Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Book of Mormon: Have You Made Your Decision?

Have you made your decision about whether the Book of Mormon is the word of God? How did you come to this decision? What criteria did you use?

We believe the Bible to be the word of God. If you were to meet someone who questioned whether or not the Bible was the word of God, what would you tell them to do to find out for themselves? How did you come to that decision for yourself?

Surely, things of God cannot be measured with the same methods used to measure things of the world. We can read a fictional book, and form an opinion about it. We can read a history book and determine if the details are accurate. But when we read a book that claims to be the word of God, we must use a different methodology.

Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon give us guidance about how to determine if something is of God. In James 1:5,6 we read, " If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."
This scripture tells us that God will give us answers to our prayers if we ask in faith. Surely this is a godly way of determining whether or not the Book of Mormon is the word of God. A key part of that scripture is the phrase, "upbraideth not". This means that God will not punish us for asking. He is the source of all truth, and wants us to turn unto Him for answers.

The Book of Mormon gives us this method for determining whether or not it is true:

Moroni 10:3-5

"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

The Book of Mormon doesn't ask you to accept it as God's word as a matter of faith only. The writers of the Book of Mormon plead that we:
1. Receive these things (or in another words, read it!)
2. Remember that God is merciful. He is willing to answer our prayers!
3. Ask God if the Book of Mormon is true.
4. The Holy Ghost will let us know the truth of all things.

Have you made your decision about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon? Did you use godly methods in making that decision, or were you swayed by worldly criteria? I, along with the writers of the Book of Mormon, plead with you to read it, and ask God in faith if it is true. If you have not done these two steps, I don't think you can have faith in your decision. Even if you chose to believe it, if you have not had the witness of the Holy Ghost, you will not have the faith necessary to follow the teachings therein. Please take the time to do as the Book of Mormon prophets have requested. Please look to God when forming your decision!

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