Monday, April 21, 2014

The Keystone of Our Religion

"I told the Brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book".

(Joseph Smith, found in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon)

The divinity of the Book of Mormon is very clear in that statement by Joseph Smith. The symbolism of a keystone refers to an arch. Though an arch is made up of several wedge shaped stones called voissours, the top stone, or the keystone, is essential to the integrity of the entire structure. Without the keystone the entire arch would be unable to stand.
The Book of Mormon can be compared to the keystone because the entire Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the truthfulness of that book. Without it, we would not have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, or latter-day prophets and revelation. We wouldn't have the Priesthood Authority of God. These things rest on the fact that Joseph Smith really did see God and Jesus Christ, and they gave him the power and authority to translate the golden plates into what we now call the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
The very first page of text in the Book of Mormon is the title page, where Mormon, the abridger of the Book of Mormon, introduces the sacred text, its writers, purpose and promise. Here we read that one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is "that [the remnant House of Israel] may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever-And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations". While this is a fairly literal statement, we can also see the symbolism in it. There are not a lot of written records of Christ's visits to other lands, except His mortal ministry in and around Jerusalem in the New Testament, and His visit to the Americas in the Book of Mormon (see 3 Nephi 11 in the Book of Mormon). However, we know that the Gospel will be preached to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people"(Revelation 14:6). That being said, by the Apostle John, we know that either at this time, or at sometime in the future, the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached and accessible to every person on the earth in their own native tongue. So while we may not know of Christ's visit to each place, we do now that they can and will know about Him and His truth and salvation.

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