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The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon and the angel Moroni are two of the most basic symbols of Latter-day Saint religion. Whether or not it is literally true, the story of the angel's visit and of the miraculous translation of the golden plates expresses concepts fundamental to LDS faith. To the first Latter-day Saints, this story was a declaration that God calls and inspires people in the modern age as in biblical times (D&C 20:5-12). The book was a tangible sign that God was working to bring about the fulfillment of the millennial promises (3 Ne. 21:2, 7). Moroni's appearance was the first in a series of angelic visions that showed heaven in communication with earth, offering good news, consolation, and hope for the future (D&C 128:19-22).

To people who had been taught to view the Bible alone as God's word, the Book of Mormon proclaimed that God "manifest[s] himself unto all nations" (Title Page) and that revelation is ongoing. The Book of Mormon describes itself as an instrument in confounding false teachings, overcoming contention, and establishing peace (2 Ne. 3:12). Among the false teachings that the book condemns are gender and racial discrimination (2 Ne. 26:33) and indifference to the poor, especially by churches (Morm. 8:35-39). When we use the Book of Mormon as "evidence" for LDS claims to authority, we run the risk of contributing to religious contention instead of overcoming contention. How to use the book to cultivate interfaith unity and to promote peace are challenges requiring creative spiritual discernment.

Related Topics:
Does Historicity Matter? The Scriptures  

 An Angel from on High  (Hymns 13)
 What Glorious Scenes Mine Eyes Behold  (Hymns 16)

B. H. Roberts: From this new volume of scripture we learn that the mercies and favors of God are not confined to the inhabitants of the eastern hemisphere; but he of whom it is said that he is "no respecter of persons," had regard for the races of men who inhabited the western half of the world.
Defense of the Faith and the Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1907), 1:12

Hugh B. Brown: The vital and dynamic message of Mormonism is that there is a personal God in the heavens. . . . He has not abated his power; he has not surrendered his sovereignty; he has not diluted his love; he changes not; and his plans never fail. . . . The character, personality, and purposes of God have been again revealed to the world. The kingdom of God has been set up as predicted by Daniel and other prophets. An angel has flown in the midst of heaven in the latter days in confirmation of John's vision recorded in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation, where he said: "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."

Conference Report, October 1962, 43

Bruce R. McConkie: One of the great evidences of the Lord's goodness, mercy, and condescension toward his children on earth is found in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 719

Bruce R. McConkie: In a great chorus of worship and desire, the prayers of the saints ascend to the Great God: "Thy kingdom come. The will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," they say. . . . The great issue was not what the Lord designed to do in the latter days, but when it should come to pass. What was the sign and when should it be given? . . . The promised sign is the Book of Mormon. When that volume of holy scripture comes forth, then all men may know that the Lord has already commenced his work. . . . We cannot state it too plainly; we cannot affirm it too positively; we cannot proclaim it with too great a fervor—the Book of Mormon is the sign given of God to herald the fulfillment of the covenants made of old.

The Mortal Messiah (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1979-1981), 4:347, 351-52

Ezra Taft Benson: God uses the power of the word of the Book of Mormon as an instrument to change people's lives.

A Witness and a Warning (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1988), 32

This website is an independent effort to discern the Spirit's voice in LDS teaching. The site is not sponsored by the LDS Church. Quotations from the teachings of any individual should not be taken to imply that the individual does or would endorse this website or other statements made here.