My proof: from our family scripture reading this morning:
And thus did the thirty and eighth year pass away, and also the thirty and ninth, and forty and first, and the forty and second, yea, even until forty and nine years had passed away, and also the fifty and first, and the fifty and second; yea, and even until fifty and nine years had passed away.
It’s clear that the Nephites didn’t know how to count! They left out 40 and 50 from their listing of years. Or Joseph Smith didn’t know how to count.
I file this reasoning in with the same reasoning that says the Book of Mormon can’t be true because Alma says Jesus was born in Jerusalem.
When I think about the truth of the Book of Mormon, I reflect on Moroni’s promise, that through the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of these things. The “these things” that Moroni refers to may be his few words of exhortation, though I have assumed them to be the Book of Mormon as presented to us.
In verse 3 he admonishes us to begin by remembering:
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 until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts (emphasis mine).Often we talk about Moroni’s promise by focusing on praying and getting that answer, but this idea of remembering the Lord’s mercy toward the children of men is an intergral part to getting that answer. Remember that in the beginning of the record we have, Nephi tells us that the record sets out to show the Lord’s tender mercies:
But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.The truth of the Book of Mormon to me is the reality of those tender mercies, the reality of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. This is not to say that details of the record are not important. The poetry is fascinating. The alternate geographies are interesting to consider. The list of animals is perplexing. But the testimony of Christ is constant, powerful and pervasive.
The spirit which teaches me as I study the Book of Mormon is, I believe, the Holy Ghost which does, as Moroni promises, allow us to know the truth of all things.
BTW: You can read my latest post at Real Intent "Walking the Path to Charity through the Atonement" here.