The members of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints are often called Mormons because of a book of scripture that they believe in which is another testament of Jesus Christ, in addition to the Bible. It is called the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon is a record of prophets who lived on the ancient American continents. These prophets kept records of their people’s history and spiritual experiences between the years of 600 BC, when they emigrated from the city of Jerusalem, and 421 AD.
The Book of Mormon contains prophecies and testimonies about Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. It contains experiences the people had, that show how mindful the Lord is of all His people and that His mercy is sufficient for all that believe in Him. It is a book of scripture that teaches about the power of repentance, forgiveness, and charity. It teaches how people can come unto Christ and learn his ways. The book also contains an account of Christ’s visit to this people, his teachings, and his prayers to the Father on their behalf.
The name of the book was derived from the name of the prophet historian who abridged all the ancient prophetic records into one volume. His name was Mormon. After Mormon’s death, the abridged record was passed to his son Moroni, who wrote the last portion of the book. Moroni then hid the book from the world, trusting that it would come forth in God’s own due time.
Then, in the year 1820, this same Moroni appeared as an angel to Joseph Smith, a 14-year old farm boy in New York. Moroni introduced the book to Joseph and told him what he should do. The boy’s mission was to translate the Book of Mormon into the English language. He was guided and equipped by the Lord to accomplish the translation. He used special stones called the “Urim, Thummim, and a seer stone” to help with the translation—instruments that were similar to what prophets used in the Old Testament.
The first edition of the Book of Mormon was published in English on March 26, 1830. Since then, the Book of Mormon has been translated into 82 languages, and more than 150 million copies have been printed.
Mormons believe that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, they do not discount the role of the Bible. Mormons believe that both books of scripture are testaments of Jesus Christ. They both contain the teachings of Jesus Christ, that show people how to live with greater happiness and fulfillment. Mormons believe that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are complementary books of scripture, both testifying of the mission and Messiahship of Jesus Christ and God’s plan for mankind.