Monday, August 8, 2011

The Tangible Miracle of the Book of Mormon

As I read through the Book of Mormon again in preparation for my upcoming mission, here is a thought that keeps returning to my head:

The Book of Mormon is unique among our Father's miracles. What other miracle of God has been mass-produced like the Book of Mormon? I or any one else can easily obtain a copy of this miracle and hold it in our hands. It truly is "a marvelous work and a wonder" (Is. 29:14).

In the Book of Mormon, we have 531 double-columned pages of histories, prophecies, sermons, miracles, poetry, wars, instructions, and testimonies, all leading us closer to Jesus Christ and His true doctrine, and all legitimately from the perspective of ancient Hebraic peoples. 180+ years of scholarship have actually given more credibility to the Book of Mormon than it had when it was first published, which is the opposite of what should have happened if it were a fraud perpetrated by an ignorant youth. Among the things discovered in recent times which lend credibility to the book are the following: the discovery of an ancient trade road that matches the road taken by Lehi and his family from Jerusalem to Bountiful, as well as the discovery of likely matches to the Valley of Lemuel and the River of Laman; the discovery of the ancient practice of writing on metal plates; discovery of Hebrew text written in Egyptian script, as well as the discovery of several forms of "reformed Egyptian" scripts; the use of cement in ancient America; accurate and detailed descriptions of ancient warfare practices; accurate and detailed descriptions of olive tree cultivation in Jacob 5; many Hebraisms in the text that are awkward in English, such as the frequent repetition of "and it came to pass"; the discovery of complex chiasmus, an ancient Hebrew poetic structure, of which Alma 36 is as good an example as you could find anywhere; and many other things (more information on these topics can be found at

All of these things have brought us a deeper appreciation of the ancient origins of the Book of Mormon, but the most important proof that can be offered is the testimony of the Holy Ghost. Yes, the Holy Ghost testifies strongly of this book, and this testimony is available to all who honestly, humbly, and sincerely read and pray about it. And once this testimony is gained, the Book of Mormon becomes an indispensable witness of Christ and His gospel for this reason: It was discovered and translated by the gift and power of God, and therefore contains exactly what God desires us to know. It is essentially a physical, tangible miracle, and again, one that anybody can hold in their hand. That is why it is such an awesome testifier of Christ and His gospel, because the miracles described in the book, including Christ's atonement and resurrection, have to be true once we know that the book itself is true. After all, God has put His stamp of approval on the whole book. No more "spiritualizing" of doctrines and miracles as has been done to the Bible by many "practical" people over the years. All those supernatural things that are difficult to believe become necessary to believe once we can hold such a miracle in our hands. In this God has given us a practical and tangible means whereby to learn of His plan of salvation and obtain an undeniable testimony of it. That is why I love the Book of Mormon.

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