Two of the major purposes of the Book of Mormon are found on its title page, written by Moroni before he hid up this sacred record "unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile."
Moroni explained that it was an abridgment of records written to the Lamanites, Jews and Gentiles. Then he gave the following reasons for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon:-To show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever.
-To the convincing the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations.
The importance the Church places on the latter purpose has been emphasized with the addition in 1982 of the book's subtitle-- Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
LDS scholar Daniel H. Ludlow, director of Correlation Review for the Church, said in a new cassette tape, titled "Getting the Most Out of the Book of Mormon" tha the had always described the Book of Mormon as a witness of the Savior. But upon examining the roots of the word "testament," he became convinced that use of the word was divinely inspired.
He discovered that the concepts of testimony, witness, and covenant make up the roots of the word testament. The Book of Mormon stands with the Bible as a witness of Christ, it testifies of Christ and His mission and includes the covenants the Lord has made with the house of Israel.
In A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, Ludlow writes of additional purposes of the Book of Mormon:
-To fulfill biblical prophecy and be a witness for the Bible. Prophets in the Bible prophesied of two records: that of the descendants of Joseph-- the Book of Mormon-- and of the descendants of Judah-- the Bible. Book of Mormon prophets also spoke of one volume testifying to the validity of the other.
-To convince the Lamanites that they are of the House of Israel. Through revelation to Joseph Smith, the Lord said one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon was to bring the Lamanites to a knowledge of their fathers.
-To bring the knowledge of a Savior unto the remnants of the House of Israel through the testimony of the Nephites as well as the Jews. Mormon wrote of the Lord's intent that the record could be used to persuade the remnants of the House of Israel that Jesus is the Christ.
-To restore to the knowledge of mankind many plain and precious truths concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. For example, the Book of Mormon clarifies disagreements on how ordinances are to be performed and by what authority.
-To convince mankind that every person must be judged of his works; to test the faith of this generation; to help the faithful. The Book of Mormon teaches that man will be held accountable for his actions, words and thoughts.
-To help people of this generation solve their problems; to provide mankind with secrets of national survival; to prepare the faithful for the second coming of Jesus Christ and the millennial reign. Written for people living today, the Book of Mormon contains prophecies about modern time. Moroni wrote, "I speak unto you as if ye were present." (Morm. 8:34)