Hi all this is an introduction to a new series, over the next month or two I will be looking at the content and origins of the Book of Mormon. This is an extremely important book of Scripture to the Mormon people and is one of their 4 standard works of scripture, including the Bible, the Doctrine and Covenant’s and the Pearl of Great Price.
For this post I would like the LDS church to be able to explain for itself their belief on the background of the LDS church.
Missionaries are handing out copies all over the world, even as you read this. It’s about the size of a regular paperback book, an inch or so thick, in a dark blue cover. So what is this book? If it’s given out for free, why do so many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints count their Book of Mormon as their most valuable possession? What kind of book can cause so many readers to change their lives, their minds and their hearts? What kind of book can answer life’s seemingly unanswerable questions?
The Book of Mormon is the word of God, like the Bible. It is holy scripture, with form and content similar to that of the Bible. Both books contain God’s guidance as revealed to prophets as well as religious accounts of different civilizations. While the Bible is written by and about the people in the land surrounding Israel, and takes place from the creation of the world until shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon contains the history and God’s revelations to the people who lived in the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD. The prophets in the Book of Mormon recorded God’s dealings with His people, which were compiled by a man named Mormon onto golden plates.
The faithful Christians among them died out, but not before their record was safely hidden away. Joseph Smith obtained these gold plates in 1827, and with the Lord’s help Joseph was able to translate the ancient writing into what we have today. The Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, testifies that Jesus Christ is our divine Redeemer and that by living according to His gospel we can find peace in this life and eternal happiness in the life to come. (http://www.mormon.org/book-of-mormon/)
So the belief is that an angel called Moroni showed Joseph Smith where the gold plates were buried and he used them to translate the book of Mormon. They believe the book of Mormon is an account of God’s dealings with people who came over from Jerusalem to America and the wars between the two tribes that make up these people.
I will look at the theological issues with this book and the issues of translation and the historical background of the book of Mormon. Please follow my posts on this whatever your background, LDS members in particular please let me know your thoughts and if you would like to add any comments to this post explaining in more detail about the book of Mormon and what it means to you that would be great. Unless you indicate you want otherwise I will not debate your comments after this post with you, as its your chance to explain in your words.
More to follow.