and organized crime families. The secret combinations of our day function much like the Gadianton robbers of the Book of Mormon times. … Among their purposes are to ‘murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God’ [Helaman 6:23].
“If we are not careful, today’s secret combinations can obtain power and influence just as quickly and just as completely as they did in Book of Mormon times.”
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Standing for Truth and Right,” Ensign, Nov. 1997, 38.
Resolving Life’s Challenges
“The Book of Mormon contains messages that were divinely placed there to show how to correct the influence of false tradition and how to receive a fulness of life. It teaches how to resolve the problems and challenges that we face today. … [The Lord] has provided the way to correct the serious errors of life, but this guidance is of no value if it remains locked in a closed book.”
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “True Friends That Lift,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 76.
A Reminder of Our Covenants
“We are reminded from the Book of Mormon that our baptism is a covenant to ‘stand as witnesses of God [and His kingdom] at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life’ (Mosiah 18:9; emphasis added).”
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Liahona, Jan. 2001, 7; Ensign, Nov. 2000, 7.
The Blessings of Obedience
“In numerous places in the Book of Mormon, the people were promised that they would prosper in the land if they would keep the commandments [see 1 Nephi 2:20; 2 Nephi 4:4]. This promise is often accompanied by the warning that if they do not keep the commandments of God, they shall be cut off from His presence [see Alma 36:30].”
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 104.
Two Sticks Become One
Almost since birth I have been in possession of the Bible, yet until I received a copy of the Book of Mormon, I was not acquainted with all the principles of the gospel. I discovered that the full gospel of Jesus Christ is accessible only with knowledge of this second “stick” (see Ezekiel 37:15–17). When the two came together for me, they provided a life-changing experience—an increased understanding of who I am and my potential to become part of the eternal family of God. This prophesied combining—“they shall become one in thine hand” (verse 17)—became possible because two faithful missionary sisters cared and left me a copy of the second stick.
Before, I walked by candlelight; now every niche and cranny is highlighted by the fulness of gospel blessings. I feel I’ve been given a new lease on life.
Ary Sala, British Columbia, Canada
A Family Is Forever
I have read the Book of Mormon since my baptism in 1995. But it was not until I got married that reading about Lehi’s sons journeying to and fro from Jerusalem became meaningful to me in terms of my own family.
It seems that the Lord wanted Lehi to have a forever family. He first told Lehi to leave everything behind and save his present family by taking them to the promised land. While they were still in the wilderness, the Lord told Lehi to send his sons back to get the record of past family members. After that, He sent them to get Ishmael and his daughters. This was preparing for their future family.
Creating the link between the present, past, and future of our eternal family is an important responsibility that I need to treasure—just like Lehi did. Perhaps these experiences helped prepare Lehi for the vision of the tree of life and an understanding that the love of God should be cultivated within an eternal family.
Salote Malani Maiwiriwiri, Hawaii, USA
Moving Forward with Light
In chapter 2 of Ether we read that the brother of Jared was worried because there would be no light in their boats. When he asked the Lord about this, the Lord answered with a question: “What will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light?” (verse 25).
I have thought a lot about how the brother of Jared responded to the Lord’s question. First he climbed a mountain, where he “did molten out of a rock 16 small stones” (Ether 3:1). He carried the stones to the top of the mountain, where he prayed. He began by humbling himself before the Lord. He asked for mercy, and he acknowledged the power the Lord had to answer his prayer. Then he demonstrated his faith by saying, “We know that thou art able to show forth great power” (Ether 3:5). The brother of Jared asked the Lord to touch the stones so they could illuminate the boats.
This passage has changed the way I pray. Before, I often asked, “Father, what would Thou have me do?” In reality many situations require that I put in some thought, analyze my resources, come up with a plan, then go to the Father and ask Him if the plan is OK—afterward praying for the miracles that I can’t make happen by myself.
Elena Gómez de Santurión, Uruguay