Book of Mormon
In addition to the Bible, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the Book of Mormon as scripture. The Book of Mormon is an ancient record of the inhabitants that lived in the American continent. It acts as another witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, explains the precious truths of Christ’s Church, and is the foundation of Mormon belief.
In the Book of Mormon the Savior says, ” Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another… Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written… For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it.” 1
Ancient prophets and leaders of the Nephite people wrote the Book of Mormon on gold plates. The prophet Mormon abridged the records about 400 A.D. choosing only those things that were most pertinent to the salvation of man today.
Some have claimed that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself.
There are a number of facts to disprove this theory; foremost is the accurateness of the geography, culture, and warfare of the ancient American inhabitants, things that the world, let alone Joseph Smith did not know at the time the Book of Mormon was published.
Joseph Smith explains that he received the gold plates from the angel Moroni, son of Mormon, and last righteous Nephite. The angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith where the plates were buried in the Hill Cumorah.
Joseph Smith translated part of the gold plates with the help of God into what is now known as the Book of Mormon. During the translation process Joseph Smith sat with the plates and verbally gave the translation to a scribe, primarily Oliver Cowdery, although the prophet’s wife Emma and a few others acted as scribes for a short time.
Concerning the translation Emma said, “After meals, or after interruptions, [Joseph] would at once begin where he had left off, without either seeing the manuscript or having any portion of it read to him. He had neither manuscript nor book to read from, [and] if he had anything of the kind he could not have concealed it from me”2
Before the gold plates were returned to the angel Moroni Joseph Smith showed them to eleven other men. Their witnesses can be found at the beginning of the Book of Mormon.
(1) 2 Nephi 8-12
(2) “Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, Oct. 1, 1879, p. 290.