Praying about the
Book of Mormon
Mormons tell you to pray to know the Book of Mormon is true. Having gotten this “burning in the bosom,” they disregard any evidence pointing to its falsehood. But what does Scripture say about discerning truth?
- “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
- “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
- “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). In verse 2, we read that Paul “reasoned with them out of the scriptures” (see also Acts 9:22, 29; 17:17; 18:4, 28; 19:8).
Latter-day Saints, too, reason with people out of the scriptures (mostly the Bible) and invite people to look into the matter before praying about it. Indeed, Moroni’s promise in the Book of Mormon expects that people will read and contemplate the book before praying about it: “Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down unto the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:3-5).
I have long had a spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon, but I have never felt the “burning in the bosom.” Some critics of Latter-day Saint beliefs jokingly call this feeling “heartburn.” Ironically, though supposedly basing their own beliefs on the Bible alone, these critics fail to recognize that the idea is found in Luke 24:32, where we read of two of Christ’s disciples to whom he appeared after his resurrection: “said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” See also Jeremiah 20:9, “But his [God’s] word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones.”
This principle is also found in John 14:26, where Jesus tells his apostles that “the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.”