Monday, July 11, 2011

Mormons: The Book of Mormon

If I seem like I talk about the Book of Mormon, it's probably because it plays a big role in my life.  It's helped me out more than any other book.  If it were not for this book, I would not be out here on the mission.  It's that simple. 

This book is a marvel of scripture.  It contains answers on questions as diverse as
  • Where did I come from?
  • Where am I going?
  • Why am I here?
  • How is the best way to be happy?
  • What happens after I die?
  • How can I be a better father?
  • Is Jesus really the Savior?
  • How can I know if something comes from God or from Satan?
  • What is the path that will lead me to Heaven?
It has wars and peace, intrigue and assassins, good people, bad people, everyday joes, prophets of God, and Jesus Christ.  Oh, there's a whole bunch of Him.

I once took a little green pencil, and went through the entire book of Mormon, highlighting all the references to Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Ghost.  As I recall, there are somewhere along the lines of 3500 in there, an average of one every 1.8 verses.  If you open the book at random, you'll probably have a while until you come to a set of pages that has no reference at all to him.

There is a lot of evidence for the book, but I think that the greatest evidence is the book itself.  Let us examine three hypotheses about where the book came from, three sources.

Theory one states that Joseph Smith did it himself, that he pulled a five-hundred and thirty-one page book out of his mind.  It is patently absurd to think that a farm boy with only a third-grade education could write five hundred pages of anything, let alone a book that has stood the test of time as far as accuracy, complexity, and completeness.  People scoffed at apparent anachronisms, only to be silenced when the "anachronisms" turned out to be historically accurate.  (For example, people said that there was no steel or horses in the americas, and later found out that there were.)  People have taken the Bible and they've tried to disprove the Book of Mormon with it, but they can't.  The Bible agrees with the Book of Mormon, and actually contains some prophecies about it.  The Book of Mormon contains parables, lyric, logic, epic, warfare, similies, prophecies, all historically accurate and agreeing with the Bible.  May I add that Joseph Smith had no sources to draw from that we do now; he was writing--dictating, actually--in a small town in the 1830s.

That's theory one:  Joseph Smith wrote the book himself.  He fooled himself and millions of others into following a false book, and then died for his testimony.  Theory one is nothing short of preposterous.  No man could write such a book without otherworldly help.

Therefore, we have theory two: Satan helped Joseph Smith to write a book that would help people come unto Christ.  This theory only makes sense if Christ is not the way to heaven.  Theory two is also absurd.

Theory three:  The Book of Mormon came about the way Joseph said it did.  He was given a record of ancient scripture by one of God's angels, and then translated it by the power of God.

Which of these theories seems the most likely?  Either an uneducated farmboy wrote a book that was obviously beyond his capacity, or Satan wrote a book designed to bring people to Christ, or God spoke to a prophet, just like he did in the Bible.

All of these things could be cited to give me what might be called an intellectual conviction, but the testimony of the Holy Ghost, underarching and overshadowing all the rest, has told me that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know this from the center of my being, and no man can take it away from me.

No comments:

Post a Comment