BHR comments on antiquity of BOM.

B. H. Roberts

B. H. Roberts, The Truth, The Way, The Life, 2nd ed., ed. John Welch (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Studies, 1996), 469-470

Brigham Young University Press
John W. Welch, B. H. Roberts
Reading Public

The second vision of the New Dispensation: The Book of Mormon revealed. Three years after this first revelation an angel of God named Moroni was sent to the Prophet to reveal the existence of an ancient volume of scripture known as the Book of Mormon, a book which gives an account of the hand-dealings of God with the people whom he brought to the continents of America from what we now call the “Old World.”

(a) The Jaredites. The first colony came from the tower of Babel at the time of the dispersion of the people from the Euphrates Valley; they were called Jaredites, after their leader, named Jared. They occupied the land located in the southern part of Central America and founded a nation which existed for about sixteen centuries, and then were over-whelmed at last in a series of wars which ended in their complete destruction, on account of their great wickedness. This about 600B.C.

(b) The Nephite colony. It was about the time of the destruction of the Jaredites that a small colony was led from Jerusalem, under divine guidance, to the western continents, where they too developed into a great people and into national life. This colony was made up of Israelites of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and later augmented by a second small colony made up of Jews. They continued in occupancy of the land—chiefly in North America—until about 400A.D. Then came their destruction because of their rebellion and wickedness against God. They lost touch with faith and righteousness until their civilization was overthrown, and they survived only in the tribal relations such as existed at the advent of the Europeans.

(c) Summary of the book and its translation. This record discloses the hand-dealings of God with these ancient people through the prophets and teachers God sent unto them, and also gives the account of the visits of the risen Christ to them, the introduction of the fulness of the gospel by his ministry, which established a true church of Christ in the western world, with all the principles and the ordinances of the gospel necessary to salvation. Therefore it contains the fulness of the gospel. In this record God has brought forth a new witness to the truth of the things whereof the Hebrew scriptures, the Old Testament and the New also bear witness. Thus an angel came bringing the everlasting gospel which is to be preached to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. This American volume of scripture, God’s new witness to the old truths of the everlasting gospel, Joseph Smith was commanded to translate, and was given the power and means by which he could translate the unknown language of these ancient American peoples. The“means” provided was a “Urim and Thummim.” This consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow, a divine instrument used in ancient times for obtaining knowledge from God. This instrument for translation was found with the gold plates on which the above record was engraven. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, and through a century now, it has been published to the world. In It is translated into fifteen of the world’s languages.

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