There are many reasons why the Book of Mormon is important in our day.
Some people may ask you why we need additional scripture when we already have the Bible. In fact, Jesus Christ testified that this would happen (see 2 Nephi 29:3mon). There are many reasons why additional prophetic voices are important in our day (for example, see 2 Nephi 29:7–11). Here are just a few reasons why it’s essential.
Another Witness of Jesus Christ
The scriptures show us a pattern of using multiple witnesses to establish truth in Christ’s Church. The record abridged by Mormon adds a second witness to the Bible as a testimony of Christ.
Elder Mark E. Petersen (1900–84) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once said, “The chief reason we have the Book of Mormon is that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall all things be established. (See 2 Cor. 13:1.) We have the Bible; we also have the Book of Mormon. They constitute two voices—two volumes of scripture—from two widely separated ancient peoples, both bearing testimony to the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.”¹
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) has added, “We must not forget that the Lord Himself provided the Book of Mormon as His chief witness.”²
The Fulness of the Gospel
We know that “plain and precious things . . . have been taken away from” the Bible throughout time (1 Nephi 13:40). The Book of Mormon clarifies Christ’s doctrine and brings the fulness of the gospel to the earth once again (see 1 Nephi 13:38–41).
For example, the Book of Mormon helps us know that baptism must be performed by immersion (see 3 Nephi 11:26) and that little children do not need to be baptized (see Moroni 8:4–26).
Central to the Restored Church
Joseph Smith testified that the Book of Mormon is “the keystone of our religion.”³ Since we know this, it does not seem a coincidence that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830, just 11 days after the Book of Mormon was first available for public sale on March 26, 1830. The Church was not organized until its keystone scripture was available for its members.
A Blessing in Our Lives
Regarding the book, Joseph Smith taught that “a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”4 It has the power to change lives—including yours and those you share the book with.
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has testified, “The effect of the Book of Mormon on your character, power, and courage to be a witness for God is certain. The doctrine and the valiant examples in that book will lift, guide, and embolden you. . . . Prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will build faith in God the Father, in His Beloved Son, and in His gospel. It will build your faith in God’s prophets, ancient and modern. . . . It can draw you closer to God than any other book. It can change a life for the better.”5
Two Witnesses: The Bible and The Book of Mormon
“The Bible is one witness of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon is another. Why is this second witness so crucial? The following illustration may help: How many straight lines can you draw through a single point on a piece of paper? The answer is infinite.
For a moment, suppose that single point represents the Bible and that hundreds of those straight lines drawn through that point represent different interpretations of the Bible and that each of those interpretations represents a different church.
“What happens, however, if on that piece of paper there is a second point representing the Book of Mormon? How many straight lines could you draw between these two reference points: the Bible and the Book of Mormon? Only one. Only one interpretation of Christ’s doctrines survives the testimony of these two witnesses.
“Again and again the Book of Mormon acts as a confirming, clarifying, unifying witness of the doctrines taught in the Bible” (Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy, “The Book of Mormon—a Book from God,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2011, 75).
- Mark E. Petersen, “Evidence of Things Not Seen,” Ensign, May 1978, 63.
- The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (1988), 204.
- Joseph Smith
- Joseph Smith
- Henry B. Eyring, “A Witness,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2011, 69–70.
Monday 20th of September 2021
When I first attempted to read the bible, I did what I had been trained to do from a young child, I started with page 1 and proceeded sequentially. It didn't take long before I realized that I was bored to death and completely uninterested in unfamiliar names of who begat who and I gave up, put it aside and said this isn't for me. It wasn't until much later that I learned the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament, and that the bible was made up of writings by many different authors and that it wasn't even organized chronologically...
Fast forward to being introduced to the Book of Mormon and being encouraged to read it. It immediately was fascinating and easy to understand, despite the ancient form of language used. I loved the testimonies of the witnesses that either saw an angel and/or just had the opportunity (and accompanying responsibility) to see and heft the golden plates. But that's not actually the Book of Mormon, more just a background of it's origins. Of course I am a creature of habit, I had been trained to start on page 1 and proceed and so I did. In doing so, I loved the book and was feeling things, powerful things, and feeling good about myself for understanding it completely... I wasn't ready to decide whether it was true or not, but I at least found it to be a really interesting story. Then I got to second Nephi, and they started quoting Isaiah, the old Testament prophet. I got so discouraged because suddenly I could not comprehend what was being said, really at all. I know that it had to be important, it was included in the old Testament after all, so it is relevant, but I couldn't comprehend it and began to feel dumb, insecure and became discouraged again and I put the book down and walked away from it.
I went back to the Book of Mormon many years later with a new resolve, to get through it. I learned that second Nephi is kind of like Calculus, it's important but you're probably not going to understand it until you've learned to add, subtract, multiply and divide first. The more that I learn about the old Testament and even about the new Testament (and many other new things as I've gotten older), the words of Isaiah have become less foggy. I learned that Isaiah as a prophet had seen way into the future and was then trying to tell people of his time what he had seen in their limited language. Imagine trying to tell old Testament people about mobile phones, microwave ovens, rockets and planes, Teslas and the Internet. In any case, I learned that it was OK to skip 2 Nephi and come back to it later when I had more understanding. So my strong recommendation to you is to either skip 2 Nephi if it becomes hard to understand, or tenaciously read through it with the assurance that the comprehension level is going to come back down, and the story is going to pick up again from where it left off. There will be parts throughout the book that are going to be challenging to understand (and like with the bible, you will learn more and more with each re-read), and also realize that again like the bible it doesn't always flow chronologically (which can be challenging to wrap your mind around at times, especially if you're only committed to reading a little bit at a time). There are chapters toward the end that represent a time period (2600 BC) long before the time that opens the Book of Mormon (600 BC). A record was found by the people of the Book of Mormon of a civilization that had lived in the same place centuries earlier. That record then gets translated and is included toward the end of the Book of Mormon (the book of Ether).
My recommendation is to just read through the book once, even if you have to skip 2 Nephi for now. When you see how fantastically wonderful many many of the stories are, the teaching and how these things make you feel, you'll find yourself compelled and wanting to be a better person. Hopefully once you've finished, you'll want to go back and read again, maybe with some supplemental materials to help understand the harder parts, which will bring new understanding to the surface. But just give it that chance, and you will see why it has impacted so many lives, why it confirms the teachings that you have learned from the bible, and how it actually clears the interpretation of some of those teachings up. You should realize that the majority of the Book of Mormon is about a time prior to the birth of Christ, so Old Testament times. But then toward the end it does also cover New Testament times. Also realize that the majority of the Book of Mormon is set in America and not the Israel. The Native American Indians are the descendants of the Book of Mormon people. If you've seen Mel Gibson's move Apocalypto, it might give you some visual interpretations for how things may have kind of been. I'm not suggesting Apocalypto has anything to do with the Book of Mormon, just that when I watched it and saw how ferocious some people were and how docile other tribes were, it made me think of stories from the Book of Mormon.
Even if you don't end up putting Moroni's promise/challenge to the test and decide through your own wisdom that this is all just fiction, you will at least have read a pretty incredibly interesting book. Then you can start contemplating how a young farm boy with no formal education was able to fabricate a book so complex as this book is. That might prick your curiosity into expanding desire to to learn more about Joseph Smith. Was he really just an incredibly gifted writer and human being, or was he schooled by angels, guided by the Lord and granted abilities to see things that for whatever reason the rest of us are not able to see (I think it largely has to do with that stewardship thing, would we be willing seal our testimonies with our life?)
I have read this book with an open mind, wanting to believe in angels and in a Lord that hasn't forgotten us, hasn't forsaken us and left us on our own to figure things out for ourselves. I was also very skeptical, a young man in my early 20's, very self absorbed, hormonally driven (very human) and wanting to have the courage to take the red pill and discover the secrets of the universe, but also not entirely sure I wanted the associated responsibility of being given that kind of information. But that is really where the rubber meets the road, how committed are you going to be if you are given this enlightenment? There is no lying to the Lord, he knows your heart as well as you do. If you put Moroni's promise to the test, being fully committed to the required stewardship and obligations associated with being given that kind of divine information (a witness from the Holy Ghost), you will most certainly receive that witness. The Lord doesn't love me any more than He does you, and He revealed these things to me. It's all about you're level of commitment, how badly do you really want to know the truth??? It's not something that you can rush the Lord on either, it will come in His time, not yours. But, I testify that it will come, if you truly want it!
If you don't want that responsibility (the truth that will set you free, but comes at a cost...), then I still encourage you to read the book and learn a little about people like me. It will help you to be a more open minded person, a kinder and gentler person, and those are very GOOD qualities to have. Many in this world will try to convince you of the opposite, "put yourself first" or "worry about yourself first", "you needn't be concerned for others". Many will try to convince you that evil is good and good is evil. Fake news is all around us and has been since the beginning of time. I wish you well in your journey to learn truth and to become truly free.
If like in the Matrix you've decided to take the red pill to learn the truth, but also know that life with the truth is hard (but very much worth it), are you the kind of person that will now fight for that truth or will you want to be plugged back into the matrix so that you can enjoy steak and a responsibility-free life? I believe that the majority of people in this world fall in this latter category, and that's perfectly OK. We are all the authors of our own stories, the captains of our own ships, the masters of our own domains. Enjoy the path, the journey that you choose. I merely recommend that you at least give the Book of Mormon a sincere gander and consideration!
I bid you good will in your sojourn through life my friend!
Saturday 11th of December 2021
@Greg Baker, thank you I really enjoyed reading your comment. Thank you for sharing
Cirila V. Pocong
Wednesday 30th of June 2021
As for me, the book of mormon really help me enough because it is a book of instruction in this dispensation. I feel secured because of the knowledge I gained from it. In every world's events are there in the book of Mormon that's why I don't panic whatever happens in the world because everything is written in the book of Mormon which is essential for our salvation and exaltation that man should know. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is doing thier best in order for us to go back to his presence. He never stop doing his best perfectly and through the book of Mormon is one of the evidences that he truly loves us.the book of Mormon is true and I cannot deny the truthfulness of it. The church of Jesus of Christ of latter day saint is the way to salvation if we follow the correct doctrine of it. The living prophet and the twelve apostles are in the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saint and they are guiding us now through the power of God. Amen.
Sunday 22nd of March 2020
I love the book of Mormon
Wednesday 8th of January 2020
The Book of Mormon is God's gift to me and the whole world. It feeds my soul. It quench my spiritual thrist that filled me forever. I love the book more than anything in this world. It is my treasure that leads me to eternities.
Monday 13th of January 2020
Arlene, thank you for sharing your experience with us!
Vonjisoa Nambinina RAVELOJAONA
Thursday 21st of November 2019
Everyone should ask this question why we need the Book of Mormon. The above clarification is well enough to answer this question but if we live what is writen in this book we will find many reasons why we need the Book of Mormon. It was not hard for me to know why we need the Book of Mormon, for me the Book of Mormon is the only book which teaches the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement of Jesus Christ in fullness and clear even a child can understand. If the book of Mormon is nt true I will still read it because it brings me nearer to the knowledge of Christ, but i know that it contains the true doctrine of Christ.