I have often wondered why at the end of the Book of Mormon does Moroni ask us to pray to see if these things are not true? Rather than inviting us to pray to know if these things are true? Thanks.
Without asking Moroni, I can’t answer this question with certainty. It may simply be the way he speaks. It could be that if we understood the language that he originally wrote this in, we would understand. The most important thing though is not the wording, but the promise. We understand his intent, correct? He was telling us that we could pray and receive a conformation that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
That said, I would like to share a story. Years ago, a Baptist lady I worked with as a missionary was very hostile towards Mormons and she had two of us working wth her. We were 19 and eager to share the gospel. We gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to pray about it. A couple of weeks later, we asked to follow up with her. She said she had prayed about it and she got the answer that it was not true.
I found that odd and I asked her to tell me specifically what had happened. She said that she asked God to “show her that the Book of Mormon wasn’t true.” I asked her if she received an answer to that question. She said that she had not, and thus she knew the Book of Mormon wasn’t true.
I explained that to her that God cannot lie. When she asked him to tell her that the Book of Mormon wasn’t true, He could not do so. Any affirmation of the veracity of the Book of Mormon at that moment would likely be understood by her as a confirmation that the book wasn’t true. The lack of an answer was actually the correct answer to the question. Had she asked the question correctly–she would have gotten an answer with greater clarity.
So Matthew, have you asked if the Book of Mormon IS true? If not, I recommend you to do so.