“December 30–January 5. Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon: ‘Another Testament of Jesus Christ,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“December 30–January 5. Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To begin, you could invite a few people to share something they learned from the introductory pages of the Book of Mormon that increased their testimony of this sacred book.
Reading the Book of Mormon’s title page, written by Moroni, can prepare members of your class to study the Book of Mormon this year. How might the messages on the title page enhance their study? Maybe you could write one or more questions on the board—such as Why do we have the Book of Mormon? or How is the Book of Mormon different from other books?—and invite class members to look for answers as they review the title page individually or in pairs. They could then share impressions that came to them. You might also encourage class members to discuss their plans for studying the Book of Mormon this year. For example, what will they be looking for? How will they learn from the Holy Ghost as they study?
One of the most important purposes of the Book of Mormon is stated on its title page: to convince “Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ.” You might invite class members to share passages from the Book of Mormon that have strengthened their faith in Jesus Christ (they could also read a few passages listed in “Additional Resources”). Class members could read some of these verses with someone sitting nearby and share how the Book of Mormon has influenced their testimony of the Savior.
The introduction to the Book of Mormon provides information that is important for readers to understand. Your class members might benefit from scanning the introduction and identifying three to five points that would be helpful to share with someone reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. Class members could then share what they find. They may even want to role-play introducing the Book of Mormon to someone. The videos suggested in “Additional Resources” might also help.
Some members of your class may have had experiences that confirmed the truth of Joseph Smith’s words: “A man would get nearer to God by abiding by [the Book of Mormon’s] precepts, than by any other book.” You might ask class members to share how living the truths they’ve learned in the Book of Mormon has helped them get nearer to God. You could also invite class members to share answers to these three questions suggested by President Russell M. Nelson: “First, what would your life be like without the Book of Mormon? Second, what would you not know? And third, what would you not have?” (“The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 61).
Did anyone in your class read Book of Mormon passages that contain different names for the plan of salvation, as suggested in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families? If so, invite them to share what they learned.
Studying the testimonies of the Three and the Eight Witnesses could strengthen your class members’ testimonies and help them ponder how they might share their own witnesses. You could ask half of the class to read “The Testimony of Three Witnesses” and the other half to read “The Testimony of Eight Witnesses” and share impressions or details that stand out to them. How are the two testimonies different? How are they similar? What do we learn from these witnesses about sharing our testimonies? To start a discussion about why the Three Witnesses are important, you could share President Dallin H. Oaks’s statement or John Whitmer’s testimony in “Additional Resources,” or you might show the video “The Testimony of the Three Witnesses” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Class members may already be familiar with the events described in “The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” but perhaps you can help them find new insights. For example, you could invite them to list key events in Joseph Smith’s account. What can we conclude from his experience about the importance the Lord has placed on the Book of Mormon?
The hymn “An Angel from on High” (Hymns, no. 13) tells of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. After singing or listening to this hymn, class members could find statements in “The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith” that match or reinforce phrases in the song.
To inspire class members to read 1 Nephi 1–7, invite them to look for ideas or truths that help them with their current life circumstances—for example, a family challenge or a Church calling.
“Book of Mormon Introduction”
“What Is the Book of Mormon? A 60-Second Overview”
“A Book of Mormon Story”
For more, see the Book of Mormon Videos collection on ChurchofJesusChrist.org or the Gospel Library app.
President Dallin H. Oaks explained why the testimony of the Three Witnesses is so compelling:
“The testimony of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon stands forth in great strength. Each of the three had ample reason and opportunity to renounce his testimony if it had been false, or to equivocate on details if any had been inaccurate. As is well known, because of disagreements or jealousies involving other leaders of the Church, each one of these three witnesses was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by about eight years after the publication of their testimony. All three went their separate ways, with no common interest to support a collusive effort. Yet to the end of their lives—periods ranging from 12 to 50 years after their excommunications—not one of these witnesses deviated from his published testimony or said anything that cast any shadow on its truthfulness” (“The Witness: Martin Harris,” Ensign, May 1999, 36).
John Whitmer, one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, declared: “I have never heard that any one of the three or eight witnesses ever denied the testimony that they have borne. … Our names have gone forth to all nations, tongues and people as a divine revelation from God. And it will bring to pass the designs of God according to the declaration therein contained” (in Noel B. Reynolds, ed., Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited: The Evidence for Ancient Origins , 55–56).