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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday Lesson #40 - Testimony of The Book of Mormon

Given by Terry S.

"The moment you begin a serious study of the Book of Mormon, 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 works  of life", and nowhere is that more true than it is in the Book of Mormon.  When you hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance."

Ezra Taft Benson
One morning as I was reading the scriptures I came across Jacob 4:3-4.  It felt as though Jacob was speaking directly to me and it really made me stop and think about the subject more deeply.  Jacob was speaking to me about what was most important to him.

Verse 3- Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents. 

Verse 4- For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.
A powerful testimony to the importance of the Book of Mormon is to note where the Lord placed its coming forth in the timetable of the unfolding Restoration.  The only thing that preceded it was the First Vision.
Think of that in terms of what it implies.  The coming forth of the Book of Mormon preceded the restoration of the priesthood.  It was published just a few days before the Church was organized.  The Saints were given the Book of Mormon to read before they were given the revelations outlining such great doctrines as the three degrees of glory, celestial marriage, or work for the dead.  It came before priesthood quorums and Church organization.  Doesn't this tell us something about how the Lord views this sacred work?

Although the Book of Mormon is an ancient document, it was written for our day (2 Nephi 23:21-22; 27:22; Mormon 8:34-35; Moroni 1:4).
President Benson also taught: "The Book of Mormon was written for our day.  The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times.  It was meant for us. Each of the major writers of the Book of Mormon testified that he wrote for future generations.  If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon?  We should constantly ask ourselves, "Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record?  What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?"

Some question you might ask yourself:

How might knowing that the Book of Mormon was written for our day influence the way we study it?  (1 Nephi 19:23)

What changes and blessing have come into your life when you have studied and pondered the Book of Mormon regularly?
President Marion G. Romney testified of the blessings that can come into the lives of those who will read and study the Book of Mormon.  He said:

"I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirt of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein.  The spirt of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow.  The spirit of contention will depart.  Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom.  Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents.  Righteousness will increase.  Faith, hope, and charity- the pure love of Christ- will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness."

Sisters, I testify to you that the Book of Mormon is true.  I have had a witness of it's truthfulness many times in my life.  When I think of all the many millions and billions of people who have lived and died on this earth without ever having the Book of Mormon,  I realize what a blessing it is in mine.  I am so grateful to all the many prophets who recorded those words of the plates and didn't even know why they were doing it except they were commanded to.  I leave you my testimony of the Book of Mormon in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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