Summarized by Eric Bunker
Sperry symposium: 'Power of the Book of Mormon'
LDS Church News 20Nov99 D3
By Sarah Jane Weaver: Church News staff writer
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY, PROVO, UTAH -- Robert J. Matthews, the
former dean of Religious Education at BYU, offered the keynote
address Nov. 12th to a capacity audience at the Sidney B. Sperry
Symposium, the first of 20 offered in the two days of the event. He
spoke on the "Power of the Book of Mormon." He said, "It is a true
record and it is true doctrine and the truth has a certain power all
Brother Matthews called reading the scriptures a "magnificent obsession,î
saying that he first gained a conviction of the Book of Mormon when he was
18 years old and was reading it every day.
In regards to his testimony then, he said. "I did not know anything about
archaeological evidences, styles or patterns of writing, Hebrew language or
customs, biblical prophecies, or geographical locations. I have never
doubted the Book of Mormon, and when I seriously began reading it, I felt
something good working inside of me that told me the Book of
Mormon was right and was not just another book. Learning of external
evidences and internal complexities, while very interesting, has increased
my knowledge, but not measurably increased my testimony."
In his address, Brother Matthews examined a few distinctive teachings of the
Book of Mormon that are only alluded to in the Bible, but that would not be
understood without the Book of Mormon. They are Christís visit to America
and that Jesus visited only Israelite nations, the depth and intensity of
the Fall of Adam and precisely the beneficial consequences and how
extensively and severely that the fall of Adam touched every human being.
Furthermore, the Book of Mormon provides the clearest declaration of what
would have been the fate of every person if there had not been an atonement
by Jesus Christ. It talks clearly about the Law of Resurrection and the Law
of Restoration and how theyíre interrelated.
In concluding his remarks Brother Matthews explaining that of all the
teachings of the Book of Mormon, the most important is that it is a "witness
of Jesus Christ."