The Importance of the Book of Mormon to Mormonism

1) The Book of Mormon is the Keystone of our religion

Bruce R. McConkie

"The prophet's expression that 'the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion' means precisely what it says.  The keystone is the central stone in the top of the arch.  If that stone is removed, then the arch crumbles, which, in effect, means that Mormonism so-called -- which actually is the gospel of Christ, restored anew in this day -- stands or falls with the truth or the falsity of the Book of Mormon." (Conference Report, Apr. 1961, p.39)

2) Our use of the Book of Mormon

Ezra Taft Benson

"Now, we have not been using the Book of Mormon as we should....Our missionaries are not effective unless they are 'hissing forth' with it....

"Some of the early missionaries, on returning home, were reproved by the Lord in section 84 of the D&C because they had treated lightly the Book of Mormon.  As a result, their minds had been darkened. The Lord said that this kind of treatment of the Book of Mormon brought the whole Church under condemnation, even all of the children of Zion, and then the Lord said, 'And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon.' (D&C 84:54-57) Are we still under that condemnation?" (Ezra Taft Benson in CR, Apr. 1975, p. 96.)

Joseph Fielding Smith

"It seems to me that any member of this Church would never be satisfied until he or she had read the Book of Mormon time and time again, and thoroughly considered it so that he or she could bear witness that it is in very deed a record with the inspiration of the Almighty upon it, and that its history is true....        

"...No member of this Church can stand approved in the presence of God who has not seriously and carefully read the Book of Mormon." (Joseph Fielding Smith in CR, Oct. 1961, p. 18.)

Joseph Fielding Smith

"Now the Lord is withholding from us a great many truths that he would gladly reveal if we were ready to receive them.  Did you know that a portion of the record from which the Book of Mormon is taken is sealed? The prophet was not permitted to break the seals, and we will not receive the sealed record until the time comes when the people will show by their faith their willingness to accept it. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3:201-2)

Neal A. Maxwell

"One reason to 'search the scriptures' is to discover these sudden luxuriant meadows of meaning, these green pastures to nourish us in our individual times of need. The Book of Mormon surely has its share and more of these...

"For my part, I am glad the book will be with us 'as long as the earth shall stand.' I need and want additional time. For me, towers, courtyards, and wings await inspection. My tour of it has never been completed. Some rooms I have yet to enter, and there are more flaming fireplaces waiting to warm me. Even the rooms I have glimpsed contain further furnishings and rich detail yet to be savored. There are panels inlaid with incredible insights and design and décor dating from Eden. There are also sumptuous banquet tables painstakingly prepared by predecessors which await all of us. Yet, we as Church members sometimes behave like hurried tourists, scarcely venturing beyond the entry hall to the mansion.

"May we come to feel as a whole people beckoned beyond the entry hall. May we go inside far enough to hear clearly the whispered truths from those who have 'slumbered,' which whisperings will awaken in us individually the life a discipleship as never before." ("The Book of Mormon: A Great Answer to 'The Great Question', pp. 13-16)

3) The Book of Mormon withstands scholarly scrutiny

B. H. Roberts

"The Book of Mormon of necessity must submit to every test, to literary criticism as well as to every other class of criticism for our age is above all things critical, and especially critical of sacred literature, and we may not hope that the Book of Mormon will escape closest scrutiny; neither, indeed, is it desirable that it should escape." (Book of Mormon Authorship:  New Light on Ancient Origins, Truman G. Madsen, with Noel B. Reynolds as editor, p. 11)