"The Book of Mormon peoples, though Christians, were tied much more strictly to the pre-exilic Law of Moses until Jesus came than we in the Church have fully appreciated," wrote Elder Neal A. Maxwell in Not My Will, But Thine. " `And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.' (2 Ne. 25:24).
Elder Maxwell pointed out that scriptures attesting to Jesus' divinity are vital in any age. "Without their witness he will be considered a mere man (Mosiah 3:9) or
a thing of naught.' " (1 Ne. 19:9.)Elder Maxwell further stated: "Occasionally a member of the Church who is weak in the faith struggles with his . . . questions and circumstances and loses the battle. Those few members who desert the cause are abandoning an oasis to search for water in the desert. Some of them will not just wander off but will become obsessed critics occupying offices in thegreat and spacious building' (1 Ne. 8:26-27; 11:35-36), that large but third-class hotel.
"For believers, however, the great answers to the great question repeatedly focus us on the reality of the
great and last sacrifice,' forthis is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal' " (Alma 34:14).
Elder Maxwell noted: "It is touching that a jailed Joseph Smith, during his last mortal night - June 26, 1844 - bore
a powerful testimony to the guards of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the gospel, the administration of angels.' (See Alma 12:28-30.) The guards apparently did not hearken then any more than most of the world hearkens now. But heeded or unheeded, the Book of Mormon has a further rendezvous to keep:Wherefore, these things shall go from generation to generation as long as the earth shall stand; and they shall go according to the will and pleasure of God; and the nations who shall possess them shall be judged of them according to the words which are written.' (2 Ne. 25:22.)
"Thus the Book of Mormon will be with us `as long as the earth shall stand.' We need all that time to explore it, for the book is like a vast mansion with gardens, towers, courtyards, and wings. There are rooms yet to be entered, with flaming fireplaces waiting to warm us. The rooms glimpsed so far contain further furnishings and rich detail yet to be savored, but decor dating from Eden is evident. There are panels inlaid with incredible insights, particularly insights about the great question. Yet we as Church members sometimes behave like hurried tourists, scarcely venturing beyond the entry hall."