Those who are hearing about the Book of Mormon for the first time are often confused at its message and its origins. Even members of the “Mormon” church sometimes question if the Book of Mormon is false, or a fraud.
Today, I’d like to take the opposite angle.
What if it was true?
What if the origins and veracity of this powerful book were all accurate and all that it implies?
And how can you find out?
First off, What is the Book of Mormon?
The Book of Mormon is a volume of ancient writings that dates back to 600 B.C. It is hailed as a book of scripture similar to the Bible. The Bible takes place in the “Old World” whereas the Book of Mormon takes place in the Americas.
It was originally written by many prophets that spanned around 1000 years until around 420 A.D. The last prophet who wrote in the Book was named Moroni, who hid the record in the ground for some “wise purpose” only known to the Lord at the time.
In the spring of 1827, a man named Joseph Smith was directed to the spot where the plates were originally hidden. Since they were written in an ancient language, he dictated them “by the power of God” to his scribe, Oliver Cowdery, into the English language.
Once it was completed, they began work to publish it. There have been well over 150,000,000 copies of the Book of Mormon printed since then.
What did Joseph have to Gain?
Personally, if the Book of Mormon was a hoax, I believe it to be the greatest hoax in the history of the world. Yes, bigger than Roswell. Bigger than the moon landing. Maybe even bigger than “deflate-gate”. On the contrary, millions of people around the world love and revere this Book, learning from its pages and attempting to live better lives because of it.
If it was a hoax, why did Joseph never deny it? You would think that once things went south, friends turned against you, you’ve literally been beaten up and tarred and feathered, you would probably give up the charade at some point.
He never did.
Witnesses who saw the golden plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon also went through extremely grave circumstances because of it, yet none ever denied it. I see this as an incredible testimony from those who literally had nothing to gain from it – but a lot to lose.
Joseph Smith and his followers were driven out of their towns and killed for what they believed to be true. You would think that after experiencing things like this, they would’ve left.
I’m sure a few did.
But even when Joseph Smith, the man who “started” this movement, was brutally murdered, you would think that that would’ve been the end of it. Unfortunately, the murderers forgot one thing –
The Book of Mormon.
It stood firm under the fiercest of scrutiny and evaluation. Joseph literally couldn’t have written the Book of Mormon – his own wife claimed he couldn’t even write a well-worded letter.
And if you think he did, I have a challenge for you:
Come to my house for two months and dictate new scripture to me. I’m being serious here.
It has to be new scripture, but fits perfectly with established Biblical references.
You need to finish at least 500 pages worth of content within 65 days, straight from your mouth, without going back and changing things.
It needs to be historically accurate. (Oh yeah, and you can’t use any notes or resources, either.)
It needs to add and clarify existing doctrines and add unique breadth to them.
You need to claim archeological facts that haven’t been discovered yet.
You need to create unique characters and different books, complete with different writing styles and backstories.
All of the stories must go together yet not contradict each other.
It must include detailed war strategies and complicated economic and judicial systems.
The Book of Mormon has done all of these.
Now you try it.
I can’t even write a coherent facebook post without a few edits, let alone a 500 page book without going back and correcting! But yet a farm boy with little formal education just somehow pulled it off?
With the knowledge that I have of the events surrounding the Book of Mormon, it seems far-fetched to suggest that the Book of Mormon isn’t true.
“When all is said and done, one might wonder how someone could believe that all these alleged factors… fortuitously combined in such a way that enabled Joseph to write the Book of Mormon… In direct opposition to such an assertion, this book has inspired millions to reject Satan and to live more Christlike lives.” -Tad R. Callister
If the Book of Mormon is True…
All of these facts point to the books’ heavenly authenticity, yet no matter how many facts are brought up, they will never be sufficient.
Because the very belief in God cannot just be looked at as a series of logical statements and facts. It’s not a math problem. I hate math, anyway.
There has to be feeling involved. There has to be “something” within us that feels right.
If you’re married, I’m sure you feel a certain way about your spouse that defies logical description. It’s most likely not a simple checklist, and voila! she’s yours forever.
In the case of the Book of Mormon, that “something” is called the Holy Ghost. One of His main purposes is to testify of and confirm things that are true, unto us. So in order to find out if the Book of Mormon is a true book, is true scripture, you first need to get a copy. While reading it, pray to God to know if it is true. I have confidence that you’ll come to know of its veracity, as I have.
I wasn’t born with this knowledge. It takes some study, faith, and prayer, but if you already believe in God, do you think He would mind if you asked Him about it? The scriptures seem to indicate that we should include Him in every action and plead unto Him for answers when we’re faced with challenges.
Because if the Book of Mormon is true, it means that Joseph Smith was telling the truth about its origins, and his calling to become a prophet of God in these days. Like Moses, Abraham, or Noah.
If there was a prophet on the earth today that recieved revelation from God, I’m sure you’d want to know about it, right?
So when someone critiques the church and Joseph Smith and asks you the question, “What if the Book of Mormon isn’t True?”
Just reply with a question of your own –
“What if it is?”