Most people think there are two testaments, the Old Testament and the New Testament, but there is also a third testament called the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ that chronicles the spiritual lives of several groups of people who left the area that is modern-day Israel and came to the Americas between approximately 600 BC and 400 AD. These people were led by prophets, had knowledge of ancient scriptures, and were visited by Jesus Christ after his resurrection. Faithful Christians compiled a record of their history and God’s dealings with His people and hid them. In 1827, a young man named Joseph Smith was led to these records and translated them.
The Book of Mormon includes the stories of brave military leaders who fought for righteous causes and triumphed with the help of God, families who undertook journeys to reach the promised land God prepared for them, and once sinful, leaders called to repentance who changed their own lives and the lives of others.
The Book of Mormon is a compilation of what prophets in the Americas thought were the most important, spiritual messages their people received. They went to great lengths to protect these scriptures, which were engraved on gold plates, for their posterity.
The stories and lesson in the Book of Mormon were preserved by the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and unearthed by Joseph Smith for the edification and salvation of the modern world. The lessons about democracy, social issues, faith, perseverance, humility are applicable to this generation
One of the most important lessons for today’s generation is taught by a pervasive theme in the Book of Mormon called the Pride Cycle. This cycle starts with a group of righteous people who treat each other with love and follow the laws of God, and are then blessed spiritually and materially. Eventually, because of their prosperity they become arrogant and worldly. They start to segregate themselves into social classes, behave promiscuously, and ignore the laws of God. Because of their sins, God punishes them in a way that removes their prosperity, whether it is a war, a flood, or a famine. Humbled by this adversity, the people remember God and turn to Him. They repent of their sins and begin to lives in accordance with His wishes. Because of their renewed righteousness, God forgives and blesses them. Eventually they become prosperous again and the cycle begins again.
This cycle, which repeats itself again, is sometimes frustrating to read. Why do these people keep on doing this? Why don’t they learn? How many times does this have to happen? And then it hits you. Everyone does this. How many times have you turned to God in a difficult situation, only to turn away from him when everything was going fine? How many times have your most earnest prayers been in times of difficulty? How often have you taken blessings for granted? Hopefully, after reading the Book of Mormon, you can strive not to make the same mistakes.