The Trial of The Book of Mormon was never meant to prove The Book of Mormon true. Nothing like it ever will. God has never used material evidence to convince His children to believe His word. He has always required Faith.
Consider all the Apostle Peter witnessed in his few short years which he spent with our Savior. Peter participated in the greatest collection of evidence of our Lord’s divinity that any man possibly could and yet when the Savior questioned His Apostles’ in Mathew 16 vs 13, “But whom say ye that I am?,” Peter replied “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” How could a man seeing all that Peter saw, claim anything else? We would expect that to be Peter’s proclamation.
Yet, look at the key to Peter’s testimony. In verse 17 Christ tells us the source of Peter’s testimony. “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
The source of Peter’s profound testimony was “Revelation from our Father in Heaven.” – not a collection of cool miracles.
Each of us have the right to that same revelation when it comes to our knowledge of God, His Son Jesus Christ and the truth of The Book of Mormon.
The evidence presented in the “Trial of The Book of Mormon” is simply a profound and clear presentation of facts, facts that dispel the many false claims that have been presented against it.
No amount of manufactured evidence against the book will stand if it is true. And no amount of evidence for the book will prove it true. God established a process that we, as His children can follow to know the “Truth of all things.” As He did with Peter in the time of Christ, our Heavenly Father will reveal truth unto us.
At the conclusion of The Book of Mormon, a promise and process are given by a prophet of God that we may follow to know of the book’s divine authenticity or its falsehood. Follow the promise and you will know.
The Promise of The Book of Mormon
Roughly Four hundred years after the visit of Jesus Christ to America, the two final record keepers of this sacred book were a Prophet/General named Mormon, and his son Moroni. Mormon’s people had grown very wicked and were on the verge of total destruction by their enemies. The prophet Mormon had in his possession records that ancient Americans had kept and added-to for over 1000 years. Mormon abridged those records onto a single collection of thin plates made from gold. This sacred history written by ancient Americans was then given by Mormon to his son, Moroni, during the period of the final battles between the warring nations.
Mormon was killed in this final battle and his son, Moroni, was left to witness the total destruction of his people. Moroni finished the record of his ancient American people and deposited the plates in a stone box on a hill located in what is now known as upstate New York. Writing in his capacity as a Prophet of the Living God, Moroni wrote a message to us- the people who would be upon the Earth in the latter days. His message is one of great comfort. It is found in the final chapter of the Book of Mormon, and describes the process we must follow to know if the Book of Mormon is a true record of the Ancient American people and contains the word of God, just as does the Bible.
Moroni - as a prophet of God - was anxious for us, the people of the Latter-days, to know that the ancient record was true. He wanted this ancient record to assist us to “Come unto Christ.”
Moroni knew that such life changing understanding could only come from the Spirit of God. He therefore included in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon a promise to each of the book’s readers. It is found on page 529:
2 And I seal up these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things..
This is a powerful promise – a promise that could only be made by a prophet under God’s direction.
Although millions of God’s children have successfully put this promise to the test, the only one that matters today is you. You now have the opportunity to “receive these things” and you are exhorted “that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true;”
The promise from God is that “if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
The process to follow to receive the promise.
Please note that Moroni qualified this promise. These are not three conditions given by Moroni, rather they are important steps given by our Heavenly Father that, if followed, will allow us to receive knowledge from the Spirit. This same process will make it possible for us to learn the truth of all things.
Having a “Sincere Heart” is simply a genuine desire to know the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon.
Having “Real Intent” is more than a genuine desire to know something. It focuses on what you do after truth is revealed to you. Once you know the truth, you will act upon it; you will follow its precepts; you will abide by its teachings. When you approach the Lord in prayer, you should approach Him with “Real Intent.”
Having “Faith in Christ” is essential. This type of spiritual quest cannot be a casual request. This type of request must be found in a context of faith. You must believe that Christ has the power and authority to manifest truth.
There is a cost involved in searching for truth. It is not a cost of money but a cost of sincerity. We must be honestly involved in our quest to learn truth. If we are not sincere, we make it difficult for the Holy Ghost to testify to us.
Moroni promised that each of us can know the truth of all things by the gift of the Holy Ghost. He also realized that many of us may not recognize the Holy Ghost when it testifies to us. To help us understand how revelation from Heaven really works, Moroni continued by teaching of the gifts of the spirit. These gifts are found on pages 530 and 531 of the Book of Mormon. All these gifts come from the Spirit of Christ, and they come to all men that will receive them.
We should pray to receive the gifts that will help us to become like Christ.
Moroni concludes The Book of Mormon with these words:
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
The Book of Mormon has as its purpose to help us become sanctified in Christ. Please take Moroni’s promise to heart. If you will ask God, The Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, whether or not the Book of Mormon is true; As promised in the book, He will reveal its truth to you by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know it is true and I know you can too.
As you read “The Trial of The Book of Mormon,” as well as the actual Book of Mormon, spend time pondering the questions, “Could this be true? Does God speak to His servants the Prophets? Do they record His words and give them to us, His children?” And then ponder the ultimate question – “If it is true, what does that mean for me?”
God lives, Jesus is the Christ, and the Holy Ghost testifies of truth; and by the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things. God through His Angels, delivered the ancient history of His people in the Americas to Joseph Smith to be translated. Through God’s power, It now stands as “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” It is a companion to the Bible. I so testify!
A. Kent Merrell