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: The Lord’s Promise to Nephi
This week in my Book of Mormon class we’ve been studying in the second half of the Book of Helaman. In chapter 10 of Helaman there is, in my opinion, one of the greatest promises ever made from the Lord. Although this promise is made to many of the Lord’s servants, very few times do we hear the Lord give the exact promise to one of His representatives. In Helaman 10:4, we hear the Lord speaking to Nephi after Nephi has just finished prophesying unto the people. Nephi is pondering the things which the Lord has told him to say. I would imagine he is feeling fairly discouraged because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. But in verse 4 the Lord tells Nephi that he is blessed because he has sought the Lord’s will with such “unwearyingness.” In verses 5 and 7, the Lord promises Nephi that because He knows Nephi will not do anything contrary to His will, He will give Nephi power over all things, even to bind on earth and in heaven and to loose on earth and in heaven. I feel that this is such a powerful promise not only because of the power it grants Nephi but also because of the qualifications for which the Lord states that Nephi has earned this power. The only qualifications for which the Lord gives this power is that Nephi has been tireless in declaring the word and that he has not feared the people but rather has sought the will of the Lord. I think the reason that this scripture impacts me so much is because of its simplicity. So often we hear that we truly can exercise the power of God. If we simply give of ourselves to do God’s work and never complain but truly have a desire to serve God all the days of our lives, no matter how afraid we may be, then we will have the power to move mountains and do whatever He wants. Just imagine how much power we would have to preach the gospel if we were truly fearless in our desires to follow our Heavenly Father. Although I know that none of us is perfect and neither was Nephi, I do know that if we strive to align our desires with those of our Heavenly Father, we will be blessed with the ability to help move His work forward here on the earth.