Ted R. Callister shared the following story:
Some years ago I attended one of our worship services in Toronto, Canada. A 14-year-old girl was the speaker. She said that she had been discussing religion with one of her friends at school. Her friend said to her, “What religion do you belong to?”
She replied, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons.”
Her friend replied, “I know that church, and I know it’s not true.”
“How do you know?” came the reply.
“Because,” said her friend, “I have researched it.”
“Have you read the Book of Mormon?”
“No,” came the answer. “I haven’t.”
Then this sweet young girl responded, “Then you haven’t researched my church, because I have read every page of the Book of Mormon and I know it’s true.”
This story often comes to mind often when people will say that they have researched our church. While I respect the fact that not everyone will choose Mormonism, I sometimes wonder if people are making such a decision relying only on what they read in news headlines, media stories or blogs, or material from those trying to persuade people from allowing missionaries to teach them more about our faith. To really research and understand Mormonism, I agree with this young woman. It’s important, even essential to understand and engage with the Book of Mormon. And we don’t just invite people to read it, we invite them to go to the Source of truth, even God, to ask Him if it’s true scripture.
I, too, have read every page of the Book of Mormon — many times over — and know it is true. I find power in its words, and get answers from God from its teachings. I use the Book of Mormon with the Bible to seek to draw closer to my Father in Heaven and to my Savior. Reading these scriptures brings God’s Holy Spirit into my life.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cherish the Bible as the word of God. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be scriptural — a record of ancient people on the American continent. The book covers a period of history from about 600 B.C. to 421 A.D. (with a record as well of a people who lived around the time of the tower of Babel, who migrated from the ancient holy land to the American continent, whose record was found by those who came to the American continent later on).
The reality of God’s dealings with His children who lived anciently on the American continent, and the teachings of ancient prophets who guided these people, gives us another testament of God’s love for all of His children, and includes powerful testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. The crowning event of the Book of Mormon is Christ’s personal visit to the people after His death and resurrection.
The Book of Mormon helps strengthen our testimony of Jesus Christ and our understanding of His divine mission. And it is the keystone of our faith — not because the Bible isn’t true or important to us, but because knowing of the truthfulness the Book of Mormon allows one to also understand that God speaks in these “latter days” to prophets. He restored Christ’s church and authority through the prophet Joseph Smith. And that authority and prophetic guidance continues today through living prophets.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explains more about the Book of Mormon in this Mormon Messages video:
You can also read the Book of Mormon online.