"The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." - Joseph Smith The Book of Mormon, like the Bible, contains a record of God's dealings with a part of the House of Israel. It contains prophecies of Christ and also reveals how Christ, after his resurrection and ascension into heaven, later ministered to those who had waited for him in the New World. The Book of Mormon was anciently abridged by a prophet named Mormon and was engraved on gold plates, to preserve the sacred writing for a future time. Joseph Smith received the divine commission to translate the gold plates through the power of God. The translation was published in 1830 as a volume of scripture, a sacred record. We invite all people everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. "The Book of Mormon is true, just what it purports to be, and for this testimony I expect to give an account in the Day of Judgment." (Encyclopedia, 86-87) - Joseph Smith, Jr.