Welcome! I am Samuel Young, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This website, previously a blog about my experiences as a missionary, is about my post-mission life. If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask me! You can send me a Facebook message or leave a comment. The things that I write or post here are my own views and are not authorized or official statements of the Church. Make it a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What proof is there for the Book of Mormon? [Part 1]

We were talking with a man (I'll call him John) the other day who was uncomfortable with the Book of Mormon. John opened his Bible, which in the first few pages contained annotations and maps and historical notes about events in the Bible and effectively said to us, "When I open my Bible, immediately I have maps showing missionary tours of the Apostles , I have historical dates, I have archaeological evidence of Christ's life, and much more. When I open your Book of Mormon, none of that is there."

In other words, "Where is your proof that your Book of Mormon is true? Where is the evidence? Where are the dates and the history? Why should you expect me to blindly accept as true a book of scripture supposedly translated by one man? Why do I need to have blind faith in the Book of Mormon when my Bible is replete with evidence?"

The answer is that God doesn't require blind faith. He expects you to read from the Book of Mormon and then sincerely pray and ask Him if it is true and if the Prophet Joseph Smith was really a true Prophet. One of the answers given on Mormon.org puts it very clearly:
Over my lifetime, I have heard countless theories concerning Joseph Smith - his intellect, his integrity, his sanity, everything about him. Some of the stories about him being a prophet sounded convincing... but then, some of the stories of him as a criminal sounded convincing, too. Then I read about Joseph Smith's visitation by the angel Moroni. Moroni told him that his name would be "had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken among all people." Well, that was certainly a true prophecy. So, it seemed, whether Joseph Smith was a prophet or not, tons of accusations and slander would be said against him anyway! That realization made me understand that only God could confirm whether or not Joseph was truly called of him. I got a strong confirmation of that truth. When others tell me that they "know the truth about the Joseph Smith," I always question their sources - it's usually a book or magazine article, possibly even by an esteemed, intellectual person. But I cannot and will not question my source of the real answer. -- Mike
As missionaries, our calling is not to prove to you the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Instead, we invite you to find out for yourself by going straight to the Source of all truth: God himself. Only through praying to our Heavenly Father and receiving an answer through the Holy Ghost can you know for sure, beyond any doubt, that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

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