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: I Love Him
Today we had a very special lesson in my Book of Mormon class. I just wanted to share with you the power of it because it left such a huge impact on me. We talked about our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. The love which I felt from Him and our Heavenly Father today was absolutely incredible, and it made me extremely love them in reciprocation.
Today we focused on 3 Nephi 11. It begins with the people confused; they keep hearing a voice from heaven, but they cannot understand it. They are physically, externally trying to change—turning their heads and looking toward the sound. But it is only when they “open their ears to hear it,” looking steadfastly toward the sound, that they understand the voice. Physically, we cannot open our ears. But this internal change of opening them is the huge factor in understanding, effecting our external appearance as well. Then, the people hear the Father speak unto them, (recognize that this is one of the few times Heavenly Father does in scripture) and He testifies of Jesus Christ simply, yet extremely powerfully, saying: “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him” (3 Nephi 11:7).
In this moment, not a soul can utter a single word, and Christ descends down in the midst of them. Put yourself in their positions for just a minute. Imagine yourself in this multitude of 25,000 people, watching as The Son of God descends before you. Then Christ testifies of Himself, saying, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ; whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.” He then goes on to explain His Atonement. Although He did everything for us, gave His own life for us, He only testifies of Himself in two short verses, showing His humility and absolute selflessness and submission to the Father. Then, instinctively, the people fall to the earth.
In the presence of our beloved prophets today, we instinctively stand if they enter the room—think of general conference. However, in the presence of Christ, we shall fall to the earth before Him. Herein lies a great symbolism: We are a fallen people. Christ is the one who lifts us up, carries us even. Wow. Then, in the multitude of 25,000 people—did I mention thousand—He invites them to come up, one by one, to feel His nail prints and to thrust their hands in His sides. Christ does not care about time. He cares about people. If every person just spent one minute with Christ, that’s 25,000 minutes. He is incredible. The people then fall again, crying “Hosanna!” at His feet to be saved and to worship Him. I wish to every day let the Lord know how much I love Him. I know that He lives. I know that He loves us. I testify that He is the Christ, He is our Savior, and the Atonement is real. I know this as sure as I am living and breathing on this earth today. May we love Him in return. May we serve Him. May we spread this knowledge, happiness and good news to people around us, around the country—even around the world. This is what the gospel is all about. This is why we are here on this earth. If you have not come to know Christ, I challenge you to come to know Him. Oh, how He loves you! How His hand is stretched out to you still. Grasp it, take hold, and never, ever let go.