The Book of Mormon’s Role in Missionary Work
Last year, I wrote about the power of the Book of Mormon and how it can be used to answer investigators questions. The Book of Mormon plays an important role in missionary work because when people read it with a sincere heart, the Spirit will testify to their hearts that it is true (see Moroni 10: 3-5). And when they know the Book of Mormon is true, they will know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. And when they know that, they’ll also know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only “true and living church” upon the face of the earth today (see D&C 1: 30).
My Testimony of the Book of Mormon Grew at the MTC
When I was in the MTC, I remember being taught how important the Book of Mormon is in doing missionary work. I remember at that time sincerely seeking to know why the Book of Mormon was so vital to missionary work. I never doubted the book’s truthfulness, but for a time I wondered why the Lord would go to so much trouble to have the Nephites preserve the record, and for Joseph Smith to translate it. I pondered and prayed about the subject for many days.
Then, I got a letter from my dad in which he bore powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and explained how it had been the instrument in converting many, many souls that he personally knew. It was then that the Holy Spirit taught me that the Lord, if he wanted, could have chosen a different book or a different way to establish his word in the latter-days. But the Lord chose the Book of Mormon to be that instrument. And because the Lord prepared it, if we use it in our teaching, no other instrument brings the spirit more powerfully than the Book of Mormon in testifying of the truth of our message.
Preach My Gospel on the Book of Mormon
This is what the Preach My Gospel manual says about the role of the Book of Mormon in missionary work:
The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence of the divinity of Christ. It is also proof of the Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith. An essential part of conversion is receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. As a missionary, you must first have a personal testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. This testimony can lead to a deep and abiding faith in the power of the Book of Mormon during the conversion process. Have confidence that the Holy Ghost will testify to anyone who reads and ponders the Book of Mormon and asks God if it is true with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ. This witness of the Holy Ghost should be a central focus of your teaching.
…The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion. It is the most correct of any book on the earth (see introduction to the Book of Mormon). It teaches the doctrine of Christ plainly, especially in the lessons you teach investigators. Use it as your main source for teaching the restored gospel.
…A central purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ (see title page of the Book of Mormon). It testifies of Christ by affirming the reality of His life, mission, and power. It teaches true doctrine concerning the Atonement—the foundation for the plan of salvation. Several of those whose writings are preserved in the Book of Mormon saw Christ personally. The brother of Jared, Nephi, and Jacob saw the premortal Christ. Mormon and Moroni saw the risen Christ. In addition, multitudes were present during the Savior’s brief but powerful ministry among the Nephites (see 3 Nephi 11–28). Those who know little or nothing about the Savior will come to know Him by reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon.
The following is a great video, created by the Mormon Messages team at the LDS Church, on the promises of the Book of Mormon that the reader can gain a personal witness of its truthfulness by faithful reading and prayer.
One of the most powerful ways I saw the Book of Mormon used was to actually place it in the hands of the person you were teaching. Let them handle it, read from it and then hear your testimony of it.
I never failed to see someone feel of the Spirit as we did this in the England Leeds Mission. Sadly not everyone would act on that feeling.
“Young men, the Book of Mormon will change your life. It will fortify you against the evils of our day. It will bring a spirituality into your life that no other book will. It will be the most important book you will read in preparation for a mission and for life. A young man who knows and loves the Book of Mormon, who has read it several times, who has an abiding testimony of its truthfulness, and who applies its teachings will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and will be a mighty tool in the hands of the Lord.” (by President Ezra Taft Benson, “To the ‘Youth of the Noble Birthright’,” Ensign, May 1986, 43)