Now that, is quite a statement. Well, that is what I had thought for years after hearing these words for the very first time. This was the testimony from none other than he who translated this book by the Gift and Power of God. These are the very words which the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. said regarding… The Book of Mormon.
Here are his exact words,
“I told the brethren, [the twelve Apostles] that the Book of Mormon was the most correct book of any 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.” JSHC 7 Vol., 4:461
After having heard such a bold statement being made about this particular ancient record, it has always remained with me – a sincere desire to truly understand what the prophet had come to know, so deeply and personally about The Book of Mormon – that he not only declared it in the work God gave him to do continually, and without apology, but ultimately, sealed his testimony with his blood.
The Only Book Ever Published With A Promise…
Latter-Day Prophet and recent President of The Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, made this vivid point at the October 2007 General Conference,
“The Book of Mormon is the only book ever published, of which I know, that carries in it a promise that one who reads it prayerfully and asks concerning it in prayer will have revealed to him by the power of the Holy Ghost a knowledge that it is true.” (see Moroni 10:4). “Gordon B. Hinckley, The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain, Ensign, Nov 2007, 83-86)
Now, as I have come to understand this promise, and this has come after many years of searching to understand, was that Moroni used the words “when ye shall receive”, as the necessary qualification required of each one of us, that we must first do, to then have, the wonderful promise and manifestation of the truth that we seek, which is then given to us, by the Power of the Holy Ghost.
A Bold Declaration Indeed…
For he knew and was SURE, that when one begins to embark on a serious study of The Book of Mormon… this sacred text, with these words once again in mind, of which he told the brethren, and fearlessly I imagine, that it IS… “ the most correct book of any 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.” JSHC 7 Vol., 4:461
The Prophet Joseph Smith was a boy, who came to know God – because he “asked” to know Him and to know his will concerning “him” directly…. Because of his faith and humility – he acted in a way that seemed and still today – seems so bold to assert; which is — that “he prayed” to God and expected a personal answer. And from that direct question that he did in actuality ask – he did receive a personal witness of the reality of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ – as they appeared to him – in what is now known as the answer and referred to as – “The First Vision”!
This young boy, Joseph Smith – was God’s chosen prophet in these last days, that whereby miraculously delivered the golden plates, by the angel Moroni, and was given the gift to translate them through the Power of the Holy Ghost. From the humility of his young age, he was tutored in coming to know God through his understanding of the Book of Mormon and it’s history as taught to him by Moroni. When he finally received the plates, it must have been such a glorious revelation to behold, how the many prophets of God, recorded on those ancient plates, their walk, as they came unto Christ. Joseph translated this pattern many times and had used it in his own life to find God and qualify to be His prophet and to know His voice. How comforting it must have been for this young prophet to then see that familiar path of these great prophets, which surely he recognized immediately– knowing that he now walked among the chosen of God.
Promises Are Made For Keeping, Because A Promise From God Is Known As A Covenant!
Each time that I open the cover of the Book of Mormon, I literally feel the power of God emanating from each and every turn of its pages. I have had the Spirit testify to me personally of the many truths that are taught as I have read, pondered, prayed to understand and strived to live the principles taught in this sacred record. I have lamented at my own shortcomings as have many in the record and been lifted because of the beautiful teachings, of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which is so clearly taught in the Book of Mormon.
Of all scriptures of which we are blessed, no other can compare, with the Book of Mormon, in presenting a clear pattern of how the children of God may, COME UNTO CHRIST.
The Book of Mormon has contained in its pages, the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as does the Bible. But, because of the fact, that this record which was preserved, protected and kept, to come forth, at this time in the history of the world and to be another witness of Jesus Christ… It has not been handed down by man, but angels and has therefore NOT had the unfortunate exposure to being misrepresented in any way.
It is a true record as recorded by ancient prophets of God, and translated by a latter-day prophet of the Lord, through the Power by which He gave this Prophet, Joseph Smith Jr.
The Hallmark Of Membership In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, Is A Personal Testimony Received By The Power Of The Holy Ghost.
I feel to share my testimony, especially with those of you, who would read that which I write… First as all of you, it is through the faith that I have chosen to exercise, that I read and have received the testament of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. As I have read this book, I can truly testify, that as I have known I was reading the truth, of that which did happen, that the spirit of the Holy Ghost has testified to my heart and mind with such clarity, that I will not deny what has happened to me, in that I know that this book and the record it contains are true. I have prayed about this book, as Moroni has given the principle that would qualify one, in order to receive the promise that is offered. It took time, but once truly received, it is a blessing that continues to flow…
Of that outpouring comes a sure knowledge that Jesus Christ lives, and that We have a Heavenly Father who loves each one of us and knows us personally. It is because of this perfect love, that He has provided a way, through His only Begotten Son, that we may return Home, to His Presence. I know that Joseph Smith Jr. is a Prophet of God, and that God has spoken to man again in these the last days. He, through living prophets today, administers saving ordinances to all, who will come unto Christ and receive these by those having proper authority, which also has been restored. All of these blessings are available to the children of God, under the direction of His living Prophet today, Thomas S. Monson and administered through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
All of the keys of authority to organize the same church, that was on the earth in the days that Christ himself set up His Kingdom, and which were taken and lost because of apostasy, and the death of those who held keys of authority, have been restored. This was done through Joseph Smith, and has succeeded by those keys of authority, with each living prophet since the restoration of the Gospel.
I have an absolute assurance in all of these things. Of the Book of Mormon I have the greatest love for this record. These are real individuals, who lived actual lives and that God intends for us to learn from. He preserved this record because He knew it would be necessary that we should have such a record, that had not even the suggestion of possible corruption. He gives to us , through His prophets, a promise like no other, as pointed out by a living prophet of today, Gordon B. Hinckley.
The Book of Mormon Truly Is The Keystone of Our Witness Of Jesus Christ Who Stands At The Very Center Of Our Doctrine – And Is He Whom We Testify!
This Church and its members stand firmly on this stunning record, of truth testified, a promise extended and given only in and for, the Book of Mormon, and not of this world… that it is a testament of Jesus Christ, The Savior and Redeemer of all mankind… whereby those humble seekers of truth, and ONLY those with eyes of faith and pure hearts, will SEE with more clarity, than in any other book, the way of TRUTH… and IF abided by, will bring us nearer to HIM, of whom we seek.
This is my testimony of what I have found and know to be true, from searching, pondering and sincerely asking through prayer, as I desired to know of myself, and as it is given for all to know the same for themselves, and in the same way.
I too, can now with boldness, stand by the Prophet of the Restoration of the Fulness of Times, Joseph Smith and testify, that I have searched to know what he came to know, and that for myself, in the Book of Mormon, and more than any other book of scripture that I have ever studied, I am more able to understand God’s Plan for the Salvation of His children.
In this book we learn with such beauty who we are and where we fit in this plan, today, the last days. We learn to understand the history of God and His workings with His children, from the beginning of man to when He will come again. We are taught how to prepare to meet Him. We see the many clear patterns, of which we must follow, and how we must live today, so that we may with confidence, know that we will be found acceptable before Him when He returns, that we may be with Him. We are taught in such a way, that we can know Him NOW.
And now, I completely understand each and every word that Joseph Smith declared in that wonderful statement, of which will ring in the ears of every person from the day they hear it, until they too, come to know for themselves the truth of his words, “…the most correct book of any on earth…”!
Until that ring, joins in with all other’s, that echo of TRUTH found… and the JOYFUL sounds of eternity are in perfect harmony, as ONE!