When asked his opinion of the Mormons, Charles Dickens scoffed, “Imagine seeing angels in the age of locomotives!” From locomotives to automobiles to airplanes to deep space exploration, we have progressively moved into an age of extensive and illustrious enlightenment. Humanity is making unprecedented progress in countless fields, spheres and disciplines. Inventions that were, at one time, nothing more than the wild imaginings of science-fiction writers have become commonplace today.
In his book, The Progress of Man, Joseph Fielding Smith writes:
“Great progress has been made in mechanics, chemistry, physics, surgery, and other things. Men have built great telescopes that have brought the hidden galaxies to view. They have, by the aid of the microscope, discovered vast worlds of microorganisms, some of which are as deadly as are men towards their fellow men. They have discovered means to control disease; they have, by the aid of anesthesia, made men insensible to pain, thus permitting major and delicate operations which could not otherwise be performed. They have invented machines more sensitive than the human touch, more far- seeing than the human eye. They have controlled elements and made machinery that can move mountains, and many other things have they done too numerous to mention. Yes, this is a wonderful age. However, all of these discoveries and inventions have not drawn men nearer to God!” 
With all our discoveries and advancements in technology, science and education, faith has not increased in the world. Obedience to God has become arbitrary instead of obligatory. Righteousness does not rule our beliefs or our behaviors. Perhaps more now than in any other age of society, humanity needs to draw nearer to God.
In the Memorial Chapel at Stanford University we find these words:
“There is no narrowing so deadly as the narrowing of man's horizon of spiritual things. No worse evil could befall him in his course on earth than to lose sight of heaven; and it is not civilization that can prevent this; it is not civilization that can compensate for it. No widening of science, no possession of abstract truth, can indemnify for an enfeebled hold on the highest and eternal truth of humanity.”
What an enormous blessing and benefit it would be for the world to acquire a deeper abiding faith in our Redeemer and a greater love in our hearts toward each other! If we would enlighten our spirits with the same intensity that we have enlightened our minds and turn to the Lord, we could have the confidence that He will be near, that He will help us fight our battles and fill our lives with the principles of truth and righteousness.
In speaking about the Book of Mormon, Ezra Taft Benson has challenged all of us to “prayerfully consider steps that we can personally take to bring this new witness for Christ more fully into our own lives and into a world that so desperately needs it…. I have a vision of the whole Church getting nearer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon. Indeed, I have a vision of flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon.” 
What the world most needs today is to draw nearer to God. Anyone who has viewed and studied the Book of Mormon with more than just a casual pursuing knows the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s assertion. The Book of Mormon will draw us nearer to God. It is a meaningful and inspired declaration of Him and an additional witness and testament of our Savior Jesus Christ.
 Smith, Joseph, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 4, p.461.
 Charles Dickens later changed his opinion of the Mormons after meeting with a group of emigrants sailing out of England for the Great Salt Lake Valley. Concerning these people, Dickens wrote: “I went on board their ship to bear testimony against them if they deserved it, as I fully believed they would; to my great astonishment they did not deserve it.” After observing and mingling with the converts, Dickens was impressed with them and described these English converts as being “the pick and flower of England.” (See Charles Dickens, “The Uncommercial Traveler,” All the Year Round, July 4, 1863, 449; see also David M. W. Pickup, The Pick and Flower of England (2001).
 Smith, Joseph Fielding, The Progress of Man, Deseret Book Company, 1936.
 Benson, Ezra Taft, Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon, The Ensign, November 1988, p. 4.