It was a manifestation of divine glory to rival anything since the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like Paul in ancient times, Joseph Smith had seen the risen Lord and heard his voice. In addition, he had seen God the Father, and heard His proclamation: "This is my Beloved Son. Hear him."
Joseph's question had been answered: Of all the Christian denominations existant, the true church of Christ was currently not found. It had been lost when the Apostles died, and their authority was lost. Accordingly, Jesus Christ called Joseph Smith to be his prophet. Like Moses, Abraham, Noah, and on through the Bible, in modern times God called a prophet to cut through centuries of darkness and tradition.
God knew that it would be difficult for many to believe Joseph. After all, if a fourteen year old boy came to you, and told you that he had just seen God, you probably wouldn't give him much credit. I wouldn't either. It's an incredible story, in the original sense of hard to believe. That's why God prepared proof.
The Book of Mormon is another volume of scripture, comparable to the Bible. The Bible was written by prophets in Jerusalem, Egypt, the area we know now as Palestine. However, that's a very small area compared to the world. Where are the records of everyone else? Surely, God wants to talk to his children in other parts of the world just as much as he does to the people in Palestine. Since back then, there was not a lot of communication available, God called prophets in other parts of the world. The Book of Mormon is the records of the prophets in America.
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. ~2 Nephi 25:26The entire purpose of the Book of Mormon is to invite people to come unto Christ. What's more, it's the only book that I know of where God promises to tell you if it's true.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.I know that this is true, because I've done it. Since I was eight years old, I've known that the Book of Mormon is true. Every time I read it, I get a warm feeling that comes from God. I know that if you'll read it and put it to the test, God will show you by your feelings that it's true.
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