Role of the Book of Mormon in conversion

Credit: R. Scott Lloyd
Credit: R. Scott Lloyd


Ascertaining the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is a revelatory and spiritual experience, Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy told couples attending the 2015 Seminar for New MTC Presidents and Visitors’ Center Directors Jan. 14 as he spoke to them about the role of the Book of Mormon in conversion.

Elder Nielson displayed a chart purporting to show 18 evidences of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He then told of an experience he had during a stake conference visit. He went on a “rescue visit” to a man who had stopped coming to Church. Asked why, the man took Elder Nielson to his computer and showed him some 18 items he had found on the Internet purporting to show why the Book of Mormon wasn’t true.

“As we talked, I turned with him to what, to me, is perhaps the most important scripture you and I can know, because it leads to gaining a testimony, both of the Book of Mormon and the gospel,” he said.

He referred to Matthew 16:13-17, the incident in which Jesus asks his disciples who they say He is and Peter replies that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replies that Peter is blessed, because that knowledge has been revealed to him by His Father in Heaven.

“A testimony of the Book of Mormon is revealed to us from Heaven,” Elder Nielson commented. “And many times we’ll use items such as these 18 that I’ve shown you to try to show someone why the Book of Mormon is true, and they’ll pull out their 18 items to show why it’s not. None of these things really matter. Facts and figures, numbers and documents don’t teach us the Book of Mormon is true. It comes to us by revelation.”

Among the eight fundamental principles of the missionary guide Preach My Gospel, “perhaps the most important one for us as it relates to the Book of Mormon is this statement that the missionaries need to understand: We invite, they commit and we follow up,” Elder Nielson said. “We need to invite them to read it, we need to invite them to pray about it. We need to obtain a commitment that they will do it, and then follow up.”

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