Does it seem possible that God stopped talking to man after the last page of the New Testament? Or the last page of the Old Testament, for that matter? Our ancestors were taught by living prophets, and those prophets recorded holy scripture—profound spiritual lessons embedded in the history of their people. While many of our questions and struggles are similar to those of biblical times, it only makes sense that a loving God would continue counseling His children with additional messages of hope and wisdom applicable to their lives. The Book of Mormon is exactly that: continued revelation from God that serves as a witness to the truths in the Bible and to the divinity and teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Mormon answers essential questions that we all have at some point: Is there life after death, and what’s waiting for us on the other side? What is the purpose of life, and how can I find happiness and peace now? Does God know me and hear my prayers? How can I avoid sin and learn to truly repent? How can I become the best possible version of myself?
These prophets lived in the Americas from approximately 600 BC to AD 400, and they wrote the histories and the powerful spiritual lessons taught to their people. Like us today, the women and men of those times struggled with temptation, searched for wisdom, and led happier lives when they followed the teachings of Jesus Christ. We can recognize ourselves in their stories—inspired and inspiring spiritual records that are similar in form and content to those in the Bible.
Faithful Christian prophets wrote and safeguarded the records now contained in the Book of Mormon for centuries before they were compiled by the ancient prophet Mormon. (In the past, some have referred to us as “Mormons” because of the title of the Book of Mormon. However, we are followers of Jesus Christ and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) We believe that Jesus Christ’s gospel was restored on earth by the Prophet Joseph Smith, who, in 1829, translated the ancient scriptural texts by the gift of revelation from God. Like the ancient prophets who came before him, Joseph Smith served as God’s messenger and testified of Jesus Christ’s Atonement and of the Savior’s ability to change our lives for good.
God promises us that if we read it with an open heart and an open mind He will reveal to each of us its divinity and its truth through inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Some 80,000 missionaries are teaching people about this book on six continents of the globe in 107 languages—and these people are currently putting that promise to the test. Missionaries give out copies of the Book of Mormon for free, yet 15 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints count it among their most valuable possessions. Like these members, people from all over the world, from every possible background, are learning that the Book of Mormon can help us find peace and faith in this life and find eternal salvation in the life to come.