If You Want to Know More
If You Want to Know More
I’m a huge fan of the TV show The Chosen. My family follows them on social media, watch every episode and special, and we have regularly gathered for the YouTube webcasts with Dallas Jenkins, the show’s creator, to learn about upcoming events and the latest news. We’re big fans.
On many occasions, Dallas has responded to criticism about whether his Jesus is the same Jesus as taught in other religions (particularly mine). I personally think Dallas has done a great job fielding these questions and addressing the nuances in his answers.
There is a lot of information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints out there that is just plain wrong, intentionally misleading, or confusing. Here’s one recent example from Twitter from JK Rowling about The Book of Mormon:
As someone who has read the Book of Mormon dozens of times, I could have easily pointed her to the beginning of the book with the testimonies of eleven people who had seen the gold plates the Book of Mormon came from. They’d touched them. They’d leafed through them. Even though nearly all of those individuals left the Church at some point (some came back) none of them ever invalidated their witness that they seen and touched the plates and believed they came from God. The Deseret News did a great article, by the way, following up on the JK Rowling tweet which you can read here.
It would take way too long to try and refute or answer every claim made about this book. I’m not going to try. What I am going to suggest though is just read it for yourself. Watching a Broadway musical isn’t going to help you understand it. Wikipedia is great, but it’s not going to help much either. Reading The Book of Mormon has helped me become a better Christian and added depth to my spiritual life. I think it could do the same for you.
So here’s an invitation. If you don’t have the patience to sit and read the 500 page book, then start with the Book of Mormon videos that the Church has released. Judge for yourself if the stories dramatized in those videos bring you closer to Jesus Christ or not. BTW – they’ve had more than 50M views. That’s more than the total membership of the Church, so…it’s not just us clicking on them!
If you prefer reading on your phone or tablet, you can download the Book of Mormon for free through the IOS or Google App stores. Pretty simple. I would recommend reading the front material before diving into 1 Nephi chapter 1, because it can be confusing without some context (Spoiler alert: The Book of Mormon begins in 600BC in Jerusalem). But it’s okay if you want to start there as well. Totally up to you. Here’s how to get it digitally: https://bofm.page.link/app (or scan the QR code in the image below)
If you’re the kind of reader that wants to hold a book in your hand and underline your favorite bits, then that’s okay too. I’ll make it easy for you. Send me an e-mail at email@example.com with your name and address and I’ll sign a copy of The Book of Mormon and mail it to you with some of my favorite passages tagged. Free of charge.
Whatever you know (or think you know) about The Book of Mormon, I invite you to learn for yourself. I’ve written millions of words and created many worlds and stories out of my imagination. But I cannot, as an author, conceive that an illiterate farm-hand from upstate New York could invent this book in 65 days (link). I’ve read this book and analyzed and studied it and read different versions of it. Please don’t take my word for it. Take a look at it for yourself. And then go to the one source of truth who won’t ever lie to you. Ask God yourself if it’s true.
I have. And I know the book has changed my life for the better. My wife, when we were just high school friends growing up in California, was intrigued when I told her the story of Joseph Smith one day at work. She went and checked out a copy of the Book of Mormon from her local library. I got her a signed copy instead. I’m happy to do the same for you.
It could change your life too.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
10 And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
3 Nephi 11:8-10
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.