Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon is an ancient record that teaches about Jesus.
The Book of Mormon contains sacred writings from followers of Jesus. Just like God spoke to Moses and Noah in the Bible, He also spoke to people in the Americas. These men, called prophets, wrote down God’s word. Their writings were eventually gathered into one book by a prophet named Mormon.
God’s people have always been taught by living prophets. Like us today, the women and men of those times struggled with temptation, searched for wisdom, and led happier lives when they followed the teachings of Jesus Christ. We can recognize ourselves in their stories—inspired and inspiring spiritual records. The Book of Mormon is evidence that God loves all His children and is involved in their lives. It serves as a witness to the truths in the Bible and to the divinity and teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Mormon can help us understand the essential questions that we all have at some point:
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God promises us that if we read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and mind, He will reveal to each of us its divinity and its truth through inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Some 80,000 missionaries are teaching people about this book on six continents in 107 languages—and these people are currently putting that promise to the test. Missionaries give out copies of the Book of Mormon for free, yet millions of people count it among their most valuable possessions. Men and women from all over the world, from every possible background, are learning that the Book of Mormon can help us find peace and faith in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.
In 1823, Joseph Smith was led by an angel to the ancient records and translated them by the power of God. Like the ancient prophets who came before him, Joseph Smith served as God’s messenger and testified of Jesus Christ’s Atonement and of the Savior’s ability to change our lives for good.
The principles that were recorded in the Book of Mormon—faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, joy, salvation—changed the lives of an ancient people. In our day, the Book of Mormon has influenced the lives of millions of people around the world by bringing them closer to Jesus Christ. Here are a few stories:
Scriptures are more than just old words and stories. They are relevant, timely messages for the problems we face. When you approach reading the Book of Mormon by frequently asking yourself, “What is this really saying?” you’ll find there are many relevant messages for you today. The book was written to inspire readers to make decisions that would ultimately improve their lives and bring them closer to God. It was the authors’ hope that their words would lead people to Jesus Christ and change behaviors; would lift sadness, uncertainty, and fear; would offer purpose and direction to people’s outlook on life; and would give people evidence that God is still “a God of miracles” (Mormon 9:10).
The significance of the Book of Mormon in the world could be measured in the quantity of copies distributed or the overall increase in the number of people who choose to follow Jesus Christ after reading the book. The most important effect, however, is distinctly personal. The Book of Mormon answers questions, provides hope, and solidifies spiritual strength in people, one by one.
The people whose lives have changed from reading the Book of Mormon found it when they were sinners or when they were faithful, when they felt hopeless or when they were happy. To find meaning in the Book of Mormon, people may be learned or uneducated, alone or surrounded by friends and family, financially successful or economically strained. The only common characteristic is that people who are affected by this book pick it up with a simple desire to know and understand its truth.