BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” As part of their undergraduate coursework, BYU students take multiple semesters of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Book of Mormon: You Can Do All Things Through Him
To my friend who is not a member of the church
For my Book of Mormon class we are supposed to share with someone each week about what we learned in class. I thought I would email you this week to tell you about what I learned. I always tell you how much I love this class and how much I learn, and I usually share stuff with you anyway so I figured, why not? This last week we had been studying in the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. Something that I found to be really profound was in chapter 43 verses 19 & 20. In 19, it tells how Captain Moroni had prepared his people with, “breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their head, and also they were dressed with thick clothing.” It goes on to say in verse 20, “the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins.”
This was at a time when the army of the Nephites were going to war against the Lamanites because they were trying to defend their homes, liberties, families and religion, while the Lamanites were trying to take that away and take over their cities. Moroni was the captain of the Nephite army and Zerahemnah was captain of the Lamanites. When we read the verses above it struck me that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will ALWAYS protect us. They give us all the armor we need so we will be protected against our enemies and they care for our well-being and preservation. That is so comforting and reaffirms the love of our Father. On the other hand, the devil will give you EVERYTHING you need to take others down but does not care at all for your own protection or well-being. That is shown in the Lamanites army when they have plenty of weapons, but no protection. It shows that same principle in another scripture, Alma 30:60 when it says, “thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.” That has always stayed with me because I know it is true. He envys us so much for the life and bodies we get to have that he will never experience and will do everything in his power to make us miserable like him.
I think it is so sad that people get caught in his snares, many times without even knowing, while Heavenly Father on the other hand wants to offer us everything He has. It can be hard not to get caught up in the world, but I know as we put our faith in Him and follow him with all our heart that He will always protect us against our enemies that try to pervert His ways. I know He wants so badly to give us all He has, and if we just ask He will never leave our side. I thought it was a great reminder of my Father’s love for me, and to remember to evaluate whose side I am on.
Another point I really liked was from Chapter 46 verse 12. Moroni took a piece of his coat and wrote upon it” “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children – and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.” This was what he declared they were fighting in defense of. My teacher pointed out that it was no coincidence the order he put them in. When we put God first in our life, each of the other things follows. He directs our religion, gives us freedom and peace, and we are able to have happy families with God at the center. He also pointed out that when we leave God and He no longer is at the top of our life, many times we lose those things, and quite possibly in that order. If you think about it, it makes so much sense. If we become addicted to something, for example, we lose our freedom and peace and it could lead to loss of your family. It was a good reminder to always keep God at the top of everything in our life and He will direct us for good and leave us with peace.
Lastly, I wanted to share a concept that my teacher shared with us. I forget how it came up but I am really glad I got to hear it. I think I’ve told you before about the popular term in the church, “CTR”, which means choose the right. It is something we learn early on in the church as a simple helpful reminder to choose the right in all we do. Well my teacher pointed out that of course none of us are perfect, we may be struggling with something that may be weighing us down or know that we have done wrong and feel as though it can never be made right. Such an idea is false and comes from the devil. Heavenly Father anxiously awaits for us to come to him and simply ask forgiveness and he will freely give. And so, when we are moving along with faith and trying our best to choose the right and something happens where we make a mistake, quickly go back and RTC (Right The Choice) and continue moving forward in faith. I loved the simple concept of CTR turning to RTC when it needs to. It is never too late to right the choices that we have mistakenly made and Heavenly Father wants to help us to do so. He also wants us to forgive ourself, which is important to remember too.
I am thankful for His mercy and love, and especially for my Savior and His sacrifice and perfect example. I’m sharing all of this with you because I know it truly helped me strengthen my faith and understand a little better Heavenly Father’s love and all that he offers. I know you are doing wonderful things at school and I know you are capable of so much. Remember Heavenly Father wants to help you achieve your goals, all you have to do is ask for that help, and remember to ask who He wants you to be also. You can do all things through Him. When your classes or other burdens seem too heavy, remember to ask for Him to help. He WILL help. Even if it doesn’t seem like the way we wanted, He is always opening other doors when one gets closed. We just have to trust in Him. These were all great reminders for me, and are things I am working on. I hope you will take something from it too. I love you and so does the Lord. Never forget it.