testimonies

How do you feel when you read the Book of Mormon? Several times I’ve heard some people say, “It’s just like the Bible”.

I remember thinking that myself.  In fact, it may be, or seem similar to the Bible in many ways; however I honestly did not enjoy reading the Book of Mormon as much as I had always enjoyed my Bible.

I marvelled that Joseph Smith translated it within only a couple of months, while for eight months I struggled to get to the end of it. I had a difficult time reading it and wouldn’t come near to saying that I even enjoyed reading it at all. It was a trial. I did it out of duty to the Lord.  Seven years later, it pains me to admit that.

Right now I am reading and studying this marvelous book for the fourth or fifth time and I am thoroughly amazed that I ever did struggle so.

There are nuggets of gold, incredible truths buried within these scriptures that flood the heart and soul. Each day as I sit and ponder what I’ve gleaned with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, my heart overflows with deep love and joy and gratitude for Heavenly Father’s goodness to His children.

“And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
 
And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.”    1 Nephi 11:22-23

It is my desire to continue to give this study all of my mind, my heart and strength. Communing with the Lord in this way has become the highlight of my day.

With the Book of Mormon, God has provided you and me something priceless. Can we ever know in this lifetime the full breadth and depth of all of those blessings that we have been offered?

“The Book of Mormon is true. And was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the last days.” Jeffrey R. Holland
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Testimony of the Book of Mormon

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“There have been many people who have prayed, as your Mormon friends suggested, and felt that God was not leading them because of the “off the wall” doctrine. Did God lead them in a different way or do we assume that those people were not sincerely open to God’s leading?”

A few weeks after I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I received a letter from a very dear friend, asking me this question. I had no idea how to respond at that time. I’ve often pondered that question. Even today, what can I say?

God gave me a powerful witness of the Book of Mormon so that I know with all my heart and mind that it truly is a historical work and that it is a third testament of Jesus Christ. Why me? And why do others not receive the same?

I believe my instincts kept me from searching the internet for anti Mormon literature. And instincts kept me from approaching my past leaders to ask them for their opinion or guidance.

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord” Jeremiah 17:5

I just knew that a biased opinion, even if knowledgeable on some important issues would make my way very murky and would more than likely, completely add confusion to an already seemingly overwhelming task-that of learning the truth for myself.

Based on what I’d learned from reading my Bible, I believed that God was interested personally in me, desired for me to do His will and would lead me in the direction of His choosing. I chose to remain completely dependent on Him to reveal His truth to me. So, I followed direction, and sought first to read the Book of Mormon and then pray as instructed.

Though it may not be necessary for everyone to receive a testimony as soon as possible when investigating the church, it is a great advantage in my opinion. True, I didn’t study everything about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints before I received my witness. True I knew very little about the church, which scared everyone around me to death!

Putting first things first enabled powerful enough evidence for me to withstand naysayers. Powerful enough to endure others anger, contention, bitterness and difficult questions.

And especially, powerful enough to endure the fiery darts of the adversary-with truths that immediately got thrown in the path -twisted and bent out of shape to be almost unrecognizable as good and holy and pure as their origin.

Was it not for Heavenly Father’s faithfulness and the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost to help recognize and discern the differences between truth and error, how very lost I would be.

There are many people desiring to know the truth and desiring to know which church is true but don’t know where to find it. Just as sad is the reality that people feel dependent on knowledgeable men, scholars, books or the internet to point the way to truth, rather than asking and seeking of God.

For example, just about that same time, one of my family members stated that a preacher friend said that he had studied Joseph Smith for 2 years and had decided he was a fraud. Again, I was not sure how to respond. (I had not yet received a testimony of Joseph Smith as God’s true prophet.)

Today, I would say, “One does not study Joseph Smith. Study Jesus Christ. Look only to Him, give Him your whole heart, mind and soul, trust Him and ask Him what the truth is that He would have you seek. Believe that He desires to answer you.”

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him”  Jeremiah 17:7

While you are seeking, first and foremost, seek a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Read it. Ponder upon the words. Pray. Ask. Once you know the truth for yourself, once you commit to this marvelous church and have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, you will be able to discern and sift the truth of all other matters regarding this marvelous church.

Afterwards, when you find yourself mired in controversial stuff, the indwelling of the Holy Ghost will strengthen and guide you into all truth. Even then, be vigilant in praying and seeking the Lord for answers, as the adversary may be be hard at work, seeking your downfall.

Do you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon?

Brothers and Sisters, those of you that are converts to the church, are welcome to share your testimonies or conversion experience here.

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Next week, in “Addressing the Book of Mormon, Part 2”, for your interest I’ll post a transcript of an interview including a couple of commonly asked questions regarding the Book of Mormon. Terryl Givens, professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond and commentator, elucidates.

You’d like your own Book of Mormon? Do contact me.

Or call 888-537-2200 and ask for one. It’s free!