Book of Mormon as Covenant
Nephi’s power to “seal” his writings at the command of the Lord (and his obedience to that command) make his words binding on all. They become covenantal. Hence the reference to remembering the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon (T&C 82:20). It is not merely interesting doctrine, nor even prophecy, but has reached covenantal status by virtue of the priestly seal placed upon it by Nephi. Mankind ignores it at their peril. It is a great loss when it is defined as just another volume of scripture. It was intended to be studied and followed as the means to reassert a covenant between man and God. By following its precepts, all can return to God’s presence where they are endowed with light and truth and can receive intelligence and understanding. All are invited to make that return. Nephi lived it and, as a result, was able to teach it. All should follow his example and live it to be able to understand and then teach it. It is the doing that leads to the understanding.1 “If I had to say one thing will do more to bring a person into harmony with the Lord than any other thing it would be this: Take the Book of Mormon seriously. I have assumed it is an authentic and ancient text written by prophetic messengers whose words ought to be studied for how they can change any person’s life. Though all the world may treat it lightly, I have tried to not do so. For that I believe the Lord’s approval has been given to an otherwise foolish, vain, error-prone and weak man. Take the Book of Mormon seriously. Apply it to yourself. Not as a means to judge others, but as a means to test your own life. It is one thing to evaluate our circumstances, which the book compels us to do, but we needn’t go further than to realize our terrible plight. From that moment the warning should work inside ourselves to help us improve within, see more clearly our day, think more correctly about what is going on, and act more consistent with the Lord’s purposes.”2 The Book of Mormon is not merely a book of scripture. It is the preeminent volume of scripture for this day. All other volumes of scripture are vastly inferior to it. It is the covenant that mankind has been condemned for neglecting. “It is the reason I have found Him. For above all else, I have used the Book of Mormon to direct my thoughts, actions, teachings and understanding. He is inviting us, using the text of the Book of Mormon to find Him, individually, for ourselves. This Book is the restoration of the Gospel. Unfortunately, most people have missed that. Nevertheless, it is true.”3
1 “2 Nephi 33:15,” Sept. 9, 2010, blog post.
2 “2 Nephi 28:22,” Aug. 3, 2010, blog post.
3 “3 Nephi 18:24–25,” Nov. 15, 2010, blog post.