For many people, there is something about the Book of Mormon that draws them to it and makes them want to read it. Some people may feel drawn to the book even before they completely understand what it is. For most readers today, this simply involves getting a copy from missionaries or reading it online. But for one early reader, feeling drawn to the Book of Mormon meant walking hundreds of miles to find it before he even knew it existed.
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It is noteworthy that the Book of Abraham begins and ends with a concept that wouldn’t be even noticeable except that the ending represents a purposeful contextual anomaly. The last chapters are the creation chapters ending with the creation of Eve followed by Adam naming the animals. The other creation stories in Genesis and Moses recount Adam naming the animals and then receiving his completing other half, Eve. Why does Abraham reverse the order of this little detail?
The Book of Mormon is a collection of ancient records created, compiled, and abridged by holy prophets. Readers unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon are sometimes surprised to find how much, from the beginning to the end, the book is about Jesus Christ.
Often, when we think about the translation of the Book of Mormon, we immediately think of how Joseph Smith miraculously translated its Reformed Egyptian characters into English. This is certainly appropriate, but translations of the Book of Mormon into other languages have also been miraculous, in their own small way.
Following the visit of the resurrected Jesus to the New World, His disciples traveled about preaching His gospel. They then “gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting”. In response, “Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and said unto them: What will ye that I shall give unto you?”. A question must have arisen among the people, for the disciples asked to know by what name they should call Christ’s Church.
In a fortunate irony, it seems that the confusion about the timing of Christ’s visitation in 3 Nephi may actually be a clue to the text’s deeper symbolic meaning. This situation teaches an important principle: what the scriptures don’t say is sometimes just as important as what they do say.
The efforts to read the Book of Mormon as “inspired fiction” may be well-meaning, but they are logically incoherent. Daniel Peterson has succinctly laid out the logical problem with this theory. “If the plates really existed, somebody made them. And if no Nephites existed to make them, then either Joseph Smith, or God, or somebody else seems to have been engaged in simple fraud.