As Nephi concluded his sacred record, he left us a wonderful, comprehensive promise that when we "feast upon the words of Christ ... , the words of Christ will tell [us] all things what [we] should do" (2 Ne. 32:3). This is a very bold promise. Can we really receive divine direction in all things?
In the first chapter of the Book of Mormon, Nephi tells how his father, Lehi, beheld a vision. In that vision, an angel gave Lehi a sacred book, and "as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord" (1 Ne. 1:12). When we search the scriptures, individually or as families, our hearts and minds are filled with the Spirit of the Lord. With that Spirit, we can indeed find the direction we seek within the pages of the standard works. - Spencer J. Condie, “Feast upon the Words of Christ,” Ensign, September 2004
... either the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is another testament of Jesus Christ or it is not. Either it is the record of the Lord's dealings with the people on the American continent from 600 B.C. to A.D. 421 or it is not. Either it is a translation from gold plates, completed by Joseph Smith under divine guidance, or it is not. The issue is that simple and that profound. If the Book of Mormon is, in fact, the word of God, as I testify that it is, then the question of whether or not we should apply its principles and teachings in our own lives is already decided, isn't it? - M. Russell Ballard, “Steadfast in Christ,” Ensign, December 1993
We are promised great blessings in this life also, if we will study and live the word of the Lord. Here are just a few of the blessings we may receive:
1. Power to live righteously2. Power to overcome evil3. Power to change the heart and attitude4. Increase in hope and joy5. Increase in knowledge and understanding6. Increase in testimony
Jay E. Jensen, “Promises,” Friend, August 1995
Let us take the Book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field, securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time; let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth, yea, even towering with lofty branches and God-like majesty, until it, like the mustard seed, becomes the greatest of all herbs. And it is truth, and it has sprouted and come forth out of the earth, and righteousness begins to look down from heaven [see Psalm 85:11; Moses 7:62], and God is sending down His powers, gifts, and angels to lodge in the branches thereof. - “Truths from the Savior's Parables in Matthew 13,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Chapter 25
“Each individual who prayerfully studies the Book of Mormon can also receive a testimony of its divinity… in addition, this book can help with personal problems in a very real way. Do you want to get rid of a bad habit? Do you want to improve relationships in your family? Do you want to increase your spiritual capacity? Read the Book of Mormon! It will bring you closer to the Lord and His loving power.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson, Oct 1999, General Conference
“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, through it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book… You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”
President Ezra Taft Benson, October General Conference 1986
There will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Testimony Vibrant and True”, Ensign, Aug. 2005,6)
The latest MormonMessages video posted a few days ago talks about the work and conversion of a young bishop in England. It touched my heart as I watched it, for parts of it were my story as well.
What really touched me was when he was talking about the feelings he had when he read the Book of Mormon, for those are the same feelings I have had. He said:
“I just felt like I wanted to be a good person. It left me with a feeling that I never wanted to do a bad thing for the rest of my life.”
I remember that exact feeling in my own life when decided to ask God if the Book of Mormon was true. I had a great and fantastic seminary teacher who urged us to follow Moroni’s challenge in Moroni 10:3-5 to read, ponder, and pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon was not true.
I decided it was time for me to know for myself so I started an experiment and read the scriptures every day, and prayed every day to know if it was true. It did not come right away, in fact, I think it was more than a month later I was praying one day and I had this exact same feeling.
I wanted to do good.
I wanted to never do anything bad again.
I later on found this scripture that describes my feelings in Mosiah 5:1-2 right after King Benjamin gives his great teachings at the temple.
1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them.
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.
Now unfortunately that does not mean I have always been perfect. At the end of the day I am still a man just like the rest of you. But that feeling has guided and driven my life to be a life of service. How grateful I am for that wonderful seminary teacher (Love you Sister Bybee!) and her challenge to me for it truly did change my life.
- Write down your testimony of the Book of Mormon, or the Gospel and share it with your family and/or put it in your journal.
- If you have not given a Book of Mormon away in a while get one from the missionaries and carry it around this week prepared to share it with someone and see if the Lord does not give you the opportunity to change someone else’s life.
- We all have different stories about how we learned the Book of Mormon is true. Share yours in the comments or as a post on LDS Spiritual Thoughts.
- Have you been spiritually born of God? (Alma 5:14)
- Lamoni and his people are taught by Ammon and converted and declare that their hearts have been changed and they have no more desire to do evil (Alma 19, see vs. 33)
- Alma the younger teaches his son Heleman about his conversion and being born again (Alma 36)
“And Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the instrument whom God used to translate this record, testified that ‘the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.’ (History of the Church, 4:461.)”
–President Ezra Taft Benson, May 1988
(How to Download Video – Direct Video URL = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9cVyTbX1kM)
I remember when I was in high school I had an amazing teacher who challenged me to take Moroni’s challenge to heart and begin an earnest study of the Book of Mormon to find out for myself that it was true. I began reading every night and then kneeling down and praying to ask the Lord to reveal the truthfulness of this book to me. It wasn’t instant, but after about a month of studying and praying I remember one night I had this amazing feeling come over me. I knew first that the Book of Mormon was true. That these people had indeed lived and that God had revealed himself to the prophet Joseph Smith who had translated it by the power of God so I could have it today. But even more powerful than this testimony was the change of heart I felt. For me it was my conversion to the gospel that has served as an anchor point for me all these years. I, like the people of the Book of Mormon, had “no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2). How grateful I am for a Father who speaks to us today to give us guidance and inspiration in our lives! ~ The Husband.
Our Heavenly Father speaks to each of us in a way that is personal and unique to each of his children. The way that I have gained my testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is little by little. Piece by piece. Principle by principle. When I was in young women’s, a teacher showed us the promise in Moroni and encouraged us to challenge that promise. I went home and did as it said expecting a huge confirmation that The Book of Mormon was true. As I’ve learned since, I don’t receive answers that way. As I began to read in 1 Nephi, a calm and peaceful feeling came over me and I knew that what I was reading actually did happen. I knew that what I was reading was true. I am grateful for my testimony and for the calm assurances that build my testimony. The Wife
Scriptures and References: