And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.Mormon 8:12
Much time is spent by some seeking to find a secular explanation for the existence of the Book of Mormon while others work to counter the critics and dig deeper for clues that point to a work of divine origin.
Even though this self-proclaimed imperfect record came into existence through the fumbling hands of imperfect but inspired men, Joseph Smith still felt confident enough in the message to label the Book of Mormon as “the most correct of any book on earth”. Joseph also stated that “a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book,” which is certainly a bold claim by anyone’s standards.
Here is a book with a simple message, it acknowledges its faults but includes a promise that God himself will reveal the truth of it to those who read and ponder its words and then ask with faith in Christ (Moroni 10:3-5).
But can we look past the faults? Do we see them as evidence of fraud or just the fingerprints left by the handling of mortal men? The book was not written in heaven, it was written right here on earth, translated on earth, and printed right here on earth. It is an earthly book but with a heavenly message. The Book’s purpose is to deliver a message, one that you must consult with God over.
I’m not saying that we should give up the scientific study of its origins and history, but do we examine this book so closely with the eye of flesh that we obscure the eye of faith? Do we rely so much on the ‘arm of flesh’ so to speak that we completely neglect an approach using the light of the Spirit of God as the book recommends?
Some have speculated that Joseph plagiarized the ideas of others for the Book of Mormon, yet no other source document has ever been discovered. It has been theorized that someone else wrote the Book of Mormon since it was unlikely that the 23-year-old could have pulled off a feat like this on his own, but no one else has claimed responsibility for the book. When all is said and done, there are currently only two plausible theories: either Joseph wrote it himself, and was some kind of ‘religious genius’ or the book actually is what it actually claims to be.
If the likelihood that an illiterate 23-year-old dictated word for word a 300,000-word document to a scribe in around 2 months is in question, then we must ask ourselves, if there is a God who can move mountains, part seas, and walk on water, could he not also assist a man in translating ancient scripture?
Why not give the book a chance and consider the amazing implications for the world if it is in fact a true account?