Why I believe that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is the word of God

September 1, 2006

I have many reasons for my testimony that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Firstly, there is a promise contained in the book that I have applied multiple times: Moroni, the last prophet-historian to write his testimony of Jesus Christ in the book extends the following invitation to all who will receive this book:

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.

 

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

 

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things.

(Moroni 10:3-5)

I have read the book multiple times. Each time, I’m increasingly aware of the glorious message of the infinite love and saving power of Christ that is contained in the book. And each time I have prayed to ask God if the book is true, I have felt the promptings of the Holy Ghost confirming its truthfulness to my heart and mind.

The witness of the Holy Ghost, which comes to me as feelings of peace, love, joy and as strokes of inspiration to my mind–a still small voice, also testifies of the truthfulness of the Book when I am reading it and trying to draw nearer to God through it.

Whenever I have encountered doubts, or questions have been proposed to me about my faith that I do not have answers to, I go back to reading the Book of Mormon, and I feel that same Spirit again and again and again, inviting me and enticing me to do good, and encouraging me to feast from the teachings of those ancient American prophets as well as the Biblical prophets and our modern-day prophets to come unto Christ and be perfected in him. I cannot deny or rationalize away what I feel and the power I get from reading the Book of Mormon. When I read the Book of Mormon, I feel stronger in overcoming my weaknesses and greater faith that in the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.

Another pillar of my testimony comes from the application of the words of Christ encountered in this book. These holy words give me greater appreciation and love for my Savior Jesus Christ and help me desire to serve him more fully. When I teach these things to my children and apply these teachings to our daily lives, I see the fruits of these teachings. I begin to understand the “blessed and happy of those that keep the commandments of God” (Mosiah 2:41). Applying the teachings found in this and other books of scripture blesses my life every day.

I am thankful for the blessing of the Book of Mormon in my life. I am grateful that I can read from its pages each day. Most importantly, I am thankful for the divine mission of my Savior whose life and teachings are clearly taught in this most precious book.

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18 Responses to “Why I believe that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is the word of God”

  1. ReligionGuru Says:

    The Adam & Eve story is taken from a Chaldean myth. It never really happened. Christians say we need a savior, since those people in the garden were disobedient. Since the Adam & Eve story never really happened, we DO NOT need a savior. We are our own savior. By trying to live a righteous life, we progress thru many lifetimes to a perfected state.

    LOVE TO ALL

  2. Aaron Curtis Says:

    The previous comment is a perfect illustration of why we need The Book of Mormon as Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Lord new we would live in a day in which men would doubt the historical accuracy of the Holy Bible (and would consider events such as the story of Adam and Eve as moral fiction, simply because oral traditions of historic events have been found in cultures throughout the world). The Book of Mormon provides an additional prophetic witness of the fall of Adam and Eve (See http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_ne/2). The book also testifies of the need for a Savior ( http://scriptures.lds.org/en/alma/34/) and of the infinite sacrifice of the Son of God ( http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_ne/9). It also answers the claims of social darwinism and atheism that has pervaded our sense of morality ( http://scriptures.lds.org/en/alma/30 and http://scriptures.lds.org/en/jacob/7).

    The truthfullness of The Book of Mormon stands on the witness of the Holy Ghost to the earnest seeker of truth ( http://scriptures.lds.org/en/moro/10). It does not rely on the shifting opinions of historians through the centuries. It is not an illustration of our current moral philosophy. It is the word of God. And anyone who sincerely studies this text with an earnest desire to know if Jesus is our Savior can know through sincere faithful prayer. When the Holy Ghost confirms that this book is true, they will also know of the truthfulness of the Bible, of the the saving grace of Christ and the need for repentance. It is that witness that ties me to Christ.

    I know that God lives, that Jesus is our Savior, and that The Book of Mormon provides a witness to the world that God has again called prophets in our time to testify of Christ to a world searching for truth.


  3. Awesome post. I recently posted my testimony as well, and received a great response in comments from friends and family. We need more of these posts out there for people to find!

  4. RKM Says:

    Great post Aaron. It was glad to find it.

  5. Stewart Foss Says:

    Great post. I look forward to seeing more.

  6. Hhhhh Says:

    Pretty good! I like your blog 🙂

  7. Impartial Observer Says:

    “The Adam & Eve story is taken from a Chaldean myth. It never really happened. Christians say we need a savior, since those people in the garden were disobedient. Since the Adam & Eve story never really happened, we DO NOT need a savior. We are our own savior. By trying to live a righteous life, we progress thru many lifetimes to a perfected state.

    LOVE TO ALL” – ReligionGuru

    If I am not mistaken, the book of Abraham (part of the Pearl of Great Price, another book of Mormon scripture) states that the Lord revealed Adam and Eve’s story to Abraham shortly after he fled his father’s home in the land of the Chaldeans. So it’s interesting that ReligionGuru calls it Chaldean “myth.”
    Just a passing thought.

  8. Eric Hoffman Says:

    What is the ultimate measuring stick for finding out if these things are true?
    Why would Satan not want to mimick the Holy Spirit and deceive you?
    Why do you trust your own feelings and heart when God has already warned us of this. See Proverbs 28:26 and Jeremiah 17:9
    -“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.” – Proverbs 28:26
    -“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
    Also how do you explain Galatians 1:6-9?
    God Bless you in your seek for truth…..
    -Eric

  9. Aaron Curtis Says:

    Eric,
    Having looked at your blog, I think you’re trying to convince me of my errors rather than looking for my honest feelings. But for the benefit of others reading this blog, here are my answers:
    ERIC SAID: Why would Satan not want to mimick the Holy Spirit and deceive you?
    MY ANSWER: Excellent question. Of course Satan wants to mimick the Holy Spirit to deceive all of God’s children–this begs a fundamental question: How do I know when an impression is coming from the Holy Spirit, and when it is coming from my own mind, or even from the adversary? We could equally ask, how do you know the Bible really contains God’s word? I assume your witness of the veracity of the Bible’s teachings is based on some fundamentally spiritual experiences you’ve had. If you’d like to share your reason for the truth that is in you (and I’m asking for the foundation of your testimony, not why you think I’m wrong), you’re welcome to share it here.
    Clarifying: When I speak of the heart, I’m referring to the fruits of the Spirit referred to by Paul in Galatians 5. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/gal/5
    I invite you to read the following passages of scripture and learn this process for yourself. When I have more time, I will try to address this subject more fully in a future post.
    John 7 (from the New Testament), particularly those verses around 17.
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/john/7/17#17
    Moroni (from the Book of Mormon), 7:6-19; 10.
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/moro/7
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/moro/10
    2 Corinthians 2 (from the New Testament), particularly versus 10-11
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/1_cor/2/10-11#10
    Alma (from the Book of Mormon) 32
    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/alma/32
    As for the Gal 1:6-9, to answer that, I’d need to know what your definition of the word gospel is. As the prophet Joseph Smith wrote “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, second, repentance, third baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, fourth, laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost … We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive church, namely apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so forth.” http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1
    A core component of our message to the world is that we do preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as it was practiced anciently and as it has been restored by God to the earth. The Holy Ghost bears witness to my spirit that we are guided by living apostles and prophets in our day. I feel the “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” spoken of by Paul the apostle when I live by the teachings found in holy scripture, both ancient and modern. That confirming witness is reaffirmed by the Holy Spirit every day.

  10. Jay Says:

    I too have prayed and recieved what I believed for 14 years was an answer from God about the Book of Mormon. However, I have read more about Church history in the past year and it has seriously made me question those feelings I recieved all those years ago. Some of these issues deal with familiar subjects (i.e. polygamy, blacks and the priesthood and Book of Mormon issues). Others deal with less well known Church events (i.e. kinderhook plates, stone in hat translation, DNA evidence and BOM, Book of Abraham translation). I struggle with why the Church doesn’t discuss these issues more fully with lay church members. I think it does a diservice to the membership of the Church to “keep them in the dark”. A testimony should be studied out and then prayed about.

    I believe it also hurts those that spend their lives in the church and then suddenly are made aware of things they should have known. I have discovered that anti-Mormons are not just inspired by hate, but base their critiques on factual historic events. Many times they twist facts, but there are things that are hard to dismiss (racist comments made by past prophets, Joesph being married to married women, etc.) My heart aches the more I learn. I mourn my the loss of the strong testimony. Where once I could say, “I know!” now I can only say, “I believe”

  11. Aaron Says:

    Jay,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Your blog postings are quite poignant. In brief, I would encourage you to check out the following material:

    Davis Bitton’s presentation titled “I don’t have a testimony of the history of this Church” (http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=560) provides a historians perspective on potentially unsettling events from Church history and their relationship to personal testimony.

    Elder Boyd K. Packer’s “The Mantle is far Greater than the Intellect” http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/ChargReligEd32686000/Articles/ChargReligEd32686000_08.pdf
    which provides some perspective on the treatment of Church History by the Brethren.

    Robert L. Millet’s “What is Our Doctrine?” http://www.lds.org/institutes/attachment/display/1,18728,91079,00.pdf
    discusses the relationship between the doctrine of the Church and statements / actions by early Church leaders.

    Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s “Cast Not Away Your Confidence” http://speeches.byu.edu/freefiles/provider1/type1/HollandW99.pdf
    is arguably one of the best discussions I’ve encountered of personal revelation, testimony, and enduring conversion.

    One comment about anti-mormon literature: Although I recognize that some apologetics groups (e.g., http://fairlds.org/ and http://farms.byu.edu) find fulfillment in combing through such claims and defending the faith, my personal experience has been that personal perusing of anti-mormon literature is akin to listening to gossip about my wife. Anyone familiar with Shakespeare’s Othello can see the destructive power of doubt-sowing gossip. If you want to learn about Church history, or any history, I encourage you to get as close to the source documentation as possible. Read Brigham Young’s or Joseph Smith’s words in context and judge them for yourself. Heresay evidence doesn’t stand up in court in the United States. It shouldn’t be the measuring stick for determining the worth of your personal testimony.

    Lastly, I would suggest you prayerfully consider the Savior’s statement in John 7:16-17 (http://scriptures.lds.org/john/7/16-17/#16):

    16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
    17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    If you’re struggling with doubts as to the reality of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, or ultimately with the reality of God, put the Savior’s challenge to the test. Live the commandments of His Church. Do your absolute best to keep His covenants. Search the scriptures, pray constantly, live the gospel and see if the promised blessings come. Remember, Adam had to wait “many days” before learning the reason behind the law of sacrifice. Nephi had to return often to the mountain to learn how to build the ship. Joseph Smith had to struggle for some time before seeing the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove.

    When I was a full-time missionary, I often thought testimonies were formed simply through faithful prayers. Since then, I’ve learned that faithful prayers must be coupled with obedience. I can find no account in the scriptures of revelation coming without work.

    Don’t give up on your testimony simply because there are some things you can’t explain. This is a Church based on continuing revelation–and that’s not just to the prophet, or the leaders of the Church. Revelation is something we each need in our lives each and every day. If we work for it, and watch for it, and record it, it will come. Just as baptism alone cannot bring about salvation. One answered prayer, or 14 years of answered prayers do not guarantee lifelong conversion. Testimonies and conversion are reborn every day.

    I’m happy to be able to say that I know the Lord is at the helm in this work. There are some things I can’t comprehend, but they do not negate the experiences I’ve had and continue to have each day. I don’t understand everything in the history of this Church. I’m not an expert in philosophy, nor biology, nor psychology, nor history. But I do not need to be an expert to witness the blessings of the gospel in my life. I don’t need to know exactly where events in The Book of Mormon took place to benefit from the spiritual witnesses I’ve had about the book and the way its testimony of Christ has transformed my life. I don’t know a lot, and I look forward to the day when God will reveal more on the matters I don’t understand. But I can trust in God until then. I can hold on, doing what I know is right, and I am grateful for my membership in His Church and the way it strengthens my family and makes me a better person.

    It’s true. It’s real. The world may not understand it. I may not be able to explain it all. But God lives. Jesus is His Son. Joseph Smith really saw them. And The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon testify of the reality of Christ and His saving power. God’s authority is on the earth today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we have a living prophet.

    Please let me know if I can help you further.

    — Aaron

  12. Jay Says:

    Aaron thank you for the references and your testimony. Though I struggle I am still active and still desire to believe. The sadest thing for me is discovering that what I percieved to be simple truths are actually quite complex. It is my hope that some day my testimony will be restored to its former vigor. Until then all I can do is rely on the testimonies of people like yourself and hold on with faith.

  13. Jay Says:

    I wanted to thank you for the reference to Davis Bitton’s paper. It was very uplifting for me to read. My favorite quote was the one by George Q. Cannon at the end of the paper. Thank you for sharing. I’ll read the other papers too.

  14. Aaron Says:

    Jay,

    I’m glad to hear it was helpful. For those who have not looked at Davis Bitton’s paper, here’s the quote by President Cannon Jay is referring to:

    “Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a Bishop, an Apostle, or a President; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone; but if we lean on God, He never will fail us. When men and women depend on God alone and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside. . . . Perhaps it is His own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His Saints may learn to trust in Him and not in any man or men.”

  15. Aaron Says:

    I’d also like to mention that there are two excellent articles on this subject in the June 2007 issue of the Church’s Ensign magazine http://www.lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg/menuitem.7935dffa3fbb81cafefc9c04942826a0/?vgnextoid=ccb1d48fa58db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=d8033bc909592110VgnVCM100000176f620a____

    The first article “A Firm Foundation in a Shaky World” shares the experiences of members across the globe who have found strength in a foundation built on Christ despite “tough questions” or things we don’t have complete answers for.

    The second article “Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times” provides counsel from Elder Henry B. Eyring for drawing on the gifts of the Spirit so that we may not be deceived or overcome by temporal or spiritual challenges. I think his counsel is highly relevant to our discussion as well.


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