I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly referred to as Mormons) my whole life. However, I’m not so different from everyone else. I’m a freshman college student like all my friends. I love to laugh and have a good time. I get stressed out about school, drama, and everyday life. Yet, all of the craziness that comes with moving 2,000 miles away from my family makes me so grateful for the gospel in my life.
Even though I grew up with the Church of Jesus Christ, it took me awhile to realize that I had a testimony of it. When I was about 11, the prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, asked the members of the LDS Church to read the entire Book of Mormon before the end of the year. I wasn’t quite sure why, but I really had a desire to take up that challenge. It was the first time that I had read the entire book all by myself. The Book of Mormon, like the Bible, is a testament of Jesus Christ. It was written by some ancient inhabitants of the Americas and covers about 1,000 years of their history. It was passed down from generation to generation until a prophet named Moroni buried the record in a hill around 400 A.D.
Then in the 1800’s Moroni came as an angel to Joseph Smith and told him to find and translate the record. At the end of the book, in Moroni chapter 10:4, it makes a promise to everyone who reads it. It says,
And when ye shall receive these things, [The Book of Mormon] I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
So I followed the challenge our prophet gave us and read the book. When I finished on Christmas morning, I simply said a prayer. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it didn’t seem like I got my answer right away.
Over the course of the next year or so, I didn’t lose faith. I was a little unsure of myself, but I kept going to church and doing the things that I needed to be doing. At that point in my life, being young, I mostly relied on the testimony of my parents and people around me. However, I really wanted to find out for myself. I had a sincere heart and real intent. As I thought about the rest of the promise, I realized I also had to ask having faith in Christ. Did I have faith in Christ? Pondering upon this, I realized that I knew I had faith in Christ. Then I looked back at the question of the Book of Mormon, and I realized that I knew it was true as well. I had known all of this time, without even perceiving it. I had stronger faith than I even realized.
As I planted that small seed of testimony in my heart, I continued to read the Book of Mormon. Now I feel the Holy Ghost testifying of its reality to me every time I read. I think it is interesting that Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon go hand-in-hand. Knowledge of one comes from knowledge of the other. I have gained a greater testimony of Jesus Christ from reading about His life in the Book of Mormon. I have also gained a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon through praying about it with faith in Christ.
I am so grateful that I gained that small testimony when I was just a little girl. I see the blessings that the gospel brings to my life every day. Although I have gone through hard times of doubt and discouragement, I still know that our Savior Jesus Christ lives and loves us. The Book of Mormon presents such a wonderful opportunity for the world to learn more about Him and His life on earth and in the eternities. The world is a difficult place to be these days, and I honestly don’t know what kind of person I would be or what choices I would be making without Christ in my life. Christ knows about everything we go through, and He is the only one who knows how to comfort us completely. I invite all to take a chance and read the Book of Mormon. I promise that it can change anyone’s life for the better.
Article was written by Kristen Blackham