Nov 22

Why I’m Grateful for the Book of Mormon!

Some things I wouldn’t know were it not for the Book of Mormon,
or things which I understand more clearly because of it

best book to get closer to god


I’m immensely grateful for the Holy Bible. But have you ever wondered why there are so many different interpretations of it? And so many different churches, based on all these different interpretations? While in many ways the Bible is very clear in laying out the gospel and ministry of Jesus Christ, there are also many areas that leave a lot to our individual interpretation. In a way, that’s nice. People can imagine up to themselves what certain passages mean, according to their own preferences and understanding. But I don’t think that’s exactly what God had in mind. He established the law of the witnesses (Deut 19:15, Matthew 18:16, John 8:12-19): By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established– and the Book of Mormon, a record of God’s dealings with His children in the Western Hemisphere, is the 2nd witness that He established to clarify and establish the doctrines of the Bible. I’m so grateful we aren’t left without this 2nd witness in order to fully understand the word of God. It is miraculous evidence of God’s great love for us and the active role He still plays in the world today.



Here’s a list of things I know because of the Book of Mormon (or that I know more clearly– many of these things are taught, or alluded to, in the Bible, but the Book of Mormon confirms and removes all doubt about it):



I feel like the Book of Mormon confirms the nature of God, and teaches that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and thus is actively involved in His children’s lives, and will be until the end of time. The way He worked in Bible times is the same way He works today. He loves His children in these latter days as much as He loved his children from the beginning of time. The Book of Mormon removes all doubt that God is a loving, tender father who just wants the best for us, and wants to see us succeed and be happy, just as an earthly parent would.


tree of life quotes

The Vision of the Tree of Life! Oh my goodness- one of my favorite parables in all of scripture is recorded in the Book of Mormon: the prophet Lehi’s vision of the tree of life. (Found in 1 Nephi 8- go read it, if you haven’t! It is profound.) It has so many elements that shed light on so many things about the gospel of Jesus Christ– the tree with pure white fruit that fills you with indescribable joy (The love of God), the strait and narrow path, the iron rod (word of God) which leads to the tree and keeps you on the path, the midsts of darkness (temptations of the devil) that arise to lead people away from the path, the river of filthy water (depths of hell) and the “great and spacious building” full of people (representing the pride of the world), just to name a few. It is such a beautiful and symbolic allegory representing our journey of discipleship here on Earth, and it gives me so much strength and purpose as I relate it to my own life. I love Lehi’s vision and the remarkable truths it teaches!  This scriptural gem is something I wouldn’t have were it not for the Book of Mormon. Everyone needs to read this!



Sheds Light on the Fall of Adam and Eve

The Book of Mormon clarifies how the Fall fits into the plan of Salvation. Contrary to popular belief, the Fall of Adam and Eve was not a terrible tragedy that never should have happened or something that we would be much better off had it not happened. It was actually an essential part of God’s plan, and the very event that would allow his plan to roll forth. The atonement of Jesus Christ wasn’t just a last-minute plan-B to compensate for Adam and Eve’s mistake. It was in the plan already, as was the fall. God knew that the fall would happen, and indeed that it had to eventually happen in order for his plan to unfold. 


The Book of Mormon reveals that if Adam and Eve had not fallen, they would have had no children, and none of us would have been able to come down to experience this mortal testing period we call life. We must come down to a fallen world in order to be able to have a true experience where we learn how to choose between good and evil. If Adam and Eve had not fallen, everything would have remained perfect in the garden of Eden, forever, and there would have been no opposition introduced into the world. They wouldn’t ever have had the chance to truly choose between good and evil, and to grow and learn and progress thereby. It was a necessary step to set everything in motion. But it had to come by way of their own free will, because God, being perfect, holy and just, would never put us in a fallen world. It had to be brought upon by man’s own agency.


Grace and works! 

The Book of Mormon lays out the relationship between works and grace in a very clear manner, and in a way that cannot be misunderstood. Over and over and over, it teaches that man cannot be saved without grace, and that no matter what we do, we could never make it to heaven on our own. It always makes me smile and shake my head when I hear people accusing us Latter-day Saints of trying to work our way to heaven. Uh, have you read the Book of Mormon? Go read it, and you’ll see how perfectly in harmony with the Bible it is on these matters. And it expounds upon them, so as to remove all doubt. We are saved by grace, after all we can do. As Jesus taught abundantly, God does require certain things in order to qualify for every blessing He has in store for us. But what is required is like a drop in the bucket compared to what perfect justice would actually require. Christ’s atonement makes up for what we lack, which is an incredibly huge amount. That’s the miracle.


We cannot work our way to heaven. It is only through the merits and mercies of Christ that we are saved, after all we can do. We will all be ‘saved’ in a sense– both the wicked and the righteous, in that we will all be brought back to life/resurrected and inherit a degree of glory. But we must do all we can to follow Christ’s teachings in order to qualify for complete exaltation in the kingdom of God. There’s a difference between salvation and exaltation, and the latter is what we’re striving for.


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Justice and Mercy

Along with that, the Book of Mormon clearly teaches about two important eternal principles: Justice and Mercy. And how both are absolutely essential in God’s plan. God is perfect. Which means he must be perfectly just. If not so, he would cease to be God, because He would no longer be perfect. There are certain immutable laws, like the law of justice– we must be punished for our sins. We cannot dwell in a state of never-ending happiness if we are tainted with sin. The only way to bring about Mercy and let mercy override justice was for there to be an ultimate atonement made by Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. But in order for the demands of the law of Justice to be satisfied, there are still certain things absolutely required of us in order to receive all of the blessings God has in store for us. I feel like the Book of Mormon really helps me gain a much clearer perspective of how mercy and the law of Justice work together, and what part I have in that interplay. In our world today, often Christian teachings lean towards one extreme or the other, based on their different interpretation of Biblical passages. Either that God loves us, and therefore, his mercy completely overrides the law of justice. Or the law of Justice is emphasized as our ultimate doom- the argument that because God is just, sinners must go to hell. Neither are completely true. “Can mercy rob justice? No, not one whit!” The Book of Mormon touches on this quite a bit, and gives a very well-rounded perspective about how Justice and Mercy are interconnected and how both are indispensable in God’s plan for the salvation of His children. A correct understanding of this is crucial if we are to have confidence in how to approach life.


The role of agency. If it weren’t for the Book of Mormon, I think I wouldn’t have as firm of an understanding of the role ‘freedom to choose’ plays in my life and in Heavenly Father’s plan. I feel like I might be more prone to feeling like fate controls my destiny, or that God already knows what’s going to happen and thus he controls what’s going to happen, and thus everything that happens was somehow meant to be and ultimately I have no control over my own fate. I feel like I’d take a lot more of a passive approach in life because I wouldn’t as clearly understand this concept of agency. The Book of Mormon establishes the doctrine of agency. It clearly teaches that agency is a precious gift given to us from a loving Heavenly Father, and that it is a major reason why we are here on Earth. Understanding the role of agency brings a lot more clarity and purpose to life and why I’m here, and gives me a lot more hope, knowing that God will guide me and make more out of my life than I can, as I choose to follow his son, Jesus Christ.


The purpose of life! Without the Book of Mormon, I feel like my understanding of the purpose of life would be a bit more hazy. I would feel a lot more aimless and not as sure about all the reasons why this life is even necessary. The Book of Mormon clearly spells out the purpose of our existence here on Earth, and adds a breadth and depth of understanding that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It teaches that this life is a probationary period, designed for our learning and spiritual growth, where we are allowed space and time to develop faith, repent and prepare to meet God. I love the Book of Mormon for its teachings on the purpose of life!


Answers so many questions of the soul, and explains The Plan of Salvation – talks so much about the plan of salvation and God’s purposes in creating us and in the purpose of our existence on the Earth. I remember watching a video produced by another faith, and I was taken back at how unfulfilling and empty their answers seemed to be. For instance, ‘Why did God create us?’ The answer was “Because he’s creative.” …. I was like, Huh? …That’s it? Or ‘Why did he send us here?’ “To glorify himself.” I mean, there’s truth to both of those answers, but they were so limited in scope that it didn’t really make sense and left me unsatisfied. It really made me appreciate the clarity of the Book of Mormon’s teachings to those fundamental questions of the soul. The Book of Mormon provides so much more context! Where did we come from? Why are we here? And where are we going? 



Repentance! Removes all doubt that repentance is absolutely essential for complete salvation. You cannot be saved without it. No unclean thing can enter God’s presence. We cannot stand in the presence of God in our natural state- we must be cleansed by the power of Christ’s atonement, and this requires repentance. 


The Bible does say you’ll be judged by your works, but it also says you are not saved by works but by grace. (I feel like the wording is a little more confusing in the Bible, thus leading to many different interpretations. The Book of Mormon makes this doctrine crystal clear.)



America as a promised land.  About 600 B.C., Jesus Christ showed the prophet Nephi a remarkable vision (that included the discovery of America, and the revolutionary war!) From it we learn that the independence of America was of great importance in God’s plan. And that God delivered us from all other nations and helped us prevail over the British and gain our independence. 


America is a promised land and that as a nation we are under a covenant with the Lord – we will be blessed with freedom and the Lord will preserve us from all other nations, if we serve Him. The strength and freedom of America depend on its inhabitants serving Jesus Christ. We must follow him in order to prosper and remain independent from all other lands. Ether 2:12.)


Exposes Satan’s tactics. I’m so grateful for the Book of Mormon in providing so much valuable information on this. He stirs us up to anger, he leads us to be complacent, to deny the reality of hell or Satan himself. The Book of Mormon helps me to more clearly understand the intent of the enemy of my soul, and the strategies he employs, which is pretty important if we are to combat Him.



It was written for our day! Many of the Book of Mormon prophets actually saw visions – where they saw the latter days. They saw us! And many of the things they recorded are in direct response to that- because they knew that they were writing for us, in the latter days, right before the second coming of the Savior. How cool is that?


Spells out several false philosophies that are prevalent in the world (“eat, drink and be merry”, “when they are learned they think they are wise”, the philosophy that revelations and miracles are done away, or popular false doctrines about the nature of God. It helps me to be able to identify many temptations and deceptions that are prevalent in the last days. 


Power to overcome sin! Whenever I read The Book of Mormon it gives me greater motivation and strength to resist temptation. It is a powerful persuader to help in overcoming sin.


Doctrinal Clarity

The Book of Mormon provides context and clarifies many things about Christ’s doctrine, and the how and why behind the ordinances of his church. For instance, one clarification is found in one of the last chapters, where the prophet Mormon clearly explains why little children should not be baptized until they reach the age of accountability. (Moroni chapter 8)


Hope! I feel like The Book of Mormon brings so much hope to life!! So many messages, stories, that reassure of God’s love and of the great plan of Happiness that was laid for us.


Details about the state of our spirits in the afterlife. Without the Book of Mormon, I would have many unanswered questions about the afterlife, and what happens to our spirits after we die, and when. The Book of Mormon tells about where our spirits go after death (the spirit world) while they await the final judgment.


A promise that more records will come forth. The lost ten tribes also have records that will eventually come forth, in the own due time of the Lord.



God prepares a way- always!

As taught in the Book of Mormon, the Lord doesn’t give any commandments that are too hard to keep – he always prepares a way for us to accomplish what He commands us- though it may take several attempts for us to find the way He has prepared. The Book of Mormon refutes the notion that ‘if it doesn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be’, or that if we meet opposition and adversity, we should consign ourselves to the idea that “God didn’t will it” to happen and therefore we can justify ourselves saying “I tried” and just give up. God always prepares a way for us to succeed, when it comes to keeping his commandments! And the blessings and miracles that follow our extra valiant efforts to be obedient are totally worth it. We miss out on those blessings and miracles if we aren’t obedient.


The Holy Ghost and the role that it can play in our individual lives. There are so many insights in the Book of Mormon about the Holy Ghost and how it works! Through the Book of Mormon, I know that it is only by the power of the Holy Ghost that I can know the truth of all things. The teachings of Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of ancient America also confirms that the gift of the Holy Ghost is an ordinance of salvation that is conferred by priesthood power (Jesus Christ conferred the authority to administer this gift to his 12 disciples in the new world). I love the Book of Mormon for it’s wonderful teachings about the Holy Ghost! 


Additional insights about Charity 

The Book of Mormon defines charity as “the Pure Love of Christ.” It is one of His defining characteristics. And a defining characteristic of all true followers of Jesus Christ. (Moroni 7:45-48). The Book of Mormon further clarifies that we cannot be saved without charity, and that we must pray with all the energy of heart in order to be filled with this type of God-like love. If we truly have charity, in the last days we will be able to see Christ as He is, and be purified as He is pure. 



Christ was kind!

The Book of Mormon removes all doubt that Christ is truly kind-hearted, gentle, loving, patient, full of love, etc. Surprisingly, I’ve read articles written by some Bible-believing Christians arguing that Christ was not “nice” and therefore, his followers need not be “nice.” But the Book of Mormon powerfully confirms that Christ was full of kind-heartedness and long suffering and pure love towards all mankind. He never does anything unless it is for our benefit, and His followers are commanded to also be loving towards all men. It is the very essence of discipleship.


Humility is absolutely required for salvation

The Book of Mormon removes all doubt that being meek and lowly of heart (humble/penitent) is absolutely required in order to be saved. (2 Nephi 2:7, Moroni 7:44). Faith is vain unless you are meek and lowly in heart.



The Pride Cycle

The Book of Mormon shows the great destructiveness of pride and its effect on the inhabitants of ancient America. It shows a pattern: God blesses people for being righteous, they begin to prosper and become prideful, they turn away from God and His commandments, God chastises them for their pride, sends down judgments upon them until they humble themselves again and repent). All throughout the Book of Mormon, it gives specific examples of what pride looks like in our everyday lives (costy apparel, separating ourselves into classes, having stiff necks and high heads, turning our backs on the poor, being puffed up because of learning/riches, disregarding the counsel of God, being unrepentant and unwilling to change or submit to the will of God, etc.)


easter jesus

Removes all doubt that Christ was truly the promised Messiah. Which is pretty important in a day where the basic doctrines of Christianity are being undermined and disputed by many in the world.


True nature of the Godhead. Removes all doubt that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are separate beings, one in purpose.


 A few Biblical teachings that the Book of Mormon clarifies:


  • Many people died because they would not look upon the brazen serpent that Moses made. Because the way was too simple.
  • The Book of Mormon explains exactly what it means to be like a little child (Mosiah 3:19)
  • Explains more about why Christ was baptized. Explains what it means to “fulfill all righteousness.” (2 Nephi 31)
  • Shows exactly what Christ meant when he said “other sheep I have which are not of this fold” (John 3:16)
  • Shows the true meaning of “the fulness of times” and “restitution of all things”, which are alluded to in the Bible.



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Clarifies what happened in Gethsemane. That it wasn’t just Him praying/crying because he was going to be killed on the cross. It tells why he bled from every pore. He took upon him our pains and iniquities right there in Gethsemane. It shows that Christ’s suffering in the garden of Gethsemane was a huge part of the atonement. That’s where it started, where he actually suffered for our sins, and that his sacrifice for us culminated on the cross. It also expounds on the Biblical record showing that, because of his great anguish when suffering for our sins, he literally bled from every poor (entering a state of hematidrosis). It wasn’t just a figurative thing (Mosiah 3:7). 


Without the Book of Mormon, I wouldn’t know that Christ didn’t just suffer for my sins only. He also took upon him my pains, heartaches, sicknesses, and every type of affliction you can imagine that come upon us as a result of living in a fallen world. Thus, there is nothing I have experienced that he also has not experienced. He truly understands me, no matter what I’ve gone through, because he has felt it too. Quite literally.


The Book of Mormon “refutes the notion that happiness can be found in wickedness” (Russell M. Nelson). True happiness can never be found in wickedness. God is the very definition of happiness, and keeping his commandments leads to true and lasting joy. Breaking those commandments and rejecting his counsel always leads to misery, because we are cut off from God’s presence.


Confirms that the God of the Old Testament is Jesus Christ. It’s not as clear and unmistakable in reference to the Bible alone that this is the case.


The Bible. That the Bible was pure and perfect when it was first compiled, but that before going forth unto all nations, there were some plain and precious things removed from the Bible, including many covenants, because of it passing through the hands of some wicked people. Resulting in many true followers of Christ stumbling and falling into great errors. But that the Lord, in His great mercy, will bring forth a second witness (The Book of Mormon) which will restore much of the things which were lost. That was one of the covenants He made to the House of Israel, which has been fulfilled.


That among those prophets whose writings were lost or removed in the Bible, but which ancient peoples had access to, were Zenos and Zenoch.


Importance of Covenants

That covenants are super important in the Lord’s plan for each of His children, and the means by which we can fully access the grace and power that is available to us because of Jesus Christ. Lost knowledge about covenants is one of the reasons why the Book of Mormon was prepared by the hand of God for us in these last days– to restore those precious truths to the world, and to gather the House of Israel back to a knowledge of the covenants of their fathers.


Alma 13 – Shows that those who are called to be high priests/prophets, are called according to their exceeding faith and good works. They are more holy than other men. So often I see Christian movies portraying prophets as just random guys who were called as a prophet, despite being very worldly and still given to the ‘natural man’. I suppose they do this to make them seem more relatable. But the Book of Mormon clearly shows that prophets truly were holy men who have ‘put off the natural man’, who are closer to the spirit than most, and who have proved their worthiness by their exceeding faith and works. They are not worldly. They are not called in sin- they are called in imperfection (because all of us are imperfect). But they are chosen because they have laid aside many of the sins of this world and have chosen a humble and repentant lifestyle.


Interesting tidbits:

  • Proof that baptisms were performed before Christ was born (some Christians believe that baptism wasn’t introduced until after Christ came).
  • Reveals that Christ came to visit the ancient inhabitants of America after his Resurrection.
  • Christopher Columbus was led by the spirit of God to America.
  • Not all the sons of Zedekiah (King of Judah) were killed. One of his sons, Mulek, escaped and was led to the Americas, and became a great nation.
  • That every prophet since the beginning of time has prophesied of Christ.
  • That Joseph in Egypt foresaw our day and even prophesied about the restoration of the gospel in the latter-days. 
  • That “he that hath the spirit of contention” is of the devil, not of Christ. The devil is the one who stirs people’s hearts up with anger, to contend one with another. We shouldn’t have the spirit of contention, even when discussing vitally important matters, such as Christ’s doctrine. Christ is not pleased when we contend and dispute over His doctrine. He said so himself. One of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to lay down such contentions (2 Nephi 3:12).
  • That John the apostle was indeed the one who wrote the book of Revelation (debated in the Christian world).


  • Baptism is required for salvation.
  • We will all be resurrected and eventually inherit some degree of glory, regardless of our faith/works in this life.
  • We will be judged according to our works and desires of our hearts.
  • That it matters to Christ how ordinances of baptism and the sacrament are performed, and that it requires power/authority from him in order to administer these ordinances.



Makes the Old Testament make so much more sense! Explains the reason behind the Law of Moses and why it was done away. Really clarifies a lot of things in the Old Testament! Brings all of scripture into one coherent whole. Everything in the Law of Moses was intended to point people’s hearts to Christ! 


Provides rationale for plural marriage in the Bible (that some plural marriages in the Bible, such as those to David and Saul, were NOT sanctioned by God and were an abomination, whereas some plural marriages, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were sanctioned by God to bring about his purposes in raising up a righteous generation). God has commanded marriage to be between one mand and one woman, except for a few instances when God chooses to have his servants practice polygamy to bring to pass a specific righteous purpose. 


Additional contextual insights about the Book of Isaiah was written for our day, and that it was and that it was prophesied that in the last days people would be able to come to understand many of the things which Isaiah wrote. The Savior actually commanded us to search the words of Isaiah, affirming that “great are the words of Isaiah.”


Christ’s atonement covers those who died without law. The Book of Mormon clarifies that Christ’s “blood atoneth for the sins of those who have … died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned.” (Mosiah 3:11–12.) And those who haven’t reached an age of accountability, such as little children, are also covered. What a comforting doctrine! Little children and those who died without law are redeemed.


Testifies of the needfulness of Christ’s atonement

The Book of Mormon provides so much context about the how and why behind Christ and what He did to atone for our sins. It sheds light on how it all works and why it was so essential in God’s plan. It tells about what would have happened had Christ not atoned for our sins. Were it not for the Savior’s atonement, all the earth’s inhabitants would come under Satan’s control, and we would inevitably have become like him. (2 Ne. 9:8.) Yikes! I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ and His power to save us.


All will be resurrected:

“Christ’s death on the cross brought about a universal resurrection for all mankind, regardless of a person’s belief or performance. Much of Christianity believes that the effects of Christ’s atonement are limited. Many people teach that belief in Christ is necessary for resurrection.” (Gilbert W. Scharffs)


Jacob clearly taught that Christ “suffereth [the Atonement] that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before [Christ] at the great and judgment day.” (2 Ne. 9:22) Moroni wrote, “Because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, … all men are redeemed, … which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep.” (Morm. 9:13.)


I know that just reading some of these things, there may be some that might be thinking, “Wait – that’s not what I’ve believed my whole life” or who might think that some of these points, at face value, go against some Biblical teachings. But I encourage you to read the Book of Mormon for yourself, rather than just taking what I’m saying out of context. Please don’t take any of this out of context! Because I promise it will all make perfect sense and you’ll see how perfectly it actually aligns with the Bible and you will be so grateful! The Holy Ghost will make known to you that what I am sharing is true, and that the Book of Mormon is a precious gift from our Heavenly Father, showing his great mercy and love to all of us, His children. He will not leave us alone to grapple in confusion with His word. He has kept his promise that He will recover Israel and has provided a second witness to establish His doctrine and deliver us from the designs of evil men in the last days. I’m so grateful for the Book of Mormon in my life!