The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ

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THE BOOK OF MORMON, ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST
 
An Account Written by The Hand of Mormon
Upon Plates taken from The Plates of Nephi
 
Wherefore, it is 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 convincing of the Jew  and  Gentile
that  Jesus  is  the  CHRIST,  the  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.
 
Translated by Joseph Smith, Jun.
 
Published by  The  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter-day
Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 1987
 
 
INTRODUCTION
 
The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture  comparable
to  the  Bible.  It  is  a record of God's dealings with the
ancient inhabitants of the Americas and  contains,  as  does
the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel.
 
The  book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit
of prophecy and revelation. Their  words,  written  on  gold
plates,  were  quoted  and  abridged  by a prophet historian
named Mormon. The record  gives  an  account  of  two  great
civilizations.  One  came  from  Jerusalem  in  600  BC, and
afterward separated into two nations, known as the  Nephites
and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord
confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group  is
known  as  the  Jaredites. After thousands of years all were
destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are  the  principal
ancestors of the American Indians.
 
The  crowning  event  recorded  in the Book of Mormon is the
personal  ministry  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  among  the
Nephites  soon  after  his  resurrection.  It puts forth the
doctrines of the gospel outlines the plan of salvation,  and
tells  men  what they must do to gain peace in this life and
eternal salvation in the life to come.
 
After  Mormon  completed  his  writings,  he  delivered  the
account  to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own
and hid up the plates in the hill Cumorah. On  September  21
1823,  the  same  Moroni  then a glorified resurrected being
appeared to the Prophet  Joseph  Smith  and  instructed  him
relative  to the ancient record and its destined translation
into the English language.
 
In due course the plates were delivered to Joseph Smith, who
translated  them by the gift and power of God. The record is
now published in many languages  as  a  new  and  additional
witness  that  Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and
that all who will come  unto  him  and  obey  the  laws  and
ordinances of his gospel may be saved.
 
Concerning  this  record  the  Prophet 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."
 
In  addition  to  Joseph Smith, the Lord provided for eleven
others to see the gold  plates  for  themselves  and  to  be
special  witnesses  of the truth and divinity of the Book of
Mormon. Their written testimonies are included  herewith  as
"The  Testimony  of  Three  Witnesses" and "The Testimony of
Eight Witnesses."
 
We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon,  to
ponder  in their hearts the message it contains, and then to
ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of  Christ  if  the
book  is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith
will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power
of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10: 3-5.)
 
Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will
also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the
Savior  of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and
prophet in these last days and  that  The  Church  of  Jesus
Christ  of Latter-day Saints is the Lords kingdom once again
established on the earth, preparatory to the  second  coming
of the Messiah.
 
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.
 
OLIVER COWDERY
DAVID WHITMER
MARTIN HARRIS
 
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.
 
CHRISTIAN WHITMER
JACOB WHITMER
PETER WHITMER, JUN.
JOHN WHITMER
HIRAM PAGE
JOSEPH SMITH, SEN.
HYRUM SMITH
SAMUEL H. SMITH
 
TESTIMONY OF THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH
 
The Prophet Joseph Smith's own words about the coming  forth
of the Book of Mormon are:
 
"On  the evening of the ... twenty-first of September [1823]
... I betook myself to prayer and supplication  to  Almighty
God... .
 
"While  I  was  thus  in  the  act  of  calling  upon God, I
discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued  to
increase  until  the  room was lighter than at noonday, when
immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing  in
the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.
 
"He  had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was
a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor  do
I  believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so
exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were  naked,  and
his arms also, a little above the wrists; so, also, were his
feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His
head  and  neck were also bare. I could discover that he had
no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so  that
I could see into his bosom.
 
"Not  only  was  his  robe  exceedingly white, but his whole
person was glorious beyond description, and his  countenance
truly  like  lightning.  The room was exceedingly light, but
not so very bright as immediately around his person. When  I
first  looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left
me.
 
"He called me by name, and  said  unto  me  that  he  was  a
messenger  sent from the presence of God to me, and that his
name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and  that
my  name  should be had for good and evil among all nations,
kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be  both  good  and
evil spoken of among all people.
 
"He  said  there  was  a  book  deposited, written upon gold
plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of  this
continent,  and  the source from whence they sprang. He also
said  that  the  fullness  of  the  everlasting  Gospel  was
contained  in  it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient
inhabitants;
 
"Also, that there were two stones in silver  bows-and  these
stones fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called
the Urim and Thummim- deposited with  the  plates;  and  the
possession  and  use  of  these stones were what constituted
Seers in ancient or former times; and that God had  prepared
them for the purpose of translating the book.
 
"Again, he told me, that when I got those plates of which he
had spoken -for the time that they should  be  obtained  was
not  yet  fulfilled-I  should  not  show them to any person;
neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim;  only  to
those to whom I should be commanded to show them; if I did I
should be destroyed. While he was conversing with  me  about
the  plates,  the  vision was opened to my mind that I could
see the place where the plates were deposited, and  that  so
clearly  and  distinctly  that I knew the place again when I
visited it.
 
"After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin
to  gather immediately around the person of him who had been
speaking to me, and it continued to do so,  until  the  room
was  again left dark, except just around him, when instantly
I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up into  heaven  and
he  ascended until he entirely disappeared, and the room was
left as it had been before this heavenly light had made  its
appearance.
 
"I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling
greatly at what had been told to me  by  this  extraordinary
messenger;  when,  in the midst of my meditation, I suddenly
discovered that my room was again beginning to get  lighted,
and  in  an instant, as it were, the same heavenly messenger
was again by my bedside.
 
"He commenced, and again related the very same things  which
he had done at his first visit, without the least variation.
which having done, he informed me of great  judgments  which
were coming upon the earth, with great desolation by famine,
sword, and pestilence; and  that  these  grievous  judgments
would  come  on the earth in this generation. Having related
these things, he again ascended as he had done before.
 
"By this time, so deep were the impressions made on my mind,
that  sleep  had fled from my eyes, and I lay overwhelmed in
astonishment at what I had both seen and heard. But what was
my  surprise  when  again  I beheld the same messenger at my
bedside, and heard him rehearse or repeat over again  to  me
the  same  things  as  before;  and  added  a caution to me,
telling me that Satan would try to tempt me (in  consequence
of the indigent circumstances of my father's family), to get
the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he  forbade
me,  saying  that  I  must  have  no other object in view in
getting the plates but to  glorify  God,  and  must  not  be
influenced  by  any  other  motive than that of building His
kingdom; otherwise I could not get them.
 
"After this third visit, he again ascended  into  heaven  as
before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of
what I had just experienced; when almost  immediately  after
the  heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time,
the cock crowed, and I found that day  was  approaching,  so
that  our  interviews  must  have occupied the whole of that
night.
 
"I shortly after arose from my bed, and, as usual,  went  to
the  necessary labors of the day; but, in attempting to work
as at other times, I found my strength so  exhausted  as  to
render me entirely unable. My father, who was laboring along
with me, discovered something to be wrong with me, and  told
me  to go home. I started with the intention of going to the
house; but, in attempting to cross  the  fence  out  of  the
field  where  we were, my strength entirely failed me, and I
fell helpless on the  ground,  and  for  a  time  was  quite
unconscious of anything.
 
"The  first  thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking
unto me, calling me by name. I looked  up,  and  beheld  the
same messenger standing over my head, surrounded by light as
before. He then again  related  unto  me  all  that  he  had
related  to me the previous night, and commanded me to go to
my father and tell him of the vision and commandments  which
I had received.
 
"I  obeyed;  I  returned  to  my  father  in  the field, and
rehearsed the whole matter to him. He replied to me that  it
was  of  God,  and  told me to go and do as commanded by the
messenger. I left the field, and went to the place where the
messenger  had  told me the plates were deposited; and owing
to the distinctness of the vision which I had had concerning
it, I knew the place the instant that I arrived there.
 
"Convenient  to  the  village of Manchester, Ontario county,
New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and  the  most
elevated  of  any  in  the neighborhood. On the west side of
this  hill,  not  far  from  the  top,  under  a  stone   of
considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box.
This stone was thick and rounding in the middle on the upper
side, and thinner towards the edges, so that the middle part
of it was visible above the ground, but the edge all  around
was covered with earth.
 
"Having  removed  the earth, I obtained a lever, which I got
fixed under the  edge  of  the  stone,  and  with  a  little
exertion  raised  it  up. I looked in and there indeed did I
behold  the  plates,  the  Urim   and   Thummim,   and   the
breastplate,  as  stated  by the messenger. The box in which
they lay was formed by laying stones together in  some  kind
of  cement.  In  the  bottom of the box were laid two stones
crossways of the box, and on these stones lay the plates and
the other things with them.
 
"I  made  an  attempt to take them out, but was forbidden by
the messenger, and was again  informed  that  the  time  for
bringing  them  forth had not yet arrived, neither would it,
until four years from that time;  but  he  told  me  that  I
should  come  to  that place precisely in one year from that
time, and that he would there  meet  with  me,  and  that  I
should  continue  to  do  so  until the time should come for
obtaining the plates.
 
"Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end  of
each  year,  and  at  each  time  I found the same messenger
there, and received instruction and intelligence from him at
each  of  our interviews, respecting what the Lord was going
to do, and how and in what manner  His  kingdom  was  to  be
conducted in the last days.
 
"At  length  the  time arrived for obtaining the plates, the
Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the  twenty-second
day   of   September,   one   thousand   eight  hundred  and
twenty-seven, having gone as usual at  the  end  of  another
year  to  the  place  where  they  were  deposited, the same
heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge:
That  I should be responsible for them; that if I should let
them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should
be  cut  off;  but  that  if I would use all my endeavors to
preserve them, until he,  the  messenger,  should  call  for
them, they should be protected.
 
"I  soon found out the reason why I had received such strict
charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger
had  said that when I had done what was required at my hand,
he would call for them. For no sooner was it  known  that  I
had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get
them from me. Every stratagem that  could  be  invented  was
resorted  to  for  that purpose. The persecution became more
bitter and severe than before, and multitudes  were  on  the
alert  continually  to  get them from me if possible. But by
the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands,  until  I
had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When,
according to arrangements, the messenger called for them,  I
delivered  them  up  to  him;  and he has them in his charge
until this day, being the second day  of  May  one  thousand
eight hundred and thirty eight."
 
For  the  complete  record, see Joseph Smith-History, in the
Pearl of Great Price, and History of  The  Church  of  Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, volume 1, chapters 1 through 6.
 
The  ancient record thus brought forth from the earth as the
voice of a people speaking from  the  dust,  and  translated
into  modern speech by the gift and power of God as attested
by Divine affirmation, was first published to the  world  in
the year 1830 as THE BOOK OF MORMON.
 
A BRIEF EXPLANATION ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON
 
The  Book of Mormon is a sacred record of peoples in ancient
America, and was engraved upon sheets of metal.  Four  kinds
of metal record plates are spoken of in the book itself:
 
1. The  Plates of Nephi, which were of two kinds: the Small
Plates  and  the  Large  Plates.  The   former   were   more
particularly  devoted  to  the  spiritual  matters  and  the
ministry and teachings of the  prophets,  while  the  latter
were  occupied  mostly  by  a secular history of the peoples
concerned (1 Nephi 9: 24). From the time of Mosiah, however,
the  large  plates  also  included  items of major spiritual
importance.
 
2. The Plate of Mormon, which consist of an  abridgment  by
Mormon   from   the   Large   Plates  of  Nephi,  with  many
commentaries. These plates also contained a continuation  of
the history by Mormon and additions by his son Moroni.
 
3. The  Plates  of  Ether,  which  present a history of the
Jaredites. This record was abridged by Moroni  who  inserted
comments  of  his  own  and incorporated the record with the
general history under the title "Book of Ether."
 
4. The Plates of Brass brought by the people of  Lehi  from
Jerusalem  in  600  BC  These  contained  "the five books of
Moses, ... And also a record of the Jews from the beginning,
 down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of
Judah; And also the prophecies  of  the  holy  prophets"  (1
Nephi  5: 1 1-13). Many quotations from these plates, citing
Isaiah and other biblical and nonbiblical  prophets,  appear
in the Book of Mormon.
 
The Book of Mormon comprises fifteen main parts or divisions
known, with one exception, as books, each designated by  the
name  of  its principal author. The first portion (the first
six books, ending with Omni) is a translation from the Small
Plates  of Nephi. Between the books of Omni and Mosiah is an
insert called The Words of Mormon. This insert connects  the
record engraved on the Small Plates with Mormon's abridgment
of the Large Plates.
 
The longest portion,  from  Mosiah  to  Mormon,  chapter  7,
inclusive,  is  a  translation of Mormon's abridgment of the
Large Plates of Nephi. The concluding portion, from  Mormon,
chapter  8,  to  the  end  of  the  volume,  was engraved by
Mormon's son Moroni, who, after finishing the record of  his
father's life, made an abridgment of the Jaredite record (as
the Book of Ether) and later added the parts  known  as  the
Book of Moroni.
 
In or about the year AD 421, Moroni, the last of the Nephite
prophet historians, sealed the sacred record and hid  it  up
unto  the  Lord,  to be brought forth in the latter days, as
predicted by the voice of God through his ancient  prophets.
In  AD 1823, this same Moroni, then a resurrected personage,
visited the Prophet Joseph Smith and subsequently  delivered
the engraved plates to him.
 
About  this edition: Some minor errors in the text have been
perpetuated in past editions of the  Book  of  Mormon.  This
edition  contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring
the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts
and early editions edited by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

(sebelum, sesudah)

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