I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days.
My witness echoes that of Nephi, who wrote part of the book in his “last days”:
“Hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, … and they teach all men that they should do good.
“And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day.” (2 Nephi 33:10–11; emphasis added.)
ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR OF THE QUORUM OF THE 12 APOSTLES
The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the Savior’s gospel and is the only book the Lord Himself has testified to be true (see D&C 17:6; see also Russell M. Nelson, “A Testimony of the Book of Mormon,” Liahona, Jan. 2000, 84; Ensign, Nov. 1999, 70). Indeed, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.
The convincing and converting powers of the Book of Mormon come from both a central focus upon the Lord Jesus Christ and the inspired plainness and clarity of its teachings. Nephi declared, “My soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn” (2 Nephi 25:4). The root word plain in this verse does not refer to things that are ordinary or simple; rather, it denotes instruction that is clear and easily understood.
The Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth because it centers upon the Truth (see John 14:6; 1 Nephi 13:40), even Jesus Christ, and restores the plain and precious things that have been taken away from the true gospel (see 1 Nephi 13:26, 28–29, 32, 34–35, 40). The unique combination of these two factors—a focus on the Savior and the plainness of the teachings—powerfully invites the confirming witness of the third member of the Godhead, even the Holy Ghost. Consequently, the Book of Mormon speaks to the spirit and to the heart of the reader like no other volume of scripture.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that abiding by the precepts found in the Book of Mormon would help us “get nearer to God” than any other book (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 64). Regular reading of and talking about the Book of Mormon invite the power to resist temptation and to produce feelings of love within our families. And discussions about the doctrines and principles in the Book of Mormon provide opportunities for parents to observe their children, to listen to them, to learn from them, and to teach them.
PRESIDENT SPENCER W. KIMBALL
“I am convinced that each of us, at least some time in our lives, must discover the scriptures for ourselves—and not just discover them once, but rediscover them again and again. …
“The Lord is not trifling with us when he gives us these things, for ‘unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.’ (Luke 12:48.) Access to these things means responsibility for them. We must study the scriptures according to the Lord’s commandment (see 3 Ne. 23:1–5); and we must let them govern our lives.” (Ensign, Sept. 1976, pp. 4–5.)
PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINKLEY
The third cornerstone—the Book of Mormon. I hold it in my hand. It is real. It has weight and substance which can be physically measured. I open its pages and read, and it has language both beautiful and uplifting. The ancient record from which it was translated came out of the earth as a voice speaking from the dust. It came as the testimony of generations of men and women who lived their lives upon the earth, who struggled with adversity, who quarreled and fought, who at various times lived the divine law and prospered and at other times forsook their God and went down to destruction. It contains what has been described as the fifth Gospel, a moving testament of the new world concerning the visit of the resurrected Redeemer on the soil of this hemisphere.
The evidence for its truth, for its validity in a world that is prone to demand evidence, lies not in archaeology or anthropology, though these may be helpful to some. It lies not in word research or historical analysis, though these may be confirmatory. The evidence for its truth and validity lies within the covers of the book itself. The test of its truth lies in reading it. It is a book of God. Reasonable men may sincerely question its origin; but those who have read it prayerfully have come to know by a power beyond their natural senses that it is true, that it contains the word of God, that it outlines saving truths of the everlasting gospel, that it came forth by the gift and power of God “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ.” (Book of Mormon title page.)
It is here. It must be explained. It can be explained only as the translator himself explained its origin. Hand in hand with the Bible, whose companion volume it is, it stands as another witness to a doubting generation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is an unassailable cornerstone of our faith.
“Its appeal is as timeless as truth, as universal as mankind. It is the only book that contains within its covers a promise that by divine power the reader may know with certainty of its truth.
“Its origin is miraculous; when the story of that origin is first told to one unfamiliar with it, it is almost unbelievable. But the book is here to be felt and handled and read. No one can dispute its presence. …
“No other written testament so clearly illustrates the fact that when men [and women] and nations walk in the fear of God and in obedience to His commandments, they prosper and grow, but when they disregard Him and His word, there comes a decay that, unless arrested by righteousness, leads to impotence and death”
ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON OF THE QUORUM OF THE 12 APOSTLES
Scriptural witnesses authenticate each other. This concept was explained long ago when a prophet wrote that the Book of Mormon was “written for the intent that ye may believe [the Bible]; and if ye believe [the Bible] ye will believe [the Book of Mormon] also.”(Mormon 7:9) Each book refers to the other. Each book stands as evidence that God lives and speaks to His children by revelation to His prophets. ( * To the prophet of this present dispensation, the Lord declared, “This generation shall have my word through you” -D&C 5:10- )
Love for the Book of Mormon expands one’s love for the Bible and vice versa. Scriptures of the Restoration do not compete with the Bible; they complement the Bible. We are indebted to martyrs who gave their lives so that we could have the Bible. It establishes the everlasting nature of the gospel and of the plan of happiness. The Book of Mormon restores and underscores biblical doctrines such as tithing, (Alma 13:15 & 3 Nephi 24: 8-10) the temple, (2nd Nephi 5:16 ; Jacob 1:17 ; Jacob 2:2,11 ; Mosiah 2:5-7) the Sabbath day, (Mosiah 13:16-19 & Mosiah 18:23) and the priesthood. (See 2 Nephi 6:2; Mosiah 18:18; Alma 6:1; 13:1–3, 6–11; 3 Nephi 18:5; Moroni 3:1–4)
An angel proclaimed that the Book of Mormon shall establish the truth of the Bible. (The Book of Mormon is to “make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved” 1 Nephi 13:40 ). He also revealed that writings in the Bible available in our day are not as complete as they were when originally written by prophets and apostles. (See 1 Nephi 13:28–29) He declared that the Book of Mormon shall restore plain and precious things taken away from the Bible. (See 1 Nephi 13:40)
A prophecy in the Book of Mormon warned that some people would object to the notion of additional scriptures. To those who think they “need no more Bible,” (2 Nephi 29:6) consider this God-given counsel:
“Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, … created all men, … and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
“… Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And … the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.” (2 Nephi 29:7–8)
PRESIDENT EZRA TAFT BENSON
“The Book of Mormon was written for us today. God is the author of the book. It is a record of a fallen people, compiled by inspired men for our blessing today. Those people never had the book—it was meant for us. Mormon, the ancient prophet after whom the book is named, abridged centuries of records. God, who knows the end from the beginning, told him what to include in his abridgment that we would need for our day”
ELDER L. TOM PERRY OF THE QUORUM OF THE 12 APOSTLES
Now it is up to us to study the Book of Mormon and learn of its principles and apply them in our lives.
*****Lubbock Texas Stake Announcements:
September 5th @ 8:30 a.m. - Branch Welfare Meeting
Thursday, September 9th @ 6:30 p.m. - Quorum Meeting - Plan For Plainview
Saturday, September 11th - Court Of Honor for Alan Rivera
Sunday, September 12th @ 8:30 a.m.- Branch Council
Friday, September 17th @ 8:00 p.m.- Branch Temple Day *Go out for Ice Cream at 10:00 p.m.
*****************Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:
9-5-10 Combined Elders & High Priests : September First Presidency Message "The Book Of Mormon as a Personal Guide" By President Henry B. Eyring -(September Ensign / Liahona)
9-12-10 "The Church of Jesus Christ Today" (Gospel Principles, Chapter 17 - Page 95)
9-19-10 "Faith in Jesus Christ" (Gospel Principles, Chapter 18 - Page 101)