I can still remember the exact spot I was sitting when I knew the Book of Mormon was true. I was in a beach chair on my balcony in Corona Del Mar, California waiting to go surfing. I had just recently started a serious investigation of the Church when I first began reading the Book of Mormon. As I began my study…I realized that the most important thing I could do is find out whether or not the Book of Mormon was true. People that oppose the Church hate when someone says, “I know the Book of Mormon is true”…but I don’t know how else to say it. I know the Book of Mormon is true. (Begin jeering at the cliche’) I’m not going to leave it at that though…I’ll tell you how I know it’s true.
This wasn’t something that I figured out over night. For me…I wanted some evidence and it wasn’t enough for someone else to tell me it was true. The existence of the Book of Mormon had to be logical to me. It had to make sense. When I started looking around, it seemed like there were people everywhere saying that the Book of Mormon was a fraud. Since I knew that “validity draws fire”, it made me want to read it more and dig deeper into the topic. I noticed that most of the people that condemned the Book of Mormon the loudest, had never even read the book. They were taking the word of their pastor, or mom, or friend and writing off the book for good. It might be the funniest thing in the world to me when someone tells me with absolute certainty that the Book of Mormon isn’t true after having admitted never actually reading the book themselves.
Here is the bottom line. If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. If Joseph Smith was a prophet, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the same Church that Christ established while He was on the earth. It’s as simple as that. So the question of all questions deals with the truthfulness of Book of Mormon. All of the other things that come up are only worth talking about if the Book of Mormon is true which is why I can’t figure out why so many people spend so much time criticizing all of the other aspects or doctrines of the Church.
If you’re going to attack something…lets get to the core of it and attack the Book of Mormon. Cut off the head and the body will die right? Knock down the keystone and the structure comes tumbling down.
One of my friends and a convert to the Church from in his twenties said something I’ll never forget. In no way did he mean any disrespect to the Book of Mormon when he said it. He was talking about different times in his life when his faith had been challenged and the role that the Book of Mormon played in his life. He said with a smile on his face, “If you were to drop a nuclear bomb on my testimony, the Book of Mormon would be like the little cockroach that climbs its way to the surface from beneath all the rubble.” One cannot deny the existence of that book. It is there for all to read and it survives any and every attack.[Tweet “Who were the “other sheep” that would hear Jesus’ voice in John 10:16?”]
If you’re ever having doubts about the restoration or about Joseph Smith, just read the Book of Mormon and ask your self these 11 questions:
- Could an uneducated boy come up with 531 pages of ancient scripture on his own that was historically accurate and prophetic in nature?
- Would it be possible for that boy to understand and include ancient Hebrew literary writing styles such as idioms and Chiasmus, some of which weren’t even discovered until long after Joseph Smith was gone ?
- How would Joseph Smith have been able to know so much about the Middle East, especially the Arabian Peninsula where Lehi and his family traveled? The book includes findings in that region that no one had discovered yet.
- How could Joseph Smith come up with roughly 200 new names in the Book of Mormon and then have them turn out to be Semitic in nature?
- If you think Joseph Smith couldn’t have written this book, then where did it come from? If one says the devil put him up to it…then why would Satan want to publish another testament of Jesus Christ and a book that does nothing but promote righteousness. Jesus said that a house divided against itself would fall.
- Who were the “other sheep” that would hear Jesus’s voice in John 10:16?
- Why are there volumes of books written by non-LDS authors stating that Christ came and visited the America’s a couple thousand years ago just like it says in 3rd Nephi? (See Example “He Walked The America’s”) How would Joseph Smith have known this when at the time no one even considered it?
- If we have the stick of Judah (record of the Jews or the Bible), then where is the stick of Joseph that is referenced in Ezekiel 37:15-20? The Book of Mormon is the only explanation for this scripture. Lehi was a descendant of Joseph. Think Joseph Smith could have gotten that right by sheer chance?
- How could there be so many witnesses of the Book of Mormon and the plates and not one of them deny their testimony even when some of them became bitter toward Joseph Smith? With so many people involved…a hoax of this magnitude could never go uncovered.
- How could the Book of Mormon never contradict itself while being an extremely complex book? After all these years…someone would have found something…but no.
And the most important question to ask yourself is “How do I feel while I read the Book of Mormon?”
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t trust your feelings. We are spiritual beings, and if we can’t trust our feelings, then what do we have? Over and over again in the Old and New Testament we’re told that we can trust that “still small voice” to guide us in our decisions. (1 Kings 19:12) I can write evidence after evidence to back up the Book of Mormon but each of those evidences I found were only secondary to the whispering of the Spirit I felt that day before I began waxing up my surf board.
If you’ve never read the book, then read it. If it’s what it purports to be…then it might just be the most important book you ever read. In my mind, it would be more of a stretch to believe that Joseph Smith could pull this thing off without divine help than to believe that God preserved a record to come forth in the last days. In fact, it would just be flat out impossible because of the many things he got right that had never even been discovered. You just don’t pull that off without assistance form above.
There is no doubt those plates existed. Too many people felt them with their own hands and saw them with their own eyes. Even the people that were trying to steal them from Joseph knew that he had something special. They existed, and now you can hold it in your hand and find out for yourself if its true.
I want my witness to be that of Elder Holland’s. “I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world … that the Book of Mormon is true.” (Safety for the Soul)