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For week ended November 21, 1999 Posted 24 Feb 2001

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Sperry symposium: 'Power of the Book of Mormon'

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 its own."

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."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information