News Release

Sydney Congregation Learns about Evidence and Witnesses of the Book of Mormon


Dr. Daniel Peterson, professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University, enlightened a congregation at Baulkham Hills, Sydney, on evidence of the Book of Mormon.

Dr. Peterson opened his presentation by commenting, “Kids like Joseph Smith don't produce books like this” before he explained the complexity of language, geography and history within the Book of Mormon. He said “whoever wrote [the Book of Mormon] had access to the culture” and historical facts that were not known to researchers during Joseph Smith’s time.

The accurate and detailed descriptions of landmarks, architectures and plantations found in the Book of Mormon led the professor to conclude that the authors had seen them in person, whilst emphasising that Joseph Smith was an uneducated young man who grew up in upstate New York.

Konstantinos Tzanis, a young adult in the congregation, remarked, “I was very impressed. It is interesting that secular studies can enhance a deeper appreciation of gospel truths.”

Dr. Peterson concluded with his testimony that “the Book of Mormon rests on spiritual foundations that are accessible to everybody, not just to scholars. … [The Book of Mormon] is a witness of God - God who is actively involved in history and who cares about the Church.”

Elder Johnny Leota, Area Seventy, closed the devotional by identifying the Saviour’s ministry to the Nephites as the crowning event in the Book of Mormon and reaffirmed the professor’s sentiments that the Holy Ghost is the greatest witness of the book.

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