Teachings of the Book of Mormon Lesson 1

President Gordon B. Hinckley 2005

Today, a century and three-quarters after its first publication, the Book of Mormon is more widely read than at any time in its history. Whereas there were 5,000 copies in that first edition, about 5,000,000 are currently distributed each year, and the book or selections from the book are available in 106 languages.
“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”

Parley P Pratt

“I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.
“As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists.”

Parley Pratt was then 23 years of age.

Read 1 Nephi 13:40 and 2 Nephi 25:17–18

look for a primary purpose of the Book of Mormon.

God brought forth the Book of Mormon in the last days to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ.
“Much of the Christian world today rejects the divinity of the Savior. They question His miraculous birth, His perfect life, and the reality of His glorious resurrection. The Book of Mormon teaches in plain and unmistakable terms about the truth of all of those. It also provides the most complete explanation of the doctrine of the Atonement. Truly, this divinely inspired book is a keystone in bearing witness to the world that Jesus is the Christ”
The Book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do. It bears witness of His reality with power and clarity. Unlike the Bible, which passed through generations of copyists, translators, and corrupt religionists who tampered with the text, the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired step of translation. Therefore, its testimony of the Master is clear, undiluted, and full of power.

“I have read [the Book of Mormon] many times. I have also read much that has been written about it. Some authors have focused upon its stories, its people, or its vignettes of history. Others have been intrigued by its language structure or its records of weapons, geography, animal life, techniques of building, or systems of weights and measures.

“Interesting as these matters may be, study of the Book of Mormon is most rewarding when one focuses on its primary purpose—to testify of Jesus Christ. By comparison, all other issues are incidental.

“When you read the Book of Mormon, concentrate on the principal figure in the book—from its first chapter to the last—the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God”

Read Alma 33:22–23

identify the truths that Alma encouraged his readers to “plant” in their hearts.

BOOK OF MORMON WAS LARGELY WRITTEN BY FOUR MAIN AUTHORS:

Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, and Moroni

Read and look for what qualified the writer to be a powerful witness of Jesus Christ

Nephi: 2 Nephi 11:2

Jacob: 2 Nephi 11:3

Mormon: Mormon 1:15

Moroni: Ether 12: 38-39

By studying the Book of Mormon, we learn about Jesus Christ and His mission from those who saw and knew Him.

Read the passages looking for the reasons each writer recorded his message.

Nephi: 1 Nephi 6:4

Jacob: Jacob 1: 7-8

Mormon: Mormon 3: 20-22

Moroni: Ether 12:41

Read 2 Nephi 33:1–2

identify the power that allows the message of the Book of Mormon to enter one’s heart

The Holy Ghost can carry the message of the Book of Mormon into our hearts as long as we do not harden our hearts against the Holy Ghost.

Study 2 Nephi 33:4–5

looking for additional blessings that we can receive from studying the Book of Mormon

Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Seventy

“[We] must choose to open our hearts to the divine reality of the Savior. … God does not force us to believe. Instead He invites us to believe by sending living prophets and apostles to teach us, by providing scriptures, and by beckoning to us through His Spirit. … The decision to believe is the most important choice we ever make. It shapes all our other decisions”

Read 2 Nephi 33:10–11

look for how Nephi describes the relationship between believing in his words and believing in Jesus Christ

“I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1980, p. 67).

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