“December 30–January 5. Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon: ‘Another Testament of Jesus Christ,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“December 30–January 5. Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Before you even get to 1 Nephi chapter 1, it’s clear that the Book of Mormon is no ordinary book. Its introductory pages describe a backstory unlike any other—including visits of angels, an ancient record buried for centuries in a hillside, and an obscure farmer translating the record by the power of God. The Book of Mormon is not just a history of ancient American civilizations. It contains “the fulness of the everlasting gospel” (introduction to the Book of Mormon), and God Himself directed its coming forth—how it was written, how it was preserved, and how it was made available in our day. This year, as you read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and apply its teachings, you will invite its power into your life, and you may feel to say, as the Three Witnesses did in their testimony, “It is marvelous in [my] eyes.”
The title page of the Book of Mormon provides more than just a title. Among other things, it lists several purposes of this sacred record. Look for these purposes, and then as you study the Book of Mormon this year, note passages that you feel accomplish these purposes. For example, what passages help convince you “that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God”?
The plan of salvation is Heavenly Father’s plan to help His children become exalted, as He is, and experience the joy He feels (see 2 Nephi 2:25–26). The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes this plan possible, and every doctrine, ordinance, covenant, and commandment that God has given is meant to help accomplish the plan.
If you want to understand the plan of salvation, there’s no better book to read than the Book of Mormon. It refers to God’s plan—using a variety of names—more than 20 times. During your study this year, notice when God’s plan is mentioned or alluded to and what the Book of Mormon says about it.
Here’s an activity to get you started. Read the following passages, and list the different names given to God’s plan: 2 Nephi 9:13; 11:5; and Alma 12:32–34; 24:14; 41:2; 42:15–16. What do each of these names suggest to you about the Father’s plan?
The Holy Ghost can testify to you that the Book of Mormon is true, even if you haven’t seen the golden plates as the Three Witnesses and Eight Witnesses did. How do their testimonies strengthen yours? How can you “give [your name] unto the world, to witness unto the world” what you know about the Book of Mormon? (“The Testimony of Eight Witnesses”).
If someone asked you where the Book of Mormon came from, what would you say? How would you describe the Lord’s hand in bringing forth the Book of Mormon? How did Joseph Smith describe the coming forth of the Book of Mormon?
The Book of Mormon was translated “by the gift and power of God.” We don’t know many details about the miraculous translation process, but we do know that Joseph Smith was a seer, aided by instruments that God had prepared: two transparent stones called the Urim and Thummim and another stone called a seer stone. Joseph saw in these stones the English interpretation of the characters on the plates, and he read the translation aloud while a scribe recorded it. Each of Joseph’s scribes testified that God’s power was manifest in the translation of this sacred work.
See “Book of Mormon Translation,” Gospel Topics, topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
Perhaps your family could start a list of verses from the Book of Mormon that have built your faith “that Jesus is the Christ” and add to it throughout the year. This might also be a good time to create a family plan for reading the Book of Mormon: When and where will you gather to read? How will each family member participate? For additional help, see “Ideas to Improve Your Family Scripture Study” at the beginning of this resource.
A keystone is a wedge-shaped stone at the top of an arch that locks the other stones together. To help your family understand how the Book of Mormon is “the keystone of our religion,” you could build or draw an arch with a keystone at the top. What happens if the keystone is removed? What would happen if we did not have the Book of Mormon? How can we make the Book of Mormon the keystone of our faith in Jesus Christ?
Your family members could write down their own testimonies about the Book of Mormon, sign their names on them, and think of ways to share their testimonies with others.
In Joseph Smith’s account, what evidence do we find that God was involved in the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.