“BY JOSEPH SMITH, JUNIOR – AUTHOR AND PROPRIETOR”
(Title Page, The Book of Mormon, 1830 ed.).
“Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of
Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who
are a remnant of the house of Israel” (Title Page, the Book of Mormon).
“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was 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” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 4:461. See also
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 194).
“In this important and interesting book the history of ancient
America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that
came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages to
the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian Era. We are
informed by these records that America in ancient times has been
inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called
Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second
race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred
years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants
of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that
the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance
of the country. The principal nation of the second race
fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant
are the Indians that now inhabit this country. This book also tells
us that our Savior made His appearance upon this continent after
His resurrection; that He planted the Gospel here in all its fulness,
and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had Apostles,
Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists; the same order, the
same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings,
as were enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people
were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of
their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write
an abridgment of their prophecies, history, &c, and to hide it up
in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the
Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last
days. For a more particular account I would refer to the Book of
Mormon, which can be purchased at Nauvoo, or from any of our
Traveling Elders” (Joseph Smith, History of The Church 4:537-538).
“Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where
is our religion? We have none” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church
“I wish also to mention here, that the title page of the Book of
Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on
the left side of the collection or book of plates, which contained
the record which has been translated; the language of the whole
running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that, said
title page is not by any means a modern composition either of
mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation”
(Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons 3:943).
“The boldness of my plans and measures can readily be tested by
the touchstone of all schemes, systems, projects, and adventures—
truth; for truth is a matter of fact; and the fact is, that by the power
of God I translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics, the
knowledge of which was lost to the world, in which wonderful
event I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly
wisdom and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with new
revelation, which (if they would receive the everlasting Gospel,)
would open the eyes of more than eight hundred millions of people,
and make ‘plain the old paths,’ wherein if a man walk in all
the ordinances of God blameless, he shall inherit eternal life; and
Jesus Christ, who was, and is, and is to come, has borne me safely
over every snare and plan laid in secret or openly, through priestly
hypocrisy, sectarian prejudice, popular philosophy, executive power,
or law-defying mobocracy, to destroy me” (Joseph Smith, History
of the Church 6:74. See also Susan Easton Black, Setting the Record
Straight: Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet, p. 27).
2nd President Brigham Young
“Should the Lord Almighty send an angel to re-write the Bible, it
would in many places be very different from what it now is. And
I will venture to say that if the Book of Mormon were now to be
re-written, in many instances it would materially differ from the
present translation” (Brigham Young, July 13, 1862, Journal of Discourses
“No Latter-day Saint, no man or woman, can say the Book of Mormon
is true, and at the same time say that the Bible is untrue. If
one be true, both are; and if one be false, both are false” (Discourses
of Brigham Young, p. 459. See also Teachings of Presidents of the
Church: Brigham Young, 1997, p. 345).
10th President Joseph Fielding Smith
“During the past week or two I have received a number of letters
from different parts of the United States written by people, some
of whom at least are a little concerned because they have been approached
by enemies of the Church and enemies of the Book of
Mormon who had made the statement that there have been one
or two or more thousand changes in the Book of Mormon since
the first edition was published. Well, of course, there is no truth in
that statement. It is true that when the Book of Mormon was printed
the printer was a man who was unfriendly. The publication of
the book was done under adverse circumstances, and there were
a few errors, mostly typographical—conditions that arise in most
any book that is being published—but there was not one thing in
the Book of Mormon or in the second edition or any other edition
since that in any way contradicts the first edition, and such
changes as were made, were made by the Prophet Joseph Smith
because under those adverse conditions the Book of Mormon was
published. But there was no change of doctrine. Now, these sons
of Belial who circulate these reports evidently know better. I will
not use the word that is in my mind” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference
Reports, October 1961, p. 18).
“It seems to me that any member of this Church would never be
satisfied until he or she had read the Book of Mormon time and
time again and thoroughly considered it so that he or she could
bear witness that it is in very deed a record with the inspiration of
the Almighty upon it, and that its history is true… No member of
this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has
not seriously and carefully read the Book of Mormon, and I think
I could add to that also, as far as our brethren are concerned,
the Doctrine and Covenants” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Conference
Reports, Oct. 1961, p. 18. Ellipsis mine. See also the Book of Mormon
Student Manual Religion 121 and 122, 1989, p. 2).
“It is astonishing to what length the enemies of the Church will
go in order to attempt to prove the Book of Mormon false. Instead
of reading it prayerfully and asking the Lord for a testimony
whether it is true or not, they close their minds against it and, in
the bitterness of their souls, seek to destroy it. In this, of course,
they will fail. No one can read the book with a prayerful heart and
not receive the testimony that it is true” (Joseph Fielding Smith,
Selections from Answers to Gospel Questions: A Course of Study for the
Melchizedek Priesthood Quorum 1972-73, pp. 315-316).
13th President Ezra Taft Benson
“The Book of Mormon is the instrument that God has designed to
‘sweep the earth like a flood, to gather out His elect unto the New
Jerusalem’” (Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning, p.vii).
“All scripture is not of equal value. The book that is the ‘keystone
of our religion’ and that will get a man ‘nearer to God by abiding
by its precepts, than by any other book’ needs to be studied constantly”
(Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning, pg.vii).
“We are not required to prove the Book of Mormon is true or is an
authentic record through external evidences – though there are
many. It never has been the case, nor is it now, that the studies of
the learned will prove the Book of Mormon true or false” (Ezra
Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning, p. 31).
“We must diligently study the scriptures. The Book of Mormon,
Brigham Young said, was written on the tablets of his heart and no
doubt helped save him from being deceived. The Book of Mormon
has a lot to say about America, freedom, and secret combinations”
(Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 42).
“The Bible sits on the pulpit of hundreds of different religious
sects. The Book of Mormon, the record of Joseph, verifies and
clarifies the Bible. It removes stumbling blocks, it restores many
plain and precious things. We testify that when used together,
the Bible and the Book of Mormon confound false doctrines, lay
down contentions, and establish peace. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.)” (Ezra
Taft Benson, “A New Witness for Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
November 1984, p. 8. See also The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson,
“We do not have to prove the Book of Mormon is true. The book is
its own proof. All we need to do is read it and declare it! The Book
of Mormon is not on trial-the people of the world, including the
members of the Church, are on trial as to what they will do with
this second witness for Christ” (Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings
of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 63. See also Ensign (Conference Edition),
November 1984, p. 8).
“Of the four great standard works of the Church—the Bible, the
Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl
of Great Price—I would particularly urge you to read again and
again the Book of Mormon and ponder and apply its teachings”
(Ezra Tafe Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 557).
“There will be more people saved in the kingdom of God – ten
thousand times over – because of the Book of Mormon than there
will be because of the Bible” (Ezra Taft Benson quoting Apostle
Bruce McConkie, “A New Witness for Christ,” Ensign (Conference
Edition), November, 1984, p. 7).
“The most singular evidence in support of Joseph Smith’s claim
to being a spokesman for Almighty God was the publication of a
scriptural record, the Book of Mormon” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings
of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, 2014, p. 107).
“If the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph
Smith was His prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation”
(Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra
Taft Benson, 2014, p. 108).
“Unlike the Bible, which passed through generations of copyists,
translators, and corrupt religionists who tampered with the text,
the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired
step of translation” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Presidents
of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, 2014, p. 129).
“The Lord Himself has stated that the Book of Mormon contains
the ‘fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ’ (D&C 20:9). That does
not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed.
Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fullness
of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are
taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways
of salvation and exaltation” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Presidents
of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, 2014, p. 131).
15th President Gordon B. Hinckley
“I can’t understand why those of other faiths cannot accept the
Book of Mormon. One would think that they would be looking for
additional witnesses to the great and solemn truths of the Bible”
(Gordon B. Hinckley, “Testimonies of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign,
January 2004, p. 7).
“The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered
the loss of many plain and precious parts. ‘We believe the
Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we
also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.’ (The A
of F 1:8.) Many versions of the Bible are available today. Unfortunately,
no original manuscripts of any portion of the Bible are
available for comparison to determine the most accurate version.
However, the Lord has revealed clearly the doctrines of the gospel
in these latter days. The most reliable way to measure the accuracy
of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but
by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations”
(A letter from the First Presidency (Presidents Benson,
Hinckley, and Monson) dated May 22, 1992. Church News, June 20,
1992, p. 3).
“The test for understanding this sacred book is preeminently spiritual.
An obsession with secular knowledge rather than spiritual
understanding will make its pages difficult to unlock” (James E.
Faust, “The Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
November 1983, p. 10).
“This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most
important messages ever sent from God to man, affecting both the
temporal and eternal interests of every people under heaven to
the same extent and in the same degree that the message of Noah
affected the inhabitants of the old world. If false, it is one of the
most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed
upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will
sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves
securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged
with their families into hopeless despair. The nature of the message
in the Book of Mormon is such, that if true, no one can possibly
be saved and reject it; if false, no one can possibly be saved and
receive it” (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon,
1:1, Liverpool, October 15, 1850. Italics in original).
“Before this was offered to the world, the Lord confirmed it by
opening the heavens in broad day light, and sending down an holy
angel, who descended in the presence of four individuals, three
besides Mr. Smith, and the angel took the plates, and turned them
over leaf after leaf, while, at the same time, the voice of the Lord
out of the heavens told them it had been translated correctly, commanding
them to send forth their testimony to all nations, kingdoms,
tongues, and people” (Orson Pratt, January 7, 1855, Journal
of Discourses 2:293).
“Some say they have no faith in the Book of Mormon. A word for
those. I do not believe that they have read that book; or, if they
have, I do not believe that they have read it humbly, attentively,
prayerfully, and under a good influence. I do not think they were
counted honest, or that they had a heart that had place for the
Spirit of God. If they were at all acquainted with that influence, or
had it in them, they would not only believe it, but they would know
that it was true. They would not only know and acknowledge it by
the Holy Ghost, but they would know it naturally, just as we know
that a man is a Prophet, when the thing which he predicts comes
to pass” (Parley P. Pratt, September 7, 1856, Journal of Discourses
“In reply, I ask, What is there about the Book of Mormon that
is inconsistent? What does it profess to be? It professes to contain
the history of part of the tribe of Joseph, who came out of
the land of Jerusalem 600 years before Christ, and colonized the
American continent. These Indian tribes are their descendants.
When they first came here, they were a righteous people, and had
with them the Scriptures, containing the law of Moses. When they
came here, they made plates of gold, and on them they recorded
their history, wars, contentions, &c. These plates were handed
down among the ancient inhabitants of America for a thousand
years after they came here. Their prophecies were recorded from
generation to generation. Jesus Christ appeared to them on this
land after his resurrection, just the same as he did to the people
in Palestine, and showed them the wounds in his hands and in his
feet. He descended before them in South America, and put an
end to the law of Moses, which they practised on this continent;
and he introduced the Gospel in its stead, taught them faith and
repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, as in Jerusalem”
(Orson Pratt, January 2, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:33).
“Its doctrines are developed in such plainness and simplicity, and
with such clearness and precision, that no man can mistake them”
(Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 1978, p. 51).
“The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the everlasting
Gospel—the record of the ancient Nephites, translated by the
Prophet Joseph Smith, by the gift and power of God in him—that
we may come to a knowledge of the principles of the Gospel in
simplicity and in purity. It makes clear many dark sayings of the
Jewish Scriptures, as they have come down to us. It sheds a flood
of light over the Bible; it contains the key of knowledge and understanding;
and it is more precious than all the works of modern
times, and is worth more” (Erastus Snow, October 7, 1882, Journal
of Discourses 23:300).
“THE Book of Mormon is preeminently an American book, comprising
the history of the aboriginal peoples of the New World. It
professes to be the modern translation of certain records, covering
the period from B. C. 600 to about A. D. 420, with which is
incorporated the abridgment of a yet earlier history. The original
account was inscribed on thin sheets of gold, in small characters
of the Reformed Egyptian style. The plates were taken from their
repository on the side of a hill near Palmyra, New York. This was
in September, 1827; and in the early months of 1830 the English
translation was published. The Book of Mormon story deals in
part with the general history of the ancient peoples, their rise and
fall as nations, their wars and intrigues of state, their alternating
epochs of material prosperity and adversity; but more particularly
it preserves an account of the Divine revelations, the prophets
and prophecies with which the ancient Americans were blessed;
and thus the work stands before the world as the Scriptures of the
Western Continent” (James E. Talmage, The Vitality of Mormonism,
“Through the Hebrew prophet Malachi the Lord promised additional
revelation in the last days, by the coming of Elijah with
a special and particular commission. (Mal. 4:5-6). These prophecies
have been fulfilled to the letter in modern time, the first by
the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon and its publication to
the world: the latter by the inauguration of vicarious work for the
dead through the personal visitation of Elijah, a work now in vigorous
prosecution in the Temples erected and maintained by the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (James E. Talmage,
The Vitality of Mormonism, p. 160).
“It is the Book of Mormon, not the Bible, that prepares men, in
the full and true sense, for the Second Coming of the Son of Man.
And when the eternal ledgers are finally balanced, more souls will
have been saved in the celestial kingdom-ten thousand times over because
of the Book of Mormon than have so obtained because
of the Bible. It is the Book of Mormon that proves the restoration
of the gospel; that converts penitent souls to its saving doctrines;
that gathers Israel from all the nations of the earth; that guides
and inspires those sainted souls who are preparing themselves to
abide the day of the coming of the Lord; and that will continue
to guide and inspire gathered Israel in the great Millennial day
that lies ahead” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles
of Faith, p. 394).
“Further, the Bible is difficult to interpret and understand, and
reasonable men, approaching it wholly from an intellectual standpoint,
can reach divergent conclusions on almost all doctrines—
hence, the many contending sects in Christendom. The Bible is
indeed the perfect tool to support every conceivable doctrinal
view. But the Book of Mormon is otherwise; this American scripture
sets forth the doctrines of salvation in simplicity and plainness
so that reasonable men, even from an intellectual standpoint,
can scarcely disagree. This leaves religionists in the position where
they must freely accept or openly oppose the Nephite scripture.
There is no middle ground, no readily available gray area, no
room for compromise” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the
Articles of Faith, pp. 460-461.)
“Almost all of the doctrines of the gospel are taught in the Book
of Mormon with much greater clarity and perfection than those
same doctrines are revealed in the Bible. Anyone who will place in
parallel columns the teachings of these two great books on such
subjects as the atonement, plan of salvation, gathering of Israel,
baptism, gifts of the Spirit, miracles, revelation, faith, charity, (or
any of a hundred other subjects), will find conclusive proof of the
superiority of Book of Mormon teachings” (Bruce R. McConkie,
Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 99).
“Strange as it may seem to present day enemies of the truth, their
very opposition to the receipt of more of the word of the Lord by
way of the Book of Mormon is one of the signs of the times. Their
opposition, summarized in the canting chant, ‘A Bible! A Bible!
We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible,’ brings
forth this severe rebuke from the Lord: ‘Thou fool, that shall say:
A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible….Wherefore
murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word?’
(2 Ne. 29.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 719.
Ellipsis and italics in original. See also The Book of Mormon Student
Manual Religion 121-122, 1989, p. 40).
“Ponder the truths you learn, and it will not be long before you
know that Lehi and Jacob excel Paul in teaching the Atonement;
that Alma’s sermons on faith and on being born again surpass
anything in the Bible; that Nephi makes a better exposition of the
scattering and gathering of Israel than do Isaiah, Jeremiah, and
Ezekiel combined; that Mormon’s words about faith, hope, and
charity have a clarity, a breadth, and a power of expression that
even Paul did not attain; and so on and so on” (Bruce R. McConkie,
“What Think Ye of the Book of Mormon?” Ensign (Conference
Edition), November 1983, p. 73).
“By way of perspective, as far as gaining salvation is concerned, the
Bible is far excelled—immeasurably so—by the Book of Mormon
and the other latter-day revelations. These modern scriptures are
in fact the ones that must be believed and accepted in order for us
to be saved. If it came right down to it, those of us who live in the
dispensation of the fulness of times could be saved if there were
no Bible at all, because the gospel truths and powers have all been
given anew to us by direct revelation” (Bruce R. McConkie, “The
Bible: A Sealed Book,” a BYU speech given to LDS Seminary and
Institute teachers, August 1984).
“After the translation, the voice of God, speaking from heaven to
witnesses chosen beforehand by him, declared two things—that
the translation was correct and that the book was true (D&C 17:6).
We, of course, believe the Bible as far as it has been translated
correctly, but we place no such restriction on the Book of Mormon
(eighth article of faith). And so it is that there has come into
our hands a book that is as perfect, or near perfect, as mortal
hands can make it. It is a divine book, a book like none other ever
written, translated, or published” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R.
McConkie, p. 249).
“The stick or record of Judah—the Old Testament and the New
Testament—and the stick or record of Ephraim—the Book of
Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ—are now woven
together in such a way that as you pore over one you are drawn
to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the
other. They are indeed one in our hands. Ezekiel’s prophecy now
stands fulfilled” (Boyd Packer, “Scriptures,” Ensign (Conference
Edition), November 1982, p. 53).
“It is the author’s opinion that all the scriptures, including the
Book of Mormon, will remain in the realm of faith. Science will
not be able to prove or disprove holy writ. However, enough plausible
evidence will come forth to prevent scoffers from having a
field day, but not enough to remove the requirement of faith”
(Neal A. Maxwell, Plain and Precious Things, p. 4.)
“To consider that everything of saving significance in the Church
stands or falls on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and, by
implication, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of how it came
forth is as sobering as it is true. It is a ‘sudden death’ proposition.
Either the Book of Mormon is what the Prophet Joseph said it is,
or this Church and its founder are false, a deception from the first
instance onward” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant,
“I am suggesting that one has to take something of a do-or-die
stand regarding the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and
the divine origins of the Book of Mormon. Reason and righteousness
require it. Joseph Smith must be accepted either as a prophet
of God or else as a charlatan of the first order, but no one should
tolerate any ludicrous, even laughable middle ground about the
wonderful contours of a young boy’s imagination or his remarkable
facility for turning a literary phrase. That is an unacceptable
position to take—morally, literarily, historically, or theologically”
(Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant, p. 345-346).
“To consider that everything of saving significance in the Church
stands or falls on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and, by
implication, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of how it came
forth is as sobering as it is true. It is a ‘sudden death’ proposition.
Either the Book of Mormon is what the Prophet Joseph said
it is, or this Church and its founder are false, a deception from
the first instance onward…Joseph Smith must be accepted either
as a prophet of God or else as a charlatan of the first order, but
no one should tolerate any ludicrous, even laughable middle
ground about the wonderful contours of a young boy’s imagination
or his remarkable facility for turning a literary phrase. That is
an unacceptable position to take—morally, literarily, historically,
or theologically” (Jeffrey Holland, Christ and the New Covenant,
pp. 345-346. See also Ensign, “The Book of Mormon: The Heart of
Missionary Proselyting,” September 2002, p. 14).
“…if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling
over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit”
(Jeffrey R. Holland, “Safety for the Soul,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
November 2009, p. 90).
“The Book of Mormon is the most important religious text to be
revealed from God to man ‘since the writings of the New Testament
were compiled nearly two millennia ago.’ Joseph Smith declared
the Book of Mormon to be ‘the most correct of any book
on earth, and the keystone of our religion.’ It is the only book that
the Lord Himself has testified to be true” (Russell M. Nelson, “A
Testimony of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
November 1999, p. 70).
“Do you want to get rid of a bad habit? Do you want to improve
relationships in your family? Do you want to increase your spiritual
capacity? Read the Book of Mormon!” (Russell M. Nelson, “A
Testimony of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign (Conference Edition),
November 1999, p. 71).
“To doubters of that second witness—the Book of Mormon—the
Lord issued a warning: ‘Because you have treated lightly the things
you have received…[you] shall remain under…condemnation until
[you] repent and remember…the Book of Mormon and the
former commandments which I have given…, [the Bible, and]…
do according to that which I have written’” (Russell M. Nelson,
“Scriptural Witnesses,” Ensign (Conference Edition) November
2007, p. 44. Ellipsis and brackets in original).
“How do scriptures of the Restoration clarify the Bible? Many examples
exist. I will cite but a few, beginning with the Old Testament.
Isaiah wrote, ‘Thou shalt…speak out of the ground, and thy
speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of
one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech
shall whisper out of the dust.’ Could any words be more descriptive
of the Book of Mormon, coming as it did ‘out of the ground’
to ‘whisper out of the dust’ to people of our day?” (Russell M.
Nelson, “Scriptural Witnesses,” Ensign, November 2007, p. 44. Ellipses in
“But Isaiah was not the only Old Testament prophet who foretold
the Book of Mormon. Ezekiel wrote: ‘Take thee one stick, and
write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel…: then
take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of
Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel…: And join them one to
another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.’
Today, Saints living in many nations of the earth gratefully hold
the Bible (the stick of Judah) and the Book of Mormon (the stick
of Ephraim) bound as one in their hands” (Russell M. Nelson,
“Scriptural Witnesses,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November
2007, p. 44. Ellipses in original).
“The Book of Mormon records the personal ministry of the resurrected
Lord to people of ancient America” (Russell M. Nelson,
“Scriptural Witnesses,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November
2007, p. 45).
“Prophecies that the stick of Joseph (the Book of Mormon) and
the stick of Judah (the Bible) would be one in God’s hand have
now been fulfilled” (Russell M. Nelson, “Catch the Wave,” Ensign
(Conference Edition), May 2013, p. 47).
“My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and directions for your own life” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?” Ensign, November 2017 (Conference Edition), 62-63).
“The Book of Mormon is a physical manifestation of the divine
mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith” (Neil L. Anderson of the
Presidency of the Seventy, “The Book of Mormon: The Great Purveyor
of the Savior’s Peace,” Ensign, January 2008, p. 37).
“The manner in which this was done was by looking into the Urim
and Thummim, which was placed in a hat to exclude the light,
(the plates lying near by covered up), and reading off the translation,
which appeared in the stone by the power of God” (William
Smith, as cited in A New Witness for Christ in America 2:417).
“The religious teaching of the Book of Mormon is monotheistic,
and embodies the revelations of God to his people on this the
American continent” (Levi Edgar Young, Conference Reports, April
1929, p. 84).
“I bear my testimony, as a result of reading the Book of Mormon,
that the Holy Ghost has born witness to me that it is true. I testify
that it contains the word of God, that it is a true history of the
ancient Americans. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen” (Milton R.
Hunter, Conference Reports, April 1970, p. 138).
“But now to return from momentary divergence to the main
theme of this writing – viz., did Ethan Smith’s ‘View of the Hebrews’
furnish structural material for Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon?
It has been pointed out in these pages that there are many
things in the former book that might well have suggested many
major things in the other. Not a few things merely, one or two, or
a half dozen, but many; and it is this fact of many things of similarity
and the cumulative forces of them, that makes them so serious
a menace to Joseph Smith’s story of the Book of Mormon’s origin”
(B.H. Roberts, Studies in the Book of Mormon, Brigham Madsen, ed.,
“The Church so brought into existence, cannot be true and the
Book of Mormon false. If the book be not true, Joseph Smith is
an imposter, a false prophet, and an imposter and false prophet
cannot found a true Church of Christ; therefore, if the Church be
the true Church of Christ, it is evidence quite conclusive that the
book so inseparably connected with it, so vitally related to it, is also
true. Of course, the conception is possible that both the Church
and the book may be false, but it is inconceivable that one could
be true and the other false” (B.H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God
“After translating the Book of Mormon, delivered to him by Moroni,
the Prophet knew that he had in his hands the most pure
and correct religious text ever printed” (Hugh Pinnock, “Being a
Missionary Church,” Ensign, August 1996, p. 42).
“Not all the details about the translation of the Book of Mormon
are known, but Joseph and his scribes did mention his use of two
instruments. One was the Urim and Thummim (called the ‘interpreters’
in the Book of Mormon), which Joseph received with the
plates and ‘which consisted of two transparent stones set in the
rim of a bow.’ The other instrument was a seer stone that Joseph
had found some years before. Both of these instruments helped
him translate the plates ‘by the gift, and power of God.’ (Steven
E. Snow, “Joseph Smith in Harmony,” Ensign, September 2015,
“Read Ezekiel 37:15–19 with class members. Explain that ‘the stick
of Judah’ is the Bible and ‘the stick of Ephraim’ is the Book of
Mormon” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine
Teacher’s Manual, p. 246).
“The Book of Mormon is another witness for the truths taught
in the Bible. It also restores ‘plain and precious’ truths that have
been lost from the Bible through errors in translation or ‘taken
away’ in attempts to ‘pervert the right ways of the Lord’ (see 1
Nephi 13:24–27, 38–41)” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, 2004,
“The Book of Mormon is a sacred record of some of the people
who lived on the American continents between about 2000 B.C.
and A.D. 400. It contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ
(see D&C 20:9; 42:12; 135:3). The Book of Mormon tells of the
visit Jesus Christ made to the people in the Americas soon after
His Resurrection” (Gospel Principles, 2009, p. 46).
“The Lord told the Nephites of another sign: the Book of Mormon
would come to their descendants (see 3 Nephi 21). In Old Testament
times the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel foresaw the coming
of the Book of Mormon (see Isaiah 29:4–18; Ezekiel 37:16–20).
These prophecies are now being fulfilled. The Book of Mormon
has been brought forth and is being taken to all the world” (Gospel
Principles, 2009, p. 254).
“In order to know that the Book of Mormon is true, a person must
read, ponder, and pray about it. The honest seeker of truth will
soon come to feel that the Book of Mormon is the word of God”
(Preach My Gospel, 2004, p. 38).
“A sincere reader may not immediately gain a testimony when
reading the Book of Mormon. Further, some people may not recognize
the testimony that is growing as they study and pray over
this tremendous text. But the promise of Moroni will come” (Book
of Mormon Student Manual Religion 121-122, 2009, p. 8).
“Some students of the Book of Mormon are interested in geographical,
textual, or archaeological evidences of the book’s ancient
origin. While these are often fascinating and helpful, it must
be remembered that these kinds of discoveries do not constitute
the substance and truth of the Book of Mormon. President Gordon
B. Hinckley (1910–2008) counseled against relying solely on
these discoveries for our testimony of the Book of Mormon: ‘The
evidence for its truth, for its validity in a world that is prone to demand
evidence, lies not in archaeology or anthropology, though
these may be helpful to some. It lies not in word research or historical
analysis, though these may be confirmatory. The evidence for
its truth and validity lies within the covers of the book itself. The
test of its truth lies in reading it. It is a book of God. Reasonable
people may sincerely question its origin; but those who have read
it prayerfully have come to know by a power beyond their natural
senses that it is true, that it contains the word of God, that it outlines
saving truths of the everlasting gospel, that it ‘came forth by
the gift and power of God … to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile
that Jesus is the Christ’ (Book of Mormon title page)” (“Four
Cornerstones of Faith,” Ensign, Feb. 2004, p. 6. Ellipsis in original.
See also see Book of Mormon Student Manual Religion 121-122, 2009,
p. 9. Ellipsis in original).
“We may not know all of the details about how the Prophet Joseph
Smith translated the Book of Mormon, but we do know that the
process was inspired. Spiritual gifts, combined with Joseph Smith’s
faith and diligent work, enabled him to accomplish the divine purposes
for the translation. He was also instrumental in bringing
forth additional scripture, including the Doctrine and Covenants,
the Pearl of Great Price, and the Joseph Smith Translation of the
King James Version of the Bible” (Missionary Preparation Student
Manual: Religion 130, 2005, p. 74).
“Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and brought forth
other scriptures by the gift and power of God. Ask if there are any
students who know a second language. Ask these students how
long it took them to learn their new language. Hold up a copy
of the Book of Mormon and ask students how long it would take
to translate a book this size from one language to another” (Missionary
Preparation Teacher Manual Religion 130, 2005, p. 62.).
“Explain that just as Ezekiel’s vision of the Resurrection has more
than one meaning, so does the prophecy of the sticks. Have students
turn to Bible map 3. Remind them that Israel was divided
into two kingdoms after the reign of Solomon. The southern kingdom
was governed by the house of Judah, while the northern kingdom
was governed by the house of Ephraim. Have students read
Ezekiel 37:19–23 and look for another meaning for the sticks.
Ask: What was the Lord revealing to Ezekiel? (Ephraim and Judah
would someday be united in one kingdom.)” (Old Testament Seminary
Teacher Resource Manual, 2003, p. 191).
“The plates were secreted about three miles from home, in the following
manner. Finding an old birch log much decayed, excepting
the bark, which was in a measure sound, he took his pocket knife
and cut the bark with some care, then turned it back, and made
a hole of sufficient size to receive the plates, and laying them in
the cavity thus formed, he replaced the bark; after which he laid
across the log, in several places, some old stuff that happened to
lay near, in order to conceal, as much as possible, the place in
which they were deposited. Joseph, on coming to them, took them
from their secret place, and, wrapping them in his linen frock,
placed them under his arm and started for home. After proceeding
a short distance, he thought it would be more safe to leave the
road and go through the woods. Travelling some distance after
he left the road, he came to a large windfall, and as he was jumping
over a log, a man sprang up from behind it, and gave him a
heavy blow with a gun. Joseph turned around and knocked him
down, then ran at the top of his speed. About half a mile further
he was attacked again in the same manner as before; he knocked
this man down in like manner as the former, and ran on again;
and before he reached home he was assaulted the third time. In
striking the last one he dislocated his thumb, which, however, he
did not notice until he came within sight of the house, when he
threw himself down in the corner of the fence in order to recover
his breath. As soon as he was able, he arose and came to the house.
He was still altogether speechless from fright and the fatigue of
running” (Lucy Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith the Prophet,
pp. 104-105. See also Lucy’s Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack
Smith’s Family Memoir, pp. 385-386; H. Donl Peterson, The Pearl of
Great Price: A History and Commentary, pp. 368-369).
“If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe
that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I
tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice
from the heavens, and told me to ‘separate myself from among
the Latter Day Saints, for as they sought to do unto me, so should
it be done unto them’” (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers
in Christ, p. 27).
“Indeed, the first edition of the Book of Mormon is singularly free
from typographical errors” (Dr. Francis W. Kirkham, A New Witness
for Christ in America 1:201).
“We can never prove absolutely that the Book of Mormon is what
it claims to be; but any serious proven fault in the work would at
once condemn it. If I assume the Book of Mormon to be fraudulent,
then whatever is correct in it is merely a lucky coincidence,
devoid of any real significance. But if I assume that it is true, then
any suspicious passage is highly significant and casts suspicion on
the whole thing, no matter how much of it is right” (BYU Professor
Dr. Hugh Nibley, “New Approaches to the Book of Mormon
Study,” Improvement Era, November 1953, p. 831).
“The Prophet Joseph Smith in April 1830 identified the Book of
Mormon as ‘the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim (History
of the Church 1:84.) And in August 1830, the book was again
recognized as ‘the record of the stick of Ephraim.’ (D&C 27:5)”
(Edward J. Brandt, “Using the New LDS Editions of Scripture – As
One Book,” Ensign, October 1982, p. 42).
“I won’t comment here on Joseph Smith and his claims because he
was a remarkably complicated person, and we don’t know enough
about him to competently judge his motives and mentality. My
point is that I came to the conclusion at a very early age, earlier
than I can remember, that you don’t get books from angels and
translate them by miracles; it is just that simple. So I simply don’t
believe the Book of Mormon to be authentic. I think that all of
the hassling over the authenticity of the Book of Mormon is just a
waste of time. You should understand that I don’t mean to say that
there aren’t some interesting and worthwhile things in the Book
of Mormon. I really don’t even mean to attack the Book of Mormon
but rather to simply deny its authenticity. I don’t believe that
it is what the Church teaches it to be. I know of no real evidence in
its support, and there is a great deal of evidence against it. As you
no doubt know, B. H. Roberts set forth some of that evidence in
an unpublished book-length study of the Book of Mormon” (LDS
Philosopher Sterling McMurrin. Interview with Blake Ostler. Dialogue:
a Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol.17, No.1, p. 25).
“The fact is, we do not depend on the Bible or on traditional biblical
interpretations for our theology. We do not know that the
Book of Mormon is true or accurate from what we might find in
the Bible. It is the other way around: the Book of Mormon has
been given to prove the essential truthfulness of the Bible (D&C
20:11; see also 1 Nephi 13:39–40; Mormon 7:9). Our faith as well
as our approaches to the study of the Bible or the Book of Mormon
must not be held hostage by the latest trends and fads in biblical
scholarship. Our testimony of historical events or of doctrinal
matters must not be at the mercy of what we think we know and
can read in sources external to the Book of Mormon or things beyond
the pale of revealed truth. In short, the Bible is not, and was
never intended to be, our sole guide, our template, our standard
against which we measure what we teach or believe” (BYU Professor
Emeritus Robert L. Millet, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon
6:1, 1994, pp. 198-199).
“The historicity of the Book of Mormon record is crucial. We cannot
exercise faith in that which is untrue, nor can ‘doctrinal fiction’
have normative value in our lives. Too often the undergirding
assumption of those who cast doubt on the historicity of the Book
of Mormon, in whole or in part, is a denial of the supernatural and
a refusal to admit of revelation and predictive prophecy. Great literature,
even religious literature, cannot engage the human soul
and transform the human personality like scripture. Only scripture—writings
and events and descriptions from real people at a
real point in time, people who were moved upon and directed by
divine powers—can serve as a revelatory channel, enabling us to
hear and feel the word of God” (BYU Professor Emeritus Robert
L. Millet, Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series,
“There seems to be no end to the enthusiasm members feel for
the Book of Mormon, the most correct of any book on the earth,
the book that will lead a man ‘closer to God by abiding by its precepts
than any other book’” (“Marvelous Book,” Church News, January
3, 2004, p. 3).
“But it is entirely true that no explicit discussion exists in the Book
of Mormon of the plurality of gods, eternal progression, celestial
marriage, baptism for the dead, the corporeality of God, the denial
of ex nihilo creation, and three degrees of glory” (BYU Professor
Daniel Peterson, Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence
for Ancient Origins, Noel B. Reynolds, ed., p. 158).
“Whether there is evidence or no evidence a person still has to go
through the process of reading it and praying about it and having
the spirit of God bear witness to them. Evidence is irrelevant
at this point. So what’s the value of evidence if it’s not to prove
the Book of Mormon? It helps us understand. The more we understand
the history, the language, the culture and the geography
and the customs, the more we understand the Book of Mormon”
(Brian Birch, director of religious studies at Utah Valley State College,
“Faithful follow spiritual path,” Deseret News, March 7, 2004).
“More than 20 years ago I concluded that my belief in the Book of
Mormon as a divinely inspired book of scripture did not require
that it be an accurate, detailed translation of an ancient history”
(Van Hale, Host of Mormon Miscellaneous, radio broadcast that
aired February 6, 2005).
“So Burnett paraphrased Martin Harris with the evident rationalizations
of a skeptic. But Martin knew his own experience and remained
a convinced Book of Mormon believer. Study of his interviews
shows how strongly he insisted that the sight of the angel and
plates was as real as the sight of the physical objects around him.
His simple language in an 1870 letter is typical: ‘I do say that the
angel did show to me the plates containing the Book of Mormon.’
Here the ‘what’ is more important than the ‘how.’ Martin saw the
plates, his written testimony says, by means of the ‘marvelous’ revelation
of ‘an angel of God.’ Martin Harris never applied ‘only’ to
that experience. When Burnett says that the witness did not see
‘with his natural eyes,’ he fails to add that he still claimed vivid
sight. John Gilbert, Book of Mormon typesetter, also remembered
this kind of conversation: ‘I asked Harris once if he had really seen
the plates with his naked eyes—his reply was ‘No, but with spiritual
eyes.’ But the devout witness was confidently claiming something
more, not something less than normal sight. Burnett represents
Harris as equating his experience with that of David Whitmer and
Oliver Cowdery. And as discussed, David rejected ‘either-or’ by saying
that he saw by both spiritual and natural means. The superb
interview of Nathan Tanner, Jr. recorded David Whitmer’s own
words on this point: ‘He then explained that he saw the plates,
and with his natural eyes, but he had to be prepared for it—that
he and the other witnesses were overshadowed by the power of
God and a halo of brightness indescribable’” (Richard Lloyd Anderson,
Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses, p. 157).
“About 200 languages were spoken in Mesoamerica alone, and
seven times that many were used throughout the Americas at the
time the European discoverers reached America. Some of the languages
were as distinct from each other as Chinese and English.
The Hebrew and Egyptian tongues were not found among them.
These facts warn us that we had better read with extreme care
the few Book of Mormon statements about language, particularly
those that might refer to Hebrew or Egyptian” (BYU Professor
John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon,
“While the Book of Mormon is a witness to the authenticity of the
Bible and the divine calling of Joseph Smith, the Bible is a witness
to the restoration. The Bible predicted the scattering of Israel,
declaring that the descendants of Joseph would run over the
wall (ocean) (Genesis 11:9 and 49:22-26.) Ancient prophets also
predicted that the writings of Judah (the Bible) and the writings
of Joseph (the Book of Mormon) would be one in the hands of
others (Ezekiel 37:15-20 and 2 Nephi 3:12), that a book would
be delivered to one who was unlearned, and that the unlearned
would bring forth a marvelous work and a wonder (Isaiah 29:11-
14, 18, 24)” (Milton V. Backman, Jr., Eyewitness Accounts of the Restoration,
“There is no middle ground on the question of whether the Book
of Mormon is an authentic ancient text. On this—but not of course
on every issue—we are confronted with an either/or possibility…
There is nothing in the Book of Mormon (or in Joseph Smith’s
account of its coming forth) that suggests that it should be read as
anything other than historical fact” (Louis Midgley, Historicity and
the Latter-day Saint Scriptures, Paul Y. Hoskisson, ed., pp. 149-150.
“If the claims regarding the Book of Mormon are accurate, then
the book is genuine scripture. If, however, the Book of Mormon
is an invention of human origin—in short, a forgery—then the
Church itself is a fraud” (Utah Senator Bob Bennett, Leap of Faith,
“The Book of Mormon is truly a marvelous work and a wonder
and there’s considerable textual evidence that it was a word for
word revelation to Joseph Smith from the Lord” (Royal Skousen,
“Changes in the Book of Mormon,” a presentation given at the
2002 FAIR Conference, http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2002_Changes_in_the_Book_of_Mormon.html.
Retrieved May 2, 2011).
“All of this worry over the number of changes is specious. There
are many more variants per word in the New Testament text and
many more highly debated variants. Does this variation mean that
the New Testament is false? That it is not God’s word because humans
have made errors in its transmission? The word of God still
comes through both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon
despite the occasional errors in transmission” (Royal Skousen,
“Changes in the Book of Mormon,” a presentation given at
the 2002 FAIR Conference, http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2002_Changes_in_the_Book_of_Mormon.html.
Retrieved May 2, 2011).
“There has been little if any evidence seriously considered by the
mainstream scientific community that would indicate a Middle
East origin, or any other source of origin, for the majority of contemporary
Native Americans… We propose that the Book of Mormon
is the account of a small group of people who lived on the
American continent, interacting to some degree with the indigenous
population but relatively isolated from the general historical
events occurring elsewhere in the Americas” (Jeffrey Meldrum
and Trent D. Stephens, “Who are the Children of Lehi?” Journal of
Book of Mormon Studies, vol.12, number 1, 2003, pp. 42, 44. Ellipsis
“The Book of Mormon not only prepares the way for itself by ridiculing
those who think the Bible sufficient; it warns readers against
restricting God in the present. Revelation may break forth anywhere
and anytime” (Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough
Stone Rolling, p. 101).
“Since the Original Manuscript was written under difficult circumstances,
it was not always neat. A second copy was also needed
to protect against loss. Accordingly, after the translation was finished,
Oliver Cowdery copied the entire Book of Mormon onto
a second manuscript, known today as the Printer’s Manuscript.
From the Printer’s Manuscript, the 1830 edition of the Book of
Mormon was typeset. All but one line of the Printer’s Manuscript
has survived (it is in the archives of the RLDS Church in Independence,
Missouri). However, only about twenty-five percent of
the Original Manuscript still exists (most of it in the LDS Church
archives in Salt Lake City). The remainder of the Original Manuscript
was either destroyed as it lay in the Nauvoo House cornerstone
or was lost during the nineteenth century after being taken
from the cornerstone” (John W. Welch, ed., Reexploring the Book of
Mormon, pp. 9-10).
“In June 1829 the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon saw
the plates in vision and heard the voice of God declare: ‘These
plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have
been translated by the power of God. The translation of them
which you have seen is correct.’ Yet, despite the divine declaration
that the translation was ‘correct,’ even a number of the Book of
Mormon’s staunchest defenders assert that the English translation
is sometimes over-literal, ungrammatical, and inaccurate” (Don
Bradley, “Written by the Finger of God? Claims and Controversies
of Book of Mormon Translation,” Sunstone, December 2010, p. 20.
Italics in original).
“The key sacred records were kept on metal to ensure their permanence; accounts kept on any more perishable substance would, they assumed, become unreadable over time (see Jacob 4:2). The use of copies of the scriptures on paper for everyday use is implied by the burning of those in the possession of Alma’s converts at Ammonihah (see Alma 14:8; compare Mosiah 2:8; 29:4; and Alma 63:12). Metal plates were not easy to manufacture (see Mormon 8:5) and engrave, so they were in limited supply” (John Sorenson, “Mormon’s Miraculous Book,” Ensign, February 2016, p. 40).