Overview

I encourage you to discover the Book of Mormon that the prophet-historian Mormon compiled between 321 to 385 A.D. from records written on plates of gold kept by the early inhabitants of the American continent. Nephi, the first prophet of the Book of Mormon who lived during the time of the prophet Jeremiah (about 600 B.C.), first wrote of the journey he took with his family from Jerusalem to the borders of the Red Sea, ultimately crossing the ocean to arrive in the ancient Americas. Nephi taught his people from the scriptures they had and prophesied that the records of his people would come forth (now published as the Book of Mormon) to establish the truth of the book of the Lamb of God (the Holy Bible) and to clarify the points of doctrine of Jesus Christ which would be misunderstood in the last days. Mormon’s son Moroni finalized the record and buried the plates of gold around 421 A.D. that they might be preserved.  

The prophet Ezekiel in the Old Testament wrote that the writings of both the Bible and the Book of Mormon would come together in the last days, as follows:

Take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah [the Bible] . . . then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim [the Book of Mormon] . . .

And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

Through the grace of God, the writings contained in both the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon were preserved to come forth in the last days. The writings now contained in the Holy Bible were compiled over many years and first translated into English in the 1500s (the King James Version was published in 1611). The Book of Mormon was translated and published in 1830. Both stand as testaments of Jesus Christ.

In 1823, a young man named Joseph Smith had an experience which led to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. This experience fulfilled a prophecy in the book of Revelations, Chapter 14, Verse 6, in which John gave the following testimony:

I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

Joseph Smith wrote of his experience as follows:

On the evening of the . . .  twenty-first of September [1823] . . . I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God. . . . While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.

He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant . . . Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people.

He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants . . .

While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it.

After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark, except just around him; when, instantly I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended till he entirely disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance . . .

The following day, Joseph went to the location he was shown the previous night, and wrote of the experience as follows:

Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box. This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all around was covered with earth.

Having removed the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got fixed under the edge of the stone, and with a little exertion raised it up. I looked in, and there indeed did I behold the plates . . . as stated by the messenger.

I made an attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by the messenger, and was again informed that the time for bringing them forth had not yet arrived, neither would it, until four years from that time; but he told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.

At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates . . . On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge: that I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.

I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them. For no sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible. But by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.

By the power of God, Joseph translated these records and published it in 1830 as the Book of Mormon.

The title page of the Book of Mormon states that it is “an account written by the hand of Mormon . . . an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites . . . written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and revelation . . . to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations–And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”

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