It’s no secret, I haven’t been reading my scriptures as often as I should be. Mark Twain quipped, “It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle—keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate.” And I’m sorry, sometimes I can’t help but think Twain was telling the truth about this. There are times, I’ll admit, that I find the Book of Mormon slow. But then again, the Bible has those parts too (don’t we all feel that way once in a while).
Ezra Taft Benson, a former prophet and president of the Church, gave a popular General Conference talk called The Book of Mormon: Keystone of Our Religion.I’m not going to get into all of Benson’s talk, as I probably wouldn’t be able to do it justice, but there are a few points in there that have helped me gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the Book of Mormon. One point in particular stands out: It was written for our day.
The Book of Mormon, Benson says, was written for us. After all, Mormon, the prophet who put the writings together, lived during the end of the Nephite civilization. The Book of Mormon writers were writing for a future generation. Us. God knew that the book was meant for those living after the Restoration. He knew fully well who would be the audience of this book long before Lehi and his family left the Old World. The Book of Mormon was written with this in mind.
Since it was written for us, we should look to see what it is trying to tell us specifically. For that answer, we don’t need to look any further than the cover:
You see it? It’s right there!
That’s it. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. Just like the Bible!
The difference is, that while both sacred texts were written by ancient prophets though revelation, the Book of Mormon was written for us now while the Bible was written for ancient Jews and early Christians as well. But there is something about having a text meant specifically for us.
When I read the Book of Mormon, I’m amazed by how much I learn, how much I am inspired, and how much I grow closer to Christ. It’s hard to put into words, but it has helped me come closer to the Savior and His Church.
Through the Book of Mormon, our Heavenly Father reveals His Son to us. He reveals all that is necessary for our salvation.
You know, there was a time when I wasn’t totally convinced that the Book of Mormon. I would say that I believed it as Scripture, but in my heart, I wasn’t convinced. Then when I went to Salt Lake for the October 2013 General Conference, at the insistence of two sister missionaries (they told me if I had any doubts, any questions, go, like Joseph did, to our own Sacred Grove and ask God), I sat in front of the Christus statue in the North Visitor Center. I prayed, “Let me see the Book of Mormon as scripture.”
I opened up to Mosiah 2, where I had left off in my reading. All of a sudden, this verse jumped out at me:
And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them
One part of that verse really stood out to me. Can you guess what it is? Here it is: …every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple.
All of a sudden, all the imaginary of having our tent facing the temple and what that means in terms of both literal temples and figurative temples (Jesus). Not to mention, temples lead to Christ. All of this came to me at once. Then the realization (or revelation) came to me: “This book is holy. It wasn’t written by Joseph Smith but by ancient prophets.”
Since that day in Temple Square, I haven’t looked back. My testimony of the Book of Mormon is strong. It was written for me, to draw me to Christ. Why wouldn’t I love that?
Mosiah 2:6 will always have a special place in my heart as the verse that convinced me of the Book of Mormon’s authenticity.
What verse did it for you?