Saturday, January 24, 2009

Book of Mormon as Prophetic Boot Camp

I mentioned that I would share some thoughts about the importance of the Book of Mormon. I am kind of intrigued by what a demonstrably powerful force, despite few obvious doctrinal deviations for the bible and Christianity in general. For me, there is something pure and powerful about its teachings on the gospel of repentance and Christ’s mission and atonement.

I wonder, though if in addition to its more universal purpose and appeal, it had a very personal and particular purpose for Joseph Smith. In some of the reading material for lesson 4, the Lord tells him that translating the Book of Mormon is the gift he should be focusing on. In Section 5, verse 4, Joseph is told that translation is “the first gift I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this.” Later, the Lord instructs Joseph Smith to stop translating for a time, and makes this interesting statement: “Stop, and stand still until I command thee, and I will provide the means whereby thou mayest accomplish the thing which I have commanded thee.” Sec. 5, v. 34.

I get the feeling that the translation of the Book of Mormon was the critical, initial training Joseph received to prepare him to be a prophet. He had to learn to be obedient to God, to be humble, to ignore the voices of the powerful and influential and listen to the voice of the Spirit. When Joseph made mistakes in connection with his assignment to translate the Book of Mormon, the Lord reprimanded him and gave him a “time out.” Because Joseph was humble and repentant, the Lord forgave him and helped him. What would Joseph Smith have been without the Book of Mormon? Interesting to think about.


  1. I'm substitute teaching for this Sunday and I found your thoughts interesting and helpful. Thanks. I'll be checking in here often for the reading. Good stuff.

  2. I am glad you like it. Stop by anytime. And please comment! My selfish motive is to get good thoughts from others!


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