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The Book of Mormon: A Very Specific Mission...

The month of October is just around the corner, and for those who are Mormonthat means General Conference!  For me, it's a time to put away summer, with all of its frivolous activity, and refocus on home.  Home is truly where our hearts are centered on the things of eternity, creating our most memorable family experiences, teaching eternal truths, and contemplating the things that matter most.



For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, everything in our lives centers on Jesus Christ, and that is why our homes and what happens within its walls, becomes a manifestation of our love and commitment to follow the Savior.

At the center of many LDS families, is the daily gathering to read the scriptures.  The October 2011 Ensign is a very special edition, that is completely dedicated to the Book of Mormon.  Some of you may have already received a copy, and if not you can either download the PDF, or read it online, HERE.

Most outside of our faith, are perplexed by the emphasis that members of the LDS Church place upon the Book of Mormon.  Many feel that this is done to the exclusion of the Bible.   As Latter-day Saints, we know that these two volumes of sacred scripture, both testify of Jesus Christ, and witness the divinity of the other.  The subtitle to the Book of Mormon reads: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Jesus Christ and brings its readers to Him. The Book of Mormon and the Bible, together, are a powerful witness that Jesus Christ Lives!  However, the Book of Mormon also has a very specific mission in the restoration of the gospel.  It is the keystone of our religion, and contains a very important promise for those seeking to know the truthfulness of the Church.  Therefore, it is imperative that it is shared with others.

President Gordon B. Hinckley on the Book of Mormon:

"The Bible had stood for centuries. It is a precious and wonderful book. Now there was a second witness declaring the divinity of Christ. The Book of Mormon is the only book ever published, of which I know, that carries in it a promise that one who reads it prayerfully and asks concerning it in prayer will have revealed to him by the power of the Holy Ghost a knowledge that it is true." The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain

I've already spent some time reading the October Ensign, and am very excited about it.  Not only is this issue an excellent resource for LDS families, but also a great way to share with others, who might be interested, a basic introduction to the Book of Mormon.  As you know, interest in the LDS Church is high right now, and that's a good thing.  It gives us a unique opportunity to share.  Most won't ask us directly what we believe.  Most will use Google to search themselves.  The problem with that is, unfortunately, Google does not always return the kindest of results.  Too often, the results when searching for information about the Book of Mormon, or Mormon Church, are from less than credible sources.  That means, that you and I need to be better at putting the good stuff out there to be found. And really, the best way to make that happen is for us to use our social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc...  Or you can blog, like me!

With the October emphasis on the Book of Mormon, many online have created various opportunities and resources to help you share the gospel online, by sharing the Book of Mormon.   I would really encourage you to find one, or several, and participate -- including sharing the link to the October Ensign.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful video, created by Seth Adam Smith.  Seth has a special gift for creating LDS videos, and is always so good about using this talent to bring others to Jesus Christ.  Sharing this video is a good way to share your feelings about the Book of Mormon -- by making a brief statement when you post.   Recently, on this blog, I shared my personal testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Jeffrey R. Holland Testifies:  The Book of Mormon




I really hope that this is a post you will take the time to share with others...

tDMg
Kathryn Skaggs







I've been collecting various links to resources, articles and posts, about the Book of Mormon, over the last month, that I'd like to share with you...

LDS Newsroom: Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

On Faith: From the Bible to the Book of Mormon: How do Latter-day Saints interpret Scripture?

















7 comments :

  1. That's a great collection of links! :) Thanks

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  2. Marvelous, Katherine. The video brought tears to my eyes and again strengthened my testimony. Thank you very much for sharing.

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  3. Thanks for the reminder to get some copies of that special Ensign. And great list of links!

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  4. My pleasure ladies. I hope this is helpful to everyone!

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  5. Kathryn Skaggs, you said—

    "Most outside of our faith, are perplexed by the emphasis that members of the LDS Church place upon the Book of Mormon. Many feel that this is done to the exclusion of the Bible. As Latter-day Saints, we know that these two volumes of sacred scripture, both testify of Jesus Christ, and witness the divinity of the other. The subtitle to the Book of Mormon reads: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Jesus Christ and brings its readers to Him. The Book of Mormon and the Bible, together, are a powerful witness that Jesus Christ Lives! However, the Book of Mormon also has a very specific mission in the restoration of the gospel. It is the keystone of our religion, and contains a very important promise for those seeking to know the truthfulness of the Church. Therefore, it is imperative that it is shared with others."

    I do not disagree about the Book of Mormon. I believe that it is the word of God every bit as much is the Bible.

    However, when you say, "Most outside of our faith, are perplexed by the emphasis that members of the LDS Church place upon the Book of Mormon. Many feel that this is done to the exclusion of the Bible."

    Indeed, officially, the Church does teach that both are the word of God. However, at the level of considering, as we so often say in our (LDS) prayers "everyday lives", we generally do NOT read the Bible, and more especially the Old Testament anywhere near as much, overall, as we do read the Book of Mormon.

    I know, I have asked hundreds of my fellow Latter-Day Saints on this issue. I have asked them, quite simply, "Have you read (the Bible, or the Book of Mormon) 'cover to cover'?" I have found, in that simple personally conducted survey, that perhaps 1 in 10, if I'm lucky, have read the former versus the latter 'cover to cover'!

    The Book of Mormon is, in several ways, easier to read than the Bible. For one thing, it is about 1/3 to 2/5's in length of the Bible.

    Secondly, the story line is much easier to follow, since it had just one primary editor (Mormon).

    Thirdly, that editor, following the Spirit of the Lord's direction, "wove" together the aspects of the Nephites' history, selecting many points most pertinent to what we would need according to our experience in this day to know and understand and follow.


    And, all of these things are strong reasons,indeed, for everyone today to study the Book of Mormon!

    However, in the quote President Ezra Taft Benson read from and wrote on regarding why we should study more The Book of Mormon, note carefully what it says about the Bible—

    (continued, next post)

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  6. 43 And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.

    44 For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.

    45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

    46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.

    47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.

    48 And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.

    49 And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin.

    50 And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me.

    51 For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin.

    52 And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.

    53 And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.

    54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—

    55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

    56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

    57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

    58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.

    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:43 - 58)

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  7. Please note this well—

    57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon AND THE FORMER COMMANDMENTS which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

    It is very apparent that a huge part of 'receiving' God's word is studying his scriptures. And, for my fellow Latter-day Saints, I would emphasize the apparent 'false dichotomy' that has risen in their understanding and practice of this admonition.

    What do I mean? The assumption is, for non-members, that in addition to accepting and reading the Bible they should accept, read, and heed also the Book of Mormon. With this premise I do not disagree.

    However, in another instance of keeping commandments, I noticed some years ago what the Savior said (and, thereby, what he did not say)—

    23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

    (New Testament | Matthew 23:23)

    Note that he did NOT say—

    "Ye should have NOT paid tithes of anise, mint and cummin, but ye should have done the other"

    Rather, note well, he said—

    "these (paying tithe of 'anise, mint and cummin) ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other ('the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith') undone."

    The "former commandments", are they not what we have in the Bible?

    Hardly anyone, or at least very, very few (even among 'traditional Christians') really read the Bible very much at all! (a Pew Research poll found that the Bible was best read and known by agnostics and atheists, then by Jews, and then by Latter-Day Saints, and lastly by 'tradtional Christians')

    So, relatively speaking, overall, Latter-Day Saints do better than traditional Christians. But, compared to agnostics and atheists, we don't know our Bible quite as well (though what little we know, we understand somewhat better)!

    My point is, we need to get on the stick and do BOTH! BOTH read the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

    Most members, I have found, don't realize that sooner or later we will have the entire translated 'brass plates' to read and know. And yet, by-and-large, we ignore doing so with the portion of those plates already revealed to us— the 'Old' (or as I like to call them, rather), the 'First' Testament!

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