Reading it again for the ??th time!

I just finished reading the Book of Mormon again.  It is true!  Many years ago, when my daughters were very young, we finally finished reading that book together as a family for their first time.  The next day we started over again.  My oldest daughter said, “Hey, we already read this book!”  We subsequently read it over and over again as a family and I have read it on my own too many times to count.

Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”  Another prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, said: “Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God? …If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book.”  I do have that longing and the Book of Mormon has fulfilled that expectation.

I love the scriptures, including the Old and New Testaments.  Something else President Benson said rings true to me, “The Book of Mormon offers so much that broadens our understandings of the doctrines of salvation.  Without it, much of what is taught in other scriptures would not be nearly so plain and precious.”  The Book of Mormon and other revealed scripture provide explanations to me for “vague” doctrines in the Bible.  For example: the ‘falling away’ mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the ‘stick of Judah and of Joseph’ mentioned in Ezekiel 37:16, and  ‘baptism for the dead’ mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:29.

Additionally, that concept about being the “keystone of our religion” is serious business.  Everything in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hinges on the truthfulness of that book.  Either God speaks to prophets again on the earth or He doesn’t.  Was the original church of Jesus Christ restored to the earth or not?  The only way to know for sure is to sincerely read that book and ask God in prayer.  If that book is true, then all the doctrines we profess are true as well.

Most importantly, the Book of Mormon is a witness of Jesus Christ!!  The teachings of ancient prophets in the Book of Mormon helped those that listened/ obeyed to overcome their sins and expose the doctrines of the devil so that the people could follow God.  It can do the same for us today.  President Benson said: “We should know the Book of Mormon better than any other book.  Not only should we know what history and faith-promoting stories it contains, but we should understand its teachings.  If we really do our homework and approach the Book of Mormon doctrinally, we can expose the errors and find the truths to combat many of the current false theories and philosophies of men.”

I don’t believe you can dismiss the Book of Mormon and then accept any other “practices” in the Mormon church.  You cannot say the Book of Mormon is false and bad, but all the Priesthood ordinances that take place in temples or within our families are true and good.  Last quote from President Benson: “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.”

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