The Holy & Sacred Book of Mormon is meant—like the Holy Bible, to be viewed through the lens of truth—not denominational filters or frameworks.
Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon Christian
Book of Mormon Geography
Book of Mormon Test
Joseph Smith – Seer Not Prophet
Land of Promise – The United States Government
Reformed Mormonism – Historical Attempts
Whitmer College – David Whitmer
William Law – Nauvoo Expositor
Was there ever a time when records of the Lord were hidden and later found? Yes. Consider the account of Hilkiah (relevant points footnoted):
14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found1 a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses.
15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.
16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it.
17 And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen.
18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.2
20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s, saying,
21 Go, enquire of the LORD3 for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us,4 because our fathers have NOT KEPT THE WORD of the LORD, TO DO AFTER ALL THAT IS WRITTEN in this book.5 (2 Chronicles 34)
1) A holy book, the “Law of the Lord” was hidden and later discovered.
2) After comparing the written word with what they were doing, the king rent his clothes in disgust.
3) It is a persons’ right to inquire of God regarding any book that claims to be from Him.
4) The realization was, they had not faithfully kept what the scriptures said. Without the written word there is nothing to prevent things from becoming lost due to the nature of memory loss, or falsehoods injected.
5) This was not the first, nor would it be the last time that the Word of the Lord was not faithfully kept. The key word here is “all”; to receive God’s favor, a person or people must faithfully keep God’s established law which cannot accurately be accomplished when the law is missing.
Scriptures set a precedent for the discovery of hidden sacred records and what to do when they are found: ask God, and if true, then OBEY what they say. We see the same admonition in The Holy Book of Mormon:
2 And I seal up these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10)
Many people have tested that promise, and in every case where its requirements were met (i.e., asking with a sincere heart), the individual received an answer from God. For this reason, The Holy Book of Mormon is a powerful introductory tool for how to communicate with God.
The second part where people fail, like the Israelites, is by not doing “all that is written” in The Holy Book of Mormon (which does not contradict The Holy Bible). Many are introduced to The Holy Book of Mormon by the Mormon Church (which is not faithfully following its precepts) but are then taught non-Biblical teachings its founder introduced, long after he did his part to bring it forth.
Many Jews currently sit in darkness because of the same thing; they are following rabbinical teachings, not scriptures. Mormons follow their Doctrine & Covenants and temple teachings, and not the Holy Bible and Holy Book of Mormon. They use the power of The Holy Book of Mormon for gaining converts and infer its confirming power includes all that Joseph Smith did afterward. The Mormon Church and its leaders continue this today (i.e., they are all good, all God-approved, all infallible).
The Mormon Church is not based on The Holy Book of Mormon:
“Despite the effort that went into the translation, Joseph Smith did not make the book the foundation of the church” (LDS Professor Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, 1984, p. 142).
Mormon scriptures say they are under a curse for not doing what The Holy Book of Mormon says:
“I have noted within the Church a difference in discernment, insight, conviction, and spirit between those who know and love the Book of Mormon and those who do not. That book is a great sifter (“Jesus Christ-Gifts and Expectations,” Christmas Devotional, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7 December 1986; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pp. 60-61).
“Among the hallmarks of Ezra Taft Benson ‘s tenure as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was his stirring summons to reemphasize the Book of Mormon.
‘My beloved brethren and sisters,’ he said during the October 1984 general conference, ‘for some years now I have been deeply concerned that we are not using the Book of Mormon as God intends. As I participated in the Mexico City Temple dedication, I received the distinct impression that God is not pleased with our neglect of the Book of Mormon. In the 84th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord decreed that the whole church was under condemnation, even all the children of Zion, because of the way they treated the Book of Mormon. ‘And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent,’ said the Lord, ‘and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon’ (Doctrine and Covenants 84:57)'” (Dan Peterson, “Embracing the power of the Book of Mormon,” Deseret News, January 5, 2012).
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- (D&C 84:54-57, 1832)
If you want to convert a Mormon to Christ, use the Book of Mormon and Bible. If you want to convert a Jew to Christ, use the Torah and other books from the “Old Testament” such as Isaiah (see the ministry of Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat for many examples).
God did not leave Himself without witnesses to show that He provided well to those who loved Him:
17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good (Acts 14)
17 I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. (Malachi 3)
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. (Psalms 103)
1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. (Jeremiah 5)
Examples include Lot and his family who were spared, while the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t:
26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. (Genesis 18)
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. (Genesis 19)
And Noah and his family were spared, but the rest of humanity was not:
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2)
Israel was warned more than once that their capital city Jerusalem would be destroyed and its people brought into captivity if they did not follow God. Prior to the Babylonian invasion of 600 BC God warned several obedient families to flee, just like He warned Lot. The Book of Mormon is comprised of two such accounts, and a third of an exodus prior to the scattering at the time of the Tower of Babel.
The Testimony of Three Witnesses
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken. And we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true. And it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment-seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
The Testimony of Eight Witnesses
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That Joseph Smith, Jun., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen. And we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
Peter Whitmer, Jun.
Joseph Smith, Sen.
Samuel H. Smith
Sarah Heller Conrad
Sunday, June 13, 1897 – I conversed with one old lady eighty-eight years old who lived with David Whitmer when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were translating the Book of Mormon in the upper room of the house, and she, only a girl, saw them come down from [the] translating room several times when they looked so exceedingly white and strange that she inquired of Mrs. Whitmer the cause of their unusual appearance, but Mrs. Whitmer was unwilling to tell the hired girl the true cause, as it was a sacred, holy event connected with a holy, sacred work which was opposed and persecuted by nearly everyone who heard of it.
The girl felt so strangely at seeing so strange and unusual appearance, she finally told Mrs. Whitmer that she would not stay with her until she knew the cause of the strange looks of these men.
Sister Whitmer then told her what the men were doing in the room above and that the power of God was so great in the room that they could hardly endure it; at times angels were in the room in their glory, which nearly consumed them. This satisfied the girl (Oliver B. Huntington, History of the Life of Oliver B. Huntington, p. 49-50).
Mary Whitmer – Mother of David Whitmer
Mary Musselman Whitmer, the only woman who saw the plates of the Book of Mormon, was born Aug. 27, 1778, and became the wife of Peter Whitmer. Together with her husband she was baptized by Oliver Cowdery in Seneca lake, April 18, 1830. Among the early members of the Church she was familiarly known as Mother Whitmer, she being the wife of Peter Whitmer, sen., and mother of five of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Her son, David Whitmer, before his death, testified on several occasions that his mother had seen the plates, and when Elders Edward Stevenson and Andrew Jenson visited Richmond, Missouri, in 1888, John C. Whitmer, a grandson of the lady in question, testified in the following language: “I have heard my grandmother (Mary Musselman Whitmer) say on several occasions that she was shown the plates of the Book of Mormon by a holy angel, whom she always called Brother Nephi. (She undoubtedly refers to Moroni, the angel who had the plates in charge.) It was at the time, she said, when the translation was going on at the house of the elder Peter Whitmer, her husband. Joseph Smith with his wife and Oliver Cowdery, whom David Whitmer a short time previous had brought up from Harmony, Pennsylvania, were all boarding with the Whitmers, and my grandmother in having so many extra persons to care for, besides her own large household, was often overloaded with work to such an extent that she felt it to be quite a burden. One evening, when (after having done her usual day’s work in the house) she went to the barn to milk the cows, she met a stranger carrying something on his back that looked like a knapsack. At first she was a little afraid of him, but when he spoke to her in a kind, friendly tone and began to explain to her the nature of the work which was going on in her house, she was filled with inexpressible joy and satisfaction. He then untied his knapsack and showed her a bundle of plates, which in size and appearance corresponded with the description subsequently given by the witnesses to the Book of Mormon. This strange person turned the leaves of the book of plates over, leaf after leaf, and also showed her the engravings upon them; after which he told her to be patient and faithful in bearing her burden a little longer, promising that if she would do so, she should be blessed; and her reward would be sure, if she proved faithful to the end. The personage then suddenly vanished with the plates, and where he went, she could not tell. From that moment my grandmother was enabled to perform her household duties with comparative ease, and she felt no more inclination to murmur because her lot was hard. I knew my grandmother to be a good, noble and truthful woman, and I have not the least doubt of her statement in regard to seeing the plates being strictly true. She was a strong believer in the Book of Mormon until the day of her death.” Mother Whitmer died in Richmond, Ray county, Missouri, in January, 1856 (Andrew Jensen, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1901, vol 1, p. 283; see also sketch of David Whitmer and Peter Whitmer: Historical Record, vol. 7, p. 621; Juvenile Instructor, vol. 24, p. 22).
Additional testimonies can be found here: https://bomchristian.com/testimonies/
This edition of The Book of Mormon is the original, 1830 edition, with added versification and updated spelling.
An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi
“Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation—Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
“An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also 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” (Introduction—from the plates).