Life Without the Book of Mormon
President Russell M. Nelson in an October 2017 general conference address asked us to answer three questions related to the Book of Mormon, he said: “First, what would your life be like without the Book of Mormon? Second, what would you not know? And third, what would you not have?” I have thought about those questions and would like to give you my answers.
1. What would my life be like without the Book of Mormon? This is not a difficult question for me because without the Book of Mormon I would not be the person I am today. I would not be married to my wife and I would not have my children and grandchildren. Without the Book of Mormon, we would not have the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. True, Joseph Smith’s first vision could have still happened and a church organized without the Book of Mormon, but I don’t think that the first vision would have happened without the next step in the restoration – the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. The entire process is linked together and without the Book of Mormon there would have not been a restitution of all things through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
My parents converted to the Church while they were living in Northern California. Not long after they joined the church, they moved to Provo, Utah when my dad decided to go to Brigham Young University. I was born there while they were students. I was the fourth child born in the family (one sister died when just a few days old).
Without the Book of Mormon and the church, Brigham Young University would not have existed and they would not have moved there. It is possible that my dad would have decided to go to school and become a teacher by attending a different university and they may have still moved to Indiana after graduating where the rest of our family was born. When I graduated from High School I would have attended Indiana State University instead of Brigham Young University. I would have not served a mission to Alaska and British Columbia where I met my future wife. We would not have married and would not have had the four children that were destined to be ours. We would not have moved to Utah were we have lived the last 28 years. My life would have been totally different without the Book of Mormon.
2. What would I not know without the Book of Mormon? This question is a little more difficult to answer. How much would I know about our Savior Jesus Christ? Our family has always attended church. We probably would have been members of one of the different protestant churches were we would have been taught about the importance of living our lives as Christians and having Jesus Christ as our Savior, but there are many things about the gospel of Jesus Christ that is missing and incomplete without the Book of Mormon. Here is a small list of some of those principles that the Book of Mormon teaches:
A. The purpose of this life – 2 Nephi chapter 2
B. The resurrection reunites our physical bodies with our spirits – Alma 11:42-45
C. That God speaks to all his children and their writings are scripture – 2 Nephi 29
D. That Jesus Christ came and ministered to the Ancient Americans – 3 Nephi 11
E. That America (North & South) is a promised land – 1 Nephi 13
F. Little Children need no baptism – Moroni 8
G. How to properly baptize and administer the sacrament – 3 Nephi 11:23-27. Moroni 4 & 5
H. How to distinguish between good & evil – Moroni 7
I. Gifts of the Holy Ghost – Moroni 10
J. How to know if the Book of Mormon is true – Moroni 10-:3-5
There are many other principles that the Book of Mormon proves and other teachings and philosophies that it testifies is false such as God will save us all in the end (2 Nephi 28:7-11), that all churches are of God (1 Nephi 14:10). The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is a companion to the Old and New Testaments. The Book of Mormon proves the prophecies of the Old Testament were true and the teachings of the Savior and Apostles in the New Testament are true. And the Old & New Testaments prove the Book of Mormon to be true. My understanding and testimony of Jesus Christ and his Gospel would be incomplete without the Book of Mormon.
3. What would I not have without the Book of Mormon? The answer to this question is similar to the first question. Without the Book of Mormon I would not have the family that I have, I would not have the direction that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives me. I would not have the blessings of being sealed as an eternal family because of promises my wife and I made in the Lord’s house (the Washington D.C. Temple) where we were sealed together for all eternity, not just this life. I would not have the purpose and direction that the Gospel of Jesus Christ provides in my life.
To summarize what would my life be like without the Book of Mormon? It would be nothing like I am today. I would not know that I am a literal child of Heavenly Father, he is the father of my spirit. I would not know what Jesus Christ is not only by Savior but he is my brother, the first born of Heavenly Father’s children. I would not know that I could return to live with them after I die with my family and that when the scriptures say that we will inherit all that he has it means that I can become as he is.
I love the Book of Mormon and know it is true. I have read it and tested the promise in Moroni 10:3-5. The Holy Ghost has born witness to me that it is true. It is sacred scripture along with the Bible. I know Joseph Smith translated it by the power and gift of God, and that through him the gospel in its fullness was restored and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s Church here on the earth. I also know that the Lord Jesus Christ directs his church through his living prophet Russell M. Nelson.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome.