Thankful for the Book of Mormon

    reading

    At the October 2017 general conference President Russell M. Nelson said: “Remember in the Sunday morning session of the April 2017 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson pleaded with ‘each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day.’ Many have responded to our prophet’s plea….

    “…Since President Monson’s challenge six months ago, I have tried to follow his counsel. Among other things, I’ve made lists of what the Book of Mormon is, what it affirms, what it refutes, what it fulfills, what it clarifies, and what it reveals. Looking at the Book of Mormon through these lenses has been an insightful and inspiring exercise! I recommend it to each of you” (“The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It,” Ensign, Nov. 2017).

    scripture reading

    If President Nelson felt a need to be more thorough in his studies of the Book of Mormon, then I too should do the same.

    Book of Mormon Gratitude List

    President Monson taught at the October 2010 general conference, “My sincere, heartfelt prayer is that we may in our individual lives reflect that marvellous virtue of gratitude” (“The Divine Gift of Gratitude,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 90). Identifying why I am thankful for the Book of Mormon has helped me recognize its great value in my life.

    • Testimonies of families are exemplified in the Book of Mormon. Parents did “labor diligently” to teach their children “to believe in Christ” (2 Nephi 25:23); fathers “prayed with much faith” for their children (Mosiah 27:14); children were “taught by their mothers” (Alma 56:47). Ancient families struggled to live the gospel just as modern families do.

    Lehi's family
    • Nephi, Jacob, Alma, Helaman, Mormon, and Moroni shared their lives and their interactions with God so that we can be taught, guided, and strengthened. I have offered many prayers of gratitude for record keepers who shared their experiences so that I might learn from them.

    • Examples of repentance are shown. After Alma the Younger cried out for Christ to forgive his many sins, his “soul was filled with joy” (Alma 36:18,20).

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    • The Brother of Jared was chastised for failing to pray (Ether 2:14). He repented and through his faithfulness Jesus Christ “showed himself unto him” (Ether 3:13).

    • Enos demonstrates how to gain a life-long testimony. His father had taught him the gospel, but he still needed to take the steps to let his father’s words sink “deep into [his] heart” so that his “soul hungered” with desire, and he “kneeled down before [his] Maker, and [he] cried unto him in mighty prayer” (Enos 1:3-4). From answers to prayers, Enos spent the rest of his life “testifying of the things which [he] had heard and seen” (Enos 1:19).

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    • When the Saviour appeared to a multitude of about 2500 people gathered at the temple in Bountiful, each one “did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record that it was he” (3 Nephi 11:15). I am filled with hope that one day I will have a similar meeting with my Saviour, Jesus Christ.

    • Jesus taught the Nephite disciples how to pray joyfully, “And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them,” (3 Nephi 19:25). The thought of His smiling upon me helps me feel love and encouragement.

    • The allegory of the olive tree found in Jacob 5 has always been particularly meaningful to me. The Lord of the vineyard uses a variety of strategies and methods to save his vineyard. I am thankful to see how the Lord does not give up on us. Time after time the Lord helps us; He does not forsake us.

    • The Book of Mormon is evidence that Heavenly Father loves everyone: He invites “all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33).

    • Jesus guided the Jaredites, Lehi and Nephi, Alma, Moroni and others. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. The power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is not reserved for just a few.

    Jesus in Gethsemane

    My Testimony and a Prophet’s Promise

    I testify there is power in the Book of Mormon that extends far beyond the words on the page. I cannot adequately explain or describe it, but there is a spiritual power that enters my life as a result of reading the Book of Mormon. This power from God is not limited to the words that I read. It is a power for good—a blessing from God that makes my day better, and makes me stronger—more able to make good choices, more able to feel peace. 

    The Come, Follow Me lesson for December 30-January 5, 2020 concludes with President Russell M. Nelson giving the following assurance for all who daily read the Book of Mormon, “I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life.”