“The Book of Mormon on Trial” Excerpt from miltonrich.com
Jack West’s Experience in Court was as Follows:
In 1941, I was a student in law school at Stanford University. I had a professor that had been a judge for many years. His examination, or test, for each student was for them to select a subject and either defend or prosecute it in opposition to the rest of the students.
There were many student attorneys on the one side to do the rapid and thorough research necessary, combining their efforts and thought processes, while the defendant was left alone to manage his case.
Most of us were terribly intimidated by the future prospects of the almost impossible odds. Most of these cases only lasted for a day or two. Occasionally an exceptionally good one might run a full week.
After many years of prayerful study and research, I knew that the Book of Mormon was true, and I decided to enlist the Lord’s help and use this subject for my final thesis.
This case lasted for almost three weeks. At the conclusion of the case, and upon the concluding arguments by both the combined prosecution (the rest of the class) and the defense (me), the judge rendered his decision in favor of the defense. He said to the prosecution, “You have not even established a toehold, much less a foothold in breaking down the marvelous evidence for the authenticity of the ‘Stick of Joseph’ (or the Book of Mormon), much less given any evidence that would show it to be a fraudulent work!”
Then the judge called me into his office and said, “Jack, where in the world did you get the evidence you presented in this mock trial?” I grinned at him and said, “You remember at the onset of the trial I told all of you that I did not take credit for one particle of this evidence. Most of it has been available to the world for over a hundred years. It just needed to be uncovered and organized. And I told you then, as I tell you now, that I believe with all of my heart that God himself prepared that evidence and the witnesses.”
The judge responded saying, “I want to tell you something. In all my years in law, I don’t think I have ever heard a case more nearly perfect than this one. When you started out, I wouldn’t have given you a plugged nickel for your chances of proving that book to be true through the absolute legal process in a court of law.”
My dear friends, do not sell the Book of Mormon short! The Book of Mormon gives strength and support to the Bible. Its testimony is vital to the understanding and acceptance of the Bible as the literal and spiritual Word of God without confusion or misinterpretation of its teachings.
(Address originally printed June 24, 1954 by Brigham Young University)