The Book of Mormon Is Written for the Gentiles

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

Many will believe it. These will carry it to the Nephites and Lamanites, "the remnant of our seed." (v. 3) By this means these will obtain knowledge of their origin and kinship with the Jews. (v. 4) This may not seem important to some just now, before the plan of salvation is completed. But we must not judge of the importance of any single part of an educational system devised by Infinite Skill, before we know it in its entirety. The real necessity for genealogical connections may not be fully known until the kingdom of God is established during the Millennium.

Alexander Campbell, who came in contact with the first missionaries of our Church, urged as an objection against the Book of Mormon that it deals with a number of modern theological controversies. And so it does. But that is not a valid ground for rejection. Truth is eternal. It has neither beginning nor end. Truths that we know were known to the first ancestors of our race, and to Noah and his children, through whom they were handed down to the various branches of the human family. Religious controversies must have been, to a large extent, the same anciently as they are today. Were this not so, the Bible, too, would have to be rejected, for there is not a modern heresy, hardly a modern, general theological question, that has not been anticipated by the authors of that sacred volume. God's books never become antiquated.

"Mr. Campbell lists the controversial points on which the Book of Mormon passes decision. An unlearned boy would hardly know these subjects, much less be able to deal with them intelligently. Here is the list of Campbell's subjects:

"a. Infant baptism. b. Ordination. c. The Trinity. d. Regeneration. e. Repentance. f. Justification. g. The fall of man. h. The Atonement. i. Transubstantiation. j. Fasting. k. Penance. l. Church government. m. Religious experience. n. The call to the ministry. o. General resurrection. p. Eternal punishment. q. Who may baptize. r. Free masonry. s. Republican government. t. The rights of man.

"Many of the solutions of these controversies offered by the Book of Mormon have been adopted during the last century by most of controversialists, without of course, mentioning the Book of Mormon. This may be verified by an examination of the present creeds of the churches as compared with the creeds one hundred years ago." (Dr. John A. Widtsoe and Dr. Franklin S. Harris, Jr. in Seven Claims of the Book of Mormon, p. 146.)

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1