The Message of the Book of Mormon
Chapter 4: The Fruit of the Book of Mormon
The Savior stated: "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"
So what kind of fruit does the Book of Mormon bear? One needs only to read it to find out. The Book of Mormon teaches all men to keep God’s commandments; it teaches them to deny themselves of all ungodliness, and be perfect in Christ, that they may be sanctified in Christ by the grace of God. It teaches men not to turn away the needy, and to visit the sick and afflicted and impart of their substance, if they have, to those in need.
The Book of Mormon also teaches men how to exercise great faith in the redemption of the Savior of the world. It teaches men to be stripped of pride and envy and to prepare themselves in all ways to be ready for the Kingdom of God. It is the unwavering testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the Book of Mormon is indeed the word of God, a new witness from Christ which contains the everlasting gospel of the Savior.
All of this is not by accident, nor coincidence; for all things are done in the wisdom of Him who knows all things.
Christ brought forth the Book of Mormon to His Restored Church; not a church founded on the wisdom of men, but to His own Church which He restored to the earth, the same Church which was on the earth during his mortal ministry, which was taken from the earth (along with the authority to act in His name) when the apostles were killed without being replaced.
Revelation soon ceased after the original apostles were killed and churches founded on the wisdom of men began: "Ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:7) There was no true church of Jesus Christ during the Dark Ages. The fact is that very, very few people had true faith in God during what is called the Dark Ages. None had the authority of the true Priesthood, even if they had faith in Christ, because the Priesthood was taken from the earth after the death of the apostles.
Truth, not ignorance, flourishes when the true knowledge of God is on the earth. The Church established anciently was not to be on the earth until John the Baptist, and Peter, James and John came to the earth and restored the Priesthood and the authority to act in the name of God. John the Baptist acted under the direction of the Savior Himself.
First, John the Baptist restored the lesser priesthood (the Aaronic Priesthood) to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on May 15, 1829. See Doctrine and Covenants 13:1.
Later, Peter, James and John appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and laid their hands on their heads and restored the greater priesthood: the Melchizedek Priesthood.
The same organization and authority that existed anciently is now on the earth for men to come to know and see for themselves that Christ does have a church on the earth again, and that once again does God reveal His secrets to His servants, the prophets.
Once again can men know the truth from God. As Alma states in the Book of Mormon:
God cannot be deceived by anyone. But human beings can easily be deceived and that is precisely why the church needs a living prophet!!
The word of God will be fulfilled with or without us. It is not the teachings of God that are frustrated, but the teachings of man. Since Christ is the Creator and Redeemer of the world, He is the one that determines who shall and who shall not enter into His presence.
It is not for man to lead, but to follow the Lord and obey. It is for this reason that the Lord restored His Church, called prophets to control the leadership of His Church, etc.
Another reason that Christ restored the true church to the earth is to give people an opportunity to exercise mighty faith in the true and living God by knowing the truth. One Book of Mormon prophet, during a conversation with the Savior, states (quoting Christ at first):
It is by faith that men commune with God, and learn His will, and it is by faith that they obey Him. Without faith could anyone accept truth from God? Of course not.
Each person has the opportunity to determine for himself or herself whether the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The first step to doing this is to read and study the Book of Mormon for yourself. Then, prayerfully and humbly ask God if it be true, as was mentioned above.
Once you understand that the Book of Mormon is true you will then know that there is a living prophet on the earth today!!
Living prophets were called and chosen by God long before they were born on this earth.
Joseph Smith was chosen by God and called to be a prophet long before his birth, like Jeremiah and the other prophets. Nevertheless, Joseph still had to exercise great faith in order to be chosen to restore Christ’s church here in the latter days.
God could appear to Joseph Smith just as easily as he did to Adam, Moses, John the Revelator, and Samuel of olden times, to name but a few. And, as always, faith in the true God is the key.
God manifests Himself to prophets so that mortal men will know what He is like, so that they can exercise faith in a true God and not some imaginary God who exists only in the imagination of man.
Faith in the Savior is prerequisite to salvation. Therefore, God does manifest Himself to moral men because He loves us, His children.
Of course it takes faith to admit that a person does need God, and that he cannot find God without the aid of God through living prophets. Even while the Messiah was on the earth as a mortal there were those who would not exercise faith in Him. Neither would they exercise faith in Him through His apostles.
They even crucified the Messiah, and killed all the apostles they could. Many prophets, including Joseph Smith, were killed by wicked men.
It is by faith that prophets are chosen, and it was by faith that the Book of Mormon was brought forth to the world. It was faith in the God who created all things that enabled Joshua to command the sun and the moon to be still. It was by faith that Moses was able to divide the waters of the Red Sea. Were these events symbolic? Not by any means.
The Prophet Joseph Smith said:
I, Webster Kehr, have read the Book of Mormon more than 60 times. I, too, can testify that it is the word of God given through living prophets and that there are living prophets on the earth today. These are great men, chosen and called before they were born.
To learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the LDS church) and/or to obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon, see the Yellow section at the bottom of this web page.
Note: This is not an official website of the LDS church. The contents of this website are the responsibility of R. Webster Kehr.
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