“In February 1828, Martin Harris traveled to New York City with a transcription of some of the characters from the Book of Mormon plates, intending to show them to scholars at some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the United States” (from Martin Harris’s Consultations with Scholars at lds.org). By Harris’s account, one of the scholars visited initially attested to the characters’ authenticity. Though shortly thereafter—when the professor was told about the miraculous elements associated with the plates’ discovery and that a portion of the plates were sealed—he took back the certification he had signed and tore it up.
The ancient prophet, Nephi, appears to have foretold elements of this event (2 Nephi 27:15-18) and knew that in the last days those who considered themselves wise (without being open to receiving an answer from God regarding the matter) would reject his and his descendants’ divinely inspired words after they came forth through the publication of the Book of Mormon as translated by Joseph Smith.
“…The Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned. Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.” (2 Nephi 27:19-21)
If the Book of Mormon is the word of God, as it claims to be…
-Is it possible to gain a personal witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon if one reads it with a highly skeptical or mocking attitude?
-How many have the courage to approach studying the Book of Mormon with the kind of humility required to receive an answer from God regarding its divine origins?
-How many who consider themselves well-informed or well-educated will be willing to ask God for guidance and give the Book of Mormon a fair trial in their hearts and minds? What about those who see themselves in a humbler light?