Friday, October 22, 2010

Purpose of the Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon Title Page

Some people approach the Book of Mormon as a history book.  Curiosity makes them want to know what happened here, on the American continent, thousands of years ago.  And indeed, the wars and strife are intriguing.  There are good guys and bad guys and stratagem and wonderful victories.  The Book of Mormon is an amazing war saga, a constant struggle between two nations.

Some people read the Book of Mormon looking to disprove Joseph Smith.  They focus on every minute mistake, try to link the tone of the book to this uneducated farm boy, strain to hear his voice on every page.  I wonder what kind of machinations they must go through to convince themselves they've reached their goal.  I wonder if those who reach that conclusion maybe aren't being dishonest, at least with themselves.

Why should anyone read the Book of Mormon?  Well, it's true that the Book of Mormon is the most convincing evidence that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.  If you are a sincere seeker of truth, you will come to realize that his remarkable story is true.  But that's not the real purpose of the Book of Mormon.

The true purpose of the Book of Mormon is revealed by the ancient prophet Mormon himself, written in his own hand so many years ago.  He tells us on the title page, that the Book of Mormon is "to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."

Why do I read the Book of Mormon, even now, 37 years after I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?  Because it draws me nearer to Christ, it shows me His love for me, it deepens my understanding of the great sacrifice He made for me, it inspires me to walk in His footsteps and to be more like Him.  That is why I read, and why I love, the Book of Mormon.

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