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A BYU advertising team found that the best tool for changing perceptions about the Book of Mormon is the Book of Mormon itself. They got people from around the world of all faiths to read just one page of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Jeff Sheets and his BYU AdLab team set up stations in public areas around the world, traveling to London, England; Chicago, Illinois; Cape Town, South Africa; and Sydney, Australia.
At each location, the team invited 531 pedestrians (one person for each page of the book) to read a page of the Book of Mormon, looking for references to God and Jesus Christ on their respective pages. Participants not only came from different geographic locations, but had diverse religious affiliations and cultural identities. Sheets explained that the Book of Mormon Social Experiment was a powerful reminder of the similarities of God’s children and the Christian message of the Book of Mormon. Participants were surprised at how much their page related to the practices in their own religion. “Through this experiment, the participants each became a witness that their individual page testifies of Christ,” said Sheets.
Watch the video below, “Book of Mormon Experiment.”
Below are some of the actual people and the pages they marked up as part of the experiment.
“The book speaks for itself,” says Sheets. “This is another testament of Jesus Christ, not because it says so here on the cover, but because if you read it, you’ll come to know for yourself.”
Now Sheets and his team are working with the Church’s Missionary Department and Priesthood and Family Department to prototype and refine the experiment. In one test, the BYU team worked with missionaries and local young single adults to run a display in Georgia over three days. Elder Kirk, who had been serving for 23 months, calls it a highlight of his mission: “My whole mission I have been trying to get people to read the Book of Mormon, and in just three days I have gotten as many or more people to read from it than the whole rest of my mission.”
This experiment is just one way to creatively invite people to read the Book of Mormon. What will you do?
Learn more in the articles “An Experiment upon the Word” in BYU Magazine and “Elder Christofferson Says Book of Mormon Is ‘Tool of the Harvest’” from the Church News.