Canonicity of the Book of Mormon
MORMON EXPLANATION OF THE RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL
The Mormons propose a curious illustration of how the gospel was restored to man after it had been “lost.” In September 1823, Joseph Smith was visited by a heavenly messenger [an angel] named Moroni. He appeared to him much like the angels did to the Church leaders in the New Testament. Moroni informed Smith that God had some special work for him and spoke of a record which existed containing the ancient inhabitants of the American continent, buried in a nearby hill. He told him that the record made known the full and complete gospel of Jesus Christ.
According to their account, many good people believed in Christ and tried to understand His gospel, but they did not have the fullness of the truth. They also lacked the priesthood authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances at that time. Everyone had inherited a state of apostasy and each generation was influenced by what the previous one had passed on. Smith’s first vision from Moroni marked the beginning of the restoration of Jesus Christ’s Church to the earth.
Smith received the record in September 1827 which was written on thin plates of gold. The angel Moroni led him to the spot where he found the golden plates. He translated the book into English by God’s inspiration and eventually called the text the Book of Mormon. It is named after an ancient prophet named Mormon who assembled the sacred tome. The book was supposedly another testament of Christ and verifies the reality and divinity of Him. Thus, it is another witness which confirms the validity and truth of the Bible. Those in the LDS faith claim that it is a powerful witness of Jesus Christ and helps man understand His teachings, including those found in the Bible.