I’ve taken a brief hiatus from a deep study of the Book of Mormon because I’ve been writing a lot and had a big stack of books I needed to get through. Over the past couple months, I’ve personally witnessed in myself what happens as a person neglects to study the Book of Mormon. I know that Book is true…but as time goes on…and that book sits unopened on my desk, the natural tendency is to forget how complex and deeply powerful that book really is.
People will undoubtedly make fun of me for saying this but I need that book in my life. I need it like I need the Bible. Both..in concert…help me in every aspect of my life.
A few months ago I wrote an article entitled “So…You Think The Book of Mormon is A Fraud?” In the article…I gave my personal experience with the Book of Mormon in my college years and also laid out some of the logical reasons why I believe the book to be true. Some people loved it…and some people hated it…but at the end of the day, the experiences I shared are so tangible to me that I’ll never be able to forget or deny their reality.
Sometimes I wonder how many people out there feel the same way that I do. Each of them in their own time, their own place, their own circumstance had a supernatural witness given to them that this book is true and it is impossible to deny.
When I first read that book…I didn’t care if it was true or not. In fact…if it wasn’t true, then I could’ve just kept playing baseball, surfing, and living the way I wanted to live. I wouldn’t have been inclined to spend two of my most prime years on a mission. I could’ve stayed right there on the beach in my comfort zone.
But if I found out that the Book of Mormon is true…then everything was going to change.
I can’t deny the spiritual and logical reasons that were presented to me as part of my testimony of that book’s truthfulness. But even today…the evidences keep piling up.
As a result of me publishing my testimony online regarding the Book of Mormon, I’ve had hundreds…maybe even thousands of people send me messages with their reasoning about why the Book of Mormon can’t be true. I’m not mad at those people. I’m grateful for them. I love them. Many of them truly believe that I have been deceived and that the book of Mormon is a fabricated fraud. I appreciate them taking the time to write their lengthy rebuttals and reasoning for their conclusions. It makes me think about things that I’ve never thought of.
But then I keep seeing things that refute those conclusions.
Take for instance this National Geographic article that was published last November. The title caught my attention. It read…“Great Surprise”—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins.
To the many people that sent me info on how DNA has proven the Book of Mormon false…this would indeed be a “Great Surprise!” The subtitle to this article read, “Oldest human genome reveals less of an East Asian ancestry than thought.” Scroll down a little more and you see a picture of a Native American sitting on a horse. Under that picture is a caption…“Native Americans may have a more complicated heritage than previously believed.”
So what you’re telling me is that some of the Native Americans came from the Middle-East?
Now all of the sudden…people that denounced the Book of Mormon because “DNA and science had proven its downfall” are now asked to reconsider their position. The expert in charge of these findings is an ancient-DNA specialist by the name of Eske Willerslev. He said…”These results were a great surprise to us…I hadn’t expected anything like this. A genome related to present-day western Eurasian populations and modern Native Americans as well was really puzzling in the beginning. How could this happen?”
How could this happen!
This book had to come from somewhere. Some people say Joseph Smith must have been a “child prodigy”. Others say he was was inspired by the devil, or possibly a lunatic. Still…others say that he was no different than a J. R. R. Tolkien, Steven Spielberg, or George Lucas. Just another creative mind with a fantastic imagination.
But every logical and spiritual bone in my body tells me that this book is not and could not be fictional.
There are millions of people that have read the book and felt that it is true. They have gained that assurance through the testimony of the Holy Ghost, which is a gift that is promised to us in the New Testament. Many of us seek evidences to help bolster that testimony. The pendulum swings back and forth as this or that evidence is proven or disproven by opponents on both sides of the argument.
But there is one thing that has occurred to me recently that has become the most solid logical evidence for the Book of Mormon. I’d like to take credit for discovering this groundbreaking evidence…but millions before me had already discovered it long before I did as they read the Book of Mormon.
My discovery happened as a result of taking a break from studying the Book of Mormon (which I don’t suggest). As a result of being asked to give the “5th Sunday Lesson” in 3rd hour, I was required to depart from my stack of books and jump back into the Book of Mormon.
When I cracked open the Book of Mormon, it was as if a physical peace came over me. I went straight to Alma 30 based on the topic I was speaking about…and as I started reading…all I could think about was this;
“If Joseph Smith somehow wrote this book…how could he have acquired this much wisdom?”
Yes, there are child prodigies. Yes, there are con-artists, frauds, and plagiarizers. But child prodigies, though they be smart…do not have wisdom. There is no immediate or intelligent substitute for experience and wisdom. You can fake a lot of things in life…but you can’t fake wisdom. You can’t dream it up on the spot or summon it without years, even decades of experience. As Richard G. Scott once said… “You cannot draw water from and empty well.” Having been a 20 year old once myself…20 years is not enough time to come up with a fraction of the wisdom that is found within the Book of Mormon.
Wisdom comes only in time…and Joseph Smith didn’t have the time, the resources, or the mentors to pull off a stunt like that without being found out by those that were closest to him. The timeless counsel and wholesome advice that is found in the Book of Mormon has never been displayed by any known prodigy that I know of to date.
The Bible was written and compiled over thousands of years by hundreds of authors, contributors, and translators. The Book of Mormon is in my mind on par with the Bible in regards to it profundity. Are you telling me that one little young frontiersman could pull this off in broad daylight in front of so many strong minded and intelligent individuals? No con-artist or fraud has accomplished such a feat in our recorded history.
Even if a con or a fraud could write that book…why would they? If Joseph Smith was a fraud and the Book of Mormon was a hoax…then why would he turn himself around after he was already safely across the Mississippi river to surrender himself into what he knew was certain death in Carthage jail? If he was that evil and selfish…then surrendering himself would have been the last thing on his mind. Have you ever run into a con-man that would do such a thing?
Why would a con-man bear his testimony to the guards about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon in his final hours if it was indeed a fraud? You’d have to be deranged to do that. Maintaining the fraud would be the last thing on someone’s mind. Jeffrey Holland quoted his own great grandfather in saying that “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” (Safety for The Soul)
Finding a National Geographic article once in a while that validates your beliefs is cool…but those things can always be debated. The wisdom found within the Book of Mormon however…is hard to dispute and even harder to ignore. No young man is capable of that kind of wisdom. Nothing against Joseph Smith…but he wasn’t capable of that book. I see no logical way that he could have written it. Throw in Oliver Cowdrey, Sidney Rigdon, Martin Harris, Socrates, Aristotle, Aquinas, Augustine, Locke and Plato combined and you’d still be hard pressed to match the wisdom and complexity found within the Book of Mormon.
That book is too awesome to sit on my shelf collecting dust…which is why that stack of books I needed to get through will just have to take a back seat from now on.