I have reflected many times on the miracle of the coming forth of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Today we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the angel Moroni’s first visit to the Prophet Joseph Smith. What a remarkable visitation this was! Moroni was a messenger sent from God to teach Joseph Smith about the work that God had for him to do. Moroni became one of Joseph’s major tutors.
On his first visit, Moroni told Joseph Smith that “there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent. … the fulness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants.”
Joseph Smith translated this ancient record “by the gift and power of God.” This record is known today as the Book of Mormon.
I cherish the Book of Mormon and the opportunity to study its teachings. It is a thrill to invite visiting dignitaries to learn of its profound teachings of Jesus Christ.
The true value of the Book of Mormon can be summed up in the words of a man I taught many years ago in Accra, Ghana.
This man was a serious student of the Bible and one who loved the Lord. I explained to him that after the Savior’s Crucifixion and Resurrection He came to the people of ancient America to whom He taught His gospel.
Together, he and I read the Savior’s sermon to the people of the Americas. I then presented a copy of the Book of Mormon to him, to which he said:
“You could have given me diamonds or rubies, but nothing is more precious to me than this additional knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
On this 200-year anniversary, I ask each of us to consider: What is this book worth to you? If you were offered diamonds and rubies or the Book of Mormon, which would you choose?
I testify that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God. It contains the answers to life’s most compelling questions. Its truths have the power to inspire, comfort, restore, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls.
It is my hope that each of us will see this book, today and always, as it really is: more precious than all the riches in the world.