A Book about Jesus Christ
“It’s a book about America a long, long time ago.”
If I had to say, in a word, what the Book of Mormon was about, then I’d probably go with…
(Okay, that’s two words.)
It’s true that the setting is somewhere in the Americas, from about 600 BC to about 400 AD, but the subject is the Savior Jesus Christ and His teachings. You may consider that to be nitpicking, but it’s an important distinction (the subtitle “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” was even added to the book in 1982).
The Book of Mormon is a collection of writings made by prophets who lived in the western hemisphere. Some of the main authors include Nephi, Jacob, Alma, Helaman, and Moroni (who is also the figure with a trumpet who stands atop most LDS temples). Mormon, for whom the book is named, lived around 400 AD, and acted as a historian, abridging and condensing 1,000 years of secular and religious history into a single volume. This record was then translated in the 1820s by Joseph Smith.
The purpose of the book is to testify of Jesus Christ. The prophet Moroni wrote that the Book of Mormon is written
“to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Title Page).
In some of the final words of the Book of Mormon, that same man admonished,
“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ” (Moroni 10:32).