by Richard E. Rupe

The author quotes various Latter Day Saint and Community of Christ historians and authors that have expressed the view that the identity of the Church and the Restoration movement as a whole is centered in its "founding event," the publishing of the Book of Mormon. Indeed, Joseph Smith, Jr., has identified the Book of Mormon as the "keystone of our religion." As such, the Book of Mormon becomes the focal point for the author's search concerning his own religious identity and the validity of the Restoration movement which has been so much a part of his life. While deciding upon the historicity and truthfulness of the Book of Mormon will not magically solve all theological issues facing the Community of Christ, it would at least give the Church a basic direction as it searches for its true identity in the 21st Century.

The author's expressed wish is that his words will appeal to all, regardless of Church affiliation, that have a love and appreciation for the Book of Mormon, the book that ushered forth a new era in religion, the book described by Emma Smith, wife of the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., as truly a "marvel and a wonder."