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: Whatever God Requires is Right
I just thought I’d share with you something that touched me in Book of Mormon class this week as we studied in the Book of Helaman. We can all use a little motivation sometimes to just continue pressing forward along the path. This week, we studied a lot about Samuel the Lamanite in Helaman chapters 13-15. The beginning of chapter 13 stood out to me, in particular. In verse 2, we learn that Samuel had gone to Zarahemla to preach, but had been cast out. He was about to return to his homeland, but then he heard the voice of the Lord commanding him to go back “and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into his heart” (Helaman 13:3). I imagine this would have come as a shock to him; perhaps he was a little confused. After all, he had just been in Zarahemla and they had clearly rejected him. Why would the Lord want him to go back? However, despite this, Samuel immediately turns around and returns to Zarahemla and gives some amazing prophecies about the Savior, converting many Nephites. I believe we can learn a lot from this experience that Samuel the Lamanite had. There are many times in life where the Lord gives us a command we do not fully understand or where a trial comes into our lives and we just don’t get why we are being forced to endure it. What we can learn from Samuel is that the “why” of a trial or commandment doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we follow the voice of the Lord and the promptings of the Spirit and go and do. As we keep the commandments and endure trials, we will come to see why they have been given to us, whether that answer comes right away or in the distant future (John 7:17). Joseph Smith said, “Whatever God requires is right, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.” Keep pressing forward. Trials may not make sense now, but they will in the future. I promise you that there are always better things ahead for those who have faith in Christ and endure the trials and commandments He gives to them.