Eloquent and prolific

Prophets testify of Book of Mormon

With the Book of Mormon being the "keystone of our religion" it is to be expected that latter-day prophets would testify eloquently and prolifically of its divinity and power.

This they have done.

Typical is this statement from President Gordon B. Hinckley given at a missionary meeting in Rochester, N.Y., on July 12, 1996:

"Who can deny the truth of the Book of Mormon? It is here to handle. The evidence for its truth lies in its reading, its prayerful reading. Anybody, according to Moroni, can gain a knowledge of the truth, and millions have done so, through the reading of this book. You can handle it, you can lift it, you can open it, you can search its words. There have been scores of explanations trying to find some other origin of the book. Every one has failed, while the Book of Mormon goes on and on and on."

In general conference of October 1981, President Thomas S. Monson, now first counselor in the First Presidency, told of being a bishop at the bedside of a young man, the father of two children, who was about to die. The man pleaded for Bishop Monson to tell him what would happen to his spirit when he died. Bishop Monson prayed for heavenly guidance, then reached for a copy of the Book of Mormon on a beside table. It opened to the 40th chapter of Alma, and he read verses 1 and 11-12, which expound on doctrine "concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection."

"My young friend closed his eyes, expressed a sincere thank-you, and silently slipped away to that paradise about which we had spoken," President Monson related.

At a Church Educational System religious educators' conference at BYU on Aug. 17, 1990, President Henry B. Eyring, now second counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of the Book of Mormon.

He said before preparing the address, he set aside a period of time to read the Book of Mormon. "It changed my life. Suddenly, I saw it as a movie, in full color and on a wide screen. People became more real to me. I pictured the Savior and His visit almost as if I had been there. And I had a feeling for Nephi, who somehow knew about the change you and I want so much to make in our lives and in the lives of our students."

During his presidency, President Ezra Taft Benson urged the members of the Church to make Book of Mormon study a life-long pursuit.

"The time is long overdue for a massive flooding of the earth with the Book of Mormon for the many reasons which the Lord has given," he said in the October 1988 general conference. "In this age of electronic media and the mass distribution of the printed word, God will hold us accountable if we do not now move the Book of Mormon in a monumental way. We have the Book of Mormon, we have the members, we have the missionaries, we have the resources, and the world has the need. The time is now!"

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