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Question

Dear Gramps,

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking your time in helping us shed some light on uncertainties. My brother refered me to you. He reads your answers very often. I think that my subject is quite self explanatory. My fiance is not a member, he is very skeptical even after the missionaries have seen him a few times. I wonder whether I should marry him if he will not be open to the Gospel. The Holy Ghost did confirm to me when he asked me. We have two little children together. So I am trying to find information regarding evidence of the existence of people written about in the Book of Mormon, because that was one of his big questions.

Andorette

 

Answer

Andorette,

This is a very common question, both in and out of the church. To be up front about the answer, there is no proof of either the Nephites or the Lamanites beyond the golden plates given to Joseph Smith to translate which gave us the Book of Mormon. We don’t have the plates with us at this time, so even they cannot substantiate the claims of the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon.

We do have the testimony of the Three Witnesses and the Eight Witnesses that all said they saw the plates (The Eight Witnesses were allowed to handle them and turn the plates themselves). They were given every opportunity to deny their testimony, yet they never did. Many of them even became enemies to Joseph Smith before they died yet they never changed their stand on the reality of the golden plates.

So were the plates real, and by connection did they tell a true and historical story of real ancient people? Or did the witnesses simply maintain a lie to the end of their lives?

The key to understanding this question is in remembering the point of this life. We are here to demonstrate our willingness to live by faith rather than by sure knowledge. We are here to show how willing we are to follow Heavenly Father even when we can’t prove he really exists. We need to be willing to live by faith, not sure facts.

Think of it this way, if the LDS church, or any other religion specifically, could be proven to 100% factually be true, are there many people that would choose to never join?

We cannot find sure proof that the Book of Mormon is true, but then we aren’t supposed to be able to. We are supposed to use our faith by praying to God and asking him if it’s true.

Gramps

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