The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ
You may have been asked, or perhaps even wondered yourself, “What is the Book of Mormon?” The Lord declared that the Book of Mormon “contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:9). He also said that the Book of Mormon proves that the Bible is true and that God calls and inspires prophets today just as He did anciently (see D&C 20:10–12).
In 1982, to make it clear to the world what the Book of Mormon is, Elder Boyd K. Packer, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, announced: “By recent decision of the Brethren the Book of Mormon will henceforth bear the title ‘the Book of Mormon,’ with the subtitle ‘Another Testament of Jesus Christ’” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53).
The fundamental role of the Book of Mormon is, first, “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile [everyone] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (title page of the Book of Mormon). A second purpose of the Book of Mormon is to prove to the world that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and, therefore, the Church is true and succeeding prophets speak in the name of God (see D&C 20:8–12). A third purpose is to “persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved” (1 Nephi 6:4).
What Can a Study of the Book of Mormon Mean to Me?
Some people wonder why we need the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible. President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught:
“The Book of Mormon, the record of Joseph, verifies and clarifies the Bible. It removes stumbling blocks, it restores many plain and precious things. We testify that when used together, the Bible and the Book of Mormon confound false doctrines, lay down contentions, and establish peace. (See 2 Nephi 3:12.)
“We do not have to prove the Book of Mormon is true. The book is its own proof. All we need to do is read it and declare it! The Book of Mormon is not on trial—the people of the world, including the members of the Church, are on trial as to what they will do with this second witness for Christ.
“I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; and therefore Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith is a prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, with its authorized servants to perform the ordinances of salvation today” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 7; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 8).
The Book of Mormon truly contains the “words of Christ” (see 2 Nephi 33:10–11; Moroni 10:26–27). As you begin your journey into this book, look for the Savior and feast on His words. You will find Him and be well fed. Pray and ponder. You will receive answers to your questions and concerns, either through inspired words that the Spirit will bring to your attention or through the unsurpassed spirit of the book itself, which will put you in harmony with the process of revelation.
Give frequent heed to Moroni’s promise that if you will “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” (Moroni 10:4–5).