The Book of Mormon is an ancient record of God’s dealings with a people who lived in ancient America, but were all destroyed around 400 A.D. Mormon, one of the last prophets of God who taught these people compiled their records and made the Book of Mormon under inspiration from God. His son, Moroni, then finished the record and buried it until 1827, when an angel showed Joseph Smith where the book was buried.
With God’s help the Prophet Joseph Smith translated the record. From the Book of Mormon, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints get the nickname Mormons.
The Book of Mormon tells the story of several ancient peoples; most prominent were the Nephites and Lamanites. The Book of Mormon is the record of the Nephites who for most of their history were righteous.
There were many periods of war and peace throughout their 1000 year history. At times they were righteous and at times they were wicked. Eventually, the Nephites became so wicked that God let them be destroyed in a huge war and only a few survived who intermarried with the other ancient peoples in America.
The central focus of the Book of Mormon is to testify that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind and that the only path to peace and salvation is to follow Him. The highlight of the Book of Mormon is when Jesus Christ visits the Nephites after His resurrection to teach them the Gospel.
The Book of Mormon is written for our day. It is a voice of warning, reminding us all of the dangers of ignoring God and rejecting His prophets. It contains the basics of what Mormons believe about Jesus Christ and teaches clearly about faith, repentance, and obedience to God.
The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (History of The Church 4:461).
To know if the Book of Mormon is really the word of God, you must read it, ponder it, and pray to God to tell you if it is true. You must compare its teachings to those of the Bible. Only by the power of the Holy Ghost can a person truly know if the Book of Mormon comes from God.