The principal and commanding figure in the Book of Mormon, from first chapter to last, is the Lord Jesus Christ. In its unparalleled focus on the Messianic message of the Savior of the world, the Book of Mormon is rightly referred to as God’s “new covenant” with the house of Israel.
Jeffrey R. Holland
Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon
The title page to the Book of Mormon provides some insightful information. The central doctrine focuses on Jesus Christ. His atonement, divinity, and mission. It also correlates God’s everlasting covenant He has made to Jew and Gentile alike.
As each one of us begins our prayerful, and mindful, study of this sacred text – let us bear in mind the great truths that will be revealed unto each one of us. Through our study, the idea is to draw closer to God. Come to full awareness of Christ’s atonement and mission. And, to find healing, restoration, and fresh faith and power to live a spiritually enriching life where we become like Christ.
Commentary on the Title Page
The title page of the Book of Mormon begins:
The Book of Mormon, an account written by the hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi.
Two paragraphs follow this, and are attributed to Moroni, son of Mormon. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained:
The title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general [that is, from right to left]; and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation.(History of the Church, 1:71)
The first paragraph of the title page discusses the purpose of the Book of Mormon:
- An abridgment of a sacred record written to the Lamanites – a remnant house of Israel
- Written to Jew and Gentile alike
- Written by way of commandment, spirit of prophecy, and revelation
- Sealed up and hidden so that they may not be destroyed
- Come forth by the gift and power of God in due time by the way of the Gentile – interpreted by the Gift of God
The second paragraph focuses on two additional purposes:
- A second abridgment of an even more ancient and sacred record of another people
- Show the remnants of the house of Israel what great things the Lord has done for the ancient fathers
- To know and understand the sacred covenants of the Lord
- To know they are not cast off forever
- Convince Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ – Son of the Living God – manifesting himself to all nations
- The record stands true, despite any human errors or mistakes
- Such a record of Jesus Christ not to be condemned
Come forth in due time and written for us today
For those who have not fully invested any personal time and study into the Book of Mormon – one key concept is that this record was written unto us and for our day. Unlike the Old Testament (a history of God’s dealings with the nation and house of Israel) and the many messianic prophesies of the coming of Jesus Christ. Unlike the New Testament written of Christ’s ministry, miracles, death and resurrection, letters to various churches and individual’s. The Book of Mormon is an abridged record written to us today.
Elder L. Tom Perry states:
Why is the reading of the Book of Mormon so important to us today? It is because the major writers of the Book of Mormon fully understood that their writings were primarily for the people of a future generation rather than for the people of their own generation. Moroni wrote to our generation, “I speak unto you as if ye were present (Mormon 8:35)”Ensign, Nov. 2005, 6–7
The most sacred and spiritual principles were chosen by Mormon to be an abridgment – or, condensing the records in order to retain essential principle truths that may benefit us today. It is written, and then translated, unto us in a manner where we are challenged to apply the principle truths into our daily lives.
President Ezra Taft Benson shared this insight:
If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, ‘Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?’The Book of Mormon – Keystone of our Religion: Ensign, Nov. 1986
Undoubtedly, the Book of Mormon is very unique. It is written to convince us of the reality of Jesus Christ. It is written to convince us of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the importance in following Christ. It is written for us today to warn us of the dangers we face. The Book of Mormon was written to make a significant spiritual impact and influence in our personal lives.
As you meditate – seek wisdom on the following points:
- How was the Book of Mormon written for me today?
- What questions to I have?
- What are my challenges?
- What problems am I seeking solutions for?
- How will the Book of Mormon bring me closer to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
Feel free to share your response to this in the comment section below.
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