Monday, August 28, 2017

The Book of Mormon: It's True and it Helps Me

I conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon our 12-year old son, Seth, earlier this month, and ordained him to the office of deacon. And within three weeks, he got his first chance to give a Sacrament Meeting talk this past Sunday! And he did a wonderful job. He wrote it himself and really nailed it. As he told me later, "33 people" said he did a great even said it was the best youth talk she'd ever heard!

So, I'd like to share it here:

Good morning. I was asked by the bishop to do a talk on why we should study the Book of Mormon. I'm pretty sure he told me to do this topic because I have read the entire Book of Mormon before I turned 12. I did this to prepare myself to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.

It was hard to get started at first, but once I got going it was kind of like a snowball, and I read faster and faster all the way through to the end. I was worried that I wouldn't finish on time, but I finished about three weeks before my birthday.

Reading the Book of Mormon regularly helped me feel closer to the Spirit. It really really did! It's impossible to explain how much it affected me. It helped me out a lot, and transformed me into something much better than I already was. It's hard to explain.

I'd like to focus on how important it is to read the Book of Mormon every day, and how it can change your life.

First, it's important because it is true.

ElderJeffrey R. Holland talked about how Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith were reading the Book of Mormon when in Carthage jail, about to be murdered by a mob. They were reading it for comfort, and because it is true. Elder Holland said:

"As one of a thousand elements of my own testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth? 

Never mind that their wives are about to be widows and their children fatherless. Never mind that their little band of followers will yet be “houseless, friendless and homeless” and that their children will leave footprints of blood across frozen rivers and an untamed prairie floor. Never mind that legions will die and other legions live declaring in the four quarters of this earth that they know the Book of Mormon and the Church which espouses it to be true. Disregard all of that, and tell me whether in this hour of death these two men would enter the presence of their Eternal Judge quoting from and finding solace in a book which, if not the very word of God, would brand them as imposters and charlatans until the end of time? They would not do that! They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon."

I'm speechless.

I found out for myself that the Book of Mormon is true by reading it. Near the end, in Moroni 10:3-5 it says:

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

I actually did that right after I finished the Book of Mormon. And I heard a small voice in my head and heart shouting "YES! It is true!"

Reading this true book every day relieves stress for me. I read it mostly during the summer, but I believe that if I read it during school too, it will alleviate even more stress.

It makes you, in general, a happier person. It makes you feel better. It can help you sleep, if you have trouble getting to sleep like I do.

It made me feel more worthy for the priesthood. I felt like I didn't deserve it before, but then I did. I went from feeling like "I can't, I can't, I don't deserve it" to "I can, I can! I do deserve it!" I felt like I was more ready for the responsibility.

The Book of Mormon can change your life because it has helped me feel closer to my family, and closer to Heavenly Father. My prayers didn't used to feel very meaningful before, but now they feel a little more meaningful than they used to. I still struggle with that, but I know more scriptures will help.

There were a lot of parts of the Book of Mormon that I really liked — things that really touched my heart and that I highlighted.

For example, I really liked in Enos, when he prayed all day and received a remission of his sins.

I also really liked it in Ether chapter 12 when it talks about how faith always comes before miracles, and gives a lot of examples.

And one of my favorite passages is in 2 Nephi 4:17-35, which I'd like to quote for you now. It's kind of long:

17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

I bear my testimony that the scriptures WILL change your life, if you put the time and effort into reading them. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

No comments:

My Family

My Family
THIS is what it's all about. (July 2013)

Nikon FX-Format