Church History Tour with BYU - July 23 - Aug 2, 1971 - Church History Part 2
While in Palmyra, New York, we walked up to the top of the Hill Cumorah and overlooked Palmyra New York.
At the top of Hill Cumorah stands a monument with Angel Moroni at the top. This is where Joseph Smith was told he would find the plates that he would eventually translated into what is now called “The Book Of Mormon."
Moroni was the son of Mormon and was given the responsibility of preserving the record of the people in America. As he completed his writing on the gold plates, he secured the records and buried them until at a time when the Lord saw fit to restore the authorized priesthood and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints that would begin the final gathering of Israel. Moroni was the last of his people after watching the destruction of a civilization that included family and friends. He was given an opportunity of seeing our day and wrote messages in this book that would help us.
Of all things that Moroni could have had on his mind, his primary concern was about us, our day. What did we have to know to get through our times without being deceived. The Book of Mormon is a second witness to the Bible and we know that Jesus Christ is the same today as he was in times past. Both books testify of our Savior Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. They testify that prophets speak the words of God. They spoke prophetically in biblical times and prophets speak to us today. The civilizations of past were put into bondage and died out because they rejected the warnings of the prophets. Prophets today bring us the word of God and warnings to help us prepare. We need to listen and learn!
This is a picture of James Froyd and Vicky Gurney at the Hill Cumorah Monument in Palmyra, New York.
While at the Hill Cumorah, we were able to attend a pageant covering some of the stories from the Book of Mormon. Below are some of the scenes from this program.
Nephi, a prophet in the Book of Mormon wanted to know of his father’s dreams and to understand them. Here they are depicting the birth of the Savior many years before it occurred in a dream that Nephi had.
In Nephi’s dream he was able to see the Savior appearing to the people in America after his crucifixion testifying that he was indeed the Savior of the World and that his words had been fulfilled about his death and resurrection.
Here King Benjamin is exhorting his people to keep the commandments of God. He encourages all his people to serve one another. King Benjamin toiled in the fields beside his people giving the example that he was a servant to them as their King. He was a very humble and faithful man.
In this scene, King Mosiah is old and is getting ready to step down and pass the kingdom to one of his sons. They all decline the position of king and asked their father if they could instead go and be missionaries among the Lamanites. This was a life threatening request as the Lamanites were a blood thirty people and hated the Nephites. These four young men went to the Lamanites with their father’s blessing and the promise from the Lord that they would be protected and their lives spared. That promise was fulfilled.
Ammon, one of the four sons of Mosiah went and lived with the Lamanites. King Lamoni was over this people. Ammon asked if he could live among them and serve. He was able to protect the kings flocks in miraculous ways which made the king think that he was the “Great White Spirit”. Ammon teaches the King that he was not the "Great White Spirit" but the power that he had was from Him. He taught King Lamoni about our Savior, Jesus Christ and King Lamoni is converted to the gospel. The Lamanites ultimately laid down the weapons of war and burried them so that they could not go back on their covenant with the Lord. The Lamanites became a very righteous people because of the four sons of Mosiah.
Abinadi was a prophet called to cry repentance to the people so they would not be destroyed. Wicked King Noah refused to listen and had him burned at the stake. Abinadi prophesied that King Noah would die the same way he was to be put to death which later happened and the people were destroyed and taken into bondage.
General Moroni was called to help defend the liberty of the Nephite people. He calls upon his people to defend themselves and raises a flag of defense with the following written on the flag “In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, our peace, our wives, and our children.” Alma 46:12
The ancient prophet and historian Mormon is entrusting the sacred records to his son Moroni. These are metal plates which contain a record of God’s word to the people on the Western Hemisphere. These plates, were later, in our dispensation of time, given to Joseph Smith by Moroni to translate and they became what we know as The Book Of Mormon.
In the Old Testament the prophet Ezekiel prophesies that a record of Judah (the Bible) and the record of Joseph (the Book of Mormon) will one day testify simultaneously, to mankind, to the divinity of Christ. We are living that prophesy and all are invited to read the Book of Mormon and find out for themselves of these truths.
In the New Testament, John 10:16 it states “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” This scene depicts the Savior appearing to his other sheep in the American Continent following his death. He is testifying that he was indeed the prophesied Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that he was indeed crucified for all mankind.
The Book of Mormon is true and will change lives and bring people unto Christ.
To continue on to Part 3 click HERE