Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently called by friends of other faiths, the “Mormon Church”) study out of a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture which gives an account of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American continent. It was translated by the power of God through a modern prophet of God. It is as the title says, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Ancient prophets, whom God chose and called, taught the people in the Americas about Jesus Christ and prophesied of His coming.
In this particular metaphor Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, talks to a group of people who have been humbled after being cast out of their churches by prideful people. They come to Alma wanting to know what to do as a result of being kicked out of their synagogues. Alma tells them that they should study the word of God and live by it’s teachings. He gives a discourse on faith, and compares the word of God to a seed that can swell in our hearts as we plant it and nourish it. In this article written by Tom G. Rose, a Latter-day Saint (“Mormon”), he talks about how we plant the word of God in our hearts.
How to Know the Book of Mormon Is True: A Metaphor
This discourse by the prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon gives us a powerful analogy about the development of faith. It compares the growth of a seed to how the word of God will swell within the heart of an honest inquirer. This analogy is beautifully explained in Alma 32:28–43. I strongly suggest that you prayerfully read these verses several times.
How do you plant the word of God in your heart? What is the word? Alma was asked this question and his answer is recorded in Alma 33:22. Planting the word of God means that you
• Believe in the Son of God.
• Believe that He came to redeem all mankind.
• Believe that He suffered and died to atone for your sins.
• Believe that He was resurrected.
• Believe that you will stand before Him at the judgment day to be judged for your works.
After planting this word (seed) in your heart, you must:
• Give this word (seed) time to germinate and begin to grow within your mind and heart.
• Pray and ask God if Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind.
• Study the scriptures about the life and mission of the Savior.
• Do your best to live a Christlike life.
• Keep the Sabbath day holy.
• Continue to nourish the word (seed) with faith, diligence, and patience.
Will you have faith to plant the word of God (seed) in your heart? Only you can answer this vital question. If you have sufficient faith to try this exciting experiment there are two possible results:
1. It will grow if you do not cast it out by your unbelief. It will begin as a tiny seedling. This seedling must be constantly nourished or it will die. If you sincerely pray and study the word of God and live the best you can, you will begin to feel swelling emotions within your breast.
These feelings will be real and exciting. The sprout will grow slowly, but steadily, as long as you nourish it daily. If you continue faithful, it will become a young tree.
With time and constant nourishment and care the young tree will eventually become a mature tree bearing the fruit of everlasting life. You will receive true joy and eternal happiness! (See Alma 32:41–43)
2. Or it will die—if you neglect the word (sprout), it will shrivel up and die, because it cannot continue to live and grow unless it receives daily nourishment through your earnest prayer, study, and obedience (see Alma 32:40).
Even though the word (seed) is true (good), it will not get root in you and begin to grow unless you do your part. Heavenly Father and the Savior have done all they can. Now, the rest is up to you!! Pray for help in knowing and understanding the truth, and begin reading the Book of Mormon. An excellent place to begin is 1 Nephi chapter one. If you exercise your faith, an exciting experience with the word of God awaits you: “It will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me” (Alma 32:28).
When this marvelous experience happens to you, you have received revelation from the Holy Ghost. you have received a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true!
Learn more about the Book of Mormon at the official site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Book of Mormon is true. Request a free copy today.
Visit a local meetinghouse.
T. Rose, How to Know the Book of Mormon Is True, (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Inc., 2010), 56-61.