a biography

The Book of Mormon has been translated into more than one hundred different languages, and the polyglot nature of the book is reflected in the curriculum offered in Provo’s Training Center. This center trains missionaries in more than fifty languages. The length of time missionaries spend at the center is directly tied to the language they will be using in their mission work. Those who are going on English-speaking missions spend nineteen days at the center; those who will be ministering in Romance languages spend nine weeks in training; while those learning non-Romance languages such as Chinese and Japanese spend the longest period at the center, eleven weeks. Almost all of the language training is done by eight hundred part-time instructors, most of whom are students at the neighboring Brigham Young University campus who have just returned from their mission work.

. . . The distinctive character of Mormonism is firmly rooted in the Book of Mormon, as it stands as a testimony to God’s restored priesthood and Church on the earth. To underline this message, the Guide involves the words of Ezra Taft Benson, who pointed to the book as the single best response to anyone who objects to the teachings of Mormonism. Benson put it simply: “The only problem the objector has to resolve for himself is whether the Book of Mormon is true. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was his prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation.” In this spirit, the Guide instructs missionaries to introduce the Book of Mormon as early as possible in their encounters with nonbelievers.

. . . Ultimately, confirmation of the book’s truths is left to the workings of higher spiritual forces, not to the persuasive abilities of the missionary.

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