As I was re-reading conference, I came across this closing statement by President Hinckley:
Now, in conclusion, I hope that all of you will remember that on this Sabbath day you heard me bear my witness that this is God’s holy work. The vision given the Prophet Joseph in the grove of Palmyra was not an imaginary thing. It was real. It occurred in the broad light of day. Both the Father and the Son spoke to the boy. He saw Them standing in the air above him. He heard Their voices. He gave heed to Their instruction…
The Book of Mormon is all that it purports to beâ€”a work recorded by prophets who lived anciently and whose words have come forth “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Book of Mormon title page).
He does not just leave his testimony to the Book of Mormon being true and then let us decide what “true” means. He says that it is “all that it purports to be”. He specifically endorses it as a historical record as described in the title page, which is, I suppose, the place to look to see what it purports to be. He also takes a very historical view of the First Vision.
Now personally, I don’t take these as statements of things I’m required to believe to be a member. I take them as guides to what is most likely true, and I’m lucky to get them.