THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE MOST CORRECT BOOK ON THE EARTH.
Joseph Smith boldly asserts that the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” Since we have in the Bible a record of the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ, why would he make such a statement? Why is it the most correct of any book? What are the precepts taught in the Book of Mormon that bring us nearer to God? Why is it the keystone of our religion? For the past several years I have read and studied the Book of Mormon many times in an effort to answer those questions. I put Joseph Smith’s promise to the test and found it to be true in every respect.
WHY IS IT THE MOST CORRECT OF ANY BOOK OF EARTH?
Even though the Bible is an inspired religious text it has gone through many translations. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramic. The New Testament was written in Greek. There are currently many translations of the Bible available. Indeed the Bible is the most translated book in the world. While the King James Version is considered to be the standard translation used in Protestant churches, there are many other modern translations. The New American Bible is used in the Catholic Church. Some of the newer translations are the New World Translation, the New American Bible, the Darby Bible, the New Revised Standard Version, the Modern Literal Translation, the New American Standard Version, the New International Version, and the New Living Version. One can appreciate that there is room for many differences of opinion in the work of translation. There are indeed doctrinal differences in these translations.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asserts that the Book of Mormon has gone through only one translator, Joseph Smith. It is our belief that Joseph was given “power from on high,” (D&C 20:8)) and that the Book of Mormon was translated by the “gift and power of God” (Title Page of the Book of Mormon). It comes to us pure and undiluted from the original writers who wrote as they were inspired of God. The first Book of Mormon writer, Nephi, tells us that the Book of Mormon is written in the “language of his father, which consists of the learning of the Jews (Hebrew) and the language of the Egyptians” (1 Nephi 1:2). The last Book of Mormon prophet to write in the book, Moroni, states that it is written in “reformed Egyptian” (Mormon 9:32). With no knowledge of these ancient languages how could a young man of 21 translate such a record? President James E. Faust of the First Presidency of the church made this observation:
“To me it is inconceivable that Joseph Smith, without divine help, could have written this complex and profound book. There is no way that an unlearned young frontiersman could have fabricated the great truths contained in the book, generated its great spiritual power, or falsified the testimony of Christ that it contains. The book itself testifies that it is the holy word of God. References to teachings in the Old Testament and the New Testament are so numerous and overwhelming throughout the Book of Mormon that one can come to a definitive conclusion by logic that a human intellect could not have conceived of them all. But more important than logic is the confirmation by the Holy Spirit that the story of the Book of Mormon is true.” (Ensign, Jan. 2004
The Book of Mormon writers wrote as they were inspired of God.
We believe that all the writers who contributed to the Book of Mormon wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Even though several of them recognize their human weakness in writing, they affirm that they have written what God wanted them to write. Nephi, the first writer in the Book of Mormon humbly says, “I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal” (2 Nephi 33:4). Moroni, the last writer of the Book of Mormon expresses the same sentiment. He felt a sense of inadequacy in his writing. He said “when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words” (Ether 12:25).
Yet, each knew of their divine commission to write. It was to testify of Jesus Christ and to persuade all men to come unto Christ. This they did nobly and powerfully. One cannot dispute that testimony on almost every page of the Book of Mormon. At the conclusion of his record, Nephi succinctly states his purpose in writing when he says “And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good” (2 Nephi 33:10).
What a beautiful intent! What a priceless treasure! This book is written to persuade me to believe in Jesus, to endure to the end and obtain eternal life. There is no greater purpose in writing than this. Mormon, the man who compiled and abridged the records handed down to him through the centuries, gives us a standard of judgment when he says, “That which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.” Using that standard of judgment, since the Book of Mormon invites us to do good and to love God, it is inspired of God.
The Book of Mormon is also the “most correct book” because it has internal congruency as the testimony of each prophet links beautifully with the testimony of the others. There is no discrepancy between the writers. There is a single purpose. There is no deviation from this purpose. It is to testify of Christ. Those who sincerely seek to know the truth cannot help but be touched by Moroni’s testimony.
Moroni, the last writer in the book says: “I have seen Jesus, and he hath talked with me face to face and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things. And only a few have I written, because of my weakness in writing. And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.
Moroni doesn’t ask us to take his word alone for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. He encourages us to ask God for a witness of its truthfulness. He says:
“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. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:4-5)
I have taken Moroni’s challenge. I, too, testify that the Book of Mormon was written by the gift and power of God!